Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%
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Allison Fine: Matterness
Allison Fine, co-author of “The Networked Nonprofit,” reminds us that people matter. But nonprofits often don’t show the love. What can you do to show people how important they are to your nonprofit?
Gene Takagi: Program Your Board
Your board probably recognizes its fiduciary responsibilities, but does it know its role in overseeing programs? Gene Takagi is our legal contributor and principal of the Nonprofit & Exempt Organizations law group (NEO).
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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent, i’m your aptly named host. Oh, i very much hope that you were with me last week. I’d be seized by acute epiglottis itis if i had to hear that you had missed in front of the media in twenty fourteen janet falk principle of fall communications and research shared what belongs in your twenty fourteen media plan on how to execute so that media pay attention to you and social sites to watch in twenty fourteen amy sample ward had the social media sites that will take off this year. She’s, our social media contributor and ceo of intend the non-profit technology network this week matter-ness allison find returns, co author of the network to non-profit she’ll remind us that people matter, but non-profits often don’t show the love. What can you do to show people how important they are to your non-profit and program? You’re bored. Your board probably recognizes its fiduciary responsibilities but doesn’t know its role in overseeing programs. Jean takagi is our legal contributor and principal of the non-profit and exempt organizations law group neo between the guests on tony’s, take two our fan of the week were brought to you by rally bound peer-to-peer fund-raising for runs, walks and rides. And by t b r c cost recovery getting your money back from phone bill errors and omissions. Very grateful for our two sponsors, allison find you should know me. Uh, hello. I didn’t give you a proper introduction yet. I was just i was just saying your name. But but hello, how are you? I’m fine. We’ve been introduced before, though way have but it was a year ago and some people may not remember there’s been a lot of shows since then. So let me let people know. Besides, you deserve you know, is it from some recognition for your work, your body of work? Because you study and write about the intersection of social media and social change. And you are the author of the award winning book momentum igniting social change in the connected age. And of course, your more recent book is the network non-profit co authored with beth cantor who’s. Been a guest on the show? Yes, allison find you also. This sounds like this is your life. I don’t know. Because usually i’m not talking to the person but that’s, the way it got set up so that’s the way it happened. Of course, you also host the monthly podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy, called social good. Um, i have one of those two, did you? I think you knew that. Sure, on twitter, you are at a fine and your site is alison fine dot com. Welcome back, allison, thanks so much for having me. Tony it’s. A pleasure. I enjoyed talking to you. Thank you. Do you still have your you don’t still have a fine blawg. What happened to a fine blanc? A fine blogging is on my website. Oh, at allison, fine dot com. Correct. Okay, very good. Okay. People matter, but non-profits don’t show it what’s your concerns around matter-ness so i’ll tell you how i stumbled on this word. Tony good. I recently completed a three year term as president of my congregation. I made it. And where was that uncertain whether you would survive your presidency? You never know in the middle of one of those things, but, you know, it was a great honor, okay? When i began in that role, i was inundated with emails of concern from congregants, and i would diligently try to answer every single one, you know, i’m i’m so sorry the doors were locked when you showed up, so sorry you didn’t get it think you know as quickly as you wanted, i’m so sorry, you know, that i would agree to do when you came in. Whatever the issue wasn’t, um am tinkering with things and trying very hard to be responses. And about a year into that role, tony, i got the ultimate email from somebody. It was a long time congregant who said she was in the hospital for the week before, and she was very upset that nobody had called her, even though she didn’t. Tell anybody she was in the oh my goodness. So i got that even i sat back and said, what in the world is going on here? There’s some other stuff. She must have some other. This this doesn’t make any sense at all. And then going back through the other complaints, i saw this pattern and the pattern was right across the board, which wass i joined here because i wanted to belong to be a part of something important to may and whatever you have just done has made me feel like i don’t matter at all. All right. I thought i was important. I thought i counted. I thought you cared about me and what you just did show me that you don’t. And it takes a lot of work to undo that hurt for people, you know, feeling like they’re insignificant. Tony is not a an insignificant problem for any organization, any business, much less social service or human or research organization. Uh, because it really hits to the core of people. We all want a matter somewhere. Alison let’s. Just make sure that everyone understands the congregation is ah, this is a jewish congregation. Is a jewish temple synagogue human-centered new york. Okay, okay, just making sure that you understand. It’s it’s, it’s we’re talking about religion and faith based on dh because that may have special meaning for the for the members they may they may hold you to ah hyre standard than they would be average charity that they’re they’re affiliated with. I think there certainly is, you know, a depth of feeling on the part of a lot of people when you join a religious congregation. But when i went, i went on to facebook and then i asked people win when have you felt in your life? Like you don’t matter to an organization or company and got a whole slew of responses. Tony of i don’t matter when i’ve asked the organisation changed my name on appeals and it doesn’t get changed. You know, i don’t matter when i make a contribution and instead of a thank you note, the next thing i get us, another asked for a contribution, right? I don’t matter when i go to the gala of the organization and don’t get greeted by anybody. It was an across the board feeling of i am trying. To contribute somewhere this is, you know, very particular to causes on non-profits i care about a cause, and i feel like i’m a cog in a great big direct mail machines, yeah, technology and our fast paced work lives and personal lives, these things cut both ways. I mean, there are efficiencies and productivity that are important, but we have to treat people like they matter is right. I mean, we’re we’re going to come out in this, so this is this is a cutting edge, you know, the two side of that coin of technology on the one hand, right? It can make the wheels turn very quickly. On the other hand, it could make us all feel like we are, you know, far on the outside. What happens with organizations, tony, is that they become enamored of efficiency internally, right there is the the mantra of daily work is basically, how quickly can i finish my to do list? We’re trying to cross things off my to do list, which is never ending. You know how it would make a great progress. That’s, right? Yeah. There’s. Always things added. Yeah. Oh, it’s. Not like that. And i got one in my heart, you know, goes out i go and see non-profit folks who have pages and pages of to do list and what they become it is what i call they become inside out organizations they view the world from inside this, you know, little case of trying frantically to get all of these things done because they’re always under resourced. And in that doing in that drive to try to make some progress on the to do list, they forget that they’re actually individuals out there. So we we engage on a transactional level rather than a personal relationship type level, right? And so what happens is you begin to view the world in in buckets, you know, you hear organizations oh, all the time, tony, talking about buckets of people right here are our empty nesters, and over here are people who live in this part of the city and over here are direct male donors, constituents way to manage the work, to try to organize people and in some kind of cluster that way constituent groups, constituent groups, right? I don’t like that. One day you are a constituent. Ah group like that you’re not a person anymore. Yeah, this is this is interesting. Well, it’s, interesting, because we’re you’re giving thought to something that on dh voice, to something that i think a lot of people feel dahna it’s, also just very topical for timely ideas, i should say for me. Yeah, there’s just there’s been some guests who have been encouraging us to humanize the world the way from the perspective that day that they bring to the show. Whether that’s, the example i’m thinking of off immediately is ah, instead of calling people prospects, you know, potential donor ours, but the prospect, you know, prospect research that’s the one that just comes off my head. But it’s very interesting. You’re you’re a bit of an anarchist, you know that? Oh, yeah, thank you. I appreciate that you’re a troublemaker. You sister told you i’m a pot stirrer, tony. Their pots out there to be stirred. Your pot stirrer. Okay, i like anarchist plot stars that same. Okay, you know why? Because somebody has to remind organizations that have become too enamored of systems too enamored of, you know, paradigms and all of that stuff that at the end of the day, it all boils down to people, right? And if you’re making people feel like they’re only value, teo is the check that they could write or have written, uh, that’s. A terrible way to do your work to meet your mission. It will. You know, you might the financially better off you will not. Your soul will not be fulfilled. Your work will not be fulfilled that way. But even financially in the long term, i think you’re going to suffer. We have to. We have to. It kills me, but we can’t take a little break. We’re definitely coming back. I’m already regretting that alison fine is not with me for the full hour this time. Not not that, not that are not that gene takagi is a crummy guest gene gene, maybe listening. Is anybody from california, san francisco, but he could be traveling. I don’t see him in san francisco listening right now, but gina, i love you, too. I do love you. I’m just we’ll have to have allison back, okay, let’s, take this break and we’ll come right back. I didn’t think that shooting. Good ending. You’re listening to the talking alternate network, waiting to get a drink. Cubine do you need a business plan that can guide your company’s growth seven and seven will help bring the changes you need wear small business consultant so we pay attention to the details. You may miss our culture and consultant services a guaranteed to lead toe, right groat for your business, call us at nine one seven eight three three, four eight six zero foreign, no obligation free consultation checkout on the website of ww dot covenant seven dot com oppcoll are you stuck in your business or career trying to take your business to the next level and it keeps hitting a wall? This is sam liebowitz, the conscious consultant. I will help you get to the root cause of your abundance issues and help move you forward in your life. Call me now and let’s create the future you dream of. Two, one, two, seven, two, one, eight, one, eight, three that’s to one to seven to one eight one eight three the conscious consultant helping huntress people be better business people. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Latto welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent time for live listener love we got kendall park, new jersey, seattle, washington, irvine, california, new bern, north carolina live listener love to you, you matter, but, you know we do live listen love all the time, and everybody knows that not just because alison fine is reminding us that people matter live listener love is all the time podcast pleasantries, of course, if you’re listening in the time shift, i love you, too. We’ve got the netherlands, we’ve got inchon, korea and seoul, korea on your haserot for our korean listeners and there’s more live listener love coming, lots more live listener live listeners out there. And allison friend of yours, i guess maybe on twitter. Jennifer flowers says that she wishes you were on for the full hour. Also that way. Thank her for me, jennifer. Alison says thank you. You just think to yourself, but you’ll come back of course, right. Absolutely way. Love you on non-profit radio. Um okay. So where this this process orientation? This? Yeah, right. I mean, it’s a turn process? Yeah, but okay, so we have to strike the balance. Yeah. Okay. This is very hard, you know, you make this is this love that you were talking about this. You make people want toe, take a step back, you make people take a step back and want to be better in there. I think day two day relationships, not not just only in their non-profit roll, but i think just day to day i i admire that. I admire that. You you think these thoughts? Well, i think the key tony is trying to remind people and help them to figure out how to make relationship building primary in their work life and their whole life, right? Because it is so overwhelming life right now, there’s so much information were clicking and tweeting and picking and poking and all of those things. But what doesn’t change is our need to connect with people personally on the need to be connected in really meaningful ways. And so i take it as my responsibility to keep reminding people of that that you can use this technology technology that can potential like next to you with hundreds, thousands, millions of people. But at the end of the day, i hope you’ve touched one person in a meaningful way, sametz oppcoll let’s get into some detailed ideas that you have about being able to go about doing this better. Yeah, so one of the things that organizations particular non-profit organizations don’t do well, tony, if they don’t tell stories well, uh, which is astounding because their work is so important and so good. Ah, and yet when they tell stories, they tend to do it again inside out, they do it about the process of something, you know, people showed up less thirty two people showed up last tuesday night for a movie night, and it was fabulous on we made fifteen hundred dollars, fifteen hundred dollars, and we had cookies out, right? Right? Or a testimonial, right if they asked someone else’s falik it’s about how this is the best organization in the entire world, hands down and what they’re missing is an opportunity to enable the people who were touched by their work to talk about what it meant to them. Oh, and we have all the tools to do that they could do a one minute youtube video, right that when i came to this singles program, i wasn’t alone. For the first time, i didn’t feel alone, right? That is so much more powerful than you know, the singles program is the top ranked blah, blah, blah, you know, in the metro area, which doesn’t mean anything to anybody, but you talk about touching people in a way that they don’t longer feel lonely. Wow, now you really have something, right? Everybody has what i call up these iconic stories buried within their organization and it’s the job of everybody in the organization, not just staff, but bored and volunteers as well to try to look for them. So, for instance, if we are a let’s, say we’re ah, a school on we might even be devoted to the catholic education tradition because i believe there’s such a school that may be listening in in westchester. Actually, we might empower the students. Teo do ah video with their phones. You can absolutely do a video and talk about how does it feel to them to go to this school? Right? What makes it different? A lot of kids who come teo religious education. Where in secular schools first, this difference, it feels different should feel different. Uh, what does? It mean to be connected to the teachers here? How do you feel about your classmates? Do you feel like people care about you here? And e? I don’t want to hear that from principals and teachers and parents. I want to hear that from kids, right? Yes, and they’re right there and they have all of these tools, he’s said. To be far better storytellers than kids twenty years ago could have been please we have. We have recording studios in our pockets, it’s, exactly right, everybody pull out your phone and tell us one thing that makes you feel good about being here. I love it, yeah, yeah, yeah, okay, yes, of course the technology is empowering. Yeah, this is the asking for testimonials, that’s true, you know, jeez, you’re touching me. You’re killing me. You know i love you and i hate you at the same time. You’re annoying the hell out of me, but you’re not even married to me, tony. You’re close enough, you just in westchester. I feel it anyway. No, you know, i hate it because you’re making me want to do things differently. You know how annoying that is, it’s it’s not so far away from where people are right it’s changing the lens, right? It’s saying we have to stop just talking about us as an institution and start talking about us as people who are engaged here, right? How does it feel to be touched by us to be touched with us? To be part of this, um, effort, i’ve talked often with people who are running addiction programs or mental health programs, and obviously they aren’t going to talk about individual clients without their permission. But i say perhaps there are parents ah, in your community, uh, who could be asked to talk about what it meant to you to find a safe place for your child, even if you don’t use their real name, right? Thinking about how powerful that is, tony. Finally find someplace that cared as much about your child and your child difficulties as you did that’s the place i would want to take my kid not not, not the place that has the latest drugs are the most, you know, mds on staff. It could be enormously touching and and informative at the same time. Yeah. What jury is just one part? Okay. Yeah, i know. What’s what’s, what’s something else. You know, i like to leave listeners with things they can think about and execute. Right? So we need to take a good, hard look at the social media communities we are building. I know that. You know, amy sample ward is your regular social media guru. Rest as she should be because she’s fabulous. I know she speaks about this as well. But thie idea tony isn’t just about the flashy numbers, right? I can’t tell you how many times have been in board rooms of the past two three years and listen to the recitation of social media, transactional numbers and everybody fantastic. Ten percent up on likes on face. The vanity metrics knew i was missing a phrase it right? We’re all all the bells and whistles, and it means nothing, right? So everybody in an organization one i hope that they are using the channels and that the organization is comfortable with lots of people speaking about the work, um, and to the people, are learning to become calm, rotational on the channels. That’s, a big jump organization, right? So we’re so again, we’re back to like testimonials. But the default setting in organization is to talk about your organization to people out there. So you’re just using social media is a great big billboard and losing all the power of the conversational ism of the tools that make them so powerful, that that’s, why they’re ubiquitous, because you can talk and somebody conduct back to you. I love twitter for that. I have i’d say i have the most fun on twitter talking toa listeners. Yeah, yeah, i love i love love love twitter, right? So you can you can engage with people you can feel like you’re having a conversation and when you do that, tony, when you move from billboard to conversation, what happens is other people who are watching and most people are lurking and watching, not engaging, which is fine, but they can see and experience how you think about and treat people that’s really important. I sent tweets sometimes, and i feel a chill or i or my my eyes get watery because someone has told me how much they you know, usually it’s tze not much more, much deeper than love love non-profit radio loved the show, thanks for doing what you’re doing, you know? And i’m sending back gratitude and thank you so much appreciate that and i’ve gotten away from saying, check us out on facebook trying stop doing that and just be gracious but and grateful and just and stopped there with just gratitude, but sometimes, you know, i click that send and i really i feel like i feel something physical in my body that really the marrow eyes were getting a little water here. I feel a chill going through me thie emotions we have when we’re connecting with people anywhere, it doesn’t matter what the vehicle is our real right we are there, you know, emotionally, um, reaching out and feeling the love from somebody organization see to do two things in their engagement’s much better. They need to be much more gracious in there thinking a cz you were just saying and just they need to thank a thousand times more than they do you know that the churning out the thank you letter it’s just not good enough. Why not take to the channels and every day just think a donor on the child’s right for a modest gift, right? You could take the channels and thanks sally smith in missouri for the eighteen dollars, contribution, we are so grateful to have her support and other people are watching you be grateful. That’s. One thing and that’s the easier one hears the hard won. He ready, tony? Yes. We’re all buckled up. Ready for the hard one. You’re already pissing me off. Go ahead. No, no it’s going to get worse. Part one is taking a problem to the channels and asking people to help you solve it so we’ve heard from people that they’re tired of getting four uh fund-raising requests a month from us now we are trying to meet our budgetary demands. Here are our annual budget and to date that’s been our best strategy for doing that? Help us sell the problem. What do we need to do differently to one make you feel like he really matter and you’re not just an atm machine, but two to help us solve our financial problems, help us figure it out. I worked with one organization that had to get rid of that got rid of their snail mail news monthly newsletter, which fourteen thousand dollars a year they couldn’t afford it anymore, and they began to hear from people that they missed it. You know that getting an email with a pds and it just wasn’t the same thing, and they had the courage to take it to their face, the group and they help us solve the problem, and a donor came through and gave them a donation hopefully will continue to in the future. But it wasn’t about the donation it’s about the stop looking like you have everything perfectly down pat because you don’t and start engaging your people in real problem solving on twitter. Lynette singleton is with us using the hashtag non-profit radio, and she says that clark howard once labeled customer complaints as free many customers satisfaction surveys it’s related to what you’re saying, people are when people are communicating, they’re doing it for a reason. They they’re they’re sharing their feelings about what you’re doing that’s, right? If they didn’t love you, tony, they wouldn’t bother complaining. We wouldn’t tell you they just right they would they would just go away, right? And your job is to say, if somebody complains about something it’s likely somebody else has the same complaint and just didn’t make it. So what is the possible harm of going out and saying we heard about a problem and way need your help, your input? I think organisations particularly non-profits work way too hard to try to look perfect, tony and i think it’s to their disadvantage to continue to do that. I think that’s absolutely true, they don’t want to reveal that they’re having trouble with the budget as you mentioned, or maybe staffing or maybe volunteer revels or maybe the facebook pages not engaging i don’t mean just metric i don’t just mean numerically, but really engaging wise and they don’t want they don’t want anybody to know it that’s, exactly right and pretending that you’re not having problems. It’s just keeping people at a great distance. We have just a couple of minutes left. Damn, um okay, so all right, don’t be afraid to ask the questions of the of your community, of your of your folks. All right? Can we leave people with one more idea before we have to go? Uh, so one more idea, it’s more of a concept than an idea. Tony, is this concept i’ve been writing about this year working on a book on this called big small towns, and the idea is that everybody is physically, geographically located somewhere. We’re all living on land somewhere, and we will for the foreseeable future, going to school and going to work and go into the doctor. But at the same time, we’re also citizens of communities on online, and these aren’t separate dichotomous places. These are integrated places. Write that i will go online, get an idea, bring it down to the ground and work on it or ask a question or meet somebody and in the totality of it, it’s one really big small town, really, really big, small town, and when we begin to think about that integrated on line on land ecosystems, i think it begins to enable us to see a great world of abundance out there, that we don’t always see that we can go to people for help with ideas of capital for volunteers, for a whole bunch of things online that can enormously benefit are on land communities. So i just want to really share that with people that i hope that they can begin to see the world through that kind of lens in the near future. Allison, find magnificent you’re pissing me off, you make me want to be better and i love you love you too, tony. Ok, al, you find her and alison find dot com on twitter she’s at a fine if you’re not following alison on twitter it’s your life, you know what can i say? We’re going to finish, we’re gonna continue this we’re gonna have ahh matter-ness part do re ducks s o i will be in touch, allison or no pleasure. Thank you so much, tony. Thank you. Lynette singleton. Thank you for participating the conversation. Uh, thank you for that one that thank you very much. Other people i need to thank. Rally bound. They are a sponsor of this show. You know, without sponsors, bringing the show is ah, is a lot more difficult than it needs to be. Um, a conversation like this? Um, yeah. I’m grateful to rally bound. They are. Ah, peer-to-peer fund-raising software company it’s friends asking friends to give to your cause a za non-profit radio listener, you will get a discount on rally bounds campaign platform people have been calling already. That’s very cool. I love that. I’m glad. Um really bound helped a camp. It was the first time doing peer-to-peer fund-raising the camp raised nine thousand dollars and got one hundred eighty four percent of its goal. You’ll find them at rally bound dot com or just pick up the phone and call joe magee at rally bound. He’ll answer your questions and he’s gonna help you set up your campaign. I know, joe. Um and i know he’s. Not gonna pressure you. They don’t, they don’t. He doesn’t have to rally bound dot com or triple eight seven, six, seven, nine o seven six i also want to thank and i am thanking t brc cost recovery telephone bill reduction consulting yourself, rabinowitz he goes over your past phone bills, he’s looking for errors, mistakes, services you didn’t order ninety percent of the time he finds a problem, and when he does, he picks up the phone and deals with the phone company to get you money back. If he doesn’t get the money back, then you don’t pay him. I’ve referred yourself many times, and he is also no pressure team drc dot com or two one, two, six double four nine triple xero fan of the week at lays right on twitter it’s, lazy w r i g h t she’s in indiana, she’s in the cornfields of indiana, she loves non-profit radio, a runner and a knitter. Who’s your girl non-profit radio loves you back at lease, right? Thank you so much. If you’d like to be a fan of the show, i’d love to talk about you. Uh, talk to me on twitter or facebook there’s so much. Live listen, love here. I can’t i can’t stand it. Harrison new york east orange, new jersey, san francisco, california. Well, that’s probably. Gene takagi, los alamos, new mexico. Cedar knolls, new jersey. Chung ching, china. Ni hao. Cas ou guy, japan. I apologize if i pronounced it wrong. But, you know, live listener. Love is going out to you in japan. Konnichiwa. Um, goodness, i think that’s tony’s take two for friday, the tenth of january second show of the year. Sam is frantically handing me notes. Huntington station, new york. Welcome where you’ve been. You checking in late. Better late than never, i suppose. But you should have been here a half an hour ago. Huntington station. Now live. Listen. Who loved to hunting the station? New york, of course. Jean takagi he’s, a principal of neo, the non-profit and exempt organizations law group in san francisco. Gene has been gene has been a regular contributor to show it’s got to be going on three years. Gina i if it’s not three it’s very close. He had it’s, the non popular, that the non popular beautiful he had it’s the popular non-profit law blawg dot com non-profit law. Blogged dot com it’s very popular. And on twitter he’s at gee tak gt happy new year jean takagi. Welcome back. Happy new year. Tony it’s. Great to be on. Thank you. I love having you. How long have you been a contributor? Every month, i think it’s been a little over three years. That is it. Is it over three love make it could be i think we met three years ago at a bar in san francisco. If i remember, right? Oh, for sure. It’s not like we picked up up there where i knew you before. I’m not that easy with contributors. I mean, yes, we we knew each other. And then we certainly did meet that’s, right? With along with emily chan? Yes. That’s. Right. Um, let’s see, our board has our board has some responsibilities and around program you’re concerned that they’re not they’re not fulfilling those responsibilities. Yeah, i just feel like there’s there’s maybe some, uh, lack of attention paid on the boards roll on program oversight? I think so often went, especially when you talk with lawyers or accountants were talking about financial oversight, and we’re saying we’ll make sure you’re solvent. Make sure you have enough money to pay off your debts, they become due. We don’t really talk very much about programs, but certainly the management folks and the funders air talking about programs and whether they’re effective and efficient, that furthering the mission. So, you know, i thought we should explore a little bit about what the board duties are in in that event as well. Can you just remind us first, we’ve talked about this a while ago. There are three duties that board members have. I was faith, hope and chastity, or on the greatest of those is but yeah, the three duties are the duty of care and that’s act with reasonable care in providing direction and oversight over the organization, the duty of loyalty, and a lot of that has to do with avoiding conflicts of interests that are not in the best interest of the organizations, but are more for the best interests of an insider and the duty of obedience which lawyers air very interested in, and that’s a bang with both the outside laws of, you know, that apply to the organization and the internal laws like the by-laws and other policies. That the documents may have said, those are the three to be to be concerned with, ok and and around program program is essential. Man. That’s what charity’s exist for his programs? Oh, my voice just cracked like i’m a fourteen year old exist. That’s exciting stuff. Now that it is, it is that’s. Right? Well, you make it interesting. That’s. Why? I love having you back. You make the what could very well be a dry topic. I think you make it interesting. And listeners do too. Yeah. That’s. What charity? They’re here it’s for a program. Yeah, exactly. I mean, who cares? The indie at the end of the day, if we’ve got great financials, if none of our programs are effective and we don’t do a service to the community precisely. So what? What do we need to be doing? What the board’s need to be doing around around program? Well, i think in meeting those three duties, the critical aspect for boards to make sure they’re reasonably informed. Ah, and just get a program report every month or every two months. You know, a ten minute program report from the executive director or program director is fine and good. But does that mean the board really understands the programs and whether the advance the mission? Ah, and do they understand how the program’s advance emission? And did they ever ask you more difficult questions about are the programs effective at advancing the mission? Or do we have alternatives? Or should we think of alternatives that might be able to advance that mission mohr effectively or more efficiently, given the limited resources that we all have? First up in this is and we have talked about this. Your mission needs to be very clear. Yeah, and one of the things you have to do is make sure you go back. And this is the lawyer speaking. Make sure you go back to your articles of incorporation and by-laws and make sure that the mission statement that years thinking you’re thatyou’re furthering is consistent with what the law says. Your mission is. And that’s that’s how it’s displayed on the governing documents and in figuring out whether we are effective at meeting our mission. Now we’ve gotto identify cem numbers, right? I mean, it’s not just gonna be a ten minute report from the program director we’ve got to be looking at some numbers to figure out whether our we’re having the outcomes that we want, right and it’s such a such a difficult question and that’s, why it’s it’s all about keeping informed? Because, you know, the whole area program evaluation and back cantor and and a lot of institutions like the stanford center on philanthropy, in civil society and mckinsey and, you know, the non-profit cordially foundations, and they all have been writing all sorts of things on program evaluation and how we need more metrics and, you know, but all of that is great, but this is really hard stuff for a lot of non-profits to do so, yes, trying to figure out what what measurements are are important for us to figure out. Are we advancing our mission effectively? And then are we advancing it efficiently is really hard stuff, i think tip typically non-profits will, you know, measure how much money we’ve raised, how many visitors we’ve had or people with served, how many members we have, what is our overhead ratio on? We’ve had discussions on that topic as well, and, you know, those are interesting figures in all important, and i don’t want to downplay that. But what about you know, then, you know, the number of clients served. For example, does that really tell us what impact that’s done? No, before the clients. And you know, the program staff may know that. But how does the board know that if we have? If we served a thousand clients last month, did we did we serve them by giving them one meal? Did that change their lives? Did we do more than that? Did we provide services? What? What and impact are we trying to aim for? And what results are we getting those air really difficult things to try to figure out. But i think the board needs to push the organization in that direction. Of trying to figure out are the programs that write programs? Are we effectively implementing it? And if you want to, you know, evaluate your executive and evaluate your programs. You’ve gotta have a good understanding of that. I feel your passion around this, jean. I really do. It comes it’s it’s palpable. Now, in managing these programs. It’s, not the board’s roll. Teo, be day to day. There’s clearly there’s a delegation that has durney happening? Yeah, absolutely. And and the board certainly has the ability, teo, and should be delegating if they have staff in an executive director, particularly delegating those duties on those people. And especially, you know, holding the executive accountable and tasking executive and making sure the executive has resources to be able to do this, to try to figure out what measurements should we take? Teo, evaluate our programs. What what’s important? What do we have the capacity to do now? And what? What do we aspire to do? What are outside stakeholders wanting? What are the foundations saying we must have? And what are the donor’s expecting from us and how to our competitors provide that type of information back? I think we just need to push. Our executives were lucky enough to have them to figure some of those things out. And none of this has done overnight. Of course, tony, but you know, you you’ve gotto work at this, and sometimes you’re going to move forward, and sometimes you gotta move backwards. But you’ve got to keep pushing, pushing ahead. You just asked five or six really difficult but critical questions. Um, it’s a good thing. This is a podcast. Cause. Now people can listen. Go, go back to the past one minute and listen to those five or six questions. Jean just just named, you know, difficulty, but, but but critical. And and yet the board’s oversight responsibility remains and that can’t be delegated. That’s, right? So you know, the board, khun delegate management, but the board can’t delegate its ultimate oversight of the organization and it’s, you know, it’s responsibility to plan the direction of the organization. So status quo, if you know if that’s all you’re satisfied with and you don’t aim to do anything else with that, you know, that may not that may indicate that you don’t have the best board in place, and i was a little shocked teo learned, i think two days ago guidestar held a web cast, and there was a survey done of executive directors, and seventy five percent said they were unhappy with their boards and there’s a big disconnect there. Seventy five percent proof. Okay, what else? What else, uh, is part of the boards oversight of program? Gene? Well, you know, one thing i kind of want to emphasize as well is that i don’t want to put all of this on the board of directors, and i realized that the vast majority of board members are volunteers and have busy lives otherwise and are doing an amazing job. Trying to contribute to their organizations, the disconnect with the exec director is usually because of communications and a lack of understanding of their respective roles. So i just want to put a little bit of a burden on the executive director as well, to make sure that they are emphasizing board development and helping the board understand its responsibilities and sometimes bringing in experts, even though they may cost a little at the outset. Khun b really valuable to an organisation to try to figure out what these roles are, and again put in a little investment up front, and you can get payoff down the road even if you have some failures along the way. But it’s just that continuing to push forward to trying to understand what you’re doing who’s responsible for what? On figuring that stuff out the metrics themselves again. Our khun b, you know, exceedingly difficult if if i asked you give us metrics on changing laws when we were fighting for civil rights. Um, well, that might take years or decades to get any measurable results per se that might make a thunder happy. And you know what would have happened in the early sixties, you know, civil rights organizations just had their program shut down because boards didn’t get the right metrics that would have been ridiculous, right? So we have to understand the limitation of these measurements as well, but continue to try to figure out what important steps or bench marks were shooting for and what’s important to do, even if we don’t get the metrics on and make sure our funders and donors and stakeholders understand those limitations as well, just a minute or so before before breaking what? What kind of expert would help us with this? What would we search for? Well, there there are some consultants out there who specialize in program evaluation, and there there are definitely resource is out there. I have named a few organizations already, but let me give you a few more the foundation centre and they’re grantspace website has got some excellent resource is on program evaluation, the national council of non-profits also has some excellent resources. They’re they’re definitely resource is out there, and if you look for non-profit consultants who got program evaluation expertise, i think that can be a starting place. This is also a ripe area. For collaboration amongst organizations that are serving similar populations, or have similar missions. To try to meet together and talked about how they’re measuring, you know, their program, results and what would work for maybe, you know, across the sub sector that that they’re serving, all of those things are really important. I think again, executive leadership is really important to get the board in motion, but the board also has to hold the executive responsible for making sure that happens as well. Let’s, take a break. Gene and i, of course, will keep talking about the board’s responsibility around program and the executive director’s, too. Lynette singleton and at lays, right. Thank you for thank you very much. For those very, very kind thoughts on twitter. Hang in there. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Duitz have you ever considered consulting a road map when you feel you need help getting to your destination when the normal path seems blocked? A little help can come in handy when choosing an alternate route. Your natal chart is a map of your potentials. It addresses relationships, finance, business, health and, above all, creativity. Current planetary cycles can either support or challenge your objectives. I’m montgomery taylor. If you would like to explore the help of a private astrological reading, please contact me at monte at monty taylor dot. Com let’s, monte, m o nt y monty taylor. Dot com. Are you suffering from aches and pains? Has traditional medicine let you down? Are you tired of taking toxic medications, then come to the double diamond wellness center and learn how our natural methods can help you to hell? Call us now at to one to seven to one eight, one eight three that’s to one to seven to one eight one eight three or find us on the web at www dot double diamond wellness dot com. We look forward to serving you. Talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. Hi, i’m kate piela, executive director of dance, new amsterdam. And you’re listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. More live listener love junction china ni hao, the netherlands gary indiana the home of christmas story, right? I’m pretty sure a christmas story that movie took place in gary, indiana live listen, i’d love to gary, indiana, and we’ve got a couple checking in from japan, hiroshima and kobe konnichi wa, farmington, michigan live listener love out to you. We have a question from twitter jean very loyal listener lynette singleton asks, do we know why there’s this lack of love between executive directors with and their boards, any ideas what’s contributing to that? I think i’m sorry, tony, that i think there are a number of factors that make be contributing to that, but i think the first is lack of understanding of the rules that each place and then it’s it’s a matter of communication between the two parties, there are great expectations that that board’s place on executives and the reliance on the executives tio teo, make do with limited resources to produce amazing results, and that can sometimes be a very heavy burden on the executive without a lot of support from the board and exactly what the board’s role is in supporting the executive. Director’s also, i think there many areas where there’s a lack of agreement or understanding between those roles and, you know, fund-raising is actually one of the areas of of ex, actually, some controversy, i think, you know, is the board involved is the board’s role to raise funds for the organisation. From a legal perspective, i might answer no to some extent, from a more operational perspective, i would say, of course, it is so there’s, different considerations, and that was a charity navigator to study, right? I’m not sure. I thought you said i’d start with. I’m sorry, the organization that did the webinar. Okay, okay, god start. Pardon me. Ok wave talking, talking about program meeting the mission, but there’s also legal requirements around program as well. Sure, and then the board should make sure that the executive is ensuring that the program is in compliance with whatever applicable laws might be there, whether it have to do with the facility of the organization or the employees and volunteers working for it, their basic risk management steps that they may want to take a swell, including ensuring that there’s proper insurance for whatever activities are are involved. Obviously, if you’re doing a summer day camp involving rope climbing and like that that’s going to be a little bit more significant in terms of risk management than if you’re just doing administrative work, lots of legal compliance, things, licensing, permitting and in all of those things as well, can boardmember sze be personally liable if laws are being broken and that’s why we have directors and officers insurance, isn’t it? Yeah, part partly why we have that it’s usually, you know, if there’s some sort of negligence involved when the boardmember acting not as a boardmember but as a volunteer for a program, then you’re probably looking at commercial general. Liability insurance to protect against, you know, somebody slip and fall and blaming the volunteer who was right supposed to set it up on the board members, directors and officers. Insurance will really protect against decisions that the board made that ultimately, you know, in hindsight, we’re negligent or grossly negligent, and, you know, if they decided to hold a program in involved involving bungee jumping with six year olds and without adequate supervision that, you know, that would be be a type of negligence that could get boardmember personally liable for something like that. But volunteermatch boardmember czar really, really, really rarely held personally liable absent some sort of malfeasance or self dealing benefit themselves. Okay, i’ve seen some six year olds on the subway that i wouldn’t mind having participating that that bungee jumping off a cliff i could i could give them a little shove to get them started, but not not kids. I know nobody related to me, only only what’s people have seen some hype it that it go well, now they’re real. I’ve seen him in the subway. I just don’t know who they are. I can’t name them, but i could point them. Out easily. Probably on my way home, i’ll encounter a few. Um, what else should we be thinking about? You know, your get before i asked before we do that, you’re an anarchist. Also, you’re making us. I got two troublemakers on the show today. You are making us ask questions that are very difficult, but but critical? Yeah. You know, e think of lawyers and consultants more broadly. That’s what? What we do, we can implement the changes that we talked about, what we want to raise the questions because we want boards and executives to really be thinking about these things and discussing them. And that’ll help break down the barriers and the misunderstandings and hopefully make more executive directors feel that their boards air great, make more executive, make more boards feel that their executive directors are doing a great job as well. As i said, i feel your passion around this. We have just about two minutes. You have another thought around this? Yeah. You know, just tio, make sure that again and i’ve talked a little bit about this is that there are limitations to what metrics can provide to an organization and some things. Just take a really long time to figure out research i mentioned lobbying on civil rights issues is one example, but research as well, you know, for gonna engage in research of a new right and how it’s going to work or developing a new medical device or drug that’s going to be beneficial to developing nations and the people there who might not have the resources to be able to afford these things. We’ve got to be a little bit experimental, and i know you know, there’s been preaching to the choir about embracing failure and sharing it so we can learn in advance, but that really is something that i’ll echo as well, that, you know, we’re going to get metrics and sometimes the metrics they’re going to show we failed, but if we never fail, that means we’ve never really pushed the envelope of making a more substantial change, and we’re just sort of, you know, relying on making little incremental changes, and we have to think about our organizations and say, are we the type of organization that just wants to stay status quo? Do we want to make little tiny, incremental changes year by year? Or do we actually want to look at solving or advancing our mission in a really big way and actually take some risk and then find some programs out there that might be more risky and that might fail and help educate our funders and our donors and our supporters that you have this is what we’re doing, and not everything is going to work, but this is the way to advance, you know, our cause lawyer with a heart jing jing takagi really so grateful that you’re contributing to the show? Jean, thank you so much. Thank you, johnny. And thanks for basing this serious subject may that’s alright, uh, we have a little fun with it. You’re an anarchist is no question you’ll find jean at non-profit law blogged dot com that’s the block that he had it and he’s at g tack on twitter. Thank you again, jean, thanks so much. Next week, female financial literacy alice march returns and personal financial planner sheila walker. Hartwell is with her. Wow, what a show today! Really? I’m just i’m moved. Damn! I love doing this show. Um, about two female financial literacy women need to get up to speed in professional and personal money issues and what’s public on private companies are prospect research contributor maria simple. The prospect finder has tips aplenty for doing your research on privately held companies. Please remember rally bound in your thoughts and telephone bill reduction consulting also tb rc they’re helping to bring the show to you. Valley bound dot com and tb r si dot com. Our creative producer is claire meyerhoff. Sam liebowitz is our line producer. The show’s social media is by deborah askanase of community organizer two point oh, and the remote producer of tony martignetti non-profit radio is john federico of the new rules. We’re gonna be doing a remote more about that next week. A pretty prominent remote and it’s going to live streamed. 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It addresses relationships, finance, business, health and, above all, creativity. Current planetary cycles can either support or challenge your objectives. I’m montgomery taylor. If you would like to explore the help of a private astrological reading, please contact me at monte at monty taylor dot. Com let’s monte m o nt y at monty taylor dot com. Are you suffering from aches and pains? Has traditional medicine let you down? Are you tired of taking toxic medications, then come to the double diamond wellness center and learn how our natural methods help you to hell? Call us now at to one to seven to one eight, one eight three that’s to one to seven to one eight one eight three or find us on the web at www dot double diamond wellness dot com way. Look forward to serving you. Talking. Hyre