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Mitchell Linker: Music To Major Gifts
“No One Dreams of Being a Fundraiser.” It’s a nonprofit truism and Mitchell Linker’s new book. He and his music are with me for the hour.
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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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Dahna hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent on your aptly named host. We have listened to the weak it’s touched reema hussain. She e mailed me, quote, i’m a huge fan of your podcast exclamation mark! Thank you for all the incredible insights and ideas your podcast welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio provides for aspiring change makers end quote, i don’t know welcome welcome is not part of the show the title of the show the name of this show is tony martignetti non-profit radio try toe. If you’re going, i’m going to shut us out, try to get it right and also aspiring aspiring change makers. I don’t appreciate the qualification these air, these air engaged change makers, they’re doing it. They’re not just hoping aspiring trying to make change. Teshima grateful for the grateful for the love, grateful for the love thank you very much and for loving non-profit radio congratulations on being our listener of the week oh, i’m glad you’re with me i’d be stricken with a para nicaea if you pointed out to me that you missed today’s show music to major gift no one dreams of being a fundraiser it’s a non-profit truism and mitchell link er’s new book he and his music are with me for the hour on tony’s take two thank you! Twenty seventeen responsive by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled tony dahna may slash pursuing and by wagner cpas guiding you beyond the numbers wagner, cps dot com you’re not a business you’re non-profit appaloosa accounting software designed for non-profits non-profit wizard dot com and tell us turning payment processing into your passive revenue stream. Tony dahna may slash tony tell us what a pleasure! Welcome mitch linker to the studio. He is a professional fundraiser in education and author of no one dreams of being a fundraiser by unexpected journey from music to major gif ts welcome to studio mitch, thanks a lot. I’m grateful to be here. That’s a pleasure? Yes, i’m a fan of the show. Thank you. Thank you. Well, that that’s that’s a prerequisite to being get now it’s actually. But it helps. It helps. Sucking up. Definitely helps, but don’t don’t suck up to them. And you look great today. Yes, right. Thank you. I got a lot of crushing questions for you. Don’t worry. Okay. All right. So music to major gift. That was that’s. Thie, that’s york that’s. Your story? Yeah. Okay. Story so far at least. Ok. Oh, so there may be another career. Well, given my track record, there could be several years. Oh, i see. All right, so maybe, like, fundraiser to french teacher. Okay. You know, i think i’m i think i found my found like, okay, cool. Alright. So music. Young age? Yeah. I’m talking to a former professional musician that you, you professional’s a little charitable on how much money he laid someone kayman song made money off to defend, not a living by are barely squeaking. No credit cards were important to you. Wake up to some of that. All right, but, you know, we gotta start with the early days. So the kiss concert nineteen, seventy nine? Yeah. Very important to you and your brother. You pleaded, pleaded with your dad. He took you. Why? Why? What happened? Why? We’re still big to you, you know, i don’t know. It was at a time in my life there was some personal turmoil going on, you know? And so i think it became something that i could cling? Teo there’s, some transitions going on. And what about kiss? Just so you know, i was the makeup, the makeup it’s. Funny. The music. Not so much. It was the makeup i just remembered. Like tracing their faces on that old tracing paper. Yes, i do remember treyz upleaf onion skin on. Yeah, exactly. You traced over with a pencil? Yeah. So it just became obsessed with them. And who’s your favorite in the band. Ah, it was changed. Gene simmons? Yeah. Had to be you. Okay, let wass i should say, was it, wass you don’t have a favorite and god now. Oh, no he’s around. You present it alright. Still could be back in the day. He was the guy. There is something just so you know, demonic and then terrifying about you want lloyd loved you had never seen him live. Never seen them live. Your dad took you and your impression. What can you remember? Well, the problem was which i talk about in the book was that i got sick. I think i was probably too young to be on the show. I was, what? Seven and i just didn’t feel well, i think the noise, the just the overall stimulation of it all. I just remember sitting there kind of crying and upset the whole time, and i remember seeing and i remember seeing jim, gene simmons flying, and i have vivid memories of the experience, especially considering how long ago it was. But it wasn’t a happy memory on that. I wanted getting sick and i went down health, alright, so so i mean that’s all right? That’s not a great memory. So why? Why continued in music or what? Well, you only seven then you’re still doing your still dabbling in music a little bit. Well, that young age, obviously, and it was obviously it’s part of sort of the tableau of how i became a musician, because, i mean, you know, i continue to be fascinated with him for years and years, so that was sort of my gateway. Um, so yeah, it was very formidable for whatever reason. I’m sure a lot of people have that story or some variation because kiss spoke to young kids during that era. Alright, yeah, but you got sick, and then you still continue to you. Know you’re well, everything is everything is life or death when you’re seven years old, so i’m not going to, you know, it’s so important to you, but everything is about, you know, the red wagon was important, but all right, but all right, you continued on, um so your music career was kind of like, i see, like, three, two, one, there were three people in the dent. Yeah. Then you were down to two with the day traders. Man, you did your home, and you want so i read the book. I appreciate everything. I remembered it. I do have it written down, but i do remember, i’m looking in his eyes. I’m saying now that was the dent and then the day traders and then ends. And then solo eso i’m and the day traders was too. Yeah, there was two person doing a two person act. All right, um, the dent was important to you. Yeah. You want it now? All right. I just want to set the scene that you grew up in. You grew up in west hartford? No, no. I was originally new york city when i was very young. And i have tio, connecticut, my family moved to connect, okay? And i’ve been in connecticut everyone’s, not west hartford know fairfield county, fairfield, fairfield and that i’ve been in the central heart central connecticut region like west harford since the year two thousand. Ok, now i know west hartford buy-in i guess as i was growing up in north jersey, i don’t know if this is still true dahna what started? It was very wealthy community because a lot of insurance companies were based in hartford, right? And then a lot of senior executives lives in west hartford, right? It was a pretty exclusive place, and in fact, i remember when i was a planned giving director visiting a potential donor who was a retired insurance executive in west hartford, and he had a huge house. I don’t know his west hartford? Yes, they were growing up. Was it still that way? Less offgrid is a great place there. There are a lot of really great quality of life. Sort of suburban towns in central connecticut glass and very avon and west hartford. Certainly probably. Okay, but that’s not where you grew up. You know, a group in fairfield if you fairfield. County if you feel count welfare flipped the town the town in fairfield county right now. Is that southern? Yeah. That’s, southern connecticut near new york city. That it’s a good place for commuters to live, right? But there is also a town named fairfield and felt very far like when i moved to central connecticut. Like the only time i ever went to central connecticut was to go to the heart pacific center to see things like kiss concerts when i lived down in fairfield county. Ok, so it was even though it’s a small state, they’re two very distinct areas, all right. And you were? You were a musical act. And excuse me in connecticut. Yep. Yeah. You made something of a name for yourself in connecticut. I like to think so. The hostess joking. Excuse me. Yeah. Okay. Starting with the dent. Yeah. You and two friends. Yeah. Tell us about the dent. Yeah, boy, i mean, man, do we go back? We were talking jeff and i my god, we would play with tennis racquets before we could actually play instruments when we’re pies really wears one. All right? And then we segue way too real. Instruments as we got older in high school and then we met dan. So yeah, the three must go way, way back. Arika like, fifteen years old and what not? And then as we got older, we got more serious and started actually writing songs and obviously, playing our own instruments. And then it just became your right. You want a karaoke? Chadband now you actually did play instruments. You know, we actually played instruments of yours, wasthe yours was originally i was a drummer, and then i was demoted to lead singer, okay? And i play piano took for writing purposes, but i’m not good at i’ve never been proficient. Okay, that shows that such a difficult question for me to answer. I saying the musician people ask, what did i do? And i get this ten minute answer. Well, i just started drops piela well, it depends how detailed you didn’t do anything particularly well. All right, all right. That’s okay. But you played. I played plate. Okay. All right, let’s, go out, let’s, go out for a first break. Sure. Well, way with which is me speaking and and so if you stand by time for a break. Okay. I don’t need one. But pursuing the art and science of acquisition it’s their newest paper to help you bring in new donors. This paper covers strategies that work from successful acquisition campaigns. And you do want to think about this as a campaign. Your acquisition of new donors campaign. I know this is fourth quarter, obviously so likely. This is not devoted teo acquisition during this part of the year. Probably not. So download the report and keep it. Keep it for next year’s acquisition work. You know that pursuing his data driven technology enabled. So the research is going to be based on the numbers. This report obviously no exception and helps you to understand your numbers. What metrics should you pay attention to? How do you know whether your campaign is succeeding, et cetera? Where do you get it? On the non-profit radio listener landing page. And that is that tony dahna may slash pursuing capital p now back to much liquor. And his book. Nobody dreams of being a fundraiser. All right, so the dent was, uh, it’s a time. I mean, it was hard to get traction. Yeah, you didn’t have a book. Or you don’t have an agent, right? You were recording doing some gigs. What happened? You know, intimately to the funny. I would recommend that everyone write a book because for me, even if very few people read it, it was like therapy. And i learned a lot about my started process and to your question, one of the things i realized in hindsight because we struggled so much we were so focused on this dream but had difficulty, as you say, getting traction. Part of it was in some sense, we weren’t all in, and i realized about that about myself. You know, i wasn’t the type of guy who’s going to live in a van for six months in total squalor. Like i loved writing songs. I loved music, and i did love traveling. But i just never was able to kind of make that full life commitment. And i only realise that in retrospect, i guess that’s sort of an aside but that’s, one of the fifty things i learned about myself in the process of writing this thing and so it’s sort of helped me realize oh, yeah. That’s, that’s, that’s, that’s. What happened to an extent, maybe we didn’t commit as much as we should have. We committed to the writing and, like the dream was there, but as far as what you actually need to be. Two d’oh it’s. So difficult and unpleasant. Yeah, maybe over romanticized it. I think so. Yeah, yeah. Now, how do you feel about your commitment to fund-raising today? Oh, one hundred percent. Okay, yeah. Now i feel like this is my do over. So i had a career. Okay? That’s what? I’m trying to get it. But as you were a musician, we’re still with the dent. You felt like you were committed. Then did you feel committed then? Do you think? I mean, is it possible to look back and say, you know, there were times when i just really wasn’t sure i should be doing it, but i kept kept on or did you feel like you were all in then? But now, looking back, you feel like you weren’t that’s a great question. That’s. Why you’re good at this. Cool. I scored one, okay. Initiating with because i think to some degree i probably always knew and part of it. And this is another epiphany. I kind of wondered what i think. The dent, we just kind of stayed with each other of familiar addie familiarity and comfort were best friends. Maybe that wasn’t the best sort of trio. Maybe that wasn’t the best partnership for all of us. And perhaps if i had not, i was just so so committed to these guys. Maybe if i had, you know, gone solo earlier or met someone else or one of the then met someone else. Maybe i would have sort of hitch my wagon to a different thing. And momentum would have occurred. There was just something about the dynamic of the three of us that in a way, held us back. And i think on some level, i knew that. I really do know. Now, in hindsight, so great. Much interesting. Okay, now dahna there’s. A lot of hard work. There’s. A lot of there’s there’s. Some overlap between being a struggling musician band, right? And fund-raising, right. You point out rejection networking. Yeah. Um, and you have a third one, too. Oh, well, a thick skin, i guess. That’s partly right, partly that was fleeing with rejecting. Do you feel like some of what? You faced negatively with the dent and then the day traitors, you know, actually help you in fund-raising? Yes, and that’s a thing? Well, i well, despite what i just said, you know, in my mind, i was generally all in and it was all i thought about. And as i talk about the book constantly pounding the pavement, trying to get gigs trying tio get a record deal, that was really that was that was the thing that you’re selling. And so, you know, there was a real commitment there, and yeah, it was just constant rejection. Like anyone good thing would happen, and it would be almost a surprise be so reinardy you want us to exactly what was wrong with sure. I got a judge, you might make it. You being a little hasty, take the weekend to think about and then let us know if you actually wanted to play next friday geever references of people who protected us wherever you want. So that did inadvertently trained me. And i talk about that a lot in the book, which is how you came to the question, but yeah, i was used to rejection. I was used to things being difficult, i’m used to the struggle on dh when i started to have success in something that that that wasn’t music, which was the fund-raising it was just amazing. It was like this incredible epiphany and that’s the ironic thing is, there was so many periods of time in the early days and music days when i thought, am i wasting my life? Certainly people in my life probably thought i might be needing to make a pivot, but it turned out to be to be great training. What i encourage anyone to do, what i did is their path to fund-raising not necessarily, but i know everybody’s got some path to it, and rarely, as your title suggests, is it linear, right? I don’t know that i sort of have the confidence in the fortitude and the desire that i have now if i hadn’t gone through that so i have no regrets, though there is a period of time where it felt dark. Now you have a day Job during always transitions in 3 two one trend and maybe that’s part of the commitment thing, i never just quit that job and completely did. It i was getting a little too scared. That’s probably what i mean, when i say, like, was i fully in? I think i’ve always had a little too much of a fear factor, actually even interesting. Now, i mean, your second band. We’re not gonna really dwell on the second band. Yeah, two ofyou, but day trader, i mean, that’s not there, not all day traders. I don’t consider being all in it’s, not like they’re right invested in a wall street career. I mean, they’re in a stock for a couple hours, and then they’re out. So, yeah, maybe there was something precedent about that name who knows? I don’t know. Yeah, that was no that nothing. Although very impressed by perceptive i think about thiss joe doesn’t just come together. Country popular belief i’ve get email like, you know, there’s a slapdash oh, i love it, but i know what’s up there, you know, it’s. Not true. All right, so the day job was you were you are involved in non-profits eventually landed in non-profits for awhile, i’d said dalliance is with several different random things on then eventually i stumbled upon non-profits i had no awareness. Of the non-profits sect alien says good work think people, but i’m sure not probably radio listeners will know that we’re but it’s good work dahna city. We’re going every now and then i’ll pull one out, but that was probably the only time in this show. So when i first started in development, it wasn’t conscious really was more just a job. Yeah, you today just fundez life, right? My love of exactly exactly. And it worked well, for a while. It was very then there was a time where you became a lot more intentional about a career in development. Starting to music. Music was not paying off, right? I was getting hold. Yes, you’re getting older. How would you know? I think we should set the contact older, you know i am. Wow. This is so you gotta come on. I mean, you wrote a book about your life. Hold forty five. Okay, forty five. I look much younger. I get ten years on you. You do all right. That’s a good thing. This is a podcast on nobody contest that assertion that you just made you could go on the website. Make your tony martignetti dot. Com make your own decision about whether which looks younger. Well, it was saying that i was sent it. I take it is thank you. People should draw that conclusion. Other on, i think it is a self serving. Pathetic, you know, sounds presidential almost okay. We don’t do politics. I’m non-profit radio. So you became a lot more intentional. Things were not going well. Money, tight music floundering, really? Your own gig. You’re on your solo career. You said you canceled you cancel every gig. Your music and your solo career, right? Literally canceled every gig that yeah, and then the whole thing is that when i think i feel like i actually started to find my voice and got better at music, i was at a point where i was to light. Like i said earlier, i was in these bands and i was felt beholden to these other people. And then when i finally went solo, i felt like i got a groove. But at that point, i had a lot of debt was getting older, and and then what really happened was the recession economy picked out and i don’t, so yeah, i felt so vulnerable. And i thought, well, i’m already in development. I’m gonna make this my thing, and i just completely abandoned music at that time. Okay, now, around that you were doing database management, and then you moved into prospect research. Yeah. There’s around this’ll eight, two thousand seven, two thousand eight session time or a little bit earlier i was doing really said advancement services. Then i was broadening it a little, but it was still not i was doing major gifts, you know, know, know, know? Know? Yeah. So but generally, i was sort of the research. Got back. Still back office? Yes, exactly. Right. They talk about, uh, two. Two bosses were discouraged. You and one who encouraged you. Yeah, the discouraging ones. What way? Wantto little cautionary tale. What? How did they discovered you in your? Yeah, because you had expressed an interest to them in right of career in fund-raising in furthering your working fund-raising two people discouraged you. How so? Well, i think in and in hindsight, maybe i would have discouraged me too, because i was still kind of like a young punk. You know, i guess i still could have had an air of you want e? I mean, they would you respect him? You worked for them? Yeah, i mean, when it was never malicious, but i think i just i didn’t look the part at the time, you know, our act the part. Probably i probably acted young and, you know, i was very vocal about my love of music, so i’ve sort of had me compartmentalized. And i worry artists lead, right. So then to suddenly say, i want to do this very serious, very diametric opposite you. Another edward of lessons going opposite that’s. Not such a trick. That’s. Not a good word either. I don’t know. Did they use it wrong? No, it depends what you mean. We’re not going to flush it out, but i don’t think it’s good. Okay, now i’m gonna move. Okay? So that i’ll point out the vocabulary. You have got to stop my you really do. I’ll point out that i don’t. Who will? I’ll point out the high points and we’ll let listeners make most of the decisions on their own. Okay, um, so, uh, letty so let’s talk about the guy. Who are you? A man or woman who inspired you? Somebody believed in you. Yeah. What? That person, a few people along the way just sort of recognise that i had a personality that might be come suitable. Yeah. Thank you. That and i guess i i was always conducive. Well, that was good e i think part of it was just i had a lot of different ages. Yeah. Okay. Okay. I think i was and i had an energy and a zeal. And and so it’s a man or a woman, it was a few people on it if you are because you encouraged me, and that way we should be seeing people beneath the surface and look at what traits they possess and how those might actually, uh, transfer into fund-raising career or anything in non-profits so that, you know, we peel away the layer let’s, not judge a book by the cover. And there are there are traits that people have that could be valuable to non-profit and yeah, we should try to see that if if we’re ever in this kind of situation, i agree, and i’m deeply grateful for that for that encouragement, because at that point in my life, i hadn’t had much encouragement, you know, i’d sort of just been on my own trying this thing, and it wasn’t really working out, and then it goes such a long way and yeah, i agree that it was sort of a raw skill energy, whatever i had that had sort of a few people had noticed, and i was grateful for that. And i would have never really come to that on my own. You say that you perceived fund-raising as the guys in glengarry glen ross, which happens to be a favorite movie of mine. But, you know, if those who may not know it, it is excellent. Al pacino, walter matthau. No, no. Jack lemmon pompel al pacino. Alec baldwin. Very, very small, but very pivotal role. Al pacino, jack lemmon. Alan arkin. Excellent at harris. Excellent. Kevin spacey up. Excellent. Yeah. Okay, so these are these are shyster real estate people. We get the idea to get the idea for a movie that they’re special. They’re selling marshland in florida, people bonem and yet was sort of your perception of your gifts of asking people for money and, you know, part of it’s funny. I remember we went to this. Conference early on and i was i was doing research at the time, and i went to this it’s very funny nights that i went to this dinner and it was basically major gift people. I don’t even know why i went to it. You may have been that it was for everybody, but it was predominantly major give people and, like, the volume of that room was so loud, it was just a bunch of what i perceived as extroverts just really sort of out there confident people and part of it from he was a jealousy because i had been so just estranged from that world or i was just i had a very small world, and i wasn’t very confident. And then i saw these people in these personalities and i just thought, man, that’s, what fund-raising must be you’ve got to be this big, outgoing person. I cant do that that’s, not my personality, and i know where you’re going with this, but basically i came to realize you don’t necessarily have to be that way. But it was just it was so intimidating to me and then when i unpeeled back what i thought, a major gift officer does and what they do dio it just seems so scary and it just i sort of pigeonholed you have to be a certain type of person who is outgoing and brave and frankly, all the things in many ways you do need to be. But it was so different from how i perceive myself. I don’t know how you know where i’m going because i don’t know where i’m going, okay? I’m sure i’m not sure how you’ve mastered that thiss seems like a good place. We’re going to play one of mitch’s song. Oh my gosh! It’s ah it’s better this’s the dent is that this is this is me. So this is a solo. I’m sorry. Ok is the last thing i have things there, you know, he’s making this transition now getting serious about ah career in in fund-raising so things are looking up it’s ah, mitch linker. Yeah. Solo solo. Better anything else you want to say to lead into it? Well, this was never never. It was recorded as a demo, but it never went anywhere. I never did an album, you know, i didn’t put it on itunes or anything. But this was right at the moment that i basically stopped. So this is the first time anyone in the world so all right, so it’s podcasts, or you can play it back. You know, i could build buy-in anywhere you cannot buy. Give me a call, i’ll send you guys here. It is better. Which hyre two. Nice. Just get lucky. So, wait, king. Yeah, i’ll be down for a little while. Wait. Right? Duitz wait. Kapin wait. Two. Events back-up snusz buy-in hyre latto buy-in duitz hands. Krauz hyre mitch linker, better you heard here on non-profit radio. The only place you will we just take a break. Wagner, cpas. They really do go way beyond the numbers that typical cpas get mired in the guides they have. They have a couple dozen guides for you online. They’re going to help you sort your way through technical stuff because they break it down and make it simple for you. These are written specifically for non-profits, for instance, orders committee versus finance committee. That’s a that’s. A document they have. What one of different roles they break it down. Independent contractor versus employee checklist. Yes. You need a checklist. I just had attorney tom will sell on just talking about this. That was the november third show. You don’t want to make a mistake between contractor an employee and be penalized disaster recovery plan it’s another guide that wagner has for you. I’ve had a guest talking about that darvill arika last time she was on was june twenty third talking about your disaster recovery plan if your church wittner has a church internal audit plan, okay, you’re reviewing your bank statements each month. There’s a bank statement review form. All right, you get the idea way beyond the numbers. Take a look at everything they have go. Wagner, cpas dot com quick resource is then guides apolo ce software. You’re a non-profit but you use accounting software made for a business. I never thought of this. I never thought of that dichotomy. That’s a good word, but but it exists. And until apple owes brought enlightenment to me, i hadn’t. I had never thought about this. Why do you need non-profit software? Accounting software fundez counting that’s the difference. Fundacao n’t ing you have these different designated buckets funds of money and you don’t want to use the money designated the scholarships for the gymnasium renovation project. Mitch, you work in education, fund-raising you wouldn’t want to do that, would you? No, thank you. Now be quiet. You need to you need to separate account for each fund-raising appaloosa counting don’t use quickbooks and terrible cash. Where do you go for this non-profit wizard dot com now time for tony steak too. Thank you. Thank you. Twenty seventeen that’s what? My video says this year if you are listening in any of the different channels which we’re going to get through very shortly, it’s. Coming up. If you are getting my insider alerts in your inbox every single week, i know mitch lincoln gets them. You do much, don’t you? Thank you, never quite. Yes, i am grateful if you’re if you’re following on twitter, you’re retweeting about the show if you’re loving the show in-kind whatever method, however chan, whatever channel you used to show your love for non-profit radio i say thank you, i really do not mean mitch is breaking up, but i’m no, my gratitude is sincere, you know that. So if you want to see it on video, go to tony martignetti dot com. The video was called thank you. Twenty seventeen and i do thank you that’s through the live listen, love natural flow, right? What we got, we got leads new york, tampa, florida, woodbridge, new jersey, woodbridge so consistent i’m love with woodbridge, new jersey. Who are you? Identify yourself, please. I want to shout you out by name. Indianapolis indiana live listen loved indianapolis, indiana falik city, utah live listener loved each of our listeners who are domestic and over in the u k of course, we don’t know which country is that ireland, england, scotland or whales? We don’t know, i don’t presume live listen love to the united kingdom listener, listeners actually that’s multiple listen, multiple listeners germany, guten tag sudan, i think that’s first time with us sudan welcome, afghanistan, you’ve been with us before poland. You’ve been with us before. Thank you so much. Live listener love to all of you each of you individually and collected the live listening audience. The podcast pleasantries over twelve thousand of you, our main channel. Thank you for hanging in there, subscribing listening week after week after week after week after week of non-profit radio my god, you stay with it, it’s. Remarkable! I’m going to make sure you do good. Don’t blame me now so grateful but non-profit radio keeps you entertained and fulfilled podcast pleasantries to our podcast listeners and the affiliate affections go out to the am and fm listeners in our stations throughout the country. From upstate new york, too. Seattle and portland, oregon. And salem, oregon. And everywhere in between but lots of places in between some places a good number, a decent, decent number in between affiliate affections to the am fm listeners, thanks to your station for carrying us. Thanks to you for listening on am and fm. Okay, mitch liquor. We’re back to you now. Thank you for standing by. Thank you for your minor contributions. Okay, so things are picking up and you start to self teach yourself. You, uh you got conferences, books, you’re you’re diving in. Yeah. Self self education. Yeah, yeah. I just immerse myself again. I completely abandoned music to this day. I haven’t arika on dh. I just committed myself one hundred percent tio fund-raising and yeah, i just i tried teo network as much as i could. And this wasn’t a cringe moment for you when i played better, was it? Um, you’re dying inside aren’t dying inside where? It’s a little embarrassing that’s ok? Really? No, no. I mean, i’m proud of you. I’m proud of it. Well, there you go. All right. No embarrassment. All right? You may feel embarrassed, but you’re gonna play the whole thing. But that’s, just a sample here. We were all in non-profit it was all one hundred percent in committed to the worst humor. But i committed to it. You know, that’s that’s what distinguishes most people would cut their losses. Oh, no, not me. Oh, i’m in. I’ll be the joke to death until i until either i get sick of it. Which that’s. A very high threshold. And that’s. Happening right now, you’re witnessing it says you says you, you’re not one to judge dahna i don’t know why i just i’m just declaring you sure you’re not you’re not judgment worthy. All right, so you you developed a cut. You eventually you you found a coach, you found a couple of coaching? Yeah, mentors. This is important to you as your sort of removing your way into now you’re in major gifts and you’re blowing some things which everyone does. This is not an embarrassment. I have not as many as you, but i’ve blown things bonem coach and mentor mentors coach is very important to you. One of the few key takeaways for anyone who’s might be interested in the book or maybe thinking about major gifts. One of them is for me was transformational, and i just think everyone should probably no matter what you’re doing in life would be great to have a coach and mentor. But for me having that like one on one follow-up just dialogue, having someone you can go to and run situations by and sort of talk things out with someone who has experience and he’s been around the block. And has seen everything. It really changed my life because i was struggling. I again, i educated myself, but when i was trying to practically apple, you know, apply what i had read or studied. I just wasn’t comfortable and this sky and then a number of people who i met, i’ve a long list of mentors really changed everything for me. And so again, anything in life you probably need people to look up to, but certainly with major gifts. I would definitely encourage anyone to just find someone outside of your environment outside of your job. Somebody doesn’t know the players who can objectively just sort of look at situations and talking through them. And if you are someone who is experienced looks to take on look to help people, i mean, we need to go any further. The profession is not only you know, of course, yes, if you are new to the profession. Absolutely, mitch is vice advice is very sound. But ifyou’re mortem or experience looked looked to help. You know we got we got to elevate the profession, whether it’s fund-raising or whether it is one of the back office. Yeah. Important back office. Functions give processing or prospect, prospect research database management. You know, we gotta elevate. You gotta elevate the profession. We all have a responsibility to bring up those of us who are ah, you’re newer. Yeah, you know, and it’s and it’s so much fun. It’s fun, teo. And i think most people want to give back and want to help. And, you know, the few times i’ve had the opportunity to kind of pay it forward, i found it incredibly fulfilling. So you’re right. It’s, a two way street complain and you tell some very good stories in the book about how just simple conversations in the thirty minute conversation, you know, huge. You see epiphanies? Yeah, exactly how exactly is that a mixed metaphor? See epiphanies having epiphany when you see an epiphany? I don’t know if you could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s, stick with that. I don’t know if you see an epiphany or you just can you stand? Can you see an epiphany? Sam doesn’t know. Yes, cristal’s, he’s, except the man surrounded by crystals. But i think it’s happened. I’ve thought about it, i think it’s having epiphanies that you have a different all right. U s a let’s now, now you’re a bona fide major gift officer, you’re you’re getting over the hurdles thanks to the coaches and tours, you’ve got some practical advice that that you like around let’s start with the donor now you’re in a solicitation, right meeting dahna preemption, that was a tough one for you one guy, one guy wrangled you twice meaning go ahead, i’ll let you explain preemption in case someone is not aware of what we’re talking about and i don’t know, i don’t appreciate that might be a term that i just, you know, it don’t quantified you have, you know, basically, when you have a number in mind or a gift you want to talk about and then the donor they, you know, had you off the path early in the conversation, so don’t worry about yeah, i know why you’re here. I’m going to give the three thousand dollars i gave you generally, you know you’ve got fifty thousand in your mind, exactly. They’re committed to their three thousand dollar gift from last year, so that’s one of one hundred things that hurt the type of scenarios that are difficult to navigate you really only know through experience and through having p experience. I mean, the experiences krauz you didn’t sail, you have to fail, get some help from a which makes your and go out and do it again because you gotta you gotta keep taking by two the apple, right? So, it’s a little practical advice around preemption. What do you do? You throw out ah, boy. It’s happened. Okay, let’s, hear hypothetical. Well, from the book you’ve got. I don’t remember. I forget what number you had in mind. But let’s, stick with my hypothetical okay, yeah. You’ve got fifty thousand your mind in the first five minutes of conversation, you know, agreed the person he says, look, i know why you’re here. I’m going, i promise you, i’m going to the same three thousand i did last year and then he pivots to a different subject. Now you’re off. That’s your oft e-giving subject thanks to the right, the donor and preemption. What’s your advice? Well, you know, it depends largely on the report. If you feel comfort that’s sort of. Why, for my experience will dictate how far you’re gonna push. Sometimes you’re just going to say thank you and move on and hope the next time you khun growing more prepared. You know, i think sometimes maybe thank you, but thank you, but which is sort of what i was going to say that, you know, if you have a report there’s comfort if you just sort of very authentically and genuinely and politely say, that’s great. I appreciate that. But, you know, i’ve really been looking forward to talk with you. I have a couple ideas that i actually want to share with you. Would it be okay to let you know we were thinking, you know, most times people are going to say, ok, sure, we want to hear what you had in mind and maybe it’s tied to a naming opportunity that it’s a zoo has a certain level that sort of, you know, dictates that, uh, yeah, you know, sort of those things that are our scholarship at a certain minimum. So they’re these tools to kind of help you navigate that, but really it’s it’s having the boldness and and then the comfort teo continue that conversation, and sometimes it goes well and, you know, it really all depends. Yeah, okay, you talk about urgency, urgency and contacts. Yeah, you like those? Those that’s what i learned from my key mentor. Okay, for shut out. Yeah. You know, context is just sort of explaining, you know, you have numbers in your mind when you’re talking to the donor, basically sort of justifying the number and explaining why someone’s gift is important and, you know, the end of the day when you’re raising money, it always comes down to a small number of people who are really bringing in who are giving a pass majority, the money, whether you’re talking about a small campaign or very, very large campaign, it always comes down to a small number of people, and by context, i like to sort of convey that to donors and sort of let them know you’re in a small group of people that were going to help bring about real change to save and change lives. There aren’t that many people out there, you know you are one of the few so that’s sort of the context. Is there’s actually something? Pierre ical research i was just reading, like with in the past two months or so, a report about someone had done some experimentation around different types of materials. What one printed said, you know, all together we can prevent hunger in the community or something, and the other was you can be a change maker. You and it’s always so is the global or their full community versus targeting the individual. And that individual marketing piece did much better write. Interesting. You are the change maker, you’re the you’re the you’re the pivot. You’re the critical link in this right in this problem in our community. You the solo? Yeah, that’s, great that’s going so that’s. So that’s your contact context piece just sort of really just explaining how important someone is tio urgently, then the difference that they can make and why? So that that’s that’s that was hugely helpful. May and having this giving conversations so don’t like setting the table urgency. Urgency is, you know, just putting parameters so that so that there’s a reason to have a conversation at a certain time like capital campaigns are all about urgency oftentimes it’s a very arbitrary timetable, but it gives you license to talk about giving at a certain time because there’s a deadline, you know, political. Campaigns it’s more finite. It really is, you know, there’s election day. But other campaigns often times it’s just sort of a random period of time, but it it’s a great tool. It helps gift officers. It helps fund raisers sort of justify why you’re having conversation at a certain period of time. So it’s an instrument to help move conversations along. How do you deal with the rejection that being rejected in music helped you? I helped you achieve in fund-raising i mean, you don’t get everything that you asked for now in from donors. How do you how do you process it? What do you thinking about? You know, help people who are struggling with this here’s. How i feel about that. There are many times when i come out of the visit or situation. Or maybe after a follow-up and the gift doesn’t come through. But i still feel ten feet tall and it’s because i feel as though i did the right thing. You know, i feel like i asked for a gift that made sense. It was well received. You know, maybe your daughter will say that’s the right number two house for or i appreciate you coming to me, but now is not the right time or this isn’t the right project, but it’s very amicable and it’s not a negative experience for for anybody, you know, there’ve been plenty of times where i didn’t get the gift, but i feel good. I feel like i was brave and i had the conversation they need to be had and it was the right one, but for whatever reason, it just wasn’t the right timing for the donor. Yeah, further donor, exactly, and oftentimes no is just know now, but, you know, for six knows you’re halfway to ah six knows you’re halfway to her, yes, but i’d like to say, but what about when you walk out on you? Not feeling so good? Like maybe i’ll let the institution down, like i didn’t know there was an opening and i didn’t seize it. Yeah, you walk out regretful? How do you process that? And then, you know, carry on, because a couple of days later, you’re gonna have another donor meeting. I do beat myself up about it, i as i get older, i feel like i’m still in the infancy of my career. I’m going to be learning to the day i retire, which hopefully will be decades from now on. I’m trying to beat myself up less about it, but basically i just try to learn from every experience i literally will write down how something went, what i think it could have done differently. I’ll talk to my mentors, i still have my coaches and i just try to learn from every experience and most importantly, i hope that the relationship is preserved. I didn’t do any damage and generally don’t that’s key, the relationship is over. Absolutely no, we long to always go back. It’s a long term it’s a relationship? Yeah. It’s. Long term, based on trust and absolutely and it’s about the institution. Yeah, about the institution. Excellent. Let’s, take a little break. Tell us. Credit card and payment processing. This is a passive residual revenue stream that pays you each month as one of their partner non-profits. You are going to earn fifty percent of every dollar that tell. Oh skits. Half of what they earned from the businesses that you refer to them goes to you that’s revenue with a long tail. They have an exclusive. Offer for non-profit radio listeners this really is only available to you. Referral business tell us, is going to look at their their credit card processing thie statement, and if tellers cannot save them money, then tell us, is going to give your non-profit two hundred fifty dollars, if they can’t help it. If i can help the business, you get two hundred fifty dollars. That happens each time you refer someone to tell us, and they’re just not able to save the money. Now most cases, of course, there are gonna be able to save the money, but if they’re not, you get two hundred fifty dollars if they are and then, if the company does indeed move their credit card payment processing to tell us you get that residual income fifty percent of every dollar that tell us earns all right now, the two fifty part that’s for non-profit radio listeners only that is only for you. Congratulations. All right, so you want to take advantage of this? Where’d you go, teo to do it, you go to tony dot, m a slash tony. Tell us that is the only place that you’re going to find the two hundred fifty dollars, offer at tony dahna. May slash tony, tell us. Try to get them some referrals and get you some long term revenue. All right, mitch liquor, that was called, you much clinker beauty, that it’s been known to happen. Yeah, sorry, okay, i admit it. I mean, i applied myself for being being honest enough to say congratulations. Thank you very much. Small victories. I’m very important to me. I amuse myself. If no one else, i amuse myself on the most damning me who’s. All right, well, if you’re not, i still have so and that’s. What this is the center of the universe is me so. Let’s, see where we are. Okay, so you’re the institution. Yes, you’re. I mean, you’re sort of keeping in mind that it’s, the institution that you’re asking for it does not help you in d personalizing this whole process. Exactly. I was going to say that. Thank you for saying that because that’s something that i’ve learned and i talk about this in the book with music, it was personal. When i was rejected, they were saying we don’t like your orders. It’s, your honor, i don’t like your voice go as your art. You’re right, we’re not this this your art it’s not about me. When fundez it’s not about the solicitor it’s about the mission of the organization and that’s how you can remove yourself too. And you just want to do the best thing on behalf of that organization because it’s mission driven, you’re tryingto again safe and change lives. And so, you know, i lament of something doesn’t know so they go well, because i do to an extent feel so i’d like the organization down, and hopefully i can do better in the future. But it’s not about you, it’s. Not about being a great fundraiser or having the magic words to say or, you know, here career it’s about the lives that aaron backed you do have to keep going out? Yes, you know, you’re gonna have to get over the rejection and put on the brave face for the next meeting with the next donor a couple days later and for your next meeting with that donor that you feel like you didn’t do so well with you’ve got to keep getting out, you’ve got it, builds your experience absolutely, the more you’re out there, exactly, the thicker skin you’ll get, and the more experiences you have, yeah, every experience you have it’s like, okay, that will never happen that exact same way again, because i will learn from that moment. So after there’s no, it’s not, and this is a funny thing i talk about the book it’s like experience, but also being reflective and having people who are training you because i spent a lot of time out in the road and i wasn’t making progress because i was making the same mistakes again, and i didn’t have the tools to get beyond those mistakes. So it’s a combination of that. Experience and then really working at it and i again, i feel like i’m just starting, um, i learned every day how long have you been a major give fundraiser? I’ve basically been doing i’ve been in major gifts over ten years now, but i mean, i started in research, or i’ve been yeah, i know, but i mean, frontline fund-raising yeah, not indicate eleven years. Yeah, alright, yeah. Ten, twelve years. Yeah. Uh, you have a love hate relationship with travel. Yeah, yeah, i and c i romanticize it. I do enjoy travel, but it is. Romanticize it leading up to the trip. Yeah, right. Yes. I’m going to call again way hotel. Quiet and then you’re on the trip. Not so much. Well, it’s, just it’s. A lot of work is a lot of work. A lot of things can go wrong, especially when you’re tryingto beyond dealing with the travel. Just navigating all these visits and meetings that may change or being thrust it’s exhausting. But i feel like a conquering hero when i come back from a trip, you know, having been through it’s it’s very, i think it’s a powerful experience and it’s so great. When you have a trip and you get to see a lot of different people, because and this is a point, i want to get to that it’s the best Job in the world and 1 of the reasons for that is you meet so many interesting people, you would never meet otherwise successful people, people who are doing great things in the world, people who’ve who’ve had extraordinary experiences and you’re given this opportunity to talk with them. And you know, if you go on a trip and you’re on the road for a week and you have ten or fifteen meetings, my god, what an incredible opportunity to to see the world through the the eyes of these people who have done extraordinary things, it’s incredible, the people i’ve met who i would never have met otherwise you only travel tips for a long trip, not just like a couple of two or three nighter, but suppose you’re after ten nights, years ago, we used to have ah, what i like to be called that tony’s no style tips, tony’s travel tips hard to believe it would be in a liberation, but tony’s travel tips travel doesn’t that’s not t teacher now. So anyway, we had started there years ago. I just used to plead with the regular contributors to give me a style tip or something weird, the more formative years still tryingto master this podcasting still am travel tips for people on the road for, you know, a week or more. Well, it’s funny, i actually i was going to put this in the book, and i didn’t. So there’s there is more material out there. I wrote sort of things basically travel tips, right? There’s gonna be a volume two sequel, so i have many, many things. A lot of it is a really all right. Well, one thing i’ll say for fund-raising in-kind non-profit your listeners always have back-up meeting set because you’re going to have cancellations, things are going to move around. So that’s something i’ve learned, i would just be crestfallen when i’d have a triple set and then one by one meetings with follow-up hard. Now i find myself in a starbucks just depressed, you know, you’re on the institutions nickel to exactly what am i doing in san francisco? Back-up trips? Back-up visit visits is key what are some other? Good tips that i have durney too many, all right. Well, yes, when you travel, you do that’s. What i like to do is a sort of i guess these air back-up i’m in town, then i call people who have always said now, you know, i don’t want you to come to just to visit me. Yeah, i get that. So actually, sometimes i would go just to visit them, and then i would build a trip around them, but i’d say, you know, i’m gonna be in town to see somebody else in a couple days or or depending on the person, i’m not even spring it on them, like the night before or day before because a lot of people planned e-giving e-giving consulting mostly retired, you know, now they do have, you know, if you get him out of there with a doctor’s appointment, then i am that wipes out the whole day. Sure, now i have a doctor. Point ten now, four o’clock dinner. No dinner now. I wouldn’t do that. I have a doctor appointment. Ten o’clock. I can’t make the dinner, so you run that risk. But you know, if you’re in town for another couple days, you can still say, you know so well don’t like to know that you came for them. Yes, there are there’s a cadre of people who like to visit you, we’ll take the visit yet as long as they don’t feel that you’re there. The reason you came? Yes, absolutely, and a cz related to that. I’ve found that sometimes it is usually easier to get the meeting on very short notice, you know, you plan these things far in advance, but there’s a real magic sometimes to say, hey, i’m going to be around tomorrow, you know, just so happens i’m in town. Yeah, someone looks at their schedule, they have an opening. Sure, you know, it’s not something that you would. You would plan a trip that way, way, your tonto. But but there is, you have some anker visits, you know, pretty solid ones, you know? We’re not going very unlikely to bail, right, and then you can build the other ones around. Yeah, and sometimes a short notice actually is convenient for bianca and works out. Um, just remind listeners, of course, that the name of the book is no one dreams. Of being a fundraiser. That’s it barnes and noble it’s an amazon find book retailers near you well online. Yeah, find online book retailers a click away so, you know, live listeners. You could check it out right now. Go to barnes. I happened like barnes and noble. Okay, check it out. Well, well, well. I continue the chat with while we continue to chat with with mitch channeling you channeling you trying to think, what would you do? Or that person asked? Course, i don’t know who the person is, but i’m amusing myself opening yourself up to donors. You talk about some donors, you’ll share your music passed with something long, but but the personal connection means a lot, right? Yeah, it does. It does to an extent, because generally my philosophy is i mean, you need that personal connection because you want trust and you want a real genuine report. But at the end of the day, it’s about the donor and that’s something that i’ve learned is that generally you find that if i’m talking too much on a meeting it’s probably not going that well because they’re not opening up. I’m not learning from them. Right. So it’s, like you need that, that human connection and that hopefully a long term relationship, but it’s it’s it’s about there experiences, as i say in the book there ah ha, moments, you know that how they really feel about the organization kind of getting to that understanding and and that that their emotional connection to the mission of the organization you’re representing that’s what it’s all about it’s out it’s both yeah, i’d love to end there, but we have another minute together. Okay, i think i want to say okay, say it in a minute. In a minute. Yeah, okay. Oh, you mean from now for milk? When? It’s morning. Say for a minute, i’m just not that smart. When i was going to say was, you know, getting back to when i was saying earlier that i look to major gift officers like they’re another species of human, if there’s anyone out there who’s thinking about the fields, working as a gift officer, i just i see myself in part of the reason why i wrote the book is to be a champion for the field because i think it’s the best job in the world again, as i was saying, and it’s so powerful to be able to help make a difference for our cause and to meet wonderful people and it’s, i feel very grateful that i stumbled upon this, and even if you think you couldn’t do it, you should still try it. If there’s an inkling of the suspicion, you might want to do it, give it a try, pursue it, dip your toe into it. Maybe ask someone you work with to take you on a visit and experiment and you might surprise yourself because i never would have thought a million years. I’d want to do this now i feel like i found my calling that’s a great place to wrap it up. Great. Thank you so much. Misha linker, professional fundraiser in education and author of no one dreams of being a fundraiser. My unexpected journey from music to major gifts thank you again. Thank you very much. Next week, scale up and be sustainable. Kathleen kelly janice will be with me to talk about her new book, social startup success. If you missed any part of today’s show, i beseech you, find it on tony martignetti dot. Com that’s a good word, were supported by pursuing online tools for smaller midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled. Tony dahna slash pursuing capital p weinger sepa is guiding you beyond the numbers. Wetness. Cps dot com, appaloosa counting software designed for non-profits non-profit wizard dot com and tell us credit card and payment processing your passive revenue stream. Tony dahna slash tony tell us our creative producers, claire meyerhoff. Sam liebowitz is the line producer show social media is by susan chavez, and his very cool music is by scott stein of brooklyn. You with me next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and be great. What’s not to love about non-profit radio tony gets the best guests check this out from seth godin this’s the first revolution since tv nineteen fifty and henry ford nineteen twenty it’s the revolution of our lifetime here’s a smart, simple idea from craigslist founder craig newmark insights orn presentation or anything? People don’t really need the fancy stuff they need something which is simple and fast. When’s the best time to post on facebook facebook’s andrew noise nose at traffic is at an all time hyre on nine a m or eight pm so that’s when you should be posting your most meaningful post here’s aria finger ceo of do something dot or ge young people are not going to be involved in social change if it’s boring and they don’t see the impact of what they’re doing so you gotta make it fun and applicable to these young people look so otherwise a fifteen and sixteen year old they have better things to dio they have xbox, they have tv, they have their cell phones me dar is the founder of idealist took two or three years for foundation staff to sort of dane toe, add an email address card. It was like it was phone. This email thing is right and that’s, why should i give it away? Charles best founded donors choose dot org’s somehow they’ve gotten in touch kind of off line as it were and and no two exchanges of brownies and visits and physical gifts. 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