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Julia Reich and Marlene Oliveira: Consider Consulting
Is consulting to nonprofits for you? Do you have the personality for it? What about marketing, pricing and setting boundaries? Julia Reich is owner of Stone Soup Creative and Marlene Oliveira is principal of moflow, a communications consultancy. We talked at NTC 2015, the Nonprofit Technology Conference.
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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 suffer the embarrassment of giggle incontinence if it leaked out that you missed today’s show, consider consulting is consulting to non-profits for you do you have the personality for it? What about marketing, pricing and setting boundaries with clients? Julia rice is owner of stone soup creative and marlene olivera is principal of moflow, a communications consultancy, we talked at ntcdinosaur fifteen, the non-profit technology conference and top skills for your board software advice has a report on what skills to look for as you recruit board members. Melissa mccormick is their market research manager on tony’s. Take two thank you and third sector, responsive by opportunity collaboration, the working meeting on poverty reduction that will ruin you for every other conference here is considered consulting from auntie si. Welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of non-profit technology conference twenty fifteen we’re in austin, texas at the convention center our hosts are and ten non-profit technology network with me are julie rice she’s, the owner of stone soup, creative and marlene olivera, copywriter and communications consultant with moflow julia marlene, welcome, thanks for having us thinking it’s a pleasure to have you on a busy conference day. Thank you. You’re a very interesting topic is, uh, considering consulting to non-profits i like that a lot. We don’t do a lot of career topics on non-profit radio. So that’s why? I was very much anxious toe have you and talk to you? Um, julia let’s, start with you. What do i need to be thinking about? Generally? Because we have plenty of time together if i’m thinking about making this transition to consulting what what should be what? Some of things i should be thinking about? Well, when marlene and i were putting together the session, we identified five different main topics that we’re going to cover, and one of them is actually making the leap and what to think about when you’re first starting out? Yeah, on and so we both came up with our own tips of what we thought would be important, and so i’ll just share one of my tips and it’s going to sound really obvious, but when you’re first starting out as a consultant, i think it’s important to be professional and there’s a lot of different ways, teo exude professionalism, and one of those things is really easy to do and that’s get a professional headshot so, you know, you can use something from your iphone or whatever, but that’s the selfie is not really doing it. Yeah, yeah. And i see a lot of people do that, and i think that they’re kind of it’s kind of an injustice. I think that they could really be presenting just a better presentation of themselves if they got a a professional headshot on and there’s actually, right here in the conference in the science fair, they’re actually taking professional about two boots over, right? Flux a fail you xx our neighbors are taking taking professional hit shots so there’s, no excuse, right? If you’re here it but if you’re not, yeah, and we’re in such a visual society on the web is so visual. When people go to your about paige or your bio page, the first thing they’re gonna do is look at your picture before they start reading. So it’s your first impression and a lot of ways, right? All right, marlene, you have a tip? Yeah, for sure. I think when you’re thinking about whether or not to move into consulting, my advice is to think about two things in particular. One is your personality and whether you have an entrepreneurial type of personality, whether you’re going to be able teo, learn the skills that are outside of your specialty in order to run a business, have you also within your personality, whether you’re a warrior or not, whether you’re gonna be able teo, stay, keep an even keel when the business is slow, right? We went in cash flow. We need to know that cash flow and income fluctuations very, very much a part of having your own consultant lee totally a part of it. And so i kind of think that you should potentially not be pursuing this if you’re a real warrior. Yeah, some real introspection. Yeah. Think about your personality. And and you know whether you want to run a business because it’s a big move from having a paycheck. And then the other thing is, think about your finances. So you touched on it. I think in my in my experience, it worked well to have a good cash flow. Good reserve before launching the business. So i think, you know, save up for it if you can spend some time saving up so that once again you can weather the downtime and that you make good decisions, you won’t just take any client for any reason. So i think thinking about your finances and think about how good you are with money. You know, julie and i have talked about, you know, your good favor when the money does come in. Do you spend it all? So those are things i think you think you should think about in terms of your personality way want to avoid making an impulsive decision because all of a sudden, our job sucks. Something has really just happened that we just can’t tolerate. So i’m going off on my own. Yes. Actually, that is something that we talked about as well as your motivation. Are you? What? What you said, you know, it seems like the easiest way out of a bad situation. Or do you really want to be a business owner? Okay, julie, you want to share another tip? You said you had teo just came up with. A couple, anything else or around the motivation, any opening question tips? Well, i would just add to it, marlene said, when i first went out on my own, a lot of people would say to me, oh, i could never do that, i would just be watching television all the time or, you know, going shopping and, you know, my personality is well suited to being a consultant and being self employed because i’m just really self motivated and no, i have to, you know, i have to make a living, so i’m not gonna waste my time, you know, going shopping and watching television and so it’s, just i know that part of my personality is is motivated enough teo toe work, like on a and i guess that’s going back to being professional, you know, it’s, i’m i’m sitting in my office in front of my computer basically monday through friday, nine to five, sending that setting those hours cem or introspection, but also recognizing that the need to pay bills is quite a motivation. So you may think that you may be on the fence about whether you’re whether you’re disciplined enough, recognize that you’re gonna have bills and you are going to want to make money to pay them so that that should be some help to you, right, discipline, that way of putting it. But on the other hand, if you say you’re total slouch and, you know, for a fact, you’re not gonna do it, then then this is not the right both for you, although i can’t say i kind of learned this one the hard way a little bit where the year i launched my business was also an olympic here i watched it few too many olympic duvette your income suffer, and i mean, it was mostly during a quiet time it was during the summer, but i did realize that i could have been building my business instead and started to build that structure and that discipline in a more defined way for myself started to structure it in what year was that what you live for? Two thousand eight? And how long have you been in business? Julia? Since two thousand one. Okay, oppcoll what’s something else? Well, can i presume that marketing is one of the areas of importance? Who wants to start with marketing ideas? How? Do we get this thing launched? You go first. All right, well, i have just a few of the things that have worked for me that i think are potentially surprising to people. I mean, i think you need to do what you enjoy doing and do what overtime you figure out what works but a lot. People cringe when i say i could have obtained some of my favorite and best clients by either cold calling or sending letters. Really? Absolutely. Especially in that first year, i think, you know, nobody wants to pick up the phone and do that, and i didn’t want to either. I don’t mind as much as other people, but i just did. I just made a list. I made a certain number. People i’d call on certain days. It’s good to schedule marketing days. That’s another tip that you will spend on your marketing, your business. And yes, between those calls and those those letters overtime, i did plant the seeds, and they did take a while to grow. But i got some of the best clients my favorite work because they responded to the letter or that phone call. I wonder if. It’s, because you were very careful about who you put on the list. I definitely would have been a lot of time on research, absolutely so much, so much more than the writing and the calling. Yeah, but marlene is also a writer professionally, so i’m sure it was an extremely well written letter. Okay, okay, still that’s not what i would expect all these years and you’re consultant two thousand eight, i would have expected you say comes from referrals mostly that that’s my number to me, actually between that kind of pitching, sort of cold calling or or letter writing and referrals that’s where most of my business has come. And i think referrals, arm or account for more. But that was just a surprising one. The first one that i mentioned and i’ve kept up more with referrals then with letter writing and phone calls. But, yes, absolutely referrals. And when it comes to referrals similar, i think people should be disciplined, structured about it. You make it really targeted list. What you do is you approach your clients that you like working with and you let them know i’d like to work with more awesome clients. Like you and i’m guessing, you know, like minded people, and i think that they’re to you, you said a number how many referrals will i ask for per month to say and make it a point? Make it on your calendar asked for those referrals and pre write an email that they can forward on that your contacts conversely, ford on very, very simple, just like all our sharing tools on the web. Okay, 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 marketmesuite 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 julia let’s, come back to your marketing marketing tips. Well, i think when you’re thinking about positioning yourself, when you’re first starting out, that you want to position yourself as an expert, i mean, obviously, you have an expertise in whatever it is that you want to consult about. So i don’t think that that would actually, you know, be an issue. But, you know, you kind of want to just stake a claim and say, i am this expert with this with this specialty, and position yourself that way, go on and have the confidence to do that. All right, anything else? Marketing wise marketing is pretty big. Well, let’s say, i mean, julia, you mentioned professionalism and the professional headshot. Obviously, all your marketing materials should be professional might be worth investing in a professional writer if you’re not one designer. If you’re not one, definitely. I mean, you should be investing in your business. Yeah, and and i would say that in terms of marketing, something that i think has worked well for both of us is sort of building a network and developing a community and sharing your knowledge with that community. So whether that’s doing blawg posts or webinars or marlene does tweet chats, uh, different kinds of presentations, but sharing your expertise with the community and building it up that way. There’s a good way too, huh? Just build your clientele and your prospects. Julia, what is your consulting? What do you do? I do graphic design and brand strategy. Okay? And marlene, you’re a professional writer. I do copy writing in communications planning. So basically a block and a newsletter planning it’s. Not writing strategy. Not writing if it’s not writing it’s those do you think? Okay. Okay, so you’re covering it. All right. So we have writing and design. Ah, where? Should we go after after marketing? Well, they didn’t want to just say one more thing about marketing really lead to it and a lot of those efforts i know for both of us lead toward building an email list on and that’s it for me. It’s a focus now that hasn’t been a focus prior to now, but it also fits with that building a community, having people who want to hear from you and are waiting for your help and your tips and your information keeping yourself top of mind with them. So it’s ready to add that about female? Alright, excellent way wish we go after marketing. Well, we didn’t finish talking, but one thing that i love talking about a little bit of this bit working from home, one of the advantages yeah, and the productivity side for me because i think it’s both the luxury on the challenge of being self employed that you’re leaving the world of meetings if you work in a non-profit you’d probably spend forty percent of your day in meetings, and maybe maybe i’m under representing that, but you can get so much done, but you do have to be. Disciplined, so i just wanted to mention the idea about setting boundaries for yourself and for others on, and i’m very pointed about that, you know, there are certain things i won’t do while i’m writing, i won’t let an internet distractions of all that social media scheduled time for those those are put to the side until i’ve been productive enough and setting boundaries with people around you could sometimes those friends who have more flexibility in their life get excited that they can call you during the day or they can pop in, or the or the lunch thing that julia mentioned that that they think you’re available now to fit into their social calendar. So you just need to decide what you’re going to allow in if anything, during a work day and be deliberate about that boundaries. And i’ve had i’ve had an office outside of the house, and i’ve had an office inside my house, and i like them both for different reasons. Pros and cons for both. Okay, murcott how about pricing? We move, teo pricing, what base do we have around pricing? Well, i have a few tips. Sort of. I find it. Hard to give anyone advice about what they should do with pricing, but these are the things that these short, more smaller picture tips that i that i use well, the big picture point is, too. If you’re launching your business as a professional than charge professional feet, it doesn’t mean charging here here doesn’t mean charging a ton, but it doesn’t mean trying to compete with employees and related to that is to get away from hourly pricing because clients will compare you to staff and what they’re paying stuff. Oh, that’s interesting you’re recommending avoiding hourly, but i don’t think of charged hourly since since that first year since two thousand eight, when i when i realized that for me project based pricing works better clients, they like the predictability of it. They know what they’re paying, and i build in the steps that it is going to take to get there. So that’s kind of like to use the analogy, if you know you had kids say they come over your lawn for ten dollar fee or, you know, four dollars every ten minutes and you have no idea how long this kid is going to take. And i think my clients like that predictability about it other a few other tips are i think you should always give a ballpark first to see if you’re speaking the same language, maybe, you know, even in the same world and never quote in person, like always have the conversation go back and think about what that really should be and come back in writing later. Yeah, sometimes it can be sometimes hard. Teo, resist the impulse to do be thoughtful and answer the question. Well, what would this cost? You know, you always have to say step, step back, let me think about it. Let me put something in writing for you that’s usually that’s, usually sufficient to get the person toe agreed. It’s wait a few days or a week for something more. I appreciate that you’re thinking about yeah, exactly, you know, with anything that we do. We’re thinking about time, but we’re also thinking about our particular expertise, whether we’re right fit were probably building out timelines for clients. They want us to go think about what it really is and so yeah, it’s customized for them. Yeah, more, more, more tips around, pricing, anything. You wanna add julia? I wanted to add onto something marlene said about not pricing by the hour because i think it’s also a perception thing, you know, if a client is hyre is paying you by the hour, i think they’re more inclined to perceive you as a vendor, you know, like, you know, someone who most lawn and not then that’s, not really what commodity? Yeah, like that’s, not really where we are and what we do, we’re more i feel like i’m more of a valued partner with my client’s projects, and i’m really trying to understand what their goals and objectives are, and i want to help them. I want to be honestly, genuinely helpful to help them achieve their goals, and i’m helping them plan and strategize, and they’re not going to get that from an hourly rate and it sure you both of you come would come across this that you want to be helpful, so i don’t want my clients to hesitate to call me or ask me to do something because they don’t want to spend that other additional hourly fee. I want them to feel like they can talk to me. To get it right do what it takes to get it right. And then if there is a need for an additional fee, absolutely you can say, you know, i certainly can help you with that. But it’s it’s outside what we go talked about initially that’s actually is another thought about boundaries different than what we were talking about, but still that’s important about boundaries. Yeah, that’s well outside we’ve we’ve agreed, if you like, we can add that on absolutely and that, and that goes back to those careful quotes. You know, when i build a quota bill didn’t exactly what steps are included in that fie, and if it does carry on a little longer than we might talk about an additional fee? Yeah, yeah, okay, one of the topics i think you were going to discuss his establishing your niche and identifying yourself as that within that niche. How do we how do we do that with our potential clients? Julia has a great thoughts. I’ll lead over to her about the consultant versus freelance or kind of role, but for me, when your first evaluating your nation with a canadian e, i think, you know a few things to just consider again you have to find your way along the way we’ve talked about how did we each find our way? Because we can’t pin it down to any one thing, you know, but you’re you’re looking at obviously your expertise and your experience and your skills, you’re looking at what kind of non-profit you want to serve if you want to focus in on a sub sector and you probably should, unless you’re skilled that you’re offering is very specific. He wanted to think about what motivates you, how you can bring your personality into your business and how that can influence what you what you have to offer. So, yeah, that’s kind of go through my thoughts around establishing your brand in the shape of your business and of course, your marketing materials have materials need to support all that and be consistent, just like we have a consistent message within non-profits our own marketing message needs to be consistent, okay? Julia well, my answer is more sort of about the terminology that i might use to define what i d’oh on, and so now i’m using the term consultant, but i haven’t always been comfortable using that term, so i mean, when you think about graphic designers and graphic design firms, you probably don’t think of them as being consultants in the typical sense of the word, and you’re right because i do have ah, more of ah, creative agency hat and with graphic design projects, you know, and they’re and they’re, you know, project fee, and i work with a team of people, you know, like a website, for instance, and i work with developers and designers and content writers, but there is also i am also a consultant because i do brands strategy, and i work with my clients one on one, and so i am wearing that more of that consultant hat, but i also do trainings and workshops and things like that, so in that sense, i’m more of a consultant. So i guess when you’re talking about establishing your brand in your niche, you know, whether you call yourself a consultant or an agency or a freelancer or a coach on this, you’re really matters. I mean, maybe the clients don’t even really care as long as you are positioning yourself so that the client that you want to reach knows that you’re the person to call in their time of need, and that may take some tweaking, right? I’m still tweet like that been in business for fourteen, fifteen years, i’m still tweaking. You don’t always get the clients that exactly in the sweet spot that you want, right? And you might change over the years, you know, i’ve been tweaking when i started right away and interesting. Yeah, you know, i actually was focusing on not focusing i was helping with anything that fell under communications because that was my background was overall communications managing within a non-profit and in the first few months, i decided let’s focus on content because i think clients know they need it, and they don’t want to write it themselves. And then i did that for several years, and in the last couple of years i thought, you know, i can still do that, but i can help more non-profit by doing mme or things like this chat that julia mention now that’s, that’s, not for compensation. I do that for free, but i wanted to sort of change who i was, who i was in the marketplace and i offer more training and more webinars and developing a course so it’s, always evolving. I assume it will always evolve for me. That’s actually the fun part of it it’s it’s creative to be self employed to be a consultant you’re always trying to think of new ways to do things and better ways to do things many things. A twitter chat is a great example, cause it sets you up as an expert in the area, a za convener of others live in your profession as a guide and help in the niche. Yes, a resource that got all that well within the niche that you’ve selected. All very good, i think, for long term credibility. Have you ever seen anything directly business come from twitter? Chat directly? You know it’s a good question, because some of the things i do in that domain, i think, keep me top of mind, but they don’t result in a phone call. Yeah, that’s fine. So i think it’s someone who knows about the rest of it or has been to my website or his has met me through referral and then they see the other activity and that gives it. A boots that just keeps me top of mind i feel that way for the chat, but what i find with the chat specifically is also that it creates sort of a you know, my my own, even though i’m a business might maya ambassadors on social media, people who are more loyal, more willing to share what i’m providing, whether it’s block post so that kind of thing so that’s a definite benefit that i’ve had from your ambassadors on social media love that, yeah, very good in all those ways. Yeah, well, well put, well put, i’ve been doing this show for four and a half years and on lee within the past year, i’d say has it led to calls related to business? So interesting really took a good three years, i’d say before, before that started happening and and it’s it’s a love i mean, i just it’s a joint i love doing this show, but that’s just like an added benefit. A lot of marketing efforts are like that. Yeah, yeah it’s a long cycle, long term, but i do plan to giving consulting, by the way e-giving fund-raising all right, so we still have another like three minutes or so together? What? What else? What else you want to talk about? Well, one of these we’re going to be sharing in our session tomorrow is about lessons learned along the way. I don’t know if you want to keep that are julia share? So we’re going to wrap up with lessons learned along the way and when i was thinking about what i wanted to say about that it’s really more about sort of ah, something i’ve learned about myself that i’m not very good at and just acknowledging that i’m not very good at it or introspection more interest back-up introspection, asses, yeah, preneurs yeah, yeah, so one of the lessons i’ve learned about myself along the way is that i really hate to talk on the phone like i’m think i’m phobic like i will talk on the phone, you know, if a client wants to talk on the phone or one of my strategic partners wants to talk on the phone, i will do it, but i won’t almost never pick up the phone and initiate a car, so you’re definitely not doing the cold calling marketing i’m doing carlene store. Right? I’m doing cold emailing. Okay, uh, but i would rather clean out my refrigerator, then pick up the phone. Okay? And i think that’s really held me back. You know, i don’t think it’s a good thing, all right, but just you’ve identified it right way you’re not going to force yourself to do cold call marketing, right? Alright, alright. Lessons learned, marlene for me, the big one is learn to say no, you know, say no if if it’s not in your budget, if it’s not according to your fees and wait for the client that will pay your fees. Say no if it’s if it doesn’t feel right, or if it’s not the right fit for me, i say no when it’s not a non-profit because other people hear about me and they asked me small businesses and i really my passion is focusing on working with non-profit so that’s where i keep it and it’s not to say not to be leased a little flexible on work outside your comfort zone and try new things, but just understand it’s okay to say no when it doesn’t feel good so that the more you say no the more you’re actually building the business you want instead of the business that is just kind of coming around. Yes, letting it involve organically. Based on what comes in. Did you have you said yes? Unwisely? Oh, yes, definitely. And so this is a big lesson learned along the way, and i don’t know why, you know, i think it’s just a coincidence. But every time i took a large corporate client, a large corporate client, it didn’t go well out of money. A lot of money in those. Yeah, actually that’s not always true. I was surprised to hear the medical, nickel and dime with me more than a non-profit might, but just just think, it’s the common thread that whenever i took a large corporate client, like once a year for the first couple of years, something would go wrong. It would either be about a relationship or they wouldn’t pay on time, so i just took it as a sign, you know, there are they paid by not on time. I mean, like, four months later. But i took it as a sign that i’ve got to start saying no, because even when it came in someone metoo copyright a boat, nickel mining or i don’t know the subject. I don’t know the people i should’ve said no, i didn’t say yes, we’re gonna leave it there, ok, thank you very much. Thanks for having us. Oh, my pleasure. Julia rice is the owner of stone soup. Creative and marlene olivera is copywriter and communications consultant moflow m o f l o w ladies. Thank you again. Thank you. This is tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of ntc fifteen the non-profit technology conference. Thanks so much for being with us. Julia rice has a very spotless refrigerator. Sounds like live listener love let’s start domestic right here, philadelphia p a the city of brotherly love live listener loved to philadelphia, lexington, kentucky. Langhorne, piela toronto in canada. San francisco, california. Marquette, michigan live listener loved toe all the live listeners going abroad italy haven’t had you? I don’t think before or it’s been a long time. Bongiorno i wish we could see the city but we cannot see your city. I’m sorry. Reservoir australia, tokyo, japan. Konnichiwa, seoul, south korea. Multiple, always, always. Seoul, south korea checking in. Thank you on youre haserot buenos aires in argentina. And none jing in china ni hao podcast pleasantries to everybody listening in the time shift whatever device that might be, whatever day time, whatever month you may even be listening to this may podcast pleasantries to you and the affiliate affections. Of course, we love our affiliates throughout the country. Affections to each affiliate listener tony take two and top skills for your border coming up. First opportunity collaboration it’s a week long unconference in nick stop of mexico around poverty alleviation. It’s for non-profits also impact investors, social entrepreneurs grantmaker sze researchers, academics and corporations. It’s in october, as of today, it is seventy six percent sold out. I in fact, i gotta get my registration in amy sample ward is going to be there also, if your work is related to poverty reduction anywhere in the world, check it out. Opportunity collaboration, dot net i thank you very much for loving non-profit radio your love keeps me going on cold, snowy nights when i have no heat or electricity. It’s a tough city here in new york, but your support gets me through. Um, actually, i’ve actually play of heat and hot water sometimes have to crack. The windows open it’s money that i could use you can send money because the love is no good if i don’t have the money. So what the hell is that? So i can’t go out for nice dinners can go on trips love is not going to be enough. Um, i can’t be golden corral and applebee’s. I can’t do those all the time. Although golden corral does actually have good salchow ices. I appreciate those, but you get the message now. But actually, i am very, very grateful for the love that you show for non-profit radio weekend week out really it’s almost it’s. Almost five full years were coming up. And my video this week is a thanks for recent prays that i’ve gotten from listeners you can hear. I got some got some quotes there and the video is that tony martignetti dot com and i do thank you very much. Third sector today at third sector today dot com amy davita runs it and she has lots of contributors. Not like my sight. She actually welcomes other opinions. Ah, third sector today. Blog’s tips, insights. Best practices for the community. They have a podcast, maria. Simple has been on the podcast and amy davita, stop stealing my guests. Don’t even try to get maria. Simple is a regular it’s not gonna happen. She’s she’s exclusive non-profit radio anyway, third sector today dot com a valuable resource curated with an open mind. I hate that. And that is tony’s. Take two for friday, eighth of may eighteenth show of the year. I’m feeling well feisty this afternoon. I know why that is. I mean, i don’t know, but i’m not going to take it out on melissa mccormick. She is a market research manager at software advice. She establishes and enforces standards and best practices for research and analysis. She oversees the regular publication of original primary research on the role of software and technology across many industries. Her research has been sighted in court’s information week, elektronik ce weekly ceo, dot com and other outlets. Software advice is a resource for software buyers. They provide detailed reviews and research on thousands of software applications there at software advice dot com and at n p o soft advice. Listen, mccormick, welcome to the show. Hi. Thanks, tony. Good to be here. It’s. A pleasure to have a researcher. And rarely do i get in someone’s bio that they are an enforcer. What is that you do smack knuckles with rulers? Or is it like, stockades or or waterboarding? Which way? Now i’m really not at liberty to say i could tell you, but you have killing these air company secrets of pride. I kind of helped establish and make sure folks are following our guidelines for conducting research and analysis. Now, our researchers typically ah, like a group of anarchists. They’ll do whatever they whatever they please. Unless there’s an enforcer, not my researchers. Now you’re well oh, yeah, but because there is an enforcer. So researchers, they the they get a little loose handed if they’re not reined in. Is this is this ah, true among the research community, you know, not so much that it’s just there are lots of methods and method oppcoll method illogical approaches. So keeping everybody on the same page so that were consistent. Okay. All right. So we know the the research coming out of software advices ous high quality. It is enforced. Yeah. Okay. That’s your responsibility. All right, so how about this survey on board skills? Why? Was this ah focus area? Sure. So, you know, through other research that we’ve conducted and just talking to folks at non-profits that are looking for software solution, we’ve kind of observed that non-profits air a little bit slower to adopt new technology. I think there are a lot of reasons for that, you know, budget, obviously being a big one, maybe just lack of prior experience with software and technology, but it’s sort of a kurd twist that boardmember zahra and kind of a unique position to help guide perhaps the exploration of tech options. So having tech savvy board members could in turn, help non-profits improve their operations in the way they interact with software and technology. So that was kind of our hypothesis on land of reason. Is that your is that called that h one? We still use that terminology. H one hypothesis. You know, i actually don’t use that term, and i don’t see it’s, uh, played well. Sure. Let’s. Call it a one. No, no, no. I took statistics in nineteen eighty two. So each one is probably outdated. Now, it’s probably something else. I don’t know. Okay, we used to call it a tch one h two. And then you try to prove these and there’s something called confidence intervals. I’m sorry. Ok, ok. Is that that still exist? Count your confidence. Interval still exist? Yeah, they do. Ok. Alright, im sorry. Little digression trying to show off that i know something. Go ahead. Okay, so you had your your hat? Your hypothesis. You want to call it a tch one. You had this hypothesis about technology adoption being, i guess, a little quicker for for non-profits if they had sabat your board members. Is that is that basically it? Yeah, that was just it occurred to us that would be one entry point. So one kind of way that change could be an after would be through, um, kind of a technology progressive board. So we wanted to explore that idea and just kind of the broader impact that aboard could have. And how non-profits go about recruiting board members and how they should go about recruiting. Board members so kind of morphed into a bigger topic than purely the software and technology that that’s that’s, kind of where it started on and turned into you just to look at, um, you know from a non-profits perspective, what should you be looking for in a boardmember and on the other side of that coin from a boardmember perspective, which what should you be looking at in a potential board to join? Yeah. So you write. You looked at it, right? You said both sides. So what are people looking for? Yeah, out of board service. And we’ll get a good chance to talk about that and and how khun boards used that information to promote board service. I’m sorry. Not welcome. Non-profits use that to promote board service. Exactly. All right. On dh. What was the which method? A logical choice. Did you choose among the wide array open to professional researchers? Yeah. So we conducted an online survey of a little over fifteen hundred people. So that’s, kind of the quantitative approach. We also i did some expert interviews. So, you know, quantitative is great, especially with a big sample size. You can kind of get a degree of certainty about the results, but we really wanted teo get a little color to those results. So we also did some qualitative interviews with, uh, what i call subject matter experts, folks. In the nonprofit world who have been dealing with boardmember zoho topics related to boards and technology in general for a long time, so interesting and then how do you ah, as a researcher, how do you i don’t know what xero score those those interviews you call, they’re obviously qualitative said yeah, and using that term a little bit loosely report that we published drew most heavily on the quantitative results that were a lot of charts and graphs on dh then really used thie commentary from the interviews we conducted as just kind of quotes within the report on dhe means of almost kind of get checking our own analysis that we’ve done as well, okay, and i see those quotes are in the report. Um, yeah, a lot of mar yeah, so we kind of tied together the broad themes from the discussions we had with those folks into thank you take away that we had already identified from the survey results. I was i was not interviewed. As i recall, i that was obviously an oversight on the part of god there go. I did not coach her to say that i didn’t coach i implicitly. Begged her, too, but i didn’t say it. I didn’t say explicitly. Okay, next time. Okay. There’ll be other opportunities. All right. So what do we find? What? What? Let’s? Look at it from the non-profit perspective. What? What should non-profits b promoting as as board service values? Tio, you recruit? Sure, sure. So, um, one of the biggest, i guess, kind of most decisive findings was that people join boards for personal fulfillment on dh that’s, perhaps not really terribly surprising. You know, obviously, these folks they’re giving of their time and their money. So they want to care about the cause that they’re giving to, but personal fulfillment was number one on the tops of folks list. Okay, okay, let me get a question about that. Now, do we have to be concerned about self reporting bias that people would say the choose the altruistic fulfillment choice over networking opportunities or, you know, something more? More self serving? Sure. Yeah, that that definitely comes into play. You know, it was far in a way, the number one pick. So i think we still have a degree of certainty there. But but yeah, it’s probably safe to assume that. Consciously or unconsciously, folks are kind of elevating their their altruistic nature, as you said, but, you know, i think it also makes sense, um, kind of was validated by the folks we spoke with that, you know, this is a commitment people want two really care about what the non-profits stands for, they’re going to be dedicating so much of themselves to it. Okay, now, it’s clear why i’m not i’m on no boards, but to your point about, you know, networking. We did get folks saying acquiring new skills was important to them honing leadership skills, networking and meeting new people. Those were all other sighted benefits commonly cited benefits, okay, back to the top one, personal fulfillment? What is it? Is it those elements that they’re looking for is that is that satisfying the personal fulfillment that they’re they’re seeking? So i think there are a lot of components to that and that’s something our survey didn’t actually explore very deeply. So, um, potential for future research opportunities exposed, but, yeah, i think it’s not personal fulfillment in the sense that, you know, i am acquiring new skills or meeting new people, but also in the sense that i’m contributing to the greater good. Um so, you know, other survey results included that people really want to see the impact of what they’re doing in the non-profit and the impact that the non-profit is having on its community. So i think that certainly ties in the personal fulfillment as well focused on to feel like they’re contributing to an organization that is contributing to community. I also saw a reliability and accountability mentioned, yeah, so i think those terms specifically came up in the context of, you know, what skills should you look for in potential board way? Kind of explored to different avenues with that one being more kind of professional experience and even almost personality based skills on another being technology based skills? So when it comes to just professional experience and personal skillsets accountability, reliability, those blanked on the west, okay, um, we have just about ah minute and a half or so before we take take a break, melissa okay, why don’t you? Ah, why don’t we go into a little bit about some of the some of the tech skills that are that are sought after what we’re looking for? Sure so um, a little over half of the folks we surveyed mentioned a specific type of software in some capacity or another. So fund-raising software obviously a big one, some kind of experience with systems for doner management. But the number one that came up across the board that everyone said was important was basic computer skills again, not super surprising, but that would include stuff like email aah! Oh, my gosh. Yeah. Okay. That’s got to be there, right? Yeah, exactly. So something really foundational? Tio the the way non-profits conduct business, email documents, spreadsheets. Yeah, yeah, general kind of office productivity tools. You know, like you’re your microsoft word and excel. Not sort of saying calendar tools. Um, dahna obviously critical, but what was kind of interesting and i think what was reflected and the professional skills that we saw being requested was just the diversity of the types of tech skills folks are looking for. So you invented fund-raising and ensured time we’re going way. We’ll take a break, but hold that thought because it’s critical diversity is critical, obviously to ah, two, two boards and we’ll get to that diversity of skills and and continue right after this. 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 neo-sage levine from new york universities heimans center on philantech 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 guest directly. To sign up, visit the facebook page for tony martignetti dot com. Hi, i’m kate piela, executive director of dance, new amsterdam. And you’re listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Yeah. All right, melissa let’s, keep talking about diversity, but what more can we say about that? Sure, yes. I’m probably going to throw that word around the whole lot. Ah, diversity it’s kind of a theme that came up a couple across a couple different topic areas that we covered. So i mentioned with respect to technology skills and software skills. You know, folks on boards were telling us, but the most important stuff was really a lot of stuff. So cr m donorsearch management kind of tools, tools for managing your website. Fundez counting obviously a big one and fund-raising tools in general, i mentioned already on dh that was kind of echoed when we looked at so not the technology side, but the professional skills that were most support. That was really interesting because it was almost an even mix when we asked people for the single most important we’ve got a pie chart with a bunch of pieces of pie that are very similar in size. Um, the number one that kind of had a little edge over the next few was fund-raising so experience fund-raising but others included, you know, just past experience with a similar type of non-profit so relevant volunteer experience. Um, professional services kind of experience. So stuff like legal and accounting skills. Project management provoc management, i think. It’s very grand marketing also. Yep. Marketing. Exactly. Good. You’re going to say something about project management, please? Yeah. That was one that was really echoed by the experts that we spoke with on dh. It makes sense to me that you would want someone who can, you know, manage lots of people working on tasks and keep things moving, keep things organized, keep lots of balls in the air at a time. So that’s a great one that came up in both our survey results in on our interviews, um, and then human resource, those skills, so just kind of oh, your management, which i think has tied to project management, but a little more on the, you know, actual people side. What do you think was meant by project management? What? Did you flush that out at all? Um, you know, i’m looking to see if we gave any examples. We didn’t flush it out much and mean kwan keita’s. But when we spoke to our experts, you know, they talked about the importance of this is where the reliability and the accountability came up. I think in the context of project management to the importance of, um, having the ability to hold others accountable. Tio get people to do great work without stepping on toes. And i think, you know, for non-profits, especially it’s, important to be really efficient. Anytime you’ve got a big group of people responsible for a single task. It’s, easy for, um, everyone to kind of go in different directions or, you know, lots of talking and not a lot of doing to happen. So folks with project management skills, i think, can really cut through that and keep things on track and keep everybody focused on moving in the same direction. Transparent communications was was thought as what? Where it was sought by by people aspiring to board service. Yes, what’s under that was i ah, that was very important. People want to know what the expected involvement is. So what exactly will they be doing? What will they be expected to do? Um and that includes you. You know, what kind of work will be doing but also e-giving requirements. So what will they be expected to give personally? What would what will day be expected to raise? Um, all of these things, people are looking for clarity. Um, and this was kind of echoed by some of the folks we spoke with us. Well, who said you know, non-profits tend to think that board members just understand what they’re getting in four or maybe don’t care about the specifics of what they’re getting in for, but it’s very important to have some layer of transparency and on the part of non-profits that requires maybe sametz tre thought into what the role will entail. So, you know, one thing that one of the experts we spoke to recommended was just actually writing up kind of a little job description to share with board members, you know, communicating really clearly what the expectations are in terms of, you know, frequency of getting together may be setting a schedule of meetings, like an annual schedule that you could share in advance. Um, and then kind of relating back to what i talked about earlier, the personal fulfillment thing. It’s important for non-profits to communicate the impact that they’re having and bringing things full circle. I think that’s kind of a role that technology can play, you know, helping track and also helping non-profits disseminate information about the impact that they’re having. That’s. All that’s, obviously very big topic in the community, especially now that charity navigator is looking for a new ceo. And what is that? What kind of priority priorities is that person going to bring to that to that organization? But yes, for interesting. And now, the way it ties back to technology. Excellent. Excellent. Yeah, absolutely. What, whether what other questions are out there? We just have a minute and half or so left what the questions are out there that you’d like to answer. Software advice is going to answer? Sure. So, you know, i mentioned earlier i think one further area for exploration could be digging into that personal fulfillment question a little. We got the results back and saw oh, everybody’s looking for personal fulfillment and kind of went well, duh, of course. That’s what people are looking for and of course, that’s what they are going to say they’re looking for. But what does that mean? It probably means different things to different people. See? I asked. I asked that question also. So that makes me a subject matter. Exactly. You should be a researcher. Well, i’d rather just be interviewed, but i’m not a good influence. Our goal the line. All right, thank you very much. Just another minute. God, what else is out there? Um so so that was one thing another thing that i’m kind of interested in exploring, not necessarily in a quantitative way, necessarily, but just this idea of the diversity of skillsets you know what? What is the balance that you should look for? And how did these different folks with these different backgrounds worked together in the most effective ways? Um, and are there specific types of software and technology that can be leveraged by people with specific skillsets so, you know, should someone with accounting skills be advocating for accounting software for their non-profit that kind of thing? Just kind of the harmonies between the different topics that we’ve already dug started to dig into a little bit here, okay, actually, your urine unenviable position cause you can ask all these questions and then go research and find the actual answer based on quantitative analysis and not just based on best practices or tradition or anything else. I admire that, right? Yeah, right. Yeah. It’s a pretty exciting place to be cool. My voice is cracked. Melissa mccormack, market research manager it’s software advice. They are at software advice. Dot com and at n p o soft advice. Thank you very much, melissa. Thank you so much, tony. My pleasure. And at n p o soft advice. Thank you very much for doing some live tweeting today. Next week, another informative and tcs interview coming to the show, and amy sample ward returns. If you missed any part of today’s show, find it at tony martignetti dot com no singing this week. Opportunity, collaboration, the world convenes for poverty reduction. I’m warning you, it will ruin you for every other conference opportunity. Collaboration. Dot net. Our creative producer is claire meyerhoff. Sam liebowitz is the line producer shoretz social media is by susan chavez, susan chavez, dot com and our 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. 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 their 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 talked 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 people feel this is public radio host majora carter. Innovation is in the power of understanding that you don’t just do it. You put money on a situation expected to hell. You put money in a situation and invested and expect it 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. The smartest experts and leading thinkers air on tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five per se.