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Gene Takagi: Disaster Relief
We kick off with Gene Takagi explaining how–but first, whether–your nonprofit can help disaster victims. You need a lot more than a big heart and a CrowdRise page. Gene is our legal contributor and principal of NEO, the Nonprofit & Exempt Organizations law group.
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Get committed major donors from your events by making them transformational, not merely transactional. Pat Clemency has before-, during- and after-event ideas. She’s president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York. You’ll learn lessons from Rochester and Buffalo. (Originally aired on October 24, 2014.)
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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’d get slapped with a diagnosis of arjun. Oh sucks in ic acid urea if you wet me down with the idea that you missed today’s show disaster relief, we kick off with jean takagi explaining how but first weather you’re non-profit can help disaster victims we need you need a lot more than a big heart and a crowd. Rise page genes are legal contributor and the principle of neo the non-profit and exempt organizations law group and your event pipeline get committed major donors from your events by making them transformational, not merely transactional pat clemency has before, during and after event ideas she’s, president and ceo of make a wish metro new york and western new york you’ll get lessons from rochester and buffalo that originally aired on october twenty fourth. Twenty fourteen on tony’s take two i learned something from my mom’s death we’re sponsored by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled tony dot m a slash pursuant also by wagner, sepa is guiding you beyond the numbers, wagner, sepa is dot com you’re not a business you’re non-profit apolo see accounting software designed for non-profits non-profit wizard dot com and tell us credit and debit card processors you’re passive revenue stream tony dot slash tony, tell us a genuine pleasure to welcome back jean takagi every time he’s on it’s a genuine pleasure. A real pleasure. He’s, the managing attorney of neo the non-profit and exempt organizations law group in san francisco, california he edits the wildly popular non-profit law blogged dot com and he’s the american bar association’s twenty sixteen outstanding non-profit lawyer he’s at g tak welcome back, jean takagi. Thanks, tony and my mind. Sincere condolences on your loss. Thank you. Thank you very much, jean. Thank you for that. Um, how you doing out there? What? What? So what? We’re in transition transition season whether what’s the weather been oh, actually, the weather’s been all smoky for you hasn’t it been? It has been and going right in line with today’s. Northern california fires weight got a little bit of rain yesterday really light, but it it helped, but we’ve seen you know more than two hundred forty thousand acres. Burns forty two death more than a billion dollars worth of insured losses so it’s really hit it pretty hard up here, and you’re getting impact hours away from from the sort of the where the most devastating fires are. Smoke and ash et cetera, right? Yeah, well, we’re not getting ashot here, although the particulates in the air have been a dangerous levels. So we’re encouraged teo, stay indoors for many of those days, but at least not visible. Ash in san francisco. No smoke, though. Yeah, that’s definitely feel the smoke and those with sensitive breathing issues. I’ve got to really be careful. So as you said, of course, right in line with our discussion, besides the devastation in the california fires, of course, houston, um, florida on dh not only natural disasters, of course. Las vegas shooting there’s ah, there’s. A lot of potential for non-profits teo do good work if they’re suited for it. Yeah, i mean that’s, that’s very true. And we’ve had a very tough year in terms of natural and man made. Don’t forget puerto rico. Yes, thank you very much. I i don’t want to make the mistake of puerto rico is part of our united states? Yes. Thank you for that. Thank you very much, jane. Yeah, and, you know, people want to do good things. And, you know, as he said, a lot of people want to give with their heart on dh people run charities, and those people also want to do something. So the question, you know, is like, well, what can we do and what’s the first question that we should be asking if we are in a non-profit were ceo are chief fund-raising perhaps or a boardmember well meaning boardmember what’s the first analysis we should weigh should we need to look to well, i think the first thing you have to do is you have to look at your mission because, you know, your mission dictates what you’re allowed to do. So if you have a purpose of raising funds to help homeless people in new york, all your donors have entrusted you with their money for that specific purpose. So even though the board and the employees might say, oh, my gosh, we’ve got to get relief out to puerto rico let’s, take the money that we raised in the past that we have. In reserve and dedicated towards puerto rico. While that might be a really admirable and understandable a desire, you’ve got to remember that you owe you own obligation to your donors who had given for homeless people in new york in that case. So checking out what your mission says, and he got a look at your articles of incorporation, our certificate of incorporation and by-laws how you’ve been marketing to your donors to figure that out? What kind of trouble might you get in with, say, the new york attorney general, if you’re a charity that ah, it does have the mission you described and nonetheless sends some relief money, teo puerto rico, or anywhere outside new york, right? I think you know, i think most regulators they’re going to be a little bit easy if you’re raising new money. Tio go outside of your mission that’s not what you’re supposed to do if it’s outside your mission, but i don’t think they’re going to come down hard on you for that, i think where they may come down hard is where one of your donors complain that their money was used for something that wasn’t intended, because that was not within your mission. So if they use existing money and it’s that that hurts what the organization is able to do in terms of furthering its current mission, that becomes the problem i see on dh. Yeah, it only takes one one upset donorsearch tio to write a letter or start an inquiry and you could end up in some trouble. Yeah, or drag it through the media, and then you get a bunch of upset donors, you know, you know, the mission was really something that they were connected with, which, you know, led them to make the donation in the first place. Um, if you let’s say your mission is brought enough that enables you to to send relief of some type teo outside your state way. Have i heard rumors about these things, like charity registration laws and such on other other operating rules that require you to be registered before you start working in another state? Yeah. I mean, that part of your area of expertise, teo. Healthy? Yeah. You’ve got to be careful if you can actually do programmatic work or have boots on the ground in the foreign state you may need to be qualified to operate there, so there may be some additional filings that you need to do again. If you’re you got a limited presence, nobody gets hurt. Nobody complains regulators within that foreign state are probably going to be happy to have your help in the event of a disaster, and probably the risk is going to be low. But what if somebody gets hurt? Yeah, that’s, that’s where you could get in big trouble and when you’re raising funds from a new area, so if you if you got boots on the ground in texas but you’re in new york or california charity and you’re not registered in texas, what if somebody starts to complain about why isn’t my money helping those? You know that i intended to give two? What are you doing with my money? And they start to complain to the attorney general in texas, that might be an issue if you don’t have a good explanation for why you haven’t registered in, perhaps it’ll be a slap on the wrist, and they’ll just tell you, teo, teo, register now and maybe give you a small penalty but if somebody complains loud enough and you you really haven’t been responsible with that money that that could get you into some big trouble. Understand? On dh, why and why take the chance you it’s just it’s. Just not the way to operate. It’s, time for a short break. Jean, please indulge me. We have a slightly different format. Now. Pursuant they’ll help you find your existing donors who are hiding in your file. The ones who are prime for upgrade how do you identify them? And deep in your relationships, they’re free. Webinar is find hidden gems lurking in your file aptly named it’s past eleven, or is over. So why am i talking about? Because it doesn’t matter if it’s over you watch the archive just like non-profit radio it’s the same thing, so it doesn’t matter that it’s past. You will find the archive at the non-profit radio listener landing page tony dot m a slash pursuing also they have a new content paper for you and that is twenty seventeen digital year end fund-raising field guide, which are the channels and advertising strategies that give you the highest return on investment. How can you tweak your year end campaign based on your donor expectations and what are the insider tips on digital fund-raising from some of the biggest non-profits i think you’ve heard me say big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Here you go. The weapons are in the paper or on the non-profit radio listener landing page. Tony dot, m a slash pursuing capital p now i want to get back to jean talking disaster relief. Thank you for that indulgence. Gene. Um, let’s, let’s continue. So i was just saying that you know, it’s, why? Why put yourself at risk? It’s just it’s not what you’re bored should be advocating it’s, not what you should be pursuing if if if you don’t belong there because there are alternatives, i think that’s absolutely treat, ernie, i think you know, not just in terms of the filing, but in terms of whether you have the infrastructure to actually do work over there and whether people donating to you in a foreign state is the best use of charitable money to get relief down into that state is another question you have to think about. So would it be better in certain cases for you say, hey support one of our, you know, charities that we’re friendly, whether we have a relationship with in texas, for example, for hurricane harvey relief, why don’t you give to the community foundation of houston? They’re they’re a great organization. They know you know what they’re doing, and if you have a pre existing relationship with that organization or you vetted them in the past, maybe it’s better to have your donors give directly to them rather than to you and for you to figure out howto fund-raising in texas? Yeah, andi let’s think through what you’re committing, teo again, the motivation is purely altruistic, but what you’re getting yourself into in terms of logistics, you know, if if you’re not on a lot of a lot of drives, i see are not for cash, but therefore things that people need clothing specifically and or maybe housewares and things. Now you’ve got this truckload of stuff, not near where the disaster is, you know, it’s not so easy to get truckloads into a disaster zone. I mean, think about you have to think about what you’re committing yourself to absolutely, and it may cost more to transport those non-cash in that foreign site, then it then the materials are worth, in which case the health is almost useless. You do have to be careful. I don’t want to completely discourage e-giving good like food and clothing. Sometimes that can be helpful. But if that’s really true, when you’re local to the disaster, you’re far away. Cash is so much better. Yeah, because of that logistic concern and all right, so you mentioned, you know, potentially partnering with a charity that that you’re familiar with and directing donations there. What about what about you, fund-raising would you be allowed to fundraise and then give all the cash? Let’s assume it is cash now because you’re distant to the to the charity? If if that’s not within your mission. No, i guess not. Then, right? Yeah. It’s. Not within your mission’s. Kind of the same thing again. The risk is probably low if it’s new money. So you know, if you have a broad enough mission or if you could see that there’s no geographic limitation in your mission. For example, if you’re like a humane society or s p c a. But you don’t say exactly that. We only help people who are for you. Know animal welfare in new york, perhaps then you can you can start a campaign to provide for support of for animal welfare in these disaster stricken regions. Um, and and you can do it through through grants a cz well, tony, so you can raise money from your own donors who are interested. As long as you’re very clear about why you’re raising that money and that it’s going to go to the to the disaster stricken area rather than been locally, you’re clear about that. Then you might find that that partner, charity or potential grantee with which to give that money to rather than try to start a new program, a relief program, it somewhere where you have nobody there. Okay, okay, um and there is ah, resource i’m aware of if you don’t have some kind of partner, really pre existing partner relationship. Charity navigator is very good about being proactive in the face of disasters. I get their emails and they’ll put up a page with charities that they have vetted and redid highly. That there is that our local to the disaster area. So that’s a that’s a method i mean it’s designed for individuals, but certainly a charity that wants to do this work and find a partner, and they don’t have one you could use the charity navigator resource is yeah, i mean, they’re they’re different ways to vet potential grantee charities and the more money you’re going to send, of course, the more vetting that you would be expected to do charity navigator can be a helpful resource is resource for charity’s looking for, for donating, for maximizing their effectiveness and efficiency, and hopefully avoiding any scam charity second about the sad thing is, whenever disaster hits, you get a number of scams that are out there that proclaim themselves to be true charities, and perhaps they even have five, twenty three status, but they may not really be doing the work that they’re doing. So you do really want to be careful, especially as a charity, you know, who should be the great example to its donors that you know howto that e-giving and ensuring that charitable funds are properly spend it. If you’re the bad example than have what donors trust, you know you you want to bet them very carefully. So do you think charity navigator is not? Sufficient for a charity vetting another charity correcting it depends upon, you know, upon all of the circumstances. So if if you’ve got a huge grant to make, then probably want to do a little bit more work than that. But if you’re you know, you’re going to give ten thousand dollars to hurt, you know, for hurricane released in charity navigator recommends community foundation there. I think you’re pretty safe. Okay, okay. Um, and you need to be careful in your in your materials if you are goingto be encouraging these gifts that you are targeting a charitable purpose. Ah, charitable class of people and not a subset or some certainly like a family or something. Yeah, and that gets really tricky because, you know, individually, you know, we may go. Oh, my gosh, i know somebody in puerto rico, and they could really use the help so i’d leave my charity to direct money towards maybe another charity in puerto rico. But maybe i’d actually like to direct my money straight to this family because they just got this really compelling case. Oh, and i put up an ad on my website looking for my donors in california. Uh, to give money to help this one family in puerto rico? Well, if the donors are making the gift and just using the charity as a conduit to get it to individuals specific individuals that are named, then that gift is not tax deductible. It’s not considered a charitable contribution, it’s as if they gave directly to the individuals that they’re trying to get their money. Teo and if the charity, all they do is act as a conduit and that’s that’s going to be problematic, and if the charity then give the donation receipt to the donor thing that your your your money is tax deduct deductible, despite you directing it towards individuals now i can get the charity in trouble so different ways to do that, but a lot a lot of people are getting that wrong where a lot of charities, they’re getting that wrong and have to be here. Yeah, right, so we’re talking about charities. I mean, if you as an individual have family in florida or puerto rico and you want to do something as an individual, then you know we’re not we’re not that’s, not what we’re talking about because you’re not. Claiming that the gift to you will be examined our deductible from federal income tax, right? So by all means you should you should support your family, members of your friends that are there that are hit by disaster and don’t want to discourage that at all, but if you’re trying to give to a charity and get a deduction for it, then then you’ve got to think about making sure that you’re not using the charity just to the condom. And charity has to make sure that it doesn’t allow itself to be used just to the conduit, although i should add that the charity might add examples of individuals that helped. I say we help all of you know, we’re helping all of these families, including be specific ones, make your donation and trust us to put it to bed. Yeah, well, that’s, you know, of course that’s just that’s very good storytelling and good marketing is toe personalize your your broader work t the individual level, right? We’re not talking about that. We’re not talking about your your what? Your marketing, but what you’re claiming we’re their money goes, is not to that family that you just highlighted in a you know, a very touching video. That’s that’s what? That’s. What we need to avoid, right? Okay, so since we’re talking about individuals, what about individuals raising money for a charity? Weii, we see some of that. We see a good amount of that. How does that work? Yeah. So that’s that’s always tricky. So a lot of charities don’t like it when individuals are starting to raise money for them because the individuals may say different things about the charities, some of which may not be true. Um, and the individuals maybe raising money that go to themselves first. And perhaps they’re going to give some or all of it to the charity. Charity has no control of that if the money is going to the individual’s first, uh, also, the donors who gave to that individual won’t get a charitable deduction for giving to just another person and not giving directly to the charity. So it becomes if it’s done informally like that. Like you just all give money to this one person and this person, then you know, who’s promising to give it to charity actually does give it to charity. Well, that person gets a deduction, but all the other people that donate it to that one individual don’t get it right. And that person gets a deduction for all the money that was given to him or her because those were a gift, right? Because those were gifts to an individual and that lets you use may. So i collected ten thousand dollars in gift those were those were just personal gift from person to person on dh if they go over the gift threshold and they may have to pay, then people have to pay a tax, but we’re not going that high, so let’s, say, an aggregate from, you know, fifty friends. I collect ten thousand dollars, i think. Give that to a charity, aiken aiken claim a ten thousand dollar charitable income tax deduction, assuming i meet other limitations and, you know, exempt things like that, but generally, i could claim that deduction for the whole amount. Yeah, you might be able to the charity may not know that you’ve collected it from other individuals. They just hey, we got a ten thousand dollar gift receipt for ten thousand dollars. Thank you very much. Um, on the other hand, you know, the friends that gave the money to you if they hear about this, and especially if he didn’t give all ten thousand dollars right charity? But you said well, and i had three thousand dollars worth of travel costs in my time we had overhead, right? Right, yet that’s going to upset a lot of people that’s the wrong way to do it, but there is a right way to do it. So so if the charity authorizes an individual and you know, the charities will naturally authorize own employees to fundraise on behalf of the that the the organization through, you know, the organizational means, like the website and fund-raising events and all of that, if their sanctions but, you know, they could make unauthorized volunteers to fund-raising a swell and boardmember zehr often fund-raising on behalf of their charities, you know, as individuals who are authorized to do so? Sure, but they’re not collecting the money directly themselves or if they’re taking a check, they’re immediately giving it over to the charity, and the check is going to list the charity’s name on it? Yes, right? Okay, okay. Let’s. See where? What about what about helping businesses can can a charity fund-raising help businesses that air devastated by a disaster? Yeah, it’s a good question, because some people go, can i make a grant to a for profit organization that kind of kind of strange but charity’s can engage in grantmaking or, you know, providing assistance to businesses in different situations, and this plays out a lot in disasters in the event of a disaster. So if the business owners are it’s a small business, a mom and pop store in the mom pop are are needy and distress as a result of the disaster. After that, business might be their lifeline, and providing assistance to the business in that case might be fine. It also might be finding a broader sense if the community was deteriorated as a result of a disaster. So investing in economic development and combating community deterioration and blight, that’s all charitable purpose. So as long as again it’s within your mission to be able to give such support, you could do that also lessening the burdens of governments of the government says this is something that you know is public works we need toe, give back and develop our small business community here. That got terribly hit by the disaster. If the government is doing it, probably used tenants. Okay. Would that include infrastructure repair, too? Yeah, it would. Okay, so all sorts of things that you could do, you can you can help building costs, rebuilding cost. The one thing is, you know when to stop when that bible that’s probably the time with charitable. Okay, right. We don’t need to be buying partnership shares in the private in the privately held company. Okay, we’re buying in. We’re going to go. We’re going to become general managers of the llc. Alright. That’s beyond the pale. Okay, hyre now, there was something pretty high profile talk about individuals. I know you. I think you know, i don’t know much about sports but this there’s a guy named j j watts and he plays one of the sports balls. Hey, does something in in sports hey raised thirty seven million dollars for orm. Or maybe you think it’s still being counted for harvey relief in houston through his foundation. But there’s a lesson there that you want to talk about? Yes. What is? Football player with a very, very popular what? I called him what’s i’m sorry. Does your watts restaurant? I don’t even know whatever he plays baseball with j j watt. Pardon me, mister. What? Okay. Pit so and very compelling figure. And he made an appeal after hurricane harvey to collect money raised money for relief in houston. And, you know, at first, you know, his ambitions were very small. I think it was even less than a million dollars that he was hoping to collect to give back, and he has a foundation. So a fiver onesie three foundation that he runs, and they i think they’re really focused in on sports programs for children. But he heard about that, you know? Well, didn’t hear hear, just hear about it, but he, you know, he was in houston, so he was just well aware of the hurricane in the immense damage that it has done, so he wanted to make a difference. So he went on to a crowd funding site called you caring. Uh, and he wanted to raise money. So my wilson here is he did, you know, top thirty seven million dollars, and i think he stopped the campaign right now, but this is a foundation that was very small, it and i applied his efforts and believe me, you know, he probably raised by that otherwise might not have been raised. So for that that’s fantastic. On the other hand, i don’t know that his foundation really had the infrastructure and was prepared to do relief work in all of the sudden they have thirty seven million dollars, they don’t know how much staff they had don’t know how much expertise they had in this area. So there you know, there’s, some criticism, and i think disaster relief. Oh, and charities are likely to face criticism right away because getting aid to the individuals is very difficult to do and having a plan to do it. It is tough, it’s hard just to give to anybody who puts their hand out and although you want to that’s not the responsible way to do it, so they’ve got to come up with a plan if they’ve never done it before it’s going to take more time for the plan. So i think the lesson there is just in terms of figuring out again, as we said. Before, if you’re a foreign charity coming in, if this isn’t the work that you do you want to think about, you know what the best way to make use of that money is? Perhaps, if you, you know, i had been the figurehead for a campaign by the community foundation, or he decided to give, you know, the money he raised to the community foundation that’s actively involved with multiple non-profits on the ground, working with smaller communities in that area that could get the money to the people who needed it the most, or or you know, the the need to address the needs right away might have been more efficient. So i think that’s the one without wanting teo, criticize the foundation itself, and j j watt, you know, participation in doing tremendous work, it would be great to see the money just really effectively and efficiently used and not for building brand new infrastructures in a brand new area of charity that an organization has never done before. And i want to credit eugene with something that you alerted me to in las vegas. The clark county commission chair was raising money, and he was not. Clear where the money was going until you jean takagi i asked about it and then and then he became transparent, so unfortunately have to leave it there. But credit, credit hat’s off to you, jean, for in increasing transparency and fund-raising we’ve talked about it so many, many times. Congratulations for that. Okay, what? I’m not sure packing climb full credit, but i’m glad that that they responded alright. Small victories jean takagi he’s, our legal contributor managing attorney of neo check him out at non-profit law blogged dot com and at g tak thank you for so much, gene. Thanks, tony. My best. Thank you, pat. Clemency and your event pipeline coming up first, wagner, cps there’s so much more than just cps way beyond lots of added value, they do go way beyond the numbers. They’re true to their tagline, major gift, best practices and common mistakes. It’s, one of their archived webinars, covers five best practices and five common stakes equally balanced. See how they do that it’s like a balance it’s like thea it’s, like the assets have to equal liability snusz owners equity it, see how balances five and five but then they add the single most important thing you can do to have a more successful major gift program, so if you’re thinking you’d like to beef up your major e-giving program or benchmark against others, get some outside perspective, perhaps on your fund-raising never hurts to have ah, fresh set of eyes and and ideas lofting over what you’re already doing. No need to sign up. No need to register it’s archived. Watch it right now, it’s the major gifts webinar and it is that wagner cps dot com click resource is than webinars to browse everything, everything else that they have ah quick resource is and then you see the full collection there blawg other webinars and those guides that you’ve heard me talk about world. The templates and sample policies are that’s all under guides, so check out wagner cps dot com resource is and then go to town apolo software you’re non-profit but what kind of accounting software using using software made for business and i never gave this a moments thought never inside my ken i liketo work that word, kenan whenever i can into ah, until conversations it was never within my cannon just like that word. Can um, but when apple is became a sponsor, it seems to make some sense you need accounting software that is made for non-profits that’s what you are and his age of niche software, and help us a knish knish and i’m not comfort with can i like a lot niche it’s a little affected? Try to stay away from that in this age of niche software, you deserve it. So whether using quickbooks or terrible cash or one of microsoft products or sapi whatever super duper whiz bang books, whatever you’re using, those are for business except the well. The super duper whiz bang books is not for business, but if it did, if there was such a thing as a super whiz bang books, super duper was bank books than merely about duper. Then that would be for business. But you’re non-profit so take a look at apple owes accounting it’s accounting software designed for non-profits and to find them you go to non-profit wizard dot com now time for tony’s take two i did a video on something that i learned so far from my mom’s death earlier this month. The importance of end of life planning my family is so good, and i am all of us or so grateful that she died quietly in a hospice very soothing pastoral place. I’ll shout it out, vilma re claire in saddle brook, new jersey, where they do comfort care and they understand managing management of pain. It’s on twenty five acres and there’s trees and the rooms are beautiful and not sterile like a hospital, which is not to put down hospitals but totally different missions on dh no alarms, chai ming and beeping and people scurrying in the hallway. Not like that at all. So ah, hospice hospice planning. I’m encouraging you to give thought to your own or your family members end of life planning it’s just it’s it’s got new importance for me, and i could see the value of it for my mom, for our family to mean hospices for the support of the family, just a cz much as the patient, so end of life planning. Take a look at the video it’s at tony martignetti dot com i’m sure there’s a lot more than i have to learn about my mom’s death that this is what i’ve got so far that was tony take two let’s, take a look at the live listener love where’s it going out is going out to ann arbor, michigan, woodbridge, new jersey and woodbridge. I gotta compliment you, woodbridge. You’ve been very loyal. Uras loyal is seoul, south korea, so woodbridge special listener love live listen, i’m about to you. Tampa, florida, staten island, new york, delmar, new york. Oakland, california. Los angeles, california, california. Of course our thoughts while los angeles in the south, but oakland near the devastation, as gene and i were talking about live love to all those locations and live listeners. Let’s, go abroad to germany, we can’t see your city, but gooden dog nonetheless federal, argentina, hanoi, vietnam vietnam has been occasional, but not too much glad you’re with us. Hanoi thank you, live love to you, seoul, south korea, on your haserot comes a ham nida and san pedro, san pedro, costa rica i might know some people in some pedro i know some people in costa rica. I wonder if that could be sheri and ah, shari and gary. Live love to san pedro, costa rica affiliate affections. I feel like going out of sequence. So what? You gonna beat me up for it so grateful. Lots of affections to our affiliate am and fm listeners. I’m so glad you’re with us and the podcast pleasantries to the over twelve thousand so glad that you are with us the bulk of our listening audience. Thank you, podcast listeners pleasantries to you. Here is pet clemency with your event pipeline welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of fund-raising day two thousand fourteen we are in times square, new york city at the marriott marquis hotel. With me now is pat clemency. Her seminar topic is the event pipeline turning event guests into major donors. Pat is president and ceo of make a wish metro new york and western new york kayman c welcome to the show. Thanks, tony. Pleasure to have you you have a pretty desperate territory new york city and western new york it’s an interesting territory, but i think it really is empowering in the sense you get a chance to say all sorts of markets in which you can raise money and it’s really the opportunity to understand how donors react in their markets. And and you know what? The universe was they? Won’t want to make a difference and how far west does western new york go in your we cover the major cities of buffalo and rochester seventeen counties it’s just go over to buffalo. It does. Okay, so we don’t have the middle of the state, but we have a new york city in nassau county and then seventeen states counties upstate. What do you see that non-profits are not quite getting right around events and transitioning donors from events. Well, i think, you know, we all start with special events. I mean, there’s, no question about it, i think it is the recognition that there is a discipline that can make those events were quarter and smarter and are part of a major gifts strategy if we see it as an event that we efficiently come into and go out of without seeing its capacity to build a pipeline of donors for other kinds of fund-raising particularly major gifts, i don’t think we make it a lot of candy, so today we really talk to have great dialogue around the issue about some of the things that we can do to make a special event three distinct parts it matters deeply what we do before going into the event, we’ll talk a lot about planet, but planning in a different way, that really makes us understand who is coming, who are the prospects the day of the event? How do we really connect the donor’s? Not just with the event, but with the mission and how they can make a specific difference and how we then engaged him in the journey, not with the event, but with the organization over time. It’s really the third ingredient in and so it really is very helpful to think about it as more than simply even itself. I’m gonna ask you to talk even closer to the mike because we have now we have the background noise because lunch lunch is over, so stay nice and close. We don’t pick up too much outside background noise. Well, let’s start with the natural place of planning. What? What should be redoing as we’re planning the event to be planning transitioning hyre attendees to teo to our donor ranked i think wolber too often we start berkeley just a rather than the strategy. What are we trying to do? And who are we trying? To attract and we also need to cast a wider net if you think of the donor pyramid. I mean, we’re looking at our past event guests and hoping people who will be new to the event will also come, but we’re not looking for the clues that people give us. And so we found there was great opportunity looking at direct male donors give one hundred dollars more, and when we did some wealth screening, we found out they gave us one hundred dollars, not because that was their capacity, but we had a box and they checked it and they gave us one hundred dollars, but we understood it. When we looked at it, they had so much more capacity, but we never got around to asking them. So looking a little bit more broadly and thinking about the strategy of engagement, we basically said, if you look at an event just as a single time, we’re going to invite him again next year. But if we look at the event and over late, a lot of the major gift strategies we have the ability to change the whole dynamic, your royalty won’t be that the event it could be that the institution and would be a longer term engagement if we get that right in the planning stage. That’s what we want, right? We don’t want just coming up year after year, and does this include people who come? They may only come one time because there connected with the honoree or just a friend of the organization brought them way convert those kinds of people. Well, you know, it’s very interesting we learn a lot from our buffalo rochester offices because they have a very different evergreen strategy. Honorees are looked at differently than we look at them in new york city, and they are on it for body of work. So as a result, most of their strategy is thinking about how do you get the same donors to renew at higher levels each and every year? So now we’re beginning to implement that, saying, regardless of the honoree, how do we get more of our sponsors to renew? And then for those one time donors who come because of a gala honoring, we need to do some more screening and think about who else in our boards within the make-a-wish family knows them, so that the relationship can transition to the organization, not simply around the honoree. What else can we learn from rochester and buffalo? Well, you know what i think it is? The universal is people want to make a difference, and we just have to make sure that we’re not leading with what we need. But we understand that the first conversation is the donor’s needs, and the donor wants to be able to make a difference how our job is to take them on the journey by showing them how treating them like an investor. And that is a really key difference. Very often we ask for what we need, and we never think from the donor perspective, what about the organization will really resonate with them for the long haul? Do you really feel that upstate or western new york is better than downstate new york at this? No, no, i mean, they they’re scale is very different than ours. I mean, it’s, a smaller scale. But we i think the best thing about fund-raising is if we are open to understand the best practices exist everywhere they learnt from us. We learn from them and i think it’s. Fine, but i think the interesting thing is in every market, if you begin to institute this practice of looking at a bent donors not just as jonas sporting event on an annual basis but really, truly look at it as a pipeline wei have seen donors seventeen hundred dollars to ten million dollars or from our five thousand dollars to five hundred thousand dollars. It isn’t a journey overnight, but the fact of the matter is some of our very largest major gift owners. Their entry point was at an event it was how we dealt with that that made all the difference as to whether or not that became a continued transaction. We sell a ticket, you come to our event or if it really became a transformational relationship with the mission of the organization, are there other specific things that we should be doing in our planning? Aside from the concept of the lifetime donor, the longer term relationship? Are there things specific to a no to the invitations? Who invites them? How they’re invited before the event? What else should we be doing specifically? Well, we began talking about if we were to really make this part of our major gifts strategy, what are the shifts that we need to make? And when you think about it, our invitation is to an event we needed teo even change the messaging we’re not just inviting you to invent. We’re inviting you to share and join in this extraordinary mission and that’s very subtle, but it’s a very big difference. And so we even change the fact that when you come to a gala is a perfect example. Think about how we spend the first hour at cocktails just kind of wandering around. Instead, registration is outside, so the minute you enter the doors, you are coming in and part of a community of like minded people who believe that this is some of the most important work we can do for kids. And you are meeting wish families and volunteers on board members course searching you out as a guest that evening, in that first hour becomes a really important message about we welcome your involvement in this remarkable work. How do we convey that message in our cocktail hour? Well, it’s really about storytelling and changing? Who tells the story? So if you think about it very often at a gallop, whether it is during the cocktail hour, it’s during the main speeches of the night, putting up the ceo, they’re putting up the board chair. We’re talking about the past. We’re actually talking about statistics and how much money we raised in our case, somebody wishes granted when we change the dynamic of who the storyteller wrists really should be the people who experienced the mission first hand and as we tell the story through their eyes, it says to a donor here’s exactly what your donation would do here’s exactly how it makes a difference in that moment for a lifetime that’s a very different relationship from the beginning of the point where that donor enters the gala, if we’re going to focus on storytelling at our events and it might be a very big one memory big gala or might just be a smaller could be anything smaller, gathering, maybe even a meeting. Absolutely we need thio sounds like have a very consistent message that the leadership is conveying that trickles down to all the employees and then also the board is conveying right when we need to have consistency and messaging well. You don’t have consistency in a couple of things. I think you have to have consistency and messaging for sure, but you also have to build a culture where the board and the staff are engaged in thinking about who’s there, you know, there’s, not a throwaway seat in any event, and when you think that it matters most, there is a greater level of engaging on the part of the board in the staff pretty work that gets done who’s at those tables who should we know how we welcome them? What would be important to them? And it allows boards to be successful? You know, something tells me you’re from boardmember i’ve given you every contact i have there’s, nobody else i can approach hold this empowers boards to reach out to other people that the organization knows and be champions at night for the cost. So there are signs that we’re assigning people, too, to meet specific people during the evening during the event absolutely and beyond that, you’re the eyes and ears. Every single person has a role, kind of just surveying the room and learning what what they’re hearing that night and reporting it back. So, justus, we schedule an event on a day before that event takes place. We also have the debrief date by which boardmember volunteer staff get together. What did you hear? What did we learn? In very often? One piece of information about somebody was in the room is magnified. Then buy another piece of information and out of that then becomes thought. Okay, the event is over, but it’s only really big beginning in terms of engaging that donor long term now in the life of the organization and so part of the debrief is what’s next. What are some of the opportunities? And you’re right, we have to be on the same page. If someone were to say to us post event, i’d love to be involved how you have to be able to convey what the options are many and there’s not going to be one that works for everybody. But everybody needs to know here some of the ways that you could be involved in an ongoing basis. So we’ve transitioned from beginning the planning stage two day off now, or we’re at our event. What else? A little bit there. Sorry, that was allowed. What? Else should we be thinking about oh are executed the day of to create this transition? Well, i think the other thing that you could do very, very well is start with the strategy what’s the message that you’re trying to convey that should be the threat of connection to everything that’s being done that night and for us was really talking about the ripple effect of wishes in the ripple effect of wishes is a moment in time, yes, but it also has a lifelong impact. So one of our speakers was a thirty five year old executive with a wall street firm. He was a wish child seventeen years ago, and so the impact or him wass it had a ripple effect through his life. The life of his brother, who they really had a hard time when he was diagnosed with cancer. As the family would tell you, everybody’s diagnosed cancer, you know, said everybody has cancer feels like and so the threat of connection of his wish was in that mama with his brother. But it was also over his life he became a wish raining volunteer helping others but imagine his role now explaining to people in his way that this investment that you will make tonight in support of this event, hasn’t it has an impact come on the future generation of kids who are just like me, that’s a that’s amazing way to tell the story. So the first part is what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to show the ripple effect over time, cross families in communities, and so all of those voices were part of the program that once that strategy is that you can always worry about the logistics next, but you’ve got to get that piece of it and too often in event planning for the night of we think about the logistics, but we haven’t really thought about the strategy and that that’s, what we lead with and that story telling is is just a one part of it. Next is if you’ve told the story, then you’ve gotta provide a tangible way for people to make a difference, and so we don’t. We do a lot of fund-raising at night, but its not around an auction for things. We had one great item this year, and the rest is all about an auction to allow people. To sponsor wishes and that’s the meaning of it. You go from the programme which told the story from the perspective of families who have experienced it and then give people the opportunity to share in joining the mission by sponsoring future wish it was incredible to watch the little store ones, and some don’t respond to the wish. A season for wishes any or twenty five thousand dollars donation in the room, about an individual wish, right down to a thousand dollars and watching the room right up every time somebody was part of the community that was making a difference was really an extraordinary thing. It allowed people to know that this was a really special thing, that in this time in place, we’re all making a difference. We got to take a break, tell us credit card and payment processing. How about a passive residual revenue stream that pays you each month? You can check out, tell us payment processing, because that’s, what this is going to mean for you as one of their partner non-profits, you will get fifty percent of every dollar telling skits, half of what they earn from the businesses that you refer. Goes to you and they have this incredible offer that is only for non-profit radio listeners you refer business, they’re going to look at tell us, is going to look over their processing fees and determine whether they can save the business money if they can. Then of course, that business hopefully we’ll sign up with tell us, because that’ll mean a revenue stream for you. But of course, you know that’s up to the business. If tellers can’t save them money, you get two hundred fifty dollars, tell us cannot help them by saving them fees they’re going to tell us is going to give you two hundred fifty dollars. So who is this apply to think about businesses that you’re boardmember zone local merchants that maybe the local dry cleaner or maybe a car dealership or it could be a target store? Whoever it is, local merchants supporting your work? Um, restaurants, dealerships, maybe i mentioned car dealerships of storefronts any kind? Independent artists, your family members, anybody that takes credit card payments. If tell us can’t save them money, you’ll get two hundred fifty dollars, and again, if they sign up with tell us, you get half the revenue each month that’s the continuing residual revenue stream. Check out tony dot, m a slash tony tell us that’s the only place where you going to find this two hundred fifty dollars offer now, let’s, go back to pat clemency. I’m going to ask a little just sort of a digression just about the logistics of that that auction for wishes. Did you have people predetermined that would that would be bidding on on any of the any of those auctions and those wish auctions way we thought about was, how could we make it? And i don’t mean to suggest the whole thing’s really know. Not only did you have one or two people who you knew would get the ball rolling, they were all legitimate that’s we wouldn’t do that, but but there’s a couple things that we were able to do before tony. So three board members came forward and said for new donors who never made a donation before to make a wish, the ability to come and make a difference for a child that’s a pretty important thing. But how much more would they feel the impact of that initial donation if we came up with a challenge match, so three of our board members got together and one hundred and seventy five thousand dollars was put up in advance. They pledge this and they would match donations of two hundred seventy five thousand, so that was a huge thing. We also knew from a couple of donors at the wish auction for somebody who couldn’t be at the gala, they were out of town was still a way to participate, so for people who weren’t there and want to participate that’s part of our culture now you always have this opportunity give even if you can’t be there. So we knew a handful of dahna they do it’s what you do for the ones who couldn’t be there, so they have already pledged it, and they made that commitment right before, and so we let people know that we were able to do that. Those two things are done in advance. We know that if if people know that the donation they make is going to be doubled there’s a likelihood that they’re going to give a little bit more on dh, then the other one to find a way to let donors who just can’t not be there that night. How else could we participate when it’s about wishes anybody can participate? And i think that helped a cz well, so that’s kind of the two things we know going into the night come and way announced to the audience and then the third part of our trilogy stories after the event, what do we need to be now? Follow-up should be planned during planning, right way we should be thinking about what our follow-up is gonna be while we’re doing the advance planning it is, but we’re hearing a lot that night, and you’re understanding what the individual journey might be for donorsearch we can talk about own overall strategy were also listening to the donors needs as well, and that we hear that that night so that’s that’s an important thing. But, you know, i i think there’s a couple of great examples, our ten million dollars donor started out as a seventeen hundred dollars, went on. He bought tickets to a mets game where they were doing a benefit for make a wish and to see the journey after some of the events, it was where he got to the traditional stage was when he was able to make a difference for the individual wish kids. So he began to grant wishes and then began to think, well, if i could grant a wish, i wonder if i could do more. Then he began to grant a wish a month for five years. Sixty kids, when you think about that and that his attitude wass but i could inspire others by this, and i have to lead by example. So in his office building, he took down some of his paintings and put up something that we have designed, which was simply a tree, acknowledging those wishes that have been granted so simple. First name of a child and a wish. And when you came up into his lobby, you immediately saw that this was somebody who was champion the cost. So he then, as he got closer after after having been an event donor now he’s making a difference for children. And so when it became time to start thinking about the next generation wish children, you know, in two thousand thirteen, we were thirty years old and we had grand on ten thousand wish and we had a big bowl dream for the future. We want to grant the next ten thousand wishes because we understood now importance and impact. I want to grant those ten thousand wishes in a decade. Well, how do you sell somebody on a big, bold dream? Will you go to your best investors in the cause? And he said, well, i like to give you a down payment on the future. And that became the largest individual gift in the history of make-a-wish worldwide from an individual. And think about that for the for the future of this organization. You know, here was somebody who went from seventeen hundred dollars, two. Ten million. But it was never about ten million dollars for hemos about the ability to change ten thousand lives. So you think we moved from transaction? You know, i give you tickets to this event because you gave me a donation moved to the transitional stage where we could say thank you for making a difference for that child to the transformational stage would thank you for making a difference for the future of the mission that’s where the journey goes if we take our special event and understand that each of those stages the preplanning the night of and what happens after are all distinct but equally important segments that can help that donor journey. Okay, we still have a couple of minutes left. Anything you want, teo. Hopefully you do have something you want to share that we haven’t said yet. Well, i think, you know, one of the things that i was really struck by wei had our gala on june twelfth this year, and there was a couple who had come forward and they were security. They secure the honore, and they were great in helping support the fund-raising around ten. And as they thought about sending a letter out two people to solicit funds from business colleagues and family and friends, i learn a lot when you see the letters say, right? And this one just simply said we got involved with make a wish because we learned about Micah 6 year old who want to be a ballerina. We stayed involved because over the years, we’ve seen hundreds and thousands of kids whose lives have been forever changed, and what i realized was here was a couple who came to an event. Was a cultivation event just to learn about make-a-wish and they heard that story and that stayed with them, and now we have an event for which they were such an incredible catalyst as a couple raised one point, six million dollars the fund-raising they did was extraordinary, they’ve been doubted wishing for security, and yet they never lost sight of the fact that it was at an event that was learning about that one child that touch them and made them want to do more. I don’t think i really understood that power of their motivation until that moment, but what i did but, you know, that’s, the discipline that we need to put in place, that’s the story telling you a story telling all the way in which we don’t look at this as a transaction it’s so much more an event can be so much more and could be such a powerful part about how we welcome donors into the extraordinary missions that we all support gonna leave it there. Ok, tony, thank you. My pleasure, pat clemency. She is president and ceo of make a wish metro new york and western new york and thank you. For bringing lessons from rochester and buffalo. Thank you, my pleasure or listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of fund-raising day two thousand fourteen. Thank you so much for being with us next week. I may do sexual harassment in non-profits may check that out. Spend some time with that. If you missed any part of today’s show, i’d be seat. 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