Tag Archives: Karen Graham

Nonprofit Radio for April 1, 2024: Avoid Technical Debt & Your Technical Roadmap


Jagan Narayanan & Karen Graham: Avoid Technical Debt


Our 24NTC coverage continues, to help you avoid crushing tech debt that would bust your budget and cause you a big headache. Our panel encourages you to manage and maintain your IT infrastructure and software so that costs are managed. They’re Jagan Narayanan, from Fourth Dimension Technologies, and the tech speaker, writer and consultant, Karen Graham.





Kestryl Lowery:  Your Technical Roadmap

Another way to steer clear of a technology budget crisis is to prioritize and plan your investments. Kestryl Lowrey shares the best practices for creating your tech roadmap. He’s with Cloud for Good.


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Hello listeners. It’s Tony. Every week for the past 14 years. I’ve produced a show this week. I’m sorry, I just II I could not pull it together. Uh personal problems, technology problems. Its just, it was just overwhelming. I, I could not, I’m sorry. It’s April Fools. It’s our April Fools show. Welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your Aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite Hebdomadal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d suffer the embarrassment of. So, Mathenia, if you weakened me with the idea that you missed this week’s show, here’s our associate producer, Kate with what’s going on this week? Hey, Tony, it’s a technology management show. First. Avoid technical debt. Our 24 NTC coverage continues to help you avoid crushing tech debt that would bust your budget and cause you a big headache. Our panel encourages you to manage and maintain your it infrastructure and software so that costs are managed. They are Jin Narayanan from fourth dimension technologies and the tech speaker, writer and consultant Karen Graham. Then your technical road map another way to steer clear of a technology budget crisis is to prioritize and plan your investments. Castro Lowry shares the best practices for creating your tech roadmap. He’s with Cloud for good. Antonius. Take two, I’ve been dreaming were sponsored by virtuous. Virtuous, gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow giving, virtuous.org here is avoid technical debt. Welcome back to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of the 2024 nonprofit technology conference. We’re in Portland, Oregon and we are sponsored by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. With me. Now are Jin Narayanan. And Karen Graham Jin is CEO at fourth dimension technologies and Karen is speaker, writer, consultant and coach. Welcome back to both of you. You’ve both been on the show before. It’s good to have both of you back. Jug and Karen. Welcome back. Thanks. Thank you. Pleasure. So you’ve uh you’ve done your session and your topic is avoid technical debt from killing your nonprofit, not, not just not just damaging or injuring, killing, killing, jugging. Why is this uh an important topic? Why do we need this session? Uh It’s basically it’s a more to do with being able to keep up with uh technology and trying to address issues as and when they come up and not let them pile up. Once you let the issue spile up, then it kind of grows to such an extent that it becomes a very difficult task to manage at that point in time. And that’s why we’re talking about being able to kill them because suddenly you find yourself in a situation where you have a huge technology challenge and you probably don’t have the resources both financial, as well as technical to be able to address that. Ok. And it could have been avoided with better management through the, through the years. Absolutely better management in terms of planning and probably spreading it out over a period of time. Ok, Karen, do you want to add something to, to our introduction to the topic? I think, I mean, you asked why, why this topic here, why this conference? I think it’s especially important for nonprofits to think about this because they have so many pressures that, that send them in the direction of accumulating more technical debt, of putting off purchases of under investing in technology because of the way that they’re funded because of the um just all of the different ways that they operate. I think nonprofits are perhaps more susceptible to technical debt than any other kind of organization. Um So some of the things we want, let’s stick with you, Karen. Just reading from your session description, learn, learn the negative impacts of technical debt, I mean, jug and sort of alluded to them. Do you want to go into more detail or maybe tell a story of, of the, the uh the implications of putting off proper investment and management of technology. I’ll use a release. Simple example. And this is, this is kind of an embarrassing example because it’s a way that I am accumulating technical debt myself by keeping a laptop for longer than I would ever advise a client to do. I would usually tell people to plan to replace their computers every 3 to 5 years. I’ve got a laptop that’s six years old and I’m just crossing my fingers that it’s not going to die in the middle of this conference. And then I would be forced to go out and sort of panic, purchase a new machine without shopping for sales without really thoroughly looking at what my options are. And so in that way, I’m probably not making a very smart decision and could end up the impact of that, could be that I would spend more. I wouldn’t get the right kind of computer for, for the next, the next one that I buy. And that’s just like kind of a microcosm of what happens on a much larger scale with a lot of kinds of enterprise technology systems and organizations. Well, I admire you sharing your own personal, uh, I don’t know, shortcoming or oversight. Uh, hypocrite is the word that comes to mind, but at least you’re honest, you’re an honest hypocrite. You’re not, you’re not a concealed. You know, I love Karen. Karen’s been on the show many times. We’ve talked a lot, we email. So I know she doesn’t object to. I feel the same kinds of pressures that a lot of people working in nonprofits do where, you know, I want to make the best use of my funds. I don’t want to overspend. And so sometimes I can be kind of a cheap skate, double, double hypocrite, not, you’re under investing and you’re not, you’re not turning over the technology as it ought to be as it ought to be upgraded. Alright. Um Jin, uh is there a story maybe that you wanna share or, or uh about, you know, proper, let’s let’s go to the other end of the spectrum from Karen now to the to the proper the proper management and, and investment in, in uh technology. Yeah, actually we, we manage it for a lot of organizations and uh as a part of our job, it’s, it’s a part of the job to let them know how they are accumulating debt and what are the risks they carry and what we see sometimes is uh actually quite surprising. Uh we have clients who still use versions of operating system like Windows 2000 just because it works, they use it, they want to use it. They’re not changing it because the change will cost them no longer supported. It’s no longer supported, it’s risky some of the people attending this event. Absolutely. So that’s the risk that they carry risk is whether if they’re using uh uh let’s say unsupported versions of either operating systems or some of the systems that they have, they risk the possibility of security process. So that’s the biggest risk. And uh again, security is like an insurance and the general perception is if it’s not happened to me, I’m safe. So it’s, it’s, it’s a kind of a situation where it hits until it does happen to you. Absolutely. So I think this is where the challenge is. Uh we need to take, that’s why people need to take proactive measures. So when I talk about my own experiences with organizations, this is what we see in a lot of organizations and even then they would want to probably extend it as much as possible because at the end of the day, upgrades also cost money. I think that’s the challenge. But Karen, we, we should look at this as an investment, right? I don’t know why you’re asking me questions because I’ve now completely undermined my own credibility. Well, let me, let me take a moment to rehabilitate because Karen I’ve known Karen for years. She is a very smart, very savvy tech uh tech reviewer, tech consultant, tech person, professional. Uh she used to produce reports about technology. Um and I had her on the show talking about them. So this is all that was uh that was all in fun. Karen. Karen is a very, very savvy and very smart consultant. Karen Graham consulting. I don’t know, her little bio doesn’t say doesn’t say Karen Graham consulting. It just says, speaker, writer, consultant, coach, I’ve made my best after myself consulting. And as I Tony Martignetti, Tony Martignetti nonprofit Radio Martignetti Planned Giving Advisors II, I think that’s, I think that’s the right way to go. You’re because you’re a well known name in technology. So Karen Graham consulting has gravitas and that’s not just a gratuitous rehabilitation, it’s all deserved. So he’s made such terrible fun of you. II I wanna make sure that I go uh make sure I rehabilitate and set the record straight again. That was not a gratuitous rehabilitation. It’s all true. So as a savvy smart tech consultant at Karen Graham consulting, uh we should be viewing this as an investment, right? Not expenditure, not spending, but we’re investing in tech just like we should invest in our people. Yeah, we should. Um and but in order to make a proper investment, you need to, you need to save for that, you need to budget for it and you need to understand how to evaluate return on investment. And I actually think that’s sometimes how these things start to fall apart is that people don’t understand how to really evaluate the ro I they don’t understand how to swayed someone of that. That’s something we talked about in the session a bit. There were a lot of people in the room that were it and operations, people that do understand this already and yet they’re sort of inhibited from implementing really smart technology investments in their organization because their leaders don’t understand the importance of it. Their boards don’t understand the importance of it, their don’t understand the importance of it. And so I think it’s our responsibility as technology leaders to acquire the skills, to be able to really make a strong case for those investments and to do it in the language, to use the kinds of arguments that are relevant to the people that are making those decisions. Well, let’s stay with you. How do we start to budget for this? Let’s take uh websites, for example, almost everyone, almost every nonprofit organization does some kind of website refresh or maybe even a complete overhaul, redesign every 3 to 5 years. And yet few organizations budget for that in the years that they’re not doing it. And so to smooth out that um that cash flow and to be prepared for a major website redesign, a few organizations have a practice of setting aside a little bit of money in a fund that’s dedicated for that as they’re building up to it. Um But many of them just wait until it’s kind of past due and then they’ll maybe go to a funder and say, oh, we need, you know, many tens of thousands of dollars to be able to do this redesign and they just cross their fingers that somebody’s gonna say, yes. What, what about for the jug? And what about for the kinds of technology that we’re, that’s, that’s palpable. Um Kron was talking about her laptop. Uh you know, I’m thinking of servers. I mean, I’m not a tech person but you are uh you know, how do we, how do we budget for what those expenses are going to be? The the laptop upgrades, the server up grades, things like that. How do we know how much to plan for? See? Actually, uh if you are a technology person, normally the road map for technology is laid out by the vendors. You take the large vendors, be it the network vendors like Cisco and Junipers or you take the server vendors like Dell or HP, I mean, all of them have set a road map and I think that road map is available for us as technology. So we know where technology is headed in terms of what so very clearly uh that road, once that road map is available, there is a possibility that you can therefore start seeing that this is when I need a refresh, this is when I need an upgrade and stuff like that. Well, you may not know the exact amounts which are required for these exacts. But Karen said if we put together a plan and start setting aside some money straight away, so at least it doesn’t hit you when in a big time when it actually happens, you start setting aside funds for it over a period of time and then start rolling it out on an annual basis rather than doing it at one shot every, every year, you set aside a certain amount of money for upgrades for, uh let’s say you now you’re using the technical debt for, let’s say, uh managing technical debt and you set aside some money and then you know what comes in at that point in time and start using it for that purpose. And the large providers have a road map, road maps for us that most of them have, most of them, we have some visibility into what’s in store. It’s not that they just throw something at us. I mean, there is obviously an available in terms of, if you go to Microsoft, I’m sure Microsoft will tell you when is the next release planned for their operating system? And they will also tell you when is the support stopping for the earlier version of the operating system? So you certainly have a time plan for you to plan that out and hardware, hardware as well and HP etcetera, and there might be a lot of people listening that are not with an organization that has an it professional on their staff. And so maybe they don’t have somebody that really has the knowledge to keep track of these kinds of things. In that case, they should find somebody like Jan or you know, someone who can advise them, maybe outsource that um who can help them make those plans. Actually, it’s a good idea to have a periodic audit, let’s say, do you do an annual audit to see where you are? And what is it that you need to address that? That’s probably a good way to address it in that sense. Auditing software, hardware. Absolutely. That’s right. Ok. Vendor relationships, backup plans, all of it together do infrastructure. I audit to see where you are and what are the gaps that you have to fill and then plan for it. At least you can plan for it the next year. It’s time for a break. Virtuous is a software company committed to helping nonprofits grow generosity. Virtuous believes that generosity has the power to create profound change in the world and in the heart of the giver, it’s their mission to move the needle on global generosity by helping nonprofits better connect with and inspire their givers. Responsive fundraising puts the donor at the center of fundraising and grows, giving through personalized donor journeys that respond to the needs of each individual. Virtuous is the only responsive nonprofit CRM designed to help you build deeper relationships with every donor at scale. Virtues gives you the nonprofit CRM, fundraising, volunteer marketing and automation tools. You need to create responsive experiences that build trust and grow impact virtuous.org now back to avoid technical debt. Something I’m curious about, I know both of you, but I, I know I’m not the person who introduced you. How did the two of you come together to do this session together. That’s interesting. That’s interesting. Actually, I’m going to locate in only the last few weeks. Ok. Uh We have another gentleman in our organization who’s been talking to her for a long time. Ga ga. That’s right. So Ronga has been driving this and uh that’s how he got set up and we’ve been in this nonprofit technology thing for the last couple of years. So we’ve been working with multiple people and reaching out to a lot of people and Karen was certainly one of the, on our list. She was on top of our list. Outstanding fourth dimension. Of course, you were a sponsor of nonprofit radio and uh you were on our 650th or 6/100 show, 6/100 show. I interviewed you in uh Moynihan Station in New York City, Moynihan Hall. Pardon me, Moynihan Hall in New York City. And then we had a very nice dinner together. So I know I know the both of you. Well, I just regrettably, I’m not the person brought you together, but Ron found Ronga found Karen top of her list, top of his list. Um Let’s talk a little about Ro I let’s stay with you, Juan. Uh and then we’ll Karen, I’ll turn to you to fill in some too about how do we start to estimate RO I because this is something that if, if, if everything is going along fine, then the C suite may just say, well, everything’s going along fine. I don’t, I don’t see any downside to continuing with uh with uh Windows 2000 for instance. Wh wh why, why should, why should we bother, how do, how do we quantify the, the, the value of upgrading to a, to the current uh operating system, for instance? OK. There are multiple ways of doing this. There are multiple ways, one is uh uh very simply is, is there a productivity impact because of the fact that you’re running older systems? I mean, that’s, that’s one way to look at it. And uh when you look at productivity impact, that’s something we can straight away uh add money value to it and do it. The other is a potential risk that you carry. Like when you say security risk, it’s a risk. But to be putting a money value on it, we need to put a model by which you can say, hey, in case we have a security incident, what is the impact that is having on the organization? OK. So these are the two things that, that comes to my mind straight away security wise, we can look at some of the headlines, a ransomware attacks uh on, I mean, sometimes even on nonprofits, we don’t even have to just look at the commercial, the corporate side of hacks, uh like Yahoo is the one that comes to mind, but there have been others since then. But some nonprofits have been attacked. In fact, I’ll send you a very good example of technical debt, which actually had an impact on general users. Uh Some time back, we had an issue at Southwest where I think the systems came down. I think this is about the air this happened, I think about 34 years back. And I think the one of the reasons was that some of the systems were not upgraded in time. Ok. So having said that, I mean, I’m saying even for large organizations, it happens because we tend to ignore it in a lot of ways, right? So having said that from an ro I look at the impact and uh so if you look at it as an impact, somebody has to put together and say in case this happens, what are the costs and therefore it’s better to invest now and prevent an incident happening sometime down the line. And then also, as you mentioned, productivity, productivity is a very simple, simple model. Yeah, we’re working, right mccarron, we’re, you know, suppose let’s take this windows 2000 example. I mean, we’re, you know, aside from the security risks of using an operating system that still hasn’t been supported for, I don’t know how many years or decades or a decade or so, but just, you know, like the work arounds, like if you wanna integrate calendly, let’s say, or something, you know, to your email or you know, to, to to use something modern with something that’s 24 years old. Um, that’s enormously unproductive. Right. Well, and just to put some numbers to this and I hope I’m not the technical side to it. I hope I’m not doing the math rather spontaneously here. But I was just thinking, like, let’s say you have 10 minutes a day that your old computer, your old operating system, your workarounds are slowing you down by 10 minutes a day. And then if you multiply that out, say by like 40 40 hours a week and 50 days or 50 weeks a year with some vacation, things like that, say, you have somebody that’s being paid $50 an hour. If you take the value of their time, I think that’s $2000 a year, right? One employee. Right. So, I mean, for $2000 would you want to upgrade their operating system? It seems like that would be a pretty clear two $1000 of ongoing costs each year. And then on top of that, the risk of the security risk, we haven’t quantified that right now by, by making the investment of time and money into upgrading the operating system, you’re not really gonna save $2000 you’re still gonna be paying that employee, right? You’re not going to be paying them for 10 fewer minutes every day, but they 10 more minutes that they could be using to do something that is advancing your mission that is raising more money for your organization that is increasing your reach. You know, there’s, there’s all kinds of things they could be doing. So it’s really more of an opportunity cost in reality. But if we wanna put numbers to it and be able to use that to compare ro i of different options, then that’s a, that’s a way that you can do it. Ok? Um uh I’m just reading from your session description um best practices for managing and maintaining it, infrastructure and software systems. Have we, have we covered that? Have we covered that? We talk about it? We did talk about managing and maintaining. That’s right. One of the things that came across during our session itself was uh one was the periodic audit itself which kind of gives you an idea of where you are and where you want to be. Uh The other was I think one of the participants that brought this out was to put together a plan. I mean, while he spoke about a five year plan, I mean, my personal view was in technology, five years is a long time. It’s a very long time. I think about where we were five years ago and how many things didn’t even exist yet. So, but to put together at least a plan saying, hey, this is my technology plan over the next few years and then start implementing it in phases so that you spread out your cost over a period of time. So these are primarily this one is an audit to see where you are because we are so much into the issue that you become part of the problem and not a part of the solution, right? So it’s one way is to step back and get somebody to do an audit and look at it and give you a feedback. The other is to spread out, put together a plan for the, for the next few years. I would, I would rather say three years and spread out your cost over a period of time rather than have them stuck. I mean, thrown at you at one time, these are the two things which came across at that point, I would say with technology planning because things change so much and it’s nearly impossible for that reason to make anything more than even a one year plan, I would say in the environment that we’re in right now, it’s equally important to have a technology strategy. And to me that means priorities, for example, in security, there is often a trade off or friction between higher security and higher convenience for the end users. And so to have sort of a philosophy like when those two things are in conflict, we’re going to lean in one direction or the other or if it’s a matter of investing more money versus um I, I’m trying to think of what the tradeoffs might be here. There’s, there’s all kinds of dichotomies where you can say our philosophy, our approach is going to be that we’re going to lean in this direction and those kinds of things can guide the decisions that you don’t even anticipate. You’re going to have to make a year from now when some new technology arises or when something changes in your environment or your organization and talking about security, there is no limit to the level of paranoia that you can have. It’s clear which side you would, you would. Karen said one way or the other, it’s clear which way you would. It’s a question is where do you want to draw the line and say, hey, I’m willing to live with a certain set of risks and you need to be sure that you’re not taking the one, you can’t be one extreme or the other. If you’re pursuing perfect security, I mean, you’re just going to drive yourself crazy. It’s impossible. You have quadruple factor authentication because they spend half their day logging on. So you have to decide what’s good enough and it’s probably not what you’re doing right now, but there is something that’s probably good enough. Another thing that I was thinking about when you were talking about return on investment is user adoption and training. And, um, and I often see really great technology investment sort of go to waste because people don’t take advantage of them. It’s like the treadmill that I have in the basement right now, which is collecting dust. You know, that’s not gonna help me get more fit. You don’t have to tell your own personal story about the treadmill now too. But, but, but, um, it sounds like there’s, you’ve seen some evidence of that or you’ve seen cases. I most often see that in CRM, um, databases and, you know, other kinds of software applications, but mostly CRM buying something much more robust than needed or even buying the exact thing that’s needed. But then if staff don’t fully utilize it, if they’re not well trained on it, then you’re just leaving a lot on the table. We had a session yesterday. I spoke to some folks actually from Heller consulting about leaning more on your existing tech stack before you go to an outside shiny object that does just one discrete thing. It may be very well buried in your Microsoft 360 subscription or your Google subscription like and they, they were using uh calendar, calendaring as an example, like polling calendar polls that exist in Microsoft 360 also in Google um beyond oh white boards, white boards that’s buried in Microsoft 360. A lot of people don’t know that. So using that also to your point, Karen, knowing what you’re paying for and utilizing it fully. I always tell people don’t be so scared to click on things. You’re not going to break anything, you know, just like go through the whole menu and just click on every single thing and see what it does and you’ll probably find all sorts of things that can improve your productivity and avoid extra expenses because you have already something that will solve the problem. Video video conferencing was another um and, and and transcribing video conferencing. So this stuff is all buried in Google and Microsoft. You may very well be paying for it. Alright, that was another that was a session yesterday uh utilizing your existing tech stack before you go outside. Um Alright, well, so you spoke to folks for an hour yesterday and uh we’ve only been talking a little over 20 minutes, so don’t hold back on nonprofit radio listeners or otherwise I I can’t have either of you back. So if I know you’re giving short shrift to our listeners, so don’t do that. So what else did you talk about yesterday? That uh we haven’t, we haven’t talked about today or, or go deeper in something maybe that we’ve covered but not sufficiently. Actually, we had a lot of uh participation from the audience and a lot of them are willing to share what they had done in their organizations. And uh if you look at some of the um uh what should I say, takeaways that happened? Uh It is more, more from uh participants sharing their views as much as what we were talking about. And this five year plan, in fact, one of them came up and said, hey, we do a five year plan which I think was very impressive uh when everybody heard about it, but maybe, uh maybe not, maybe ill advised. It sounds like like 1 to 2 years is more, having a rigid five year plan is probably ill advised, but having a flexible five year plan. That sounds fantastic. More importantly, having a plan. Ok. What else, what else from the audience? Questions or things folks said privately, what else came from the audience? Anything that you remember that you can? It’s funny being in the moment I was just listening to everybody and now I’m trying to remember exactly what was the most juicy stuff that came out of that. But I will say that it felt a bit cathartic for people to just have a grape session together and compare notes. You know how that is when you experience things and in isolation, maybe you are the only it person in your organization. But I think that was true for a lot of those people. They’re not part of a big department, they’re in a relatively small organization. And so they, they might not even be an it professional, maybe they’re the operations person. And that’s one of five different areas of responsibility that they have and the chance to connect with other people and understand that like other people also experience this and, and they have figured out ways to overcome technical debt or, or at least to move in that direction that seem to feel good for people and a few individuals commented to me about that afterward. Another thing comes to my mind, Karen is uh I think there was some thought in terms of how do we present all of them are mostly it professionals and if they need to present it to their boards or to their uh CXO how do we present technology challenges in a manner which the senior management understands? I think there was a, there was a need, there was a need to see, I mean, we are aware that this is something we need to be presenting it differently from what we probably do because normally we tend to talk technology language. So we probably need to talk the business language for the senior management to understand the impacts of what we do. And therefore, Karen, you alluded to that earlier talking about using the right language. Do you have advice about converting tech language to language? Yeah. Um Think about the audience and what they care about, right? So you’re going to present probably a different message to your CEO or executive director than you would to your CFO or to your board. Um Boards care about risk management. They care about big picture strategy and how is this going to help our organization be successful in the long term? I think CEO S and executive directors care about the same kinds of things, but they’re also more operationally oriented than a board of directors would be. And um but they also above all, probably care about the mission. And so that’s something we talked about is as soon as you can connect a technology investment to serving people better um providing better quality of service or better reach or quicker response times or things like that to, you know, whoever your constituents are, then that starts to get people’s attention more than talking about. You know, this license is going to expire. This product is no longer going to be supported and there’s security patches that won’t be happening anymore. La la la people kind of tune out when you start talking like that. But if they can translate to what this means is that our food shelf might not be able to continue providing services, we might have a disruption, then it becomes very real. All right, perfect. How about we leave it there? That sounds like good motivation and, and advice. All right, she’s Karen Graham, speaker, writer, consultant, coach at I’m gonna add at Karen Graham consulting and uh with her is Jin Narayanan Ceo at fourth dimension technologies. All about avoiding technical debt from killing your nonprofit, Jin Karen. Thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you, Johnny. Good to see both of you. Thank you. Thank you and thank you for being with Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of the 2024 nonprofit technology conference where we are sponsored by Heller consulting, technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. Thanks for being with us. Its time for Tonys take to thanks Kate. I had a dream recently. Uh it was a fundraising dream. Um I was hosting a Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon. Now, if, if you’re not 50 or older, you may not know what that even means. But the actor Jerry Lewis used to hold, used to host Labor Day Telethons over the Labor Day weekend to raise money for the muscular dystrophy association. MD A. So uh but in the dream, I was the host. So Jerry Lewis that hack. He’s out. Second rate comic. He’s out, I’m the host and we are raising money, not for muscular dystrophy, but we’re raising money for a philharmonic in the dream. And I ask the executive director of the Philharmonic, what is the all in cost of a production night? So all the rehearsal, backstage, front of house performers, everything. What, what’s, what’s the total cost? And he says $300,000 and right away, a donor comes to us and I don’t remember whether it was online or actually phones were ringing. That’s the way it used to be done in the, in the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Days, the phones would be ringing, but whatever a donor comes to us and he pledges $3 million which is enough for 10 performances. So we acknowledge that transformative gift and we shut down the shut down the fundraiser. It’s over. We’re done because this is, it’s an amazing gift. But the funny thing is that the donor had the voice of the actor Paul Benedict. Now he’s not a very well known actor but in, in a movie that I love, remember this is my dream. So I, I’m entitled to put anybody in who I want. Um in the movie I love, which is Waiting for Guffman. It’s a Christopher guest film, Paul Benedict plays kind of a savior character in that movie waiting for Guffman. So it makes sense that, that he would be the sort of savior for the, for the fundraising telethon that we were doing. All right. Uh So then, so then after the dream, then I got up and I went to the bathroom. But so what’s the takeaway? Uh you know, after the bathroom you gotta think about, well, why am I having this dream? All right. So the takeaway I think is there’s the bona fide for fundraising, share your real need with your donors, don’t, you know, don’t pretend that you can get away with less than you really need. I asked the executive director, what’s the full cost of a performance? And, and he shared it. So I think you should share your full needs and then when you’re budgeting and planning plan for full needs, not sort of get by type deeds, I think if you share your full need with your donors, they’re gonna be very much more likely to step up and fund you just like Paul Benedict did in my dream. That is Tony’s take two. OK. That was such a vivid dream. I feel like when most people remember their dreams, they’re like, oh, I was just falling in the middle of nowhere. You had like faces and voices. Well, I have those too but I, I made some notes uh right after this dream. So I was able to help that helped me remember it. Well, we’ve got Buku but loads more time. Here is your technical roadmap. Welcome back to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of 24 NTC, the 2024 nonprofit technology conference. We are still in Portland, Oregon at the Oregon Convention Center and this conversation kicks off our day three coverage of the conference. Maybe you can hear that in my voice. Uh Just a little bit were sponsored at 24 NTC by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation for non profits. I am now with Castrol Lowry. He is managing director for technical services at Cloud for good Krol. Welcome to nonprofit radio. Thanks for having me here. Absolutely pleasure. Thanks for being with us early in the morning. Uh your session, you’ve done your session already. I assume it’s this afternoon. 115, you’re one of the last ones. Ok, this afternoon. So a little preparation for you. It’s oh, the places we’ll go building a technical road map. Alright. So I’m gonna start with the, you know, just the basic uh why did, why did you feel we need this session? What are nonprofits? Uh what uh not quite, not quite getting right about uh their technical planning. Um I think that a lot of nonprofits end up in a very reactive place when it comes to their technology that instead of being able to really think ahead, you know, where are we going to be in three years and five years? And what tools do we need to support that? It becomes a, oh, we’ve been prioritizing, you know, our outcomes and our mission driven delivery and technology becomes kind of an afterthought. And I think that there can be a lot of impact by thinking ahead and saying what tools are out there. What could we be doing differently? How could that increase our impact instead of having it come from a reactive place um and maybe even avoiding a crisis. So I’m just drawing from your, your session description, uh how to prioritize tech investments based on the growth and maturity of your organization. Um How do we like, you know, how do we forecast what our needs are gonna be? And you even talk about our growth and maturity, help us to look ahead, how do we do that? So a big part of it first is to both, look at, look at where you are and what you’re using. Um and think realistically about what you have the capacity to absorb there. I think one thing that a lot of nonprofits end up doing is, you know, there, there can be some great free tools out there, both of enterprise level tools that will give free licensing for nonprofits or also things that are deeply discounted. And so someone might adopt a tool that is frankly bigger than what they need. You know, I say with the free license, sometimes it’s free like puppies, like somebody two days ago said free like kittens, same thing just because you have the tool doesn’t mean necessarily that it’s the right fit for your use case or that you have the team to support it. So then you can end up with some pretty tremendous technical debt. You’ve got all your data into this thing or you’ve built all this automation and you’re not able to manage it well. So some of that technical road mapping is thinking through like what’s the right fit size for your organization and not just what do you need to implement it, but what do you need to be successful with it? Long term? But how do you figure that out? What factors, what variables are we looking at to determine that what’s right for us? So things to look at for figuring that out. Of course, first of all, looking to your peers, you know, looking to other organizations with a similar size or that do um comparable work in other industries, even essentially for what you’re doing. Um conferences like NTC can be a great place to kind of start seeing what’s out there and what your options are. Um looking at what the, what the tool is best at, which is hard sometimes when you’re talking to sales people, you know, because every sales person is going to tell you it’s the best thing for anything you would want to do. But trying to actually get some references from them of how are other people using this tool and then really taking a step back and not, not saying, oh well, gee this this thing, you know, this marketing tool looks awesome. It can do all of this stuff. Look at how you’re doing marketing right now. If you’re sending a scheduled email on a weekly basis, that’s a newsletter and you don’t have um journeys or drip automation. If you don’t have responsive campaigns, then those might be things to look at bringing in, but you probably don’t need the broadest feature set just to start with. So think about whether or not you’re going to be able to support that. Um and something like that like an email journey that may even be in your existing stack already, your email provider may already have that for you. Exactly. Like when you’re building your road map, it doesn’t necessarily mean tool change. It can mean staying on the same thing that you’re using and using it better um I think the first with any technical change really, you start from features and capabilities that you need, like you start from, what does your organization actually need to do? And that’s what should be driving any of the conversations that you’re having and decisions that you’re making for the technology. What you need to do might be about your marketing, might be about your fundraising, might be about security and compliance, but you should start with what do we actually need it to do and then find the tools to suit that instead of starting with? This looks like a really cool tool. Let’s find a way to use it. Ok. Yeah, very smart. Um And you know, it seems common sense but very worth saying because a lot of times I think the shiny, right, the shiny object gets our attention. Plus other people, my friends are using it, I just saw and the interface is so simple. It was so easy for me. I was able to just turn it on and now I have this thing and I can send out text messages. Ok. Well, have you thought about how you’re going to use text messages for your organization? Are they actually going to move you forward? Have you thought about compliance for that? Can people opt out? Like anytime you bring in the new shiny object, you’re actually opening a whole can of worms of other things to think about that. Who should we be getting input from uh who should be at the table, making these decisions. Well, not, not tech implementation decisions but thinking through, you know, what do we need, what are our needs? Who, who should we be getting this uh input from? So I think that any of these changes really, it’s, it’s a whole organization conversation. Like you want to get input from staff that are going to be using the tool you want to, you don’t want it to just be coming, you know, from it. You don’t want it to just be your executive. That said, look, I went to a conference and saw this cool thing, we’re implementing it like you need, you need to actually think about what, what is our organization doing? What supports our processes better? What is our vision for how we’re going, where we’re going to be and what we’re going to be delivering in two or three years. Um I can speak from my own experience, one nonprofit that I used to work directly at um where we were a legal advocacy organization. Um And we were expecting a specific Supreme Court decision to come, you know, within the next year and it was going to be a tremendous spike in our case volume. And so what we were looking at was what tooling do we need to be able to scale up to? You know, I think in the days after the decision that we were concerned about we went from typically having about 10 to 30 inquiries a day to over 1000 inquiries in one day. It was tremendous. And so part of my role as the it director there as we were planning for that was to look at what do we need to accelerate response times for our paralegals? What can we set up for knowledge management so that more people can help faster? Um What did our existing database have that could do that? And what did we need to bring in to support that? So to get to that decision, I was then taking and talking both to our paralegals to our lawyers that would be taking the kind of the equivalent to tier two or tier three cases to do it, talking to our different legal compliance people of OK, if we have this high volume and what do we have to then retain later for it to make sure that we’re doing everything to cover our requirements there? Um What sort of scalability considerations am I not thinking about talking to other it partners with that? So I could really get the full picture on it. It turned out in that case that the system we had and we were working on sales force at that point, was able to scale to what we need. But we did end up implementing a few other pieces of the platform in order to support that fast responsiveness. So in some ways, it’s really, you’ve got to both look at what’s coming, talk to the people who are actually going to be using the tools that are implemented. Look at what you have whether or not you can expand what you have, if that works in the time frame you do or if that’s not going to work, then what other tools are out there that you can bring in and support what you need to be doing? That’s incredible scale. Sounds like overnight when the, when the decision was released, you know, and there was a Supreme Court decision, Supreme court decision related to gay marriage. So that was a significant one. Um And we had not just, you know, the like technical planning there, but there was additional planning even of like document access for our uh our C suite because they were often traveling all over. And so what was the planning to make sure that, you know, our director of Legal could read the decision as soon as it came out when we knew she might be on an airplane. So how do we make sure that that document availability was going to be there? Um So which I suppose points to that your, your technical road map and your technical planning should factor in not just the day to day tools, but what do you have for handling specific moments of surprise or crisis communication? Yeah, that’s a good story. Thank you. Incredible scale. Um You’ve got some Uh Well, I guess we’re starting to get into them best practices for creating this tech road map. So I’m gonna let you take over through some in preparation for your session this afternoon. Thank you. Yeah. So best practice. First of all, is that your technical roadmap approach? It like a project like approach, working on that road map, not as something that you’re doing just off the side of your desk, but that you devote resources and time to actually making it happen. Um I’ve seen too many organizations that kind of say, you know, what things are on fire. We need to start changing things now. And if you jump in too quickly, then you might end up not really having any direction of where you’re going, you know, and so you can spend a significant budget and significant time and not have the progress you’d want to show for it because you might end up working against yourself. You might implement one thing and then realize a year later. Oh, wait, this doesn’t really go where we needed to and change course. So first best practice actually take it as a project. It is a good phase zero to start about. Um Next thing I would say is make sure that you have a good diversity of people in the room. It shouldn’t just be, it, it shouldn’t just be executives, it shouldn’t just be line staff, you should have a variety of voices across the organization, you should probably bring in another point of view outside your organization to talk to you. Whether that’s through, you know, other nonprofits that you partner with that might have done similar things before. Whether that’s bringing in a consulting partner to work with you other people to help, push a little on your ideas and think through like, is this where you want to be here are the things that you’re not thinking about. Here’s what I’ve seen at other organizations. That’s some of what I end up doing a lot as a technical architect is help, help people think about the bigger picture. The outside perspective is valuable, help benchmark. You’ve seen other cases. Yeah. Um I’d say the next one is really avoiding a lift and shift mentality. So a lot of times I’ll see nonprofits that mostly will say like, OK, well, we’ve been using this database for 10 years, maybe it’s time for us to move to something more modern and then they roadmap out essentially rebuilding the same system that they had on whatever the new tool is. Um Without anyone stopping to think about like, oh gee is that process, is that way that we do things the way we do it because the tool made us do it that way or because it’s the most efficient way to work. Um One story I like to tell for this actually that uh so when I, when I was a kid, I would always watch and help out when my mom was making a roast and I noticed that she would always cut off the ends of the roast on either end of it and make the roast. Um, and so that was then how I learned to make a roast leg and I assumed it must have been that there’s something wrong with the meat on either end of a roast or something, you know, it’ll better something. Yeah, that’s what I figured. Um, and then, then a couple of years ago I was cooking with a friend and she noticed me doing this and she said that that’s perfectly good meat. Why are you cutting that off? And I said, oh, well, this is, this is how my mom taught me. It’s just, it’s what I always saw growing up. She was like, hm, that’s weird. You should ask about that. Um, and so I asked my mom and her response was, oh, well, when you were a kid, we had a really small oven and the pan that I had, wouldn’t fit something larger. So I had to cut the ends off so things would fit in. And so, you know, it’s the same thing there of just that lift and shift of, I took the process that I saw and moved it forward without understanding the context of it. And we see that sometimes with nonprofits also of that because, because processes get adapted to fit whatever your current situation is because sometimes you have a level of turnover. That means the people who are doing the process now don’t understand why it came to be that way and just know like, oh, well, I have to tick these three boxes in the system and then fill in this field here and enter this data and I don’t really know why we do it that way, but it’s what we do. And so this next system needs to support ticking those three boxes and filling in that piece of information. So I think you can’t do your technical roadmap without also really doing kind of your business capabilities, roadmap and your business processes. And they go hand in hand to make sure that you’re actually helping your organization mature and move forward instead of just maintain current state. That’s a touching little story about your mom and the roasts you be watching as a child. Um Plus I know baking you have baking in your uh bio that you love to bake. So did your mom influence your baking too? Um I mean, probably a lot of the things I know how to cook came from her, you know, but uh at least with that there aren’t anywhere. It was like, oh well, you don’t put in the baking soda or something. It’s a sweet story. Um I mean, other best practices, um other best practices I’d say is to not be, not be trying to make your technical roadmap, an indefinite plan, I’d say always work towards deciding what your time horizon is that you’re trying to plan within, I think 3 to 5 years is normally a pretty good range. Um, because if you’re trying to make something that’s going to last forever, first of all, it’s going to be really intimidating. Second of all, you’re going to close yourself off to what innovation might come in a few years and say, well, we have this plan that has us extended 10 years out. We need to stick to that and then you miss out on innovations, like what we’re seeing with A I, for instance, three years ago, five years ago, we didn’t probably expect to be where we are now. Um Plus your forecast just becomes less reliable beyond five years. Exactly. And also like it can, it can help then be a good frame of reference for what investment makes sense for your organization. Um When you think about the total cost of ownership of things that you’re going to bring in and also how viable are things that are maybe the solution that you’re choosing because it’s, it’s good enough for right now. You know, like, yes, I know it’s not the best to have double entry into the finance system and the donor database and it would be a lot more efficient for people. It would be less annoying for our team members to have an automated integration. But gee this is what the automated integration is going to cost and we only expect this system to be in play for the next two years. Is it worth it then? So that sort of thing can help you really think through where to put your investment based on how long you expect a tool to stick around. There was a panel yesterday that said uh two folks, you know, beyond year three, you need to build a lot of flexibility into your tech plan because we don’t know to your point what the technology is gonna be artificial intelligence as an example. And we’re not even, you know, we’re not even certain what direction the organization, I mean, not that you surrender your mission or your core values. But, but you know, there might be programs in four years that we’re not anticipating today. So, so beyond like from the 3 to 5 year point, you need to have a good degree of flexibility exactly. Like probably one of the last things in like your road map is going to be your next road map project to then start planning where you’re going next. You know, because both like and with that, like once you make a road map, it should not be locked in stone, you should maintain some plan for flexibility and innovation. There, you have to be able to be responsive. Um But also it’s really good to be able to finish a road map and say, OK, we did what we planned to, we got where we were planning to here. Now, let’s go on to the next one. I think that some organizations get to a point of change, fatigue if they essentially are just constantly updating the same plan instead of being able to step back and say, yeah, we got something done. Now, where are we going next? Do you have any other best practices to share? I know your session is just 30 minutes, right? I I’m not trying to embarrass you or anything but, but if you have more best practices, uh we’d love to hear them. I think the other, the other best practice is to um how to phrase this, not be afraid of picking up what’s happening in other industries that are not nonprofits and using those technical benefits frankly towards nonprofit use cases. There’s a lot of powerful tools out there that don’t necessarily frame themselves as being for nonprofit and there can be a lot of advantage in looking at, you know, something you’re experiencing with. I don’t know your say your supermarket loyalty program or something and figuring out like, how are they doing that? What could we do to better engage our donors with it? Um How could we for our museum membership? What about this would actually be more engaging, like being open to looking more broadly because that’s where some of the really transformative change can come in for your technical road map is not narrowing your scope to just what’s been done before. Ok. What else, what else are you going to talk about? Um, so you can share with our listeners. Yeah. So other than that, what I’ll be talking a bit about is making sure that you do in that road map, use it as an opportunity to improve things like your security and compliance posture. So that’s something that we’re seeing more and more of, um with, for instance, data regulations coming up. You know, California has their data rules that in, in the presentation, I have a list of something like 20 different states and localities that are bringing in new data regulations in 2024. Increasingly, you’re going to see a lot more that you have to be doing from a compliance perspective. If you’re managing anything that could be considered, excuse me, personally, personally, identifiable information. And so any technical road map, you’d rather be looking at that head on instead of having to kind of retroactively look at your systems and say, oh, wait, what do we need to do to actually align with being able to let someone manage their preferences, being able to delete someone’s data when they ask for it, being able to send it all over to them. Um I think that also during these road mapping times is a really great time to think about how you’re handling identity and authentication, making sure that your user management is secure. Um because that’s part of then what you can either if you don’t have it in place yet, it’s a great first place for organizations to start and then it’s something that should just be table stakes for any new tool that you’re bringing into the system. Like, can you bring in single sign on? Does it have multi factor authentication? How is it going to be managing your data? Um, so, yeah, compliance and security. Right. Right. So these are things that, you know, um, especially if you’re dealing with the personally, personally, personally identifiable individual information, is that personally identifiable information? Only two, I’s not three. Ok. Personally identify identifiable information, but that one hasn’t caught on keep trying. Don’t give up, don’t give up on your, on your, uh, on your key word. Um, so if you’re, you know, if you’re dealing with those, something like that, that, that’s just something that you’re looking to be a part of whatever, whatever system app you, you’re looking to bring in. Yeah, definitely. Um, and then I guess the other, the other thing I would highlight is when you’re, you’re planning out your road map to not just be thinking about tools but also to be thinking about staffing for it. So it’s great to bring in a new tool, but you also got to think about the care and feeding of it who in your organization already could handle it. Um, but also, you know, every nonprofit people are wearing seven different hats. Um, I think that particularly at a conference like NTC, at every other conversation you have, are people saying, oh, I didn’t start in technology. I ended up here because we got this tool for marketing and I really liked it. We got this new CRM. And so the accidental techie. Exactly. You know, and so either figuring out like, do you have that person in your organization already that wants to take up whatever the next steps of this road map are or specific pieces of it, or is that something that you need to hire in? Do you need to build that into head count for your organization? Is it something where sure you have someone who can administer it but you need to bring a partner in and to implement it, you know, and figuring out actually what the human side is going to be of that technical road map. Ok. Yeah, that’s all valuable. Yeah, I’m not sure if people think about the staffing, you know, they’re thinking, as you’ve said, they’re thinking about the, how, how, how, uh, wonderful this, this new app is gonna be but is there somebody who can support it? Maintain it? The care and feeding, as you said, as you said, anything else that, uh, we want to talk about? I don’t want, I don’t want to hold out on, uh, nonprofit radio listeners. Ok. All right. Good luck in your session. Half hour. Why don’t you leave us with a little motivation for the uh for the technical road map, motivation for the technical road on a high point with your technical roadmap. But it’s really an opportunity to take a good look at where you are and where you want to be and then plot out the steps that it’s going to be to get there. It can be a really exciting journey and can also mean that you are much better prepared to weather any of the bumps along the way. Outstanding. Thank you, Castro Lowy managing director for technical services at Cloud for good. I think Cloud for good is lucky to have you. Thank you for having me on the radio. My pleasure. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for sharing with our listeners and thank you for being with Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of the 24 2024 nonprofit technology conference where we are sponsored by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. Next week, the generational divide. No, that’s another April fool’s joke. Next week will be email, deliverability and email. Welcome journeys. If you missed any part of this weeks show, I do beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com. We’re sponsored by Virtuous. Virtuous, gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow, giving, virtuous.org. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate Marinetti. The show, social media is by Susan Chavez, Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation Scotty. You’re with us next week for nonprofit radio, big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great. Ok. I wanna try something. I wanna try a second take on, uh, the generational divide next week.

Nonprofit Radio for June 26, 2020: Improv For Culture And Creativity & Tech Policies

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Krystal Ramseur & Graziella Jackson: Improv For Culture And Creativity
A performer and a board member from Washington Improv Theater teach us how improvisation can make your team more creative, confident, supportive and successful. They’re Krystal Ramseur and Graziella Jackson.






Karen Graham & Dan Getman: Tech Policies
Karen Graham and Dan Getman want to help your staff avoid scams, malware and inappropriate data handling. Might you have employees using personal phones or computers for work? You especially need to listen. Karen is with Tech Impact and Dan is at MANNA.





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[00:00:12.24] spk_0:
welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio

[00:02:01.54] spk_1:
big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be stricken with UV itis if I saw that you missed today’s show. Improv for Culture and Creativity. A performer and a board member from Washington Improv Theater Teach us how improvisation can make your team more creative, confident, supportive and successful. They’re Crystal Ramsar and got Cielo Jackson. That’s part of our 20 and TC coverage. Also. Tech policies Karen Graham and Dan Getman want to help your staff avoid scams, malware and inappropriate data handling. Might you have employees using personal phones or computers for work? You especially need to listen. Karen is with Tech Impact, and Dan is at manna. This is also part of our 20 and TC coverage on tony steak, too. Thank you were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers. Wegner-C.P.As dot com by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot CEO here is improve. Brilliant. Yes. This is the lackluster host that you’re stuck with. Here is improv for culture and creativity. Welcome

[00:02:52.34] spk_3:
to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 NTC 2020 non profit technology conference. You know, the conference had to be canceled, but, you know, we’re persevering. Virtually sponsored a 20 NTC by cougar math and software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for non profits? Tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial, I guess now are Crystal Ram sore. And Graciela Jackson Crystal is chief administrative officer at the National Council of Negro Women. Gretz Yella is partner and CEO at Echo and Co. Um, Also, Crystal is a teacher and performer and board member at Washington Improv Theater, which is most relevant to what we’re talking about today. And Graciela is a board member at UIT Washington and breath theater. Crystal Graciela, Welcome.

[00:02:56.54] spk_4:
Thank you. Glad to be here, but

[00:03:29.90] spk_3:
have you? I’m glad we could work this out. I’m glad you reach well and safe in our nation’s capital area. They were both in D C D c. Proper. Yeah. Yep. Your ah ntc topic is improv. Saves the non profit boosting culture and create team creativity. Um, that’s interesting, because I am on, uh, how does it do that? Oh, even though on, uh, even though I turned to my, uh, even though I’m on Eric’s airplane mode because zoom because we’re special way all the fatal started a few minutes early. That’s why

[00:03:36.28] spk_4:
it’s asking you to improvise. It’s very timely and relevant.

[00:03:46.04] spk_3:
Thank you. And I didn’t do a very good job Called out for what it was. I didn’t even, um so, Crystal, let’s start with you. What? Um why? How come, Ah, improvisation can help us out creatively. Effectively. Team building. What? What about it?

[00:03:57.70] spk_2:
Yeah, So I think one of the biggest things I love about improv is it really pushes you to stay present and stay in the moment. And because in what we’re working with right now and then creating together. So I think a lot of times in business or you’re in meetings and you’re having thoughts about ideas and people like, Well, we tried that idea last year, didn’t work, which was 10 years ago, didn’t work, or if we do that And the people are already thinking of reasons why we can’t do something but right. Improv focuses on No. We’re working with what we have right here in the present. And presently this is this is these are the parameters. Why couldn’t we try this? And the number one rule in improv is Yes. And so if we say yes, how do we then take that idea and continue to build something together? And I think when you just those principles right there make for better working community.

[00:04:58.88] spk_3:
Great yellow. There’s also a confidence building, right? You walk out on the improv stage. I’m taking the example of just two people. You know, their team exercising everything. But you walk out with just two people. One of you has an opening line, and you gotta build a sketch around it for the next 4 to 5 minutes around that fine. And the other part, neither. And the other person doesn’t know what that opening line even

[00:06:27.97] spk_4:
is. Yeah, I It’s interesting. I think there’s an incredible freedom that comes from what Crystal was saying. Presence. Because if you are able to, and I think what improv teaches you to do to just respond to what’s given to you in the moment and say, like, I don’t have to do this huge thing right now. I don’t have toe entertain this gigantic audience. All I have to do is take this thing that my partner contributed as a gift and build on it. You find yourself being able to create things with a lot more freedom with less, much less of the fear that comes from, like worrying about the benefit of your contribution or whether or not you have the perfect or the right answer. And I think one thing that I learned just in taking trainings on this and being a part of the board is you have to be as willing to abandon what you’ve contributed and contribute something new and just be constantly moving forward with creative ideas rather than getting stuck in the mindset of judging what you just created. So it’s kind of separating your creative brain from your critical brain and super important.

[00:06:29.38] spk_3:
That’s interesting that, yeah, you don’t have time to self censor. You’re you’re in front of an audience. You heard a line and you’re supposed to build on it.

[00:06:51.05] spk_4:
Yeah, and there’s something exciting about the active discovery like When you really invest in that thing that you’re building together, you’re probably going to find something that’s even more interesting and funny and entertaining and no crystal. You do this all the time and some of the exercises that you’ve lead, but it’s it’s sort of being willing to just keep going because you’re gonna build something bigger and more exciting and more powerful. If you just don’t stop yourself

[00:07:07.52] spk_3:
and crystal, you keep going. Regardless of what the audience reaction is, right, you don’t you don’t just walk off stage when lying. Number two, you know, didn’t get a huge laugh or wasn’t even supposed to get a laugh. And then you just walk off stage, Say off, you know, screw it.

[00:07:34.63] spk_2:
No. And you’re in this together with your scene partners. I think I love that like we’re out here. Wow, we made this choice to be aliens in the West. Didn’t you know what? That’s where we’re at? And we got to commit to this and we just commit harder to it right and see where it leads.

[00:08:04.28] spk_3:
Robe use that aliens and robots in a cornfield way have to build a robot family. The two of us. Yeah, just, you know, whatever. All right. So, uh, Crystal, were you gonna be doing exercises if you had had the opportunity to do the session? The usually so games or anything?

[00:08:07.00] spk_2:
Yep. Yeah. So we had a feeling good today, So we had a list of games. Really? Toe kind of show. Ah, little bit of intro into improv. Doing some? Yes. And, um What, Graciela has the list?

[00:08:21.55] spk_4:
Yeah. Yeah, I couldn’t pull it up. I think it started with it, I think,

[00:09:00.63] spk_3:
instead of instead of reading the list. Yeah. Never doing improbably, don’t just talk about what we’re gonna do, right? Sit around like a board, Actually, actually, do we actually dio not talk about? Wouldn’t it be funny if we did this? This would be fun to do that, and so we never do that. So how are we going, Teoh doing improv, the three of us that will, um, some kind of game that will bring home, of course, the lessons that we’re trying to learn in terms of culture, team building, confidence, creativity, efficiency. What are we gonna do? I’m putting you on the spot deliberately.

[00:09:35.34] spk_2:
I don’t want you want Can we plan the vacation? Yes. Like point of it was just telling us. So let’s do this. So I plan a vacation, and we’ll planet with the three of us will go. I can start and we go from me to Graciela to tony, and then we’ll just keep circling like that. So the way we’ll do it is we’re trying to plan a vacation for the three of us. The first line of the sentence when you respond to someone, has to be Yes. And and then you can pushing forward from there. Go. So, uh, wow. I’m so glad that were doing this vacation. I really think we need to go somewhere warm.

[00:09:47.04] spk_4:
Yes, and we need to go somewhere warm immediately.

[00:09:56.44] spk_3:
Yes, and we can. I mean, I’m already packed. Let’s, uh let’s go. I mean, I love the Caribbean of either. Have you been to the Caribbean?

[00:10:04.24] spk_2:
Yes. And I’ve decided I’m just gonna by all of us a new wardrobe while we’re there. So I don’t even aggressively not back. Didn’t even need to pack. Let’s go right now. And I say we have margaritas as soon as we get there.

[00:10:16.78] spk_4:
Yes. And after the margaritas will party a little bit, and then we’ll go snorkeling.

[00:10:23.59] spk_3:
Oh, yes. And, um, since I’m not bring any clothes now, I’m just gonna go snorkeling naked.

[00:10:29.64] spk_2:
Yes, and we’re gonna feel the water, and I bet will make friends with dolphins. Yes, and everybody

[00:10:37.67] spk_4:
will get excited about what we’re doing, and they’ll want to join as well.

[00:10:47.90] spk_3:
Oh, yes. And this party is just gonna get even bigger. Um, we Let’s invite more folks, not just the three of us.

[00:10:50.54] spk_2:
Yes. And let’s blast this to everyone that we’ve ever met and tell them Jump in the water with us. And let’s make this the new party. Yes. And let’s see if

[00:11:03.59] spk_4:
we can get a boat so we can take this party toe other islands.

[00:11:17.27] spk_3:
Oh, yes. And while we’re going between the islands, we could be fishing. There’s, like, weaken dive off the boat on our way to the other island. So the the boat is part of the is part of the

[00:11:20.44] spk_2:
fun. Perfect. There. We owe that. I love that activity.

[00:12:28.40] spk_1:
It’s time for a break. Wegner-C.P.As, I said a couple of weeks ago. This shit is hitting a fan fast. It’s still coming down at us. That’s Ah, that’s a mixed metaphor, really, because if it’s hitting the fan that’s not coming down, it’s being blown at us, Uh, coming fast, still raining down on us. It’s coming, blowing, it’s blowing on us. It’s hitting the fan and it’s still blowing on us. That’s better. Anyway, this shit is there. However, it got to us recovered in it. Wegner has a new free webinar on July 1st to explain the latest on paycheck protection program loan forgiveness. You know you need to apply for it. You don’t get it automatically now. What wegner explains to register goto wegner-C.P.As dot com Click Resource is now back to improv for culture and creativity with Crystal Ram sore, a gutsy Ella Jackson.

[00:12:43.74] spk_2:
What we do sometimes when we do it will start the activity bus, saying you first have to plan a vacation by doing no because, yeah, you say No, but and you do it that way or you say no, because and you try to plan a vacation and it’s so hard, right? Because every time you you threw out an idea like let’s get a boat, the person’s like No, because I’m scared of a boat. And so you realize you don’t do anything. You’re likely

[00:12:57.88] spk_3:
roller. The idea is becoming someone’s muller and harder to deal with. Uh, instead of broadening. Okay. Um right. So, crystal, what we learn from what we just did in a couple minutes

[00:13:09.84] spk_2:
when we learn, uh, what happens when we all, like, let ourselves be creative and have the wildest thought that we’ve ever had? Um, you know, if you just were in a meeting and we wanna figure out how we increase this sales numbers, what have Let’s just throw out the wildest thing we’ve ever thought And let’s play with it for a little bit and let’s not shut it down right away. Let’s play around with this idea and see what we can come up with together.

[00:13:39.24] spk_3:
Okay? That’s the other anything you want you want to add?

[00:14:17.63] spk_4:
Yeah, I think that it’s really, really important because I think we’re where organizations, especially non profit teams, get stuck most often because they’re in fast paced, scarce resource environments where you know every dollar you spend on idea is really important. I think that bringing this technique in and allowing yourself some space to say, Let’s just separate the created creation of ideas from the judging of ideas and the vetting ideas and try to get to a place where we are envisioning what’s possible because it’s counter to our culture and and has to be in some ways to be to do that. And so it just allows you toe get past. You know, the 1st 3 or four ideas which are always the ones that are more familiar, safer, probably more likely to be accepted and really set those aside and push yourselves to think in new ways about challenges It doesn’t. There’s no risk in spending the time coming up with ideas. And if you can use these tools to get everybody feeling comfortable on open and curious and creative, and you know you can design the collaboration really well and bring games into it, you end up with this whole inventory of possibilities that then you can take into a more critical process and evaluate and put things like metrics and objectives around them. But chances are people will feel more included in the process. They’ll forget that time is passing cause they’ll have fun. They’ll feel like the quality of their ideas is better, and they’ll feel like they accomplished something that then they can take and turn into something better.

[00:15:19.64] spk_3:
You go and you have some rules around this, right? Like, yeah, we’re not. We’re not judging. We’re not saying that idea sucks. No, it’s it’s, you know, sort of classic brainstorming. Yeah, it’s just the free flow of ideas.

[00:15:33.17] spk_4:
Yeah, the one that that Washington and profit teacher a Washington improv theater teaches us is definitely the concept of yes and that Krystle mentioned. There’s also the concept of Let go, and that’s about just removing your bias and your preconceived notions and the things you’re bringing into the room with. You just let go of all of those notice everything because probably the things that you’re ignoring also have possibility. And we’re so used to not letting go and then Onley noticing what’s important to us. And then I think the last one is used everything. It’s sort of whatever is brought into the room. See if you can apply it to something, even if it’s toe honing. You know your idea. Been proving your idea? I don’t know. Crystal, did I represent those well enough?

[00:16:18.21] spk_2:
Absolutely no, I think, especially when you talk about using everything. That’s the other part about that exercise that I like so much. It’s forcing you to listen to what the person before you just said. Really listen to what they say, because you have to build off of it. So instead of just you’re already thinking of your idea, you can’t think of it yet. You need to wait to hear what that other person says.

[00:16:53.94] spk_4:
Yeah, there’s, Ah, there’s, I think like when you think about what? How work is changing right now. In addition to needing to be open, more collaborative, more agile, getting things out the door faster with less resistance. A lot of that has to do with also being able to take a systems view of things. And if you’re not actually using these techniques and these approach to build an understanding of the scope of what you’re dealing with, so if you’re thinking about like social change or environmental change, the idea is you have tow, envision the system, and if you spend 30 minutes sort of saying this is important No, it’s not. This is important. No, it’s not versus Let’s spend the next hour identifying everything about this system that’s important. Then you can start to, you know, group those things and come up with plans around those things that’s incredibly helpful for strategic planning

[00:17:32.74] spk_3:
or just everything. Not everything that’s important. But everything that impacts. Yeah, that’s around this system. Outside influences, our own influences, our own biases, everything that impacts our work. Yeah, Neville, categorize what we have control over what we don’t What’s what’s significant? What’s thus significant?

[00:18:52.83] spk_4:
Yeah, way had this thing. This organization we’re working with is a large labour union, and they had were working with them on rethinking their Web presence, and they have more than 30,000 pieces of content across lots of websites. And our content strategist did an exercise Gina Marie condo, the Netflix show about just like taking everything out of your closet, putting it in a pile, going through it, cleaning it until you’re everything around you brings you joy. I’ve never seen it, but she created this exercise, which was more or less improv that didn’t get to Let’s talk about all of the content that you’re gonna be losing from this Web presence. Let’s spend time sort of improvising what it’s like to move out of a house. What do you do in what order? And she went through this really detailed activity where people built the experience of what it’s like to move a house, and then they designed that whole process in system. And then they basically compared that to what it’s like to cleanse 30,000 pieces of content. And people immediately understood the process because they are familiar with this challenge of needing to move your house if you’ve been through that before. And so they forgot that what they were doing was planning change management. All they did was Plant was like We’re planning something familiar to them and then borrowing from those concepts to accomplish this big, scary thing that nobody wanted to dio. So I think that’s the power of of this work and creativity and adapting the exercises to your space

[00:19:58.82] spk_3:
Crystal. Let’s talk some about, um, the team building. Like I was saying earlier, you know, you walk out on improv stage two of you. One of these got an opening line from, ah, word that an audience member throughout, and you’re you’re each counting on each other. Yes, and and follow all the other principles of bring everything in that you’ve got. And that’s not censoring yourself, etcetera. But you’re building on each other. It’s confidence building and team building s over the individual and for the team of two, or could be a bigger team. Talk some about that. How improv helps helps that way around team team cohesion.

[00:22:03.74] spk_2:
Yea, I think it also it helps. Trust is the other part of it as well that I think that builds. Um, one of the I worked with a group where we on organization and they’re one of the issues was they had a whole issue around hierarchy. They just hired a bunch of people and let go of a bunch of people. And a lot of people didn’t feel like their work really mattered or that their voice mattered. Um, and so they weren’t sharing their ideas and meetings, and they actually brought a group of improvisers to come and do a whole workshop and the all the exercises that we did, we’re focused on know everybody has a piece in what we’re doing, and it’s vital, and we need everyone to fully, um fully do their work, and then I need to fully accept what you’re giving me, right? So, yeah, if it were walking out on that stage is a blank stages. I always tell people there’s there’s nothing there. So if I say we’re aliens in Oklahoma and you’ve gotta agree that yes, we’re aliens. What does that mean? You know, we can build Bring that into this, um, you got agree where we are, and then part of it is the two of us that are on the stage. But then anyone else on the team, right? Whoever’s gonna edit that scene, whoever is gonna ah, wipe the scenes of them were out of their everybody. That is a part of this team, whether they’re on stage right now or not, are still a part of what’s happening and have a piece to play and how we do this. And I think that’s that same thing. When you talk about an organization, right, you have people that are clearly gonna be the ones to make that final decision. But so everyone has some role that they need to play. Um, in order for everyone to feel that value to and that. And a lot of the work that we do is building that trust that I know I could go out there and say something to you. And I know you’re gonna listen to me. You’re gonna pick it up, and we’re gonna build that together and not you’re gonna shoot my idea down and say we’re not aliens in Oklahoma were just two people stuck in North Carolina. You know what else

[00:22:19.64] spk_3:
can listen to do crystal? Maybe another exercise that they can practice? Oh, are you know, so that they can sort of see the benefits of reap the benefits of the improv principles. Uh, okay. You don’t have the benefit of actually doing the exercises. What else? Ah, what about some of the game folks can play to get some benefits? I get either Christmas or either one.

[00:23:38.94] spk_4:
Well, I can as crystal you’re thinking about some. I think they’re simple. Exercise weaken dio, I think Teoh address very common feelings. One is just feeling blocked or feeling blank when someone asks you a direct question. Because if you’re at all you know, if you don’t think that way, or if you don’t want to take center stage three of a fear of public speaking. The only way to overcome that is to practice, and you can practice in really small ways. So one thing we do with most organizations we go into and and run creative workshops are very simple word exercises where you have a group of people around the circle and you just say a word and you go around the circle on the person next to you says the first word that comes to mind. And it’s about listening and learning about yourself when you’re trying to anticipate what to say because you want to perform well versus really just being in the moment and offering a word. So if I were to say crystal, if Aiken borrow you for a minute and say, um, the word blue

[00:23:42.39] spk_2:
and I’m sorry and you want me to do

[00:23:44.09] spk_4:
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Does. And I’m putting you on the spot. Um, yeah, I just like to say the word first word that comes to mind I felt so yeah.

[00:23:56.64] spk_2:
Um, green,

[00:24:07.24] spk_4:
uh, read blood. Ah, Death church. Um, community.

[00:24:13.74] spk_2:
Ah, in breath. Fun. Uh, um rafts,

[00:24:55.98] spk_4:
um joy. Family well and so on and it’s It’s funny because even this exercise, the first time we do it with a group of people, let’s say more than five people. Everyone gets nervous and we’re not really doing anything. We’re just saying words that come to mind based on what somebody else said. So if you can just do that a couple times and talk about why is it you know, a little bit of self awareness? Why is it that we feel uncomfortable in the moment? What’s operating behind that is a that fear of contribution. It’s kind of the fight flight freeze impulse when you’re on the spot. So I think and there’s tons of these games available online to use as warm up activities or team building activities. I think we we may have or are gonna have some on our website, which is echo dot Co and, um, and it’s just really important to get in the habit of not just jumping into a meeting, but offering some of these activities to help get a sense of presence, a sense of what we call psychological safety, which is everybody feels like they are open to contribute at without embarrassment or without hanging criticism without judgment. Yeah, without judgment. That’s yeah.

[00:25:49.09] spk_3:
So there’s some resource. Is that eco E C h o dot co. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Um, that’s crystal you. It’s Ah, bookend. You opened up. Why don’t you just take us out with some final thoughts? Whatever you have, you want clothes

[00:26:26.52] spk_2:
final? That’s OK, so I do. But I do want to share one of my other favorite exercises since we were just talking about it. And I love this one because I taught improv with Children teaching probably people who have taken classes or have actually done a teaching profit, a homeless shelter as well. But my favorite exercise is panel of experts, and it’s so fun because anybody can contribute. And you immediately when we talk about building that trust, building that team, it’s you can have really as many people. But you know, at least three, maybe like 3 to 6.

[00:26:31.35] spk_3:
Let’s plan. All right, we got we’ll go a little bit longer. Like a

[00:26:31.66] spk_6:
minute and 1/2

[00:26:33.33] spk_3:
or so What?

[00:27:30.49] spk_2:
So so panel of experts, each of us, the three of us were doing like a Ted talk here where we have this audience and we pick and you can pick just a Monday ING thing anything. And then we’re gonna be the experts of that thing so we can go around in the same order that we did. And we’re just gonna be It’s as if we’re like I said, giving a Ted talk about whatever it is that we’re talking about. So because I’m just been looking at radio screen, I’m gonna say, um, we’ll talk about that bookshelf behind Graziella. So thank everyone for being here today. Um, we have built the perfect bookshelf for any office. This bookshelf, which was developed by, um, Dr Alvin Smith, um, really made it so it can fit in any area that you needed to fit. It actually adapts to the office to a closet to a bathroom. Really? Wherever you need this book shelf, it morphs into what you needed to be. Graziella, could you talk a little bit about the development of that? Yeah. Yeah.

[00:27:46.99] spk_4:
So you know, when we were conceiving of this perfect bookshelf, I think what we first asked was, you know, what is it that a bookshelf means to us through the journey of our life? You know, you start off as a young person, you are in your space. You’re looking at a blank wall, and that wall doesn’t mean anything to you. But if you fill it with something that can hold your treasures, your books, it facilitates the space of imagination and really opens up who you are as a person. So it really is more than a bookshelf. It’s a place for you to showcase the aspects of who you want to become through life and also your identity. So that’s kind of where we started. We want it to be exciting. We wanted people to say, That’s not a bookshelf. That’s me. And so that’s kind of what we wanted to bring to the creation of this. Tony, do you want to talk a little bit about kind of how you’ve seen people respond to this bookshelf?

[00:29:59.44] spk_3:
Well, I’m afraid we’re out of time. We Oh, no, I know that’s a violation. Um, yeah, we we brought this. You know, we brought this again as you were saying, Graziella to to be much more than just the physical object. And we’ve We’ve We’ve watched people interact with it. We’ve of course, we’ve surveyed them formally. We’ve actually been observing the way people use the bookshelf the way they interact with it. There’s the There’s the basket feature on the second shelf. That’s that’s pretty much open. That’s open. Anything you want it to be. You can put your junk in there. You can organize it carefully. Or you could put your knitting needles and and balls in there. We’ve seen that, too, of course. The top. We’ve seen people interacting, being more for organizational, since that’s the That’s the part that shows, even if it is in a closet like crystals, saying this could work in a closet as well as a wall. But if it isn’t a closet, you know the top shelf is what people see them first. So they we’ve seen people organized the top better. The middle has been more, um, more personal on. That’s been exciting to see how people have reacted to the different components that we engineered on a very personal, very personal creativity kind of levels.

[00:30:01.10] spk_2:
Yes, sin tony, all of your pictures of your bookshelf.

[00:30:09.40] spk_3:
Alright, Alright. So what? We were out Not no, no censorship building on what others contribute. Taking everything in What? You’re an

[00:30:16.79] spk_2:
expert in it, right? So speaking with confidence about whatever the topic is so right, if we were just in a room, a topic, we could have picked anything. And we are experts on that topic. So you’re speaking with confidence and and still building this together. Mm.

[00:30:36.84] spk_3:
Okay. Okay. Um, let’s leave it there. Do we do about that? Except do we pull everything out that we can about that exercise? Because I don’t want to do it for fun

[00:30:43.96] spk_2:
thing. The only other thing

[00:30:46.57] spk_4:
I’ll say is just opportunities to replace competition with trust Trust in celebration. I think that’s kind of the name of the game. Really helps to just celebrate what people are bringing to the table and use that to inspire better thing.

[00:31:18.14] spk_3:
And that trust to each of you said no said I didn’t. I wasn’t on the wasn’t on the hot spot for this. But you know, each of you lead with lead the next person with a question, your confidence that the person is going to take it on and is not gonna object or or fumble or, you know, but But it carried further. Okay. Excellent. Thank you. very much crystal ramps or chief administrative officer. National Council of Negro Women got CEO Jackson partner and CEO of Echoing Co. And both deeply involved with with the Washington Improv Theater. Thanks so much for being with me. Thank you.

[00:31:38.02] spk_4:
Thank you, Thank you. Thanks for Stoke tony.

[00:31:38.61] spk_3:
Thank you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 NTC.

[00:33:10.18] spk_1:
We need to take a break. Cougar Mountain software, Their accounting product Denali is built for non profits from the ground up so that you get an application that supports the way you work that has the features you need and the exemplary support that understands you. They have a free 60 day trial on the listener landing page at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant non. Now it’s time for Tony’s take two. Thank you. Um, thanks for being with the show and staying with it through Corona virus and recession and protests against racism. Um, I’m I wanted to keep producing the show. I mean, there’s no there’s no stopping the show. The show has got to go on, but, uh, all the more I think, you know, just because things have been so tumultuous since what, roughly march 23rd or call it mid march. Um, so much confusion change, uh, you know, new routines. The show has got to continue. It has got to be some things that we just can rely on. They’re just gonna be there. And non profit radio is one of them. And so I insist that, uh, not that not that I was thinking about postponing are going on hiatus. But it’s just three assure that Ah, some things remain unchanged. Remained constant. You can count on them, and non profit radio was one of them. And thank you for being consistent, loyal listening audience. Actually, it’s uptick ta little bit. It did like in April and may, you

[00:33:30.85] spk_3:
know, more people spending a lot more time at home, right? Doing everything at home

[00:34:10.00] spk_1:
from exercise to maybe more podcasts. So, um, thank you. So I’m I’m glad and gratified that, uh, audience hasn’t declined. You haven’t gone anywhere. The show still has value for you. That’s very gratifying for me. I thank you for sticking with the show. Still listening, and I’m just glad that you’re still getting good information from it. So thank you. That is Tony’s. Take two. Now it’s time for tech policies with Karen Graham and Dan Getman.

[00:34:42.03] spk_3:
Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 and D. C. That’s the 2020 non profit Technology Conference were sponsored at 20 NTC by Cougar Mountain Software. With me now are Karen Graham and Dan Getman. Karen is director of education and outreach at Tech Impact, and Dan is senior manager of donor relations for manna. Karen Dan. Welcome back, Teoh. Tony-martignetti non profit radio. Well, for you, Karen. Dan. Welcome.

[00:34:48.37] spk_6:
Uh, thank you.

[00:35:32.51] spk_3:
Glad to know that you’re each well and safe Dan in Philadelphia. Karen in Minneapolis. Good to know. I’m glad we could work this out. Your conference topic is establishing tech policies to protect your non profit can. You and I have talked about tech policies in the past and and other things that are, uh, when you were with idea where we’re on the surface boring. And you were happy to call them that, but nonetheless important to your non profit. So would you mind doing the same? Explaining the the importance to what could sound like something very dull?

[00:36:08.17] spk_6:
Sure. Well, I mean, regardless of what kind of situation we’re in, we all know that there are good people that make bad choices. And so having some policy guidelines to help people to anything twice about those choices, um, should provide some guidance for them, as is helpful but also having some clear consequences, I guess, in place or responses when people do make bad choices. That’s also important to know how you’re going to respond If somebody makes a mistake now, especially, I think nonprofits are feeling this in the right. Now, as we’re recording, we’re in the midst of the Corona virus outbreak and ah, lot of dumb profits have gone to remote work. And so they are, I think, thanking their lucky stars or they’re good judgment if they already have developed really good policies for remote work and use of personal devices and things like that. And if they haven’t done that, they’re scrambling right now to try to figure it out.

[00:36:35.50] spk_3:
What are some of those bad choices that you’re talking about?

[00:36:54.98] spk_6:
01 of the things that comes to mind immediately is ah, a kind of choice that will lead to a security vulnerability. Um, you know, just say, sharing data that is his private that contains personally identifiable information with people that really don’t need to have that information, um, downloading it onto a home computer, things like that, Like those kinds of choices can really make an organization vulnerable to that data getting into the wrong hands, Um, or to like, passwords and system access getting into the wrong hands. And I mean, I’m sure we’ve all seen the consequences of that. Um, I have some data on that. They’re the average cost of a data breach, according to a 2019 survey was almost $4 million for a data breach and on profit. They’re just as vulnerable to that, if not more so. Ah, compared to therefore profit piers.

[00:38:00.59] spk_3:
Yeah. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Certainly we think about organizations in the health care’s our healthcare arena. But even outside health care, there are dates of birth, their credit card numbers. Um, other personally, you might have social security number for some reason. Um, it’s all that personally identifiable information. Oh,

[00:38:00.98] spk_6:
and all of that can compromise people’s privacy. And it also can make an organization really vulnerable to ransomware attacks where the hacker threatens to release that information to the public, or, um or misuse it in some way that can really destroy the organization’s reputation. You’re and be harmful to the people that they serve. So that’s something that that actually non profit are especially vulnerable to because of the kinds of information that they handle. And also because, unfortunately, many nonprofits have not invested in security to the level that they should.

[00:38:38.42] spk_3:
Yeah, all right, Dan, let’s bring you in your in your office. We hear a little background noise. That’s okay,

[00:38:44.71] spk_7:
all right,

[00:38:45.12] spk_3:
It’s not They’re not, I presume they’re not strangers walking through Karen’s home in Minneapolis. So it must be your office. That’s OK.

[00:38:54.15] spk_7:
That would be me. Yeah,

[00:39:05.63] spk_3:
that’s OK. Way have lives. It’s alright. It’s alright. Just, uh, letting people know Karen is secure. There’s nobody walking through her. Her family room, Dan. So manna has been working on ah, comprehensive tech policy or is finished. What? What’s your what’s manage role in in this?

[00:41:25.42] spk_7:
Sure. So, um, we put together ah, bunch of different policies last fall. Um, and I hesitate to say the word finished because they’re always evolving. We need to adapt what we do in the policies that reflect what we dio. Um as things change around us. Uh, for instance, um, we a lot of the policies that we instituted last fall were directed, uh or directly affected, I should say, are like the computers that we have here for years. We all used PCs and much the standard way that anybody else would, Um, And with the advent of cloud based systems like Azure and some other things that we work with tech impact to implement here, um, we were able to get on Ah, more secure, uh, server were able Teoh update a lot of the levels of encryption that we use all things going along with what Karen was talking about in response to not wanting to be vulnerable to attacks to ransom where, um, we deal with individuals who have really serious health concerns there, the client base to whom we deliver meals on a regular basis to and so we work with all kinds of personal information. We also have certainly as a non profit donors who have credit card information and other things that get stored within our systems. And so between medical records and all the things kept their in and credit card information for our donors, You know, we have a couple different avenues that, ah, potential threat, you know, might see if inviting. And so, um, as an organization that works with insurance companies, large insurance companies, we need to be as HIPPA compliant as any medical office would be. Doctor’s office, hospital system. Um and so we’ve gone through some work with, um, hip, a consultant. We’ve worked directly with Tech Impact, who also does our day to day tech support here to really, really develop well thought out policies as well as all the software sort of implementations that went along with it. So again, I hesitate to say that we’re finished because we’re always looking at ways to improve how tightened up weaken be, but, um, in terms of where we’re at today Ah, the large bulk of that was completed last fall.

[00:42:05.21] spk_3:
There’s something interesting you the director of our senior manager party. I just demoted you. Senior manager of donor relations. Not not I t, uh, that sound like the tech policy position at manner. But here you are.

[00:43:23.56] spk_7:
So it’s interesting. Yeah. Um, I think many non profit, uh, will probably understand. We use the phrase were a lot of hats, You know, that many nonprofits are smaller staffed. You know, we don’t have, uh, the budgetary capabilities Have an in house I t department. Um, and so for years, our office admin served in that role Still doesn’t in many cases, if your if your outlook isn’t working, if your internet’s down, that’s what you go to. But, um, as we were growing these contract relationships and learning that there were different levels of security that we could, you know, reach for, um we needed somebody in house who had both a cursory understanding of the tech side of things and also enough understanding and ability to work with our nutrition team Teoh, to sort of understand the HIPPA ramifications of it all. Um, and it just so happened that that role probably would have fallen to the office admin Who does does a lot of the other day to day stuff. However, uh, he went out on medical leave, and so I was sort of tasked with this being the next in line in terms of my, uh, computer savvy, I guess

[00:43:24.72] spk_4:
we can

[00:43:24.97] spk_7:
call it her.

[00:43:26.44] spk_2:

[00:43:27.10] spk_7:
yeah, sort of a non profit thing that you know, you have a skill set that you’re able to help with. It may not be the thing I’m trained in or went to school for by any means, but I understand it may be better than the next person. And so that’s how that kind of works out

[00:44:17.99] spk_1:
understand Time for our last break turn to communications relationships. The world runs on them. We all know this turn to is led by former journalists so that you get help building relationships with journalists. Those relationships will help you when you need to be heard so that people know you’re a thought leader in your field when there’s a time for you to be heard and to show your expertise. Turn to specializes in working with nonprofits. The red Turn hyphen two dot ceo We’ve got but loads more time for tech policies from 20 and TC. We

[00:44:33.13] spk_3:
could also consider good tech policy to be a part of donor relations. A part of stewardship. Actually, you’re part of what you’re doing. What I don’t mean you at manner. But part of what an organization is doing is protecting donor information from the can absolutely kinds of attacks that you and Karen both talking about So you could consider it on a new element of donor relations on goods

[00:44:49.79] spk_4:

[00:44:50.21] spk_7:
And and part of it came back to, you know, in the donor relations side of things I oversee, uh, our database R c r m Here, um, and so again, understanding those systems, um, knowing that we treat and I’ve always treated all information confidentially, we don’t share lists with people. We don’t sell our donors information to anyone, Certainly whenever that with any client information. But from my sort of day to day rolls perspective, you know, we treat all that data, um, the same with the same level of integrity that we would with our client data on the other side

[00:45:24.94] spk_2:

[00:45:25.01] spk_7:
the building. And so, um, yeah, I think that’s kind of where that come from.

[00:45:29.65] spk_1:

[00:46:16.42] spk_6:
well, I’ve been kind of listening to what Dan saying, and even what I said when we opened up here, where we’re focusing on technology policies to reduce the organization’s risk or, you know, to kind of like looking at it from the perspective of where the bad things that could happen And how do we present those, and I just want o make the point that that’s not all that policies air for right there. Also, to give people guidance on positive things, they can dio um, So at my organization, just today we were talking about social media policy, and that’s something I’m sure that Dan probably deals with two. I’m doing donor management and fundraising and communication. Um, you know, you don’t want to just wag your finger at your staff and say you can’t do this. You can’t do that. Especially when it comes to social media. You want to give them some tools and some permission to be able to do things that are positive and are gonna benefit the organization. So that’s always an important thing. To remember with policy is to find that balance between the things that are restricting people from doing things that are really gonna be harmful and the things that are empowering them to do things that are gonna be helpful.

[00:46:45.78] spk_3:
Karen, what do you see? Some sometimes or most commonly I should say, as the impetus for, uh, revising oh, are creating when they don’t exist. It all a new a new set of tech policies.

[00:47:02.07] spk_6:
Probably two things, and one, unfortunately, is something bad happens. And then somebody says, Oh, we should have had a policy about this. You can imagine how those scenarios play out. But the other thing is sometimes, um, change in staff or a staff member who has listened to a podcast or, um, they have attended a conference or somehow been exposed to thes ideas and realized Oh, shoot. My organization doesn’t have the right policies in place. We should probably pay attention to this.

[00:47:32.98] spk_3:
Okay. And, uh, since you’re the consultant, why don’t you get us into this process now? How do we begin what we need to think about who? The stakeholders? I need to be involved before we can actually start typing policy or thinking about policy.

[00:48:49.83] spk_6:
Yeah, I can. I can share a few things with you. Um, first, the, um, there are six basic types of policies that most organizations should have, and so acceptable use is one. And what that means is it’s a guide to the overall use of your networks and technology equipment. That’s acceptable use policy. Um, 2nd 1 is security, and that’s really about protecting your data and your systems from from security breaches. Um, 3rd 1 is bring your own device policy, which has considerations for employees using personal devices to do their work, whether they’re in the workplace. Or, um, right now, a lot of people are using personal devices that they have at home toe access, corporate data, so to speak, or things that are owned by the non profit. So those were the 1st 3 and then the 4th 1 is an incident response and disaster recovery policy or in a plan, that’s what you need to do if something goes wrong. Um, 5th 1 is remote work kind of other considerations for employees who are working outside the office. Um, and then the final one is about social media and digital communication guidelines for what you can and should do and what’s restricted there.

[00:49:06.82] spk_3:
Okay, All right. So those there are sort of framework for our policy, those six types and and who should be involved in the process of creating these

[00:49:36.27] spk_6:
Well, I think that’s a great question to ask Dan because he had some experience with involving the right people in the organization. But my advice would be, um, you know, there’s a saying that a lot of advocacy organizations are organizing groups used nothing about us without us. And I think that applies here. Um, as well. It’s If a policy is going to affect someone, then that person should probably have a chance to give some input in the policy. Otherwise, you’re going to run into a lot of problems with people not following the policy, just working around it. And then it’s not doing anybody any good.

[00:49:56.47] spk_3:
Yeah, because then it’s a policy that was foisted on on users rather than them being part of the collaborative team that develops it,

[00:50:04.93] spk_6:
right? So certainly an executive director of board of directors in a non profit has some responsibility for reviewing policies and making sure that the right things are in place. But that’s not enough. It also has to involve the people that are covered by the policy.

[00:50:18.46] spk_3:
Yeah, the end users. How about you, Dan View? Did you follow Karen’s advice? Were you ah, compliant client? Or were you not?

[00:51:38.86] spk_7:
I’d like to think so. Um, I I was involved from day one in terms of this stuff. Ah, And to Karen’s point. Yeah, we had everyone that almost every level in some capacity involved in this process are when we first sat down, uh, with some of Karen’s coworkers Attack impact. You know, we had in the room myself the head of our nutrition department, our CEO, uh, the head of our policy on my policy, I mean, uh, lawmaking policy, But ahead of our policy, uh, department and a ZX Well, a czar PR person, our office admin. So I mean, it was kind of deer point. We had somebody from every aspect of the organization who would be either affected by the policies being put in place or be the person who is actually implementing the policies themselves on dhe. Then we brought in, which was a tremendous helping to be, quite honestly, couldn’t have done it without them. We brought in an outside consultant whose work eyes in the field in our key, specifically in ah, tech security and has a lot of background again dealing with the folks that we work with being medical record based. Um they came from ah background with ah consultant work dealing with hip a related issues specifically, and so we have them come in and do ah full risk assessment to go side by side with the risk assessment that tech impact did. Um and we had a really nice look at, uh what what policies do we have? What policies do we need and what things are already in place? And where can we, you know, make some tweaks to get better? And so it really was very collaborative effort, both internally and in terms of the two external groups that

[00:52:18.51] spk_4:
we worked

[00:52:18.92] spk_7:
with. But we needed every voice in that room

[00:52:24.75] spk_3:
Any difficulty, Dan getting buy in from leadership t this for this project?

[00:53:03.47] spk_7:
So no, we’re fortunate, actually, that we have ah CEO who is one very progressive and and likes to be at the forefront of all aspects of, you know, our business. Eso that includes technology again. We’ve always we’ve been around 30 years, so dealing with our client records and the hip related issues. There has always been something that mattered to us. Um and so this was seen as an opportunity to improve upon efforts that were already making It was not seen internally as Hey, this is a bad thing in the world. We all got to go through this process to fix something. It was really more, um we’re doing a good job, but we can do better than what we’re doing, and we’re gonna strive to do better than what we’re doing. And so our CEO didn’t require any real pushing. She was actually the one pushing, pushing all of us.

[00:53:57.44] spk_3:
OK, OK, Karen, we don’t have time to dio in depth on all the six different policies that you that you mentioned. But since we’re in a time now, when a lot of people are using their own personal devices, why don’t we focus on that policy? The personal use of devices for work? What I you know, I defer to you. How do we like what questions should we be asking or what policies should we have in place? What’s the best way to approach that one?

[00:55:44.69] spk_6:
Sure. Um, here’s some some of the questions you could think about for that, um, one is, um usually, organizations start with who is allowed to use those devices and in the situation we find ourselves in right now, I think it’s almost everyone has allowed to use personal devices, but maybe not. I mean, maybe if you’re a non profit that is allowing people to work from home either indefinitely or just for a defined period of time. Maybe you want them to Onley be allowed to do their work on ah organization issued device. Maybe you will provide them with a laptop or a tablet or whatever it is to take home with them, and they’re only going to do it there. And then you know it’s important than to issue some guidelines that let them know your home computer is off limits for conducting your work. So that’s an example. But then it’s not just computers. What about their camera? You know, if they’re doing videoconferencing, if it doesn’t have a built in camera, can they use their own? Or do they have to get one from the organization? What about a headset? What about like all that extra stuff? And then, if they are using their own devices, what kind of support do you offer for that? If something breaks, you fix it. If they have a problem with their settings on the computer, are you responsible as an organization for helping them with that? Um, what about like antivirus software on their home computer. Are you now going to pay for the cost of that? Or are you gonna pay for the cost of their cellphone, which they’re now using to take calls? Because the office phone is being forwarded to their cell phone. So there’s a lot of a lot of different issues there. Um, 11 more thing that we find, especially with mobile devices, is like, What kind of encryption do you and require, um, and locks and authentication and, like different kinds of security measures that can be installed on a mobile device? Um, it’s not necessarily a case where more is better. You have to find the right balance between convenience and security there.

[00:56:11.33] spk_3:
What about use of other people’s use of the of that same equipment, you know, when they’re home? If is that a family laptop that the person is using for work and then night their kids do their homework on it? I

[00:57:01.27] spk_6:
mean, Well, yeah, I think that’s the reality for a lot of people right now. So, um, it’s I personally wouldn’t worry too much about ah criminal breaking into my home logging into my computer. Um, that has a weaker password at home than the computer that I used for work. Um, and you know, getting into my organizations, data or whatever. I just really don’t think the odds of that very high, but, um, but it’s more like, um, maybe through email, maybe my kids open a phishing email and they click on something. And then pretty soon, my computer’s infected on dhe. I’ve also got stuff stored on that computer that I don’t want to get into somebody else’s hands. So that’s where the vulnerability of shared devices probably is. Most important. I don’t know if you would agree with that, Dan, or if you’ve got through that with your organization

[00:57:11.55] spk_3:
damn before we before we. I do want to go to you immediately, Dan, but I want to make clear that we now know the password to Karen’s home computer is 12345

[00:59:56.18] spk_7:
Yeah, I think if the really important one and we did go through this in terms of a lot of the policies that we’re putting in place, we have ah mixed set of media for this organization, um, desktop and laptop, and for those with laptops taken, certainly take them out of the building, and so there’s no safeguards there needs to be in place. Um, but the one that we really found I don’t want to say a stumbling block, but it’s something that I think organisations should keep in mind when they’re when they’re thinking about this kind of stuff. So many of us now have smartphones, and they’re great and they can do all these different things. Um, the one thing that really got under a fair amount of people skin here was the restrictions that had to be put in place for, uh, one’s own mobile device. And specifically, what we dealt with was, uh in the case of our email client, um, outlook is great and can be controlled with a lot of the policies that we put in place with tech impact. However, uh, if you have an iPhone or an android and you do not have the outlook app if you just use the native mail app on your phone, um that is outside the scope and the control of a system like in June or Azure. And, uh so what we had issues with were people wanting Teoh, you know, use the app that they’ve been using for the last 10 years, Um, and having to switch to something that was considerably more restrictive. Um, and it’s one of those things that sort of the growing pains in this process. But ah was absolutely necessary for us to be ableto you know, rain in some of the control on the data that’s being used. Um, and to Karen’s point with, you know, kids clicking on an email, Um, you know, we have it set where, As an example, if I pull up an email on my phone, I can’t screenshot it. I can’t save whatever’s in it to my phone. I mean, we have everything as locked down beyond you can read it and reply to it, and that’s it. Um, but just just knowing that some of those those things they’re out there in terms of the restrictions in terms of the necessity to have them be protected. If I lost my phone and someone got into it, they could seemingly access information. I wouldn’t want people to see, you know, from a work standpoint. So I think those are things that we take for granted. Um, having these wonderful devices that we carry around every day, but they’re really, um they are portals to our jobs into our lives and security that needs to go with that is it can’t be understated. And that was definitely something that we hadn’t thought about quite honestly before.

[01:00:07.86] spk_4:
This all happened.

[01:00:16.07] spk_3:
Making compromises for company. Absolutely ization security. Karen, we’re gonna wrap up. Does this tech impact have any resource Is, um, better related to detect policies that that folks can access on the website?

[01:01:06.21] spk_6:
Of course, we dio with a lot. So I’m at Tech Impact out, or GE, we have a number of resource is about policies and security, which we’ve been touching on here, too, including free consultations for people who just have a question that they want to ask of a professional. You can request that on our website. Um so about that tech impact that or ge and then on ideal wear dot or ge, which is also a site that is heart of our organization. That’s a resource site. And so we have a policy workbook on there that will help you, like, step by step, develop each of the different policies that I mentioned earlier and also a number of other knowledge. Resource is, we’ve got a course right now to that. We just finished a live version of it and the recordings available at Ideal where DOT or GE, if people want to really take a deep dive into this

[01:01:20.01] spk_1:
outstanding thank you. And, uh, as former CEO of Idea where I know you’re well acquainted with the with the offerings there. That’s

[01:01:38.21] spk_3:
Karen Graham, director of education and outreach, a Tech Impact, and Dan Getman, senior manager of donor relations at Manna. Thanks to each of you for sharing thanks so much and, uh, and stay safe. And thanks to you for being with non profit radio coverage of 20 NTC

[01:02:21.65] spk_1:
next week. More from 20 NTC. If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you, find it on tony-martignetti dot com were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for non profits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turned to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot ceo. Our

[01:03:00.45] spk_0:
creative producers Claire Meyer Huh Sam Liebowitz managed stream shows Social media is by serving Chavez. Mark Silverman is our Web guy on this Music is by Scots with me next week for non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% Go out and be great

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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent on your aptly named host oh, i’m glad you’re with me, i’d be thrown into assaf ago dahna if you made me speak the words you missed today’s show financial management software don’t leave you do need this non-profit radio is never boring even talking about financial management software. Listen as idealware publicly releases their guide to selecting the right software for your non-profit it’s important, trust me, karen graham and andy wolber will convince you i’m tony steak, too. You will join this club we’re sponsored by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled tony dahna slash pursuant radio by wagner cpas guiding you beyond the numbers wagner, cps dot com bye tell us turning credit card processing into your passive revenue stream. Tony dahna may slash tony tell us i’m excited because we got an announcement here with public announcement, but s so i’m gonna introduce the people we’re going to be making. The announcement first is karen graham. She is a sought after speaker, trainer, writer and consultant with expertise in technology, leadership and innovation non-profit software and digital strategy. As ideal wears executive director she leads a team of researchers, presenters and writers who create technology. Information. Resource is that helped non-profits put their visions into action. She’s at karin t graham idealware is at idealware and idealware dot or ge. Andy wolber he’s, a technology consultant to non-profits. He teaches a course on non-profit and government technology for grand valley state university, and writes about google in the enterprise for tech republic. He’s at a wolber and wolber works. Dotcom welcome count graham and andy wolber. Thanks, tony. Somebody talk, please. Okay, okay, you’re welcome. My pleasure. I’m glad to have you thankyou for, ah, reserving your public announcement. Karen graham of this report for non-profit radio. What is the report? You don’t need to be back on the show and have a chance to talk about something brand new. Awesome, yes, i can hear the excitement in your voice. You might try to kick it up a little level a little notch, but i hear it, i hear it. What is the report, what we publicly announcing? This one is a guide to financial management software for nonprofit organizations, and i would say this is particularly suited for small and medium sized organizations, and i know that your audience, too so that’s great, absolutely and and for anybody who is thinking that maybe their current accounting software or financial management system is not meeting all of their needs, and they want to explore other options. Okay, we’re going to talk about cem ways you might you might know that some symptoms of that and, uh, we’ll go through the report and all let’s see let’s ah, quaint people remind, i love idealware i love the mission of idealware, but you will articulate it better than i i don’t know if you’ll be as enthusiastic as i am. I hope you will be remind people what does idealware all about? Well, i am the executive director, so you would hope that i would have enthusiasm. I am hopeful my fingers across. Yes. You know, tony, i thought it was it was kind of funny to me that you said the show was never boring even when we’re talking about financial management software. Because when you invited me, i was thinking like, i’m excited to be on the show, but you probably picked me to be on the most boring show of the whole year, so let’s, try not to make it that way. I’m excited about all of the work that idealware does even when we’re talking about a topic like this, which is maybe not the most sexy topic, i guess hyre i’m excited about all of our work because it helps people solve real problems and helps them operate there non-profit organization better and make good decisions without as much stress and uncertainty. We exist to help those people who work in non-profits who are responsible for technology decisions, but they don’t necessarily have a technology background, and so they need resource is they’re smart people, they need knowledge resource is to help them think through their decisions and help them understand trends and best practices. And so we do impartial research on technology topics, and then we publish guides and workbooks software reviews, and we also do a lot of online training and in person workshop to help people to make those kinds of decisions with confidence. Now i have ah first became aware of idealware years ago, before i knew there was a karen t graham affiliated with it because people used to recommend what the the the fund-raising data but was fund-raising database report was it was the c r m or was it? Fund-raising nancy now, with so many years ago, i can’t remember, but but it had to be good. Do you remember the official title of the one i think you’re talking about? The official title is the consumer’s guide to low cost donor-centric sustainers okay. And it’s now in a fourth edition, i believe, and that’s been one of our most downloaded publications ever. We used to yeah, people would refer it to refer me to it. Oh, and andy wolber don’t worry, we’re gonna get to you. I don’t want you not forgotten, andy, you’re there. I just want to get through some important info about idealware yeah, people used to just mention it to me. Like i said before, i even knew what idealware was, and so i went and looked at this report, and this is an analogy i make sometimes sometimes you don’t seem thrilled with this analogy that i make to consumers union, but to me, you’re the consumers union, their consumer reports that consumers union is the non-profit that creates consume reports of non-profit technology, you did these unbiased reports, we’re going to talk about how you make sure they’re unbiased and you now in that one, you had the that’s colorful side by side chart with features and, you know, dots for which features existed in different ones, and to me it was the consumer reports of non-profit software, i loved it, and we were i’ve been talking about idealware on non-profit radio on and off, and even before i like i said before, i knew there was a guarantee. Graham so, um, i don’t know how do you feel about that? Consumer reports analogy, i some people have compared us to consumers union, others have compared idealware to gartner or forest are sabat that doesn’t really bother me on a good okay. What? Okay, yeah, i think that all of those organisations are well respected and trusted. No resource is. And in a way, i’m proud that idealware would be in that same category. Yeah. Okay. Excellent. I that’s why i put you there an objective objective research. Okay, we have just like a minute and a half before break. Oh, andy, we’re going to bring you in after this first break. Karen, how do you assure us in a minute and a half that this report is unbiased? Objective, not sponsor driven, etcetera. I’m glad you asked about that. We have a very strict firewall between our editorial process and our funding process. And so on this report, i actually worked on securing funding through sponsorships. And the student reader might notice that the sponsors have products that are covered in this guide. But let me ask andy. Andy, did you know who the sponsors were? While you were working on the research? I had no clue. Better say no. Good. Okay, now, karen did karen, did he have an important thing? Did he ever ask? Did he ask? No. Okay, i want make sure he’s honestly could have one of our partners on the report. And important partner was fm a, and they contributed a lot of expertise to this report. And at one point there executive director asked me who the sponsors were and i said, you know ill that i can’t tell you who they are because i don’t want to buy us the research. So that’s something that we take very seriously. We we don’t let any of the people involved in the research team know who the sponsors were until the report is ready to publish. And it’s it’s, not a pay to play situation. Our sponsors are all very dedicated, teo. Advance. Acknowledge in the sector to helping people make better software choices, whether they choose their software or somebody else’s, they want to get fit. And so they committed teo funding this and letting us publish something that they got no approval over. All right. And he got to say two words before this break. He said no and know so thank you for that big contribution, andy. You’re done now know that’s not true, but we do have to take the next. Okay. Yes, we got to take a break. Pursuant. The current paper is demystifying the donor journey. You heard me last week talking to taylor shanklin about this. You heard it. So why do you need this thinking paper? You don’t. But for someone who did not hear the show, their life is incomplete. I might i would go. So far as to say, even inadequate without it, send them to the paper, then send them to last week’s show for more detail. Their life will be complete. You will be a hero. It’s demystifying the donor journey it’s at tony dot m a slash pursuant radio. Now back to financial management software guide. Okay, andy wolber let’s bring you in your research around this thing. What what was the research process? How’d you go about creating this guide for us? Well, we looked at the start of the existing i’ve worked with la non-profits so i brought a lot of personal expertise to talk to some folks, various organizations that i’ve worked with over the years that deal with various financial packages and also spoke a little with some of the effort make insulting who are working with of wide variety non-profits and systems as well. So we looked at the landscape. What is this fm a karen mentioned it also does that stand for something anymore? Or are they like aarp? That doesn’t want to be the association american, retired persons or nail that doesn’t no longer wants to be the national abortion rights action league, are they? Just an fm a or do they stand for something? Yeah, karen, i’ll defer the u n if that’s an acronym or not, do they stand for anything? I mean, i know the stand for things, but what do their letters stand for anything or now? Yeah, i think it started as a financial management, so see it? I don’t want to say the wrong big radio, though, but they just go buy fm now and it’s an organization, a nonprofit organization that provides consulting and outsource services for accounting and financial management for other non-profit okay. And what was their role in this guide? Andy, do you want to talk about that? Sure. Well, what was interesting is so they don’t have had initial ideas and an initial list. Sorry. Hey, hear the systems we see and use a lot. I looked at that and said, well, you know, what about these? And so we widen that search and scope a little bit. Andi also did some tweaking updating of some of the so our features and focus. So we brought into the look a little, uh, based on just serve other packages that are also used in the field there’s a wide variety of solutions, there’s several things that vendors have moved systems from, you know, being client server only to cloud. And so that there’s been a lot of movement in this in this sector in this industry, so we started with some of their their ideas and their list way expanded added to it, andy i well, since, since karen says she doesn’t exactly mind my analogy to consumers, union consumers report which not exactly overwhelming endorsement, but i’ll take it from her. I analogize this to their toe a buyer’s guide. It looks like a buyer’s reads like a buyer’s guide to me. Um, now, um, let’s, let’s define a little deeper. What what it is we’re buying. What? What characterizes a financial management system? What, what? What pieces doesn’t have that that we’re thinking about possibly changing if we’re reading this buyer’s guide? Sure. Well, at the core of this is a system that helps you, you know, understand helps a non-profit major, typically an executive director and other leadership, both staff in volunteer understand where the organization is financially and so in a small organization, that sort of thing typically sits at a no it’s core it’s the, you know, accounting system. So you’re just you’re really trying to understand what you’re where your financial position is, okay in the twenty, thirty years ago term aarp enterprise resource planning no, sir. Came in tow scope. Um, and those sorts of systems started to heimans allow an organisation to track financial for on the financial implications ations of both products and people activities throughout the organization. So as you get bigger, your financial system starts saying compass mohr system and i saw a sort of a spectrum of you may even mention this in the report. Maybe that’s that’s where i got the idea from spectrum. So there was simple. And then there was a little more sophisticated in the middle. And then there was the aarp. These enterprise resource planning systems eyes that affair. Is that a fair assessment of what the spectrum looks like? Yeah. And and what that is and what’s interesting about it is that unlike in some organizations where you start and delineate by the size of an organization, you know, a small organization has a small system in the financial management world. It’s a little different. It’s more. Related to how complex or how many things you need to track. So a small organisation with a large number of funders and a large number of programs actually has a pretty complex accounting and financial management, so they may actually need amore complex system than a organization has a very large budget but really has only two or three programs and two or three funders, okay, makes a lot of sense. All right. Um, uh, charity graham let’s bring you back. We were going to say this several times throughout the show, but where can people get this report? Oh, great question if you if you’re listening to the show live, if you go teo idealware dot or ge it’s right on our home page, it won’t stay there forever. So if you’re somebody listening to the podcast later in time, you could just go on idealware dot or ge and there’s a search box on the home page. If you just type in the word financial, you’ll get right to it. And then you can enter your name and email it just to register and then it’s a free download. You’ll get a pdf document. Okay, thank you. For not asking. Name, address, organization, title budget size, annual revenue, zip code. You know, etcetera. Thank you, it’s. Very. You know, i bristle at those things. So it’s. Well, we personally asked a few of those things, but they’re optional. And that just helps us to make sure that what we’re sending two people is relevant in the future. If they option to receive our e mails. But that’s also optional. Okay, i guess when i saw the form, i realized they were optional. Okay, very good. Thank you for that. Um okay, let’s. Stay with you. Karen, how might we know? What is some symptoms now? The report goes through, like six or six things or something. That’s not just touch on what some symptoms might be for needing a new financial system like, you know, just two or three. And these people are gonna get the reporter. I mean, it’s free for god’s sake. So they’re going to get it so that’s, just touch on a couple, right? I’ll try not to overwhelm me with too much detail here. One thing that stood out to me here is when people are manually entering data into two different systems that could be a sign that maybe their current accounting system is not really meeting their needs, or maybe maybe it actually could meet their needs if they invested in some kind of integration. Now what’s an example of that together, like what kind of what kind of data would you be putting in two different systems? Give me a concrete example, the thing that i see most often, and maybe andy wants to chime in on this, too, but i think i see most often is donordigital so it used to be that before there were good donor-centric was tracked in the organization’s accounting system, and so they would enter individual donors and the date that they gave and the amount that they gave, and it was any kind of restricted gift, you know, they’d have information about that, and so that have it has stuck with a lot of organizations, and now they’re entering it both in their donor-centric and there financial management system. Now you could argue that that’s not actually necessary at all tohave the data in both places, at least that level of detail but but if you do want to still have that data in both places. Now, there are ways, depending on what system you choose and what kind of integration you have to automate that a little bit more, so that you’re not manually king in all those details in two different places. Ok, ok, give us another common symptom. You see, um, and if you want to chime in on that sure. Well, i mean just it. And answer a little of what you said. The payrolls, another area that you people manually receiving data. But another symptom is things like a lot of spreadsheets. It’s, an organization is using a spreadsheet to track the status of all their different grant. That is often a sign that they could benefit potentially from a different financial management system is actually designed toe help them, uh, track their spending. And for all of those distinct grant that’s one of things that the organizations really struggle with when they work with a system that can only handle a couple of coding fields that really can’t scale teo do sort of comprehensive fund accounting to track the the grand program number of grant programs that they actually have. So that’s another for the another sign that the symptom is, you see lots of spread sheets on the side being used to say, ok, and program a we’ve spent this much program would be sametz spent this much in that has it can be hard to tease out from actual financial statement s oh, man that’s good indicator. So you mean so for each different program? Or fund? They have a different spreadsheet. Is that what you’re describing? Yep. Yeah. Okay. Okay. We used to hear about that from from one of our sponsors. Um, which is mentioned in aa? It’s just mentioned you mentioned apple o’s in aa a sidebar. They used to make that point about that being not so that they’re not being efficient. Okay, the guide also talks about access from from certain devices. Like if you have to go to a dedicated computer thio dua certain task right? To say a little more about that, andy sure, that that’s really the root of a lot of organizations that used to see they’re still working with insults or a client server or single system software? Um, yeah, that that’s still out there still widely used, but that can be difficult for folks to actually get access to information. They have to be on site on the local network to get information. Or they have to do the shenanigans of a remote log in or remote desktop and looking at a screen through ah, some sort of ritual display system or in their face so that many systems have transitions from needing to. Be on site thai there being hosted or being in the clouds. Some of the newer systems are sort of cloud natives and work really well and some older systems to our club native. But work really well, either within in a browser and also some of them support apse on mobile devices. So that’s, another sign is if you really do need more multiple people to access data easily from different locations. You start toe look in a new system, karen. A few years ago, it ntcdinosaur i captured an excellent panel interview. That was, in fact, it had someone who i think is an advisor to robert winer. Is he c an advisor for you on some? Yes, he has. He has been a subject matter expert for some of our research in this. Okay. And he’s also been a speaker on some of our webinars. Okay, excellent. Yeah. I thought i remembered an affiliation, so he was one of three or four on the panel and the this is what i love about ntc. I mean, the panel was devoted to this niche topic of maybe you’re blaming technology when people and or processes are the problem. So with that leading, you know, there might be a problem other than your financial management system in your non-profit can you can you talk about that? Yeah, absolutely. But i might rephrase that to say almost certainly you’re blaming technology when people in processes are at least part of the problem. So yeah, let’s not overlook that. One thing that i know we found in the research was that option. Somebody will think that she needs a new financial management after a package when really, what she needs is to revise her chart of account. And so what? The chart of accounts is for people who thank you for keeping him. Thank you for keeping yourself out of jargon. Jail. Yeah, yeah. That’s, that’s just the kind of the master list of categories of revenue and expenses. So you use that in financial reporting, you use that to connect every transaction that you enter in your accounting system, teo, to the overall categories. And so is you. Find yourself explaining coding to your board of directors when you’re presenting the financial reports to them. If you find dafs miscoding things when they’re you know, writing down what something should be charged, too on their expense report or their recedes, then that’s probably a sign that you need to review your chart of accounts and think about revising that first before you start looking dafs software change, okay, can you give us another example? I know that could be hundreds of things, but another there’s another example, come to mind of where the person or the processes that there were people there, the processes are the are the trouble anything else? Well, another example that i see all the time, which is not limited financial management software, there are all sorts of technology is user adoption issues, and, you know, sometimes people aren’t really getting the full value out of the software because they haven’t done the training, they haven’t customised the settings to fit their needs, things like that so that’s important, too. Okay, and you work with a lot of non-profits and karen didn’t ask you to chime in this time. By the way, karen, if you say the word chime again, i’m cutting off your mic. So you got to find another word. You said it twice, china’s twice. Now that’s enough! So if you you have to find another word, you have to find another word to invite andy, i’ll goto with the saurus or something while i’m talking. Andy, another word to invite andi, teo contribute, but you can’t use that either, because i just did to something that you may have said or add on, you can’t use that either a andy, you work with a lot of non-profits do you see? What were some symptoms? You see where people, about your you’re in a difficult position of having to say it’s, not really technology it’s you. But you know what are some other symptoms? You see where people are blaming technology erroneously? Well, i think i found the sea. It was people were repeating a process that air doing a process in a way that is no longer optimal it’s sort of a habit that folks have gotten into that can be done more efficiently. So i think of things way report we mentioned something like expensive fi, which helps people track expenses, and so the you were tools. Now, it’s an app on your phone to take a photo of an expense report you can start to capture data that way the older way, you know, taking the stuffing the receipt into a folder or into your bag, and then digging it out once a month and going through the grueling process of no king in the details is a process that doesn’t have to happen. So for my perspective, i see people missing that chance to take advantage of some of the newer tools that left the more differently. And since many folks they’re carrying around, you know a phone that has a camera on it. Let’s, let’s, use that camera in a useful way to save the taiping time. Yeah, people just don’t know. So that’s. Why this buyer’s guide, my phrase, is it’s my show so that’s it that’s, the explanation that’s. Why this buyer’s guide is so valuable because it opens you up to things, you know, you see things that you’re doing manually, that you don’t need to anymore, you can be questioned, your processes that that’s important, right? Yeah, i did, and i think that’s actually hoping way. Think, yeah, has folks get a new system and explore what system will work for them? That’s a prime time to look, look at your processes, do some process mapping, which i find a fun exercise of, you know, working on a a dry erase board with lots of markers and post it notes and things to sort of figure out who’s doing what win in this process. How can we redesign this so that we’re doing less work, and we’re getting the information we need quicker. Okay, that’s, an excellent leading to what i actually want to talk about next, which was how to get into selecting a new system. Um, who’s, uh, because because workflows, you know, mapping your workflows is a part of that. Who wants to speak to that? Most eloquently, i’ll let you decide amongst yourself. Okay. That’s. That’s. Good. So i’m gonna point. Parenti graham okay. Congratulations. With democracy of two eyes is frozen. Frances. No wonder we have trouble united states. Fifty million. Okay, that gets it in the report that there may be drilled down on one or two that i think are important way. Ok? Yeah, we’ll stay. We’re not goingto yeah, we’re not gonna talk about all the way can’t do that. I tell you what, i’ll let you let you think about thea the couple i’ll walk through the first one or two and then you can mention one or two that are important to you. And you can give some thought to that while we take this break bradunas cps, they’ve got an archive webinar that may pique your interest. Prepare your nine ninety for success. If you are one of the fortunate organizations that delights in completing the full nine ninety. Not that sissy easy or the end postcard, but the full then you want to listen to wagner’s advice? The webinar includes common mistakes and most damaging mistakes. Obviously the ones you mostly want to avoid. It’s all at wagner cpas dot com click resource is than webinars now time for tony’s. Take two. You will join this club. I joined about six months ago. It’s the, uh, it’s the dead parents club. And i have found that people who have lost parents, i know it. This is there’s a bond there’s an empathy and an understanding that i did not have before i lost my mom last october. And now when i talk to people who are in the club, um, i feel it, you know, and i realized that i just never really understood the magnitude of it. Of course, you know, you heal over time and you learn to accommodate and accept over time. But i just it’s become apparent to me over these five months. So november, december, jerry fremery much, five, six months that the people who have lost a parent, they just get it at a level that all the rest don’t. And yeah, i just became very clear to me while i was having a chat with a friend who had lost a father three years ago. So you’ll join the club and i hope it’s many years before you do my video on this. Is that tony martignetti dot? Com now let us return teo karen graham and andy wolber for idealware is release of when i called buyer’s guide selecting financial management software for your for your non-profit karin t graham is executive director of idealware and andy wolber is a technology consultant to non-profits ok, karen, you did your homework for ah, for that time. Okay, cool. Thank you. So talk about all this. We’re not doing all that now. I told you, we’re not doing what we’re not doing, all these people going to get the report and it’s important to put this in context. So we have thirty steps that happened before you even start looking at potential solutions. Okay, that is step for the first three are about getting the right people at the table and making sure that you understand your current situation you needs and requirements before you start looking at software options. Okay? And then there was the work of a mistake that i think a lot of people make they jump right into looking at the products, and then they become very oriented toward which product has the coolest bells and whistles. And they’re not thinking about which product is. The best fit for our needs? Yes, they’re not aligning, right, right. That is critical. So you’ve got to do your research up front before you start looking at packages and getting demos and, you know, being wooed by sales people. Um, andy, that was a very good overview. Thank you, karen. Okay, and you’re gonna get people are gonna get the report for god’s sake. They’re gonna goto idealware dot or ge it’s either gonna be on the home page or they’re going to go to go the search box and search the word financial it’s free for pizza. Just get it, andy let’s, go back to the workflows how does how does mapping workflows relate to your your search for a new financial management system? Well, i think it really is about that time both the folks who need operational data and the folks needs or decision making data and looking at how information’s getting into your system and then coming out on a recording size. So on the input side, things like you’re tracking expenses, you know, if we can simplify that process that’s fantastic if we can simplify payroll so we’re not recoding that each time. I go in and be properly allocated. That’s. Fantastic. If we can pull donordigital into the system in appropriate ways appropriate permission that’s useful. And then on the reporting side can the program majors the staff get the information they need? The board have the ability to look at information. How rapidly does that cycle time occurred? You are bored still dealing with princessa reports air they logging in and looking how our systems, howard decisions about financial matters being tracked and recorded or discuss um that’s where process mapping comes into play and that’s why it’s so important to get all the people who touched the different aspects of that process involved in the selection. And then? And then, as you’re mapping what happens, you see gaps where technology can fill in or what? How does it contribute to the the well with the report identifies as the next step which is starting to look at software solutions. How does mapping relate to the software you identify? Pain point. Okay. Okay. So process mapping is is what are we spending a ton of time on that? Yeah. It’s really painful. So things like we’re spending x amount of time. You know, every month, every year, doing program allocations were spending way too much time trying to understand or put together a report for a donor, our thunder, in order to appropriately say, here’s, how we spent your dollars sort, that sort of fiduciary responsibility grant recipient has so it’s it’s that piece where you’re saying, you know, we’re burning a lot of staff time and effort on this. How do we start to fix that? And looking at then what? You know, what does that make? What if we were to alleviate that peace? If we automate payroll, if we automate expense tracking, if we automate or streamline different processes? Um what? What benefit have what does that free up that let’s? Just start to think about other things. Aunt checker, tackle other challenges. You okay? So i i understand now. Thank you. You see, this workflows on the on the board and you nine people are involved in it, and it takes weeks to produce. And you know that that kind of a pain point. Exactly. Okay. Okay. Cool. Alright, now. Something interesting? No, no. Shutter mike off. No, you cannot. I said you cannot use that word. Again, i don’t want to hear it. Yes, you can. You can you can mention something related. Please, please do i will another way. That process mapping can be helpful is to prevent you from replicating a bad process in a new system. So as an example, let’s say you map out this process and you get to a step where mary makes a photocopy of the expense report and filed it in a certain place in the basement, right? And when you’re doing the process mapping, you can ask the question, why did she do that? Why is that necessary? And you might find out that there’s really no reason to do that anymore. Maybe there was five years ago, but now it’s not anymore necessary. So then you won’t look for software package that makes that process easier. You’re just goingto eliminate that. Ok, ok, i’m giving you a time out because you use the word chime when i admonished you. Not too. So i’m going to andy. I was going to ask you this question i was going to, but now i’m not you’re in time out. Um okay, andy a cz you’re considering these systems and something new and how it relates to what you were existing systems are. The report makes clear that they don’t always all play well together. And yeah, and you’re not going to talk to me because i put karen in time out, so you’re not going to speak to me. Is that what is that? What i’m hearing? You know, you can hear me. All right? I hear you. Fine. Yeah. Ok. You’re not punishing me because i will just shut the show down. It’s, over it’s over. Okay, i’ll just start reading. I’ll just read. I’ll just read the guy that people don’t have to download. I’ll just start reading. We’ll put people to sleep. Okay, theo audiobook that’s, right? Ah, produced your notebook. Yeah. Then i’ll have. Then i’ve licensing troubles with either way. I don’t get involved with those people on illegal and in a legal battle anyway. All right, so you need to think about compatibility, right? Yeah. You need to look at what? What other system needs to speak to? So there’s a couple things that when you’re looking for a new system that may naturally walk you down a particular path, and sometimes it is simplest to stick with with with a vendor that makes him the adjacent product. So something that already is designed to track your donor? Management, maybe they also make a financial package, right? Like blackbaud damn well blackbaud sounds force is one of the classics are examples of this with things like razor’s edge, which is the donor management system covered in the other guide you mentioned, and then financial edge next-gen which is designed to work well with its other tools. So if you’re in a circumstance where you have ah, don’t particular donorsearch system it naturally lends itself to work well with another that’s that’s a particular case, thie other is some systems that you may be dealing with, where you’re dealing with a system installed on server many vendors that used to offer those now offer a posted or cloudy alternative, so it may be that you can stick with the system from the same the same similar software you’re familiar with, but a different package or solution from that vendor that gives you a little more flexibility and ability to access data. But you i think that the report says you just want this to be one factor, right? You don’t want to go, okay? We have sales force for constituent relationship management, so we’re going to do sales force. For financial management, and we’re not going to look at anything else. You don’t want that to you. I want to go that way either, right, right. It should be a just simply be a factor that as a system for consideration to your list, okay, you really have to consider a much broader range of things, okay, i understand. All right, i just, you know, you don’t just automatically go now. What about help with financial enough, with the transition once we’ve selected, ah, vendor, can we reasonably ask for help with the data migration? Is that a fair game? That will depend to some extent on the coolest the system you’re moving toward most of the as you basically is. You get larger in scale and the price point the ladder. Um, you do have the ability to get vendors. They are familiar and can help you move data from one system to another. In other cases that you know what you’re you’re a very small sort of grassroots agency, and you’re just using your going from track and stuff and excel or just your bank account statements to something, you’re less likely to be able to get that help. But often you can turn to a you know, turning your accountant turn to a professional firm that can help you with that transition is you get a little larger. Okay. Okay, karen, you’re you’re aah! All right, you’re out. Um, let’s, talk about the so the this transition, the when is the good time to make the transition? What this this whole transition process is going to look like from from our existing to our new financial management system. Most of the people that we talk to as experts for this report suggested that it’s best to do it at the beginning of a new fiscal year. And but that also might mean that you will be running the new system in the old system and parallel for a little while as a way of testing to make sure that everything’s working correctly. And they also suggested that an organization should plan maybe three to six months lead time before they’re cut over date for the transition time period. So it’s going to take awhile to train the users, make sure that everything is configured correctly and test everything running parallel. That that sounds like that’s. A pretty time intensive deal is running two systems parallel. Well, it is, but your financial data is pretty important that it’s accurate. So many organizations will decide that it’s worthwhile to do the extra effort of double entry to have the confidence that it’s absolutely accurate. Okay, okay, i see, and how long would you do that? I think that varies. You’d have to evaluate, you know, how important is it to do a really thorough test? How much work is it for me? You know, if i was to do this, that idealware i would probably do it for a couple of days. Honestly, they’re pretty simple. And the stakes are fairly low for us. But if i were, say, the humane society of the united states, i might plan a little more than a few days. Okay. Yeah, you were alright. So all right, just gonna value on complexity. Which andy is a point that andy made earlier too. Okay, we have ah, fair amount of time left. I feel like we should get to the gate to the landscape of of systems, can you? Karen, can you? Ah found now i’m feeling bad that i put in time out. I never i don’t think i’ve done that before. I get to first, but so i’m now i’m feeling bad about it. So i’m sorry i made i made do it may do it again. I’m not sorry enough to not never do it again but so don’t transgress. But are you can you talk? About sort of an overview of the of the marketplace before we get to a couple of specifics. Sure, there are a number of systems that we covered that have all of the core functionality that you would expect in a financial management system, including the general ledger like, which is just tracking all the transactions in and out expenses, and, um, and income and things like that. It will also generate the three most important standard report that people use for financial management, the balance sheets, the income statements and the cash flow statement of cash flow or cash flow projection. And so you know, those all those systems that are in the first section of system listings in the guide i’ll have that basic functionality. Some of them also have some additional features that are a little more advanced, like payroll management, yeah, budget planning, more advanced reporting and coding and allocations. And and then there also is a group of tools that we thought was worth covering, even though they’re not specifically for nonprofit organizations and those are either low cost or even free services that are fairly simple, and they’re designed more for like freelancers entrepreneurs. Small businesses, but some non-profits have actually found them to be a good fit for their needs, too. We’re going, we’re going to move to a break, andy, while while we take this short break, i’m going to ask you, teo, reflect upon what karen just said and see if there’s anything additional you’d like to add. Gotta take a break, tell us credit card payment processing this’s, a long tale of passive revenue for you, you encourage local businesses that are already supporting you. Most likely they take credit cards. Will they move their payment processing over? To tell those tell us, of course, will look at their existing payment structure and give them a proposal with most likely lower fees. When they make the change to tell us you the non-profit earned fifty percent of telesis revenue for every single transaction indefinitely. Check out the video it’s at tony dot m a slash tony. Tell us for this long tale of passive revenue. Now let’s, go back to financial management software, the financial management software show with cannon andy, andy, anything that your reflection leads you to want teo add into what karen said. Sure, the thing that most notable for me in that first category of of system is that there’s a whole set of things that have moved from being client server to now hosted or or clouds those very clear distinctions answer how their systems are being offered. The he think in all of the systems to also keep an eye out for is the cloud. They are more advanced, incapable of supporting any sort of eyes, eyes. Something to look for. An fbi application programming interface for flandez programme and solution exchange information with programs and applications from other vendors. Okay, so a key thing to look for it, you know, what is this the vendor list that the system’s integrate with? Some of them have taken the step of having things like a sore. Where you concerned? Browsing looked for all the integration. So i’m looking for a payroll system. Hey, guess what? It works with the payroll vendor we used so that’s that so that sort of thing is, this is a first big step in that in that larger service system solution category. Ok. Thank you. Um, so let’s in our in our closing several minutes or so, let’s, let’s, talk about some of the individual ones. Now, karen, i do want to ask you how come in this report, uh, buyer’s guide. There isn’t. There isn’t one of those colorful charts like i was describing for the c r m that first brought me to idealware four, five years ago. How come, how come not not in this report? This is the first time that idealware has really covered this topic in death, and so we wanted to start by just looking at the landscape and helping people understand what their choices are and what the major points of differentiation might be that’s not to say that we won’t do something more in depth at some point. If there turns out to be a demand for that, then we well could. But this actually does use a little different methodology than a consumer report where we’re doing demonstrations of all the tools were working with the vendors to verify that all the information we write about them is factually accurate. That sort of thing is a little more involved process that we didn’t undertake at this first past looking at financial management system. So so the argast so this is the inaugural financial management system report, and you chose to publicly release it on non-profit radio. This is this is a double a double big deal. It’s your first one. No. Yeah. Listen to that enthusiasm, boy. Oh, knocking me over. Oh, my god. All right. Um ok. I get enough enthusiasm for all three of us. So that’s all right? I’m amusing myself. Um, okay. Eso are we comfortable naming a couple of these? You got you got abila financial edge. And you mentioned that one financial force fundez easy. How should we what’s the best way? I mean, i didn’t. I guess i didn’t really want to go. I item by item one of the features of this feature that you know, but how should we, uh, andy, i’ll defer to you, you’re you deal with a lot of zsystems what’s the best way to get people acquainted with the, uh, the landscape across these that we haven’t already done. Yeah, well, you know, actually using approach it took when it first started trying to sort some of this out. Okay, i think there’s some logical appearing now say that they can’t be used with other systems. Um, i think the system i’m most likely to see organizations use is some variant of quickbooks, right, that’s, that’s widely used. So i think you set that aside, start to look at them. You zsystems probably naturally lend themselves working well with partner systems. So things like financial force, which would pair very well with sales force because built on the same core platform, microsoft dynamics, which would be very strong if you’re working in that saying microsoft, cr, m, world and zsystems and then in financial edge obviously pairs well with blackbaud so those those sorts of solutions, you know, and then you start to move more towards a range of other things, you know, things like sage intact, which is many people will be familiar with because of it. That’s one of the solutions that epa dot com has endorsed on dh support so things like like that’s, our cloud solution would be familiar to many accountants across the country that would be likely helping organization. And then you move to the smaller set of all the smaller, more start up sorry they’re beyond start up in a blanket, but they’re still in there not not as wide market traction necessarily as those others and what gets interesting. They’re sort of the small business models pricing model, very significantly pricing it’s, less expensive. Well, it’s, just it gets interesting. So you look at things like freshbooks which is structured in charging by the number of clients you were tracking in the system. Kiss you, which is adding bundling for a fee of software plus access to a bookkeeper on a monthly basis. Uh, wave which is free, but charges based on a percentage of your financial transaction xero which is cloud native and really focused on building out a lot of connection. Tow hundred, the different system. So those types of zoho books which is more of a part of a bundle there, wanting to sell your old bundle of things that make your needs what’s interesting to meet is how the larger, more established, typical systems are embracing cloud and starting trying to evolve to add connections. And the smaller one are tryingto rapidly iterated in order to serve, to provide more robust services and more built out systems. So that’s for me that’s. What makes this landscape interesting? Yeah. Okay, so the bigger ones are trying to collaborate more. And the smaller ones are trying to get be more robust in and more comprehensive. Exactly. And the rate at which each does does those things is really fascinating. There’s a there’s. A sidebar. I think it is on on pricing. Some. Some are very upfront. And the prices are clear on the on their site. And you can get started immediately with a credit card and then others. They’re not transparent about pricing. Yeah, this is something i find very interesting, i think. It’s symptomatic of a little bit of serve. What? I reference just just now, the traditional vendors have been able to do the survey, you know, call us, you know, sort of the please inquire if you’re interested. If you have to ask about price, you’re not really, you know, it’s, you know, you need to be large enough to be able to have that conversation. Um, the more forward thinking cloud native systems and some are evolving rapidly are more transparent about providing price. There is a bit of irony and some of this i find that some of these vendors will you look at their sight and you say, oh, you know, buy-in pricing financial information is very important, and then you look for pricing and you can’t find it, which seems to be a very critical piece of priceless information to me. Yeah, all right. So some just they want to have a conference. They want to have a conversation with a sales person, in some cases in others it’s also about making sure the system system and really meet your needs so it can be for useful and constructive purposes. Not completely unreasonable, but but absolutely but it’s, very interesting, metoo to the vendors. They’re cheating the public pricing and that’s that, well, they still need to have that conversation right. We just have about two minutes left. Karen, how do you feel about systems that are specifically designed for non-profits versus systems that are not like a quick books? You have an opinion on those on that one versus the other. If i were just to be randomly assigned it non-profit and i had to advise them on which three products they should take a look at, um, i might say without knowing anything about them, i made say, let’s, look at three that are built for nonprofit organizations, but but that’s not to say that the ones that are built for kind of general purpose can’t be a good fit. So in some cases, especially where they need, they’re pretty simple. Those can actually be a very affordable and practical option. Okay, okay. Um, let’s see, we just have, like, a minute or so left. Andy, you want to you want to give me a closing thought, andy in ah, in about thirty seconds. We’re lucky to have a lot of options. Understand your need. Oh, and, uh, be open, tio, rethinking how you work and making sure that your financial system is working for you and that you’re not just putting data into the system to create reports. Yes, thank you. I love especially be be willing to rethink that’s. Andy wolber, technology consultant to non-profits he’s at a wolber and wolber works dotcom guarantee. Graham, would you like tio wrap up in about twenty seconds since andy covered that i want to go in a little different direction and say that, you know, every non-profit leader is expected to understand the basics of financial management, like they need to know how to interpret a balance sheet. Um, but there’s not as much of an expectation that they know how to select software and how to get the most out of their software investment, i think that’s something that needs to change, and i hope that by reading this guide that non-profit leaders will be able to acquire some of those skills. All right, get the report for god’s sake idealware dot or ge on the home page or search for the word financial and those closing words from karin t graham, executive director of idealware she’s at guarantee graham idealware is at idealware dot or ge, thanks to you both. Thank you, my pleasure. Next week, a conversation with adam braun, founder of pencils of promise. If you missed any part of today’s show, i beseech you, find it on tony martignetti dot com were supported by pursuant online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled tony dahna, slash pursuant to radio weinger cpas, guiding you beyond the numbers when you’re cps, dot com and tell those credit card payment processing your passive revenue stream. Tony dahna slash tony tell us. Ah, creative producers claire meyerhoff, sam liebowitz is here is the line producer shows social media is by susan chavez. On our music is by scott stein of brooklyn. With me next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and be great. You’re listening to the talking alternative network to get into thinking. Dahna good duitz are you stuck in a rut? Negative thoughts, feelings and conversations got you down. Hi. I’m nor ing. Sometimes the potentially ater tune in every tuesday line to ten eastern time and listen for new ideas on my show. Beyond potential live life your way on talk radio dot n y c. Are you feeling unhappy with your body, shape or size? Ever feel out of control with food? I’m elizabeth from nourish the soul, and on the show, you’ll uncover the route to these imbalances and discover a permanent solution. Latto having a healthy relationship to food and your body. Join us every thursday morning at eleven a, m eastern time on talk radio dot. Hey, all you crazy listeners looking to boost your business? Why not advertise on talking alternative with very reasonable rates? 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Nonprofit Radio for May 5, 2017: Idealware New Release!

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Karen Graham: Idealware New Release!

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Schnoll hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, i’m glad you’re with me. I come down with high potro pia, if i saw that you missed today’s show idealware new release, karen graham, executive director, would idealware announces their new publication to help you use technology smarter. She has a discount for non-profit radio listeners, you need to know this organization and it’s valuable work and this new resource antonio, take two sexual harassment in non-profits we’re sponsored by pursuing two full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled, you’ll raise more money pursuant dot com and by we be spelling supercool spelling bee fundraisers, wee bey e spelling dot com i am so pleased to have karen graham back on the show and in the studio this time she’s a sort after speaker, trainer, writer and consultant with expertise in technology, leadership and innovation non-profit software and digital strategy. As idealware sze, executive director, she leads a team of researchers, presenters and writers who create technology information resource is to help non-profit leaders put their vision into action thereon idealware dot or ge and she’s at karin t gram. Welcome guarantee, graham. Thanks, tony. That’s. A pleasure to have you in the studio this time. What’s the tea for the tea and karen tigre off. Theresa theresa now, karen teresa? Yes, we must. Yes. Ok. Last time you were on the show was from sixteen and t c the non-profit technology conference last year. And you were talking about virtual order eggs idealware is a virtual organization. And you were talking about how to manage that tell us about idealware i really think this is something that i mean we highlighted you made you idealware listener of the week a month, a couple months ago or so. And i really do that for organizations it’s, usually for people. But idealware is outstanding. Tell us i need to know more about how extending it is. Thanks. I think it’s outstanding tio it’s a great place to work and that really a privilege to lead idealware but so here’s, what we do, we are a small nonprofit organization, and we also exist to serve small non-profits actually non-profits of all sides. But i think that the smaller ones that don’t have a lot of internal resource is about technology that don’t have people on their staff can stand to benefit the most from what we dio and are we talking about something like eighty five or ninety percent of non-profits exactly, i mean, this this show is a big non-profit agent for the other ninety five percent when we know that upper five percent has these professionals that you’re talking about, but i don’t know, maybe the other may be a small percentage of the other ninety five does does also, but not very money, right? Well, and we we know, i think your listeners probably understand that technology is really important for non-profits heard rumors to that effect on the show you so hopefully i don’t have to persuade people of that, but but we also know that a lot of non-profits, especially the smaller ones, really struggle to tap into the power of technology and it’s because they’re lacking the knowledge and the skills, and the resource is to really take advantage of it, and so idealware tries to be part of the solution to that, and so the core of what we do is impartial research on technology for the nonprofit sector and i’m gonna stop you at the impartial research partner. Do you object to me saying that you’re the consumer reports of non-profit technology? Some of my colleagues might object to that a little bit, but i think that’s a great shorthand way of describing what i do bilich dahna certainly all the feature you don’t take advertising companies don’t donate their software to you. I don’t think for evaluation do they just do not donate it all right? Ah, so your objective in that respect on dure i think your reviews are my voice just cracked reviews are just as comprehensive, and we’re going to talk about that exciting. We’re gonna talk about that in the announcement. That’s coming up, but yeah, i mean, you’re impartial objective. I’ve been citing idealware reports for years before we met before, i really was familiar with what idealware was just years ago on the show, because someone mentioned one of your reports. That was it was a comparison i think of of donorsearch hannes mint software or it might have been fund-raising software, but but i went through and i read the report and i saw the chart with all the bullets of different features, and it talked about features that you might need based on the size of your organisation and it just since then it struck me as very similar to consumer and just as valuable as consumer reports. People tell me all the time that they have that kind of experience where they’ve come across one of our consumers guides and you’re talking about the consumer’s guide to low cost donorsearch zsystems which is now and it’s, maybe fourth or fifth edition. I am that’s why i’m talking, you have to tell me what i’m talking about, and i rarely know. We just released the twenty seventeen edition in partnership with an ten a few weeks back, you know? Why aren’t you called the non-profit technology network? Well, it’s where they stole it, you should be the non-profit technology network. I don’t think that you know amy amy’s on the show every month, she’s, our social media contributor. Yeah, and there should be a social technology non-profit technology network, not them. Well, they’re they’re the network because their membership organization and idealware is not some of the misconceptions that people have about us, is we’re? We’re not a membership organization. And we also don’t do one on one consulting with non-profits i guess our bottle is more like a publisher in that we’re trying teo create some economies of scale in doing research and creating publications and resource asses that can benefit lots and lots of people, and so much of your your content is free. Yes, we’re not what we’re about to announce. Although we got a discount for this into the cracked voice, we’ve got discount for non-profit radio listeners coming up teasing, but but so much of your content like that survey. But you said i was talking about for five years and consumer guide that was free. I mean, i just went on your website, someone had referred me to it, and we talked about it on the show, right? So so much of your content is free and on our website, people also find workbooks that guide them through different kinds of decision making processes. Right now, we’re working on a new work book, which will come out in another month or two about developing security and bring your own device policies so it’s not just software that idealware covers it’s also policies and best practices and so that’s maybe the difference between idealware and consumer reports okay, that we’re not just doing reviews, but we’re also trying to help people get the most out of the technology that they have with policies and administrative practices things right? So you’re more you’re more robust than your consumer reports, plus that’s a policy in his administration best practices more than all right, all right. Let’s ah, that’s how we want to do this let’s go out for our break a little early when we come back we’ve got the big announcement the major announcement major announcement of the new uh, the new guide on dh then we’re gonna talk through it stay with us you’re tuned to non-profit radio tony martignetti also hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a quick ten minute burst of fund-raising insights published once a month. Tony’s guests are expert in crowdfunding, mobile giving event fund-raising direct mail and donor cultivation. Really all the fund-raising issues that make you wonder am i doing this right? Is there a better way there is? Find the fund-raising fundamentals archive it. Tony martignetti dot com that’s t i g e n e t t i remember there’s, a g before the end, thousands of listeners have subscribed on itunes. You can also learn maura, the chronicle website. Philanthropy dot com fund-raising fundamentals the better way. Dahna welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent guaranty graham, karen, theresa graham you have a major announcement major a love letter could say major award was not a major war, but you have a major announcement. What is the publication that is brand new that idealware has it’s the field guide to software for non-profits excellent twenty seventeen version yes isn’t even is even available now. It is now available on amazon, amazon, and i’m excited to say that this year, for the first time, it will be available as a kindle ebook as well as a paper version. Congratulations technology organisation uses smart use of technology all right, so we wanted to do that for a while. So so it is the field guide to software for non-profits, and we have a discount graciously provided by idealware if if you go for non-profit radio listeners, if you go to idealware dot org’s slash non-profit radio couldn’t be simpler. That’s a idealware dot org’s slash non-profit radio you will get the discount. The instructions are right there, and we’re going to say that multiple times throughout the show. Congratulations on the twenty seventeen field guide. Now, this is an updated version of previous work-life s we have published this book before, but it’s been a few years, and so this year we just went through every single word of it, and we checked all the research and updated a lot of thing things. And so this is significantly different than the previous version because, as you know, technology that changes so fast that a book from twenty fourteen is hardly even relevant anymore. So, almost even last year, it’s. Too early last year. Now the field guide. This reminds me of something i had in boy scouts and boy scouts. I had a field guide where it taught how to build a fire. Proper use of an axe. Ah, so it reminded me of my boy scout field guide years is there’s a little thinner? My boy scouts. Well, my boyfriend’s got field guy was more compact page size wise, but it was a it was a fatter thing. Well, and it’s it’s not unlike that kind of field guide, i think. And in two ways one, your maximum ship in there. I don’t know how to build a city teepee. Fire versus log cabin. Fire, you have that we don’t have, you don’t have that. But but we’ve got all the basics of forty some different categories of software in here, but i think the way it’s like that kind of field guide is that it’s it’s, fairly lightweight it’s ah, how many pages is this? About a hundred ninety pages? And so it’s not going to go in depth on any particular subject, just like, you know, with building a fire, you’re not goingto read about all about the history building fires and, you know, three hundred different ways to build fires in different conditions similar to that this is going to spend maybe two or three pages on each category of software, but it will give you everything you need to know on the fly. And and then, of course, if you want to dig deeper into a specific topic, there are lots of other resource is like our consumer guides that will help you do that. Okay, all right, fair enough, it’s also, i think, like like a traditional boy scout field guide or other kinds of field guides in that it’s useful for people who have a lot of experience. But also for beginners. Okay, that is important, right? So you don’t have to be ah, a tech geek, teo, to benefit from field guide, right? And likewise, in my scout longfield gotta remember, boy scouts was founded by i mean, it did have a history, but baden powell latto buy-in powers, the founder of boy scouts. I forget the year i actually even i figure this century, but, ah, lord powell. Nonetheless, um you are probably often asked what is the best software for human resource is or fund-raising management or accounting? And that that doesn’t that doesn’t sit so well. It’s not that’s not a valuable question to ask, is it? Have we talked about this before? I think we either have or i’m just very insightful, so let’s just assume the ladder i’m from the midwest, and so when people ask me questions that i think are stupid, i usually don’t say so outright, okay? I didn’t say stupid i tried to be very nice about it, but i said i’m not the most valuable or helpful question, but honestly, when people ask me what’s the best fund-raising software example inside, i’m thinking that is the wrong question, but the right question is, what is the best fund-raising software for me or for my organization? And that answer will be different for every organization s o that that’s a really key component of idealware approach is that we don’t say which software is the best, but rather we help people make that decision for themselves by understanding a lot of detail about their own requirements. What is possible to do with software and then what they’re different options are and what the strengths and weaknesses of different systems might be. And you have a whole section in the book devoted to selection, selection and implementation, and i’m going to take a little romp through the the table of contents cause i want people to see we’re going to do this. I’m going to just a couple times through the show, but i just wanted people to get an idea of the breath of what’s in this what’s in the field guide me so there’s there’s, a major section on back office and productivity and within that there’s accounting and credit card zsystems document management, email calendar, fire file, back-up recovery firewalls, hr office management, then there’s, a major section on analytics analyzing your organization’s data. Ah analyzing paper data, custom reporting tools, dashboards, maps and geographical information measuring social media, online listening program evaluation. All right, so we’re going to stop there for now, but that’s just a couple of the major sections. I mean, other section collaboration, constituent management. So i just said, we’re gonna stop there and i kept going, but so i get, you know, i’m excited by this because the the number of topics you cover and the depth and then there’s a section on helping you helping choose and in and within each of the conversations, the topics you’re talking about, if you’re small organisation with under a thousand records or a certain budget, you know, this might make more sense than if you’re a larger organizations with a thousand twenty five thousand records, etcetera or larger, you know you’re breaking it down so there’s great value here i want people to understand that, alright discount idealware dot org’s slash non-profit radio okay, and don’t forget the case studies too. I think that’s an important part of this book we start right towards the beginning with three case studies and there’s a fourth one at the end in the implementation section and those what we found is that those were able to put it all together. Those hypothetical yes, hypothetical, but realistic. Yes, syria is very important. Footnote. I was trained in law school. Always read the footnotes hypothetical but realistic. I mean, put together by you by obviously, by the team that wrote this and idealware yeah, right, but they’re all of the scenarios and there are based on riel organization, but we’ve used a little bit of poetic license, i suppose. Okay, you’re out about it. I mean, not you. Well, you’d buried in footnote, but i mean it. Sze imprint, right? Its imprint. You’re right. They are hypothetical case studies, but i think that they help people. Teo, imagine themselves in that situation and think about all the different kinds of software and kinds of decisions about technology that they need to make. All right, all right. That’s going to aa detail now that we know that there is no best package in each of these areas, it depends on your organization. All right. Um, you’ve got a section on what every organization needs. I mean, there seems to be basic. Not what package or what system or whether online. Oh, our cloud based or installed is better. No, not that. But basic areas of function that it seems like every non-profit should be using technology in. Right? All right. So let’s, let’s, let’s, cover a couple. Those like you start with a back office. Productivity. What are some that just every organization ought to be using. Well, just about every organization needs. Some way to manage their files to do file back-up things like that. They also need an e mail system for internal office emails, so and calendars ofthis software for word processing, spreadsheets, things like that. So that’s that’s the type of thing that falls under this category and now, if you’re gonna have email, you’re obviously online, so you’re going to need virus protection, right? And probably should be looking at firewalls to okay, okay, um, and the reason we put that first is because if that stuff isn’t an order, it’s not really worth while to be paying attention to some of the communications and outreach tools it’s it’s like trying to paint your walls when your basement is flooded? Um, you know, there’s just kind of a hierarchy of needs that non-profit has have when it comes to technology, and so you need to take care of the back office and make sure that that stuff is is just working well, you have a solid internet connection, that sort of thing first as a foundation for everything else, let’s not go too far on the home improvement metaphors, because i’m a cz good at that, as i am at sports, which i confused the other day the field goal i thought that was baseball, so i thought that was the three pointer so let’s not go too far get agreed. I’ve tried to repair toilets, i had to replace the handle and i end up cracking the tank. I didn’t have to take it off, but when i put it back on, i tightened it too hard and the islamic cracked unaided old toilet for the for the five, ninety nine handle i was trying to replace aunt, of course a plumber to go with it, so let’s end the home improvement and metaphors and don’t start on sports. Alright, alright, but those constraints okay, so, you know, a lot of times i get the question how do we get to the next level? And some of these basic tools are that? I mean, if you’re if you if you don’t have a good file management system, if you’re working with more than one person, if your organization is more than one person, you need to be file sharing files and they’d be backing them up. So, you know, how do you get to the next level? You need to have this. I don’t want you the word foundation these basics because the foundation is the bottom of the house, so but you need to have these basics before you can get to the next level. Okay, let’s, go a little further on some basics like you talk about the analytics measuring how effective the organization is, right and that that is often the next place that organizations go because using data well is something that can have a huge impact on an organization’s ability to deliver on their mission. Once you’ve got those those fundamentals taken care of, then they’re often moving, too. Um, you know, what kind of tools do we need in place to collect data to manage data and then to report on it and use it to tell our story, but also to make decisions about the organization from day to day about, like, how do we allocate resources? How do we do future planning dahna can help with all of that, and so we cover a number of analytics tools and dahna presentation tools in here, ok, can help with that let’s move to the all important area of fund-raising donor relationship management, things like that, what is most likely needed in place for that stuff and that’s actually, the area that i probably know most about when i was a consultant, i did a lot of software selection process passes with organizations that we’re looking at donorsearch sustainers or grants management systems are or, you know, whatever the appropriate system was for their type of organization. And, you know, these days, almost no one can manage their constituent dahna and excel anymore and it’s becoming more and more risky, i think, to use a customized system, especially as a smaller organization, because the cost of that the cost of ownership for that and the limitations of it can often be really unattractive compared to cloud based systems. And so that you will find in a lot of idealware is work, including in this book, that we tend to nudge these smaller organizations toward software’s, the service and cloudgood based solutions you do especially for data management. Yeah. Okay. Why’s, that why’s our preference for those you think for the smaller or eggs. Well, it’s, there are much more robust features for security. For one thing, i mean that’s, not something. That a lot of people think about straight off, but i do because i want everybody’s data to be secure and well backed up, and so when you’re using a cloud based system, the the level of back-up insecurity is usually much more than any non-profit could afford on its own if they were doing that in house. And so i mean, really, if you are hit by hurricane and you like your office floods, i don’t know you lose electricity, whatever, you can’t access anything there, then if you have a cloud based system, you can go to another location and log in and immediately you have access to everything again. So that’s just one example. Not that people are facing hurricanes very often. Well, the midwest girl tornadoes, it can happen. It could just be a power outage in your local areas are in your office, but your home is okay. Or you can get to somewhere else. Someone else’s home and operate from there. Or you can use your battery and still work. Or maybe your computer just crashes and then you lose a bunch of stuff. If it’s not well backed up, you know. So it was just nice to have all that taking care of it’s also, i think at the then he just for a small organization, teo, just try to take advantage of tools that have been developed based on the most common needs of non-profits like yours and people have a tendency to think that they’re they’re really special, and they are they’re all special, but but sometimes there needs as non-profits or not as unique as we believe they are, and ultimately it can be more effective to just adjust your business processes and your expectations a little bit in order to take advantage of inexpensive, easy to use tools that exist that probably addressed ninety percent of your needs and the rest, you have to question whether those air true needs or if they’re just preferences, ok, you are right, and whether people processes might be able to just adapt right a bit. Now i know that there’s ah, a lot of hesitation to adapt people to the technology. The feeling is that the technology should be assisting us in the way we work. But, you know, if you have to compromise and ten percent of what you what the way you worked to get ninety percent of what you need. It seems like that would be a fair. There’ll be a fair trade off. Yeah, and i hold those two things intention all the time, you know, like, while i’m saying, just compromise and sort of go with with what everybody else is doing at the same time out of the other side of my mouth, i’m saying, like, no, you need to be innovative and on don’t just accept what everybody else is doing, do something different. So it’s, i don’t know some somewhere in between those two extremes is probably the right way. Okay, okay, um, and we’ve had we’ve had guests on actually from talking about subjects like what if your what if technology isn’t your problem? That was a good panel. I think that was from think that was from twenty fifteen. You know, where you’re blaming technology, but really it’s people, attitudes and culture that are your issue. And it was a bunch of software consultants, some of them two of them were our consultants for sales force. You know, help organizations implement sales force in their in their offices, and they were suggesting that, you know, technology can’t solve problems that are people based, i would say amen to that some of their speaking yes, yeah, that that’s part of the reason that in this book, we include the section about defining your needs and making comparisons and managing an implementation process, because there are so many people issues that can easily be overlooked there. And so here’s one example, i talked with an organization that had gotten new software maybe a year ago, and they were the executive director was so frustrated because nobody was using this new software, and i started to ask him questions about their process and, you know, like, who was involved in selecting the software who had input into this? And she said, well, it was it was a boardmember who just sort of did this as a project for us, and so they researched options, and they recommended a package, and then we just went with that, and so the staff who were the end users of the tool had no input into the process at all, and they felt that it was being imposed on them on dh, so of course they’re going to kind. Of dig in their heels and and not go along with that and because, first of all, they didn’t feel included, and secondly, it didn’t meet their needs the and they hadn’t had a chance to express those needs. And so there are a lot of things that you because they weren’t included, right? Yeah, there are a lot of things that you could do early on in a process like that that paved the way for user adoption down the road and that’s important because you could spend easily, like forty, fifty thousand dollars on a case management system, which is one of the categories that’s covered in the field guide just in the first year, and if people aren’t using it, that is a lot of money that’s being wasted and that’s a huge opportunity cost as well, because if you’re not using the software for what it’s intended to do, then you know, maybe you’re not serving people as well. Maybe you’re not getting good data about the impact of your work, and that inhibits your ability to raise money in the future. And, you know, there’s just like a lot of consequences to a bad software. Decision and a badly run implementation process if you want to find that that show that i was talking about the panel which deals with the issues that karen is just mentioning, i don’t know what we called it for sure, but i remember two of the guests that were on it, and i think one is an idealware adviser robert winer. Yes, right. He’s a good friend of ours. So you could go to tony martignetti dot com search. His last name, whiner w e i n e r and also tracy kronzak was on that panel. So k r o n t z a k. So if you searching through their names, you’ll find that that particular show um okay, let’s, let’s start to go into a little detail about your expertise, which is in the constituent relationship management and donor management system area, right of the of the book. Um, what’s ah, where should we? Where should we start when we’re talking about constituent relationship management? Well, probably idealware is most popular. Resource is air about donorsearch zsystems so that’s that’s maybe a good place to start because every non-profit organization, i think, has donors and so reserved about them to manage you won’t be an anarchist than all right, we’ll do it your way. Uh, is the donor management is a subset of considering management because they’re they’re wanting some of your donors and the others are vendors and employees and volunteers, right? All right, so you don’t know management let’s go there, let’s, go there. What do you want to know? Where, um i wanna take a break, and then we’ll compose our thoughts about dahna management systems and count and i will will continue very shortly. First, i need to talk about pursuant. They have their fund-raising camp coming up and this is a one day intensive on site. It will challenge the way you think about identifying major gift prospects and managing a portfolio and managing and managing a relationship pond leading up to your your solicitation you’re asked. I know you need to raise more money. I hear that all the time. And if you want to take your fund-raising to the next level, aside from software, obviously what we’re talking about all day today. But in addition to that, there are processes that you need and relationship management methods and that’s. What this boot camp will help you with and space is limited. They aren’t keeping it to a small group. It’s the fund-raising boot camp you go to pursuing dot com click resource is and then training we be spelling spelling bees for millennial fundraisers fund-raising it’s a night out to raise money for your organization this is not a night that is benefiting half a dozen organizations. These are custom made for you in your location and it’s not your seventh grade spelling bee with dance and stand up comedy and live music, et cetera. It’s all gets set up, it’ll get set up for you it’s your organization’s fund-raising night check out the video is that we be e spelling dot com and they get in touch with ceo alex career and you could find out more it’s all that we be e spelling now. Tony steak, too sexual harassment in the non-profit workplace i’m interested in what your experiences it’s, timely it’s in the news and i but i don’t see anybody talking about it with respect to non-profits, but pretty confident it’s there i blogged this not this exact topic in two thousand eleven, i blogged about sexism in the non-profit workplace not identical, i know that, but that’s the closest i’ve come to this topic before now, and this the stories were rampant. It was my most commented post that was back when i used to write block post now, of course, it’s all video, but it was the most commented post, so since it’s in the news, i’d like to bring it home to non-profits and i’m interested in aa hearing from victims hr professionals, attorneys richness is to something inappropriate. Anybody with an opinion about sexual harassment in the non-profit workplace let’s, talk about it. You can comment anonymously on the video i disabled the requirement for email address so you can do it anonymously, and the video is at tony martignetti dot com that is tony’s take two. Karen graham is the executive director of idealware idealware dot or ge she’s at karin t gram and i need to take my another romp through the contents of the field guide on section five collaboration board support software elearning file sharing internets and portals learning management systems online chat section six constituent management, which we’re about to talk about. Well, i was going to talk about it broadly, but karen anarchist so would do it her way. But there is a section on constituent relationship management, advocacy oriented cr, ems all in one case management donorsearch panitch mint systems volunteermatch judgment zsystems um fund-raising and events a major, major what’s their crowd funding a peer-to-peer fund-raising systems event, an auction management event registration foundation grants research, online auctions, online donations amazing. I’m just reading through the table of contents you’ve got to get this thing is the field guide two non-profit to software for non-profits and of course, your discount is at idealware dot or ge slash non-profit radio get the get the get the darn thing. Get the discount. You gotta have this thing. It’s an amazon forgot. Take him and that’s it. That doesn’t say anything, but you gotta have this lots of things on amazon that are worthless, but this is not among them. All right, thank you for indulging my romp through the contents, etcetera. Okay, so if we’re gonna talk about dahna management way, dont have to dive into that, you know, we’re not going back now. Now we’re not flip flopping. No use committed me. All right. Um, we need to use the book says for most of the ability to handle both gifts and pledges, including recurring gift that sounds pretty basic. We need to handle these things, right? Right, ok, where do we go? How do we decide or what should we be thinking about in determining what’s, our what’s, the best dahna management system for us? Well, some of the things that i think differentiate different fund-raising programs are how much they emphasize pledges and recurring gifts, although more and more, almost every non-profit is doing that these days. There also are some differences in these systems in terms of how they handle relationships, and i don’t know if that’s actually i don’t i don’t really see that highlighted here, but that’s something that i have personally found varies a little bit from one system to the next. So just to get a little more more specific on that let’s say that my husband and i are both involved in an organization we give jointly as a household, but i’m on the board of directors and he is not he volunteers for another particular activity, but i don’t, you know, so we each have our own individual relationship in preference is related to this organization. So it’s a rocky marriage, it’s not table, is not stable marriage it’s a great marriage, you know, but but partly because we sometimes do our own thing. And so organizations need constituent relationship management system that can honor people as individuals, but that can also treat them in some cases as a household. So that’s that’s a feature that i think it’s important to look at and see if that seems user friendly to you, you and and sort of meets your needs there. Another thing that might be a priority for some organizations and not for others is whether the system is is available not just available, but really functional on a mobile device so that’s essential. I mean, don’t we know, like something like seventy five or eighty five percent of emails or something are opened on mobile devices now and websites needs? I mean, if your website is not mobile response of your donation pages, not mobile responsive. I think you’re way behind the curve that’s his standard at this point, but i know that’s just elearning but let’s say, you know, i’m a development. Director, do i want to be able to look up a donor right before i’m going to meet with them while i’m on the train and just read a little bit about their history or after my meeting? Do i want to be able to log some notes and created follow-up task about that donor on my phone? Those are things that some systems support really well, and others really don’t, and you’re probably not going to find great support on a mobile device for complex reporting analytics assembling a mail merge, you know, that sort of thing is what you would rip out your desk, right? But but some of those things related to meetings and interactions with donors are some systems support that really well on mobile devices, and and others haven’t really made that a priority yet, i would say they’re probably all moving more in that direction. Okay, okay, um, credit cards, we gotta talk about credit card processing and often that is handled by a third party. So for example, i actually try not to name specific technology vendors very much when i when i talked like this because i don’t want to give the impression that idealware favors one over any of the others. But i will say the book has reviews, it does it doesn’t kayman number saying and think, yeah, yeah, also for credit card prices processing, i can tell you idealware has an account with authorized dot net as our payment processor and and that integrates with our donor management system and so that’s a very common way of doing it. You’ll have a payment gateway that actually handles the credit card processing. But then the data is shared with your donor zsystems and that’s, where all the records of the gifts and donors and histories live. Okay, i don’t want you holding out on non-profit radio listeners. I mean, the discount is very nice, but we gotta go beyond that’s. Just the money we get value. Okay, you’re not holding back. I won’t let you. Um, yeah. And the book actually is very clear about naming. Like i said, different different vendor’s alternatives. Pricing. What might be appropriate for your size organization, etcetera. Consumer reports, plus reports. Plus just report. Yes. Um, can we talk a little bit more in general about serum? Do you mind if we could just get me off! You took me off. Well, we’re just we’re lifting off. You know, we’re in the helicopter were just going up higher and metaphors flying. I don’t know what a pilot either. All right? Yeah. Let’s talk about you because i think you feel strongly about it. You tried before and i said no. And now you’re back to it a third time. Okay? I’m just going to keep pushing. We would like to say i i think it’s important to look at it. We could wrap latto out. Let’s, move to fund-raising. Go ahead. What do you want, it’s important to look at? The whole landscape of different kinds of serum. And one one choice that people have to make is do they have it all in one constituent relationship management system? Or do they have specialized tools for different purposes? So think about it non-profits constituents, their donors, clients or service recipients. You know, whatever that might mean for your organization patrons, maybe, maybe its members, volunteers. And there are a number of different kinds of constituents that non-profit is interacting with. And what about vendors? I mentioned vendors could be included in here. Definitely. Okay. Trustees mean there are higher level of volunteer, right? That’s. What? I think that’s should be treated as a separate constituency. Okay, so lots of i mean, there are probably thirty or forty different kinds of constituents that the car brainstorm if you took the time. So so one way to do it is to choose one tool like one. Great to rule them all. You know, one one tool that sort of does everything. And in the book, we describe that as the swiss army knife approach. So if you think about a swiss army knife it’s, a great multipurpose tool that you can put in your pocket. It’s, inexpensive, lightweight. If you need to build a house, you’re probably not gonna use a swiss army knife, right? Yeah. That’s. My problem about specialized tool when i try home improvement that’s my toolbox. Yeah, on the tweezers. I didn’t find very valuable for the toilet repair. Well, so if your needs are pretty simple and if simplicity is important and if a low cost is is really essential assed. Well, then that’s what’s army knife approach might actually be really great. I mean, it doesn’t have a phillips and a flathead screwdriver way. Really versatile. Gotta fish. Official remover. I mean it’s de scaler. I mean, my swiss army knife is quite robust. Probably got eighteen or twenty things on there, so we have some exam glass screwdriver. Thie i glad the way the eyeglass screwdriver weaves into the corkscrew. It’s. Amazing. Have you seen that the corkscrew hold the eyeglass screwdriver because it has a little groove and it rolls into the corkscrew. He’s. Brilliant. Brilliant. So don’t don’t diss my my swiss army knife. All right, well, i’m not s o those those all in one kind of tools. They could be great. They work, they can work. All right. That’s, one way of doing it. But there are also choices for first specialized tools. And so there are a set of software applications for case management, which is that’s, where you would keep track of your client’s service recipients. There are some very specialized tools that are made for arts organizations that handle data about patrons. Ticketing not sort of thing. There that’s that’s a whole other events event ticketing, event processing, payment, processing, sponsorship. Okay, that’s a digression. Goods are their specialized tools for membership. Organizations or for association management, clearly, for doner management, we’ve we’ve probably talked about that enough your expertise there are all sorts of lt tools in this this space as well, and s so if you’re using maybe three different things one to keep track of your client’s one for donors, one for volunteers, then you likely need some way to tie that all together. And so that might mean an a p i that might mean just a process of wei have jargon jail on non-profit radio a p i that you know, i’m not even going to say what that stands for, ok, what is because it doesn’t matter what it means. Is it’s just a way for different databases to talk to each other? The way for them to exchange data? I’ve heard the phrase a p i call it’s a calling data from another system or table or something like that, right? All right, sharing data. Watch your step non-profit radio jargon jail. So there are more and more ways that air developing now to share data between systems, i think that’s becoming more important as organizations become more sophisticated and start to use more of these specialized tools, but then they think, well, wait a minute. What if we want to know how many of our donors are also volunteers? We need to get those system to talk to each other. Okay? And that’s tables, tables all talk to each other in the background, right? The tables are all talking to each other. It’s gonna be okay? Yeah. All right, all right. That’s, that’s. I have a degree in information system, so i know about tables and all right? We don’t have a prize when i was in college, though. All right now there’s some gold here when you start to get into actual talking about particular system donorsearch panitch mint systems. Um, let’s say, you say among the best values for organizations starting out or that have a small list fewer than a thousand records is little green light. I hope you don’t mind me saying this that’s missing that’s in the book it’s in the guy uh uh, which offers a basic package at four hundred twenty five dollars, plus discounts for new users via text soup. All right, so i mean that’s, the kind that’s. A level of detail that thing gets the guy gets it. I mean, it actually starts talking about now. Let’s, talk a little about tech suit, but some people may not be acquainted with with what that is and how it can help there. Technology work pre-tax soup is wonderful. There, there. Ah, good front of idealware as well along with and ten and texas does many different things, but one thing that’s really relevant here is that they are a distributor of discounts on software and hardware tools for nonprofit organizations. So so, for example, if you want to get adobe products at a deep discount, then you khun sign up for tech soup. You can register with them, and then you’re able to do that. I got my headset, which i used in my home office. I’ve a wireless had said at about an eighty percent discount, and the box came packed with tootsie rolls. Uh, and i got that through text soup. So cubine ended the cookie rolls. Well, it wasn’t actually. Valium sets dot com, i think, but they distribute their non-profit discounts through text soup. So eh? So if you’re looking for any of the software that is covered in the field guide or really any kind of technology tools for your non-profit i think it’s it’s good to at least check tech suit to see if they have a discount and not just not just software. I didn’t realize that i thought it was i i just always thought it was software, but you got you got headsets. So any technology product you’re looking for, right, look for tech soup. What’s their site was its text soup, dr dot or ge. And i should spell that since we’re on the radio because the other day i was talking to somebody about it and they said, oh, so what’s the website for duck soup. Duck soup, right? Marx brothers? Yeah. So it’s th s o u p dot org’s. Okay, okay. Or should i say e at the end, it doesn’t have any at the end of soup right now. The french tc h s o u p dot or ge? Yes. Okay. Okay. Texas dahna excellent hardware, too. All right. Um, you know, you talk about donorsearch prophetic. You talk about the bloomerang zsystems you’re going to blackbaud i mean, this is to me this is just gold. Um, all right. Let’s, take a break. And when we come back, i may get into a lot more of this gold because we should. We should share some of this with listeners. Stay with us. Like what you’re hearing a non-profit radio tony’s got more on youtube, you’ll find clips from stand up comedy tv spots and exclusive interviews catch guests like seth gordon. Craig newmark, the founder of craigslist marquis of eco enterprises, charles best from donors choose dot org’s aria finger do something that worked. And naomi levine from new york universities heimans center on philanthropy tony tweets to he finds the best content from the most knowledgeable, interesting people in and around non-profits to share on his stream. If you have valuable info, he wants to re tweet you during the show. You can join the conversation on twitter using hashtag non-profit radio twitter is an easy way to reach tony he’s at tony martignetti narasimhan t i g e n e t t i remember there’s a g before the end he hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a short monthly show devoted to getting over your fund-raising hartals just like non-profit radio, toni talks to leading thinkers, experts and cool people with great ideas. As one fan said, tony picks their brains and i don’t have to leave my office fund-raising fundamentals was recently dubbed the most helpful non-profit podcast you have ever heard. You can also join the conversation on facebook, where you can ask questions before or after the show. The guests were there, too. Get insider show alerts by email, tony tells you who’s on each week and always includes link so that you can contact guests directly. To sign up, visit the facebook page for tony martignetti dot com. I’m dana ostomel, ceo of deposit, e-giving and you’re listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m gonna continue my jump through the table of contents there. Section eight is communications, email, broadcast, email, email, discussion lists, graphics and multimedia mobile under mobile has broadcast texting mobile, aps, mobile friendly websites, social media, of course, facebook, linkedin, twitter, web’s under websites, content management systems, landing pages and micro sites online advertising search engine optimization. All this in the table of contents for the field guide, section nine choosing an implementing software. And karen and i are going to talk about that no in a fair amount of detail, so you get the guide for god’s sake, what else can i say? Idealware dot org’s slash non-profit radio field guide two software for non-profits don’t go to amazon directly go teo idealware dot org’s slash non-profit radio get your discount and then you’ll you’ll end up in the amazon, but get the discount the insider discount for listeners. Okay, karen let’s, talk a little about some detail or so i read about about little green light. You recommend you like that, one would say, you know it’s, not like you say, you know, best buy or something, but it says among the best values for organizations with fewer than a thousand records. Little green light people should look at that, right? A little green light and all of the suffer companies that were mentioned here were well rated in our consumer guide. Okay, we’re goingto fair now, right? We’re going to talk about more. So still talking in that up to a thousand records section dahna perfect. You like them? Well, sure, they were also very well rated. And don’t think that that is it’s a system that has some more robust features that might be useful to a slightly larger organization. Now, how do you how do you know this? All right. So i read that sentence before. Among the best values for organizations. I have a small list. A few thousand record, little green light, and now we’re saying don’t perfect. And also bloomerang is another one. How do you know what? What? Going testing. Is he’s gone through? Well, i’ll tell you about our research process. How did what’s behind this sentence that says, among the best values, how do we know that i should say that in every single one of these categories we have done some level of research in the constituent? Relationship management category. We’ve done a great deal of in depth research to compare these tools. So this is this is one of the most well research sections of the you’ve done, the research idealware itself has done the reese right and it’s not that we have used every single one of these systems, but we have we’ve talked teo a number of people who have expertise in the field and gotten their ideas about what are the important features and what are the important products to look at. And then we have looked at thirty some products and conducted demonstrations. We’ve surveyed them to get their answers to a long, long list of questions about features and capabilities and pricing and on and the company itself, you know, is it a stable company, that sort of thing? So so we’ve conducted quite a bit of research there, and then we’ve also for our consumers guide too low cost bonem management systems, we’ve done in depth demonstrations of a number of thes systems that go beyond the initial demonstrations and there, you know, maybe two additional hours of looking through every detail of what the software khun d’oh. Okay, excellent. That’s another great we shot that you mention that before the consumer guide, right? Yeah. All right, um, and we also fact check all that data with their all that information with the vendors as well. So before we publish anything they will sign buy-in off that what we’re publishing is factually accurate about their product. You mentioned bloomerang also has an availability for up to a thousand records, right? So that’s, another one to look at and that’s kind of a newcomer to the market that did not appear in the previous edition of the field guide. Not that they’re brand new. They’ve been around for several years now and are pretty well established. But that is an example of one that’s a little bit newer is j love bloomerang is that j dellaccio he’s been on the show years ago? First rodeo what’s, not his first round. I don’t know if he was with bloomerang then, but he’s been on the show also mentioned su mac offers a free basic cr m for up to five hundred records and charges just two hundred forty dollars a year for five hundred two thousand records. Right? Semak when that’s just one example of a number of these tools that are very affordable, even for tiny organizations. So we’re finding that even like some volunteer run organizations that have a budget, maybe even under one hundred thousand dollars a year are still finding that it’s valuable to them to invest in dahna management software and if they can get it for, you know, thirty, forty dollars a month, then that’s affordable? Fair enough. I agree, all right? And then, uh, there’s blackbaud i mean, they’re they’re in the small market, too. Um, blackbaud offers e tapestry the field guide says, yeah, okay, that’s, another option to look at. And i mean, in my opinion, where blackbaud really shines is with mohr enterprise applications and larger organizations, but they do have a product that was well reviewed for smaller organizations as well. Ok, that’s z tapestry, you tapestry, right? All right, we’re going to switch. We’re going, toto, how to choose what is best for your organization choosing implementing, um, number one. You want us to define our needs? You mentioned this before. We’ll say we’re more about this, right? Well, and actually, i would back-up from that, i think the static the first step is to determine whether you really need new software or not. Okay, so back to the story i told before where there was a softer package that was chosen without a lot of input from the staff there there wanting to change to new software, you know, they just want to start over, but is that the best thing for them? Maybe maybe your existing system can be modified added on to so let’s, talk to our vendors for the existing system and see if that can be scaled uppers or modified someone write about this already. I know. Yes, that zoho storming through the third cat. Why go through the tremendous effort and expense and frankly, a drain on morale, sometimes of making a software change? If you don’t really need tio drink, sometimes it’s better to improve what you have and and make sure that you’re not changing. Make sure that you’re not thinking that it’s a feature problem when really it’s a user adoption problem. People get confused about those things, the way people are using it versus what it might be able to do, right? That’s the distinction you’re making okay and that morale problem comes about because it’s, you know, if you’re if you’re doing a significant stuff where change learning a new system is a big deal it’s a big change in an organization it isthe alright, your says i can take up a lot of people’s energy and it can also productivity khun suffer for a while. It’ll probably bounced back up to a higher level than previously once you’ve gone through that, but productivity khun suffer during a change for sure, all right, after we know what our needs are, we go to a short list right a couple times, but i just have like a minute and a half left for this topic, i would suggest looking in depth that no more than four and take control of the demos. That’s my best advice for people who are shopping for software don’t just listen to the vendors jogging will fly through screen sharing and they’ll fly through for forty five minutes, but but but but you don’t even know if they want to impress you and show you all the bells and whistles and, you know, that’s great! I used to sell software i know i know how. That is, but but you want to make sure that you’re seeing the things that are most applicable to your situation and seeing the same thing would say, you look at three different vendors. You want them all to show? Like, how do you enter a pledge, or or whatever it is that you decide is an important business case for our use case for you. You want them all to show the same thing so that you could make a fair comparison. We just have to wrap up with the idea that you might need a consultant. You might consider getting a consultant to help you with this software selection, right? And having been a consultant, i can say that if you do some homework before you work with the consultant, that will be a much valuable, more valuable engagement for you. And it actually will be probably more enjoyable for the consultant as well. If they have a well educated client who knows the right questions to ask and has thought through their needs a bit before they start working with you. But it is sometimes very valuable. Tohave a consultant walk side by side with you and help you with this process it’s the idealware field guide to software for non-profits non-profit radio listeners get the insider discount goto idealware dot org’s slash non-profit radio karen graham you want to follow her on twitter? She’s at karin t graham t for theresa and the organisation with all its outstanding resource is is that idealware dot or ge? You gotta check this organization out and the field guy just get the darn thing. How many times have i said it? Karen, thank you so much. Thank you, tony. Real pleasure. Next week, it’s risk management day healthcare funding and data breaches and don’t glaze over because we’re gonna make this fine and interesting. If you missed any part of today’s show, i’d be seat. You find it on tony martignetti dot com responsive by pursuing online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled, and by we be spelling supercool spelling bee fundraisers we b e spelling dot com. Our creative producer is claire meyerhoff. Sam liebowitz is the line producer. Betty mcardle is our am and fm outreach director shows social media is by sea soon chavez and this cool music is by scott. Stein, be with me next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and be great. Hey! Buy-in what’s not to love about non-profit radio tony gets the best guests check this out from seth godin this’s the first revolution since tv nineteen fifty and henry ford nineteen twenty it’s the revolution of our lifetime here’s a smart, simple idea from craigslist founder craig newmark yeah insights, orn presentation or anything? People don’t really need the fancy stuff they need something which is simple and fast. When’s the best time to post on facebook facebook’s andrew noise nose at traffic is at an all time hyre on nine a m or eight pm so that’s, when you should be posting your most meaningful post here’s aria finger ceo of do something dot or ge young people are not going to be involved in social change if it’s boring and they don’t see the impact of what they’re doing. So you got to make it fun and applicable to these young people look so otherwise a fifteen and sixteen year old they have better things to do if they have xbox, they have tv, they have their cell phones. Me dar is the founder of idealist took two or three years for foundation staff, sort of dane toe add an email address card, it was like it was phone. This email thing is fired-up that’s why should i give it away? Charles best founded donors choose dot or ge. Somehow they’ve gotten in touch kind of off line as it were on dno. Two exchanges of brownies and visits and physical gift. Mark echo is the founder and ceo of eco enterprises. You may be wearing his hoodies and shirts. Tony, talk to him. Yeah, you know, i just i’m a big believer that’s not what you make in life. It sze you know, tell you make you feel this is public radio host majora carter. Innovation is in the power of understanding that you don’t just put money on a situation expected to hell. You put money in a situation and invested and expected to grow and savvy advice for success from eric sabiston. What separates those who achieve from those who do not is in direct proportion to one’s ability to ask others for help. 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16NTC Videos: Virtual Orgs & Volunteers + 17NTC + Hair News

New video interviews from #16NTC, the Nonprofit Technology Conference. And you need to take a look at #17NTC in Washington, D.C. in March. P.S. Hair news.