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Nonprofit Radio for March 11, 2024: Election Year Activities


Gene Takagi: Election Year Activities

Gene Takagi

In this presidential election year, everything related to politics is prohibited, right? Not so fast. It’s not that simple. There are actions you can take, including lobbying on ballot measures. As long as you follow the rules. There’s no one better to explain those rules than Gene Takagi, our legal contributor. He’s the managing attorney of NEO, the Nonprofit & Exempt Organizations law group.


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And welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d be forced to endure the pain of chronic inflammatory demyelinating, poly ridicule, neuropathy. If you attacked me with the idea that you missed this week’s show, here’s our associate producer, Kate with what’s coming? Hey, Tony, it’s election year activities in this presidential election year. Everything related to politics is prohibited, right? Not so fast. It’s not that simple. There are actions you can take including lobbying on ballot measures. As long as you follow the rules, there’s no one better to explain those rules than Gene Taghi. Our legal contributor. He’s the managing attorney of Neo, the nonprofit and exempt organizations Law Group on Tony’s take two 24 NTC is next week were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your support, generosity, donor box fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org and by virtuous, virtuous, gives you the nonprofit CRM, fundraising, volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow giving. Virtuous.org here is election year activities. It’s always a pleasure to welcome back our legal contributor, Gene Takagi. He’s the managing attorney of Neo, the nonprofit and exempt organization’s law Group in San Francisco. He edits that wildly popular nonprofit law blog.com that you should be following. And he is a part time lecturer at Columbia University. The firm is at Neola group.com and he’s at GT A. It’s good to see you, Gene. Welcome back. It’s great to be back, Tony. It’s great to see you as well. Thank you. It’s always a pleasure. I don’t mind saying it twice. I’ll say it a third time. It’s always a pleasure. And this one particularly because it’s our uh what this be our quadrennial every fourth year. Uh And you’ve been on the show for many, many years, we’ve done this several times in our presidential election cycle. It’s time to talk about uh what’s permissible and what’s not permissible around political activity. So let’s start with the upside that. I think a lot of folks may not be aware of even though we’ve, we’ve said it before, but it’s been four years to be fair. It’s been four years since we’ve talked about this um that uh nonprofits can do lobbying and uh and a decent amount of it too. Yeah, it’s, it’s so under recognized. I’m glad you’re bringing it up. There’s a study that came out um recently, but it was about the 2017 and 2018 years, about how many charities out of the more than million charities that registered with the IRS and report to the IRS, how many actually report doing lobbying and it’s fewer than 10,000. So that’s less than 1% have reported lobbying uh, as any part of their activities. And I think part of it stems from, you know, 501 c three kind of says in, in more legalese kind of uh verbiage. Hey, you can engage in substantial lobbying. Yeah. You know, that terrifies, you know, a lot of charities go, oh my God, we can engage in substantial lobbying. What does that mean? What, what, what does substantial mean? And so we better not do any of it and it keeps everybody away from it completely. It just, and then they just default to nonprofits can’t do lobbying. Yeah, exactly. And, you know, lawyers are, are not, you know, are, are, are a little bit complicit in this as well because, you know, when they’re not sure about this thing and if you don’t practice exclusively in the areas that, like, I practice it, why would, you know that, well, you know, substantial can mean a lot of different things depending upon the test you elect to, to fall under. So you’d probably say, well, you know, just to be on the safe side, better not lobbying, but that’s actually terrible advice for public charities. So let, let’s, uh, let’s debunk this insidious myth. Yeah. And, and let’s raise up, there is great reasons for charities to lobby, especially right now. I mean, we’re at a pivotal time when a lot of rights are up at issue and charities may have like very strong views about those rights, whether it be women’s rights or whether it be first amendment rights or whether it be environmental rights. I mean, there’s just a lot up in the air right now where charities and, you know, charity beneficiaries and charity supporters really have a strong point of view and they’re afraid to share it through the charity. So let’s add in LGBT Q and trans rights. Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, we can create a whole, a whole list of other rights as well. Charities, you know, span span the spectrum of, of all sorts of things. And so, um yeah, you know, when you have something to say, being chilled and in fear of saying it because you don’t know whether the law allows you to or not is, is terrible. So glad you’ve provided kind of the, the, the place where we can talk about it and say, hey, ok, what can charities do? And so the, the first thing to know about is there’s sort of two tests and the default test is if you have done nothing except, you know, kind of reported with the IRS regularly, your nine nineties as you’re supposed to do, you haven’t made any sort of election to, to, to do lobbying or measure lobbying in a different way. It’s called the substantial part test. So what does substantial mean? And the best guidance we have on that is like a case from the fifties. So understandable why people are concerned about it. But hey, there’s been a lot, just in the past few months, there’s been a lot of talk about going all the way back to Marbury versus Madison in the 17. No, it was 17, late 17 hundreds. It’s very old. I, yeah, I didn’t look it up. But, so, you know, that like when, when the Supreme court reporter was, was cranch, cranch, remember that? All right. Now, I’m getting a little in the weeds of law school stuff but the, the before hundreds of years ago there was a, a reporter that used to do the Supreme Court opinions and the name of that reporting volume was branch. So it just sounds like, uh, you know, it just sounds like something from Pioneer Days branch anyway. So the 19 fifties, you know, it’s pretty recent consider compared to Marbury versus Madison and Ranch. It is. But then, you know, just what’s happened over the last five years has been like event. So, um, but I think we can kind of rely on it for, you know, a rule of thumb. Like if you spend more than 5% of your total budget on lobbying, you’re probably safe any more than that you might be crossing the line. This is under the substantial part test, total budget, you said total total budget or total expenditure. So let’s say you, you spend $100,000 and if you spend 5000 of that, $100,000 on lobbying, you’re probably safe. Um The better way to look at that is probably not just a percentage of your expenditures. So it’s percentage of the resources that are going into it. So if, if you know, 5% of your total resources expended, not just money, but volunteer time and everything else. Um If it’s more than 5% you might have some issues with the substantial part test. The IRS isn’t really enforcing on this very hard. I, I would say they’re actually very poorly enforcing this. They’re openly non compliant, especially churches out there that are saying go ahead, sue us or take us to court. We want to go, we want to take this to the Supreme Court anyway and see if there is a constitutional basis for, you know, this political campaign intervention, prohibition often referred to as the Johnson amendment. Um But you know, it is what the law says right now. So more than 5% maybe you have an issue there, be careful. Ok. And again, it’s 5% of total resources expended. I would say that’s your total resources, not your, not your, not just your budget. I, I would say that is the better way to look at the case in the fifties, total expenditures only. Um So now the other way to, to do, to measure lobbying and whether it’s substantial or not is the way that we recommend the vast majority of charities to choose. Um And it’s something called the 501 H election. And I know we’ve talked about this before as well. So by electing the 501 H expenditure test, um it means that lobbying isn’t measured on all the facts and circumstances. So it’s not like a complete resource test of like how much of your total resources which involves a lot of thinking, right, volunteer time and like your office space. And like, so the expenditures test says, well, it’s too hard to do all of that. So if you elect this and it’s a very, very simple form, it’s about half a page long. Um and it’s basically name and check the box and address. So it’s super simple. If you elect it, then you have strict sort of requirements of what is substantial and what is not substantial. And so it’s very clear and it’s just based on expenditures. And in this test, you’re allowed to expend up to 20% of your 1st $500,000 in expenditures um on lobbying and it’s not considered substantial. So not 5%. Now, we’re talking about 20% of your 1st $500,000 and this is on your exempt purpose expenditures or your mission related expenditure. So it doesn’t include things like investments and stuff. So, on your mission related expenditures, you’re allowed to spend 20% of your 1st 500,000 15% of your next 500,000 10% of your next 5% of the remaining up to a total cap of $1 million in lobbying, which you’ll hit at about the 17 to $18 million range of mission related expenditures. You’re gonna, you’re gonna hit the limit, um, based on those formulas at about uh 1 million, the $1 million cap at about 17 to $18 million of mission related expenditures that is not substantial. So that’s a pretty generous amount of lobbying that’s allowed. This is right. Right. This is a, this is a good bit. Now, we, we didn’t say the name of the form. It’s the, it’s IRS form 5768 and 55 768. And it is, uh, it’s, you left out one little item. You have to put the end of the tax year that you want the election to choose to be for. But it’s so simple. It is like, it’s, it’s like a third or a half. It’s, I think two thirds of the page is the instructions and one third is the election. It’s just, it’s, it’s a name, address, end of the tax year and your signature. And it’s, and what’s great about it too is you can elect on December 31st for it to apply retroactively for that whole year. So you can make your decision last moment and say, hey, we want to fall under this expenditure test. We don’t like to think about all the facts and circumstances. We’re a charity that has less than a 17 or $18 million annual budget. Most of the listeners here probably fall into that category. Um So the 501 H election just makes things simpler and it allows you to lobby safely within the tax law limits that you’re allowed to without jeopardizing your 501 C three status. And now you can go ahead and fight including lobbying, which doesn’t mean paying a lobbyist, right? It means stating your position on your website on a particular bill saying, hey, this law should change or we need this new law or we need a budget increase that requires our city council to prove this like budget, that’s legislation as well. So if you have a position on it, it’s lobbying, charities should not be afraid to lobby like you can lobby and the limits are fairly generous, especially if you take that 501 H expenditure test. The form is available online 5768 as you said, super simple. And if you don’t like it, let’s say you grew to, to become a $50 million charity next year and you don’t like that $1 million cap anymore. You can elect out of it. Just the same, it’s elected in. So it’s super simple. Same form, yes, same form to elect out if you, if you bust the uh bust that, that limit uh or that, you know, that rough, rough uh expenditure number. Um The other thing you mentioned casually, I want to emphasize, this includes local lobbying, local local issues. This is not only our biggest national issues like first amendment and, and uh reproductive rights. This could be a local council thing like a, like a budget or uh or um now, now uh lobbying can be now, uh I’m spilling over now. Can that be there’s not candidate advocacy, right? Like not, not getting into supporting candidates or denouncing candidates. This is all about issues. This is issue lobbying. So we’re gonna get the candidates, we’re gonna come to candidate, mostly prohibitions, but some things as long as they’re anyway, I don’t want to spoil the, I don’t want to take away your, your info, but we’re gonna get the candidates very shortly. But this is, this could be very local issues like you said, like a budget or a zoning, a zoning thing. Yeah. Anything that’s gonna appear by a legislative body that appears, you know, in the law, you can comment on existing law, you can ask for a change on that. You can propose a new law or back a new law that’s coming out. You don’t have to hire a lobbyist. It might just be a communication, uh, that you put on your website that’s lobbying. It’s probably really low cost if you’re gonna like, tweet it, uh, or email, email campaign, print mail campaign if you want to go to that extent. Yeah, this is all, this is all well, within your, uh, what’s allowed, well, within your purview and just take the 501 H, now, do we have to know what 501 H says, does that matter? Do, do we have to go into what 501 H says, or just, just fill out the form? Yeah. So you just know that you’re electing to measure your lobbying under the 501 H expenditure test. That’s basically what it says. So you’re electing to measure lobbying, not on all the facts and circumstances test that the IRS and then the court would have to apply if you ever, you like argued about it. Uh just strict numbers and you know what the numbers are, you fill them out. So you’ll know exactly what happens and even better if you don’t make the election and you, you use the substantial part test, the 5% rule of thumb uh test. If you are ever examined by the IRS and you cross that threshold, they can revoke your 501 C three status for crossing that threshold in one year under the 501 H election that doesn’t happen. There may be a penalty tax applied to you in, in any given year, but you actually have to, to, to exceed that cap over four years. Um, and that’s significant. Ok. Ok. Well, you did say the IRS is not in actively enforcing this. Um, not that they’re never going to, but they’re not being very proactive about it. But still you get, you get a four year window under the 501 H test versus just a one year window in the facts and circumstances which is limited to only 5% too. There is an added wrinkle though to the 501 H test. Oh, here it comes now. All right. Read the foot. You gotta always read the footnotes. All right. Now what? It’s time for a break. Open up new cashless in person donation opportunities with donor box live kiosk. The smart way to accept cashless donations anywhere. Anytime picture this a cash free on site giving solution that effortlessly collects donations from credit cards, debit cards and digital wallets. No team member required. Plus your donation data is automatically synced with your donor box account. No manual data, entry or errors, make giving a breeze and focus on what matters your cause. Try donor box life kiosk and revolutionize the way you collect donations in 2024. Visit donor box.org to learn more. Now, back to election year activities. Gene and I just had uh technical difficulties which means uh since he lives in a big city and I live in a suburban beach town. Uh, my wi fi just cut out. So our sound is not gonna be as good as it was because now we’re recording on my phone. But as, you know, nonprofit radio perseveres through these minor technological let downs we, the, these things, these things don’t trouble nonprofit radio at all. So we’re still gonna, we’re gonna continue. Gene was, uh, Gene. I’m just gonna let you pick up, go ahead. Terrific. And we know charities have resilience as well. Um So under the 501 and under the 501 H expenditure test that we’re recommending to most charities. Um uh there are a couple of wrinkles. So one of the wrinkles is, is that there’s two types of lobbying, direct lobbying where you’re contacting uh uh a legislative body directly and asking for a change in the law or introduction of a new law. Um and grassroots lobbying when you’re telling your public to contact a legislator or legislative body to change the law. And so in grassroots lobbying, there’s going to be some sort of call to action. It’s going to be the charity expressing a particular view on a specific piece of legislation with a call to action to the public without that call to action. It’s not even lobbying. So you can do all of that. You want, you can actually express a view on a particular piece of legislation and not give any sort of message to the, to the public about who to contact or, you know, provide the information, the contact information of the legislature, um which is sort of implied called the action. You can include none of that, but just say, hey, this is the way our charity feels about this piece of legislation period, that’s not even lobbying uh for purposes of the expenditure test. So another good thing to note of, of advocating your point of view. But if you do decide on the 501 H expenditure test note that the grass roots lobbying limit is 25% of your total amount of lobbying. So if we said 20% is your cap on your 1st $500,000 on exempt purpose or mission related expenditures. So 100,000 of that $500,000 is safe, well, then $50,000 would be the amount that you could do of grassroots lobbying of that $200,000 limit that you have. So 25% cap on the grassroots lobbying expenditure. And as I said before, under the substantial part test, if you don’t make this election, if you exceed the amount in one year, you can lose your 501 C three exemption. Although that’s very, very unlikely based on sort of very poor irs enforcement on this issue right now. But under the 501 H expenditure test your measurement, you, you can get hit with a penalty tax of 25% of the excessive amount of lobbying if you lobby excessively. Um, but you will not get your tax exempt status, your 501 C three status revoked unless you exceeded the lobbying limit for a four year period. And you have to have exceeded it by more than 50%. So there’s a huge benefit to this 501 H expenditure test election. 5768 is the form number. We really urge most public charities to, to, to file that election. Absolutely. Yeah, I can, I can see the, the big advantages versus the cloudy, much less generous uh facts and circumstances. OK. Do the 501 H like gene just uh urged you beneath, you even do the 501 H All right. Um So what, where should, so where do you wanna go from from now? The uh the, the, the lobbying uh from, from lobbying? Where should we go? So let’s talk about what’s sort of maybe at the outset say, well, what you can’t do which you alluded to in the beginning. Tony is um you can’t endorse or support a candidate for a public office so you can’t engage in electioneering or public campaign uh political intervention. So none of that is permissible. But what is neither lobbying nor this um political campaign intervention is stuff like making available nonpartisan analysis study or research or examining broad social economic and similar problems if you do it in a nonpartisan manner, but really focusing on the issues. Um You know, if you don’t refer to specific legislation and you want to state your views on whether it be climate change or women’s rights or LGBT Q plus rights or anything, you don’t mention legislation, it’s not lobbying. And if there’s no call to action, it’s not grassroots lobbying. So there’s a lot of things that you can do. And maybe the last exception that I’ll mention and there are many others. But the last one I’ll say is if you’re communicating to a non legislative body, like an executive branch of the president, the mayor, the governor, that is generally not lobbying when it’s, you know, regarding implementation of regulations or policies because those are not done by a legislative body. Those are done by an administrative agency and lobbying has to do with legislation or if you’re sending this information to your constituents. Yeah. Uh a lot of times that may not be lobbying as well when it’s to, to your membership. It’s when you, when we talk about constituents and it gets a little bit iffy about whether that might be grassroots lobbying under the 50 mh expenditure test or just lobbying period. The, the substantial part test, the default test. Oh, so the, so the distinction is whether you have a call to action or, or whether you’re just sending something neutral, like you said, you know, just a report about a subject is that the difference? There is a call to action. Yeah, that’s probably the primary difference. There’s a little bit of differences between when we talk about sending communications to members versus to the general public. But in either case, yeah, if you don’t include a call to action, you’re probably safe and not engaged in lobbying. It’s time for Tony’s take two. Thank you very much, Kate 24 NTC. It’s the 2024 nonprofit technology conference hosted by N 10 and it is next week. I’m very grateful to Heller consulting for sponsoring us at 24 NTC. We’re gonna be sharing a double wide booth with Heller. I’ll be there capturing lots of interviews, but already more than 20 already scheduled. All these smart tech folks but not technical tech folks, right? We all we know this is the conference and certainly the interviews that I capture for us. Not, not over the top tech, not even, not even, not even top tech, just user, user friendly tech. That’s what we talk about. So uh we’ll have all these interviews playing over the coming months from the conference. Uh If you’re gonna be there, I hope you will come see us on the exhibit floor, which they’re calling the archive. No, not the archive. It’s the arcade, not the archive. The archive is in the past. So the arcade forward looking. Uh there’s gonna be, I know there’s ping pong. There’s ski ball. I know I specifically asked about ski ball. You gotta love skee ball. I used to play ski ball with my grandfather, Kate’s great grandfather, uh in Asbury Park, New Jersey, which he used to call Raspberry Park. Lots of stories about Raspberry Park. Anyway, there’s gonna be ski ball, uh in the arcade, um, and others, other games as well. We are gonna be in booths 607 and 609, nonprofit Radio and Heller consulting side by side. All the smart folks at Heller, you know, with their outstanding, um sales force, blackboard Microsoft consulting, they find you the right tech solution because they’re broad in lots of different platforms and then they do the implementation for you. Uh That’s Heller consulting again. Thankful to them for sponsoring us at the conference. Please come by, see us if you’re gonna, if you’re there in Portland, I neglected to say this is all happening next week in Portland, Oregon. Very nice city. I’m gonna spend a couple of extra nights because great, great food scene there with their food trucks. That’s 24 NTC and that is Tony’s take two. Hey, my dad loves ski ball. Every time we go to an arcade it’s always ski ball and like he’ll use my tickets because him and I go off together, he’ll use my tickets to just play ski ball. That’s it. Well, I, I have the origin story for that. I, I assure you, it goes back to our grandfather, grandpa Martinetti, taking us to ski ball back when the balls were made of wood. Yes. And a play was a dime. You put your little dime in dime for, like, I think it was a dime for nine balls. Oh, I wish it was still that. It’s like a dollar now. Oh, my God. Wooden balls. I guess they were not, uh, hypoallergenic like the plastic balls are anyway. But wood balls, I’m sure of it. It was nine plays for a dollar. No, nine plays for a dime. You pull that metal handle back and those wooden balls will come crashing down in a row and then you, then you do your play, try to get, try to get the ball in the center for the maximum points. So that’s why, that’s the story. Why your dad loves ski ball. Well, let’s carry on. What do you say we’ve got vu but loads more time. So let’s return to election year activities with gene decoy. It, it, it’s, it’s a question of doing it also aside from the call to action, doing it in a nonpartisan way, like you said, you know, objective research on an issue, right? Yeah. So, I mean, we can always do this in a partisan way that can now mean that it’s may not be lobbying, but it could be political campaign intervention that 501 CS are not allowed to engage in. So if we like, say, focused on a wedge issue like abortion, let’s say, and we didn’t talk about it, you know, for, for most of the, the, the period of time in question until just before an election. And then we started to talk heavily about that and tell people to, to really, you know, vote with their conscience lies without saying a particular candidate but mentioning abortion rights. Uh uh you know, if, if that was kind of the wedge issue between, you know, candidates and that’s the only time that we brought it up that might be seen as prohibited, you know, political campaign intervention or electioneering. Ok. So now we’re going broader, you know, what’s, what’s your typical communications about this issue? And like you said, if this is your first time and we’re in an election season, it’s, it’s, uh, it’s gonna, that’s gonna weigh against you versus something that you discussed routinely with your constituents. Yeah. And that’s gonna sort of apply to a number of different activities that might ordinarily be done, you know, regularly by an organization. But if it’s not done regularly and it’s only timed with an election, and it’s really the intent was to influence that election by picking a particular wedge issue or highlighting a particular issue just before the election that can get organizations into trouble. Although, again, the IRS enforcement on the whole electioneering issue has been pretty weak. Ok. All valuable. All right. Um You can even host a debate. Right. Yeah, there are definitely charities, 501 c three public charities that are not allowed to engage in electioneering that host candidate debates. Now, they’ve got to organize that in a neutral nonpartisan manner, including inviting all of the viable candidates. Now, not everybody might accept that invitation. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t hold the debate. But, um, yes, if you do it in a neutral nonpartisan manner, it can be done. And I think, you know, many of us are probably familiar with like the league of women voters. Um and, and others that, that uh organize some of the presidential debate. So it, it is something to, to be aware of that. It, it is a possible thing to do on a local level as well. Ok. Yeah. Right. This all applies locally too. So, I mean, we’re in a presidential year but uh think think broader than just 2024. Ok. OK. Um What, what about uh the, there’s the, there’s an issue around if you criticize the actions of an incumbent that’s running like Joe Biden. Yeah. So, you know, it’s always a little bit tricky when we talk about an incumbent when they’re also running for office. Right. So again, the timing may matter. Um but if we’re criticizing the incumbent based on their actions taken in that capacity, so if we criticize Joe Biden uh on actions he’s taken as president, that’s different from criticizing his stance in areas um which he’s campaigning on or which the other party may be campaigning on in terms of opposing his candidacy. So, yes, you can continue to criticize an incumbent’s action. If you’ve been doing that all along, that really helps if you only time it before the election and it looks like the reason for doing it was to influence that election, then maybe that could cross the line. So you have to think about it in those terms. It becomes a little bit weird too when you have the other candidate who was formerly the president of the United States as well. Right. So are we criticizing him for his actions taken when he was president or has that been so long ago? That that’s not really anything we’re doing other than to influence the coming election. So it gets a little bit dicey when, when, when, when we um look at that um in, in c through a certain lens, but you know, let’s talk not about the Biden Trump um candidacies, but let’s just talk about some local mayor uh or, or, or go, I, I’m sure all of us can criticize the actions of our executive branch officials from time to time um of, of our elected officials in the state. So um yes, um you can continue to criticize them probably again, you, you know, if that criticism was really just part of what is connected with your charity and not just for, for, for, you know, purposes of influencing their candidacy in a, in a later election. And let’s go to the next step. What about somebody who’s the candidate? But you’re hosting them for non candidate nonelection, uh type issues, a conversation, a debate, a panel, let’s say panel is probably more likely. Uh but it doesn’t have to do with their election. They happen to be a candidate. Yeah. So, you know, let’s say it, it was a um I, I’ll just pull out an example. I’m not sure that if I can come up with an actual name here, but let’s say it’s a rocket scientist, right, who happens to be running for office. Um But the charity wants to invite them because they’re a science museum and he has sort of a background in a particular initiative that the science museum has taken. And he is, you know, a very highly recognized person in the public. So that would be a great draw and he can talk intelligently about subject matter at hand, might be every right of that charity, that museum to invite that candidate, not as a candidate, but in, in his rocket scientists capacity to speak to the public and if he’s not talking about the election, um And you’ve got to sort of sometimes when you invite them, you have to talk to them about it because they may not know the 501 C three charity rules and this prohibition against electioneering. So you’ve got to make sure that they don’t speak about their candidacy or the election. Uh And the charity might even want to put a disclaimer up there, you know, when inviting him or, or when introducing him to the, to the uh audience that, hey, we’ve invited this person. Um We are not stating any position on the upcoming election, but we’ve invited him because he’s this, you know, famed rocket scientist and we’d love for him to speak with you about the science on our initiative. So that, that is ok. Ok. Ok. Uh We should probably move to what’s, what’s uh not, not allowed in. Uh Because we, we talked about what, what you can, what you can do as long as you do this on a nonpartisan basis. What, what are some things that are not allowed around the political campaign intervention? Yeah. So here’s um and I’ll speak of it in two ways. So what, what’s allowed and then what makes it wrong? So a voter registration drive or get out the vote drive. Those are really common for charities to do and they a RK unless you’re doing it in a partisan manner, right? So you’re only going out to do the voter registration drive if the voters are, you know, siding with your preferred candidate and if that’s the way you conduct the voter registration drive, then it is partisan political campaign intervention and could cost you your 501 C three status. So that would be prohibited. Same thing with like a candidate questionnaire or voter guide if you designed it or distributed it in a manner that was partisan. So you’re getting the answers that you want and using it as election materials, then that would be prohibited. Political campaign intervention if you had kind of um uh a candidate and you said, you know, we’re going to score you on all of the issues that matter to us. Then that could also be political campaign intervention when you’re just score carding a candidate just timed with the election. Now, that’s different from scorecard, an incumbent, um if it’s not timed with an election, but when you’re scorecard candidates um timed with an election really difficult if you ask a candidate to take a pledge. So you say, hey, pledge to support our environmental platform, even though you’re not saying we’ll support you. If you do that, even without that, that might be enough to say, hey, that’s still electioneering if, even if you, even if you offer that pledge to all the candidates, yeah, even if you offer it to all the candidates because if, if some pledge to back your platform and some pledges will not pledge that, then that’s seen as a message that you’re given to, to people who are looking at that uh that communication that you, you highlight after about who has backed your platform and who hasn’t. It’s kind of seeing as tacitly um uh influencing that election either by, you know, promoting or opposing a particular candidate. I see. Ok. Ok. What else? Uh, what else should we be aware of? So, avoid a big one is for me anyway, is the selective use of space or resources? So, in one sense, you know, a lot of charities will go, well, we don’t allow any of our political candidates or any political candidates to use like our space. So, you know, um, we’re not going to, you know, worry about that. But what if you invited somebody to speak to your, you know, to, to your audience about kind of the issues? And I said it would be ok if they, if they’re not doing it in their other, you know, capacity as a, as an expert in some other area. But what if they were doing it kind of as a candidate? Um, and you allowed them to, you know, to speak on the issues but you didn’t invite others to, to speak on it. That would be problem. And maybe even more of a common problem is one of the assets of a charity are its emails, right? So, if you have, uh, you know, Gene at charity.org, that’s the charity’s email address. You know, it’s my professional email, but it wouldn’t be my email in terms of, I wouldn’t own it if I, you know, if I wasn’t, you know, together with the charity anymore, if individuals who are certainly allowed to engage in, in, you know, supporting endorsing or opposing candidates for political office in their individual capacities. But if they’re using staff email to do it, um that becomes a problem if they’re using staff time or staff events, uh which they use as a platform to engage in their individual sort of first amendment rights to engage in political activity. That’s a problem because they’re using organizational resources, they can do it on their own time. Um And you might see sometimes in newspapers, people will put the name of the organization they’re with, they might even say like their position president of charity X endorsing this candidate. You’ll see there’s going to be an asterisk there that says that the titles and affiliations of the individuals are provided for identification purposes only. So it’s not an endorsement by the organization. So that’s really important to, to make sure that individual staff members or board members are not using organizational resources, including emails uh to engage in political activities that are, that are otherwise prohibited to the charity. How would you judge this one? Let me give you a hypothetical uh uh an employee drives uh a nonprofit vehicle to a rally or a anything where they’re gonna be expressing their political opinion, but use a rally so they drive it, they park it and then they walk a few blocks to the rally. What do you think about that? Can’t do it? I mean, it would be, it would be, again, the IRS rarely enforces this anyway. Um, but it is the law but it would be, it would, you know, it would probably not come to the, the, the charity’s, um, attention. But if it did, they would have to hold the employee accountable for that. So it’s not, you got to terminate somebody but you probably should have a policy that says something like you cannot use organizational resources, including our vehicles, including your email address to support or oppose any candidates for public office. You’ve got to use your own resources in your own time for that. Ok. It’s a resource. I agree. All right. If an email is a resource, then certainly a vehicle would be all right. I just wanted to just, I thought, I thought maybe she parked it a few blocks away. Uh Oh, I thought maybe it might make a difference. It’s time for a break. Virtuous is a software company committed to helping nonprofits grow generosity, virtuous beliefs that generosity has the power to create profound change in the world and in the heart of the giver, it’s their mission to move the needle on global generosity by helping nonprofits better connect with and inspire their givers responsive. Fundraising puts the donor at the center of fundraising and grows giving through personalized donor journeys that respond to the needs of each individual. Virtuous is the only response of nonprofit CRM designed to help you build deeper relationships with every donor at scale. Virtuous, gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer marketing and automation tools. You need to create responsive experiences that build trust and grow, impact virtuous.org. Now back to election year activities, you got some other things that we need to, we need to avoid around the political campaign intervention. Yes, I, you know, I would say another common thing is websites and social media, right? So social media on an organizational sort of account got to be careful, no electioneering on those accounts. So whether it be Twitter or X whatever you want to call it, Facebook, um tiktok, whatever, if it’s the organizational sort of account. Um And you’re promoting the charity uh on it, it’s not your individual account. Um You have to make sure that your individual sort of political endorsements or oppositions are not on that account, are not used on that social media account. On the charity website. There’s kind of this one link rule, meaning that if the charity links to another website, the charity is actually responsible for the content on that other website, not in terms of whether it contains an electioneering message or not. 00, that’s, that’s harsh. So you have to pay attention. So the general idea behind the rule is that, you know, I think any regulator would see past the the the rule of, of saying, hey, we don’t endorse political candidates but link here and this will take you to, you know, one of the political party platforms, right? And not the other. Um So, and they wouldn’t want you to say, oh, you know, that’s just a link that’s not on our page. We just included the link which has no, you know, electioneering message on it. Well, the one link rule would say no, you’re responsible for the content on that other page, but you’re right, it could be harsh because sometimes that link is to a 501 C four organization. Um And that 501 C four organization is allowed to engage in some political campaign activity so long as it’s not their primary activity. But if it goes to the page of the 501 C four that has the political campaign sort of intervention message on it, then the charity could be held responsible for it. And again, that would be a violation of the political campaign intervention rule. All right, now you’re responsible, um You’re responsible for other people’s content when you link to it in this, in this, in this arena, I I would be careful. I would say that there’s probably less likelihood of any enforcement if it’s something that is uh not intended to be an evergreen thing. So if it’s like is like a tweet and that link changes over time, I don’t think anybody is going to go back and say two years ago, you linked to this and now this link contains this electioneering message. I don’t think that’s the way it would be force, but if it’s on your, your sort of active website, uh and the link at the time that you created, you know, that website and, and published it, uh had electioneering messages on it, then I would be a little bit concerned that that would be a violation of the rules. You mentioned, uh you’re explaining about uh employees, you know, and not allowed to use any of the organizational resources. Um What about employees um wearing a hat or a button during, I don’t know, during staff time during an event, staff time, meaning working hours, you know, and they’re in their office doing that, not working, not working hours and they’re, they’re at home but working hours and they’re in their office or it’s an event. Uh and, you know, they’ve got their, they’ve got their election year on. Yes, I think that’s a really sensitive area, right? Because we each have our First Amendment rights and we’re ab absolutely wanna say individually as individuals in our individual capacity, we have every right to endorse or oppose a candidate for public office, every right to do so. Um But I said we shouldn’t use organizational resources to do so. So what happens if you show up? Um And you’re wearing a vote blue or vote red or Mega or whatever hat or t-shirt on and you go to go to work. Um Well, I think to the extent that you are representing the organization at work, especially if you have uh any interface with the public, that would be a reason for a charity employer to say no, that’s in violation of the rules. This isn’t, you know, a violation of your first amendment rights. We’re just saying as an organizational representative to the public or to the public that we’re serving, you cannot send that political message out because that looks like it’s a political message being sent by our charity. So I think that is where you would enforce it and say you can’t do it. Now if they’re at home um on a zoom meeting with other employees, I have a good one. That’s a good one. Yeah, I haven’t seen any guidance on this. I would still feel slightly uncomfortable about it, but I wouldn’t want to have to go to court to fight about that either and I’m not sure that anybody would really care. Um But yeah, what another employee said, no, that, you know, II I didn’t want to see that and that has, you know, traumatized me. Um We’re not, you know, we’re not thinking about election related materials and, you know, does that, you know, give them the same authority to say, you know, everybody of this, you know, particular viewpoint should die on their T shirt. Like that’s a first amendment right to wear, like you could walk out to an amusement park to wear it, I suppose, but Disneyland would probably throw you out and maybe a charity employer would have the right to say no, you can’t wear that on the zoom meeting either. Ok. Ok. Anything else we, we haven’t covered or you wanna cover in more detail, the quadrennial chance? Sure. So, um you know, maybe talking about what is educational like we’re allowed to educate the public if we wanted to educate the public on climate change. Is that ok? Um Yeah, you mentioned, for instance, you mentioned voter guides. Yeah, so you know, we, we could have a voter guide or maybe we’re just having educational materials, just articles um on our website or on our blog. And we, we have promotional activities about that. We hold conferences about it. We do you know seminars or trainings about it. Um Can we do all those things? Um And of course, I think we know the answer is yes, there are a lot of organizations that are, are holding conferences and seminars on climate change. Um But when is it wrong to do that? Um And it’s interesting, I, I think with climate change and the overwhelming scientific opinion that climate change and human uh cause of climate change is, is a real thing. Um that, that’s not an issue, but it once was I once got um asked by the IRS agent who reviewed uh uh an application uh for 501 C three status about an organization sort of uh educational material about climate change. And they said, well, is this a full and fair exposition of all of the facts? Are you considering both sides? Um because that’s what educational means under 501 C three. And I, I didn’t think that was appropriate of that particular IRS agent even back then, but maybe 50 years ago, maybe that would have been a legitimate question when the scientific community wasn’t as aware of those things. And maybe it could be seen as more of a wedge issue between candidates and a reason to promote one candidate over the other based on, you know, opinion rather than supported facts. Um, and so educational activities, um, of course, charities should be, you know, supporting their mission with educational communications out there. If, if it’s going to help them advance their mission, that’s what they should do. And if they aim it at candidates, if they’re aiming it at all candidates, I think that that’s a fair thing to do as well. Now, if you’re aiming certain educational communications only at the candidates that the charity leaders prefer in, in one way or the other, now you may be engaged in sort of, again, this partisan viewpoint. You’re, you’re um providing resources to one candidate and not to others, even though you might think that, well, they’re not going to read it, they’re not going to agree with it anyway, the fact that you’re not giving them the chance to, to use those resources even if to attack them, um, might be seen as preferential and partisan and therefore a violation of 501. C three. Ok. Yep. There again. You, you’re, you’re being biased, you said, you know, partisan, you’re not, you’re not doing it, um, you’re not doing it objectively. You’re not doing it across the board. You’re, you’re being selective. Yeah. I think, you know, 11 other thing I wanted to, to sort of, um, let the audience know about it is that there are other laws besides the 501 c three, sort of tax exemption laws that can apply to lobbying or political activities. Um, and so it may be a matter of taking a look at some of your state or local law resources on lobbying or political activities as well as knowing the tax laws. And there’s one great source right now, um, that was just recently made available in all 50 states and DC. It’s called State Law Resources, nonprofit lobbying. And it’s from the Alliance for Justice Boulder advocacy. So, um, uh, the Alliance for Justice has a 501 C three. They also have a 501 C four organization which we didn’t really talk about too much other than to say that they are allowed to engage in some political campaign intervention activities as long as it’s not their primary activity. Well, there are organizations that have both the 501 C three and a 501 C four organization. They are at arm’s length, but they are affiliated. Alliance for Justice is one of those organizations, but their C three has provided us some great resources, educational resources, nonpartisan that talk about state law, resources on nonprofits, lobbying and go over not only the tax laws that we talked about, but some of the political and election laws that, that apply as well on the state level. Um And again, local laws may also apply. So you just want to check out those resources if you’re going to engage in significant lobbying or political activities. J say the name of that resource again, the title of it. So it’s from the Alliance for Justice and it’s called State Law resources colon, nonprofit lobbying. State law resources, nonprofit lobbying. And there’s a different guide for each state and for, for, for the district of Columbia, you know, we love free resources. Excellent. OK. You feel like we’ve given this sufficient coverage until 2028. Yeah. Uh Other than to say, go out and advocate for your mission. Um And make sure your boards are supporting that advocacy as well. You can do a lot more than you think Gene Takagi there. You have it. You’ll find him at nonprofit law blog, which is nonprofit law blog.com and you’ll find uh him. You’ll find Gene at G Tac Gtak Jean. Thank you so much. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Thanks, Tony. It’s always great to be on next week. The generational divide. We thought that would be this week, but things don’t always work out as planned if you missed any part of this weeks show. I beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com. You notice how I have Kate say we thought this would be next week. So kind of kind of makes it sound like it’s her fault. Notice I, I didn’t give the explanation, it’s not her fault but uh notice how I set her up that way. We’re sponsored by donor box. Outdated donation forms blocking your support, generosity. Donor box. Fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org and by virtuous, virtuous gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow giving, virtuous.org. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate Marinetti. The show social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty be with us next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great

Nonprofit Radio for January 8, 2024: Our Esteemed Contributors’ 2024 Outlooks


Amy Sample Ward & Gene Takagi: Our Esteemed Contributors’ 2024 Outlooks

Amy Sample Ward and Gene Takagi kick off the New Year with what they’ll be keeping eyes on this year. They delve into artificial intelligence (AI); the presidential election; donor advised funds; workers’ rights; and more. Amy is our technology contributor and CEO of NTEN. Gene is our legal contributor and managing attorney at NEO, the Nonprofit & Exempt Organizations law group.

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Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join me each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.

Nonprofit Radio for December 11, 2023: Lessons From The Sam Altman & OpenAI Headlines


Gene Takagi: Lessons From The Sam Altman & OpenAI Headlines

Gene Takagi

Our legal contributor, Gene Takagi, returns to first, unravel the story in his clear, plain language way. Then he shares his wisdom on the takeaways for nonprofits including good governance, proper documentation, gift acceptance, commercial co-ventures, and more. Gene is managing attorney of NEO, the Nonprofit & Exempt Organizations law group.


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Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join me each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
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Hello and welcome to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d get slapped with a diagnosis of lordosis if I had to shoulder the burden of knowing that you missed this week’s show. Here’s our associate producer, Kate with what’s up this week? Hey, Tony, this week we have lessons from the Sam Altman and open A I headlines our legal contributor, Gene Takagi returns to first unravel the story in his clear plain language way. Then he shares his wisdom on the takeaways for nonprofits including good governance, proper documentation, gift, acceptance, commercial co ventures and more on Tony’s take two. How I can versus why I can’t were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity. This giving season donor box, the fast flexible and friendly fundraising platform for nonprofits donor box.org here is lessons from the Sam Altman and open A I headlines it’s always a genuine pleasure to welcome Gene Takagi back to nonprofit radio. You know who he is, but he deserves a proper introduction nonetheless, he is our legal contributor and managing attorney of Neo, the nonprofit and Exempt Organizations Law Group in San Francisco. He edits that wildly popular nonprofit law blog.com and he’s a part time lecturer at Columbia University. His firm is at Neola group.com and Gene is at GTC Gene. Welcome back to the show. It’s a pleasure to see you. Pleasure to have you. It’s great to see you as well. Tony, thank you very much for having me. Absolutely. Let’s start our discussion uh about the uh the Sam Altman and the OPEN A I and the, the potential implications for uh for our listeners in small and mid size nonprofits with, if you could just sort of summarize uh what happened between Sam and his nonprofit entity and his for profit or not his, but the nonprofit entity, the for-profit entity. And what inspired you to uh think about this and, and write a, a two part blog post at uh nonprofit law blog.com. Yeah, I mean, it’s a great story, Tony, it gets a little convoluted but, you know, it was dominating our headlines for, for a few days and I think a lot of people sort of lost sight um about like one important fact is that the whole organization started out as a nonprofit public charity. So this is, you know, a charity with charitable assets that decided, hey, we’re gonna develop A I in a way that’s gonna like impact the world. Um but we’re not gonna do it for the benefit of for profit investors, we’re gonna do it for the good of humanity, right? So that’s the way the charity was developed and why they thought, hey, let’s develop it in a charity. Let’s not develop this in a for profit, let’s do it in a charity. So just to, just to be explicit, open A I is a 501 C three uh Open A I Inc. Um And so that’s important, that’s important. It becomes important in the story. Open A I INC is a, is the, the charitable entity, the 501 C three. That’s right. Um Dan Altman is the founder of, right, founder and board member. Just as an aside, Elon Musk was one of the uh initial board members uh as well and might have tried to take it over but didn’t, wasn’t able to do that. But that’s another story. Um So, um they, they were formed in 2015 and they probably took a year or so to get going. And I don’t know that they expected to develop into such a prominent player in the field and the dominant A I player with uh chat GP T, right? So uh GP T chat G BT, I think uh a billion users within just like months or even, you know, several weeks is the fastest growing application I think uh in history. Um So uh an amazing thing now before we got to that stage, the nonprofit sort of realized, yeah, we’re developing this and, you know, we raised, I don’t know, like $100 million or so. Um, to develop this A I technology. But we need a lot more if we’re really gonna, like, produce something substantial. And that’s their, their original goal was a billion dollars. Yeah. And they couldn’t get there. So they said, you know, this faces some other nonprofits as well when they, when they want to do something at scale and they learn, you know, we actually need to sort of partner up or collaborate with for profit investors here and they’re interested in this technology as well. But we have to remember the whole idea was we’re doing this for humanity and not be controlled by a for profit investor that tells us what to do. Um So they decided to drop down a subsidiary, they formed a subsidiary. Um and then they took in investments in the subsidiary, but by forming the subsidiary, presumably they contributed some amount of technology that they had developed to this point. So they raised over $100 million and they developed technology and they contributed down to the for profit. Now other investors are investing in it. And you know, it got to the point where I think Microsoft’s um investment and Microsoft is the second biggest company in the world. So talking about a big player, I think Microsoft’s investment was in the realm of $8 billion I think in total. So, and there’s a lot of investment, you know, of course, not all at once, but um and they created the subsidiary which um was a limited liability company or LLC. So I’ll just refer to it as the LLC. Um And um, so open A I INC, the nonprofit has now contributed charitable assets to an LLC and is in partners, in essence, with all of these other for profit investors who have invested a lot more money than open A I did. Um But because open A I had charitable assets contributed into the LLC, which it created, um it sort of said before we bring in investors, let’s set the rules and the rules are, we’re going to make the LLC, you know, provide in the operating agreement and provide to any investors that invest in us, that this technology is going to, you know, be developed for the benefit of humanity. And um this is what the operating agreement um said and that is a private document so we can’t see the full thing. But um this is on open A I Inc’s website and it says that the operating agreement of the LLC provides, it would be wise to view an investment in the LLC in the spirit of a donation with the understanding that it may be difficult to know what role money will play in a post A I world. And the company’s duty to this mission, the LLC S duty this mission um will take precedence over any obligation to generate a profit. The company may never make a profit and the company is under no obligation to do so. So before Microsoft put in any money or any other investors put in money, this is the operating agreement that they are signing and accepting. So that’s the thing. The other thing they did was, they said the nonprofits board is effectively going to be the fiduciaries, essentially the board of the LLC as well. So they’re going to determine what is in the best interest of the LLC. So they’re wearing two hats. Now, one is as the hat of the board members of the nonprofit. And one is as the board members that sort of govern the LLC. Um And at some point, the board and Sam Altman or majority of the board and Sam Altman, the founder, um uh who is also the CEO of the LLC where in conflict. Um And the board decided that they didn’t want to keep Sam on a CEO. Now, they gave a reason for it and it was essentially that he wasn’t um open and, and that’s the, the board of the LLC, correct, which is the same as the board of the nonprofit. So it’s, it’s right, but it’s not the, it’s not the nonprofit entity board that I understand they’re the same people, but they operate in two different, they operate as two different entities wearing two different hats, just like a, a person could be an individual and a trustee or an executor and an in. So, so the, the, the LLC board and Sam Altman were in conflict. Yeah. And so let me say that they, they made the structure much more complicated than that. So there are other entities that are acting as partners for, for, for like let’s call this a hypothetical. We’re simplifying it. So this may not all be accurate because we don’t get to see all the private documents involved, but essentially the same people are involved in both um as as the governing body or the fiduciary. So the board members of the nonprofit seem to be the same as the board members of the LLC from a practical perspective. So I’ll, I’ll go along with you kind of just using that analogy, but with that sort of caveat or disclaimer. Um So, absolutely, because there was a third party entity, a managing entity in between the two but, and a holding company as well. But for simplicity, uh le let’s keep it to two. And, and it’s not, it’s not a distortion of the story. It’s just, it’s for our purposes, it’s, it’s not a significant detail. So, um again, this is not the news for, for everybody, but this is trying to learn some lessons here from, from what we um So yeah, wearing their hats as the fiduciaries of the LLC, they decided they were going to remove or terminate Sam Altman as CEO. Now, this alarmed a lot of people and particularly because I think it’s widely viewed that this was apr blunder, um, as well that the board members of the LLC, the same board members of the nonprofit and said, basically, we’re firing him because he wasn’t sort of, um, open to, to what he was really, you know, doing or um um they didn’t say that there was any fraud or any unlawful conduct. But I think, you know, the presumption was that he wasn’t really looking after the mission of the nonprofit that was built into the operating agreement and therefore the purposes of the LLC as well. He was really looking to advance the A I from a commercial context, let’s expand it and grow the scope of the business just like in the for profit world would traditionally do. Um But the board members kind of had this background. Um, you know, some of them anyways, academics and kind of people who kind of understood the charitable context of it and were more concerned with the ethical issues related to, to A I. Um and I think, you know, you’ve probably discussed that with some guests in, in the past as well. Um uh of uh artificial intelligence and what that might mean uh beyond just making the world easier for all of us because we can talk to machines there are some dangers with that as well. And I think the board didn’t felt, felt like Sam was like progressing on like, let’s make this this, you know, huge company and let’s dominate the space. Um And not thinking as much about the ethical considerations that the board had. It’s time for a break. Are you looking to maximize your fundraising efforts and impact this giving season? Donor box’s online donation platform is designed to help you reach your fundraising goals from customizable donation forms to far reaching easy share, crowdfunding and peer to peer options. Plus seamless in person giving with donor box, live kiosk. Donor box makes giving simple and fast for your donors and moves the needle on your mission. Visit donor box.org and let Donor box help you help others. Now back to lessons from the Sam Altman and open A I headlines. I I saw this sort of captioned in uh uh something I was reading or maybe it was even a video that I saw uh just, you know, a week or 10 days ago when this was all capturing headlines, it was basically a uh altruism versus acceleration is I won’t go too much down the rabbit holes because there, there is this whole effective altruism movement um that um was embraced, I think by one or more board members um that’s associated with Sam Ban and greed, sort of the whole um other area but avoiding that rabbit hole for the moment yes, that, I think that’s right, that, that there’s kind of like, are we doing this for a charitable reason? Because this is an LLC with outside investors who put in most of the money? But they agreed that, hey, this is the operating agreement, we are going to be operating really for the benefit of humanity and we may not expect a profit. And in fact, we were told, don’t expect a profit, think of this as a donation. But then when you terminate somebody, we thought this makes no sense. And then I think, you know, from the perspective of some investors, even though some of them, you know, were involved in the signing of this operating agreement and the employees of Open A I who are probably a lot of engineers and others who were involved in the tech world that probably weren’t involved in nonprofit technology. So not really thinking about the charitable of it, they had a huge uprising against this move that the board did. And so within days, you’ve got um Microsoft being upset and saying, you know, we may desire just to hire um uh Altman and run the A I division within Microsoft itself because by this time, open A I and Microsoft are now very embedded together Microsoft being the, you know, the primary um uh or the biggest investor in Open A I I believe. Um And uh a lot of their um sort of programs that were or apps that we’re familiar with. Like word and outlook now have open a I sort of structures built into them and I don’t know if you remember Tony. Uh Another aside, do you remember Flippy um from Microsoft’s old, like a I help. This is from the nineties where you could say help and clip uh animated paper clip would pop up on your screen. I didn’t know clipping by name. Uh Sorry, I’m sorry. Clip uh the, the designers of clipping, I didn’t know him. Uh I mean, I don’t know, clip, he could be a woman too. Uh uh who knows the gender of clipping anyway. Uh I didn’t know clipping by name but I certainly remember the little, the little animated uh paper clip. Yeah. Yeah. So that was Microsoft A I so open chat is like a huge evolution from, from that, right? And now it’s embedded in Microsoft’s stuff and it’s like a, a powerhouse chat G BT um program that, you know, Microsoft can make available for users of its programs. Um And that’s a big deal that, you know, if somebody threatens what that might end up being. Um They had kind of A II I think from their perspective, reason to say, hey, why are you firing the CEO who’s been, you know, growing open A I LLC at like an incredible rate and incredible impact. Um And it’s really, you know, uh jeopardizing our business at, at Microsoft beyond our investment which maybe we don’t expect money back, but we’ve been like using the technology and if there’s some threat to the technology because you’re not going to follow the lead of your CEO, um, then maybe we need to sort of see what our legal recourse might be and maybe other strategies like hiring Sam Altman away from you and what’s terminated, just hiring Sam. And I think close to 90% of the employees of open A I said we’re going to if you don’t bring back Sam A CEO um at that point and a lot of media coverage. So everything, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, like everybody writing all about this. Um probably not from the legal perspective that, that I might want to see. But um uh and understandably so, but yeah, I, I think there was pressure on the board to say, yes, we know what our fiduciary duties are. We know that the operating agreement says that, you know, the LLC is gonna be, you know, operating the, the programs for the benefit of humanity, not for the benefit of our investors, but in light of all of this, we are going to bring back Sam. So Sam Altman is now CEO there are other conditions to it, including some board members who um led the termination of, of Altman and to leave the board. But other board members who are thought, you know, at least this is how, how the, the press release from open A I read some board members or, or some of the outgoing board members, I should say um that the new board members were strong enough to stand up to Sam Altman. Like, so we put in fiduciaries that are strong enough. So should he go off, you know, kilter and really, you know, pursue a commercial and not a charitable purpose? Um uh or over the charitable purpose, I should say, and the benefit to humanity that there are board members that will hold him in check. Um So that’s kind of in a nutshell, what’s happened here. So nonprofit board also in charge of the for profit joint venture. So it’s a joint venture because the nonprofit has some ownership of it and the other for profit investors have ownership of it. Um And there are all sorts of rules that we can talk about in those type of collaborations, but nonprofit board is essentially in charge of both. Um And they made a decision with charitable purposes in mind. Uh That didn’t go well with the other stakeholders, they got threatened um with something that could have really harmed or um just eliminated a large part of the value of the LLC. Um And now we’re back to where we kind of started, but with a slightly different board and I think the questions are, what have we learned from this? And, and where are we now with nonprofits and for profits collaborating this way. Yeah, absolutely. And those are our broader lessons uh which we’ll get to imminently. It’s time for Tony’s take two. Thank you, Kate. I’ve been thinking recently about the, the contrast between thinking about how I can do something versus why I can’t. And this has always been my philosophy to, to think about the, the, the positive rather than the negative. I feel like if you’re looking for reasons why you can’t do something, you’ll find plenty. They’re, they’re easier, they’re much easier to identify. They come to the surface so much quicker than the, how you can. So I don’t like to start with the why I can’t because they’re too easy and, and they’ll, they’ll just block you up, they’ll jam you up. I like to start with the how I can. And I’ve been thinking about this in terms of like bringing on a new client, opening a door to a new donor relationship, um, visiting donors when I take my trips up to New York City, this is how it’s been, it’s been showing up for me. So for you, I’m urging you to uh start with the how you can just because the why you can’t is so much more abundant, so much easier to find. It’s, it’s definitely tougher to find the, the way forward rather than identify the roadblocks. I fully understand sometimes there may be reasons why very good reasons why you just can’t do something, but I urge you to not start with that thinking, figure out the how you can instead of the why you can’t first and then hopefully you can, you’ll, you’ll find a way forward for whatever it is that whatever it is that, uh, is maybe giving you some pause in your work or, you know, personal life, the, the how you can instead of the why you can’t. That is Tony’s take two K. That’s a very optimistic. Look at thinking that way. You know, how people make a pro and con list. Why not just make a pro list and manifest good things that you can do what you wanna do. I like that. Ok. Ok. Uh, well, sometimes there are legitimate cons. Uh, so I wouldn’t ignore them. But yeah, I don’t, I don’t like to start there. Definitely. Don’t, don’t wanna start there. All right. You, you sounded a little surprised. Were you surprised that this is an optimistic way of looking like that? I would be optimistic. I feel like when I like, talk about maybe like an event coming up and I’m like, oh, I shouldn’t go because con con con versus, well, I should go because pro pro pro and I can go do all these things, you know. I’ve, I don’t know, I liked your philosophy. I think it works very well. Not just nonprofits but like, in life in general. Ok. Cool. I just, I, I was afraid that you thought you, you sounded like surprised that Tony would have an optimistic outlook on things. What a shock. All right. But you, you’re not shocked. So that’s good. We’ve got VU but loads more time. Yes, we do. Let’s go back to lessons from the Sam Altman and open A I headlines with Gene Takagi. To me, this is a, a positive story for, for nonprofits. I mean, the, the, the humanitarian mission overcame the uh the uh the desire for, you know, acceleration is in, in profit, in, in, in potential profit making, maybe it’s too early to tell. But at this stage, I mean, I’m not saying this, this, this is gonna be the ultimate. But at this stage, I don’t know, I was pretty optimistic, maybe, maybe, maybe you disagree. But I, I felt that with, with the, with the, with the guard rails in place that uh overall, it was a, it was a positive story for non, for the nonprofit entity. Well, I, I think the positive story is in the creation of open A I and when they first developed the LLC um like that, that was certainly a positive, it’s like nonprofits and then for profits collaborating to make something really good at scale. Um And that goes outside of A I and the technology world, you know, one good example of, of this is National Geographic, that’s a joint venture um which is now uh between Disney and the nonprofit National geographic where Disney owns about 73% I think, um, of the stock of that joint venture and the nonprofit owns 23%. But each of them put four people on the board of that LLC. That’s also an LLC. Um, so that the nonprofit has an equal say essentially. And there are sort of guardrails there as well as to what the nonprofit must allow and not allow the LLC to do so. Because charitable assets are involved. Again, the nonprofit needs to have control over those charitable assets and how they’re used. So that would have held true here as well. And that’s why we have part of the reason why we have that operating agreement that the LLC um giving, you know, the, the board of the nonprofit to be the board essentially of the LLC and all these provisions saying that investors may not make money from this. It’s, you know, really about the benefit of humanity and, and in 501 C three terms, the ability of the LLC. So, yeah, the lesson is, yeah, there are some good laws that create these guard rails. Um And there are some people who are involved that really were interested in doing, you know, doing a I right the right way. But I think on the, on the other hand of it and sorry to be the pessimist in the holiday season. But on the other hand, or the other side of the coin is, the money always wins. You know. So, well. But we don’t know, we don’t know if that’s gonna happen, do we? Well, we know Sam got rehired, right. Altman got rehired as the CEO of the organization. And yes, they said there’s gonna be more controls because the board members are the new board or people that hold him to check. But the, the, the new board members are also kind of for profit people, right? They’re not other sort of nonprofit leaders are like they’re, they’re more well known for, for their investment expertise and what they do in the for profit world and technology world, which is important too. Um And, you know, we can sort of go into, you know, some people wanted to write an immediate reaction kind of in the nonprofit law world that I reside in is, hey, these are charitable assets. They did what they thought was the right thing to do. You’ve got to protect those charitable assets and those charitable assets always have to be used for charitable purposes. Uh unless they’re sold for fair market value in return, which I don’t think is the case here. So charitable assets involved got to be used for charitable purposes. But I think there’s a bigger question too. Um And the question is if the fiduciaries just held true and said, yep, we’re not changing, we’re not hiring Sam back because we want to do this the ethical way. And Microsoft went and hired Altman and 90% of the staff of Open A I and Open A is other investors lost confidence in the organization. Let’s say the organization tank. Um, there was, you know, the, the, about the $100 million investment that might have been made by the nonprofit that might be worth billions of dollars right now that the nonprofit could have all seen wiped away and all of those assets would be bound by charitable trust that had to be used for charitable purposes associated with it. So, you know, on one hand, it’s like, yes, you know, we have to stay true to our mission. But on the other hand, it’s like we own a really valuable asset. And if we do something that tanks the value of that asset to, to where it doesn’t have very much value anymore, is that consistent with our fiduciary duties? So I think there’s really sort of tougher questions in there. And again, because we don’t know all of the private documents that exist with the, the complex corporate structure. We don’t know exactly if it’s that simple, but I think that’s one of the considerations to have and why we’re not completely sure. I, I guess between your optimism and my pessimism, it is, we’re gonna have to wait and see what happens. OK. All right. Let, let, maybe we’ll come back to it in six months or we’ll see, we’ll see what’s, we’ll see what’s developed it. May not even be, who knows the way things move so fast. But in any case, we, we’ll, I’m sure we’ll revisit this. Let’s, let’s broaden to uh some of the, some of the lessons for uh not, not for, uh you know, a smaller mid-sized shop, having a, a for profit subsidiary, governed by a managing entity and entity that uh but there are, there are um takeaways for our, our, our um our routine sort of contracts with and, and partnerships with for profit companies that, that around fundraising um around some of the other char well, the, the uh the commercial co ving. So let’s talk about some of the lessons that we can take away. Yeah, I think that’s a great way to sort of take, take some lessons out of this open A I structure and make it real for, for, you know, our, our listeners here. Um And, and I think one, maybe the first one is not just for profit companies when, when you’re partnering with individuals as well. And let’s start with your kind of realm of the world. Uh and the nonprofit sect Toian fundraising, let’s say you’re representing a charity has a million dollars in, in gross revenues and is, you know, doing great work. And a donor comes along and says, I will give you $2 million that’s twice your annual gross revenues, but you must do this with my $2 million. Now, would you automatically accept it no matter what their conditions are. Um Or would you say, hey, we actually have to, to see what, what, what those conditions. Yeah, of course. You know, what, what, what are you, what are you asking us to do? And is it consistent with our mission with our organizing documents? Uh So I’m certainly happy to have a conversation and isn’t that kind of the open A I issue as well? Right. You’ve got for profit investors that say, hey, we’re gonna give you a ton of money and yeah, we’re not gonna ask pretty much from you because we said, you know, this was all like, this is what we all want. But when you fired your CEO now we’re upset now, we want to know what we can do to change that and donors can be the same way, right? I mean, so super major donors that are very demanding, upfront when they put their conditions on, it might be something that the nonprofit might be able to accept, but you should actually know what the history of that donor is as well. Like how, you know, once they made their gift legally, that relationship should be, you know, over unless there are other contracts involved. But if it’s a gift, they made their gift, they get a deduction, you know, from, from the gift and the control of that gift lies with the, with the nonprofit. And generally speaking, the donors really can’t sue the nonprofit. If they misuse the gift, it block that, that lawsuit would belong to the attorney general. So the donor would complain to the attorney general and the attorney general would say, hey, you’re not using it for the restrictions that were imposed by the donor that you agreed to. You know, we’re gonna step in and, and make sure that that happens. Um, and we’ll, you know, we’ll go to court if you’re not complying with it. And we might find you as the attorney general of the state or the state charity official. Donors can sometimes have rights in some states by contract if they entered into a contract. Um But largely it’s with the regulator that that’s going to deal with it. But if you’ve got a donor and you see this again, maybe outside of the normal listeners, but like in the university context and stuff where they’re asking for a lot of things and when you do something that they don’t like, they start to leverage it and maybe it’s because they leverage it with future donations that they could withhold that you thought you might get, um or they leverage it with a media attack against you and the leadership. Um So you wanna know a little bit more about that donor as well, not just the conditions, but is that donor litigious? Do they use pr to attack past relationships? Um um You know, so learning a little bit more about that when when you’re gonna get a big gift and when it’s conditioned, um, heavily where, you know, and, and this is not sort of the typical. We wanna just make sure you use it to, to advance children’s education in Los Angeles rather than in, you know, other cities we’re talking about like a gift that is like, suddenly quasi charitable, right? Like you’re not even sure if it’s really charitable or not, or the condition is so strange, um, that, you know, it should come up to the board for the board to decide whether we really want to do it because of this, because of the conditions that are attached. And, you know, you could add another layer. Uh I could add another layer to what you were hypothesizing, which is the person could be a board member and, and a major donor. So, you know, they can cause trouble for the leadership because they are a fiduciary. And, you know, they can claim that the organization is, is breaching its duty to its mission because it’s not adhering to the terms of my agreement, which is more in line with the, the mission. And, you know, you can imagine an argument, uh uh you know, a, a long played out a long played out uh difficult relationship uh on that level too. Um All right. So that, that’s very good. You know, it’s, that’s valuable. That’s, it’s not only, it’s not only corporate or even incorporated entities of any type profit or for or profit or nonprofit. Uh It’s gonna be a relationship with an individual that you need to be very scrupulous about. Yeah, that’s, that’s very teddy and not to say that, you know, we, we need to be super cynical about every goal that we have. No, but, but, but uh go in with eyes open, you know, you need, you need to, you need to protect what you founding documents and what your mission on your website says. Absolutely tiny, what else, what are, what are, what other uh lessons here? So, you know, I think there are other sorts of collaborations that nonprofits may have, including smaller nonprofits with for profit organizations or individuals including like, oh, we want to like fundraise together. Um You know, perhaps it’s um cause related marketing. Um So somebody is going to say, hey, you know, buy uh some of our goods and we donate, you know, 1% of our proceeds to charity. Um And that’s a, you know, a, a collaboration that has some importance to the nonprofit, right? So, you know, again, as a fundraiser, Tony, you probably want that what that company, you know, who that company is and how they’re run before you agree to let them sort of promote the charity as sort of um kind of a partner if you will um in, you know, in layman’s terms um with the for profit, in raising funds. Now, you know, if you get 1% of, of that, that might be, you know, great money that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Um, but we also know that there are a lot of scams that have gone on and sometimes those are with, like, it, it used to be robocalls. Right. I don’t think we have that so much now in our, in our world but it’s, um, uh, sort of email and, and other sort of, uh electronic messaging now. But Robo calls from, you know, charities, um, which were actually commercial entities that are saying, hey, you know, we’re fundraising for this charity that’s associated with the police or with the firefighters support us and, you know, you know, your proceeds will go to that charity and it turns out, you know, maybe 1% 2% or some minuscule amount would go to charity. And that commercial operator that Robocall was making all the rest of the money, um for providing that fundraising services. And some charities would say, hey, that’s one, you know, percent, you know, that’s money we wouldn’t have gotten in any way. So go ahead and use our name. But in the end, you know, that could really blemish the charity’s reputation and, you know, its relationships with donors because that seems pretty deceptive. Um, uh And so you have to be careful and that, that’s, those are extreme cases, but there are going to be those gray areas where you say, I don’t know, if going into this relationship with this organization and what they’re selling and how they’re using, our name is good. So you gotta be careful of that as well. If we’re gonna lend our name to something like this. Uh uh I mean, at the most basic level, we need to make sure that this is not just a handshake agreement, there needs to be a written agreement. Uh A as, as you’re thinking, you know, as you’re speaking, I’m thinking there has to be a way for the charity to remove itself if there, if anything happens that, you know, just, I don’t know, broadly would bring discredit to the, to the nonprofit name or reputation or, you know, anything, something broad like that. So that if the, if the president of the car dealership is, um, uh, you know, caught up in some kind of scandal, even just accused of something, let, let’s keep it, let’s keep it financial and not anything, you know, lascivious, but, you know, they’re accused of some kind of financial crime that, that, that brings discredit to the nonprofit and we can, we can walk away from this. Yeah, I mean, that’s just, and that’s just a basic, uh, that’s just a fundamental term I would think. But there has to be a writing between the two, the, the two, parties that are gonna, uh, work together and most states require some sort of writing and some sort of provisions in that writing to protect the charity in those relationships, um, under a lot of state laws, they call this commercial co venture, um, rather than cause related marketing, but kind of the same type of relationship where a for profit is out there using the nonprofit’s name with permission. Um, and saying to the public, if you buy some of our services or some of our goods, the car that you mentioned, then a percentage or some portion of our uh revenues, uh, or the, the funds that we get from the sale, we’re gonna go to charity and you know, having something in writing is great and you know, required provisions in the contract is great, but you’ve got to even do more than that because you know what if they give you, what if you’re the head of a charity and they give you a check for $10,000 at the end of the year and say, hey, this was all we raised. We thought we were going to raise $100,000 for charity, but we didn’t sell that much. How do you know, how do you know they didn’t sell a whole lot more? And what obligation did they have? You know, were they holding the $10,000 for a year, were they holding it for a week? Um And there, there are laws, uh, you know, depending upon what state you’re in about how that works. So, for charities, the obligation is if you’re going to enter into that type of, uh, relationship, make sure, you know, the laws involved as well because there may need to be a specific type of contract that’s involved. You might need to have, um, that other party register and report on this and you might need to build into your contract, certain things that allow you to be able to audit, um, what that organization is doing, at least, you know, on, on their books or on their paperwork. Um There could still be fraud. So you have to always be cognizant of, of uh the reputation and the history that your other partner again loosely um stated is, but you, you, there’s a lot that goes into that and again, just like with open A I and its relationship with its investors, you, you have to know something about that other party and you have to have this mutual understanding that should be documented in agreement just as you said, you mentioned registration. Uh a lot of the laws in states that require registration for charitable solicitation also require registration of commercial conventions. That’s right. Um And uh reporting, I mean, it might be with each form of solicitation or might be on an annual basis. Um So, um something to, to pay attention to, again, as a charity, you have a responsibility to make sure you’re contracting with parties that are permitted to do the work that they say they’re gonna do for you. So it’s not just their fault, it would be your fault is the charity leaders. Um if you enter into a relationship like that and it isn’t compliant with the law. So, be careful of that. What else should we talk about, Jean? Um So we can talk about a little bit about, well, partnerships where um there are actually kind of nonprofits looking for a little bit of money um from, for profit investors who want to do something with what the nonprofit is doing. And it might not be, you know, in the millions or billions of dollars that we’re talking about with open A I, it might be in the thousands of dollars. So you’ve got a nonprofit program. Um And you know, you think that there might be some people interested in supporting it, but they don’t want to give you a loan, they don’t want to give you a donation, but they said, hey, let’s go into some sort of business together and we want a piece of, of sort of the equity in it. And this happens again in a little bit of a bigger context all the time in low income housing. Um So for for profit developers to get low income housing tax credits from the government, they have to be partnered with a nonprofit in order to do that. Um So the only way to access those tax credits is to partner with a nonprofit. So in, you know, in that case, the nonprofit again has a whole bunch of rules involved in terms of, well, you’ve got to protect the charitable assets that you are contributing to this joint venture that’s co-owned with for profit investors. You’ve got to make sure that the nonprofit purposes are being advanced by that joint venture. Um, so again, if you’re thinking about it, even in a small context, not involving, you know, a lot of money, but even in a small term, like, let’s start a small LLC together and, you know, the nonprofit is gonna put in $20,000 and for profit investors are going to put in $20,000. Um, and we’re gonna do something that furthers the charitable purposes, but that is outside of maybe what 501 C three allows or it’s only gonna be capable of doing it at this scale because there are people who want their money back as shareholders or they want to have skin in the game as well, right? Um So if they’re gonna do something like that, again, laws involve that protect the charitable assets, so you have to do it carefully. Um, you know, 20,000 $20,000 is possible, but you, you, you, you’re gonna have some associated costs and of course, if you’re gonna also manage, uh, a joint venture, you have to be very careful about, um, keeping an arm’s length distance with the nonprofit, even though you need to have a certain amount of control of it. So again, just like the open A I thing, but on a much smaller scale it gets to be complicated stuff. Yeah, this sounds like walking a tight rope between, between the, between the two entities. Um All right. I mean, you’re, you’re saying it’s, it’s, it’s done but it needs, uh, obviously it needs to be done delicately. Now, I see this happening a little bit more often nowadays because there are like government incentives um for small businesses like so, um sometimes it’s, it’s minority owned small businesses, sometimes it’s women owned small businesses and there are sort of government funding to spur on these businesses and nonprofits are sometimes excluded from that. But the work that is to be done is often, you know, in the public interest, which is why the government is funding it in the first place, right. So it’s something that a charity could do and it might be a minority led charity or a woman led charity that wants to get in on it, but they can’t get in on it because those programs are designed for small businesses only. Um And that may not have been the intent of the legislative body that created that, that fund to exclude nonprofits that are led by those um uh persons that face sort of economic disadvantage in certain areas. So it’s interesting, some nonprofits are forming for profits for the purpose of being able to compete on those government bids. And what realms are you seeing that is that also mostly housing? No, in, in all sorts of realms from uh disaster relief, for example. Um um uh So, uh yeah, and, and you can find it in uh education as well. So, uh distance learning education um largely was kind of a concept of joint ventures as well. You had four profits that wanted to put up the money and you had a nonprofit that had the skills and the teachers, right? So a lot of distance learning, um um, now they’re in apps and stuff and in websites. Um, but when they first started, they, they were often done through joint ventures between educational institutions that were nonprofits and some uh investors or educational providers that were for profits. Anything else, uh, that you want us to be aware of when we’re partnering with some other entity? Yeah. So there’s a, you know, the, the big concept that everybody is concerned about from a regulatory perspective is 501 C three s are not allowed to give prohibited private benefits to anybody, right? Not just insiders where we call it private endure if like a board member benefits too much from an organization. Um, um, but for anybody to be overcompensated by a charity, um, for any reason, uh can be seen as a prohibited private benefit. Um And if it’s an insider, like a director or officer, there can be penalties on that individual and they would be required to return the money as well. And the board members who approve that transaction could also be personally liable for some penalty taxes as well if that private benefit is extended to an insider, like a founder board member, you know, high level manager or officer. Um, but if it’s to anybody, an outside vendor and you didn’t vet the situation well enough to know that, oh, they’re actually getting more than what they contributed um to us, more than what they paid for. They’re getting more value from the charity. So it looks like it’s a diversion of charitable assets, right? So if you overcompensate, for example, somebody who developed a website for your organization and the commercial rate would have been, let’s say $10,000 for this and that person did the exact same service that their competitors might have done, but charged you $50,000 for it. And the board just simply didn’t know what the commercial rate was and approved it without any intention of doing anything wrong. That’s still a private benefit transaction. And that could threaten uh an organization’s exemption. So, be careful, um, when you sort of enter into transaction with, for profits, even if they’re vendor relationships to make sure that you’re not overcompensating anybody and always be super careful if it’s an insider that’s involved. So a board member officer, you know, that has a company and they’re entering into the contract and, or office space. I see that often board member, board members giving office space to uh to, to the, to the nonprofit. But you’re talking about not giving or you’re talking about, you know, beyond market rate uh when they try to market rate transaction. So, all right. Well, so this goes back to, to uh the, the due diligence that you and I talked about years ago around uh private benefit transactions that were related to insiders c suite board members, uh founders, you know, so it’s the same due diligence supplies just uh it applies to a, a commercial entity as to your due diligence around a commercial entity as well. And, and what, what’s appropriate compensation for them? Yeah, and that wraps back into the open A I issue as well without knowing it. But I would consider that the, the board may have been concerned that they were extending a private benefit um to its outside investors by operating for commercial purpose, even though they’re organizing documents or their operating agreement said, hey, we’re doing this for humanitarian purposes and you might not get any profit coming out of this interesting gene. All right. Well, that’s savvy thinking. All right. I see uh anything else that we should take away from our potential relationships with other entities? Um Open eyes is what you said earlier. And II, I believe that that’s 100% true, Tony. So, yeah, most people are good. Most, you know, most people are trying to do the right thing. Um But keep your eyes open. Um And not just with respect to, to um what you know, who you’re dealing with, but also with respect to kind of what laws might apply. Um So, um stay, stay in touch with kind of the important resources that you need. Keep yourself safe, keep your nonprofit safe, stay safe. All right. Thank you, Gene Takagi. And it’s the nonprofit law blog and the uh firm is at Neo Law group.com. Gene is at G Tech. Thank you very much. Gene always uh always learn more than more than I can, more than I can manage in, in one sitting. I have to listen back again. Thank you very much. Thank you so much, Tony. Next week there is a 57% chance it’ll be performance measurement if you missed any part of this week’s show, I do beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity. This giving season donor box, the fast flexible and friendly fundraising platform for nonprofits donor box.org. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate Martinetti. This show, social media is by Susan Chavez, Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty be with us next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for September 25, 2023: Possible Implications Of The Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Decision


Gene TakagiPossible Implications Of The Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Decision

Gene Takagi

The Supreme Court’s decision this summer struck down college admissions affirmative action programs. Yet it may have repercussions for nonprofits around employment, contracts, grants, and other areas. Gene Takagi gives us his analysis. He’s our legal contributor and managing attorney at NEO, the Nonprofit and Exempt Organizations law group.


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[00:00:39.45] spk_0:
And welcome to tony-martignetti Nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d suffer the effects of a parapharyngeal abscess if I had to swallow the fact that you missed this week’s show. Here’s Kate, our associate producer with the highlights.

[00:01:16.40] spk_1:
Hey, tony, we have possible implications of the Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision. Supreme Court’s decision this summer struck down college admissions affirmative action programs, but it may have repercussions for nonprofits around employment contracts, grants and other areas. Jean Takagi gives us his analysis. He’s our legal contributor and managing attorney at Neo, the nonprofit and exempt organizations Law Group. On Tony’s take two,

[00:01:18.61] spk_0:
an old drop

[00:01:50.07] spk_1:
were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity, donor box fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor Boxx dot org and by Kila grow revenue, engage donors and increase efficiency with Kila. The fundraisers, CRM visit, Kila dot co to join the thousands of fundraisers using Kila to exceed their goals. Here is possible implications of the Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision.

[00:02:35.30] spk_0:
It’s always a pleasure to welcome Jean Takagi back to nonprofit radio. I know you know who he is, but he deserves to have a proper introduction. Jean Takagi is our legal contributor and the managing editor of Neo, the nonprofit and exempt Organizations Law Group in San Francisco. He edits that wildly popular nonprofit law blog and is a part-time lecturer at Columbia University. The firm is at neola group dot com. The blog is at nonprofit law blog dot com and Jean is at GTA. Welcome back Jean. It’s good to see you.

[00:02:41.24] spk_2:
Great to see you to tony. Thank

[00:02:52.90] spk_0:
you. I just realized uh we both have red T shirts on. We’re matching today. You’re more for, but you bought a jacket over yours. That wasn’t necessary. Thank you. I’m just, uh you know, I’m, I’m t-shirt and bathing suit because I live because I’m on the beach. So I, I don’t, I don’t put a jacket on. I hope you’ll forgive me. My uh my informality.

[00:03:04.51] spk_2:
It’s a little cooler here in San Francisco. We’re in the mid sixties today. So, well,

[00:03:50.21] spk_0:
not too. Yeah, we’re in the mid uh North Carolina. All right. So we’re talking about the uh Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision and uh the potential for some implications beyond merely college admissions. Why don’t you, why don’t you just set us up with a reminder about that? Uh It was either late June or very early July decision that came out about uh college admissions uh was the um uh the students for fair admissions versus uh the Fellows of Harvard University. And then another case versus the University of North Carolina. So a private university and a public

[00:05:35.84] spk_2:
university. Yeah. So um both cases were treated together and it was um in late June so early this summer um where the Supreme Court came down with a holding that basically said that um in higher education admissions um for uh state universities, uh and for private universities that are state actors and essentially probably because of the federal funding that they receive. Um Well, if they use race um in their admissions policies of deciding who can get in, um whether it’s uh a strict criteria or whether it’s a sort of like a plus factor in rating a candidate’s qualifications that is a violation of the Equal Protection Act uh of the 14th amendment. So the Equal Protection Act basically um says that every person is entitled to equal protection of the laws and that act is applicable to, to governments and state actors. And Harvard uh was brought into the case as an example of a state actor. Um And so, you know, some people were asking, well, how does this even apply to nonprofits? And, well, that’s one way that it applied. And it’s a little unclear about whether something like federal tax exemption. Does that make a nonprofit, a state actor in some cases really haven’t seen that yet, but, um, with the Supreme Court, we’re not really sure, um, what the ties are going to be. Um, but there are all sorts of potential applications for nonprofits that, that people are concerned about. And from my perspective, you know, the decision was fairly disappointing but not unexpected.

[00:07:45.61] spk_0:
Yeah. And, and to just emphasize what you said, you know, we’re talking about potential implications beyond. So we want to raise people’s consciousness about things to watch out for, uh things to watch out for in the news, things to be aware of conscious of, in your own, in your own work, um possibly in grantmaking or, or grant receiving things like that. So, um, yeah, you know, my, uh lawyers are trained to always be learning. You, you never stop learning as an attorney. My uh law school learnings are sort of quickly being eroded by, you know, when I learned about, uh what I learned about abortion protection is obviously, uh no longer applicable. Uh And what I learned about, uh, discrimination, I remember there were, there was benign discrimination like, you know, uh whatever the fishing license or voting or voting or driver’s license laws are in your state, you know, that’s 16 or 18 or 21 you know, whatever it is, that’s, you know, kind of benign. There’s, there’s this, we’re surrounded by discrimination, there’s just, they’re different types. Some are benign and some are invidious, the, the hurtful kind. And then there’s, there was the, uh, sort of corrective or remedial kind which is what, what was at issue around the use of affirmative action in, in college admissions that, that corrective or beneficial kind. And, uh, uh, I, I saw in the, uh, one of the, one of the blog posts that you did at the, uh, the wildly popular nonprofit law blog dot com. Uh, Justice thomas’ concurring opinion was, uh, oh, no, I’m sorry, it was Justice Roberts, the main opinion, you know, eliminating discrimination means eliminating discrimination, discrimination of all types for all reasons for all purposes. Uh So which is a, you know, a part of the, the holding of the case. So, so has has implications, potential, has potential implications for us.

[00:10:14.49] spk_2:
Yeah, and I, I don’t want to diminish just the impact on, on what this decision just if we look at it in isolation for admissions in higher education, um you know, that has tremendous impact because um even Justice Sotomayor said in, in her dissent, ignoring race will not equalize a society that is racially unequal and like that’s really true. So you can take a look at the, the de demographics and, and you, you can see that there are certain bipoc groups that have um less representation in higher education that can result in less uh income and wealth equality down the road. So there are huge implications of this just in higher education. But a lot of our nonprofit organizations or the bulk of them are not in the education space. And even though they may deal um on the peripheral with, with what the impacts of this decision are on higher education, they may have more direct or may be feeling more direct consequences because affirmative action applies as a defense in other types of cases as well, including uh in the employment context and in sort of um contracting uh cases where organizations enter into contracts with different vendors and whether you can, uh say I’m going to base the selection of a vendor specifically on belonging to a particular race. Um And those laws exist, you know, protecting against discrimination in employment and in contract uh making and enforcing before the Supreme Court holding and that Supreme Court holding didn’t change these cases. But affirmative action was used was, has been used as a defense in both those cases, both those type of claims. So there’s the question now, if affirmative action is no longer a defense in some of the higher education and admissions cases, will they be a defense in employment cases and in the contracting cases? So there are implications for this that are unknown yet. But um the trend doesn’t, you know, doesn’t seem good. And we’re seeing organizations and wealthy conservative individuals who really want to challenge these laws across the spectrum. Um Finding cases to attack um organizations including nonprofits and saying we don’t think we’re gonna allow you to do this again. We’re gonna sue you and we’re gonna test it in court and see what happens

[00:10:41.28] spk_0:
and how many government agencies a, a, at all levels of government have, uh, you know, advantages for minority and women owned businesses, uh AAA preference. You know, you get a, you get a step up, it’s not the, it’s not the end, all, it’s not the sole factor but you get a, you get a, an advantage if you’re a minority and women owned business, for instance, those, those types of preferences you’re saying are now suspect at, uh, at, at, at best, I think

[00:11:29.82] spk_2:
they could be. I mean, so there are specific carve outs, um, in, in the laws that can apply for certain things. But, yeah, you know, even if you know what, if we took justice Roberts at his words, right. That type of program would not exist either. Right. So, um, you know, equal is equal and we don’t pay any attention to historical. Um, uh, we just don’t,

[00:11:51.39] spk_0:
we just don’t pay any attention to history. We just ignore what, what’s happened to minorities and, uh, in the country and, uh, we’ll, we’ll just wait, it’s a clean slate. We’ll just start with a clean slate. Everybody’s equal, which is, which is preposterous, you know, given our structures and invidious discrimination in, in seemingly benign places, uh, which are not benign. And, uh, yeah, we’ll just ignore history.

[00:12:17.11] spk_2:
All right. I so appreciate how you frame that because that goes directly to sort of like the book banning and the, uh, history textbooks in Florida and all of that as well. It’s the same kind of, um, you know, uh, same type of organizations and, and people who are driving those same sort of claims and, and nonprofits have to be paying attention because they could be on the other side of those claims.

[00:12:45.19] spk_0:
Yeah. All right. So let, let’s dig in a little deeper and, and see what uh your, your, your, your concerns are about the potential for uh for problematic areas. Uh Employment, you mentioned employment. What should we, what should we be conscious of, what should we, we be uh looking out for?

[00:15:43.77] spk_2:
So, you know, there have been some, some measures by, you know, some organizations that would do things or, or that that would um with well intentioned goals, I think, say, you know, we really would like to have, let’s say a bipoc leader in place. So, you know, uh you know, with the uh succession planning, if our executive director is leaving next year, we would really like to find somebody who is a bi park person to lead this organization because the majority of communities we serve are bipoc communities. And that might be their rationale in saying we’re gonna go out and we’re gonna look for a bio executive director um to be our next executive director if you’re overtly restricting the hiring of an executive director to specific racial categories, that’s a violation of employment laws. So, title, um, six would be those that are, you know, governmental agencies, title seven would extend out to private employers, including for profits and nonprofits. Um, and there are all sorts of state discrimination laws as well. Right. So if you are, you know, it, if you feel like you can’t say I’m only gonna hire a white executive director, you know, if that feels wrong, you probably can’t just say I’m going to hire a black or a bipoc executive director, sort of by the same token. So, um, that is something that’s just built into anti discs laws. The idea was to help those who are underrepresented and marginalized, um, from suffering uh, to prevent them from suffering from such discrimination. But, you know, some people have called it reverse discrimination now, but those, you know, those same principles still apply, those laws still apply. So if you restrict your hiring and make it a qualifying factor to be, you know, a member of a certain race that would be illegal if you use it as a plus factor, that may be illegal. So saying, well, all things being equal, we’re gonna hire the person of a certain race. So, you know, that’s kind of where, you know, there are some affirmative action defenses in there, um, where we are trying to correct certain systems that might be internal or they might be, um, the product of, of historical, um, problems. Um, and there were affirmative action defenses allowed in that, but I don’t know how strong they’re going to, to be able to, to hold up in light of this opinion. Um, we’ll have to see how it gets tested because it’s, it’s definitely not the same as university admissions. Um, but they’re both, you know, um, facing kind of similar pressures from, from some of the conservative groups who want to attack that as being discriminatory. So we’ll see how that goes in the employment context. But that let me stop there, tony and see if you have any thoughts about it.

[00:16:35.01] spk_1:
It’s time for a break. Donor box quote. We’ve seen incredible results with Donor box in the last year. We’ve boosted our donations by 70% and launched new programs in literacy, health, child care and tailoring for our girls. That’s Jennings W founder and executive director of Uganda 10 18. If you’re looking for a fast, flexible and donor friendly fundraising platform for your organization, check out donor box donor Boxx dot org. Now back to possible implications of the Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision.

[00:17:24.60] spk_0:
This could apply to board membership too. It might be a very admirable goal because you serve a bipoc community. So you want your CEO and maybe other senior leaders and your board to be reflective, to be representative of the folks that you’re serving in your community. So it, it, it, it, it’s very it’s, it’s advantageous, it’s, it’s admirable. Um You wanna, you wanna empower folks uh who are among those? You’re, you’re helping? So how do you, how do you then frame this so that you’re, I don’t know, your, your board minutes, your, your board transcripts are, are not uh are not used as evidence against you.

[00:20:16.30] spk_2:
Yeah. So, um you raise some great issues. The first um is um board membership and saying, hey, what if, what about asking for only bipoc board members or black uh persons who identify as black as board members? That’s what we’re looking for now because our board is all white. Um Can we do that? And you have to be careful of tokenism, of course. But um there’s nothing in the laws, any discrimination laws that would prevent that from happening so long as board members are not employees, right or under contract with the organization. So the any discrimination laws are specific to employment. Um Yeah, and contracting, at least the ones we’re talking about today and I don’t know of any that um refer to sort of volunteer board positions. Um that would be protective of that. But um kind of what else you were um talking about is like, well, not all is lost and it’s not like, ok, we’ve got this decision, we’ve got these laws and we can’t get to um solving some of our problems, let’s say our, our white um managerial and executive staff were 99% white males, you know, for us to look for hiring for a little bit of diversity would seem to make sense. Um, but if you tell us, we can’t use it as a plus factor, we can’t use it as a requirement of our next hire. Really hamstrings us. So what can we do? And so the all is not lost theory is saying, well, look to other things. So what you can do is you can encourage applicants who are, uh who identify with particular race groups. If that’s what you want to do, you can encourage them to apply, you can make sure that you’ve got internal systems that ensures that they’re not going to be tokenized. Um, you are going to uh perhaps recruit in areas or from other sources that um uh provide more candidates um that represent the, the groups that you want. So all up until saying you must be of this race group or ethnic group to be considered eligible to be and a higher or we’re gonna give you, uh uh a plus factor where we’re gonna consider your application more attractive because you’re a member of a race group solely for that reason. That’s the problem. But in the admissions case, um in, in the Supreme Court case, they, the, the majority opinion said, hey, guess what? You can’t say race is the factor. But in the admissions essay, if you talk about character that was um shown in dealing with problems that you had specific and

[00:20:24.34] spk_0:
now you now on the individual level,

[00:20:27.38] spk_2:
right? So

[00:20:28.33] spk_0:
not the, not the, not the race or community level,

[00:20:31.37] spk_2:
although race obviously played a factor

[00:20:34.50] spk_0:
in that individual’s life. Right? But exactly, and you can run the level,

[00:21:57.18] spk_2:
you can use that as criteria. So some people say, well, and the, the the majority holding was also clear that hey, you can’t use that as pretext and just say, write whatever you want. And, you know, it’s really just about race, but it, you really ask them to, to, to write something about themselves and if they want to include something about their race and what they’ve, you know, um overcome uh because of discrimination, past discrimination, that may be evidence of character that you can use in your uh in your process. So while that’s not a really elegant solution, and um you know, you can use socioeconomic factors, for example, in the admissions uh policies. Um that’s not exactly the same as race and we’re, you know, trying to deal with race. If that’s what we’re left with, we, we still can use those tools. So, um again, you can use tools and other strategies to ensure that you do get a diverse pool. And that may allow you to find the most, you know, um person based on other characteristics that ends up being somebody um who belongs to a race or ethnicity that you really wanted to, to have in that position in order to um further your de I goals,

[00:22:00.80] spk_0:
anything else with uh employment gene?

[00:22:26.20] spk_2:
Um I would just say employment is probably sort of the biggest risk area. So just be for, for organizations even again, well intentioned and trying to deal with historic injustices, be very careful in the employment area. So, um you know, to the extent you can um try to get legal help, an employment lawyer. And, you know, for those who are in cities that have bar associations with, um you know, volunteer legal services programs, talk with them because I think that this may be a popular area for a lot of local bar associations to provide some, some pro bono counsel.

[00:22:48.21] spk_0:
We talked a little about contracts and, uh and I, I know you have concerns about uh grantees and, and grant tours as well. Uh uh around contracting uh around whether these are, in fact, contracts can we, can we move to, we move to that arena? Yeah.

[00:25:10.46] spk_2:
And, and so, um contracts in general, um all nonprofits enter into contracts, right? Or just about all nonprofits enter into contracts. So the law, um which is uh the federal law anyway, and civil rights laws referred to as section 1981. Uh and section 1981 generally prohibits discrimination in making or enforcing a contract. And that includes any, you know, enjoying any terms uh of a contract as well. So, if you were to again, similar to the employment contract, say we will only hire a vendor if they are a member of a specific ethnicity or race, that’s gonna be in violation of 1981. So probably for, for most people, that kind of makes sense. But we have seen, you know, especially, um I I in the last few years as our social justice efforts have have risen with publicity of like some highly charged events um uh that have been um so terrible. Um uh We have seen movements that said, hey, we really want to increase sort of how we’re contracting out with diverse vendors as well, not just employees. And so people have been saying things like, you know, let’s contract out with more bipoc individuals or more women owned businesses or, um you know, and they’ve been looking at different ways to sort of increase their de i efforts in uh establishing vendor relationships. Um And that’s something now that you have to be very careful about as well. So again, no, just like as in, in the employment context, you can’t have a requirement um or even a plus factor of, of, of saying, you know, if you’re a member of a particular race, then you don’t qualify for this contract or you will not, you, you will be dis preferred for, you know, reasons of, of selecting uh a vendor for, for this contract. Um So how does this fall in respect? I just

[00:25:38.88] spk_0:
before you before you make your, your follow on point. But I just want to remind folks that section 1981 is by no means new. This is Reconstruction Era. Yeah, 18 65 or four or something or probably 55 or 18 fi fi 18 65 or 66 was section 1981 to give freed slaves the all the benefits of contracts and, and, and this is the, the statute even says all the benefits that white people enjoy something like that. It’s in the, it’s in the text of the statute. So this is not nothing new is my point.

[00:28:16.56] spk_2:
Yeah. Um So, well, over 100 and 50 years old now. Um And it’s something that, that you have to pay attention to, again, affirmative action has been used in the past as defense um in 1981 claims, but we’re not exactly sure how that’s gonna pan out, but I, I wanted to give you a specific example because we talked about it or you alluded to it in the beginning about grant agreements. Um And so as lawyers, we kind of learned like what a contract means, right? And it basically is, there are more than one party to a contract and they agree, they make some mutual promises and they each provide each other with some sort of value. Lawyers call it consideration that goes back and forth. And if you have those elements, then you’re in a contract So the question now is, what is a grant, is a grant agreement or contract? Is it two parties? Yes. Are they mutually agreeing on a bunch of terms and things? Yes. Now, is there value being exchanged on both sides? Now, that’s where there’s an issue. So most people think of a grant as a gift, right? We even filed it in our nine nineties. We, we lumped them all in as gifts and grants and donations. And so, uh if a gift, if it’s a gift and there’s not value coming back, then maybe it’s not a contract because there’s not that equal or it doesn’t have to be equal, but there’s not that exchange of value. Um On the other hand, there are like provisions in grant agreements that say, well, you must do this with the grant monies and you must give us results, you know, show us what the results are of those things. And if you don’t, if you don’t use those monies for those things, you have to return it to us. Um And, and those terms start to look a little bit more like contract terms, right? Are we making a gift for a restricted purpose, which is very valid argument or are we making a payment to get something done? Not for maybe for the funder but getting something done out in the community or producing something because the funder wants that to happen. So really they’re paying for it and you’re delivering it. Is it more like a contract or a gift?

[00:29:09.98] spk_1:
It’s time for a break. Kila increase donations and foster collaborative teamwork with Kila. The fundraiser, CRM maximize your team’s productivity and spend more time building strong connections with donors through features that were built specifically for fundraisers. A fundraiser. CRM goes beyond a data management platform. It’s designed with the unique needs of fundraisers in mind and aims to unify fundraising, communications and donor management tools into one single source of truth visit Kila dot co to sign up for a coming group demo and explore how to exceed your fundraising goals. Like never before. It’s time for Tony’s take two

[00:30:19.98] spk_0:
long time listeners. Oh, thank you, Kate. Thank you. Long time listeners will remember that this show used to be in a studio in New York City because I used to live stream the show every Friday. I’m pretty sure it was Friday at 1 p.m. from 1 to 2. And then from then I would start my weekend. Uh, and Sam Liebowitz was the producer of the show. He owned the studio where we used to do the show every Friday afternoon. And guests would come to, ideally, they would come to the studio and Sam had the idea of putting some what are called drops into the show and they’re, they’re uh essentially commercials. But for the show, it’s like, it’s like a testimonial. We would call it a, a testimonial for the show. And this is one of the uh early drops that, that we used in a bunch of shows, Sam inserted into a bunch of shows he would put them in, in postproduction. Let’s see if you, uh if you recognize anybody in this

[00:30:26.62] spk_3:
lively conversation, talk, trans, sound advice. That’s tony-martignetti Nonprofit radio. And I am his niece Carmela and I am his nephew Gino.

[00:30:40.30] spk_1:
How about,

[00:30:42.31] spk_0:
can you recognize anybody in that?

[00:30:44.18] spk_1:
That is so cute. We sound so tiny. That’s

[00:30:50.43] spk_0:
you and your brother and Carmela. I, we have this strange thing going on now because on the show, I always call you Kate but off stage or off mic, I, I call you Carmela, which everybody else calls you Kate. But I use Carmela because I think Carmel is a beautiful name and that’s your, your name is,

[00:31:07.81] spk_1:
it is a beautiful name and I’m very thankful to have it. It’s just a really long name. If I’m writing like my name on a piece of paper for school, it’s just, it’s too long.

[00:31:17.78] spk_0:
OK. Three syllables versus one. So all the, all the rest of the world, all the rest of the family uh and the world uh could use just one syllable Kate. I go with Carmela uh off, off mic. But so I think, uh you know, I think you sound like nine and Geno seven or so. He’s two years younger than you. To me. You sound like around nine and seven.

[00:31:40.58] spk_1:
You you might be right. I was thinking more 12 and 10, but I really don’t remember how old we were. But I, like, remember sitting in the dining room, you setting up the microphones and having a headset and being like, wow, this is so cool. I’m on my uncle’s podcast. Like this is the coolest thing ever.

[00:32:00.01] spk_0:
Yeah, I had the, I had brought my audio gear mics and headsets for everybody. Yes. Absolutely. This is, this is no 2nd, 2nd rate two bit operations.

[00:32:08.82] spk_1:
No, no, no, this is perfect.

[00:32:15.36] spk_0:
Absolutely. Non profit. We were sitting here your dining room table. Yeah. In your, yeah, in your, in your, is that, was that in, in the current home or was that the previous

[00:32:20.20] spk_1:
home? Yeah, I think this is in, it was in the current home. It

[00:32:55.91] spk_0:
was ok. Ok. You remember that? All right. Yeah, I don’t know. I, I should have a date on the file. Uh, but II I can’t find what date it was. Uh, you know, it’s, it should be dated with at least a year, but I, I can’t find that. So, Kate and Gino and I am your, I love that and I am his niece Carmela and I am his nephew Gino. So, all right. Do you know from the old days, uh when Sam Liebowitz at the studio used to put the drops in, uh for me in, in postproduction. So, anything else you remember about that?

[00:32:59.55] spk_1:
I remember, like trying to put the dogs in the crate so they weren’t running all over cords and stuff. Let

[00:33:21.71] spk_0:
the dogs out. Who let the dogs out. Right. Exactly. All right. Um, so that’s a, that’s an old, an old drop from the, from the olden days. Well, I, I still have to see if I can find out what year that was. All right. But, uh, thank you. And that is Tony’s take too. Go ahead, Kate.

[00:33:30.53] spk_1:
We’ve got just about a boat load more time. Let’s go back to possible implications of the Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision with Jean Takagi.

[00:34:13.79] spk_0:
Sounds like a good idea. And what you’re, what you’re delivering may very well be a promise you or you’re, you’re promising to deliver you. The grantee are promising and a promise has value, promise can be that exchange, that consideration. So it can be an exchange of money from the gran tour and promise from the grantee. That’s, that’s value. Again your point, not necessarily equal. They don’t have to be equal. They, they can even be Demi on one side. So promises are valuable and can be that exchange of consideration that you’re saying is an element of a contract.

[00:37:42.76] spk_2:
Yeah, that’s, that’s right, tony. So, um I don’t think we’ve seen this litigated, so we don’t really know what the argument is gonna look like when we have an idea of what the argument will look like. We don’t know how, how the court would treat this. Um, we’ve certainly seen kind of demin value in other extensive contracts being enforced and saying, well, that’s good enough. Um, but there is kind of this long history of grants being recognized as gifts and federal and state laws saying that, hey, if you’re going to make a grant or gift, this is a charity to another organization. You have to have some steps to ensure that it’s actually being used for charitable purposes and private foundations have even more laws. Um uh that, that say you have to exercise expenditure responsibility, which all sorts of due diligence procedures and provisions in the grant agreement itself that must be included in order to make a gift. So, is that contract or is that just saying, hey, comply with the laws so we can make this gift to you? So, yeah, there’s some more nuanced academic arguments that, that, you know, people can make about this, but we’re starting to see the attack, right? So we’re now starting to see people go, hey, um on a contract. Um if you, if you’re making grants and you’re saying these grants are only to buy pock led organizations or black led organizations, that’s not uncommon, right? Tonya, I think we’re seeing quite a bit of that. Um now that can get attacked and where it could always have been attacked. But I think the Supreme Court holding has shown that, oh, if you want to attack it and somebody were to raise it up the appellate level to, you know, to, to the Supreme Court level. Um or appellate courts might just say defer and say this is so much similar to the rationale in, in the, the students for fair admissions case that we are going to just say um that this is a contract and this is sort of a a violation of 1981. So that’s kind of the, the concern there with grant agreements is, is, are they contracts, are they worded like contracts? And you know, maybe one of the steps that some grantmakers can take if they want to be careful about that, um is to try to um make more unrestricted grants and not have so many conditions that tied tied to the grant. So not so many promises coming from the other side, right, tony said to, to sort of minimize um what the value might look like that’s being returned, but still sort of complying with the laws um that require that the grantees spend the money properly. Um So one strategy anyway, there are going to be others and um I don’t want to discourage people from, you know, looking to make grants to buy pock led organizations, but they have to be careful on, on how they worded. And so just like with the employment context or the admissions context for that matter, it’s recruiting your vendors from different places, you can really seek to diversify the pool of applicants that come because it could be very um unequal in how we’ve approached vendor relationships in general, which might be just friends of board members or, you know, um people we already know or do business with and that might be the same people that have always done business um with the organization when it may not have been so focused on de I so

[00:38:36.66] spk_0:
very narrow narrowing. So, right, Con raising consciousness. Um and I, I feel like talking about contracts, we’ve ventured into a little bit of uh nonprofit radio law school about uh consideration and the bargain for exchange. But we did it, we did it in simple terms. I think so. Uh but everybody gets a uh everybody gets one cle credit for listening, this uh lawyers, you get one continuing legal education credit for listening to today’s uh this episode. Um Any other areas. What, what, what else, what else concerns you uh uh about uh discrimination and, and places where we should be conscious.

[00:40:03.97] spk_2:
Um So I’ll, I’ll give you maybe just a couple more examples of some dangerous areas or areas of concern and then I, I’ll try to end with something a little bit more positive. Um So on, on the concerning area. Uh in Missouri, the attorney general there directed all colleges to immediately stop considering race and scholarships. Um So, um not that wasn’t admissions based but just on scholarships. Um Lots of nonprofits need scholarships and fellowships for that matter. And, um, and other sorts of, uh, grants to individuals? And are those kind of now going to be attacked in some states in Missouri in Kentucky? Uh, the university’s president suggested that his institution should do the same thing, the, um, the Kentucky University president. So, you know, this is going around, um, the same person or organization backed by the same person, um, who funded the fund, the, the, the lawsuits in the affirmative action cases also. Yes. So they’ve also attacked um uh the Fearless Fund, which is uh an equity fund that was um aimed at helping um uh bipoc entrepreneurs think that was based um in Georgia. I’m not positive about

[00:40:20.00] spk_0:
that. Say the name of the fund again,

[00:42:24.24] spk_2:
Fearless Fund. So it’s not a, not, not a nonprofit fund, but it could have been, but it was looking to, to um specifically uh raise equity um for, you know, by uh led organizations or businesses. Um And that’s being attacked, same group also attacked two law firms for fellowship programs that were targeted at, at bipoc um individuals and, and raising diversity as part of their DE I program. So you, you can probably see all of the um just the, the, the statements um and the rhetoric coming out uh about um de I programs and, you know, some people attacking DE I programs in general, that’s, um you know, on the positive side, um that’s de I programs are not attack kind of all in general. Um, can certainly have a goal to increase diversity, equity and inclusion. Um That certainly can be a value of your organization and eliminating prejudice and discrimination is a valid 501 c three purpose in the regulations. So all of that is to, you know, it is to say there are ways to deal with some of the bad news that are coming out of the court systems. Um and laws that I don’t think are very good for, for racial justice and social justice, there are ways to deal with it. They’re not perfect. Um And will continue to find ways to advance racial equity and social justice. Um But you want to make sure especially for organizations that can’t, you know, afford to be on the forefront of, of saying, hey attack us, we want you to take us to court and we will, you know, fight the battles for you. Um You know, like the AC lu and the Nation League and like those that are experienced and have resources to be able to handle that type of litigation. You just have to be really careful that you’re not attacked and that, you know, defending that um diverts all of your resources away from getting the, the job done for your beneficiaries that you want. Um And so to, to really be careful of that,

[00:42:57.62] spk_0:
but i it’s important to underscore that these are still very valid and accepted charitable purposes. The, the reduction, elimination of discrimination, you know, elevating, elevating uh uh people of uh uh lower, you know, uh uh underserved populations, et cetera. I mean, these are all, these are all still very valid charitable purposes.

[00:43:51.02] spk_2:
And yeah, I, I would encourage funders to double down on their efforts to help these marginalized groups and organizations that are helping these marginalized groups. Um because um they may not all have the resources to be able to fight uh off uh other groups that, that decide that they want to attack. Uh some of the things that they’re doing and helping to educate um organizations as well, really, really helpful. So for community foundations and other capacity building organizations that are giving advice to, to nonprofits in general, yes, there are some organizations that can sort of take the courageous ground and uh take risks um with respect to some of these issues. Um But there are other organizations that, you know, really their beneficiaries are reliant on them to continue their service services. And um they just have to be a little bit more careful and if it just takes a little wordsmithing um to be careful in their documents, then, you know, they can really be helped by that

[00:45:45.33] spk_0:
interesting point about, you know, scholarships too because they’re, they’re so widely used. Uh you know, it’s not just their own, my, my sense of the, the race based affirmative action, affirmative admissions was that, you know, that’s at, uh, schools that have the luxury of getting, you know, maybe hundreds of applicants for each spot or something. You know. So they, so they were, uh, previously, you know, had some spots designated, um, to put it simply, but scholarships are at probably every institution, regardless of how many applicants they get per, you know, how selective they can be. Scholarships are, are so widely used. So, it’s, it’s not just large institutions that, you know, it’s, that, that’s another instance of it, you know, trickling down, uh to, to smaller institutions, the implications trickling down. All right. Uh Did you want to leave us with something uh uplifting and, and uh positive? Well, now we, we, you know, we did say these, these are still valid charitable purposes. Don’t abandon your work. We’re not, you know, we just, uh, I, I invited Gene to raise consciousness. You know, you need to just be more alert now than, uh, than you were. Uh, although, as we said, section 1981 has been around since the 18 sixties. So that, that’s, there’s nothing new around the, the contracting conversation but uh Gene, we, what do you want to uh, leave us with something even brighter than that?

[00:46:37.96] spk_2:
Well, there have been some foundations that have been doing really good work, um, and um individual sort of um donors who have really been supporting the efforts of racial justice and social justice organizations Um, and they are saying that this is a bump in the road. Um, and they will find ways to continue focusing, uh, on advancing their racial justice and social justice goals. Um And I’m hoping that sort of, everybody who believes in those goals continues to, like, really be supportive of them and helping, uh, others who are in the same, uh, sort of have the same set of values to, to deal with these bumps that we are experiencing in the road with, with some of the Supreme Court decisions and finding ways to move forward. It’s not time to sort of move back or just become completely defensive. It’s time to act and act in a, in a way that, um, sort of continues to advance uh what we want in our country and in our world

[00:47:46.85] spk_0:
in, you need to read and subscribe to his uh nonprofit law blog where he’s the editor and uh, follow him at G tech. And if you need the services of an attorney, uh, should your clients need to be in California? No, they don’t need to be in California. No. Right. Jean. No, you have, you have clients, you have clients nationwide. I know that I never, I withdraw that question because I know the answer. If you need help with uh the law and legal issues and you’re a nonprofit organization, I would unqualified, suggest you look at, uh Neola group dot com doesn’t matter where you are in the country. Thank you very much, Gene. Always a pleasure. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts

[00:47:51.60] spk_2:
so much. Appreciate it, tony. Thank you. All right, bye

[00:47:54.84] spk_0:
till next time.

[00:48:04.13] spk_1:
Next week, Brian Saber returns with his new book fundraising for introverts. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I

[00:48:07.30] spk_0:
beseech you find it at Tomm martignetti dot com.

[00:48:53.10] spk_1:
We sponsored by donor box. Outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity Donor box, fast flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor Boxx dot org and by Kila grow revenue, engage donors and increase efficiency with Kiva. The fundraisers, CRM visit Kila dot co to join the thousands of fundraisers using Kila to exceed their goals. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate martignetti. The show’s social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein.

[00:49:00.00] spk_0:
Thank you for that affirmation. Scottie be with us next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for July 24, 2023: 650th Show!


Claire Meyerhoff, Kate Martignetti, Scott Stein, Gene Takagi, Amy Sample Ward & Jena Lynch: 650th Show!

It’s Nonprofit Radio’s 650th show and 13th Anniversary. To celebrate, co-host Claire Meyerhoff shares her “13 Pro Tips & Top Tactics for Nonprofit Podcasts.” We have our associate producer, Kate Martignetti, live music from Scott Stein, and our contributors Gene Takagi (law), and Amy Sample Ward (technology), are also on board. Jena Lynch from our sponsor Donorbox joins us. It’s fun and music and celebration! And gratitude.

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Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join me each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
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[00:00:38.61] spk_0:
And welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. It’s mid July. We’ve got the live music and that can only mean one thing. It’s our 650th show and 13th anniversary celebration, jubilee anniversary celebration. Welcome. Welcome to the 650th show. Here’s our associate producer, Kate with a little known fact about your favorite abdominal podcast that needs to be more widely known.

[00:00:53.20] spk_1:
Tony-martignetti non profit radio is in the top 1.5% of the 3.14 million podcasts worldwide. We’ll talk more about that shortly.

[00:01:03.41] spk_0:
Yes, we will. And Kate, what’s happening today for the 650th?

[00:01:35.35] spk_1:
Your co host today is Claire Meyerhoff and Claire has brought her 13 pro tips and top tactics for nonprofit podcasts. We’ve got much more live music from Scott Stein. Our contributors, Gene Takagi and Amy Sample Ward are here and Jenna Lynch from our sponsor Donor box will drop in. It’s fun and music and celebration and gratitude. We’re sponsored by Donor Box with intuitive fundraising software from donor box. Your donors give four times faster helping you help others. Donor box dot org.

[00:01:49.20] spk_0:
Thank you. Thank you very much, Kate Claire Meyerhoff. It’s so good to see you. Welcome. Welcome,

[00:01:53.23] spk_2:
tony-martignetti. Thank you so much for having me on your 650th show. That’s an amazing accomplishment. It’s

[00:02:23.66] spk_0:
always a pleasure. Every July I look forward to this and every year joining and everybody else joining the very first show was July 16th in 2010 and you were on the second show, July 23rd. Absolutely. Yes. How are you doing? What’s, what’s going on in the

[00:02:50.13] spk_2:
world? I’m, I’m doing very well. I would say that the um my professional highlight of the year after of course, being on tony-martignetti non profit radio was that I attended um my most favorite plan giving conference in the universe, which is the Carolinas Planned Giving conference at Canoga, the North Carolina and South Carolina Council’s put on this great um meeting in the mountains of North Carolina. And this year I was invited to do a keynote with my podcast partner, Cathy Sheffield. And we instead of doing like a keynote thing, we came up with a panel. So we did, we were, we called it the 2023 Canoga keynote panel, the Secure Act 2.0 and how it impacts fundraising. So we had a nice little panel of experts and I asked them questions and we think it was pretty popular

[00:03:15.00] spk_0:
in North Carolina. I didn’t know

[00:03:16.92] spk_2:
no I’m not, I’m not in North Carolina. Traveled there.

[00:03:27.73] spk_0:
I know, I know. I know. I know you traveled to North Carolina. You delivered. I didn’t know I would have come. You were in the mountains. I’m at the beach. It’s a little, it’s a little far,

[00:03:30.63] spk_2:
about 350 miles apart. But next time I will

[00:03:34.64] spk_0:
350 miles between friends. Come on. Alright. Alright. The mountains, the mountains of North Carolina are beautiful.

[00:03:41.41] spk_2:
They certainly are. They certainly are.

[00:03:44.52] spk_0:
And, uh, you have, uh, you brought some, some wisdom with you for your 13 pro tips and top tactics. I did non profit podcast.

[00:04:09.35] spk_2:
Yes, I did because I get asked this question a lot about podcasting because my background is in radio and then I currently, you know, host and produce my own podcast and, you know, really been around the block with all this and there’s a lot of, um, I’ve, I have a lot of wisdom I think to impart to anyone, a nonprofit, considering launching a podcast. It’s a very big undertaking and, or if you have an existing podcast, some things that might help you. So I hope that everybody learns from my 13 pro tips and top tactics for nonprofit podcasts.

[00:04:29.20] spk_0:
I’m sure I’m sure they will. I’m sure we will. Uh, we’re gonna get to them. Let’s bring in Scotty, Scott Stein, Brooklyn, New York. How are you?

[00:04:38.30] spk_3:
I’m great. How are you, tony?

[00:04:40.36] spk_0:
My pleasure. I’m well, Thank you. Thanks for joining on the 6/50. Thank you very

[00:04:44.15] spk_3:
much. Thank you. Glad to be here. This is always a highlight for me. And every time I tell people about this podcast, I said, boy, you know, he’s got 550 episodes. Oh, my goodness. Well, no, this time it’s 600 nickel. I’ve almost, I’ve lost track of the hundreds at this point.

[00:05:22.04] spk_0:
You’re so thoughtful. Thank you. Yeah. No, it’s a, it’s a long run. It just, you know, I, I, somebody was, I was on someone else’s podcast and they were, they were saying, well, you know, such a long run. I say, I told them that I latch onto things that I learned and then I just keep doing them. So I don’t have to learn something new. I just, I just keep doing the same thing 650 times. It’s very freeing. I don’t have to learn something else.

[00:05:30.29] spk_3:
Right. But you learn as you go and you, and you find new wrinkles and, and even though your, you, you say that it feels the same, but like you, you obviously bring a different energy to every episode and you find ways to keep it interesting and keep your listeners engaged, keep them coming back. It’s really, really pretty remarkable.

[00:06:09.85] spk_0:
Well, that’s because we have great guests and, uh, and two of the great guests that are recurring guests, they’re not recurring guests. That’s the wrong. That’s the wrong appellation. They are contributors and of course, I’m talking about Gene Takagi and Amy Sample Ward. Welcome, Jean. How are you?

[00:06:12.22] spk_4:
I’m doing great, honored to be here on your anniversary, tony. Um It’s been a wonderful resource for the nonprofit sector and I agree. Absolutely great guest, myself, not included but everybody else, great guest and a very witty but deeply thoughtful host. So, thank you.

[00:06:52.17] spk_0:
Thank you. All right, that’s we, I try to keep it entertaining. You know, we’re where we want to work in the intersection of value for non, for small and midsize nonprofits and entertainment. And I think there is a space in there where we can, it can be light and still valuable. Absolutely. Amy Sample Ward. Welcome.

[00:06:57.53] spk_5:
Hi. I’m excited that I could call in across time zones were really touching things

[00:07:02.23] spk_0:
today. Welcome from Warsaw Poland. Tell us why you’re there.

[00:07:06.69] spk_5:
I’m doing some training for the organization here around, you know, the usual how to use technology in this world for non profit work.

[00:07:20.05] spk_0:
You’re a Bosch. Uh You’re part of the Bosch Fellowship, is that right?

[00:07:28.74] spk_5:
Yeah, the Robert Bosch Academy. That’s not in Warsaw though, that is in Berlin, but just happened to be already being so close. It was easy to make the train ride over to Warsaw and do some training here.

[00:07:39.52] spk_0:
Where else have you been in Europe? Anywhere else besides home based Berlin?

[00:08:03.70] spk_5:
Well, many years ago before I started joining your podcast, um I lived in England and so we, uh, we went back to London and got to show our daughter around the city, um, for a week, a couple weeks ago. Yeah. But otherwise the summer in Berlin has been more than adequate to keep us

[00:08:08.45] spk_0:
busy. Your family is with you, Max and R and R with you. That’s wonderful for the, for the summer. And this is three, you’re doing this for three months. right? The whole summer.

[00:08:15.36] spk_5:
Yeah, I will have been here for three months. They didn’t come at the start, but

[00:08:19.27] spk_0:
okay. Okay, you’re there for June, July and August. Yeah, essentially. Alright. Alright, Jean, what’s going on with you? What’s, what’s happening in, in the Neo Law Group?

[00:08:43.88] spk_4:
Lots of stuff going on, of course, in our country right now. So we had the big affirmative action case come down the website web design case. So there’s lots of stuff coming from the Supreme Court and nonprofits trying to navigate it. So we’ve been staying busy, but I’ve got a road trip plan um to Vancouver with like three national parks or state parks along the way. So we’re really looking forward to that in about three weeks time.

[00:09:07.39] spk_0:
Wonderful time away. Excellent. Excellent. Let’s bring in Kate martignetti. She’s the newest member of the nonprofit radio family, our associate producer Kate martignetti. Kate. Welcome. How are you?

[00:09:18.79] spk_1:
I’m doing well. Thank you for having me.

[00:09:21.34] spk_0:
Absolutely. Glad to have you. And I realized that before we got started, I neglected to introduce you to any sample ward when they joined. So I was gonna

[00:09:31.46] spk_5:
say I see a interesting last name pair on this call.

[00:09:37.84] spk_0:
Yeah. It’s quite a coincidence. It’s quite a coincidence, isn’t it? The way I found the, I found tony-martignetti non profit radio. So I just, you know, became the aptly named host and then there’s this Kate martignetti who happened to wander along. So, so I brought her in. So Kate meet Amy, Amy, meet Kate.

[00:09:58.00] spk_5:

[00:10:01.52] spk_2:
of course,

[00:10:40.85] spk_0:
it is my kid is my niece. She’s just, just recently graduated from and to the Academy of Musical and know the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. She just so she’s professionally trained and I was happy to bring her on. We, we, we did something together on a Lark because I was at their home. They live in South Southern New Jersey. And, uh I thought, well, I have a professionally trained person and I have to do a show while I’m at your house. So let’s bring her in. And, uh, I love the way I love the way she sounded. And, uh, so now she’s in

[00:11:04.97] spk_5:
permanently. I wouldn’t believe that you were not related because every once in a while I’ll meet someone and you know, will be at some event and we’re sat at the same table and we both have the last name sample and we are not related. So it can happen. You can have a not super common name and not be related, but glad to know that you really are. I’m excited that you’re doing a fun cross generational project together. Like non profit radio. That’s true.

[00:11:13.99] spk_0:
I never even, I never even thought of. That’s true. Even we brought in another generation. Absolutely. Right. You can

[00:11:21.29] spk_5:
learn from you. Tell me it’s a legacy and learn from,

[00:11:30.65] spk_0:
we brought in a Gen Z which we did not have. All right. All right. Okay. Just, you know, we’re all talking around you and about you. Uh What’s going on? What are you doing this summer since you graduated from AMD?

[00:11:40.69] spk_1:
Um Well, obviously working with you every Thursday, you know, to record and put out something for your show

[00:11:48.88] spk_0:
highlight of your week. Of course, naturally, my

[00:12:32.94] spk_1:
favorite part of the week um getting to call my uncle. Um I was hoping to start working at a local theater. Um But I mean, I think you’ve heard about like the Sag Aftra strike. Um So, although I could definitely still work at local theaters, it seems that most actors aren’t. I mean, even me, I don’t know if I want to go, even though it’s my passion to be on stage, I want to support my um my union even though I’m not a part of SAG and also support the writers who are putting out beautiful pieces for us to work on. So I’m kinda, you know, I’m okay doing voiceover work for now and then hopefully when things cool over when Sag and the writers get what they deserve and then I’ll hopefully get back on stage.

[00:13:02.92] spk_0:
I admire your commitment to the, to the labor movement. Absolutely. Even though you’re not a member, it’s important. It’s important. All right, I’m glad you’re with us. I love working with you. Every Yes, every Thursday night we, we produced the show for the following Monday. Um Claire, why don’t you, uh why don’t you kick us off with a couple of your uh pro top tips tactics. Everybody’s, everybody’s chomping to, to hear these. I can, I can see this. A couple of people are holding up signs, you know, where’s Clay

[00:13:19.14] spk_2:
tips? I know Al Roker was just, you know, on my shoulder,

[00:13:24.56] spk_0:
nobody’s got signs but nobody put in the chat, but we’re all interested still. So let’s kick off what’s, what’s some, a number one pro

[00:14:34.44] spk_2:
tip? We have 13, 13 tips coming up. And the first, the first pro tips and top tactics. 12 and three are all about giving important consideration to the why the what and the who of your nonprofits podcast. So the first one is why have a podcast. Should you have a podcast? Because the, your board chair is like, we need to have a podcast or your executive director is like, put me on a podcast. No, that’s not the reason to have a podcast the reason to have non profit podcast is to highlight all the wonderful people and work of your mission. So that’s really important. That’s why I have a podcast. And there’s some other reasons too. If you have a podcast, you’re gathering content in a new way. So let’s say you interview someone for your podcast and then a couple of months later you’re doing your newsletter. Well, gee you’ve got all this content on, on tape. I still like to use the word tape that you can go back to and it’s a great way to, to capture content. Tony. Do you have anything to add to my first tip about why I have a podcast? Yeah,

[00:17:04.75] spk_0:
you certainly you’re right. You know, you want to center your mission. What, what, what work do you do? Who do you do it for um you know, mission uh mission centered, right? You’re not, you don’t want to go off like I did once and have a podcast on fermentation because in, in my, in my early days, I thought, well, we’ll just have, we’ll do some occasional off topic shows. And so I brought somebody on. He’s still, he’s still well known, I think in the fermentation community, his, his name is Sandor Katz, but he used to go by Sandor Kraut because sauerkraut is a popular fermented food. So I interviewed Sandor Kraut and uh it was okay about, about halfway through. I was realizing this is really this really does not belong on non profit radio. And uh Claire agreed more effusively than I just stated it. But so she was pretty adamant that and I had another one lined up to um I was going to do uh I had another one, Santa Claus, I was going to interview a professional Santa Claus. So I don’t know, you know, I was just thinking, alright, I thought, well, nonprofit professionals are varied in their interests. But what I didn’t realize in the moment when I made the decision to bring Sander on was that they can pursue those other interests through other podcasts that I was, I was lacking that in my thinking. So I brought Sander on. It’s uh it was an early show, I don’t know, many, many years ago in the first year or two, I think something like that. Um Anyway, that’s all to say, center your mission. Our mission here is small and midsize nonprofits. There will be no more fermentation shows. I’m not going to bring the professional Santa Claus on. He was disappointed too. I, I and I felt bad, I’m letting Santa Claus down, you know, you feel bad about that. I mean, the man makes his living uplifting Children and here I am telling him, you know, I I wanted you on the show, but now you can’t come. So I felt bad about dissing Santa, but it had to be done for the, for the good of the mission. That’s the whole point. Uh Claire Center, your mission in your, in your

[00:18:47.72] spk_2:
podcast. Well, and that’s tip number two. Is that what is your podcast about? Really? What is the, what is the, what of your podcast? And it’s not about your executive director’s ego. It’s not about fermentation unless you’re the National Fermentation Association. Um Your, your podcast again is about your mission. And so that’s, that’s what it is about. And then number three, in the first or first little group, who is your ideal listener. And this one I think is really, really important because pretty much every nonprofit organization I’ve worked with or help them with the podcast, I say, well, who is your ideal listener? And they go, oh the general public, we want everybody to listen and that’s, that is really, you’re really off base with that because unless you’re maybe like, you know, an animal rescue um podcast and you give like tips for heatwave with dogs and stuff. Like people will find that podcast and listen to it. If you’re the Humane Society or something, that’s a helpful podcast to a lot of people. But in general, um the who is going to listen to your podcasts are going to be your most engaged people. So they might be board members, they might be longtime volunteers and they’re your longtime donors and supporters that really care about your mission. And I think the litmus test a little bit is for choosing your audience. If after listening to this podcast, would that person, would that donor feel more inclined to include your non profit in their will or other estate plans? Does the content of your podcast make them feel like they’re, you know, they’re getting good inside information that, that your nonprofits, good stewards of donation that the people who work there are really, you know, doing, doing good work. And so I think that’s the who your ideal listener is. It’s that really close, close group of people. It’s not some big, vast general audience that’s going to find you on, on Spotify. If you’re, you know, a local podcast, say in Detroit about homelessness. So interesting

[00:19:18.77] spk_0:
how you bring in, you bring in a Planned Giving litmus test. Would you said after listening, would people include you in their will? Oh, that’s a pretty high, that’s a pretty high bar.

[00:20:30.59] spk_2:
Well, it’s, it’s, you know, you’re, you’re speaking directly to a long time, you know, loyal donor who’s been giving to you maybe for 20 years, maybe $10 a year. And that’s your, your typical, you know, really good plan giving prospect. And so I do like to use that as a litmus test. And then another thing is you can, you know, put a little, like I call them commercials, but you can put a little recorded PS A or something or you can read it like Kate does read it, read it live and you could have a PS A about plan giving at your organization, right? So you can talk about that about your legacy society and how people can, you know, get more information, you know, put in your URL for your Plan giving dot org hashtag or slash legacy or whatever. So I think that that is a good um litmus test about what your content should be. Now, it shouldn’t be like deep in the woods like, oh, let’s talk about rates for charitable gift annuities. It wouldn’t be that right. But it would be other things that when someone is listening to your podcast, they’re like, wow, you know, this is really there. I really agree with this. This is really great. I’m happy, I’m proud to be a supporter of this, of this organization. Okay.

[00:20:31.67] spk_0:
Okay. And you’re, of course, the PSAs could be any related to anything planned giving or become a monthly sustainer. But of course, you don’t want to get, you don’t want to get carried away either with promoting giving or volunteering

[00:20:56.17] spk_2:
111 little spot, you know, one little spot. It’s kind of like, I used to be a traffic reporter, right? And at the end of the traffic, you know, my traffic report I’d say, and you know, traffic is brought to you by Ledo Pizza. Ledo Pizza is square because Ledo Pizza never cuts corners. That’s a 12th little spot, right? So

[00:21:08.13] spk_0:

[00:21:34.79] spk_2:
C, this is, this is a mixed 107.3 the ABC, um, CHR station in, in DC where I did the traffic for a while. Yeah. So those little there, you know, those little 12th spots and really they’re really valuable. That’s a great, you know, you could just put that at the end of your, at your nonprofit podcast interested in leaving a legacy to help animals visit blah, blah, blah slash

[00:21:36.75] spk_0:
legacy. I’m more interested in Ledo pizza, never cutting corners. So the

[00:21:40.89] spk_2:
Pizza Square because pizza never cuts corners.

[00:21:43.69] spk_0:
Pizza Square. So they did Sicilian Pizza. Of course, of course, you wouldn’t cut the corners. The corner is the best part you want.

[00:21:52.28] spk_2:
And someone wrote that and it was, you know, read on all the radio stations. And

[00:22:14.24] spk_0:
I think that’s a brilliant line. Never cut corners, never cut corners, right? I saw what I saw something on a, uh, this was, uh, an electric company, there was a truck, it was something like Gans are electric. Let us check your shorts. And I thought that was great tag line. That’s

[00:22:34.18] spk_2:
a really, that’s a really great tag line. Years ago, I helped judge a nonprofit tagline contest, a national one. And, and you know, the classic best example of, of a, a tagline would be, um, oh, my train of thought just went. But anyhow, I think of it

[00:22:37.16] spk_0:

[00:22:39.48] spk_2:
I know maybe there’s a little pizza foundation and I could help them start a planned giving program.

[00:22:50.25] spk_0:
Alright. I would like to work with you on that. I would like to work with you on that. Alright. You wanna you wanna give us one more tip in this, in this little block of tips?

[00:24:06.19] spk_2:
Sure. Those were my first three tips. The why what and who are your podcast? And then my next group is production, making it happen. How do you make it happen? And we’ll talk about more later But the first one would be this tip number four, who is going to do the heavy lifting a podcast is a lot of work and who in your organization is going to take on this long term commitment. It’s just not just one little thing that you do one weekend and you forget it and it needs to be someone who is super excited about doing this podcast, someone who learns quickly, someone who’s tech Savvy, perhaps like Kate martignetti, someone who’s test tech savvy, they could, they could run your podcast and that’s really important like who’s gonna do the work because in a lot of cases, a nonprofit podcast has one person doing all the work there, the host there, the producer, they book the guests, they record it and they edit it, they make it an MP three, they put it up on Buzz Sprout or their other host and they do it also. If you have this one person that’s super excited about doing the podcast with some skills that’s really, um that it’s really, really, really important

[00:24:08.71] spk_0:
and I agree with you that they should be excited about it. Not, well, all right. You know, okay, if you’re gonna add it to my, to do list,

[00:24:18.60] spk_2:
which is usually how it

[00:24:50.75] spk_0:
Right. Right. You gotta be because, because it is a lot of work and you want somebody who’s motivated, you know, he’s got some, got some passion about it, you know, really is interested in taking on that, that heavy lifting that you described because, because it takes time, it does take time. All right, Claire, cool. Thank you. We were going to revisit the through the, through the show. And, uh I just, uh at this point, I want to bring in uh our resident musician from Brooklyn New York, Scott Stein, Scott’s gonna, Scott’s gonna do a song for us a new day. Tell us about the song

[00:24:57.57] spk_3:
Scott. I think the song is, it’s mostly about fermentation.

[00:25:04.09] spk_0:
So its mission centric, who sent us the mission of the show?

[00:25:08.24] spk_3:
I wasn’t sure if too much time had elapsed, maybe your listeners may have forgotten about that section. Um

[00:25:13.33] spk_0:
No, that was, that was, that was a bona fide callback. Cool.

[00:25:48.55] spk_3:
Cool. It’s not about that. I think the song is rather new. So I think it is about kind of just finding your way through the, you know, the challenges in life and trying to, to stay centered, which is, I think something that’s easier said, than done for most of us myself included. By the way, there might be, some, might get some sound effects. It’s just sort of thunder storming here in Brooklyn. So, uh, so if you hear that, hopefully it’ll be just like right in rhythm. Okay.

[00:25:57.12] spk_0:
That’s how we know we’re live thunder in the background. We don’t, we don’t, we don’t take that out. All right, Scott Stein, a new day

[00:29:10.31] spk_6:
at the moment with soldiers and guards. Even there never had a plan and, and a half empty bed thinking maybe that’s where I should have stayed time. Yeah. Yeah. What speed? Mhm Yeah. Now I’m stuck. Mm As far as the eye can see from the valley to the top of

[00:29:15.32] spk_3:
the ridge.

[00:30:10.30] spk_6:
Hurry up, steady but slow. The arms of the got some miles to go. Yeah. Yes, it is. Now

[00:30:25.64] spk_0:
Scott Stein, who beautiful Scott. That’s lovely. That’s a beautiful new song. A new day.

[00:30:32.10] spk_3:
Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. Absolutely. Doing some shows coming up. So it’s an impetus to get some new songs written and finished and out into the world. So, so there you go.

[00:30:57.33] spk_0:
Thank you for doing it. And we’ve got, we’ve got more. Scott’s gonna do a couple of other songs for us shortly. I want to bring in Jenna Lynch from our sponsor donor box, Jenna. First of all, am I saying your name correctly is Jenna or Gina?

[00:31:03.77] spk_7:
It’s Jenna. Good job

[00:31:05.52] spk_0:
welcome Jenna’s non profit. Advocate at our sponsor, Donor box, Jenna. Thank you for joining and thank you for donor boxes. Sponsorship of nonprofit radio.

[00:31:18.46] spk_7:
Well, thank you for having me. And congratulations. 650 shows. 13 years. That is uh incredible. That is just amazing. I’ve been a fan for a long time, so I’m really grateful to be a part of this and I didn’t know I was entering into a concert here. That was really cool.

[00:31:48.01] spk_0:
I see. You’ve got your branded T shirt on. Very, are your branded T shirt? You’re branded button down shirt? Yes, I’ve got the donut box shirt. Okay, wearing the swag. So, so Jenna tell us a little about donor box. I mean, this is, is used by 50,000 organizations worldwide. Uh 40,000 in the United States. What, what’s going on? What’s the formula at Donor Box that you’ve got 50,000 organizations worldwide using this?

[00:32:54.92] spk_7:
Yeah. Well, thank you for that question. So, at Donor Box, we are all about empowering nonprofits to make a difference. So we are a fundraising platform built with fundraisers for fundraisers. So our team, we’ve had our boots on the ground and we really inform what the product looks like because we understand the seasons of nonprofit and nonprofit pain points. So, so I think that’s one thing that really helps our nonprofit users really thrive. Um And something that I think also makes us stand out is that at the heart of our fundraising platform is something called the Ultra Swift donation form. So this is really a game changer um designed to reduce that donor drop off when they’re making a donation and it provides a really quick donation experience. That is we’ve timed this over four times faster than traditional donation forms because we all know that we want to go through the hassle of making that transaction, right? We

[00:33:06.95] spk_0:
say that on the show every week. Uh next donations four times faster. So good, cool. I was gonna ask you why our donations going four times faster. Alright, so, right. So it cuts down on drop off,

[00:33:35.53] spk_7:
it cuts down on drop off, which really makes a big difference because in today’s digital age, we are all about convenience. We’ve all we’re all donating on our phones were all using these digital wallets, right? So we don’t want to go through the hassle of plugging through the these long ugly tedious forms. So with our ultra swift pay folks can make a donation and uh you know, really quick time and that means that your nonprofit is getting that donation uh super fast as well. So um I think that’s a pretty big deal for folks

[00:33:53.22] spk_0:
and you have something new to the live kiosk, right? Donor Box Live Oscar. What is that about?

[00:34:57.03] spk_7:
Sure. Well, so that’s the perfect segway I think beyond our donation pages and forms, we offer a comprehensive suite of fundraising solutions. So it’s not just the forms and the pages. So from selling event tickets to engaging supporters through peer to peer campaigns, crowdfunding pages, text to give. Um we really offer a versatile uh set of fundraising solutions to cater to all needs. And one of those things is the donor box like chaos. This is something that we recently released and we’re seeing really great results from a nonprofit community. So it’s for those in person fundraising moments. So it’s um it really simplifies the process of collecting on site donations and on the spot donations using a tablet or card reader. So this kind of replaces that clunky box that you have at the front of your museum or at your brick and mortar, mortar, non profit people can and swipe tap or dip their card and give in a way that’s convenient for them and you can still engage those folks later. So instead of people just dropping five bucks into a box and you have no idea who did it. People will give through the live kiosk, they get a thank you and a receipt automatically and you can put those people into your fundraising cycle so that you can continue to nurture those relationships.

[00:35:21.20] spk_0:
So that’s for like Galas golf outings, auctions, things like this, anything, anything live and in person.

[00:35:29.26] spk_7:
Yes, exactly. It really is a great apply to

[00:35:34.51] spk_0:
all before you go leave us with one more thing you’d like, you’d like our listeners to know about uh donor box and let me thank you again for the donor box sponsorship. What what, what would you like would you like to leave us with?

[00:36:31.12] spk_7:
Sure. I think one final note, I think what truly sets donor box part is our team’s commitment to supporting the growth of our nonprofit users. So yes, we have all this awesome tech, but we truly believe in the human touch, right? Which is why we are a team of people that have had experience in the nonprofit sector are ourselves. So we provide a range of resources to help our nonprofit users. So our customer success team is totally amazing and dedicated to helping nonprofits succeed. And they provide this personalized support 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday and even offer weekend help as well. And beyond this, we offer fundraising coaching through a premium package, monthly, free webinars. And we have something called the Donor Box Academy to provide these really valuable guidance and knowledge and courses and resources all in one kind of tidy package. So we’re really here to walk alongside you throughout your fundraising journey. So again, balancing the tech with the human touch and making sure that you’re accomplishing your goals.

[00:37:01.22] spk_0:
Thank you, Jenna. Thank you. Thank you again for the donor box sponsorship, Jenna Lynch non profit. Thank you so much for having me at donor box. My pleasure. Thank you

[00:37:11.41] spk_5:
and Jenna. Thanks for being at the MTC this year

[00:37:14.51] spk_7:

[00:37:15.14] spk_5:

[00:38:43.55] spk_0:
so long, Jenna. All right. Uh Claire, you know, it’s something interesting. We’re clear we’re gonna talk about some, some, some more of the 13 pro tips and top tactics. But it’s just something interesting, you know, I, I asked Jenna was like, pronouncing her name right to me, Jen. A, you know, it’s just, it’s, it’s Jenna. That’s, that’s the only, that’s the only, to me that’s the only conceivable pronunciation. But when you bring in a second set of eyes or more like Kate as, as our associate producer, she asked me before we went live, is it Jenna or Gina? I thought, oh should, it could be Gina? It could be Gina. So you see the value of, of uh well, my, my brilliant niece, first of all, but a very close second to that the value of somebody else, you know, just another perspective. I mean, of course, it could be Gina but to me, there was no other way. Um So there is another way and having a different perspective on anything. Uh I’m getting a little prophetic now, a little little misty, you know, anything besides how to pronounce somebody’s name uh is valuable, a new perspective, fresh perspective. So give us some fresh perspective on, on nonprofit nonprofit podcasts. Let’s talk about a couple more. Shall be clear,

[00:39:55.18] spk_2:
let’s do a few more tips for, for good non profit podcasts. And so my tip number five is only let a few select hands touch this podcast. So this is not a project for a committee. You will never have a podcast. See the light of day when you have a committee to the podcast committee, the podcast committee is not a good thing. Really, one person can do the whole thing and then you might have two people involved. Let’s say you have someone that’s a host besides yourself or, or vice versa. So how have just a very, very few people involved in your podcast? Because one person really can do it all and one person can decide the format, they can book the guests, they can serve as host, they can record, they can edit, upload that final MP three and make sure that it, it gets fed to podcast providers like Spotify and, and I heart and all those, you know, there’s a whole sequence to this and then also like, where is this going to live on your website? So there’s a lot of back end stuff to, to doing your. So my, my tip number five is only let a few people touch the podcast. Number six is one person can do it all because I like to just really emphasize, emphasize that. And so we’re just, you know, moving, moving along. So

[00:40:37.33] spk_0:
I can, I can, I just can I meld those 25 and six. The only thing that I do have help with is on that back end. So, you know, your tip is just a few people and I do have help on the technical side, our web guy, Mark Silverman, uh, social media, Susan Chavez. So, you know, I produce an audio file every week and I put it someplace for, for Mark and then he puts it where the, the podcast platform crawlers will find it, Apple, Spotify, Google, etcetera. So, so, uh, so putting those two to get to tips together, I do have some help on the, on the back end. But I absolutely agree with you that one person can do. We could do all of it, but certainly one person could do the front side, all the guests and the ideas and the hosting and one person, you know, back back side.

[00:41:36.00] spk_5:
Do you remember real non profit life? If one person does it and that person leaves you no longer have a podcast because no one else in the organization knows where you upload the file to or how you recorded it or who the guest list was. So back declares very original point. A podcast is a long term commitment and that means, well, it does not, I absolutely agree. Technology of any time by committee usually never ever turned on. Um, but there needs to be some ability for folks to go on vacation and take some time off for folks to share knowledge may have backups. Um, because otherwise, you know, it’s similar reasons why you don’t have only one person in the organization that knows about the program and runs the program entirely by themselves. Otherwise your program or your service would end as soon as they left the organization.

[00:42:20.43] spk_2:
That’s an excellent point. And so it would be very, it would behoove you to create, you know, documents concerning the podcast, like if you have a format sheet or anything and, you know, share that with other people at the organization so that they are at least familiar with it. And, you know, another point would be too, if you just do a once a month, that’s really enough people, like, you know, tony has this massive commitment, right where he does it once a week. But it’s, it’s a, that’s a load of work. So for your nonprofit, once a month is fine, it really is. And you can just, you know, do it once a month that gives you plenty of time to get it, to get it all together. The

[00:44:00.85] spk_0:
only thing I would add to that is, uh before we bring in Scott because we got some music coming up from Scott very shortly. Uh The consistency is important. If you’re gonna do once a month, stick with once a month, don’t say, well, we’re gonna take the summer off. You know what? Because then the summer bleeds into the fall and your podcast collapses. People, people unsubscribe you. Consistency is key. If it’s gonna be whatever, it’s gonna be twice a month, once a month. If you’re gonna go for weekly. You know, that is a big lift. That’s an enormous lift for somebody who’s got a full time job to, um, just be consistent. Stick with it to Amy’s point. If you go on vacation, either pre record a show. So to cover yourself while you’re away or have somebody fill in for, you can certainly have a guest host. Uh, David Letterman had guest hosts and, uh, other people whose nighttime shows I don’t watch anymore. I still have guest hosts. I was gonna go to Johnny Carson with uh Joan Rivers, but that’s probably wasted on 98% of the audience. So. Exactly. Amy says, shaking your head. No. What’s that? Kate is like my, my, my, my 61 year old uncle. Right. Exactly. But you can have it, you can have a guest host, believe it, my, my examples, my, my dated examples aside, you can have a guest host. Keep with the consistency, right to, right to Claire’s Point and to, and to Amy’s point, we’re gonna, we’re gonna bring, well,

[00:44:21.48] spk_2:
I want to emphasize that when I talk about like having one person do it, that’s really mostly for the beginning to get this thing launched, right? Because it’s really hard to get things to get this podcast launched. But why once you have that podcast going, then after a couple of episodes, you could bring in a guest host and now that person is learning more and more. But I think the one person or a few hands is definitely right when you’re starting your podcast so you can, you know, get it done

[00:45:02.93] spk_0:
and absolutely. Absolutely. No committee, no committee. Okay. Let’s bring in Scott. I, uh, I requested Scott play a song that I love, love on his album. He introduced it for us last year on the 6/100 show Uphill. The album is Uphill and my favorite song on that album is a good life and I love that Scott. I’m, I guess I’m, I guess I’m supposed to let the musician talk about the show but I mean their song. But, but, but you know, you’re suffering a lackluster host, you all, all, all five of, you know, this. So, uh but, but, but I’m a fan so I’m sharing effusively, I love that. The album is Uphill, but the final song on the album is,

[00:45:55.17] spk_3:
thank you. I’m, I’m so glad you, first of all, thank you for requesting the song and taking such a careful listen. Yeah, the album is uh it’s definitely a moodier piece. Um I was my family that went through, give you the short version, but we were going through a lot. There was, we lost some dear family members and it was just a lot of turmoil and this record was kind of my way of, of um working through it. Uh But I needed to end on an uplifting note or some kind of some kind of joy even if its hard won and, and that’s where this song really came from. And so I’m happy to do it for you. Thank

[00:46:13.48] spk_0:
you, Scott. A good

[00:48:23.79] spk_6:
life. She’s been shot. Copy. So we’re reliable. Mhm. Mhm. Does he get the car? Very

[00:50:52.50] spk_0:
beautiful. A good life. Scott Stein. Don’t just stick to what, you know, let it fly and watch it go. Love that. I always love that when I’m listening on my own, that one just always catches me. Don’t just stick to what, you know, let it fly and watch it go. Thank you, Scott. Thank you, Claire. Let’s, uh, talk about some more pro tips and, uh, and, and finish out your 13.

[00:54:25.74] spk_2:
Yeah. Well, I’d like to for, for budding broadcasters, people who want to do their own nonprofit podcast and you’re thinking, well, what, what would be some of the topics, what would we talk about on this nonprofit podcast? So I suggest looking to your existing communications, what type of content gets the best feedback on your social media and your newsletter, your E news, right? Like you do a little feature on a, on a donor or something and, and you get a bunch of emails from people going, oh, I love that little article about the lady that did XYZ. So your, your existing content really should inspire you to what is going to be on the podcast? What do your, your longtime uh, donors like to hear about. And then uh my next tip is something that Tony gave me. I love this, your topics and your guests also should pull back the curtain that each episode should illustrate it for those who love it and want to know more. Let those people know that there’s, you know, something behind behind here, there’s like magic happening that’s making this nonprofit so great. So try to pull back the curtain a little bit. And then, um, my next tip is something tony I know. Agrees with two. You should adopt a guest first policy. So a lot of people say like, oh, I’d love, we should really do a story about the people cleaning up the rivers in our community. Well, do you know anybody know? And then you have to like hunt around for this magical person who’s going to come on and talk about this content on the flip side. If you do guest first, let’s say you’re talking to someone at your organization, they tell you something really, really interesting. You’re like, wow, that was so interesting. That person is really lively. They want to do the podcast. That’s the person who should be on your podcast. And then that’s guest first. So it’s you think about the guest first and the, the topic is secondary. And I think a great way to illustrate this is with Prince Harry and Meghan who got this massive, um, uh, they got a ton of money to do a podcast for Spotify. But now we’re reading a, you know, Spotify is not doing that anymore. And so they killed it. So now I read little things in the news about, you know, people who know stuff about what was going on, you know, behind the scenes. And so they would get on a call with Prince Harry who I think is a lovely guy and, and they’d say, well, what kind of, you know, podcast you want to do? And he go, well, you know, I would love to talk to Vladimir Putin about his childhood trauma or I would love to talk to Donald Trump about his childhood trauma. And then the producers working with Harry would say, well, do you know Putin? Do you know Trump? Well, no. So how, how is that gonna happen? Meanwhile, your Prince Harry, right? Like a lot of people would want to come on your podcast that, you know, like super cool people, right? Like he’s involved in a lot of different nonprofit causes. There must, you know, there’s all kinds of great people he could have on his podcast, but he’s pitching these ideas that are just not gonna happen and that happens to with non profit podcast. They said, oh, we really need to do it about this. And it’s like, well, who are we gonna have on? Oh, I don’t know. And then you look around for this magic person and then maybe you find the person and they go, no, I don’t want to be on a podcast. You want people who want to be on your podcast that are excited about being on your podcast. So if you go and look at like your previous newsletters and things and you say, oh my God, we interviewed this woman about this show. She was, she loved doing the article, she loved the article. We’ll put her on your podcast. She’s already warmed up. So, you know, I love to repurpose content and ideas um with nonprofits, I

[00:54:37.70] spk_0:
love that little shameless self promotion that the, that tony-martignetti non profit radio outlived the Harry and Meghan. Yes. Okay.

[00:54:48.60] spk_2:
Getting more money.

[00:55:06.97] spk_0:
There’s another one, you know, the Bruce Springsteen Barack Obama podcast, that one collapsed. Michelle Obama had a podcast that one collapsed. So, uh you know, non profit radio has persevered through the uh through the turmoil of podcasting. At least I believe those were both Spotify podcasts. But, uh I feel bad for Bruce and Barack that they couldn’t keep their podcast

[00:56:03.74] spk_2:
going. I feel they couldn’t do as well as tony-martignetti. And when I talk to nonprofits about podcast, I always talk about tony-martignetti. There’s never an initial conversation that I have with someone that doesn’t mention you because I’ll say, look, so here’s this person. 13 years ago. I, he wanted to do this podcast. He put all these things in order. He’s still doing it. He does one a week every week of the year, except for two, that’s 50 a year. I mean, that’s, that takes a ton of work. So I always, I always talk about that. So rounding out my, my top tips, um, I think this is a good tip, the politics, right, of the, of the nonprofit podcast. So, so if you’re, you’re, you’re the person working on it. Like, don’t oversell it. Right. Don’t say over going to have, you know, one, a, one a week and we’re going to have all these people on, don’t oversell what you’re doing. Just keep it, keep it low and say, you know, we’re working on a pilot episode. That’s a great way to manage the nonprofit politics is to say, you know, that we’re doing a pilot episode, we’re going to see how it sounds. Well, let different people listen to it. And, um, I think that’s, that’s a great thing to do. Managing expectations, managing expectations.

[00:56:28.94] spk_0:
That’s probably a very good idea. We’re working on a pilot. Let’s see how, let’s,

[00:57:00.51] spk_2:
yeah, working on a pilot, manage those expectations because that’s, you know, it’s like a campaign or something. So I’ll do my very last tip right now. Let’s call it number 13, we’ll wrap it up and here’s the pro my, my number 13 pro tip. Look at existing podcast for inspiration and validation. So, look around at other nonprofits, see what they’re doing, how they do it and, and do that, find, find those. And I found a few really, really good non profit podcast I want to mention and well, put these out there somewhere. So, Feeding Tampa Bay, which is a, you know, a food insecurity non profit, they have a great um podcast. Vermont Arts Council has a great podcast and something called Farm Commons has a great podcast. So there’s a lot of really good non profit podcast out there and you can see how they do it. You can see what their back end looks like. What does it look like on their website? Right? So that’s, you know, uh what is it, the sincerest form of flattery,

[00:57:30.03] spk_0:
copying, copying, imitation, imitation. Thank you. Alright. Cool Claire. Thank you. Thanks for, thank you for finding three excellent examples to

[00:57:44.22] spk_2:
thank you. Yes. Well, I think, I think that’s helpful for, for our other are 90 other 95% of the nonprofit spectrum. The people without the big budgets,

[00:57:49.17] spk_0:
cheap red wine is our theme music. It’s been our theme music for many years. I don’t know, I don’t know how many 8, 10 years, a long time, a long

[00:58:01.09] spk_3:

[00:58:08.88] spk_0:
So I always ask Scott to perform cheap red wine. Um And so Scott, you wanna, you wanna intro the song at all?

[00:58:51.41] spk_3:
Sure. I wrote this one when I was much, much younger and maybe a little more cynical. I appreciate you letting me do this song last because it sits the highest in my range. Is the hardest one to sing. So, allowing me to just get a little warmed up. But, yeah, this is from a record I did back in 22,009 called Jukebox was actually the first record I did after moving to New York and moved in 07. And so I was just, you know, wide eyed and bushy tailed. Although I didn’t think I was, I certainly was back then, uh, as Fresh off the boat from Ohio as it were. So, anyway, so, but I was, I was thrilled when I got the call that Tony that you wanted to use the song and we’re gonna license it. And, uh, and I’m just so tickled that, that, that you’re still using it and, uh, it’s going strong. So here’s the, here’s the full song,

[00:59:12.17] spk_0:
Deep Red Wine. It’s my pleasure, Scott Cheap Red wine,

[01:02:25.27] spk_6:
baby. Just keep on talking sooner or later. I’ll figure out seeking romantic advice from a building because I’m on it. Look. Mm. You’re losing a diamond. Mhm. And nobody else in used to find me charming, but I can’t figure out don’t matter now

[01:03:31.55] spk_0:
at the top of his range, top of his range, Scott Stein. Thank you. Thank you very much, Scott. Thanks so much for being with us for the 6/50. Thank you.

[01:03:41.65] spk_5:
May be one of Claire’s Pit. Should be to have a live musician with your product.

[01:03:58.26] spk_2:
Well, if you have a very robust podcast, yes, you could have live, you can have live, you have live music. I get my music off of something called story blocks. That’s a website that has all this great non live music

[01:04:02.25] spk_0:
that you can sample. Ward Amy Jean. Thanks for being with me.

[01:04:07.69] spk_5:
Thanks for having us along the ride.

[01:04:10.06] spk_0:
Absolutely. My pleasure. Continued. Good luck to you, Amy. And you’re in your fellowship. Thanks

[01:04:18.98] spk_5:
to schedule some time later and debrief at all.

[01:04:23.44] spk_0:
Okay, you can debrief on non profit radio if you like that. That’s what

[01:04:26.75] spk_5:
I mean. We’ll hash it all up together. Okay. Okay.

[01:04:29.89] spk_0:
Alright, Jean. Thank you so

[01:04:32.82] spk_4:
much. Thanks Tony and just to add into the tips. Um Don’t infringe on creators rights. Don’t take Scott songs and, and put them on there without his permission and license and writers Guild go because you got to protect those, your, your creators, right? So, thank you for leaving that up

[01:04:51.49] spk_2:

[01:04:53.98] spk_0:
and yeah, I licensed cheap red wine from Scott all those years ago.

[01:04:58.89] spk_3:
Yes, appreciated proud member of local leader to FM. So,

[01:05:03.86] spk_6:

[01:05:06.91] spk_0:
right, Claire Meyerhoff. Thank you very much. Thanks for joining us. Thanks for bringing your tips. Always a pleasure to have you join us on the, the show. Anniversaries. Thanks,

[01:05:16.00] spk_2:
Claire, tony. It’s great. It’s a, it’s a highlight of my year. I’ll see you at the 7/100 show.

[01:05:23.33] spk_0:
You will. Thank you. Thanks everybody, Kate. Thank you. Thank you, Kate. Take us out.

[01:05:31.52] spk_1:
Happy to tony. If you missed any part of this week’s show,

[01:05:37.27] spk_0:
I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re

[01:05:55.59] spk_1:
sponsored by Donor Box with intuitive fundraising software from donor box. Your donors give four times faster helping you help others. Donor box dot org. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate martignetti. The show, social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guide and this glorious live music is by Scott Stein.

[01:06:23.29] spk_0:
Thank you for that affirmation, Scotty. You’re with me next week for non profit radio, non, profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.