Tag Archives: Misty McLaughlin

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Nonprofit Radio for May 20, 2016: Fundraising and Finance Friendship & Your Modern Digital Team

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Rich Dietz & Dan Murphy: Fundraising and Finance Friendship

Abila has a study about the challenges between your fundraising and finance folks, and the opportunities for collaboration that will make your nonprofit a happier and more productive organization. In the ring are the study co-authors: Rich Dietz, fighting in the fundraising corner, and Dan Murphy for finance. How do these pugilists make peace?

Rich Dietz
Dan Murphy

Misty McLaughlin & Michelle Egan: Your Modern Digital Team

Misty McLaughlin & Michelle Egan at 16NTC

What does it mean to be a native digital nonprofit and what are the advantages of making the transition? Should you? Misty McLaughlin does organizational development at Jackson River, LLC and Michelle Egan is deputy director for marketing and engagement at NRDC. We talked at the 2016 Nonprofit Technology Conference.

 

 


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Duitz 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. We have a listener of the week. Oren louis sample ward, amy sample ward, our social media contributor and her husband, max had a baby or in louis, mom and baby are home. They’re doing great she’s not going to be with us for a few months, but she wolf course will be back. Some people do anything to grow the non-profit radio audience congratulations, amy and max very thrilled for you. Welcome oren lewis, your first major award of your life, our non-profit radio listeners of the week oh, i’m glad you’re with me! I’d be stricken with lim fangio and dauthuille yoma! If you floated the lymph idea that you missed today’s show fund-raising and finance friendship abila has a study about the challenges between your fund-raising and finance folks and the opportunities for collaboration that will make your non-profit a happier and more productive organization in the ring are like study co authors rich dietz fighting in the fund-raising corner and dan murphy for finance. How do these pugilists make peace and your modern digital? Team, what does it mean to be a native digital non-profit and what are the advantages of making the transition should you? Mr mclaughlin does organisational development at jackson river llc, and michelle egan is deputy director for marketing and management at the nrdc. We talked at the twenty sixteen non-profit technology conference on tony’s take two our new promo riel we’re sponsored by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled, you’ll raise more money pursuing dot com, also by crowdster online and mobile fund-raising software for non-profits now with apple pay for mobile donations. Crowdster dot com very pleased to welcome excuse me, rich dietz and dan murphy to the show rich dietz is director of fund-raising strategy for abila he has spent the last twenty years working with and in a wide variety of non-profit political and government organizations, as well as technology companies focused on the nonprofit sector. Dan murphy is product manager for my p fund accounting at abila he has an extensive background in financial management with degrees in finance and accounting, and over ten years of non-profit accounting experience and he’s bored treasurer of a non-profit in austin, texas rich, welcome back. To the show. Dan. Welcome to non-profit radio. Thanks for having me here. Pleasure. I did. I mr pronounce the name of the company that when i was first introducing its abila abila abila that is correct. In case i didn’t say that in the in the opening, that is the correct pronunciation and it’s a b l a. Okay, dan, you’re on the on the finance side, rich on the fund-raising side. Rich let’s, start with you. What was this study about? Fund-raising and finance all about why did you feel it was necessary? Yeah. That’s. Kind of interesting, though. You know, as a software company focused on the non profit sector, we have products for fund accountants. You know, for accountant, we have products for fundraisers, and dan works mostly on that finance side. I work mostly on the fund-raising side, we we we realized we’re not collaborating amongst ourselves, even here at the office. And then dan and i started talking, and we’re like, hey, we have all this all this anecdotal evidence from our past working at non-profits of this sort of adversarial relationship. And so we thought, hey, let’s, get there. Especially get to what’s. Going on and actually ask non-profits is this, you know, collaboration? Or is it really an adversarial relationship? So we surveyed a fourteen hundred non-profits and we really wanted to dig into what is this perception of collaboration what’s the biggest challenges on maybe some way that we could, you know, help that that that collaboration actually increased. Yes, dan, a perception of collaboration. It’s it’s not really all that collaborative, a lot of people feel that’s, right? Yeah, it actually turns out that more than half the fundraisers that we, uh, surveyed, as well as almost half of the financial professionals, thought that their relationship with their respective collaborates other departments was either not collaborative or very little collaboration was happening. So we saw there’s a lot of room for opportunity, both in the actual collaboration processes, as well as the perception of whether collaboration could be a value to the organizations that is very glass, half full of youto recognize it as an opportunity rather than r r these kids are key departments are not talking to each other on and there’s also some very interesting differences across the generations, which will, which we’ll get to you very shortly. Um okay. What? What are what are some of the problems? Let’s us stay with you. Dan knows what’s. What? What’s causing some of this lack of collaboration, sir. I mean, there’s a lot of contributing factors to you know why these organizations may not be collaborating as much as they could. They have different reporting metrics that they’re using to evaluate their success and their their progress toward their milestones. Some of them, you know, have very distinctly goes, especially on the financial side. You know, we talked about gap. We talked about cosby and there’s. All these other acronyms that we use that our counterparts and development may not be used to using may not understand very well as well. On the fundrasing side, you know, there’s there’s also the very specific acronyms and different ways of speaking that maybe a little bit different than what the finance side of the house is used to. And then just in the top. You know what? One sector down. Now we have joined in jail on tony martignetti non-profit radio. So already you, the finance trouble guy have ah, you’ve transgressed. What? What did you have to tell us? What gap and fast b stand for everybody doesn’t know. Okay, yeah. Gases generally accepted accounting principles. So it’s kind of a principal guiding philosophy of accounting in the united states. And fast because the financial accounting standards board and their governing agency responsible for regulation of accounting practices. Okay, thank you. So we’re trying to bridget tronvig? Yeah. Okay. We’re trying to bridge the gap here. That’s, right? Let’s not make a warrant and you make it work. So it just in daily activities that the two different development and finance department have very different priorities. So, you know, one side of the house is tryingto raise money to make sure that the organization can continue to find its activities and expanded commission on dh. Then, of course, the financial side of the house is wanting to make sure that the resources of the organization are responsibly managed. The finances are adequately classified and reported the stakeholders so just two different philosophies to achieve the same mission organizations trying to achieve rich over to you. The even metrics. Right? What? What metrics the two different sides look at are very different. Yeah, and this is interesting. Dan and i spent a lot of time talking about it because it first, so so we asked the fundraisers and the finance folks what’s your top five challenges and all that stuff and metrics and reporting was in both of their tops five and it was different metrics and reporting at first we were like, oh, wow, that that could be a problem, but then as we dug deeper, we thought, no that’s, actually, right? I think the fund-raising teams and the finance team should have different metrics and reporting, they’re actually reporting on different things. The problem is when we don’t have common goals and and overarching goals that both of those metrics and reporting feet up into and so when we get into the recommendations in the report that’s where we really start talking about joint goal setting before you even get to figuring out what you’re going to report on figuring out what the over our goals of the organization are, and then how to both those departments feet into those overall goals, we think that’s going to help overcome a lot of those, those differences that that people are saying a greater understanding way we need to meet. In the middle and there’s a lot obviously that’s in common. Now everybody wants to advance the mission. They wouldn’t be there otherwise, but but let’s let’s find what’s comin and understand what’s outside the common areas for exactly yeah, all right, let’s, go out for a for a quick break and when we come back, the three of us we will we’ll keep talking all have our little ah, we’re going to find out more about the differences across generations. Very interesting. Stay with us. You’re tuned to non-profit radio tony martignetti also hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a quick ten minute burst of fund-raising insights published once a month. Tony’s guests are expert in crowdfunding, mobile giving event fund-raising direct mail and donor cultivation. Really all the fund-raising issues that make you wonder am i doing this right? Is there a better way there is? Find the fund-raising fundamentals archive it. Tony martignetti dot com that’s 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 welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Then you are ah, product manager for m i p fundez counting at abila now already. This is three acronyms from the finance side we’ve had known from the fan fund-raising side, so i’m starting to see where the problems lie. What is m i p or mip? I don’t know. It’s micro information processes. It’s ah, name that we’ve had for a significant amount of time. That’s very well recognized in the non-profit finance sector. Okay, very well recognized. The non-profit in the finance sector. Okay. That’s, right? We’re trying to bridge gaps now. Damn, i not break down bridges all right now. Okay. Um, s o rich acquaint us with some of the difference is this is really interesting across the generations, boomers feel that three things everything’s fine and the millennials are not as content. Yeah, this is really interesting. And it’s something we’re doing a lot in our research studies now is we’re kind of breaking out a lot of the answers based on generation, you know, boomer’s, gen xers and millennials, especially because that’s who’s in the work force right now and when? We ask the questions about how they felt, you know? Did they feel collaborative? We saw the boomers felt pretty collaborative on both the finance and the fund-raising side, fifty seven percent, two, sixty percent on the fine outside, but the millennials felt way less collaborative on the fund-raising side on dh dan and i talked about it. Dan actually had a really interesting theory on this, so i’ll actually kick it over to him so he could talk about that. I thought it was really interesting and something i think we can address. Okay, let me ask first, though. Am i the only baby boomer in this, uh, in this conversation born before nineteen. Sixty four. I believe that i’m a gen xer. You are. So we have one of each. Okay, dan, your millennial. Is that right? No, i actually fall into genetic. You’re ok. You have a baby face. Okay? Uh, that’s. Too bad. Because i was going to beat up on you as a representative of millennials. Why? Why? The millennials are causing so much havoc in the workplace. Why? They can’t be more content. But go ahead. What is your what is your theory? Well my theory is that if you look at the data, there really seems to be a tendency for the boomers too collaborate together is somewhat, but to communicate definitely directly, but there definitely seems to be a tendency on the finance side of the house for both the djinn xers and the millennials to have more communication in contact with the senior members on the fund-raising side of the house and i suspect, and we’ll probably dig into this a bit more, but it’s most likely because of the, you know, i strive for efficiency and kind of just wanting to get to the the answer of something rather than build relationships focus. So i think a lot of that is probably more driven by the finance side of the house, which is why you can see the collaborators collaboration, sentiment hyre on that side, unfortunately think that means that the millennials into next er’s on the development side of the house might be kind of circum bennett in some of these conversations on dh left out in some cases. What about personality, too? I’m generalizing here, but i don’t think you’re average finance side person is is as outgoing. You know, it’s, you know, relationship oriented extroverts, aziz, you’ll find on the fund-raising side. So i mean, i think that’s definitely fair to say not just say that accountants are incredibly wake up on and find accounting i know beating on their friend, the accounting and finance side i know i’m trying not to, but i don’t know, zo stereotype, but so, you know, call it that’s what that’s, what i’m doing, but i think fundez sorry, but i think fundraisers arm or, like, extroverted and so they’re seeking mohr collaboration than the people on the finance side of the same age, even well, i think you could also just very clearly make the argument that inherent in the development role is a focus on relationships that is part of that role within the organization that doesn’t exist as much on the finance side. Okay, all right. So you yeah, and so yes, certainly job responsibilities on the way the two the two sides are organized and what their purpose is our butt. And so i think as a result of that, you get personalities that are different in the two different teams. All right? I don’t know you. Know you don’t agree with the personality theory now that we agree that degree of that, and you’re back in the report when we get into the recommendations, we actually talked about kind of breaking down some of those personality, you know, division’s, like, actually start doing some joint activities, you know? Do you know i’m a big fan of doing something outside of work, a happy hour after work at the finance and fund-raising folks together outside of the workplace, you know, maybe have a drink and start talking about other things besides work once you get to know someone as a person and of course, on the fundraiser saying this because that’s what we do, you know, you go out and you get to know people you learned about their kids, their pets, all that stuff, and it makes that next conversation you have with them at work even easier. So we have to drag the finance people to this happy hour that’s, right? And then stopped them from just talking to each other, right? We have to penetrate their circle. I’m beating up on the, uh okay, small organizations, let’s give that damn small organizations a lot. More potential well, depends how you want to describe it. Small organizations are a lot more collaborative. That’s, right? Yeah. We found that there’s a significant difference between large organizations and small organizations in the level of collaboration that’s happening. We also theorized that a large contributing factor to this is that in the smaller organizations you have smaller staff, and so people are forced to collaborate, you know, there’s fewer people to get the job done. A lot of organizations, people may wear multiple hats or, you know, play different roles in the organization. So there’s a hot a lot higher level of interaction, there’s, more frequency of interaction on and a lot of time people are, you know, just physically located closer together. And so whether you know, if the small organization and only has a single office or small office space many times, these finance and development individuals responsible for those roles are physically closer to each other. And so there’s a lot of a lot higher level of interaction that leads to more collaboration. That makes a lot of intuitive sense. But i think it’s important to point out, you define smaller organizations as less than ten million dollars, right? Listen, krauz million annual revenue. So we’re not talking about necessarily tiny shops where it’s two or three people, and obviously there more collaborative than bigger organizations. But, you know, a ten million dollar annual revenue that could have dozens of employees that’s, right and that’s a good point there, not there not, you know, five or ten person shops, but at the strategic planning level on the less than ten million dollar organizations we saw a lot hyre interaction in the strategic planning processes and the budgeting process is and, you know, kind of the key processes for each role. And so we also saw smaller staff size, and so their just was a lot higher level of interaction required to get things done. And so, you know, there’s kind of a necessity there for these for these roles to interact more and there’s more opportunity from to do so as opposed to above ten million. There started to be, you know, significant layers within the organization that lead to inflation. Right? Right, rich. Anything you want to add about the small versus large organizations? No, i think it’s pretty much what dan said. Where? You know, if you have a smaller office, you’re gonna bump into people in the hallway more, and then, you know, you’re not you’re not divided by department as much, you know, there’s, not a finance department over on floor four and the fund-raising department on floor three, when you’re not even a ten million dollar zorg, you’re probably all in the same office and you do see each other in the break room and everything in those again hi. Always go back to the human interaction. That human interaction is what really breaks down those silos. Also reporting structures. No smaller organization like that have fewer vice presidents. So teams are more cohesive because they’re clustered together. Yeah. All right. So we got some problem areas, you know, lying around like goals and priorities. Language, metrics, personalities, let’s. Move to the positive now and start identifying some opportunities for ah, making things, making the world a happier place. So this is not a boxing match between fund-raising and finance. Rich want to stay with you? What? What? What’s. Ah, let’s. Talk about the social ideas first since you already touched on that. Yeah, i mean, definitely social ideas. It’s. You know, finding ways to get more human interaction there, and you’re like you’re saying, you know, dragging the finance folks out to happy hour in a lot of them may not want to go to that happy hours. So maybe start with a brown bag lunch, you know, hat at happy office, everyone gets in the same room, bring your own lunch. Um and, you know, watch a movie, you know, just talk about something else. Just start to get those interactions to start anyway. That you can do it. Andi, andi, you have to keep pushing that, you know, so that that would be not maya. Number one tip. Okay? Yes, i like. I like the social ideas, too. That’s. Why? I was i was glad you mentioned it, but we could be more formal to some training. Right? Some basic training. Dan that’s, right? Yeah. You can really structure your onboarding process and offer training to, you know, cross training between the two different departments to facilitate the interaction too. You know, in increase that cohesion between the two teams to work toward the joint mission of the organization. And that could be, you know, it’s simple. As modifying our onboarding processes to have, you know, an explanation and as part of those processes of what the different departments do, what their goals are, kind of what they’re key processes are, and it could even advanced something where there might be a periodic schedule training where one department will train the other one. And you know what they do, how the reporting works, how their systems work, or even just a collaborative meeting that’s on the calendar every month or, you know, every other week or however frequently it might be in order to keep each each other aware of what’s going on within your respective department so that you’re kind of synchronized on on what’s going on and what the priorities are across the organization and maybe in in orientation, we can have a day or so, you know, whatever, where the fundraiser goes over to the finance department spend or is at least onboarding by someone in finance, and so from day one we’re getting and empathy for what’s happening on the other side, right? And making sure that you understand how your processes are, you know, feed into the processes of the other departments. So for fund-raising maybe that’s gift entry and understanding how you know, downstream that goes into the accounting system and how that kind of goes through the financial reporting process. So you understand what you’re doing, it directly impacts the finance department and the reports that they produce and on the finance department side an accounting, understanding the gift solicitation process and what it takes to get that money in the door and entered into your c r, m or whatever your dahna records system is on dh, then how that gets to you in accounting. So you understand that full process because nobody really operates in a vacuum, so we’re really making sure that you connect the dots between the organizational department. Dan was a part of the tension i thought i read that finance doesn’t understand the need for spending money on relationship building. Yeah, it definitely can be a challenge to understand why you would spend resource is on something as abstract it’s relationships that that’s definitely a story that resonates more with some than it does others for accountants and finance related in, you know oriented individuals, you want to be able to sew direct outcomes. For resource is use their money spent and its hard to quantify that whenever you’re saying you’re investing in relationships. But you know that. But that is required to cultivate relationships with donors that will ultimately lead revenue in the front door. And so there is a return on that it’s, just very hard to quantify that through report, you know, through the traditional financial reporting process. So it can be hard for to rationalize and justify spending funds or resource is in that way. But i think that through collaboration, that story can be told jointly from the department of, you know, development, narrating kind of the relationship side of that and helping them finance to quantify what the return on that is and communicate that out. Do either of you know our master’s programs in if non-profit management brake, bringing these these two department’s together and helping people with a finance background understand mohr of fund-raising and vice versa? Do you know if that’s happening at the but the degree level or certificate level? I don’t know if it’s happening at the degree level. I do know that there are sort of think it’s available for non-profit management and leadership, that tight kind of the executive roles, the finance rolls, the development rolls, some degree the volunteer roles together for people that are enrolled in that program, to give people kind of three hundred sixty degree view of the organization. I don’t know that the intention is specifically for collaboration, but it is too kind of enhance the literally of the pro dispensing the various areas so that they can be effective leaders. Yeah, okay, i mean, i hope that’s going on we have meteo thie only degree i have is a law degree and i don’t have a certificate on in-kind classically under credential to even host the show. I don’t know what somebody’s looking like in front of me six years ago. I don’t know what happened. Ah, all right. Isa dan, you start of ah alluded to this. Talking about the budget let’s jump over to rich. We can work together on our budgeting. Yeah, most definitely eye on me and i touch on this earlier little bit is, you know we have these different priorities and these different metrics that were that were held accountable for in both departments on and i think, instead of starting at that point, which is where most budgets get put together, the fund-raising side says, we need this in the finance side says, well, i got all these departments say they need all this stuff, taking a step back and going to that joint goal setting and budgeting as step one look at the look at the big bucket first and then break out into your department’s and trying to figure that out. I think some of the frustration we heard a lot in the in the open ended answers of the survey was, you know, fund-raising sango finance just gave us this number to go fund-raising it doesn’t really mean anything. They just pick the number out of the sky, it felt like and i’m sure finances saying the same thing, you know, who are these fundraisers that are just throwing these numbers at us? You mean? And so if you just take a step back and out of that silo and do that joint gold setting and budgeting, i think that everyone knows where the where the basis is, and then we break and do and figure out our, you know, our specific goals from there, and then come back together again to make sure that those makes sense for everybody. So it is it’s really a three hundred sixty degree ah process there on again, just another one. Another way to break us out of those silos. And i think that’s going to increase the collaboration greatly when you understand what the other side is struggling with, then you do a much better job of making sure your data clean, making sure your data is getting to them in a way that they need, and then everything just flows better. Have you had any feedback on the survey that it’s stimulated conversations, or we used it as a way to start? Well, that’s a stimulating conversation, it helped bridge this gap. Any feedback like that way, actually have our vp of marketing test that gerard has some really good friends in the industry, and he talked to one of his fundraiser guys, and he said they took the report with the his counterpart on the thunder on the finance side and they went out to lunch and just talked about the report, and they said it was one of the best conversations that they’ve ever had in, like, ten years. So we are getting really good anecdotal evidence that it just it gives you something to talk about, something to start with and then go. Okay, so how how do we match against that? Are we doing better? We doing worse? Who? Where can we improve? You know, it’s sometimes easier to have at least something in common that you’re talking about. And then, you know, again, break down those by-laws that’s, outstanding that’s, a that’s, a that’s, a grand slam. I hope some listeners will. But, you know, we hear this first and then bring it to the people that can help start to start the conversation. You know, listening to this you can get the study at abila dot com slash collaboration study and abila is a b piela abila dot com slash collaboration study. Yeah, i mean, it’s, you know, it’s, great to hear. Okay. Glad you got that kind of feedback. Excellent. Um we’ll see what else we can let’s drown. Another opportunity, dan let’s, go to you, cem cem, shared terminology we can we can put together, yeah, something that could help, and it can also kind of jointly work with the train and onboarding is to create a reporting in metric, so we called chee cheat, and that is just a place where, you know, both departments can kind of see what the critical metrics for each department are, how they’re being used, kind of how they’re derived and then what? The important reports that are being generated for stakeholder consumption for public use, whatever the case may be, basically, what the story of the organization that’s being communicated is through reporting so you could make sure that you’re both on the same page, that you’re being consistent what’s being reported on dh really, i mean both from a practical point of view to make sure that, you know, i know boardmember you’re not telling two different stories to your board and also from a community and mission point of you to make sure that you’re really making the most out of the data that you have out of the stories the organization have, that you’re effectively communicating the missions so that you can raise the most and really, you know, put your best foot forward as an organization for your mission that sounds like a cz much as the the the outcome of that, that that that deliver a ble will have value just the collaborative process of putting it together together. We’ll have value. Absolutely. We’re gonna work together. We gotta define what are unknown terms are to each other and things like that’s going to start the conversation, right? You have to be able to communicate effectively internally before you can communicate externally. Okay? All right, rich, we’re going to wrap it up, which is just like, a minute or so. You have some opportunities around software integration. Yeah, yeah, definitely. Integration was another one. And, you know, we definitely go deeper into the into the report on that. But we ask, you know, how important was integration, you know, to to the finance and fund-raising quotes and we saw some interesting things there, including it seemed the younger the person was, the more they wanted integration, which, you know, you would would would make sense. Millennials have had their lives integrated online forever, so they’re very much in the integration some of the older boomers, ah tended to be a little more skeptical of of integration. So there’s definitely some stuff to teo look at their what dan and i found on the integration pieces that there might be some fear around integration about, oh, that’s, our data and i don’t know if i trust, you know, a machine to actually move the data correctly. I’d rather do it myself manually. So i think we need to do a lot of training on dh showing folks that that that software integration, you know, data going from your finance from your fund-raising software to your finances are and actually save a lot of time can actually save a lot of double entry on and and and keep your data very clean. So i think that’s something that’s gonna take a little time for people to get comfortable with it. That’s rich dietz, director of fund-raising strategy at abila also dand murphy, product manager for was it micro integrated processes fund accounting and my pea it’s? It might be. Might be. I got it wrong in other words. Okay, we’ll stick with that. Might be also it abila gentlemen. Thank you very much. Thank you, my pleasure. Coming up next is your modern digital team first, pursuant and crowdster one of pursuance tools is prospector uses your existing data to find high priority potential donors in your data were not goa is now on external scan using the database you’ve already got, and that helps you focus your time on those donors or potential donors who are most likely to upgrade their giving you focus more time you could be more efficient, you’re going to raise more money. That’s, the prospector tool at pursuant dot com crowdster we know them for easy to use peer-to-peer fund-raising sites that you get on crowdster are easy to put up easy for you in your management of the campaign. Easy for your donors to navigate. Easy for the networks that your donors are bringing, too your campaign all very simple to use and also good looking sites, you’re volunteers going to be impressed. So will, what am i trying to say? You’re volunteers going depressed and so are the people that they bring in their friends, their networks that bring into your campaign crowdster dot com now tony’s, take two. I’ve got a new non-profit radio promo riel there there are interview clips and some stand up comedy clips and also how to follow the show. I understand one hundred percent that you don’t need to know how to follow the show, you’re already you’re here, but what’s he talking about i understand that, but you have friends, you have co workers you have colleagues in in either in your office or in other non-profits they need non-profit radio there yearning thirsting, they’re hungry. Please satiate them, feed them, quench their thirst. They need to know non-profit radio please share that promo reel. I’d be grateful. The video is that tony martignetti dot com and it’s also on youtube where my channel israel r e a l tony martignetti thank you that’s tony’s, take two here are mr mclaughlin and michelle egon from non-profit technology conference on your modern digital team. Welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of sixteen ntc non-profit technology conference. We’re in san jose, california, at the convention center. My guests now are misty mclaughlin and michelle egon. Misty is responsible for organizational development at jackson river llc, and michelle is deputy director for marketing and engagement at the natural resources defense. Council ladies, welcome. Thank you, tony. Thank you. Pleasure. Pleasure to have you before we get to your workshop topic, i have to shout out the ntcdinosaur swag items for the for this interview, which is from every action you’ve got build the world you want lookbook and postcards built the world you want from every action. And one of the postcards defines what it do good or is a dreamer and a doer. So we’re gonna add this to the swag file, which is very well organized. Throwdown. They’re well organized. All right. Okay. Seminar your workshop. Your program was all about the modern digital team bilich digital program. That works show. What are you organisations sometimes not getting quite right about there. Internal digital team. Well, i think for us, we were really struggling with how teo integrate digital into the strategies where we were a very print centric organization, actually. And making that transition teo a digital organization, was it natural for us? When did that sort of start? I joined the n r d c two years ago. I think i think it’s been in the works for a while. Ever since. People have been talking. About digital, but it just wasn’t getting traction until we had a significant leadership support to do it. So that was about two years ago. We talked about the importance of leadership. Yeah, it’s going to trickle down from the top. Well, it’s helpful when they are supporting change happen. Misty. Welcome back. Thank you to non-profit radio. Thank you. What would you like to add, teo? Sort of our overview. What? What, what? Why do we need this session? Well, nrdc is an interesting example. They were sort of a case study that we looked at in detail with michelle. They’re interesting because there are giant organization with a pretty large budget, but they still have the same kinds of challenges in terms of integrating digital. Even in twenty sixteen, even after the web has been around and maturing for the last twenty years, they were having some of the same challenges we see with organizations of all shapes and sizes doing all kinds of work that it’s really hard to transition from a kind of print heavy direct mail program into the new digital era and to adapt to all of the channels and all of the changes. That comes so fast in the way that we work now. All right. And the conversation we’re gonna have about having this high high efficiency digital team applies regardless of how many people are on your team. So it’s just two people or if it’s forty or fifty still applies? Yes, yes. Okay. Excellent cause we got small and midsize shop listening and some may have very large teams, but most probably have pretty small digital teams. Yes, made. And they may have other responsibilities, too, like marketing communications guests, including the print work, perhaps. Okay, where do we start? Well, i think the frame for our session is an interesting one. Of course i say that, but because i think that for a long time, especially at conferences like ntcdinosaur talk about best practices were really we’ve been talking about channels and tactics in tools that when you talk about digital it’s been a lot of, like, what should i do on social media or what are the top ten things that my website needs to do? And with the session, we sort of said, you know, there’s, lots of ways to get strategy, what we really need to be talking about now is a methodology for how you adapt to the changing times. Things are not going to stop changing. At this rate, you’re not going to stop being asked to be responsive, to be integrated across all your channels. Tohave consistent messaging, in fact, going to be pushed to do that more and more so, we talked about a digital of digital first approach to how you do communications, not just your web channels or your social media channels, but all of your communications in an organization really radically changing the way that you do work to be digital first data. Our native digital. Yeah, yeah, so it’s about ways of planning, ways of thinking about what your audience needs, ways of doing listening. So you’re responsive to what you’re actually hearing from your supporters that they want, and you’re kind of taking your messages to them in the places that they are. They are versus where you want them to be. Exactly. Okay, so there’s a lot to break this down. Hyre how do we know what channels will be best for our constituency now? I know that obviously varies from organization. How do we assess? Where is this a listening campaign? When you start with them how we figure out where should wear, we should be putting our focus because that’s where the you want to talk to arm that’s a great question. So one of the things we really focused on in the session was about becoming a measurement and data driven organization. Do you hear a lot about that? Let’s write a lot about that. How do we become one? How do we? Well, one of the things that digital gives you is a lot of tools for seeing what’s working and what’s not working in the channel that your guardian, we we talked a ton about sprawl. So, michelle, maybe you want to comment on when you got to nrdc, how many digital properties were you dealing with? I’m quite a few like, i think we had collectively over one hundred, like thirty six different microsite, sixty different and our dc twitter handles, so i think the first step that we were talking about is really taking an inventory of what’s happening because i think often times with lack of ah focus strategy mohr is better is what often prevails. And so starting with taking an audit to see how many do you actually have? Seems to be a good first step to getting digital first and making sure that what you’re doing has perfect purpose and could be measured. Okay, how many do you have? All right, that doesn’t take too long. But then how do we start? It depends who you are. Come out there, you know? Oh, yeah. Oh, really? Yeah. And it’s still emerging. It’s like an amazing archaeology dig for how many properties we have? Because because it’s, an organization that has a lot of funding and lots of passionate people who want to get the message out there and you, khun, start a blogger’s started microsite and capture that work. Ok? And then all of a sudden and argast he’s name is on it. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, exactly. But the person who did it leaves and it’s still out there and no one’s taking. Then how do you manage this inventory? Curate your inventory of what you’ve got. How do you decide? What’s what’s. Most important. What? What? Less important and what shouldn’t even be done anymore. How do you do? You make those? Well, i can talk about specifically what we did at n r d c and so what? What we ended up doing as we we collected all of the sights, and we focused down teo. Really? Just the sites that talked about our issues directly and shut down all the other sites that were random brand them sites that were being run by other it’s. Gotta be it’s. Gotta be mission related, right closely. Mission relieved. Right. So that’s the place to start. I mean, not start. But at this stage of the process, yeah, how close is closely related? Is it? Yeah, that was the first. So the two was, is it mission related and how much traffic? How many people are coming to it? And then we looked at that and developed a strategy for how to merge it together and get more focused. Okay, just say anything one at there? Well, one of the things that i think kept coming up and having this conversation is that they’re all these kind of moments in the life cycle its life cycle of an organization that you can do this. So if you’re rolling out a new website, it’s a great time to inventory everything and go from this kind of sprawl approach to your digital ecosystem to something that’s more like planned growth, where you’re rolling things in your consolidating, you take that opportunity to really do it right and to pull in so that you can really align what you’re going to be doing in an ongoing basis with the actual staff and resources and budget that you have to do a few things really well. Okay, where are the other opportune moment website? There are many, so getting new leadership in the organization is a great one in energy sees case it was driven by a rebrand, although, as michelle said, you know, they’re probably better moments a website is a better moment to do that because you can really get into the meat of the issues of the organization and assess what’s really aligned with where we’re going rolling on a strategic plan sometimes it doesn’t even have to be something so giant like you might have a security attack that makes you realize you have all of these websites out there that aren’t being properly maintained and secured. Someone said an adwords campaign, you know, something that worked out really well or a terrible fund-raising year, any of those things can be catalysts for having the conversation about how to pull back on what you’re doing and really see what’s working. Another thing that came up in the session today was even a news moment, so if you’re if you were issue is particularly highlighted in the news. That’s a great time toe look and assess about how how you could do more with that. All right, in the instant you want to be reacting? Yeah. You wanna be seizing that moment right after that? Yeah, exactly if you capitalized on the headlines. Right. Okay. Okay. All right. So those are some opportunities. Where do we go after we we found opportunities. Now that what? Help me along here. It’s. A big process. Yeah. So there are a lot of things that that you want to do over a period of time. One of the things that i think is really useful. Communicate can cream communiqu o p a team a couple. Of years ago did a really thorough study of non-profits non-profit digital models across the spectrum. So large organisation, small organizations, people in a lot of different sectors, and they came up with these four models of digital governance. I won’t go into all of them, but they’re basically ways that digital programs are structured inside of an organisation to keep this sprawl from happening. And there are some model that lead to everyone just going off and doing their own thing, and you get a very, very fragmented brand presence. Where is there other models that were kind of seeing in this digital first world really work well? Toa have some centralized governance and to allow digital to kind of drive a communication strategy, but where you capitalize on the talent and the ideas of people across the organization to contribute to having a really rich digital presence and that’s, what in r d c is trying to implement, right? That was a communiqu, copia, communiqu opiate, yet is a digital teams report. You can actually see it a digital teams dot or ge it’s. A great set of resource is. Let me ask you, michelle, about maybe having to drag some people along who are not accustomed to being digital natives and having communications be that way. How do we get buy-in from the reluctant members of our team and we have had to have a lot of conversations and and education just talking about, you know, how it’s different, why it’s valuable? How it’s going to help their work? How you know, in a digital world just writing something and hitting publishes only the first step. Then you have to figure out how you’re promoting at how you’re getting it out to different audiences and building that engagement lupin, where you’re sending people so it’s it’s ah, we found through conversations has been the way that we can make the most progress and bringing people along now imagine having leadership but leadership buy-in is valuable, right? I mean, if the leaders air involved and engaged, then it’s going be a lot easier to bring your team members along. Yeah, i think i think the leadership is is a very valuable and helping to instigate it and tow help make it happen, but i think that the buy-in really comes. From the people that you’re working with and doing the work so the leadership provides the permission to have the conversations, but then really working with the people in our organization to help thumb understand is the thing that’s actually making the change. Okay, okay, mr let’s, follow on something that michelle just mentioned. What are some of the advantages of doing it this way? What? Why? Why shouldn’t be thinking digital first that’s a great question. I got one out being up thirteen minutes. Excellent, excellent question so there are a lot of advantages. I think that the truth is that digital staff right now at all different kinds of organizations, they are burnt out non-profit people have burned out digital staff are being asked to respond twenty four hours a day, seven days a week in an environment that is always on, and they’re almost all doing it, even it very big organizations, even for nrdc, they’re understaffed, they don’t have the people that they need to be able to operate and as many channels tto learn new channels to be responsive to what they’re hearing, to do the measurement and then to try to go throughout the organization and educate all of the people who really need to be learning from what’s happening online. So the operating in a digital first way kind of gives you a framework for prioritizing for making decisions. For aligning resource is in capacity with the actual budget that you have, and for stopping doing some things which i think is sometimes the biggest challenge, that there’s so much opportunity. It’s really hard to say no. And as internal stakeholders and organizations get smarter, they want more from the digital presence. They want to see themselves able to be reflected in their work, able to be reflected in all of these different places. But there’s, not always the r a y on that, particularly for small budgets. So this gives you a way of kind of going and saying, what should we be doing? How do we invest right in our communications capacity period? Like what you’re hearing a non-profit radio tony’s got more on youtube, you’ll find clips from stand up comedy tv spots and exclusive interviews catch guests like seth gordon. Craig newmark, the founder of craigslist market of eco enterprises charles best from donors choose dot org’s aria finger do something that worked neo-sage levine from new york universities heimans center on philantech tony tweets to he finds the best content from the most knowledgeable, interesting people in and around non-profits to share on his stream. If you have valuable info, he wants to re tweet you during the show. You can join the conversation on twitter using hashtag non-profit radio twitter is an easy way to reach tony he’s at tony martignetti narasimhan t i g e n e t t i remember there’s a g before the end he hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a short monthly show devoted to getting over your fund-raising hartals just like non-profit radio, toni talks to leading thinkers, experts and cool people with great ideas. As one fan said, tony picks their brains and i don’t have to leave my office fund-raising fundamentals was recently dubbed the most helpful non-profit podcast you have ever heard. You can also join the conversation on facebook, where you can ask questions before or after the show. The guests were there, too. Get insider show alerts by email, tony tells you who’s on each week and always includes link so that you can contact guests directly. To sign up, visit the facebook page for tony martignetti dot com. I’m jonah helper, author of date your donors. And you’re listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. And of course, we’re talking about digital first doesn’t mean digital only, right? So we’re not abandoning our traditional channel that’s, exactly, right? No, we’re acknowledging that all of those channels work together and they have to work together. Where is if you kind of stick with the old way of communicating something that’s really offline first and digital as an afterthought? You’re never going to align those messages across channels because the channels air so different. Where is the digital gives you the ability to really learn as you’re going along and into informed all of your communications by doing that planning and concert together? Michelle, you’re doing a lot of nodding and teo, anything mr was just, yeah, i just that i agree. And i think because the digital is such a different way of consuming information that if you’re not approaching that first in your thought process for how you’re getting those messages out, then you’re really losing on the opportunity. Yeah, okay, okay. Do we have measures, mr? You brought up? You know, r o i and sometimes how difficult that can be. You mentioned for small organizations, but but even small or not how do? We start to a year later, prove to our teams and our leadership that this transition to digital first has been worth it. Well, i think introduce. He is a great case study in this area. Do you want to mention some of the i’ll set you up, if you want, okay, so michelle worked great team, just like this on the way over here, like you said, okay, now get out of the park. So michelle, i’m going to to michelle’s horns, she doesn’t toot our own horn nearly enough so she’s just gone through a very rigorous two year process, which is which is still very much under way of kind of going top to bottom to align all of the components of the communications program. So starting with a rebrand, then working through a website redesign that was really used to focus in on the issues and to look at all of that digital sprawl and rein it in into a a cohesive set of properties than to look at the social strategy and to kind of make sure that their organizational structure all of their processes, in fact, like all of the relationships inside of the organization, were sort of set up to be able to support the strategy that they were trying to achieve. So we talked about a couple of case studies. One is the website that’s rolling out and some of the early gains that you’ve seen, but also some of the social gains that you’ve seen in the last year just organizing around this model for talking aboutthe work that nrdc does, yeah, so i would say specific to your question, with the metrics so we really just with the content component alone starting teo deliver at consistent stream of content that looked at a narrative arc to make sure that we weren’t just, you know, act on this act on this act on this, but creating a story over a year we grew every social channel and we ing increased our likes and shares buy it over a hundred percent just within facebook. Yeah, so huge just by again, and no advertising dollars spent just really looking at how we were playing our content. Now, aside from the likes of i’m particularly interested in the engagement, the real engagement patrick’s not what? What else should we be? Looking abila engagement way measure that that’s a great question. I feel like that’s the next step for you guys? Yeah. Okay, i’m gonna stop saying your questions. Great. They’re all great time, everyone. Hee, i have to take whatever i get it so it doesn’t come off. You’re being a particular general. No. Okay. Real metrics, not vanity metrics. Yeah, we’re looking well. I think that a year ago you were looking at vanity metrics, right? It was. Like all we could really measure was reach s o it was our people even seeing the stuff in the first place. Now i feel like you’re you’re kind of in the process of moving towards metrics that air about what are people doing with what they see and that the next frontier, in my opinion, is and how? What? How does what they’re doing? Lead teo long term stepped engagement over a period of time, particularly in the fund-raising and an advocacy space. Would you agree with that? Yeah, i agree, you say long term stepped engagement, so people moving from a growing awareness of the issues which education and awareness is actually one of the major components, or what in our dcs trying to do, they’re trying to build environmental awareness across a number of issues so likes and shares are really important for them that’s kind of a cz much as you’re going to get in the way of measuring oppcoll issue awareness. But then there’s how awareness translates into activism and two donations and tio engagement with a particular set of issues. You want to say anything more about that? Yeah, no, i mean, i it’s. Something that we need to develop because i think part of the challenge for us is that we were doing all of these things and very isolated ways and s o our membership, a digital presence was really, you know, it was the fund-raising and it was growing members, but that was different than advocacy for sending out action alerts to sign a petition on something so we’re bringing those together, and i think those softer metrics are we’re seeing a trend, the hypotheses that since those air going up, we’re getting more petition signed, we’re getting more members were increasing our dollars, but we don’t have the concrete percentages yet that, like true engagement metrics to prove it out. So that’s, your next step, okay? Yeah, okay, yeah. You want to say some more, mr ko, yet we still have a few more minutes together. What have we not talked about around you’re building this high performing digital team murcott you have a whole session way have hours of content of that carried away. All right, so i think one of the things that we spend a lot of time on and actually we did a survey in preparation. For for the session, you can see some of the survey results and also some of the q and a that we did. We took questions and we answered them in a narrative format you can look at jackson river dot com will post that they’re after the conference, but people wanted to talk about hiring and recruiting digital staff. And so what we put out there, what we posited in the session, that’s that you know, you need to think about getting those digital capabilities that you need from a mix of in house and vendors and contractors, freelancers, and that everybody needs a pretty wide variety of skills. Twenty years ago, people needed the web master and you were trying to make all website. It didn’t even have to be a good website. We’re not there anymore. You actually need a ton of different roles. You need campaign strategy. You need front and development any back in development. Project management, typically digital director of some sort. And the organization someone playing that role. You need user experience, you need to seo expertise. I could go on and on and on social management. A lot of the time organizations. Are still doing that with one person, but that is an impossible expectation if you do not supplement that those generalised skills with specialist skillsets from outside the organization or you cultivate internal talent that might exist in little pockets and other parts of the organization that can support your program. Aa one person team is just really struggling at this point to do it. Alone’s not realistic, it’s. Not at all realistic. And everyone on the ground knew that. I mean, i think half the people in the audience were digital teams have one it’s, one or two? Yeah, why don’t you really common? But their bosses don’t know that they don’t know that the skills to manage a social property really different from coding and implementing a website. So tell your boss to listen non-profit radio yes, this is too late for them to come. Tc missed your session. They can listen. Tc conversations. They can listen. This episode of non-profit radio bosses are you listening? Pizza? Open your ears. Look in your eyes. Invest in one of two persons. Digital teams are stuffed stuffing their struggle struggle pompel god’s sake hyre no, i think we’re gonna leave. It there, i give myself the last word, but take it. I was only i was only riffing off what you already. Oh, mr mclaughlin deshele, thank you very much. Thank you, thanks durney thing on our property, being back on the radio for misty’s case is ditigal doing organisational development at jackson river llc, where you can go for the resource that she was talking about. Research that led up to this session. Deshele egan, deputy director, marketing and engagement at the natural resources defense council. And this is tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of sixteen non-profit technology conference. Thank you so much for being with us next week. John kazarian and online auctions. If you missed any part of today’s show, i press you find it on tony martignetti dot com. Where in the world? I’m at a crossroads, responsive by pursuant online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled pursuing dot com, and by crowdster, online and mobile fund-raising software for non-profits now with apple pay crowdster dot com. Our creative producer is claire meyerhoff. Sam liebowitz is the line producer. Gavin dollars are am and fm outreach director shows social media is by susan chavez. On our music is by scott stein. Thank you, scotty. Be with me next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and i agree. What’s not to love about non-profit radio tony gets the best guests check this out from seth godin this’s the first revolution since tv nineteen fifty and henry ford nineteen twenty it’s the revolution of our lifetime here’s a smart, simple idea from craigslist founder craig newmark yeah insights, orn presentation or anything? People don’t really need the fancy stuff they need something which is simple and fast. When’s the best time to post on facebook facebook’s andrew noise nose at traffic is at an all time hyre on nine a m or eight pm so that’s when you should be posting your most meaningful post here’s aria finger ceo of do something dot or ge young people are not going to be involved in social change if it’s boring and they don’t see the impact of what they’re doing so you got to make it fun and applicable to these young people look so otherwise a fifteen and sixteen year old they have better things to dio they have xbox, they have tv, they have their cell phones. Me dar is the founder of idealists took two or three years for foundation staff, sort of dane toe add an email address card. It was like it was phone. This email thing is right and that’s why should i give it away? Charles best founded donors choose dot or ge somehow they’ve gotten in touch kind of off line as it were on dno. Two exchanges of brownies and visits and physical gift. Mark echo is the founder and ceo of eco enterprises. You may be wearing his hoodies and shirts. Tony, talk to him. Yeah, you know, i just i’m a big believer that’s not what you make in life. It sze, you know, tell you make people feel this is public radio host majora carter. Innovation is in the power of understanding that you don’t just do it. You put money on a situation expected to hell. You put money in a situation and invested and expect it to grow and savvy advice for success from eric sacristan. 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.

Nonprofit Radio Knowledge Base Inauguration: Branding

 

I’m kicking off the Nonprofit Radio Knowledge Base:

Sarah Durham is principal and founder of Big Duck, communications consultants for nonprofits. People need to know you before you can ask them for money. What is brandraising and how does it pave the road to fundraising? (Nonprofit Radio for 12/6/13)
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Nadia Tuma is a brand innovation strategist with clark | mcdowall. Your brand goes much deeper than logo and tagline. What’s the process to discover your brand strategy? Once you’ve found it, how do you manage it? Nadia and I discussed on Nonprofit Radio, 3/26/13.
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Lacey Kruger, lead information architect at Blackbaud, and Misty McLaughlin, the company’s principal user experience consultant, have lots of ideas to help you design your online properties for success, so visitors return and supporters stay engaged. (Nonprofit Radio for 2/1/13)

Nonprofit Radio, February 1, 2013: IA and UX: Information Architecture and User Experience & Tech Trends

Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%

Listen live or archive:

Tony’s Guests:

Lacey Kruger,  Misty McLaughlin, and me
Lacey Kruger, Misty McLaughlin, and me
Lacey Kruger & Misty McLaughlin: IA & UX: Information Architecture & User Experience

Lacey Kruger, lead information architect at Blackbaud, and Misty McLaughlin, the company’s principal user experience consultant, have lots of ideas to help you design your online properties for success, so visitors return and supporters stay engaged. Recorded at Blackbaud’s bbcon conference last October.

 

 

Scott Koegler
Scott Koegler: Tech Trends

Scott Koegler, our tech contributor and the editor of Nonprofit Technology News, tells how he sees nonprofits using computing to fulfill unique needs; engage through social networks; and customize their own computing.
 
 

 


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