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Nonprofit Radio for August 22, 2022: Accounting For Nonprofit Leaders

 

Tosha Anderson & Zanni Miranda: Accounting For Nonprofit Leaders

In our penultimate #22NTC show, Tosha Anderson and Zanni Miranda introduce key accounting concepts to help nonprofit leadership avoid the common pitfalls they see. Tosha is CEO of The Charity CFO and Zanni is with Nonprofit Solutions.

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[00:01:51.40] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer the effects of pseudo papillae Dema if I saw that you missed this week’s show Accounting for nonprofit leaders in our penultimate 22. NTC show Tasha Anderson and Zanny Miranda introduce key accounting concepts to help nonprofit leadership avoid the common pitfalls. They see Tasha is ceo of the charity CFO and Zanny is with nonprofit solutions on tony take to the endowment excitement webinar, we’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c. O. And by fourth dimension technologies I. Tion for in a box. The affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D just like three d but they go on to mention deeper here is accounting for nonprofit leaders. Welcome to nonprofit radio coverage of 22 N. T. C. The 2022 nonprofit technology conference. My guests now are Tasha Anderson and Zanny Miranda. Tasha is founder and ceo of the charity cf. Oh Zanny Miranda is operations Manager at nonprofit solutions. Tasha Zani. Welcome to nonprofit radio Thank

[00:02:05.94] spk_1:
you for having us. Yeah,

[00:02:07.50] spk_2:
thank you so much for having us on

[00:02:11.89] spk_0:
pleasure. I’m glad we’re gonna talk about this. But 10 things every nonprofit leader should know about their accounting

[00:02:17.66] spk_1:
Alright.

[00:02:23.44] spk_0:
I I suspect this is an often ignored um ignored area by by nonprofit leaders until there’s some kind of a problem I guess or until the the 9 90 has to be filed, you know, so maybe once a year they become, or maybe there’s board reports, but in between all that, um I suspect it’s ignored. Uh Tasha, do I have that? You’re nodding? Is that

[00:03:12.03] spk_1:
yeah, I think, yeah, I think it’s ignored because it’s for a lot of small organizations. It’s not their primary role. It’s not what they’re experienced in. It’s not their skill set and it becomes one of those things, it’s not an immediate issue. It’s not something I’m particularly good at, it’s something I’m gonna have to teach myself and I’m gonna have to um very kind of the procrastination that I put into it. And then it’s when things kind of abrupt Show up like our 9 90 return or we realized we have an audit or our books have gotten further and further behind and now we have to hurry up and scramble for that, you know, board meeting or something to that effect. Um that’s kind of best case scenario. Um worst case scenarios are other more significant things that might come up with our accounting. Um that that all of a sudden becomes more of a priority.

[00:03:34.21] spk_0:
Like, alright, we’re focused on motivation. What are what are one or two of those worst case scenarios?

[00:04:46.20] spk_1:
Well, some of those worst case scenarios, I think more abruptly we get a lot of clients that work with us that have a lot of government funding and government funding usually includes um some pop up surprise what they call site visits. So if you anticipate uh your site visit or kind of your audit, I use the word loosely with audit. But if you expect your funder to show up on, you know, this period and then they end up coming in sooner or more regularly, either normal or whatever. They just changed their protocol and you’re not prepared for that. That then calls into question your ability to manage the program, your ability to manage the finances of that particular program. And we’ve seen organizations be at risk for losing their funding. And we’ve seen that more often than not, which we’ve kind of talked about and the original presentation that Danny and I did some of the challenges around um not just, you know, keeping caught up with the accounting, but the succession planning um in the transition. I mean, we’re in the midst of what they call the great recession. And so what organizations do that put all of their eggs in one basket with respect to this kind of swiss be nice if you will position that holds also financial management. And when those positions turn over, we’ve seen organizations find themselves really vulnerable situations and it becomes very apparent when it’s time to start sending those periodic reports to your funders or when they start to come out, when you look at your records, it’s a problem.

[00:05:06.79] spk_0:
You’re referring to the great resignation. You mean succession planning. Okay.

[00:05:16.60] spk_1:
I’m

[00:05:35.54] spk_0:
listening. I’m listening channel. I’m channeling listeners. They’re gonna say, wait, great recession. That was many years. Alright. We know we know what you meant. Alright. So Zanny, why don’t you why don’t you kick us off? We got 10 things people are supposed to know nonprofit leaders are supposed to know. So let me ask you before we kick off with our our list. Is this specifically the C the C. E. O. Are we, are we at that level? You know, listeners here are small and midsize nonprofits. So that could be like one or two people up to. I mean 100 or 250 employees could be a midsize nonprofit. Are we in the meat with this? We’re talking about nonprofit leaders. I assume we are.

[00:05:57.71] spk_1:
I

[00:05:57.89] spk_2:
actually think that this information can be for any leader that is self designated or you know, does hold one of those executive positions. I think what we share in this presentation is really about making sure everyone is on the same page across the entire organization. So it’s really for anyone,

[00:06:28.03] spk_0:
uh, with, uh, okay. But we don’t want our Ceo and other other C suite executives ignoring these things. Certainly.

[00:06:30.92] spk_2:
No. Okay.

[00:06:32.33] spk_0:
Okay. All right. So why don’t you kick us off? What’s uh, what’s your

[00:06:37.25] spk_2:
first one is definitely benchmarks and metrics and making sure that you have defined expectations about what those are and how they fit with your organization and I’ll actually pass this one over to Tasha because this is definitely her area of expertise as the C. P. A expert.

[00:07:54.23] spk_1:
Yeah, sure. Uh, so really what we mean by defining benchmarks? Oftentimes, what we see is that not just the tactical work of bookkeeping and accounting is delegated to one individual, but almost the full financial management and responsibility. Understanding how much money is in the bank account. Are we receiving the funding that we thought we were, Are we utilizing the contracts that we’ve committed to our to our funders? Really high level, even where we are with our fundraising goals. And I’ve personally been someone that kind of delegated that responsibility and financial oversight. And I just think it’s imperative whether you’re a for profit business and non profit business at the end of the day, it’s a tax designation. It’s not just because you’re a nonprofit, you should not be delegating full financial ownership and responsibility of your organization to one single person. This is really where that leadership at the ceo level or executive director level, there needs to be some understanding of what your benchmarks are. What are you trying to measure in the holding people accountable to it? And I’ve seen so often where the accountant or the bookkeeper is delegated the responsibility of the budget and they might be doing the bookkeeping in the reconciliations and all that. But is anybody really looking at that budget and holding anybody accountable to it? So what we’re really encouraging is that the leader, you need to understand where things are and what expectations do you have? What processes do you have in place to make sure that you’re moving in the right direction? So

[00:08:19.70] spk_0:
following the budget doesn’t belong with the bookkeeper.

[00:08:23.50] spk_1:
The

[00:08:23.97] spk_0:
bookkeeper does the work.

[00:08:49.29] spk_1:
Yes, the bookkeeper prepares the reports, diving into Why is this off from what we expected? That is joint ownership, frankly, in my opinion, from from the individuals that are charged with that. So your program team, maybe your fundraising team. And I recognize we’re talking with small to middle size at a minimum. The Ceo is looking at this or the executive director and so often times I see uh leadership teams that are just delegating that responsibility and they’re not really immersing themselves in the financial management, the way that I think they should

[00:09:00.00] spk_0:
be alright. You didn’t have to, you know, you two don’t have to go in sequence. You could have picked one that you’re, that you’re an expert on. You know, you don’t have to do it the same sequence. You did it in your in your in your seminar. Alright.

[00:09:13.07] spk_2:
Well, I definitely wanted to make sure Tasha kind of came from the C P a standpoint,

[00:09:18.39] spk_0:
you know, make

[00:09:21.36] spk_2:
sure they all knew, Yeah,

[00:09:22.75] spk_0:
she’s the charity. CFO so

[00:09:24.30] spk_2:
she knows what she’s talking

[00:09:26.01] spk_0:
about

[00:10:08.64] spk_2:
and I have to say I come from the small nonprofit side. So we have a mighty team of three full time and one part time person. So we are, you know, definitely representative of some of the groups that are probably listening. So and these are all things, these are all things that we have learned through working with Tasha that um are very important and we went through a transition and planning and uh had a transition in leadership which then created a transition into changing our bookkeeper um to the charity CFO. So we went through a lot of what we’re talking about in terms of the the sort of scarier situations of how did we get ourselves in this situation? What does this all mean? Where all the, you know, how do we get everybody on the same page? So we definitely learned our lessons.

[00:10:21.81] spk_0:
Let pick one that you are familiar with that you can talk about what’s next.

[00:11:23.37] spk_2:
Yeah, let me take a look. So I know that so kind of speaking about like getting into a sticky situation or number four is I would have understand my compliance needs. And I think that when you do like Tasha was saying, when you have those government funders or even really complicated funding grants from foundations, sometimes they require progress reports, they require year end um reports that can be really calm complicated to do at the last minute and they can be really complicated if you have not set yourself up for success at the very beginning. And so one of the things that we sort of have said is that you really need to take a look at what the grant is requesting from you when they’re, when you’re in that grant search process. And before you apply or maybe right after you apply, making sure that you’ve got things set up with your accountant and things set up in your chart of accounts to make sure that when you’re going through and processing and actually spending money related to these grants, you’ve got everything in place, you know, from the onset, so that it makes it a lot easier to pull those reports and to get that information instead of scrambling and going through, you know, a year’s worth of credit card receipts.

[00:11:50.57] spk_0:
Yeah.

[00:11:53.20] spk_2:
Mentioned

[00:12:17.33] spk_0:
compliance. And there’s, there’s state state laws also depending on what state you’re in. You know, there are, there are the laws that you have to be registered in each state where you solicit donations, that whole charity registration morass that I used to have as part of my practice. Um, you know, keeping keeping track of that. Um, there, there could be, uh, other, I mean, there are federal, there are federal rules that have to stay in compliance with, so there’s, there’s a lot, there’s a lot in that word, compliance.

[00:12:35.20] spk_2:
Yeah, exactly. It’s not just the funding that you get, it’s making sure that, you know, the things that you’re doing are following the law all year, not just when someone comes knocking

[00:12:43.02] spk_0:
and and Tasha, these often come up in audits right? They’ll be they’ll be uh I forget with the technical terms, but they’ll be like memo items in uh report items in an audit that you know, you’re not in compliance with something here. Things like

[00:14:10.94] spk_1:
that. Yeah, findings. And what’s really interesting. I have a funny story when so I used to be a CFO of a non profit organization and we had 14 different government contracts that were a little larger probably than maybe an average listener. We’re about, you know, 6 to 8 million a year. And uh that’s that’s that’s to me that seems large because so many organizations are much smaller than that. But really that’s not huge and what’s really, we went through every single one of our program contracts and wrote down all of the things we’re responsible reporting out to them. So not just on the financial compliance side but also like program outcomes and those sort of things. Anyway, we had five pages front and back on an Excel spreadsheet when we printed it out was five pages, front and back of all of the things that we were responsible for reporting out to someone. And so the more more complex your funding gets, whether it’s multiple foundations or government funding sources. When we hear the word audit. I think we think at the end of the year we have a C. P. A firm that comes in and does an audit. But oftentimes what people don’t realize that you may have multiple audits or inspections or reviews or whatever word you want to use for the same funding, right? You might get um, you know, kind of beat up at a local level through some pass through fun. Then you might have that sourced through the feds and then the feds might come in and do an audit, right? And then your auditors that come in at the end of the year that you hire will also do an audit. So I think that sometimes I’ve seen our clients not necessarily read the fine print of those grant agreements to know what they’re going to be responsible for doing and what frequency. So they find themselves kind of working reactively and scrambling to get that stuff.

[00:15:57.46] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications media relationships and thought leadership. You need one to get the other. You got to have the media relationships. So you get exposure and become the thought leader. Turn to will help you build those relationships. They’re former journalists themselves. And by the way, as you’re getting that exposure, they’ll help you craft your messaging. You get the increased exposure. You’re seen as a thought leader in your field. The thought Leader, the thought leader in your field, they can make it happen. Turn to communications, your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. Now back to accounting for nonprofit leaders. You wanna know as any said, you want to know ahead of time what the requirements are. First to make sure that you can comply with them. You have the infrastructure either internally or or through a provider to do it, you know, and if it’s if it’s beyond you, then that that’s not a grant that you should be applying for because you can’t keep up with the I mean the money may look nice, but you can’t keep up with the back end requirements and you’re gonna end up in a bad situation. Okay.

[00:15:58.93] spk_1:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

[00:16:00.26] spk_2:
Absolutely. No.

[00:16:01.56] spk_0:
In advance. I’m sure this especially applies to a government, a government agency. Yeah.

[00:16:07.28] spk_1:
And that’s funny. We we talked about that a little bit in our session just because there’s money available may not be a good deal. Just what you’re doing, not just the infrastructure. Um, there’s a lot of considerations where it might make sense for an organization to not accept funding. Um, it just doesn’t make sense. And asking ourselves those hard questions before we just

[00:16:25.90] spk_0:
before, Yeah. Look, look closely at what your obligations, your responsibilities are gonna be. All right. All right, well, let’s stay with you, Tasha. Why don’t you give us another another thing. Leadership should know about.

[00:17:33.03] spk_1:
Alright. I think another thing that leaders don’t always realize again, because most leaders of nonprofit organizations, they don’t come from the financial business management side of the biz right? Oftentimes you’ll see leaders that maybe come from the programmatic side of things. Um, and that’s fantastic for a lot of reasons. But what I think some people default to hearing, well this just can’t be done or this financial report can’t be created in the way that you want. And I really encourage leaders of organizations again, to define those expectations of what they’re looking for and ask their account to develop tools that help them measure if we’re on track or not. And this is usually by way of financial reports. And I hear this all the time. Tasha, you know, I get the standard set of financial reports from my accountants. It doesn’t make sense to me. It doesn’t make sense to my board. We don’t know where we’re at, we don’t know which direction we’re heading and what I tell people all the time that financial reports, Yes, your auditors will require to look in this perfect box and it has to look exactly like that. But that’s for the outside world. Think about what your organization needs internally and create those measurements, those tools, those financial reports. That makes sense for you internally. So that you can make business decisions based upon that and what a lot of people don’t realize.

[00:17:52.75] spk_2:
We

[00:18:53.12] spk_1:
Have over 150 clients. Probably many, if not all of them have some level of customization to their reports. So they need to get reports that make sense to them, not already nonprofits have to have the same internal financial statements. In fact, you shouldn’t have the same internal financial statements and start asking yourself what do you need to see? So I’ll give you an example. I have one organization that was really, really cash strapped. They had all the revenue sources in place. They could not understand why are we cash poor, Why do we not have any money? And the reality. After a quick look at some of the financial reports, I realized they were building their funders but they were never collecting them. There were some issues with the quality of their invoicing and some problems they weren’t troubleshooting and poor training and just some other issues that are actually pretty easily fixed. But going forward once we were able to get caught up on that building, the ceo want to make sure that never happened again. So she wanted to make sure she got a detailed listing of what invoices were still outstanding because she started understanding the, the, the timing of when payments were expected to come in and once things started to go off track

[00:18:59.15] spk_0:
basically

[00:18:59.70] spk_1:
immediately, basically

[00:19:01.09] spk_0:
talking about tracking your accounts payable.

[00:19:02.88] spk_1:
Yeah, accounts receivable in this case or payable

[00:19:14.25] spk_0:
receivable? Your receivables? Yeah. I took, I took accounting for poets in college. So I do remember that, um, assets equal liabilities plus owner equity. Is that still true?

[00:19:19.74] spk_1:
That is true.

[00:19:20.97] spk_0:
Axiom still still valid. Like a law of physics doesn’t change. Okay.

[00:19:25.52] spk_1:
In the nonprofit world, we say we don’t have equity because there’s no ownership. But the concept is still the same. We called net assets in the nonprofit world, but the concept is still the same

[00:19:34.74] spk_0:
assets equals net assets. Oh no, we

[00:19:37.60] spk_1:
called the net assets. Yeah.

[00:19:39.61] spk_0:
But the other side is assets, assets equals net assets.

[00:19:43.54] spk_1:
You could do assets minus liabilities equal net assets or assets, you know, equal, you know, however you want to do the algebra of the formula, you could say in multiple different ways. But um, yeah, we say assets minus liabilities equals net assets, but

[00:19:58.75] spk_0:
assets, my stuff, that makes sense to me, assets. Everything you have minus what you owe your liabilities, which I know, I know I’m grossly oversimplifying by when I said what? You know, but again, I took accounting for poets. So you’ll have to excuse that. I’m trainable. I guess I wasn’t, uh, yeah, equals your net assets. Right. Everything you have minus what you owe is is the net

[00:20:21.20] spk_1:
okay.

[00:20:22.47] spk_0:
We don’t have to go any deeper than that. We shouldn’t.

[00:20:24.85] spk_1:
No one wants to hear that. But

[00:20:26.63] spk_0:
Not profit leaders should not profit leaders should, I’m not a nonprofit leader. So I’m not, I’m not on the hook for this. Alright. Um, name another one. Somebody. Somebody throw out another another top 10.

[00:21:32.17] spk_2:
Well, I think, um, following up to sort of, what Tasha was already saying is that you can have all those in place, but if you don’t have anyone, um, doing checks and balances or even around to take over key processes. If someone goes or if someone’s out on vacation, that’s a really major risk. You know, we were in the training or the workshop last week and a lot of people really resonated with this, you know, don’t burn out the one person you have on your team who knows how to do payroll? Who knows how to do vendor payments? Who knows how to do the bank deposits. There can’t be just one person on your team who knows how to do all these things. There needs to be some, you know, some thought to succession planning. Some thought too. Um,

[00:21:32.59] spk_0:
or not even not even succession planning, just like you said vacation.

[00:21:36.04] spk_2:
Yeah, just process documentation.

[00:21:38.00] spk_0:
You know, we got somebody goes out on maternity leave. We still have to process, we still have to process vendor purchase orders.

[00:21:52.11] spk_2:
Yeah, we had someone chat in the comments saying I’m going out on maternity leave, but I still have to process payroll, which is not

[00:21:53.91] spk_0:
great.

[00:22:14.59] spk_2:
That’s not great for your staff’s morale. So definitely just making sure you’ve got some of those basic processes written down, trained, um, cross trained with different people and having backups in place so that people can take a break and people can, you know, not have that looming over their head when they’re supposed to be on maternity leave

[00:22:20.03] spk_0:
or, or

[00:22:21.18] spk_2:
family leave, you know, it’s not sustainable.

[00:22:37.49] spk_0:
Um, I have seen that too, in, in uh, clients that I’ve worked with. I do plan giving fundraising. Um, and you know, we have, we need vendor, we have vendors, there might be, there’s, uh, you know, there’s a company that that manages the soft that provides the software for playing giving calculations. Well that purchase order has to be paid. You know, my purchase order has to be

[00:22:49.87] spk_2:
paid. It

[00:22:51.37] spk_0:
seems sometimes to be one person who can do it and we’re all, we’re all screwed if that person is busy or away or whatever. Alright, let’s stick with you. Give us another one.

[00:23:26.25] spk_2:
Sure. Another thing that you brought up was having the right software to use. So, um, you know, we found when we were in our sort of leadership transition in our, uh, you know, transition between bookkeepers. We just had someone who was, you know, taking our information and then,

[00:23:27.07] spk_0:
you know,

[00:23:27.81] spk_2:
kind of piecemeal putting it together, like looking at the paper receipts, looking at this and really it’s just not sustainable long term to do that. And there are so many options with technology

[00:23:38.44] spk_0:
now to

[00:23:39.84] spk_2:
really make the transition easier. And a lot of nonprofits do qualify for

[00:23:46.85] spk_0:
discounts

[00:24:08.43] spk_2:
for some of these larger tech companies, they have a lot of for profit people using their services. So they, most of the time will have a nonprofit discount or even offer their their software for free. And really it just becomes a matter of making sure that the people in your organization are up to speed. And um, I think Tasha had an incredible case study that she shared about what, how she saw this kind of go sideways um, in her own practice. Okay,

[00:24:35.66] spk_0:
Natasha before you tell that story, aren’t there? There’s also scores of smaller companies that are devoted to nonprofit financial management we through the years. And non profit radio I’ve had one or maybe two of them as sponsors. You know, there they’ll say that, you know, quickbooks is basically they’re they’re, they’re thinking is Quickbooks is not made for non profits. You have to be able to do fund accounting and things and you know, so we’ve got, we’ve got the software solution that’s an accounting financial management devoted to non profits. You don’t have to modify Quickbooks or Intuit or something. Or maybe intuit’s Quickbooks, I don’t even know.

[00:24:58.47] spk_2:
But

[00:25:03.05] spk_0:
counting for poets, but you know, um, so you don’t have to use these major companies that there’s smaller, smaller apps devoted to nonprofit financial management. Right?

[00:26:34.72] spk_1:
That’s right. That’s right. And it’s funny, I was gonna talk a little bit about that because I think that there are a lot of organization accountants that will say nonprofit accounting is super special and we have to have everything special. Um, and I, I don’t disagree with that completely. But the challenge is it creates a, it creates barriers for nonprofit organizations to be able to um work with some of these providers, especially if the proprietor like proprietary software or things of this nature, What I try to do with our clients is create software solutions that can work with nonprofits have a really low cost point price point on those things. And more importantly, the software is very user friendly. There’s a lot of free training resources. So we actually use Quickbooks. I’m not being paid to say that I have no formal partnership with Quickbooks, but I like the software because if they needed to bring their accounting back in house when working with us, they could find bookkeepers or accountants that have experience with with Quickbooks. And so sometimes I think it’s a matter of preference. I say as an account that has my own preferences for how I like to do things. I think it’s, I can say that, but what I think is um important for nonprofits to understand what technology is available out there to Sandy’s point and how can they use that to alleviate some of the manual um time consuming task going back to not burning out your one person that does everything. If you can find ways to autumn streamline that they can maybe focus on bigger value added work or just simply take a breather or focus on work that feeds their soul a little bit more than just doing data entry into the accounting. So

[00:26:50.44] spk_0:
Okay, Zanny said you have a story well

[00:26:51.15] spk_1:
in this particular case. Sure. Yeah, sure. So

[00:26:54.90] spk_0:
speaking

[00:26:55.97] spk_1:
of tedious work that burns people out and it’s very time consuming. So I started working with an organization way way back many, many years ago and

[00:27:04.76] spk_0:
they, this is not, this is not a story about.

[00:27:07.30] spk_2:
No not

[00:27:12.05] spk_0:
but it’s not okay.

[00:27:14.12] spk_1:
No I have a friend. No it’s

[00:27:15.73] spk_0:
not. Yeah

[00:29:06.76] spk_1:
exactly. No it’s about software and how software can change how we do things. So I started working with an organization which actually is now a client of ours um in a very contract away a few years ago and we realized that they were heavy credit card users, credit cards are debating the existence of all accountants out there for every nonprofit. I promised you can quote me on that. I’m sure. Uh And the problem is that there’s not a good system for collecting the receipts, it’s very manual. Um You have got a copy, you gotta scan, you got a code, you got to get into all the people. Anyway, they have about 20 credit cards that have hundreds if not thousands of transactions a month. The accountant, the finance director um is they hired that person for that high level skill analysis, Financial thought leadership. That person was spending a good week of her month. So 25% of her working days, reconciling and tracking down all of these hundreds of receipt if not thousands depending on the time of the year. And one of the things that we immediately realized this person actually left the organization and the organization was left scrambling trying to replace it. And one of the things we realized immediately, we could save a lot of time. If we just have software, your team is already making copies of the recedes, forwarding it to the account, the account has to use all these Softwares to stamp it with electronic approvals and all that. We could replace that whole manual back and forth email flurry of system with the software, like many of nonprofits out there now use things like expensive fi or dext or or something like this where the user of the credit card actually just takes an image identifies what type of expense it is if it’s designated to a specific funder, um, if it’s restricted or not and then submits it off to the accountant and the accountant just matches them up with what’s actually ending the bank account. So this whole flurry of hundreds and hundreds of unnecessary emails, all of this monotonous detailed work that you’re bogging your accountant down with. Um, now has freed up their time to be able to do other things. In this case, it actually saved them cost because we don’t have to do that much work and it’s not as labor intensive, but if you did have somebody in house that you wanted them to focus on higher value work that that’s more valuable to the organization. You can use technology to do that sort of thing. So I’ll echo what Danny had said.

[00:30:27.33] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Fourth dimension technologies. The free offer. It’s still out there exclusively for nonprofit radio listeners, complimentary 24 7 monitoring of your I. T. Assets for three months. They’ll monitor your servers, network and cloud performance, they’ll monitor your backup performance all 24 7. If there are any issues, they’ll let you know ASAP and you will get a comprehensive report on how you’re doing at the end of the three month monitoring. And they’re gonna throw in a few surprise offers as well. It’s complimentary, it’s on the listener landing page, tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant mention deeper. Let’s return to accounting for nonprofit leaders. Tasha, name those couple of resources that folks could look at again.

[00:31:03.46] spk_1:
So again, I like kind of uh out of the box like package is really easy to use expensive. Fi is a really popular one. Um dext formerly known as receipt bank is one. So those are two that work really well with Quickbooks are very user friendly. Um, you can have your people that use credit cards a lot of times they’ll have like apps on their smartphones and so they just take a picture of it while they’re out spending, you know, the money rather than worrying about lost receipts and things like that. So those are two really common ones that are again, really low price point and easy to implement. Easy to use

[00:31:09.49] spk_0:
is dexter D. E. X.

[00:31:11.25] spk_1:
T. That’s right, yep.

[00:31:12.88] spk_0:
Okay. And expense if I. Okay. Yeah. Alright let’s stay with you. Tasha give us another, we’re halfway through our list by the way I’ve been keeping track,

[00:31:22.99] spk_1:
we’re not combining any of these.

[00:31:24.99] spk_0:
Alright if we end up as long as

[00:31:26.49] spk_1:
well we’ll tell you when we run out,

[00:31:29.94] spk_0:
as long as we cover the content. You know it doesn’t we end up doing them uh 10 things but we ate you know ate under eight topics as long as as long as you’re not holding back on non profit radio listeners that

[00:31:39.14] spk_1:
we’re not holding.

[00:31:40.16] spk_0:
That’s my concern. That’s my audit. That is my benchmark. Is that the content is there doesn’t have to be under 10 distinct rubrics. But we have done five anyway. Alright.

[00:34:04.12] spk_1:
Okay so the next one I would say uh that uh nonprofits don’t necessarily realize that there’s not a one size fits all with accountants. And I think I realized this when I started hiring my own accountants and staffing um the work as the charity CFO for on behalf of our other clients. And what do I mean by this like any profession accountants and their experiences, skills and expertise vary. So I kind of divide up in this 80 20. Roll the infamous 80 20 rule 80% of accounting is very transactional input output. You need somebody that’s very good at attention to detail, very consistent, very reliable thrives and routine. They like doing the same things over and over again. There are a lot of accountants out there like that. Um They do a great job Then there’s like the 20% of accounting, that’s the creative accounting but not you know, go to jail creative accounting. I’m talking moving the needle with the organization, building better budgets, building financial models, really thinking how we can implement best practices or re imagining what our accounting function can look like implementing software. For example these are the visionaries. If you will, you can probably guess which one of those I am. I find that most organizations, all organizations need both of those skill sets, the challenge is oftentimes, although the label on the title on the resume or the job is accountant or CFO or controller or whatever, but the reality is there’s two different types of accountants. Now, some people could try to do both but that’s not where their skill set is. So if you took someone like me a 20% and you put me in a job where 80% of my time is doing, you know, detailed work on routine tasks. I’m not gonna stick around for a long time, I want to do things that feed my soul and on the flip side if you take a more transactional tactical accountant, that’s really good and you expect them to solve all of your financial world problems, you’re probably not going to get as far as you would hope. And I think that many organizations think that they could hire an accountant to do all of those things and and I think that that’s not realistic and that’s why we see some turnover in these roles um or organizations struggle with, I just need somebody that does both of these things. And I don’t think people really realize that accountants are not all the same. And so many organizations, money is not such an abundance that we can just both of those accountants.

[00:34:13.35] spk_0:
So

[00:35:27.46] spk_1:
a lot of nonprofits have to decide what’s most important. How can I get both of those um Accounting needs met tactical detail because that’s 80% of the work, you know keep the wheels turning and the bills paid. Um and but how can I also get that financial thought leadership that I’m looking for. So what I’ve seen in some cases that organizations will maybe higher and operate person, I just did a podcast the other day saying like nonprofits are quitting their accountant and what I meant by that is non profits are moving um similar to Danny actually probably speak better to this than I organizations are moving to more of an operations person that’s kind of the hub and spoke and they’re outsourcing outsourcing some of that technical work right? Maybe it’s hr maybe it’s accounting, maybe it’s I. T. But you still have somebody that can maybe do some of the tactical work because they’re on the front lines. They’re interacting with the staff in a more significant way. Or maybe they’re outsourcing that financial thought leadership. Or maybe they have a financial thought leadership in house but they’re using some other staff people to help do some of the bookkeeping. So that again you keep people doing what they do best um and creating work that’s meaningful for them. So not all accounts are created the same.

[00:35:31.32] spk_0:
Not all made the same

[00:35:32.19] spk_1:
as the biggest takeaway.

[00:35:33.35] spk_0:
Alright. Um I have to ask though, are there any accountants who would say I’m in the 80%?

[00:35:39.97] spk_1:
Absolutely.

[00:35:41.15] spk_0:
I’ve got a whole team.

[00:35:42.20] spk_1:
Yeah. Yeah. It’s funny because I have 32 employees and I would say probably 70% of my staff falls into that and we need to make sure that people see a path that they can take on additional responsibilities but not so much that they’re gonna be overwhelmed. Um

[00:35:59.67] spk_0:
I thought maybe all accountants think they’re in the creative,

[00:36:03.16] spk_1:
definitely not.

[00:36:06.28] spk_0:
Not that they actually are but that they think they are. It’s it’s a self image question.

[00:36:10.31] spk_1:
Well that’s a great point. I sometimes think as accountants are known to have maybe inflated egos of herself. If I dare to

[00:36:20.20] spk_0:
say. All right. That’s that’s where it was coming. That’s where I was coming

[00:36:22.06] spk_1:
from not

[00:36:23.07] spk_0:
where they are but where they think they are. All right, well, we’ll uh we’ll concede that you’re definitely in the 20% because you you can’t run a company called the charity CFO if if you’re if you’re not be the otherwise you’d be the charity bookkeeper,

[00:36:37.98] spk_2:
you’re

[00:36:39.11] spk_0:
not the charity bookkeeper. Alright. Um Danny, you want to contribute something.

[00:38:53.16] spk_2:
Yeah. So, you know, as Tasha was talking and and sort of talking about how, you know, technology needs. Like everyone can just use decks to take a picture and know what account to send it to and have everything all easy peasy kind of ready to go and like technology takes care of it, blah blah blah. Well, you can really get yourself into trouble if you don’t actually know what the structure of your accounting system is. So let’s say you have a program person who is using dext or even just you know, trying to code something on their receipt to share with their accountant. But they put the wrong chart of accounts. Well, the accountants just gonna do what the person told them to do. Say, okay, it’s in this one you told me to put it in there. Um And you don’t want them to be creative with that. You want the budget to match the chart of accounts. You want the chart of accounts and all of the expenses to go to the right place. But you don’t really know if that’s going to happen correctly. If you don’t train the people on the ground making the expenses sending in receipts if they don’t have the right information and you’re not kind of sharing that widely and having everyone understand with the chart of just the very basic things are and what, how to code things for your accountant. You’re really gonna get way off by the end of the year, you’re gonna, it doesn’t matter what fancy technology you have or if you have a 20% or 80% accountant, they’re doing what you’ve asked them to do. And so making sure that you’ve kind of got everybody buttoned up and, and learning what the basics are for your chart of accounts. And there’s not gonna be uh, one size fits all, like list of chart of account for every organization. That’s definitely something that comes out of programming comes out of requirements from your funders, It’s all related to your specific business. So we definitely went through some growing pains as we transitioned and had to essentially redo a lot of our chart of accounts because we realized our accountant that we had previously was sort of getting a little creative about which we didn’t provide any direction. And so they got creative on each month where these different same expense was going in a different chart. And so you have to sort of figure out how to unravel that. And then if it gets too far down the line, it’s really hard to do, it takes

[00:39:22.55] spk_0:
a lot, I don’t I don’t quite understand this one that you have to, you have to, so so you can educate me the way we were all supposed to educate the people who are spending the money when you say the chart of accounts, what why? I don’t understand why this is to everybody who’s out spending money, like you said, share the structure of your accounting system with widely, I don’t I don’t see what why that’s important.

[00:40:27.22] spk_2:
So let’s say, I mean I do this on a regular basis, so this is sort of my job is to make sure everyone in our organization knows what’s going on and how things code correctly. So, you know, let’s say at the beginning of the year, we’ve coded our organization provides professional development training, leadership training and um does some consulting work related to that as well. So we take a lot of our programming and we’ll bring it in house to people. So those are two different things. We have workshops that are open to the public and we have specialized consulting work that we do. So let’s say we have a consultant or a facilitator that we’ve hired to do a workshop. Well we’ve got a different chart of accounts essentially for saying how to split that consultants time. So we have one bucket that says, oh this is our consulting expense. But if you just put it in there and say, oh that’s a consulting expense or you know, this is a hired outside facilitator that we’ve brought in. But we don’t say whether it was for our workshops or for the, you know, the on site consulting specialized work that we’ve been contractually obligated to do with an organization.

[00:40:47.28] spk_0:
How

[00:40:48.49] spk_2:
are you going to know how much you spent

[00:40:50.86] spk_0:
for

[00:41:12.37] spk_2:
each of those different program types? So you really can have, and we have the same facilitators and they do different types of work for us at at all times, but we want to know at the end of the year what was our expense for our consulting work? What was our expense for our workshops and things like that? So we have to be very deliberate and understand when someone’s sending in an invoice or sending in a receipt that they’ve sort of coded that correctly.

[00:41:50.67] spk_0:
Okay, so it’s all a matter of like allocation to the right allocation to the right uh budget line or or general program area. The way you’re describing, you know, you have to you have two distinct areas, You are Alright, so allocating expenses and revenue, obviously two to the right, you know, not just that, it’s it’s just not generic revenue, but, you know, because at the end of the year we want to know what our expenses and our revenues are like in across. Well, in your example, you know, on both sides of the work that you’re doing, right? The public workshops and also the private consulting,

[00:41:58.74] spk_2:
right? Yeah. And so that can be really complicated if you let it sort of go down the wrong path. But you’ve got one of those really complicated federal funding grants and you’re not supposed to allocated a certain amount to this program. It’s really supposed to go to this program. Um,

[00:42:16.88] spk_0:
and

[00:42:17.10] spk_2:
you can kind of, you know, can be a lot of a bigger process to undo later on.

[00:42:22.88] spk_0:
Right, do it right the first time instead of trying to do forensic accounting to try to figure

[00:42:27.65] spk_1:
out. So

[00:42:28.76] spk_2:
it’s important for people who are, who are sending in those, you know, those pictures of their receipts on decks or expense. If I too have coded it correctly, before they send it to the accountant to make sure that they understand what account it’s supposed to go into or come out of.

[00:45:01.97] spk_0:
Okay, very helpful. Thank you. It’s time for Tony Take two. I’ll be on a panel endowment excitement, fundraising and management end quote. So where are you with your endowment? Do you have an endowment? You might be at zero or maybe you have a mid size middling endowment or you’ve got a vast endowment. The other three folks will be able to help you with endowment management principles. You probably don’t have a vast endowment. I bet there aren’t too many listeners who have vast endowments, but for the outliers, there’s something for you in this panel as well, for the vast majority of folks, no endowment or teensy weensy, itsy bitsy endowment or something in the middle. I’ll be doing the planned giving fundraising part of endowment excitement, fundraising and management. I’ll be the fundraising part. Talk about how planned giving is enormously valuable for endowment starting or endowment building. The other three folks there, the smart folks in endowment management. So we got the fundraising, we got the management doesn’t matter where you are in your endowment status capacity robustness, if you like. There’s something for you. It’s August 25 at noon eastern time. Oh and I should say we are sponsored graciously by an ex unite. Thank you and next unite. So to make your reservation, you go to N X unite dot com and you click webinars and panels and if you can’t join us on august 25th at noon, sign up and you’ll get the video. Of course it’s 2022 naturally. So I hope you’ll be with us either live or archive. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for accounting for nonprofit leaders with Tasha Anderson and Zanny Miranda. Tasha. Your turn. You wanna, you wanna contribute.

[00:45:49.01] spk_1:
Yeah, yeah, I’ll contribute a little bit more to that one. But to kind of sum it up for me what I tell people. There’s usually a lot of frustration. I don’t understand my accounting and I usually tell people, it’s not that you’re using quickbooks and quickbooks is not sophisticated enough. It’s that it’s not set up the right way and then the user that’s using it is limited. And what I tell people kind of garbage and not that the work is entirely wrong. Right? It’s accurate. The dollar amounts accurate, the vendor is accurate, but if it’s not in put a certain way, then you’re not gonna be able to get reports out a certain way. So you kind of have to think more globally. Uh, you know, how do you want this to come out and then you have to understand the intricacies of the system in order to get the end result. So what Danny is referring to is just understanding high level, what is it that you want to see? How is that information can be put out and then making sure that the inputs are going in the right way so that you don’t have that forensic accounting that you mentioned trying to go back and figure that out. And so many organizations go through that forensic accounting exercise every time they have a simple report. Um, a simple report.

[00:46:17.39] spk_0:
Yeah, I’ve seen some of that. I know it’s it’s expensive. It’s, it’s time consuming. Didn’t have didn’t have to have been done badly to start with. All right. Let’s move on. Let’s move on,

[00:48:42.83] spk_1:
moving on. So the next one I would say, um, that nonprofit leader should share more about their financial information in their financial position with other people within the organization. And what do I mean by that? I kind of alluded to it earlier that I have been in situations where it’s just the Ceo and I carry the weight of the financial management, the financial, he’s right. And I’m not just talking like, oh my gosh, we have enough money to make payroll. I’m talking about being the person, the point person to explain to the board why we didn’t hit our fundraising goals, why our program contracts not fully utilized, why we were over underspending and salary expenses because we have vacancies in the various departments or what have you. Um, and that’s kind of what we’re talking about. It all kind of feeds together. So if we understand what those KPI S, those benchmarks, those metrics for measuring, we have an accounting structure in place to properly categorize and track these things, not just by thunder, but by department we customize our reporting in a way that’s meaningful. Maybe that that translates to creating a income statement or a financial report, a budget actual by department and then sharing with those that run those divisions of the business, their area of responsibility. That’s where I like to get to that the fundraising, you know, professional within the organization actually gets a periodic report. So they know what they spent in order to raise the money and where we’re at and what we expected them to do the same with the program team, same with anyone else that has that area of significant responsibility. And so often I see that again, the financial person and the ceo bear that responsibility and they end up being the money. Police, can I spend money for training? No, can I do that? It’s kind of crushing for morale a little bit that you have to police every dollar spent. And in a perfect world we would include all of these individuals in the budgeting process. Okay, fundraising department, what what do you need to spend this year? And how much honey are you bringing it? Same with the program team. You know, all of the different people involved. I like to get input from them. They give me their budgets on what they believe they need to spend to meet the outcomes and the objectives that they’ve laid out to do. So if that means we need to add another staff person, if that means we need to pay for more programs, supplies or go to a couple conferences, whatever it is. Um, let me know. So that when whenever you come and say, hey, can I, you know, attend this conference this year, I can then in return say was that in your budget and assuming the cash is available, people start owning their own things and there and we hold them accountable right,

[00:49:19.57] spk_0:
Right? Like delegating responsibility for the budget that you’re responsible for rather than rather than as you said, you know, having to ask, I mean you’re, you’re empowering folks, you’re educating them and empowering them to spend their budget responsibly. And obviously, you know, that’s part of performance review and, and, and through the benchmarks and the metrics that we talked about first, we’ll know whether you’re, whether you’re doing it accurately or

[00:49:26.46] spk_1:
not

[00:49:27.23] spk_0:
wisely or not. I guess it’s probably better than accurately, but Okay, Alright. So like delegating, delegating budget responsibility and accountability as well, of course.

[00:49:39.06] spk_1:
Alright, where’s

[00:49:43.20] spk_0:
the role of the board here, Tasha in should it just be a quarterly review of of the overall financial picture? Should it be every board meeting? Let’s take a board that meets, take a worst case scenario, a board that meets monthly. Do they need to see a monthly financial picture? Can it just be quarterly, semi annual? What, what do you think?

[00:52:09.36] spk_1:
Yeah, So that’s a great question. I think it kind of depends on the organization, uh, small struggling organization, I think probably needs more oversight than one. That’s pretty well figured it out and they’re pretty mature. I would say kind of best practices that you always provide financial reports at every board meeting. Um, maybe you don’t pour over it in a huge level of detail, but the reality of the fiduciary responsibility is up there with one of the top board responsibilities. So I personally would never recommend having a board meeting for which finances were not considered solely for that reason. Um, I will say a lot of the nuts and bolts of the oversight, the financial oversight. Oftentimes happens at the finance committee level. So oftentimes the finance committees will be reviewing more detailed reports on a monthly basis, asking whatever questions they need to ask, then, you know, usually a summarized version of that information is given to the overall board. I mean, we don’t definitely don’t want to spend board time discussing why we’re overspending and office supplies. Right? When we’re ignoring the, you know, the big elephant in the room on why we’re off of our fundraising projections by 50%. I think you had those conversations before. So we want to keep it really high level. Um, but the, the details get done at the finance committee level and the, um, the, the high level discussions happen at the board level. And I’ve seen the spectrum of some boards that are really involved in the financial management so much to say that it probably crosses the, uh, you know, some boundaries in terms of your role is oversight and not actually managing the organization. Um, and then I’ve seen some words that are probably too passive, uh, and will come back around once financially the organization starts struggling. And what I’ve seen that consistent, um, a consistent presence and a consistent accountability from the board. That’s what keeps organizations in a good place. I mean, if you just keep coming in and out once things start to get a little rocky may be having some consistency and some accountability will keep the pendulum swinging from one way to the other. So to answer your direct question, every board meeting I think should have a financial review. Um even if it’s only five minutes to just update everybody on, are we on track or we off track is usually what I like to tell people

[00:52:31.79] spk_0:
and it helps to have a finance committee that’s paying closer attention. If you’re, you know, if your board is has that expertise and and frankly is big enough, you know, a five person board may not, may not be big enough to have a finance committee and you don’t want to have just one person looking at it because that that’s a mistake. I think

[00:54:00.86] spk_1:
I want to say something to before we go into the last one, I don’t want to run out of time. But what I think is the most important thing cause I wanna, I wanna validate what you’re saying that not every board is big enough to have a finance committee. Um and not every board has an abundance of accountants lined up trying to join their board. I recognize that fact, what I think is really important, what I think what I like to do for our clients is to create the financial information um presented in such a way that they can have the board can ask questions and have fruitful conversation. What do I mean by that? Oftentimes they get all these really long reports with all these numbers. They don’t actually know what any of it means. And there’s this intimidation level where many board members just don’t feel comfortable asking questions out of fear of looking silly or uneducated. Right. And so what we do, we put together an executive summary. And so I would encourage anybody listening to have their account and create some sort of executive summary to give a narrative that explains the context or what’s really going on and more of a written format. Because if you just simply give financial reports, you’re gonna keep butting up against the same problem. So what I try to do is create a process that will drive conversations at the board level. So if we write, hey, we are off from our fundraising goals. This is a red flag or you know, maybe not in those exact alarming words, but they may not necessarily interpret that just by looking at the report. So, but if somebody read that, they could say, well, what are we going to do about fundraising?

[00:54:11.56] spk_0:
Right, context.

[00:54:14.57] spk_1:
Yes. Yes. And I think that that engages boards more to have some of those financial conversations. Um, so if that’s not being done, I would really recommend

[00:54:24.64] spk_0:
that. All right. Sandy, you have, we should be wrapping up with another one or two unless we combined or something. But as long as the content is there, you have, Do

[00:54:31.81] spk_2:
you think we combined a couple, particularly around succession planning and making sure you’ve got your processes in place? Because they’re sort of,

[00:54:39.89] spk_0:
we didn’t leave anything out there. Well,

[00:56:31.28] spk_2:
there’s one thing that I think Tasha was almost alluding to and if you if you’re answering yes to any of these questions, does my organization feel siloed? Are we not getting the right reports from my accountant as my program staff and development team, not communicating any of those details about what requirements are or when reports are due. If your board is sort of questioning things and they can’t figure out what’s happening if any of those things are happening, it’s really not your accounting, it’s your culture and so making sure that across the board accounting doesn’t just stop with the accounting team. It doesn’t just stop at the Ceo or the chief or executive level, I should say. You know, it’s really a team effort. Everyone in the organization, from the receptionist to the program staff to the board president, they all need to know maybe not every single detail of course, but they need to have a general picture and an idea of what is happening in the organization. And some people need to have more information than others. Like I would say, a program staff person needs to know very detailed information about their accounting as much or as the same amount. So they can have a great conversation with the accountant to make sure that they’re on track that they’ve got their budgets aligned and sort of creating a culture where you’re unsure what the other program team is making and how much money they have to work with versus how much you have. You know, why does my executive director keeps saying no to me spending money on these things that I think will boost morale or will actually get better outcomes for our program. What’s happening is that if those are questions that you’re having, it’s really time to examine what’s happening in your culture and maybe try to change some of that, um, sort of fear or change some of that mindset around sharing information about money,

[00:56:56.55] spk_0:
accounting may not be your problem. Maybe something deeper. Sometimes technology is blamed to the technology may not be the problem that maybe the culture in the organization Zanny where is nonprofit solutions and where are you? You may not be in the same place as

[00:57:46.31] spk_2:
I know. Now, now everyone can be everywhere. Of course we are based in SAn Diego. Uh, that is not our geographic limit though for nonprofit solutions. I also live in SAN Diego. Um, but we are online, so we do a lot of virtual workshops and trainings and we can also do our contractual work. Um, so if anyone wanted to hire us for leadership training and um, we do have a lot of management training for new managers. So that is all can be done virtually and we’re now that things are starting to get a little bit easier to to come together. We used to do everything in person and so now we’re slowly getting back to in person but I would say the majority of our work is virtual so we can really be anywhere in any time zone. What’s

[00:58:04.96] spk_0:
the website for nonprofit solutions?

[00:58:06.91] spk_2:
It’s N. P. Solutions dot org.

[00:58:11.39] spk_0:
Okay, Tasha, where where’s the charity CFO, wherever you are, That’s where the charity CFO is.

[00:58:27.72] spk_1:
That’s right. Well, our office, our headquarters and all of our team are based here in ST louis Missouri. So although we work remotely with our clients, our team is centered here in ST louis. We do have not Office, we collaborate here, however, um only about 30% of our clients are here in ST Louis, the rest are all over the country from coast to coast. So we work with clients all over the place in the United States

[00:58:38.12] spk_0:
and what’s what’s the website for charity? CFO,

[00:58:40.91] spk_1:
yep, it’s the charity CFO dot com.

[00:58:44.29] spk_0:
Okay, I love I love Missouri because I lived for five years in Warrensburg. Warrensburg where where Whiteman Air Force Base is,

[00:58:53.37] spk_1:
I

[00:59:03.01] spk_0:
was in the Air Force for five years. So I lived in Warrensburg, we used to spend more time in Kansas city because it was closer but we went to some ball games in ST louis. Okay. All right. Uh Tasha Anderson, founder and Ceo of the charity CFO and Zani Miranda Operations Manager at nonprofit solutions. Thank you very much. Thanks for each of you sharing. Thank you.

[00:59:19.83] spk_1:
Got

[00:59:22.92] spk_0:
a great balance between professional C P A. And the the practicing learning client who’s who’s got some significant accounting responsibility but not a C P A. I love the balance. Thank you

[00:59:32.47] spk_1:
very much. Thank

[00:59:33.73] spk_2:
you. Thanks

[01:00:48.65] spk_0:
to our listeners for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 22 N. T. C. Thanks so much for being with us Next week. Our final 22. NTC show your tech problem is actually a people’s problem. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c. O. And by fourth dimension technologies. Their product is I. T. Infra in a box, the affordable tech solution for nonprofits, but they’ve got the free offer going on. So that is at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D just like three D. But they do want to mention deeper. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott stein, Thank you for that. Affirmation Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95 go out and be great

Nonprofit Radio for April 11, 2022: Measuring Equity

 

Danielle Fox, Ellonda Williams & Raj Aggarwal: Measuring Equity

We’re kicking off the 2022 Nonprofit Technology Conference (#22NTC) conversations, with a discussion of how equity can be incorporated into your nonprofit’s performance measurement. Sharing their collaboration are Danielle Fox at Union of Concerned Scientists, Ellonda Williams with B Lab and Rajneesh Aggarwal from Provoc.

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[00:02:45.84] spk_0:
mm hmm. Hello and welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%,, I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I get slapped with a diagnosis of pollen, euro Maya’s itis. If you inflamed me with the idea that you missed this week’s show measuring equity, We’re kicking off the 2022 nonprofit technology conference conversations with a discussion of how equity can be incorporated into your nonprofits, performance measurement, sharing their collaboration are Danielle Fox at Union of concerned scientists. Alando Williams with the lab and Rajneesh Agarwal From provoke On Tony’s take two, you’re responsible for donor relationships. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o here is measuring equity. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 22 N T C. By now. You know what that is. You know that it’s the 2022 nonprofit technology conference, you know that it’s hosted by N 10 very smart savvy organization helping everyone use technology in their social change work. You know, all this. What you don’t know is that my guests now are Daniel Fox, Alando Williams and raj Aggarwal but now you do now you’re informed now, you know, as much as I do Daniel Fox is campaign and Science network manager at the Union of concerned scientists. Alando Williams is director of justice Equity, diversity and inclusion Jedi at B lab and raj aggarwal is president of provoke Daniel Ayalon garage welcome to nonprofit radio and and Farage welcome back. I hope I’m, I hope I’m as excited to have you back now uh, in half an hour or 45 minutes as I am now, Rogers already given me trouble before we even started recording. So I’ll have to check in with me every 15 minutes to see how my raj meter is is is jumping. Okay,

[00:02:47.88] spk_1:
what about what about my tony meter?

[00:03:07.24] spk_0:
It’s less important because that’s the relevance of that is raj Aggarwal. non profit radio that’s where you can measure your tony meter, but tony-martignetti non profit radio I can measure my raj meter anytime I want to. So pardon me, Yolanda,

[00:03:08.51] spk_2:
it’s House Rules,

[00:03:33.94] spk_0:
House Rules, House rules, get your own show essentially it was what my advice is to, to raj. Okay, let’s see, So let’s give everybody a chance to give a brief, let’s, you know, we’re not, you’re, you’re talking to an audience of 13,000 folks who are already in nonprofits. So you’re you’re likely not talking to potential donors, but for a little context please, you know, briefly Danielle, what’s the union of concerned scientists about?

[00:03:37.34] spk_3:
Sure. So the concern of concerned scientists is a science advocacy organization, essentially. We’re all about how do you put science and the scientific community to work for a better world. Uh, and that also means more just policies and political systems and so we’ll get into it a little bit soon but working with the justice and equity lens is fundamental for us to actually be able to fulfill our mission. Um And so that’s why I’m excited to talk about how we measure it.

[00:04:33.84] spk_0:
Thank you for supporting the work of scientists. Uh it’s especially now, but please thank you. You know, science scientists, they’re I think they’re not to be marginalized and and mocked there to be central to a central to a conversation and essential in a in a rational world. So thank you for doing that, Yolanda. Please tell us about B Lab

[00:05:26.14] spk_2:
you too. Yes. Um so the lab is a non profit network that transforms the global economy to benefit all people communities and planet. Basically what we do is really our vision is to create a collective vision of inclusive, equitable and regenerative economic economy. So we really come into organizations and businesses known as the corpse. Um and we certify them using our set of standards to really take a look at their organization. How are they treating them? How are they treating their community? How are they paying their staff? How do folks feel showing up as part of a member of that organization? And so collectively we have over 4000 dead corpse across the globe. Um and we all come together to really assess how to do things in a more um Jedi forward and equitable way with really um centering around economy and how do we change? How do we think about business

[00:05:29.74] spk_0:
is B lab the certifying like agency or not for for B corpse? It’s isn’t where folks apply for for for B corp status.

[00:05:41.24] spk_2:
You got it. That’s a really good question. So be lab, which is where I work. Um It’s part of our entire B lab global network. So we are movement. So be lab itself is the certifying body and that is where individuals kind of start um taking our basic impact assessment in terms of your organization to really assess how do you fare as it as it as it is against our current standards. Um and that kind of gets, gets your foot running in terms of getting certified to become a B corporation.

[00:06:20.24] spk_0:
Excellent. Alright, thank you raj. Tell us about provoke which is spelled P R O V O C. When I first met Roger, I thought it was provocative. He corrected me. Of course it’s provoked raj, Tell us about the the agency,

[00:06:29.74] spk_1:
thank you. tony So provoked is a brand, the narrative strategy and uh communications and campaign um firm that roots are that does their work through an ever deepening racial equity lens.

[00:07:08.94] spk_0:
All right, thank you all again for being here. Um Daniel. Let’s start with you. Oh well, I didn’t introduce the session topic which is can equity be measured lessons from a great collaboration Danielle. It seems that you’re the you’re the organization that was interested in as you said, Centering I guess you know, walking the walk now of uh justice equity, diversity, inclusion Jedi why why did that become important to you when whenever it did versus some other time.

[00:08:22.04] spk_3:
Yeah. Absolutely. Well I think it’s I think that the organization has had to do its own unlearning relearning and thinking about, you know, as we look at the political systems and systems of racism and injustice that we need to change how we do our work frankly and how we show up. Uh it’s a different definition of success if we’re going to be true to our mission and our stated values and so with that um we’ve tried to work hard and continue to continue to learn, continue to mess up, continue to make progress and continue to take steps forward. Uh, but the work that we did with provoke was specifically around our science network. So we have this network of about 25,000 scientists and technical experts that come to U. C. S. To say hey I want to grow as an advocate and get involved and put my skills to work for social and policy change now for us for us to truly be successful. That meant that we also needed to ground how we were organizing and cultivating scientists and researchers and putting their skills to work to rectify social wrongs. That includes fighting environmental racism. That includes addressing the disproportionate impacts of all the health and environmental hazards that are going unchecked that we’re trying to put science to work to help tackle. So at the end of the day, that is really what it’s about. I think we truly

[00:08:54.34] spk_2:
when

[00:09:42.84] spk_3:
you know better you have to do better, Right? So we needed to change how we define success. And one of the things that has been so fantastic is to see the power of scientists as authentic partners with communities most impacted by the issues we’re tackling. And so the initiative that we were working on is looking at how do we scale up the ability for scientists to join us and get active? And that was through building local teams. That’s a distributed network of now, more than 50 groups throughout the country who are getting involved, but we knew that we needed to hold ourselves accountable and learn deeply about what did it what did it mean to have inclusive teams and what did it mean to integrate a lens of justice and equity and how we did our advocate building and engagement. And so that’s where we teamed up with provoked for and that’s how we’re trying to um you know, put metrics and accountability to the progress and what we’re trying to do here.

[00:09:58.74] spk_0:
Okay. And I love when you know better you need to do better. Excellent. Um Yolanda, how did how does B lab fit into this collaboration?

[00:12:30.04] spk_2:
Well, there’s there’s a couple of different ways that we fit into this collaborate. So this particular collaboration uh was between um you know, as Danielle mentioned with garage um and collaborating, collaborating provoked provoked as a report. So the fun thing about that is that I worked really closely with other be corpse that are in this space. And so not only is provoked A B corp but provoke is a B corp that that works in the Jedi space that works in the equity space. And so we’re able to constantly um share learnings, share what we share what we um discovered in in our our dialogues and our policies and our practices and and from the results um of surveys and internal work that we’re doing. So we all always able to kind of like iron sharpens iron. Right? So I’m in good company um with provoking those over, over in that space to be able to think more about, okay if provoking the people up and we’re working with other organizations to really identify how do we show up what role does the lab have in that and how do we kind of take the ideas that are that are that we’re starting at the lab in this conversation while we’re trying to tackle eyes some of these critical challenges. These are global challenges. So um sharing learnings and adapting what we learned is really a way to uh drive the learning forward. And then these types of collaborations, we can learn what went well and a really fun thing is when I was even spoken speaking with Danielle like a lot of this stuff is the same thing. There’s a lot of similarities in this realm and I think what it does that drives the, the understanding that Jedi is everybody’s job, equity, bility is everybody’s job there. It doesn’t matter what your role is, right? I’m quote unquote an expert, I didn’t give myself that title, right. People see people in the space and we give each other these titles, but we’re all accountable to this work. We’re all accountable, we’re showing up differently and I love what Danielle said as well around when you know better, you do better because then that means that you have to think differently and so our session and when we talk about how do we measure, how do we measure equity? It really starts with asking ourselves a lot of questions, why are we doing this way? You know, why do we always do it this way? Who who, who are we thinking about? Who’s in the margins and in these intersections there is no one size fits all. So something that Danielle and and and their team might do might be very different. But in the learnings of what went well, what are the challenges, what, what, what we still need to elevate um is where we can all try to come together to identify solutions that are gonna be solutions that we all can, can, can use.

[00:12:42.41] spk_0:
Yeah,

[00:12:43.18] spk_2:
alright,

[00:13:34.14] spk_0:
now raj despite your, your pre recording admonition that I’m not turned to you too much. I promise. Trust me, trust me, I won’t, but I will at this point because you were the um I don’t know, maybe it’s not fair to say the catalyst, but you were the you were the, the, the helpers. That’s a great word, that that’s a sophisticated technical term. You were the you were the you were the drivers for the union of concerned scientists. So what should, what should nonprofits be thinking about? Like at the very early stages, what did you advise Danielle and her team, you know, at early stages to be, to be, I don’t know, assessing uh measuring or you know, given where they were at the time. You know, what was your advice at the earliest stages is what I’m trying to get at.

[00:16:02.34] spk_1:
Yeah, so first of all, um I just really appreciate Danielle and Yolanda and I learned so much from them all the time and just how we show up in partnership. So I was really taking this as an opportunity to learn from them. Um I appreciate the term catalyst and also with our work with the Union of concerned scientists, I was reminding the client just the other day that, you know, the term catalyst is a is a term and chemistry, which I actually have a degree in which I rarely use and the purpose of that is a catalyst is something that helps to reduce the activation energy of a chemical process. So, so it’s going to happen anyway. But hopefully through an intervention through hopefully our team, we can maybe get there a little bit quicker. That’s that’s what a catalyst does. So I’ll take it. Um um so you know, with with so obviously part of the reason that we participated in this work is we do a lot of work on equity. And often people ask this question, you know, because of just the nature of the world. Business capitalism is are we really getting there and how can we measure it? And how can we report on it? Um and that’s obviously really important to do that as well. And so some of the things that we asked, you know, for certain scientists to do was to really think critically about why they want to change the world, how they plan to turn that into reality and what best metrics represent that success. And so for example, sometimes we would hear language from um union of concerned scientists around things like high impact actions. And so we asked them to specify what is the list of those actions or underrepresented scientists. And then we asked them to get really specific about what does that mean race, economic status, gender identity, disability. And to amplify and support. And what does that mean? And one of the big things that came up in our session with uh N. T. C. Just last week is this idea of impact and how that’s been so much that comes up in nonprofits, but we don’t really define it. So this practice that really was a whole practice of definition and then determining what tools and measures you can go about doing it. And Danielle will talk to you also about like what has happened since they started doing this and where did it work? And where did it didn’t, where does subjectivity come into this? Because some of that, so many of these things are going to be subjective through how a person might perceive what they’re actually doing. Um, and it may not be measured by a specific number. So, um, that was, that’s just one thing in here. So what the union concerns scientists did was they established six key performance indicators and 15 supporting metrics to evaluate the growth of local engagement program across the US, um, including an equity specific KPI

[00:18:39.74] spk_0:
it’s time for a break. Turn to communications. Here’s the ways that they can help you media relations. You’ve heard me talk about this, that’s the relationships building those relationships with outlets like the chronicle of philanthropy, the new york Times Market watch fast company Washington post. All places where turned to clients have gotten placements, content marketing. If you’re interested in white papers, Your annual report falls into that. You want them to do research for you. Maybe research on a program and then publish that research for you to share with donors, foundations. You know, other supporters research. They can do research for you and write about it. Speech writing, ghostwriting training on media management, media relations website. They can build website for you website creation redesign. I haven’t talked about that one. But yes they do that too. So all you know media relations, content management thought leadership web social media social marketing turn to communications, right? Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C. O. Now back to measuring equity. Raj said this is all very subjective. I was thinking ethereal you know, but it’s it’s uh it’s it’s it’s hard to it’s hard to grasp however you you know how every whatever word you use to describe it. So Danielle, you know how did the U. C. S. Start to start to start to grasp it. You know, start, I mean eventually you end up with like raj said, you know, six KPI s and 15 supporting metrics, you know, whatever. But you know, how do you take that incrementally with this? Very subjective these very subjective concepts.

[00:21:57.84] spk_3:
Absolutely. Yeah. I’m happy to I’m gonna try to discuss it. It might sound a little messy when I discuss it but that’s so actually symbolic of what the processes and the fact that it’s just messy. Let’s do it. Oh no, it’s fine. Honestly if we’re going to talk about equity, it should always be a little uncomfortable. Um so one of the uh you know, one of the very first things I think we did with roger and the team and I really appreciated it was to just hold space for dialogue about why this even matters and what impact looks like. And I don’t mean that vaguely, we had to do a tactical visioning exercise. What described, what does impact look feel smell like when you see it, when does it take place? Um, and I think that that was so critical because we took the time to ask ourselves questions before thinking we knew anything just like Yolanda had said. Um, and so it was the time to ask ourselves those questions and overlay that with our theory of change. Why are we even saying that these local teams need to be organizing with the commitment to equity, What is equity scientist organizing really looked like. And so we held some time to really build that, which was so critical because it ultimately served as a compass for when my team of organizers waited through all of the possibilities of things we could look at and measure. And we’re from a science based organization. So you might imagine we are curious souls that want to learn a lot of information and bless rajan their team. They sat with us through it and said, well it sounds like you’re interested in your heart is telling you you need to know all of these things that might have something to do with it. But at the end of the day when we just talked about that compass of what does impact actually look like? What are the most fundamental indicators that you can consistently track that will tell, you will do the real learning of letting you know if you’re making progress or not. And so it was really the process of starting big and messy and then running through all sorts of variations of how we may or may know whether we are in fact grounding equity and inclusion in our teams based organizing and then painstakingly. But we had we built good trust along the way. So that was so critical um narrowed down to core um things that we were going to measure. So we ultimately had two of our six core keep key performance indicators that helped us measure three things, diversity of the team’s inclusive practice of our team leaders and how they are building and running those teams and the members education and engagement in terms of what is explicitly addressing equity or amplifying underrepresented upper underrepresented voices and the issues that we’re working on. And we had to define those throughout the way to be able to measure that. So that was a little bit of the process.

[00:22:06.04] spk_0:
You were able to capture those three Concepts in two Kpi s.

[00:22:46.24] spk_3:
Yeah, we we collected we collected for a few different things. So that is, you know, a number of instances where underrepresented scientists were supported or where partners were grounded in the work that uh some of the team members were um, taking up, uh, that also includes things like number of teams. What is the diversity in the makeup of that team and discuss the actual practices and how you’re running those teams. So we did that through some collection of different survey questions which we can dive into a little bit later. It was an iterative process. I’ll tell you that much.

[00:23:06.94] spk_0:
Yeah, no, I can tell for sure. And and and just for some context, I guess, how does this relate then to um, performance measurement? Like is this, is this is this drill down to individual employees or volunteer? No, I don’t know. It’s volunteers or employees like performance evaluations.

[00:24:23.14] spk_3:
Yes, that’s a good question. This for us is more about impact measurement. Um, and so the reason why we did this all along is to make sure that the data, we’re going to need to collect data about how these local teams are working and building. And it seems fundamental to us to make sure that equity inclusion were part of those because we were talking about this earlier. You manage what you measure, right? And so we needed to make sure that our key performance indicators included equity and inclusion and how we were building out our program. So the whole goal of those indicators are to help us learn as the people, the practitioners and the people who are building out this program are we actually making progress on those things that we are saying we care about and then to hold a space for accountability when we actually have to assess the growth and impact of our program. And then also just finally to invite a culture of learning both for us as staff who are trying to do things differently and for our science network members who are trying to join us in a movement to evolved scientists engagement and advocacy with a stronger equity lens. So it served more of a learning and accountability versus a performance performance evaluation.

[00:24:46.04] spk_0:
Okay. Okay. Um Alondra, your you wanted to take away, you know, you wanted to learn lessons takeaways like what, what are you hearing as as Daniel is describing this?

[00:27:56.34] spk_2:
Ah what I’m hearing is excitement, right? I’m hearing, I’m hearing alignment. Um uh we, we talk a lot about accountability especially at black. So, so um when you’re thinking about KPI S and I’m something that Daniel said around like you when you’re measuring, like that’s what you’re focusing on, your focusing on what you’re measuring. And so if you’re not measuring something that is a clear kind of like red flag of like if you’re not measuring it, you’re not tracking it, you’re not paying any attention to it. Um and so you’re measuring what really matters. And so it’s an outward depiction of what an organization truly matter, what matters to an organization, look at what they’re tracking and look at what they’re measuring. Um and so as a network B lab and we have all these reports, thousands of people were measuring what matters. But how are we if we’re trying to build an inclusive economic system and business is at the center of that? How do we do that? How do we have conversations with people? I might be an expert in the area. Um and raj talked about his degree and we’ve got we’ve got scientists and I’m not a scientist, right? Ah And so how do we educate people around how to approach their job? A lot of times we have conversations around Jedi and someone will say what you’re the Jedi expert? Like why do I have to do that’s your job? And I say, but it’s not, it’s not. Um we talk about what makes a leader, what makes a good business, what makes a leader someone you want to follow? Um if you’re doing things and how do you make people feel, how do you make other businesses feel? How do you make your community feel right? And so if we are we’re all knowing better and doing better and sharing this information, how do we take this information and have further dialogue around things like our standards are certification requirements? How do we measure what matters? And if we have conversations with our community that helps us understand what are the needs of the most marginalized in order to center in order to think more Jedi forward. We have to always ask ourselves who are the most marginalized. Um who who who are we not thinking about? Who are we creating barriers for a lot of times. We look at the outcomes and what’s gonna happen. But we don’t ask ourselves the question around, have I created a barrier? And more specifically, have I created a barrier for a representation that is traditionally or historically marginalized? And the only way to do that is to ask questions. Right? And so what Daniel said around dialogue. So we’re learning around listening to the community. What are the challenges that organizations are having when they’re trying to approach? Not only their KPI but whenever they’re approaching their supply supply chain, whenever they’re approaching their community communication, whenever they’re working with community, uh what are the challenges that they’re experiencing? Because if we’re looking at that, that is the information that we can use to build more resources, more uh more policies that are actually going to help uh create equitable outcomes. It’s gonna help our tools and our programs and just general accessibility of the work that we do.

[00:28:17.34] spk_0:
So, so Alondra is this is this work that’s going to be um spread among the b corp Among these 4000, you know, be corpse that that they’re going to start to be held 2, 22 Jedi standards, as I don’t mean, I don’t mean tomorrow, but tomorrow’s Saturday. But I don’t mean

[00:28:26.24] spk_2:
monday monday

[00:28:34.34] spk_0:
either. Give yourself some time. But um, this is this is this is this eventually going to be part of b corp I don’t know the approval or

[00:28:37.74] spk_2:
certification,

[00:28:39.02] spk_0:
certification,

[00:30:08.34] spk_2:
certification and verification. Um, so let me clarify so a couple of things we already tracked. So Jedi Jedi and equity bility, um, inclusion. These are already built within our standards. Um, but we are an organization, like many other organizations where trucking along and we’ve been in existence for some time and so, um, what we used to do to measure the past or not the things that we’re going to be able to measure the future as things are growing and as things are changing. So why we have always measured Jedi, why? We’ve always measured things like what’s the difference between your highest paid individual and the organization and the lowest paid individual in the organization. And the farther across that spread is indicates that there’s less equitable ability built into your systems in the organization. So we already looked at things like that. But what we’ve done in this past year is we’re really, really looking at all of our requirements. We’re looking at how we measure what truly matters. And so how do you measure equity? What is, what is that question that we write in the basic impact assessment that is gonna give us the information that we need to track how well an organization is doing identifying those questions if it’s difficult identifying those parameters were global. So it’s not just us, it’s not just Canada, I mean we’re a global network and so we have a lot of things to take into consideration. Jedi is not one size fits all, um, something that one global partner might do might not be suitable in another region of the world. So we are constantly challenged the lab Global with creating standards that are actually going to be not only accessible, but something that’s going to translate across the globe. So that’s why it’s important for us to ask lots of questions ourselves.

[00:33:34.04] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony’s take two. You’re responsible for donor relationships. What do I mean, I’m talking about keeping relationships strong, moving relationships forward. I’m also talking about when there’s been a solicitation not lettering, not letting, not lettering, not letting that solicitation sit fallow, but you follow up on solicitations right? You never want to have a solicitation hanging out there that looks like you didn’t take the thing seriously to begin with. So it’s your responsibility to keep relationships strong and moving forward with your donors. You do that in ways like remembering milestones, birthdays, anniversaries, uh, the anniversary of their very first gift to the organization. Their 20th gift to your nonprofit, their 50th gift milestones like that. Um, so milestones in their personal lives, but also related to your nonprofit, keeping in touch with just, you know, handwritten notes, phone calls where it’s appropriate. Not every donor wants phone calls. I realized that however they want to be communicated with keeping in touch in those ways, email phone notes. Keeping relationships strong and moving forward. This is your responsibility as the leadership, as the fundraiser, as the board member involved in donor relationships and fundraising. It’s not your donors responsibility to keep in touch with you. It’s your responsibility to keep in touch with your donors. And that’s what I mean by keeping those relationships strong and moving forward. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for measuring equity with Danielle Fox, Alando Williams and raj Aggarwal, Danielle. Let’s talk about leadership by end. I don’t know if, you know, maybe maybe it wasn’t an issue for the the union of concerned scientists ceo necessarily or you know that c c suite level, but there must have been leaders at some at some levels in in U. C. S. That were um, I don’t know at worst, you know, unwilling at best unaware and and and so for either reason, you know, not not accepting what you C. S. Was trying to do. How do you whatever management level we’re talking about? How do you what’s your recommendations for getting that kind of buy in among leadership because it’s it’s essential otherwise this work is going nowhere, you know. So what do you recommend there?

[00:33:37.34] spk_3:
Oh that’s such a good question. I will try

[00:33:39.69] spk_0:
To finally only took 29 minutes. Almost all right.

[00:33:43.25] spk_3:
Yeah. The other ones were no, you’re

[00:33:45.83] spk_0:
suffering a lackluster. There’s no question about it. There’s no question.

[00:33:52.24] spk_3:
I uh I’m happy to to try to take a crack at that. Um and but also I’m really interested with uh with what Yolanda and Roger have that, so if you don’t mind, I’d love to have like that be a team effort. Um

[00:34:05.13] spk_0:
but

[00:34:21.54] spk_3:
but I’d say, you know, there there was no sort of, there was no overt objection to it. It was just more of a sense this understanding that when you want to track when you redefine success and you want to meaningfully track that, that means we’re gonna have to have a hard look at our systems and our status quo of how we usually track and monitor things and to to unpack some of that and potentially to have to change um

[00:34:41.64] spk_0:
what

[00:34:42.02] spk_3:
we’re defining as success and what even systems or tools or capacity we have to be able to then consistently monitor and learn from it. So I would say that it wasn’t, there wasn’t a particular opposition, it was just more of a question of,

[00:34:59.74] spk_2:
well,

[00:37:28.33] spk_3:
what does new success actually look like. Uh and I think for that the approach was more just creating an authentic space for learning that no matter what level you are in an organization of space to ask critical questions together and to relearn and re envision together and have really difficult conversations about what we might need to be doing differently and why that’s important for what contribution we’re trying to have is so fundamental and that it doesn’t from my perspective and maybe this is my personal opinions towards like hierarchy were all at the end of the day, people with different ranges of responsibilities that hopefully if we’re showing up at that meeting and that conversation and good faith want to do better. Um, and so maybe that’s naive of me perhaps, but I think some of it was just creating a lot of spaces without particular judgment, but very honest, candid conversations about um what what’s different, what does success actually look like that needs to look different from how we’ve defined it before and then um what do we need to do as a team to be able to outfit ourselves to authentically monitor that and hold space to check back for whether we’re really um meeting the markers that we have and if we aren’t how we’re willing to adapt. And so maybe this is my own opinion every I’m an organizer at heart. So everything’s a campaign and part of that is a mix of sure pressure, but also persuasion and bringing people on board to join in a collective vision with you and see their role in it. And so I think there’s a lot of conversations along the lines of that and then a lot of conversations about if we’re going to do more of this, what are we going to do less of and having to make difficult decisions about what we prioritize and actually invest in. Uh those were difficult conversations and that is a okay. And so just giving yourself the time to work through that so that when it comes time to start up these key performance indicators and this initiative with equity and inclusion as barometers for progress that we’re all on the same page and were brought in and we know how we’re going to do it.

[00:37:57.13] spk_0:
Well if any of that was naive then I share your naivete. So I don’t think it was, but that’s because I’m with you all right. Uh Irlanda, do you wanna Danielle opened the door? Do you want to talk about? You know what I want to focus on leadership? Leadership buy in for Again, it could be anything from unawareness too. I don’t know. It could be blatant racism and just unwillingness, you know, at the at the extremes. What about leadership by in which again I think is essential to this work.

[00:42:30.50] spk_2:
Well uh it is right, it’s not, there’s no guests, right? Uh leadership buying is absolutely essential. Um And it is going to help drive longer term change and success, but a couple of things that Danielle said makes me think like that. So I’ve had a couple of experiences. I have had a myriad of experiences, I’ve had experiences where your your stuff trying to like you’re back at the business case, right? You’re back at business case. So so for those of us in the in the Jedi, I say look at Danielle Danielle, for those who can’t see, Danielle is vigorously nodding her head. Um the business case. So when Jedi hit the scene, when equity diversity E. D. I hit the scene, um the business case was like a really big thing because when we think about Jedi, it’s really rooted in how people feel the experience that people have or lack thereof, and how those experiences create inequities that can show up in education, obviously in business um in the health care system, you know, pretty much any system that we have with that inequities can can show up in. So what’s important for us to take into consideration, how do we get this by it? And so what we had to do was is we had to make the business case which was a lot of contributed in money, right? We had to say this is this is relevant to a business because businesses that are diverse that have diversity of thought, not just the color of someone’s skin, diversity of thought, thrive, They do better. And there’s years of evidence for that. Um so long before we really were having conversations about inclusion and justice and how people feel we were having conversations around your business should do this and it’s worthwhile for your business because you will get a return on your investment financially. Um, and I love the fact that we’re kind of shifting away from that and uh I’m having a lot less of those conversations and a lot more conversations of I know that there’s a problem. I recognize that something must be done. I have no clue where to start or I know that there’s a problem. I just don’t see it, help me learn how to see it and in that work it’s very, very difficult and it takes a long time. And so I’m lucky that in my current experiences I have with leaders that that know that there’s a problem and want to do something about it. But the struggle sometimes is what one thinks is the solution to the problem is not the solution to the problem. So what I see happens is you get the buy in. Sometimes you might have an organization where you have buy in from leadership. However, when you talk about what the actual solutions are, that’s when there is discrepancies, there’s discrepancies on whether or not we can actually solve this problem by by enacting that solution. And so we have to have a lot of conversations around resources and for me, I’m able to really elevate vision right, what is the vision of your organization? So I could ask that all the time. Staff say how I would love for my organization to put E. D. I first right to elevate equity. What is the conversation that I need to have with my manager, with my boss, with my supervisor, with leadership? How do we have this conversation? And I really challenge you to kind of like look at the vision and I’m encouraging those who really feel like they want to be a part of organizations that are putting this type of work forward. Take a look at the vision of the organization that you work at. We have an inclusive equitable regenerative system. So I was able to say if we want to do this work, we have to think about equity, but we have to take into consideration if we know that we’re not only going to get a return on our investment are people are going to feel better. They’re going to want to be here. They’re going to um, feel valued being here. You don’t have to work your employees to the bone to get dedication from them and treating them like human beings is how you’re actually going to be able to work together to create not only solutions but a space where everyone can show up as their true, authentic selves and feel good about being at work. Um, and we’re not there yet. You know, we’re not there were not there at the lab right? We still have these challenges internal to our organizations. Just like other organizations.

[00:43:03.80] spk_0:
I am gratified that you’re having fewer conversations that are based around money. You know, bottom line, that’s, that’s encouraging in the end it is all it is all about the bottom line but that you’re having fewer conversations that are rooted in that, you know, that are, that are explicitly about why it’s better for your, you know, how it will help your bottom line um, Raj. I’m only turning to you because Danielle suggested that you might want to comment on this. So uh would you, would you like to on the, on the buy in? We just have about 10 minutes left or so.

[00:43:18.30] spk_1:
I don’t have anything more to add than what these folks do.

[00:43:22.05] spk_0:
Yeah,

[00:43:22.68] spk_1:
I did share though, Danielle with Lane frisco and Denise done. Um how happy it makes me here? How happy it makes me to hear you share this in this way. So thank you so much.

[00:43:35.90] spk_2:
Oh,

[00:43:36.50] spk_0:
you’re thanking me.

[00:43:37.80] spk_1:
Yeah, I’m always thinking tony and I’m thinking Danielle and of course dr Williams all the time.

[00:43:54.20] spk_0:
Yeah. Well, these voices, right, the conversation needs to be elevated and I can help deliver it to another 13,000 folks. So, um Yolanda, I have a question um, I am, I am, I am, I am I because you’re the Director of, of Justice Equity diversity inclusion. I am. I am I to 2019 If I refer to D e I

[00:44:07.89] spk_2:
am

[00:44:08.83] spk_0:
I am I if I’m if I’m three years old, if I’m living in the past. Tell me and I’m asking you d i is what it used to be. But now I see Jedi more, I see Jedi emerging, I know

[00:46:07.58] spk_2:
are you 2 2019? Ah that’s that’s a lot of pressure to put on. Maybe you’re not there and you’re jeremy Tony and I respect that. But I will say I will encourage folks that are still really focusing on like, quick. The fastest Jedi training that I ever can give right is um, the justice aspect is is really, really important because it takes into consideration where we are, And it’s really difficult for us to look at how the existence of things as they are right now in 2022 without paying homage and respect to the fact that there is a very specific reason why we are facing the inequity that we face today. And so it’s important for us to bring that element to the conversation, because then we can say the reason there’s a really good reason why we need to have a conversation with our HR department about whether or not this level to position needs to have a bachelor’s degree, and that is that role actually necessary? Or have we are we a product of a of a society that folks of privilege and power decided what was necessary in order to be able to succeed again defining what that success looks like. And so we are just perpetuating that same ideology, even though we know that’s not true, and so how do we really root equity diversity and inclusion in in, you know, in a way that allows us to change from the way things used to be with recognizing that it’s not going to get us to where we want to go. So that’s why justice is a really key component. But again, some folks aren’t there in their, in their Jedi journey. Um, and I aspire okay,

[00:46:43.58] spk_0:
well, and I regret that I personalized it. I got, but I was thinking, I was thinking to myself, but you know, because I don’t mean to put pressure for Jedi, I love Jedi Jedi warrior. You could be a Jedi warrior. Um, yeah. Okay. Okay. Um, let’s see Danielle, why don’t you, why don’t you leave us with some, uh, inspiration if you like or something that you think we haven’t talked about yet doesn’t have, doesn’t have to be, uh, doesn’t have to be grand inspiration. Maybe just something that we haven’t talked about yet that you’d like folks to know about, uh, this work, this journey that that you see us went through. I’m gonna give you the chance to, uh, to leave us.

[00:48:52.87] spk_3:
Sure, you know, it, this is gonna sound a little atypical, but I think the for me, what’s been inspiring is that we’ve already learned, What isn’t working from what we did with provoke. Don’t take that personal rush. I mean, that is a wonderful wonderful thing because what weird doing is we’ve built in an invitation to ourselves as I would invite our advocates and any other organization that um is questioning whether they um have the knowledge or expertise to deepen equity and justice in their work and have to measure that. Um I think we’re a perfect example of organization that doesn’t have a deep expertise in this, but still wants to do it and is trying to do it, had built out something that I think really has helped ground us to be able to see how we need to keep improving. Um and that, for me is uh pretty inspiring because Ellen and I were talking a little bit about this before very often this can feel like an such a high stakes topic that can sometimes paralyze people from investing in it in taking steps. And I think the inspiring thing here is we’re already learning in the first couple of years of using these KPI s ways we can organize the local teams to to be a little bit better and more thoughtful in justice and equity, and we’re also learning that um there’s opportunities to reiterate and and strengthen our key P. I. S. That is an invitation for more learning and accountability, and for me that’s pretty, pretty exciting because this is ongoing work. I don’t think there’s gonna be a year that you see us as check we are an anti racist organization, it’s going to be ongoing work, and that’s exciting.

[00:49:21.27] spk_0:
Perfect inspiration. Thank you. And I realized that uh I made a mistake, Yolanda, I’m gonna let you take us out because B Lab, the lab is in this for takeaways. What what you what you can share with your your your 4000 certified companies. So you take us out with some with some takeaways.

[00:50:59.06] spk_2:
I love that. Um don’t let perfection be in the way of doing something right. Doing doing nothing is never good enough. So I love what Danielle said about a moving target as well. Um lean into uncomfortable that we don’t know what a utopian world looks like. We do not know what an equitable world looks like. We don’t know we haven’t had it yet. That’s the beauty and all of this is like we can imagine whatever we want and so be a part of what the new normal looks like. Step up and take apart to stake your claim because we’ve all we are all a product of of systems that were created before we got here. We are in a unique juncture in society in history that we can take a part in what success and the new normal books like moving forward and we can create systems that actually are inclusive for everyone that allow everyone to succeed regardless of where they were born, what they looked like, their social and economic status, um sexual orientation. We have a weird and unique space that as our leadership and when I say leadership, I’m not just talking about organizational leadership, I’m talking about in the world humans and and society members who have been a part of making decisions for a long period of time. That shift of power and influence is shifting and we’re all getting apart and we and so this is a unique opportunity, don’t squander your opportunity to be a part of something different for your Children, for our future for youth. Um we get one shot. Um and and this is gonna be, this is gonna be shaped the next 500 years of society. And so I want to take, I want to encourage everyone to kind of step up to the plate and and take ownership of your part in what the future’s gonna look like for others.

[00:51:45.46] spk_0:
Perfect, thank you. That’s Alando Williams, Director of justice, Equity, diversity and inclusion at B lab, also Daniel Fox Campaign and Science Network Manager, the union of concerned scientists and the other person around was is raj Aggarwal, president of provoke who asked me to not focus on him too much. So I took him at his word. I assume he was. I assume he was honest when he’s when he made that recommendation, made that made that request, I should say so.

[00:51:50.41] spk_1:
tony what do you think? Don’t you think it was better to focus on Dr Williams and Danielle.

[00:52:03.35] spk_0:
I do, but I’m I’m disappointed that you didn’t expect me to do that anyway. So little faith after the third time on the show and still still thinks I’m an underperformer. Thank

[00:52:10.62] spk_2:
you like I know how to do my job and I didn’t, I didn’t need you, but thank you, thank you. All right,

[00:52:31.55] spk_0:
maybe the fourth time if there is 1/4 for you, I’m not sure I would say anybody wants to be on nonprofit. radio Uh, don’t partner with Raj in 2023 because you’re greatly reducing the likelihood of being of being selected. Uh, Alondra Danielle raj, thank you very much.

[00:52:34.42] spk_1:
tony it was really nice when we received your emails, valuable

[00:52:43.75] spk_0:
conversation, I appreciate it and appreciate you all for being good sports to while I uh, make fun of raj, especially

[00:52:49.43] spk_3:
thank you

[00:54:07.05] spk_0:
and thanks to all of you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 22. Ntc the 2022 nonprofit technology conference with the hope that we will be together in person in 2023 in denver colorado. Thanks so much for being with us Next week. More from 22. NTCC asking for receiving and giving feedback if you missed any part of this week’s show. I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com we’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o our creative producer is claire Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott stein, thank you for that affirmation scotty be with me next week for nonprofit radio Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. Go out and be great. Mhm mm hmm.

Nonprofit Radio for October 24, 2014: Shift Happens & The Event Pipeline

Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%

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Angel Aloma: Shift Happens

With Angel Aloma at Fundraising Day 2014
With Angel Aloma at Fundraising Day 2014

Angel Aloma, executive director of Food For The Poor, shares valuable fundraising strategies for upgrading your donors. He’s got tips for marketing communications; true donor centrism; metrics; and employee evaluations. (Recorded at Fundraising Day 2014.)

 

 

 

 

Pat Clemency: The Event Pipeline

With Pat Clemency at Fundraising Day 2014
With Pat Clemency at Fundraising Day 2014

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. Learn lessons from Rochester and Buffalo. (Also from Fundraising Day 2014.)

 

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Dahna 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 welcome opportunity collaboration. If you are joining me from that very special gathering in x top of mexico last week, i welcome you to the show, and i’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer the effects of rhabdo mile isis if it came within my ken that you missed today’s show it’s a full day of fund-raising day shift happens on hell aloma, executive director of food for the poor, shares valuable fund-raising strategies for upgrading your donors he’s got tips for marketing communications, true donor-centric zm metrics and employee evaluations that was recorded at fund-raising day twenty fourteen and the event to pipeline get committed major donors our of your out of your events who i needed i needed interns, aiken, blame somebody for this copy get committed major donors out of 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 learn lessons from rochester and buffalo this also from fund-raising day twenty fourteen antony’s take two i have more to say about opportunity collaboration, this amazing five day conference on poverty alleviation where i was responsive by generosity. Siri’s hosting multi charity five k runs and walks it’s all fund-raising day today here’s my first interview from fund-raising day twenty fourteen welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of fund-raising day two thousand fourteen we’re at the marriott marquis hotel in times square, new york city. Beginning the day with unhealed aloma on hill. His seminar topic is shift shift happens how to ensure upgrading your donors is a smooth move on hell. Aloma is executive director of food for the poor on hell. Aloma welcome! Welcome to the show. Thank you. Glad to be here, it’s. My pleasure. I’m glad you’re with me on a very busy day. Thank you for taking time in the beginning. Um, we’re talking about the shift. The upgrade from, i guess. Modest donor toe major. Major donor. Right. Basically, we should be working all the time getting our middle donors to become upper middle and then afterwards, major donors? Some will not, but a lot of them will if they’re treated properly. Okay. And what? Is it that you see non-profits sometimes doing wrong? I guess not not treating properly, i guess generally, well, one of the major things is not being truly donor-centric i think it all non-profits when whenever we have a meeting, we say donorsearch king donorsearch king but it takes, you know, something really quite traumatic to make you internalize that issue. I went all the way to holland to be inspired by an american four years ago. Thoma hearn. And he really had he had pieces from all different charities, and he was reading them. And he said, look at this, everything is about the charity and they have done studies where eighty percent of donors who had left on the charities have claimed to be distanced by the charity. And so when i went back home, i thought to myself, very smugly we don’t do that. And then i started going over our pieces and i realized that everything was about food for the poor food for the poor builds houses food for the poor gets food, food for the poor digs wells. So i went on a rampage for three years with our writers and food for the poor had to become absent. It had to be the donor. And the word help had to be eliminated. Not thank you for helping us build homes is thank you for building homes. Thank you for feeding starving children. Thank you for e-giving clean water to children at risk of not. Thank you for helping us to do all those things. Exactly supporting us and doing all those things. Right. Okay. Well, that’s. Very interesting. So it starts now. You felt you had to go to holland to see tom. You know what? No one in the u s is doing this doing this well short. Thoma herne did at some point. But is he the only one in the world now, see, conference in holland is it’s a beautiful conference. Nine hundred sixty three people were there sixty three different countries represented. I see western in-kind fund-raising congress. Okay. Congress to congress. Not a not a conference to congress. What year was this? That you went. This is i have been every year for the last seven years. But this is four years ago that i went to knock to its every october and in holland. Okay, you, uh you came back and you started with your marketing communications way have our own creative in house, so i went to the creative director. I said, this is what we have to do, and i edit everything. I’m sort of the final editor before things leave the organization, so whenever i saw anything that was organization centric, i took it out, sent it back, and it took actually three years to get the writers to go from organizational centered to donor-centric, but but you’re the executive director. Why did it take three years? Because they were accustomed for twenty nine years before the in doing this, we’re a thirty two year old organization, okay, you’ve accounted for all the years. There you go, and you know what they say, you know, culture, its innovation for lunch. Oh, that’s, very good. I never heard that, but culture eats innovation for lunch. Yeah, that’s. Okay, it’s, very hard to change. What else? What else do we need to be thinking about? Well, anything else, let’s, say, within our marketing with our marketing messages to be truly donor-centric you also have to break down the silos? And frankly, when i went to food for the poor fourteen years ago, everybody had given up on it. It is such a tough fight. And then i was sitting at a conference in here in new york, actually, and i heard a speaker say something that if you don’t dream really big, you will never achieve the impossible, and i stopped listening to him. At that point on, i wrote eight pages of a new fund-raising vision, and i went back and i said, you know what? This is not happening by itself, so i became somewhat of a benign dictator, and i said, this is my vision for this. We’re going to stop having the silos. I know it’ll take some time. I want you to buy-in i want your feedback, but in the final analysis, this will happen. I said, if you’re not on my bus, you have to get off the bus, but i’m not gonna have any energy vampires started. Going around saying, oh, no, this to her, i don’t know, we can’t do this and, you know, it’s amazing. We have beautiful people who are fundraisers, and they’re so nice and so personable, but you take fifteen dollars of their credit and they go totally nuts. So why don’t we? Let’s ah, quaint listeners with what? What? What food for the poor does i’m well, our name has become a misnomer. Where a thirty two year old charity we work in our backyard, where in florida and will help seventeen countries in the caribbean and latin america. And we started out giving food teo missionaries in jamaica. And then we went to haiti. And then now we’re in seventeen countries and we do not only food. We do housing with duke water wells. We do medical. We do education and self sustainable projects. Now subsumed in in the story you just told is this kind of change has to come from leadership. Absolutely. It has to come from the top down because people of fundraisers sort of by nature have that sales mentality that it’s mine, it’s mine, the donor’s mind the sailors mind. And so you have to get rid of that. And actually, i have to say that it for the last year and a half that i started this, it has been working really beautifully because if you’re going to be donor-centric than the donor has to choose what he wants to give to and buy what channel he’ll give it on. If we restrict him from that, then we’re not being donor-centric let’s help the leadership that’s listening. What? This is a three year process it was give us some details about what you had to do, too, create the culture to create the culture change. Well, as i said, it has to be somewhat of a benign dictatorship, but you seem more like a benevolent dictator. Yeah, but probably i’m going about your benevolent, not just benign, okay, you’re right, i believe in servant leadership, but at the same time you have to set the pace. And so i i’ve had a lot of fundrasing meetings, i am in charge of the fund-raising out food for the poor, so i had meeting with the directors. The creative director also answers to me, so i was able to influence that also on the fact that i sent it back if they didn’t do it right, you know, it had to redo it. Eventually it started diminishing and diminishing until now and it’s funny, because at that time we used to send twenty three pieces of mail a year that most people gasp when they hear that on, we used to get a lot of complaints about too much mail, too much mail, then we are now sending twenty eight, and we get seventy percent less complaints because now the donor’s feeling good about himself when he reads it outstanding more slightly more communications a year, andi, seventy percent fewer complaints outstanding. All right, well, we need to dive in deeper. What do we do with the if we have? Maybe you didn’t get food for the poor, but the recalcitrant employees, whether whether fundraiser or or editor there, just not, or even boardmember they’re just not coming along to true donor-centric zm, our board is looking at the larger picture and they get all the financial stuff they get all the audited financial statements, we have an internal auditor that answers to them, but they really don’t interfere in the daily running of the organization. Okay, and as long as we’re doing well, they’re you know, they’re happy and they’re looking over, but they’re looking most with financials and they’re respecting that it’s your absolute your responsibility to culture fundrasing okay, so board was not a was not it was mostly in the lower level of fund-raising that we had the issue because we had tto also change our way of judging the fundraisers, because whereas before they were judged totally by bottom line, we have to find new ways like by the number of donors that they passed on to a higher level rather and by how much? Oh, look at them sex. So let’s, talk more about some of these quantitative measures that you use so that’s one measure is how many donors did you pass on? Right, which is antithetical to the to the culture that had been, which is very comment wolber race to them. Hold on. Excellent. What what other way started for our phone center? For example, we have an internal phone center with sixty one people in it. And we started incentivizing by the number of completed calls rather by how much money they made because there is a very definite connection between number of calls and income, so we stopped looking at income and incentivized them for for the number of calls completed completed colonies it calls exactly with meaning they had they had a conversation so forth, because then the phone center instead of a fundrasing department, they have three campaigns a year, but they’re also a service department. So basically now what they do is i ask every director who was a fundraiser and their monthly reports tohave a line for how much they’re they’re department raised, but also to have a second line showing the donors that they have in their department how much money they have raised for the organisation altogether and it’s amazing because those same donors gave two, three or four other channels now that they’re no longer restricted by the fundraiser as though they’ve brought in there their experience with food for the poor. Absolutely, and we’re doing better than the year before we’re actually above budget this year, andi haven’t been the best, you know, conditions, country wise, economy wise, but we still have done better every year 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. Let’s talk about more quantitative measures and analytics for evaluating the employee performance in creating this culture change what else? Right whillans there? Well, we have a whole line of setup for direct mailing the phone center where way again we what we’re looking for is to move them up and our we have to treat all donors differently. Also, our radio donors that week that we acquire from radio different so we have started looking also at how best to treat them according how they want to be treated toe have more surveys toe have more of like in our news letters we have if you don’t like the way well, the language start nicely what i’m saying now, but if you don’t like the way you’re being treated right now, communications wise, please call this number. Please let us know police send an email to this so they can know that they’re in charge that they’re in control on dh when they give you feedback like that, you know that they love you because they didn’t love you. They would just say, forget it. I’m just gonna write about, you know, we always incredibly valuable he always flag. People who complain because they’re good enough to call us or that has no right. And there they now for our major donors, we have, for example, a whole different line of approach. And once they have reached that level, i they have access to me. They all can get in touch with me. They have access to special events they get. They belong to a special club so special, you know, they get a statue of christ, the beggar where christian organizations so we can go of jesus the beggar. And you know that i have every month i have to coffee breaks with the exec director where each major donor person invites maybe fifteen to twenty of their people to come on a conference call. And i thank them in a very special manner. I give them the updates of how the organization is doing to that point, which most other donors will get. Once a year, they get the annual report. These people are being told all the time. This is what your you know. Your donations are doing this right now and it’s. Amazing when they start speaking in those calls, how they affect the other. Donors on that called me that we end up in tears sometimes, you know, it’s it’s an amazing thing. It sounds like it could be very moving. It is called avery moving it is because i tell them stories of when i travel. You know, i just just two weeks ago, i was in guyana last thiss monday tuesday, wednesday was in haiti, you know, here and now in new york now totally the opposite situation, but, you know, they they love hearing things that they don’t get in their normal appeals. In the normal things i write letters to anyone who gives a gift to five thousand up on my letters are very donor-centric i mean, you know, there’s one letter that just goes on that they’re superheroes and i always start with a statement that kind of makes them feel special like you are super here is and then i talk about how, like, my two miles, you know, used to come and save the day and, you know, then i give them a story on him to save the day. I apologize for the people who have who have a near that recognises true music i’m sorry. I’m sorry. That’s ok does not considered a classic, and i still ruined it. But it’s it’s amazing that, you know, they hear stuff like this and and hear stories from the field that i just experienced. So i become somewhat emotional with them and then they get that and they really feel very special that they’re being called to this small gathering and they feel they’re part of the inner circle and they are because i listened to what they say. I mean, we went through what we call an emotional inquiry study a very expensive issue, but we are very large charity, ok, an emotional enquiries where they they’re they interviewed in depth for our sixty of our best donors in the organization. T let us know, really, what is the truth? And you know, when we asked her donors in a superficial conversation, why are you giving money to food for the poor? Because i want to help the poor. Well, in those studies, they found out that the number one reason is because donors want to feel like decent human beings in a world so full of negativity and evil. So then we know how to communicate because that also, although we started doing the donor-centric before that it’s, kind of like confirms that yes, this is the way they want to feel good about themselves. And if you don’t do that, they’re not going to give and you ended up calling them superheroes. Absolutely. I told him how they put on their cape of compassion and you know, they’re they’re sort of of generosity and you know, all this stuff. I built this whole story, and then what happens is that we get a second large gifts shortly after they get my letter and that’s and that’s, you know, gratitude. Thank you. Thank you thing that’s. Another huge thing where fund-raising is concerned and moving donors. We get more than five percent of our total income cash income for the year from thank you letters we never mentioned and asking the thank you letter. But we sent an envelope and we send a reply. Peace. Now that we were doing so well with thank you that we decided how about adding in rember totally used to send twenty three and now we’re seven. Twenty eight he added three thank you’s, not for a gift just simply thanking the donors with a reply peace in an envelope and guess what? The one in january, which is a tough month for us, after the donors are exhausted from giving in fall, we made over a million net because again the costumer thank us next to nothing is a piece of paper and an envelope, and you put in the reply peace in the end, the end on the envelope inside and that’s, you know, they were so we were thanking them for all they’re giving over the fall over the year, but a very genuine, very heartfelt thank you and men. They really responded to that in january when they would’ve been exhausted, as i said, and that was not a not a thank you for a specific it was not over everything that i don’t do. Three of those a year in the points where we find it the hardest to send an appeal like this summer. You know, people are also not a cz, you know, ready to give up, you know, there often vacations so forth and again, you know, last summer we did one and very successful you’re sending those just to recent donors napor labbate labbate the owners will not collapse no, we are people who have given in the last twelve months. Okay, so from from when you’re sending the mailing twelve months preview, but we’re working on one now for people saying, we want to thank you for your generosity for so many years. And you know what? We haven’t heard from you recently, you know, but we still are so appreciative because you helped us build a crucial time. You know, we’re working on one like that, too, for the more recently lapsed recent lapse. Okay, okay. Um, gosh, all right, we have we have a lot more time together so we can spend more time on some detail. This this became a part of the employee assessment. Sort of annual their annual review. Exactly. How did you donor-centric zm what way? Call it like. Well, it’s basically, ru willing teo teo, to sacrifice your own personal beliefs for the good of the organization, for the good of the unit of the poor. And we’re helping. And it’s it’s part our evaluations, sir, they have a part that are very the part that are very, you know, like specific. But then you are able also to write whatever you like and that’s the part where i usually commended the ones who have and i tried toe be gentle, but firm we’re the ones that we don’t because what happens is basically when on employee refuses to get on the bus. You know, i read a book about the energy bus on energy vampires, and they become energy vampires as as a servant leader, i really tried toe water to fertilize, to give them every opportunity to give them training so they can see the way that we want to head. But if all of that doesn’t work, then you’re actually doing them a favor by having them go to a place where they can be happy. Yeah, the so i guess it’s sort of ah, friction that you had to overcome it was there was a fair amount of resistance, particularly because there were some fundrasing departments that were a mixture of fund-raising and service like the web, for example, where they do service for other departments, but they also do fund-raising and then we used to, for example, have to landing pages for every appeal because the web oftentimes didn’t appeal based on a direct mail appeal, but one landing page for the earl went to direct mail, but the landing page for the general webb went to webb and i said, no, this is sort of direct mail appeal when that most of us who are who are computer savvy, we don’t go to the earl, we just put food for the poor and look for what you want, you know? So and that was, you know, a big part of income. I said, you will be recognized for that don’t worry, you’re not going to be judged if it drops and guess what web did that last year and so did direct mail, you know, so really what it does is it really makes the donor feel better. And when that happens, they give more the i’m really interested in the inn overcoming these these objections let’s, let’s get a sense of still a process, you know is three years old, the copywriters air all great now, but the issue of whose credit and so forth it’s you know, we still up to yesterday we had a director’s meeting and the issue came up like we have an angels of the poor program, which is the monthly giving program, but the web has a separate giving program because they’re they’re average monthly gift us forty one dollars and eighty cents, whereas the monthly gift for the angels of the poor program is twenty one dollars. So you know the director who runs the angels of the poor says, but, hey, i want to, you know, i want teo, you know, get the web, teo, you know, push more the angels of the poor. And we have to say, look what is good for the poor forty one, eighteen or twenty one, you know, if the web is doing better and they’re doing than leave them with it, you know, it’s it’s, okay, you know, if you lose a little branding for this, how many people are in the direct fund-raising hominy direct fundraisers do you have we have a little over three hundred employees at our building in coconut creek? We have eighty five priests and pastors who go to church is every weekend to raise money for the poor on behalf of the poor, and we have a food for the poor. And so basically i would say that of the three hundred at work, about two hundred are involved. Maybe more than two hundred involved in fund-raising. Okay. And you said you’re in charge of fund-raising of all the directors who fund-raising yeah, we have different. We have thirteen fund-raising departments and all the directors answer to me. Okay, so it is the project’s apartment to the creative department, the pr department. I’m also a spokesperson for the organization. What? What other strategies? And we still have some time left together. What other strategies haven’t we talked about for creating? This is culture shift. Well, i think you always when when you have an organization that is asking people for something you always have to give back something in our case is prayer. Every single. And we spend a lot of money on this. For example, with our own staff, we pay for half an hour the beginning of each day, and the staff can choose either to start work at that point or to go to our prayer room for half an hour. Of course, it will be different for every organization and on religious and unchristian organization of this would not work. But for us, our donors are inclined to really like this with every appeal we send with every thank you nona, thank you’s with every appeal on dh with every newsletter, they have a chance to write a prayer request. Now most people might think, ok, we throw those in the garbage or we put them in a big basket and pray over them. We actually call every donor that we have a phone number for and pray with them on the phone. Then we pray for them in the prayer room, so they really feel great about you should see some of our testimonial letters. You know, it was about to commit suicide in the person called me, and i prayed with them way have iphone that because we don’t want to be left behind, we have an iphone app, you press it for prepare food for the poor, and within five minutes a live person calls to pray with you. So every organization has to think what i e-giving our donors over and above the great feeling, because it does, it changes the hearts of our people who give to you. I mean, i feel we have three. Missions our poor, our staff and our dahna owners because we have changed so many lives toe act with generosity. I mean, when people become generals, they’re happier people. I mean, we have businessman tell us now i goto work knowing what is it i’m working for, you know? So we we have that situation, you know? But you have to give them something besides that good feeling, you know, we know the brain produces all sort of chemicals when they give, but i have to give them something else over and above, so every organization should think, what is it that we’re giving our donors that’s making their lives better in our case? It’s prayer in an environmental, you know, who knows the photographs of things that they have finished, you know, whatever calendar you know it yet, but we have to give back something and i’m not talking about, you know, premiums, you know, you don’t have to spend a lot of money talking about, you know, it’s not going to be thoughtful, it could be a thank you call for the entire staff, like, for example, i know that i’m that operation smile does that once or twice a year, their entire staff, the place shuts down for the day and their entire staff calls donors. So we’re actually considering doing that in writing tohave hand written notes, we have five million dollars in our file eight hundred thousand, which are active so we can’t do it for all donors but taken the top level of our file and having all our staff and you hadn’t held great, it’d be for someone to open the letter and have it from the person who cleans the cafeteria and, you know, here is that, right? Yeah, i’m a huge advocate of the hand written note because they’re so infrequent, and especially for older donors, right? They grew up with that and it’s now so uncommon, they’re lucky to get an email or a text, but the hand written note very, very, very powerful and yeah, coming from staff that say, here’s, how your gift helped me do my work or, you know, you’re trying to make it not just helped me here’s how here’s, how you’re doing the work for the organization, i guess through me, whether whether i’m cleaning the cleaning, the floors or absolutely or i’m cfo. And that’s my ministry with the staff to let every single one feel that they’re feeding the poor. Also it’s not just the fundraisers and it’s, not just the ones who handled the big donors. We still have a couple minutes left. I’m going teasing these ideas out of your what? What happened? We talked about yet your session is coming up, you must have a well or in your head. I think we have to put an emphasis if we want to really have donors move up the ladder on monthly donations like that’s. One of the ways we incentivize our phone callers on our direct mail and everybody we see how many monthly they can get. You know how many people that can convert from from a single gift givers to monthly and that’s when i see a single gift givers, i don’t mean to give one single gift for the year, but they give in single times like maybe three times a year, four times a year, and we’ve been having a great success. Whether the monthly donors has tremendous advantage. According to industry averages, they last more than twice the length of a donor that does. Not they renew very easily and they actually upgrade very easily, because when you have a person giving ten dollars, a month that’s one hundred twenty year, they don’t psychologically, they don’t think of it as one hundred twenty, they think of it as ten dollars, so when you call them us, they were having a famine right now in guatemala, they had floods and, you know, we have problems that coffee workers are laid off. Um, would you mind going up to twelve dollars, psychologically again? They’re thinking of two dollars, and i think you have twenty four, so they’re very you know, we have had great success upgrading monthly, so our website is designed to get monthly, gives our default in many of the pages is for monthly, and it created a little a little gang to the young. I mean, i have to admit a lot of people felt that was just deceiving because they didn’t read it properly and things like that. So we know we have in bold letters, does this have a gift that will be taken out every month and so forth? But you know what our monthly gives on the web increased? By three percent monthly with that default because the majority, you know, i really want to do it, you know, and it’s an idea they didn’t tend to have and they wouldn’t normally choose. But once they saw it there, it’s amazing. When people are given the power to change, they have the single gift option underneath. They really usually don’t you know when the same with the mail when we tell them if you don’t like the way you’re being treated by mail, they feel so good about having the power that they leave it, you know, they don’t on hel and subsumed in all this is that it’s so much cheaper to treat a donor properly and upgrade them absent? It is to acquire a new one. You absolutely don’t have time to go in, but that’s axiomatic so much so much better than than acquiring new donors. That’s correct on hell. Aloma is executive director of food for the poor. Based where in florida. Coconut and coconut curry the cat butterfly capital of the world. Thank you very much. It is a pleasure, tony. Thank you. My pleasure. Thank you, aunt ella loma. And thank you. This is tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of fund-raising day two thousand fourteen my thanks to the folks at fund-raising day and we’ll have another one coming up very shortly. Generosity siri’s they host five k runs and walks multi charity five k runs and walks it’s hard to generate enough runners to host your own event. And then, of course, you have to deal with all the back end stuff like permits and sound system and start and finish line and medals and port a potties generosity siri’s creates communities of non-profits that come together to create big and sustainable five k runs and walks, and they take care of all the back end stuff you can talk to dave lynn he’s, the ceo, about joining one of their five k events coming up in new jersey, miami, new york city and philadelphia. Please tell my voice just cracked like i’m fourteen, please tell dave that you’re from non-profit radio he’s at generosity siri’s dot com or of course, you know, i like to pick up the phone and talk to people. Seven one eight, five o six, nine, triple seven last week i was at opportunity collaboration where three hundred fifty vibrant smart people came from around the world to share their strategies for poverty alleviation. There were people working with refugees doing education, water and sanitation relief for victims of survivors of domestic abuse and other forms of abuse. Um, empowering entrepreneurship in developing communities and countries. There were funders. There it was, it was just ah, it was remarkable week. There were also media there i was a bonem media fellow, which i’m very grateful two marlys and ron bonem for it was really an unconference no plan. Aries all the discussions, all the programs were discussions. You seated in a circle and they were just they were moderated and there was lots and lots of time for something i think is very special to opportunity collaboration, the one on one meetings, plenty of time to schedule those and that’s where real sharing of ideas got done. I had some excellent, excellent meetings around the show, its value. And i got some very good ideas for, i think, expanding the show and perhaps making it little more ah more global really very much got me thinking and a lot of people thinking for the for the whole. Week we’re in this beautiful setting in mexico. You could relax and and share in a riel no stress environment. If you do work around poverty alleviation, you may want to check out opportunity, collaboration, there’s, a video and a link to it at tony martignetti dot com and that is tony’s take two for friday, twenty fourth of october forty second show of the year here’s another recording from fund-raising day twenty fourteen this is pat clemency talking about your event pipeline and getting major donors from your events. Welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of fund-raising day two thousand fourteen way 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 that clemency welcome to the show. Thanks, tony. Pleasure to have you you have ah, 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 for that 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, it can. Be so today we really talked had a 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 talk a lot about planet absolute, but planning in a different way, that really makes us understand who is coming, who are the prospects, but the day of the event, how do we really connected the donor’s? Not just with the event but with the mission really can make a specific difference and how we then engaged him in the journey, not what the event, but with the organization over time, he’s really the third ingredient in it, and so it really is very helpful to think about it as more than simply the event itself. I’m gonna ask you to talk even closer to the mike because we have now we have the background noise because lunch is 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? Be planning for transitioning. Attendees to teo to our donor, right? I think we’re all too often we start with logistic 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 on dso we found there was great opportunity looking at direct male donors, we 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. 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 them 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 loyalty will be that the event it could be that the institution and would be a longer term engagement, we get that right in the planning stage. That’s what we want, right? We don’t want this 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. Wait, convert those kinds of people. Well, you know, it’s very interesting. We learn a lot from our buffalo, not just 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 honoree, 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, uh, 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 one, 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 dahna sporting event on an annual basis, but really, truly look at it as a pipeline, we have seen donors go from 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 gorgeous 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 note to the invitation 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 t 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 could do for kids, and you are meeting wish families and volunteers and boardmember course, searching you out as the guest that evening and 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 gala, whether it is during the cocktail hour it’s during the main speeches of the night, we’re 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 changed 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 it 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 have to be 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 seated any event, and when you think that it matters most, there is a greater level of engagement on the part of the board and the staff and 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 will dis empowers boards to reach out to other people that the organization knows and be champions that night for the cost, so they’re assigned 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 sze 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 by another repeat piece of information and out of that then becomes thought okay with the event is over, but it’s on ly really beginning in terms of engaging that dahna long term now on the way for 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 we ought 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’s some of the ways that you could be involved on an ongoing basis so we’ve transitioned from beginning in the planning stage two day of now, we’re at our event. What else? A little bit there. Sorry, that was a little loud. What else should we be thinking about? You are executing the day off too. 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. And 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 for 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 training 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 hasn’t impact come on the future generation of kids just like buy-in that’s a that’s an 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 across 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, 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 and place, we’re all making a difference. 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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 wass how could we make it? And i don’t mean to suggest the whole thing’s rigged? No, no, you have one or two people who you knew would get the ball rolling. They were all legitimate that we wouldn’t do that, but but there’s a couple of 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 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 thie 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 cannot 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 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 on 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 think there’s a couple of great examples, our ten million dollars donors 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 transitional stage was when he was able to make a difference for the individual wish kids so 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. When you came up into his lobby, you immediately saw that this was somebody who was champion the cause. 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 total, 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 wonder, grant the next ten thousand wishes because we understood now importance and impact 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, 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 him was about the ability to change ten thousand lives. And 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 dahna 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 yes, 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 secured the honore and they were great in helping support the fund-raising around him 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 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 doubt a wish in perpetuity, 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 the power of their motivation until that moment, but what i did, i 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. Don’t 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. Thanks again to everybody at fund-raising day and the new york city chapter of the association of fund-raising professionals. A f p next week, the halloween show. Regular contributors. Jean takagi on law and amy sample ward on social media, who have tips, tricks and treats. If you missed any part of today’s show, find it on tony martignetti dot com. Remember generosity siri’s, they sponsored non-profit radio generosity, siri’s, dot com. Our creative producer is claire meyerhoff. Sam lever, which is on the board, as the line producer shows. Social media, is by julia campbell of jake campbell. Social marketing and the remote producer of tony martignetti non-profit radio is john federico of the new rules. Our music is by scott stein. You 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 gotta 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 idealised took two or three years for foundation staff to 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 and and no 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 expected to grow and savvy advice for success from eric sabiston. What separates those who achieve from those who do not is in direct proportion to one’s ability to ask others for help. The smartest experts and leading thinkers air on tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent.