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Nonprofit Radio for February 13, 2023: Inflection Points As Your Nonprofit Grows


Brooke Richie Babbach: Inflection Points As Your Nonprofit Grows

There’s a nonprofit life cycle with recognizable stages. At each point, you need to align your goals, plans and actions with the stage you’re in. Brooke Richie Babbage, CEO at Bending Arc, puts it all together.


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Transcript for 627_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20230213.mp3
[00:01:37.59] spk_0:
And welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast and oh I’m glad you’re with me, I’d be hit with Pyrex AEA if you made me hot with the idea that you missed this week’s show. Inflection points as your nonprofit grows, there’s a nonprofit lifecycle with recognizable stages. At each point you need to align your goals, plans and actions with the stage, you’re in Brooke richie Babbage Ceo at bending Arc puts it all together, Tony State to nonprofit Radio 50, it’s my pleasure to welcome for her first appearance on non profit radio Brooke Richie Babbage. She is an organizational design and social impact strategy advisor and coach. She hosts the nonprofit mastermind podcast and is the founder and ceo of bending arc through which she supports mission driven leaders across the country in launching and scaling high impact nonprofits over 23 years. She’s been a lawyer, leader and social entrepreneur at social change organizations throughout the US. She and her work are at Brooke richie Babbage dot com Brooke Welcome to nonprofit radio

[00:01:45.26] spk_1:
high tony I’m really excited to be here.

[00:01:48.07] spk_0:
It’s a pleasure to have you. Thank you. Thank you for being excited.

[00:01:51.16] spk_1:

[00:01:52.90] spk_0:
you’re in, you’re coming to us from Brooklyn new york, is that right

[00:01:57.43] spk_1:
Brooklyn Brooklyn new york. It’s where I Live and work with my family

[00:02:00.37] spk_0:
yeah Alright there’s some Tv show I used to uh watch we’re going back like seventies eighties uh oh no wait no no. Earlier than that it’s from the honeymooners, which was the fifties. But

[00:02:12.78] spk_1:
I actually loved that

[00:02:14.58] spk_0:
show. You love the honeymooners? I

[00:02:17.09] spk_1:

[00:02:31.52] spk_0:
I wasn’t watching here in the fifties, not quite that old, but there’s a, there’s a line Ed Norton says Brooklyn U. S. A garden spot of America or no. He says Brooklyn new york garden spot of America coming to you from. He’s somebody asked him where he lives or something and I think he says Brooklyn new york garden spot of America. So alright, you’re in the garden spot. Cool. Uh let’s, I wanna, I wanna get through something, just flush out something in your, the introduction that I read. What does an organizational design and social impact strategy advisor and coach? Do

[00:04:52.56] spk_1:
I love that you asked that question. Thank you. So most simply put I help nonprofit leaders figure out the best way to design their organizations. I think that when we talk about growing a nonprofit or leading a nonprofit, you know, doing nonprofit work, it tends to be really high level and we think, you know, leadership and management and fundraising and all of those are obviously really important. But really what makes the leadership and growth of a nonprofit most effective is when you think about the details of the design, Right? And I love that word, the intentional choices you make about who you hire for, which roles, which programs you offer in which communities, how often you meet with your board, what you do at board meetings? Those are all design decisions you’re sort of constructing or building something as you go. And I think it’s really fun right in the same way that I’m not an artist at all. So for any artist listening, this may not actually be the right sort of analogy, but I think of it like building, you know, a work of art, you sort of take different pieces of inspiration and you construct something from the ground up. I think designing an organization is very similar and I’ve also found that particularly for smaller nonprofits where the executive director or E. D. Like has their fingers on everything notching down and saying to them actually, you don’t have to think these big lofty thoughts about, you know, board growth or board development. Actually that’s just the everyday choices you make about picking up the phone to call your board chair or you know, having breakfast with a board meeting. Those are design choices and it can make them feel a little more in control of what their organization is becoming. So that’s what I do. I help leaders do that.

[00:05:24.57] spk_0:
And and so the organization is gonna develop over time, which goes right into the life cycle we’re gonna talk about. So unlike a sculpture. I mean the sculpture has to be done at some point otherwise. Well, I mean a true artist might say it’s never done, but that artist is gonna be starving for her lifetime because they’re never gonna sell anything because their art is never finished. So, so unlike a piece of art, it can be changed over time

[00:05:30.86] spk_1:
and should be

[00:05:37.11] spk_0:
intentionally designed actions, processes staff overtime.

[00:06:10.96] spk_1:
That’s right. And I think the key is, and the reason that I include organizational design and not just strategy and growth is that it can be easy, particularly as organizations are growing quickly and I work with organizations under $2 million 500,000 to their first million. And that’s a really fascinating time as you know, you and I have talked a little bit about in our first call, but it organizational leaders can look around and feel like their organization is happening to them or around them. Right. How did I wind up with this board? How did I wind up with this particular culture And so reminding them that they actually can make choices. They and their team, they and their board, other stakeholders can make intentional choices, gives them some power back and can feel empowering at a time of organizational growth that can really feel disempowering in a lot of ways.

[00:07:16.85] spk_0:
And you and I are gonna flush out what we talked about in our, in our preparation call today. So I don’t want listeners to feel like there’s something Brooke is holding back on nonprofit radio listeners. Absolutely, there’s nothing, there’s nothing that she and I talked about previously that we’re not gonna talk about today, We’re gonna in fact we’re gonna go into quite a bit more detail. So let’s do that. Um, do we have these recognizable benchmarks in the, in the life cycle? Uh, and I think it just makes sense to go through the six of them. Could you just preview them, you know, high level. So folks know what’s coming and then we’ll then we’ll take a step back and look at look at each one a little more in more detail. But if you just overview.

[00:07:26.72] spk_1:
Absolutely, yeah. So should I start maybe by just saying what I mean by nonprofit life cycles? Like why that’s a framework that’s helpful and then talk about the

[00:07:36.14] spk_0:
Yeah, yeah,

[00:08:30.65] spk_1:
yeah. So basically, you know, as you were saying, organizations continue to grow, they continue to redesign and redesign themselves. And so I talked about, I did not make this concept up when I talk about non profit life cycles. It’s a concept that folks discuss. It’s really about the process by which organizations grow or depending on the organization decline through particular changes in their structure, systems and processes. So it’s a series of phases, recognizable phases along development and I really like I like framework. So I’m a big, I’m a Virgo total framework person. Um, so this is really helpful for my brain to say, okay, in the same way that you think about a child or person developing, We go through these phases. Right? And so you asked what the six R. And the six that I’m focusing on are the growth phase is there also? So for stagnation and decline phases that we won’t talk about today.

[00:08:35.49] spk_0:

[00:08:36.77] spk_1:
we don’t want to talk about

[00:08:37.38] spk_0:
this but

[00:09:55.71] spk_1:
so the six growth phases are similar to write the growth of a person or I use the growth of people as a way to help people remember them. So the first is birth and launch. The second is infancy right after birth and lunch. The next is childhood. The next one is teenage hood or early growth phase and then young adulthood or late growth phase. And in a lot of the literature organizations talk about sort of a growth stage organization or a growing organization and I actually think that early and late growth stage organizations are different and I’m sure we’ll talk about why. So I separate them out into two different stages of development and then you have maturity or the zone of maximization which is you know when organizations find their groove. And one thing that I’ll say is this isn’t necessarily properly linear. So it’s not necessarily that an organization is always and always going to be in this, we found our groove. Everything’s clicking zone of maximization. They may fluctuate. There may be aspects of their organization like their staffing or their board or their fundraising or their program design that is more or less developed. So these aren’t you know, you’re not sort of trying to get to like a sculpture, trying to get to and stay in one of the phases, you really just want to be aware of where you are. So you ask the right questions.

[00:10:07.20] spk_0:
Okay, So you, so you might be maturing in some respects

[00:10:11.50] spk_1:
and not in

[00:10:16.44] spk_0:
Others. one aspect of resource development, fundraising is in childhood, but you know, like staffing and programmatic,

[00:10:23.90] spk_1:

[00:10:37.18] spk_0:
board is clicking so it’s in early growth or teenage puberty, you know, I was hoping, I thought you might call teenage hood puberty, but you didn’t want to do puberty. I

[00:10:37.57] spk_1:
don’t want to wade into that.

[00:10:38.77] spk_0:
No. Yeah,

[00:10:41.85] spk_1:
nobody feels good about

[00:10:43.42] spk_0:
that word. That’s what’s happening. That’s right.

[00:10:48.62] spk_1:
At least some people look back on teenage hood and are like, well there are certain parts of teenage hood that were exciting, you

[00:10:53.75] spk_0:
know, it

[00:10:56.23] spk_1:
sucks for everybody.

[00:11:07.86] spk_0:
Exactly. Alright, so, so birth and launch now, let me, let me uh either you, I don’t see that you put like timeframes like, so it’s not time bound,

[00:11:10.61] spk_1:

[00:11:10.95] spk_0:
mean, I guess

[00:11:14.10] spk_1:

[00:11:14.60] spk_0:
birth and launch for like five years, which to me seems like an awfully long time to be in a birth phase, but your time bounding them, it’s based on where the organization is not

[00:11:26.34] spk_1:
how many years

[00:11:27.56] spk_0:
and months have elapsed.

[00:11:58.60] spk_1:
Absolutely. It’s not time bound and it’s not based on budget is the other thing that I’ll say, um, and I think that’s a really good point that you’re making because if you time bind it, then organizations start saying, okay, we’ve been around for a year and now it’s time to move past launch and we should be in infancy when in fact, I’ve worked with lots of organizations that have the characteristics of an organization in launch phase. Right? They don’t quite move out of that for years. And if they don’t recognize that, then it’s actually something that keeps them stuck. So it’s not time bound. And it’s not about how much money you have.

[00:12:07.74] spk_0:
All right. So let’s talk about the first one in birth. Birth launch. What do we look like? What like what should our goals be? What should you have in mind at this at this stage? Absolutely.

[00:12:51.67] spk_1:
So the first one is birth and launch. And it’s actually the simplest one. It’s the one that people sort of recognize the most. The key characteristic here is that you’ve identified a problem and you’re and you’re developing a solution. So usually these are founders. These are people that have no team, you know, maybe volunteers helping them tends to be sort of solitary work. And the the goal here is to clearly define the problem and your solution right to move out of this phase. What you want to do is make sure that you have a clear enough picture of what your theory of change is, right? You what you’re gonna do in response to this problem. That is how you move out of the launch phase. Okay.

[00:13:13.63] spk_0:
What’s your, your theory of change is what,

[00:13:17.79] spk_1:
So it’s basically the

[00:13:20.14] spk_0:
relationship. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:13:24.40] spk_1:
Know how you’re gonna change the world. So when I say theory of

[00:13:27.50] spk_0:
change, we

[00:13:28.86] spk_1:
talked about the changes like we have a mission and we have strategies. Why do we choose the strategies to address this mission?

[00:13:37.05] spk_0:
Yeah. Um, and so so funding, what, what is that? You know, I’m, yeah, I mean a lot of listeners have been through this stage.

[00:13:48.39] spk_1:

[00:13:54.03] spk_0:
might still some are still in, I’m guessing most are have advanced but respective irrespective of where they’re, where listeners are standing. What is what is funding look like here.

[00:14:26.26] spk_1:
So typically and obviously everything we talked about here, there are no right or wrong. There’s not nothing that’s gonna be true for everybody. But typically funding at this phase is almost entirely the founder and or people in the founders networks like my organization was just my friends. When I started my organization, I basically, you know, I was a poverty lawyer and I decided I was going to start this organization and most of my friends from law school had gone into law firms. And so I threw a big party and I basically said, you guys make more money than I do. Here’s the mission. Here’s a vision, here’s what I’m trying to do. Let’s do it together. Um, and that was, that was how I started, you know, and my parents, so between between those people. Yeah, so that’s usually the funding at this at this stage.

[00:14:48.73] spk_0:
Um, anything else about birth launch,

[00:14:51.50] spk_1:
you know,

[00:14:53.04] spk_0:

[00:15:51.24] spk_1:
guess the one thing I would say about again moving out of birth launch and just back for a second, one of the most, one of the ways to use this whole framework is to try to recognize which phase you’re in, so that you ask the right questions, right? So that you are focused on doing the right thing at the right time. So it can be really exciting to say, you know, oh, this is my stage of development, right? I’m in a birth stage, great. We recognize it. But the way the framework becomes helpful is then to say, okay, therefore what’s the strategic objective of this phase, what does it look like? What do we need to focus on to move to the next phase in a healthy way? So for the startup phase, what it looks like to move to this next phase with the goal of this phase of moving through the next phase is clarity. Have you clearly defined your problem, Have you clearly defined what you are going to do in response to that problem? And once that’s clear, then you start to see organizations move into the more formal start up phase and or infant phase and I’ll also say a lot of organizations never, you know, we talked about sort of time boxing this, There are a lot of organizations that don’t actually move out of the launch phase.

[00:16:14.32] spk_0:
They, so they, what, what keeps them there, They don’t have a sophisticated view of the, of the problem and they’re gonna, they’re gonna

[00:16:36.63] spk_1:
usually one of three things happens. They can’t get that clarity either around the problem or their solution. It’s sort of stays fuzzy and they just can’t launch, they won’t, if you do have that clarity, you’re never going to get funding that isn’t just your friends and family, You’re not going to build a network of support. They can’t move beyond that face because they don’t have the clarity to sort of rally support. A second thing that happens is, and this happened a lot during covid you have people seeing real problems that had always existed. But there was this explosion in new

[00:17:01.99] spk_0:

[00:17:38.03] spk_1:
stage or launching nonprofits and mutual aid groups also. And what can sometimes happen, which I think is fantastic is organizations look and say, oh, we don’t actually need to be a separate nonprofit, right? There is a problem that we’re working towards. We do have an idea for the solution, but we don’t need to build a whole institution here. We’re gonna partner, we’re gonna become a program of another organization. We’re gonna collaborate or form a network. And so that’s another thing that happens. And then third. And I and fairly certain that there are people listening for whom this resonates growing an organization or launching organization can be really hard. It’s a lot of work. And so you just have some people who decide they don’t want to do that, right? That’s they will, they will work to fight the problem that they’ve recognized in some other way as a board member, you know, joining the staff of another nonprofit. So those are the folks that don’t move beyond launch.

[00:17:59.37] spk_0:
Yeah. So you could go from launch to decline.

[00:18:05.50] spk_1:
Exactly, yeah.

[00:18:07.33] spk_0:

[00:18:08.34] spk_1:
failure to launch, just never sort of really launch Absolutely.

[00:18:12.70] spk_0:
Um, you mentioned, you know, long standing problems that were brought to the, to the consciousness through the pandemic. I’m guessing you’re talking about racial disparities, income disparities, the wealth gap,

[00:18:27.29] spk_1:
health disparities in

[00:18:28.86] spk_0:
health education.

[00:18:31.52] spk_1:
These are schisms that have always been there. And so I hesitate to say, oh, people started to see problems, they’ve always been there, but I think they were laid bare in a very unique way.

[00:18:42.76] spk_0:
Yeah. There are certain groups that suffer worse in, in any and then then lots of others. And every time there’s a crisis it’s brought to our consciousness to the consciousness of people who aren’t paying a lot of attention.

[00:18:56.53] spk_1:
I was gonna say two more to the consciousness.

[00:19:03.37] spk_0:
Yeah, yeah. More right now, you mentioned something, this is um, I would take us down a little bit of a side road, but I always, I always come back. I’m usually able to, you mentioned mutual aid groups. I’ve just been reading about those. I did not know that they exist. They that they exist and that they really came uh, they really bounded in popularity and

[00:19:23.53] spk_1:
uh, around

[00:19:43.68] spk_0:
the pandemic where, you know, it was this form of giving and uniting and people helping others that I think, you know, statistics don’t capture in terms of giving, you know, giving numbers, whatever giving us a does, you know, I’m always skeptical of them anyway. But even more so down talk about these, these local grassroots organizations. Then there was a data base of hundreds of them that was mutual

[00:19:48.40] spk_1:
aid here in new york. Mutual aid N.Y.C. was just amazing.

[00:19:51.30] spk_0:
Yeah. Say, say a little more about what sprung up these mutual aid. I’m just, I’m just reading about it this week and now you just said it, I would like to make sure listeners know that these exist.

[00:21:01.18] spk_1:
Yeah, absolutely. So mutually groups loosely defined are sort of networks of people and groups that come together and organize to provide aid to provide support to people into communities where they see the need. And one of the distinctions between, say, a mutual aid group and a non profit is non profits are incorporated right there corporations, they file taxes and all of the things mutual aid groups are not, they are unincorporated, collaborative collectives of self organizing people. And so they, one of the things that I personally found really exciting and intriguing that emerged more so during covid around these mutual aid groups is that there’s always been this sort of idea if you want to do mission based work if you want to support your community, start a nonprofit or join a nonprofit. Right? So we had this sort of for profit government and nonprofit distinction

[00:21:04.18] spk_0:

[00:21:05.28] spk_1:
or pillars or, you

[00:21:06.36] spk_0:

[00:21:59.67] spk_1:
but the reality is that those are sort of false distinctions, Right? And there’s a lot of sort of history. I used to teach the history of nonprofit um, law. So I won’t bore folks with that, but the distinctions aren’t actually necessary. And what I loved about the rise of mutual aid support and and action networks of people, unincorporated networks and collaborations is that people basically said, no, we don’t have to get caught up in the institution building piece. We just want to do the work. We and so we’re going to find other ways. And what’s interesting even now at the tail end of Covid is that you’re starting to see even more of a redefinition of how social impact work is done. Different forms of nonprofits, hybrid nonprofits, mutual aid groups That are finding ways to get funded even though they aren’t 501 C3. So there’s been this really beautiful expansion of social impact work and I, my entree into it was through coming to understand mutual aid groups and mutual aid works here in New York.

[00:22:24.02] spk_0:
I don’t know where I was. I regret that I didn’t know. I mean maybe listeners know and I just, I’m just completely in the dark. I was about this during the pandemic. I mean I would have, I would have given them voice. I would have had, there’s a there’s a woman who compiled a national database or the state by state of the mutual aid groups that you’re talking about the new york new york Association of Mutual aid Societies. I wish I had known about them during the pandemic. I don’t know where the hell I was.

[00:23:32.52] spk_1:
I think a lot of it was the first thing I did. You know, I work with these nonprofits leaders through my programs and everything. And when Covid hit I just started getting emails and phone calls and texts from people in my network. What are we doing? Like how do we address these problems? And I started hosting these weekly strategy and action calls, These national calls on zoom where people executive director to just show up and talk to each other. Um and I was just listening to what was coming up in these calls. And so every week, sometimes multiple times a week there were dozens of executive directors, sometimes the same groups, sometimes not just showing up and saying, here’s what we’re seeing. You know, and a lot of these organizations were partnering with mutual aid groups. So that was how I came to understand the role they played in the ecosystem was just being on these calls every week listening to people and they kept coming up and then I sort of you know did a spiral deep dive research. You know

[00:23:46.13] spk_0:
Now it sounds like they were they sprung up, they were agile, they know the needs of the local community.

[00:23:53.15] spk_1:

[00:23:53.84] spk_0:
they’re defining community whether it’s state or county or even just town. You know, they know the needs, they know the levers of power

[00:24:01.96] spk_1:

[00:24:05.16] spk_0:
the community however that they defined, you know they can they can I mean within a week they could be serving people

[00:24:10.80] spk_1:

[00:24:11.08] spk_0:
their to submit their 10 23 and exactly the I. R. S. With board and you know eight months later, you know we’re halfway through the pandemic. You know within. Yeah it’s very exciting. Thank you thank you for flushing that out. And I don’t

[00:24:25.52] spk_1:
know I

[00:24:28.73] spk_0:
regret that. I didn’t know more. Well

[00:24:29.46] spk_1:
now you do

[00:24:30.74] spk_0:
pandemic. Yeah

[00:24:32.06] spk_1:
and they’re not gone. So actually

[00:24:36.72] spk_0:
you know that’s that’s right, you’re right. They’re not gone. We should be doing a show on mutual aid groups. That

[00:24:41.62] spk_1:
would be awesome.

[00:25:09.52] spk_0:
Yes. Alright, alright. It’s coming infancy. Let’s move on. We have uh at this stage we’re gonna be we’re gonna be 100 years old and we’re gonna be two hours into the show and the show is gonna die. But the show is going to die before the before we reach mature maximization. I no, no, it’s my fault because I digress. But let’s move to infancy. What do we look like here? What are we talking? What are capital look like? What are our goals?

[00:27:30.90] spk_1:
Yeah. So this phase is usually still mostly the founder and organizations that shift into the start up phase have some kind of legal status at this point. So they may be a 501C3. There are a lot of the corpse, right hybrids. But they have a structure that houses the work. And so this initial distinction between the founder and the work of the founder and the institution that needs to be built. It starts in the start up phase and I think that’s really important to highlight because as organizations grow and develop that distinction between the founder or the leader and the institution becomes more important. And so it really starts here, right? Funding isn’t for just the salary of the founder, the funding is, there’s overhead there maybe rent, right, there may be other team members, there maybe stipends for program participants etcetera. So the goal of and I always distinguish their sort of five considerations in each stage, like what’s the goal of this phase of development, What do we need to focus on? How are we designed? And then you you mentioned capital. Right, where’s the money coming from? What does funding look like, what our strategic objectives and what does our team look like? These are sort of the five dimensions of questions or considerations to ask yourself at each phase. And so for this phase, the goal is really proof of concept, right? How can we take this theory of change these strategies or the programs or the activities, the work that we’re doing and demonstrate to people other than our closest connections that there’s a there there, Right, that these strategies are actually going to help move us in the direction of the mission. That’s what I call proof of concept. And so there’s, you mentioned being agile and nimble, there’s a lot of program design experimentation. The design tends to be very organic and responsive. You have maybe a small team of people sort of out in their community or in the world doing work and iterating very quickly. So it’s, it’s a phase that’s marked by a lot of energy. Things are changing very quickly. Also really limited funding. So startup funding can be really tough. I happened to start my organization in new york where I actually think accessing startup funding was a little easier than some other communities. A lot of the organizations in my accelerator program are not in new york and the start up phase can be hard to get funded because most funders look for proof of concept, they want to see that, you know, what you’re doing is actually working. So the goal of this phase is really proof of concept in large part so you can get funding and stakeholders etcetera.

[00:27:58.00] spk_0:
I’m seeing big leadership challenges.

[00:28:00.43] spk_1:
Uh we’re only

[00:28:01.68] spk_0:
we’re only in the second

[00:28:02.43] spk_1:
stage, you

[00:28:13.00] spk_0:
know proof of concept, big changes, hiring staff rent, you know there’s as we progress there’s enormous challenges to leadership. Is

[00:28:16.13] spk_1:

[00:28:27.59] spk_0:
person. Do you see that much? I mean is one person capable of taking an organization as as ceo founder remaining ceo through maturity is that I

[00:28:56.18] spk_1:
have to tell you, we could do a whole other podcast conversation on that question there. Do I personally think one person should do it all? No I don’t. And this is coming from somebody who started and founded multiple organizations, all of which had one E. D. Or one Ceo. And that was me. I think that this institution building piece is massive and I think that the idea of one person holding the responsibility for the hiring, the strategic vision, the resource development, the co governance with the word it’s a lot. And the biggest challenge that the leaders that I work with have is the sense of overwhelm the sense of constantly juggling so many balls. It’s it’s a

[00:29:16.13] spk_0:

[00:30:04.07] spk_1:
Yeah and I think you’re right to highlight it starts here right once there is an institution, right? Once there’s this formal legal structure there is there’s an organism that must be supported and built and you know held by someone, there’s a really interesting movement towards different models of leadership of shared leadership that was not Common when I was coming up, you know, 20 some odd years ago you had an executive director and they were at the top and they were in charge and I think there’s been a really great conversations happening more and more and I think more funding for and support for models of shared leadership. Co leadership. One of the organizations that I worked with had this really interesting for person leadership team. So there was no one executive director, they each sort of had their sphere of influence and they made to sit. Now there’s management and leadership challenges inherent in that also. But people are really experimenting with this. How do we hold this work?

[00:32:30.71] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony’s take two Non profit Radio 50, That is the coupon code that will get you 50% off planned. Giving accelerator. The course starts early March, we will be done together by Memorial Day, so it’s a three month course, You’ll spend an hour a week with me and your peers in the zoom meetings and they are meetings not webinars so everybody can talk to everybody else and you can interrupt me without having to put a question in the chat. It doesn’t work like that, just speak up and everybody helps each other. That the pure support is incredible. Um, it’s all about launching plan to giving at your nonprofit, that’s what we’re working on together. Making planned giving for you easy, accessible and affordable for small and midsize nonprofits. If this at all sounds interesting to you. You can check out the accelerator at planned giving accelerator dot com. You’ll see that the general public is getting 40% off the full tuition. You use non profit radio 50. No spaces maybe that’s obvious. I don’t know. No for a coupon it’s probably not obvious. non profit radio 50 with no spaces will get you 50% off the full tuition through february good through this month. So there you go. You’re entitled, it’s all at planned giving accelerator dot com. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for inflection points as your nonprofit grows with Brooke richie Babbage. Let’s advance the childhood.

[00:34:58.48] spk_1:
So childhood is where just like a child? This is where the organization begins to walk and talk on its own. So there’s more meaning wholly separate from the founder or it should. Right. So this is an indication, have you moved into the child? Have you moved out of the startup phase? There’s more stability organizations are still figuring out what it means to be an institution and to separate the work from the founder, but this is where you might start to actually see a small staff. Right. That not just volunteers. Often there are some combination of independent contractors, maybe some part time people one, maybe two full time people. A lot of times. This is where the founder will start to pay themselves. It’s really interesting to me how many founders make it all the way through and you’re not? Yeah, you’re nodding all the way through the start phase and choose to divert funding to other things. But right around now you start to actually have salary lines, you know, in your budget, you’re also gonna have more regular fundraising. So the childhood phase often marks the beginning of meaningful external fundraising, meaning it can support salaries, there’s some separate program funding. And because your fundraising is, your resources are going up, your expenses are also going up. So you have more robust programming, you’re investing more in institution, you’ll start to see overhead, etcetera. And transitioning out of this phase, when we talked about sort of, what’s the strategic question to ask? To move beyond transitioning out of this phase really requires a focus or emphasis on intentionality. So, the hallmark of the childhood phase is, you know, you have this small child who can stand on their own two ft. They’re like, you know, wobbling a little bit, but they’re standing there, small team, a little bit of fundraising. The pieces are there. And so to transition to this next phase, you have to start to say which of these pieces? And this is the organ organizational design piece, which of these pillars that we started to, you know, our anchors, we started to put down are working which ones are the right ones do we have the right team? What should our work look like over the next year? This is when you’ll start to see organizations actually have a long term strategic plan, a three or five year plan as opposed to just sort of each year we’re doing this, you’ll have a strategic fundraising plan that’s not just throwing spaghetti against the wall. It’s oh, but wait, do we want to have one event or two campaigns? Right. They start to be more intentional about leaning into what’s working?

[00:35:11.80] spk_0:
How about the board? Where where’s the board at? In in childhood? To me that sounds, that sounds like the toddler toddler phase you said beginning to walk in childhood. So where,

[00:35:22.61] spk_1:

[00:35:30.65] spk_0:
where’s the board at? Maybe I’m, maybe I shouldn’t call the toddler state. I’m not trying to rename your, I mean, I’ll

[00:35:32.96] spk_1:
tell you, we, my youngest son just turned five and we still call him the baby. So you know, it’s all, you know, it’s all words, but

[00:35:40.43] spk_0:

[00:35:41.12] spk_1:
all relative.

[00:35:42.25] spk_0:

[00:36:06.97] spk_1:
So your board is still, it’s not a true what we call governance board. This is still gonna be a hands on working board. And most often what you see in this phase is most of the sort of authority and decision making will still actually sit with the executive director. You still have executive directors running or co running board meetings, rallying board members as troops. Even though boards are moving out of the start up phase, which is highly hands on. You’re still going to have a board that most often looks to the executive director for direction and doesn’t necessarily see themselves as holding any sort of co governance authority or autonomy.

[00:36:26.24] spk_0:
All right, there might be more hands on still in fall in small ways like the board will take on this event or something like that

[00:36:35.47] spk_1:

[00:36:35.91] spk_0:
help with the mailing. You know, it’s, it’s be more ministerial uh functional than than strategic and

[00:36:44.61] spk_1:
at strategic and forward looking. Absolutely,

[00:36:47.52] spk_0:

[00:37:01.04] spk_1:
right. And I think one of the ways that that often shows up is, you know, a startup board often are like staff, right? They do all of the things in a childhood board, they’re not staff anymore, but they’re still more responsive than they are proactive. They will show up when called as opposed to saying, hey, as board members, we will proactively take on this role, this responsibility that tends to come later.

[00:37:17.38] spk_0:
Now we’re moving into the puberty, puberty phase,

[00:37:21.49] spk_1:
you are going to insist on calling a puberty,

[00:37:24.24] spk_0:
I’m not insisting teenage hood, teenage hood, its early

[00:37:27.78] spk_1:

[00:37:29.02] spk_0:
the hormones are raging,

[00:37:30.93] spk_1:

[00:37:32.23] spk_0:
what’s happening to us now? Yeah,

[00:38:09.49] spk_1:
so the growth stage organizations are often lumped together, right? We talked about sort of growing organizations, but like I said, I think they’re actually two phases and when you actually pay attention to those five sort of questions that I talked about, you know, what are the goals, what is fundraising look like, et cetera. You start to see early growth phase teenagers where the organization is stable and walking. There’s some intentionality and they’re really focused on scale, right? You mentioned hormones, they are sort of full steam ahead. You know, I was just joking with my husband about being a teenager and learning to drive and getting my first car and I just, I would drive a half a block to the store, right? There’s just like this energy, there’s constant forward movement,

[00:38:22.22] spk_0:
which has changed a lot by the way.

[00:38:24.67] spk_1:
Oh yeah, I’m

[00:38:25.91] spk_0:
hearing about teenage kids who don’t really don’t care about their driver’s license anymore.

[00:38:29.26] spk_1:
Oh no, I was, that was like the biggest,

[00:38:35.59] spk_0:
no, no for me too, I couldn’t wait to get my, my learner’s permit driver’s license, but today’s today’s teenagers. It’s not, it’s not that big a deal and I’m not talking about urban, I’m talking about stories from friends, I don’t have Children. So I don’t, I don’t know from this is the guy with no kids pontificating about Children, so take it for what it’s worth, which is probably nothing. But what I hear from my friends who do have Children is the driver’s license, like the permitting and licensing, it’s not that big a deal anymore

[00:39:02.42] spk_1:
fascinating. I can’t can’t tap into that because that was such a big deal for me and all of my friends

[00:39:10.33] spk_0:
are not there yet,

[00:39:11.27] spk_1:
not even close, I have an eight year old and a five year old

[00:39:14.22] spk_0:
and the new york

[00:39:15.05] spk_1:
kids so that there’s also just a different relationship to driving I think in new york

[00:39:21.14] spk_0:
city like new york. Yeah, I

[00:39:22.23] spk_1:
was a midwestern kid. So everybody, you know

[00:39:24.77] spk_0:
suburban suburban Jersey, I mean that was that was the freedom, that was

[00:39:30.00] spk_1:

[00:39:50.18] spk_0:
first time I could go out without a chaperone or something or the first time I was allowed to babysit, you know it was huge. It was huge. I couldn’t wait right on the birthday independence. Alright, I don’t think it’s that way and from what I hear it’s not that way anymore. Alright anyway, I’m sorry. Aggressed into the driving but your, let’s take it, let’s take it from the traditional way that you are starting your, you got your learner’s permit,

[00:41:36.43] spk_1:
that’s right. And so you’re like really excited to move forward. So the early growth phase is just growth, its scale and it’s a real fraught time. So this is often and I know I said there is no sort of budget assigned but a lot of the organizations that I work with like I said are you know late six figures and are in this, we want to grow, there is a need in our community, there is a need around our issue and we aren’t meeting it fast enough, we want to hire more people, we need to grow our board, we need to do more and this intentionality that they built during the childhood phase, the systems that they started to build their like we want to stress test them, right? So we are adding more programs. We are adding more people to our programs. We are growing, there’s more robust fundraising. So we’re bringing in more money and this juggling act can get really chaotic during this early growth phase because the addition of new team members, you know, one of the biggest conversations that I have with folks is they’ll come into my accelerator program. They’re saying I have the money to grow, right? So we raised this money to expand in this way. Who do I hire to do? What? I’ve never had to think about a staffing structure. I’ve never had to think about salaries in any way that was equitable. I just sort of paid people what we had and now I actually have to have some kind of you know, policy around it. I’ve never, my board has never had to review an audit and now they do, right. So this phase is marked by tremendous growth and increase, increased impact, increased staff and an attempt. You talked about leadership challenges an attempt by

[00:41:46.57] spk_0:
Leaders and bring this organization further or you’re not the right one.

[00:42:53.27] spk_1:
That’s right. And so one of the really important strategic growth focuses here, right to nail this phase and be ready for the next one is really actually around leadership, right? If in childhood it was around systems and stability intentionality here, it’s very often that the executive director has to begin to change their style of leadership, their definition of leadership and their own skill level, whereas before being an effective leader and again I’m generalizing here, but in the childhood phase it’s we’re hands on, I meet with my team all the time, we have a small but mighty group, we make our decisions together, sort of all hands on deck. That’s a really different leadership style and set of skills than more differentiated staff where maybe you have a leadership team and people that report to them, not directly to you, where you have board members that are now starting to join that are calling you and saying, hey

[00:43:01.72] spk_0:

[00:43:08.96] spk_1:
happening with the audit, what’s happening with the strategic plan where you start to have these other this other way that you need to show up as a leader and that is often a big challenge. That we talked about. This inflection point, that’s one of these, you know, I have a training that is what got you here, won’t get you there. This early growth phase is where I came up. Like why I say that

[00:43:32.05] spk_0:
what what what got you here won’t get you there. It sounds like the passion is not gonna be sufficient anymore,

[00:43:36.74] spk_1:
nope, not at all.

[00:43:37.75] spk_0:
Passion might have gotten you through childhood, but it’s not going to get you through teenage hood and into young adulthood.

[00:44:55.31] spk_1:
That’s right, it’s not going to get you into young adulthood and I like that we were talking about driving because this idea of, you know, you could crash, but you could go so quickly and not actually master, not master build your skills around things like you know, paying attention to financials, this is a big one that comes up during this phase, that up until now the nature of funding was sufficient that you know, I have E. D. S that are just like I look at our bank account once or twice a week and I have a good sense of our money, so that’s not actually financial management and that’s okay if you have $200,000 and one staff person and it’s all programming, but once you have different, funders multiple salary, lines some overhead. maybe some restricted funds, you actually have to pay attention to your financial infrastructure. Just as an example, that’s a different skill set, that’s a different allocation of your time in the week and making that shift, if you don’t, just like a teenager can run themselves into the ground, the organization can run itself into the ground. And so you definitely see organizations at this phase, not, not make it out of the early growth phase, they just get stuck in this sort of overwhelming chaos.

[00:45:04.05] spk_0:
It’s perfect, let’s move on.

[00:46:17.70] spk_1:
Yeah, so if they write, if they make it through the early growth phase, into the late growth phase, what’s happened is they have gotten comfortable with scale the organization. So the key characteristics here the organization is growing. It has figured out how to calibrate staffing or capacity with funding the right the right size to their programs. They feel like they’re growing in a way that that can be held and sustained. And now the question for late growth stages, how do we make sure that this growth that we’re experiencing is still anchored in our values and mission. So sometimes in order to grow, you have organizations that take on funding and they look up and they’re like, huh? So we have all this funding for this program that looks great. I can’t remember why we started that program. Right. Or we have 13 programs and everything feel scattered and I don’t really know that they’re all rooted and like why we started to do this to begin with. And so the goal here is learn to stay stable amidst growth. Right? How do we make sure that we’re anchored in our

[00:46:21.22] spk_0:
growth in

[00:46:39.54] spk_1:
the mission and the values? Absolutely, Absolutely. And so for the executive director, the leader, the strategic focus here is to fully transition into this mature organization. Right, full adulthood. How do I work on the organization? Not just in the organization? How do I get out of the weeds? How do I actually delegate to and rely on a leadership team or whatever the structure is, How do I rely on the systems we’ve set up so that my role is bringing in new resources, forming new partnerships. It’s visioning, its generative, it’s strategic.

[00:47:04.68] spk_0:
What does the board look like here in growth?

[00:48:04.78] spk_1:
So ideally at this point, the board functions more as thought partners, ambassadors and cheerleaders, they are being leveraged as resources out in the world. Right? So if you contrast this with the start up phase or the or the childhood phase where the board was still looking really inward, right hands on working board, what you start to see here in a healthy growing mature governance board or governance body, there are a lot of organizations now that are moving away from a traditional governance board and they have a governance team or a governance body. But the group of people that play that role is they are ambassadors, they are taking what they’re getting from inside the organization, the mission, the work, the passion and understanding of what the organization does and they’re going out into the world as cheerleaders as strategic advisors and bringing resources back into the organization. So there’s a shift to facing outwards and ideally you have board members that are proactive in that facing outwards, you know, they’re leveraging their resources, their networks etcetera. So you start to see that shift right around here

[00:48:15.58] spk_0:
explain the distinction you made between a governing board and a governance

[00:48:19.94] spk_1:

[00:48:21.47] spk_0:
It’s not really

[00:49:43.42] spk_1:
Yeah, it’s not a hard distinction. It’s their similarly to some of the conversations that folks are having around leadership, shared leadership, different models of co leadership. I’m seeing a lot of similar conversations around non traditional governance and so whereas in a traditional structure, you have, you know, these organizations and it has a board of governance board, board of directors, there are a lot of organizations that are rethinking what that body is called and how it works and what its relationship is to the organization. So one example is an organization that I’m working with now is thinking about, they’ve had a traditional board for about 11 years and they are thinking of actually separating fundraising and resource generation from community accountability and active governance. So reviewing the financials, making sure the audits, okay, there’s some core governance responsibilities that the board has, but one of the concerns they felt they were seeing or they have is that they’re bored. Their traditional board felt really separate from the community that they serve and are working in. So there was this like hierarchy that had been created and so they’re playing around with a governance team, which is going to be a larger, less structured, so no officers, no committees, no standing committees,

[00:49:50.69] spk_0:

[00:50:02.86] spk_1:
collective of people who play different roles. Primary among which is creating a feedback loop of accountability to the community that the organization serves. So they’re just, they’re not calling it a board. I am very early in my learning about this, but I do think they’re really, really cool conversations, there’s an organization change elemental that on their blog they actually underwent a complete overhaul of their governance board. They now have a governance team and they mapped the process on their blog. It’s a really great read, I highly recommend it.

[00:50:27.61] spk_0:
And what’s that organization again, it’s

[00:50:30.06] spk_1:
called? Change, elemental change,

[00:50:32.40] spk_0:

[00:50:36.48] spk_1:
Yeah, so that’s, that’s like growth phase, maturity,

[00:50:40.32] spk_0:

[00:53:04.53] spk_1:
is a stable organization, It has good systems, it has good bones, its mission aligned. Right? So this routing in the values and mission is solid and it’s having a good impact. I think the best way to think about this sort of mature zone of maximization is we’ve hit our stride, we have the right people in the right roles, we have the right systems, people understand their jobs, our boards functioning obviously right, the nuts and bolts are gonna be messier but largely speaking when you look around and the right pieces are working the right way. You’ve hit the zone of maximization and you made a point earlier that there may be aspects of your organization that hit maturity while others don’t, you may look and say our board is nailing it, they are thought partners, they are active, they are engaged, they are ambassadors, we, this is really great but the team, the staff, I’m still, I feel like we don’t have, you know role clarity, we’re not really nailing it there, that’s okay. Right, so there’s a sort of maturity in one area and perhaps teenage hood or still growth phase in another. And being able to recognize that means that as a leader as a team, you can pinpoint where to focus your not sort of looking globally and saying, oh our organization still needs to go, No, actually it’s the team that you want to focus on or it’s the fundraising that you need to focus on. So that’s this phase, it’s um, it’s really stable. And what’s exciting about this phase is that the goal becomes deepening of impact, that the institution is solid. And so now you’re thinking, how do we do better? Right. How do we meet the needs of more or in a deeper way. This is when you start to see organizational leaders think about things like thought leadership, right? Which is like jargon a way of saying how do we build, take this point of view or expertise that we have as an organization doing good work and help other people see this point of view, understand like how do we leverage our expertise for the benefit of other people who care about this work? So that’s essentially thought leadership, you’ll see executive directors more external to the organization, out building partnerships etcetera. And so they can do that at this phase because the institution is stable because they have a team holding top as, as a friend of mine calls it, right, doing solid, strategic and vision work, they have the systems etcetera. So they can be out in the world especially bringing more people in to an institution that is really good and

[00:53:19.42] spk_0:
also sharing with

[00:53:20.87] spk_1:
with exactly

[00:53:21.91] spk_0:
the world with their learnings have been

[00:53:29.51] spk_1:
what we’re learning. Exactly. It’s a really exciting, exciting time. Yeah, yeah, so that’s that’s sort of that final stage stage.

[00:53:44.30] spk_0:
So now your work becomes a lot clearer I think because you you can work with organizations and leadership to, you know, not necessarily like pinpoint your at this stage, your board is over here and your funding is up there, but leaders that want to advance or feel stuck,

[00:53:57.40] spk_1:

[00:53:57.66] spk_0:
know, you can you can help them look strategically introspectively.

[00:54:02.08] spk_1:

[00:54:03.01] spk_0:
where where the institution is and where it wants to be and

[00:54:07.92] spk_1:

[00:54:09.01] spk_0:
bridge that

[00:56:33.86] spk_1:
gap. Absolutely. I think one of the words that I hear most frequently from organizational leaders. So I work with leaders of two programs, one focuses on launching, launching an early and and birth and childhood and the other, most of my work is with the early and late growth stage organizations. So organizations that are trying intentionally to scale and usually from six figures to early seven figures and the word overwhelm comes up in every conversation. It’s just overwhelming. There’s, I don’t know how to prioritize, I don’t know what to do. First of all of the things that I have to do. And so most of what I do is as a thought partner and also not emotionally connected. So it’s easier for me to see the chessboard is help them figure out the right thing to focus on at the right time. Right? What is your stage of development? What should your goal be? And what is the, the strategic objective that you want to to achieve so that you’re ready to move on to the next phase? And I always say to people, it doesn’t make sense to be focusing on the strategic objectives of being a teenage organization if you are a child, right? Or you know, or if you’re an infant like that, that it’s gonna frustrate you, it’s going to be overwhelming if you have a hands on board made up entirely or almost entirely of your friends and family and you are trying to get them to be a proactive, highly skilled governance board that leap skips a bunch of phases. And so a lot of the challenges that the leaders that I work with are navigating is that they look around at other organizations again at their budget size or maybe that organization is also seven years old and they try to reverse engineer or sort of pace themselves against these other organizations. And when we start to work together, one of the things that happens most commonly at the beginning is they realize, oh, we’re not there yet, Right? So I, I shouldn’t be trying to raise $1 million dollars from individual donors yet. I don’t have any major donors there’s some phases that you’re missing. And so that clarity can sometimes help bring on some calm, right? You don’t have to worry about the million dollar major donor yet. You’re not there. How about we build your major donor base? How about we clarify who your donors are and develop a system for getting in front of them and then that will move you to the next phase, in the next phase, etcetera. So that’s most of what I, that’s the organizational design that I help with.

[00:57:03.31] spk_0:
Your work reminds me of something that a friend of mine who’s a consultant often says his Lawrence Lawrence Bignone, I wish he pronounced his name, but he doesn’t pronounces it tony that we should, we should all sort of personally and professionally be aspiring to a better set of problems.

[00:57:25.24] spk_1:
Oh, I love that.

[00:57:26.68] spk_0:
Yeah, yeah. So you know, we’re always gonna have headaches and problems, but they become, they become more sophisticated, more refined,

[00:57:36.10] spk_1:
right? He

[00:57:45.08] spk_0:
says, you know, a better set of problems to solve. I like that too. Uh, seems to capture the, these, these different stages.

[00:57:46.86] spk_1:

[00:57:48.71] spk_0:

[00:57:50.57] spk_1:
And I think we don’t beat ourselves up as leaders. If, you know, if we define being a successful leader as solving all the problems, we’re not having any problems. Well then that job’s gonna suck because

[00:58:05.82] spk_0:
it’s never, but

[00:58:06.55] spk_1:
instead I really like this, right? If if the goal is what’s the next best set of problems that I’m aiming for, um, it gives us honestly permission to fail forward, which I think is really important.

[00:58:22.19] spk_0:
All right Brooke, I, I feel like uh,

[00:58:24.61] spk_1:
I feel like we covered it all. This was great.

[00:58:29.54] spk_0:
Well, okay. Um, yeah, now you know, not to be frustrated with where you

[00:58:32.12] spk_1:

[00:58:33.42] spk_0:
but to be introspective about where, where the problems are and what it takes to get you.

[01:00:13.76] spk_1:
Absolutely. I um, I posted on linkedin last week that if I had a tag line, it would be growth with intention and I think that both in life and definitely as a nonprofit leader, this idea that growth can be fraught. It is fraught. There are always challenges their growth edges. There’s relearning, there’s unlearning, there’s a lot that goes into growth itself and I think a lot of the overwhelmed the burnout, the fear, the insecurity and uncertainty, all of the things that nonprofit leaders all experience. And I’ve been there. So I know those can be reduced if we just lean into intentionality. Right? If we, if we say, hey, what’s happening, what do we like that we’re doing? What don’t we like that we’re doing? What questions should we be asking, right? That that intentionality can help us drown out the noise, right? The things we don’t actually need to be focusing on the things that we, we don’t need to be comparing ourselves to. So I think that that can be really helpful and that’s I think why I like doing organizational design and strategy work because I find that that comes fairly easily to me the sort of seeing the, the order, the through line and when I’m able to help other leaders gain some of that clarity, there’s there’s really a calm right? There’s a there’s like a deep breath that people are able to take and I remember some of the toughest days as an executive director and having people help me with that so that I could take a deep breath was really transformative. So that’s what I try to do for folks

[01:00:29.74] spk_0:
growth with intentionality.

[01:00:31.37] spk_1:

[01:00:32.28] spk_0:
Brooke richie Babbage, you’ll find Brooke and her work at Brooke richie Babbage dot com Brooke thank you so much. Really insightful, valuable thank you.

[01:00:43.03] spk_1:
This was a great conversation, thank you for having me, tony

[01:01:29.46] spk_0:
my pleasure, I’m glad you loved it next week. Leadership development with two folks from the bridge span group seems to parallel very, very well with what Brooke and I just talked about leadership development. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott stein of Brooklyn, Thank you for that information Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%,, Go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for September 26, 2022: In Nonprofits, Do We Trust?


Gene Takagi: In Nonprofits, Do We Trust?

Gene Takagi

Public trust in nonprofits is eroding. Why is that, what does it mean for our work, and what can the nonprofit community do about it? Gene Takagi, our legal contributor and principal of NEO Law Group, returns with his insights.



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[00:00:52.08] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d get slapped with a diagnosis of fragility as angry. Um if you nailed me with the idea that you missed this week’s show in nonprofits, do we trust? Public Trust in nonprofits is eroding. Why is that? And what can the nonprofit community do about it? Gene Takagi are legal contributor and principal of neo Law group returns with his insights On Tony’s take two. This is not planned, giving

[00:00:57.14] spk_1:

[00:01:41.13] spk_0:
sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c. O. And by fourth dimension technologies I. T. Infra in a box the affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant four D. Just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. It’s always a pleasure to welcome back Gene Takagi, you know who he is. Of course he he we owe him the introduction that he that he deserves, but you know who he is, He’s our legal contributor, Managing attorney of neo the nonprofit and exempt organizations law group in saN Francisco he edits the wildly popular nonprofit law blog dot com, which you should follow and he’s a part time lecturer at Columbia University. The firm is at neo law group dot com and jean is at G tech. Gene

[00:01:58.66] spk_1:

[00:01:59.11] spk_0:
for being back Welcome.

[00:02:00.73] spk_1:
It’s great to be here.

[00:02:03.15] spk_0:
It’s always a genuine pleasure. Thank you.

[00:02:07.78] spk_1:

[00:02:20.77] spk_0:
talking about public trust today. Uh not only your concerns, but you’re, you’re seeing evidence of. And I’m certainly reading some things too about eroding public trust in nonprofits. What what are you seeing? What are you thinking about that?

[00:02:27.69] spk_1:
You know, my first thoughts, tony is that trust really is the foundation of, of good relationships, right. No matter whether we’re talking about person to person,

[00:02:39.09] spk_0:
person to

[00:03:18.40] spk_1:
charity, you know, person to other institutions and charities I think are especially reliant on trust because if you’re asking people and groups and organizations to give money to you, um, they’ve got to trust that you’re gonna do use that money for charitable purposes, not for personal gain, not for other things, but for the charitable purposes that they want to support. And when trust erodes in our charities, that’s really a red flag and sort of a harbinger of things, bad things that could follow. So trust is really important, I think, um, to talk about. And the study, the most recent study that came out from independent sector and Edelman Data and intelligence found that there’s low trust amongst all institutions. So maybe not completely surprising, but less than a third say the trust, government, large corporations and the news media

[00:03:35.93] spk_0:

[00:04:08.91] spk_1:
charities, relatively speaking are better than that in terms of the trust factor, but it’s been dropping and nonprofits as a, as a sector, The trust and nonprofits now is 56%. The rest either are neutral on it or have a distrust of nonprofits, only 56% and only 36% trust philanthropy or foundations and grantmaking organizations, so that’s really, really low. And women’s trust and non profits dropped even more than than men. Um, and I think another flag to point out is our younger generations, especially gen Z

[00:04:17.56] spk_0:

[00:04:18.43] spk_1:
have a distrust of nonprofits. Um, and

[00:04:22.83] spk_0:

[00:04:23.75] spk_1:
the wealth transfer that’s expected from baby boom generation to millennials and two gen Z, that’s got to be alarming to nonprofits. And I, I think it’s just worthy to call out right now.

[00:04:35.97] spk_0:
Do you know what that number is among gen z. Trust in nonprofits that in the independent sector include that in in their survey.

[00:04:49.81] spk_1:
Well, the statistic that I, I saw that that called out to me was 57% of gen z. Americans say giving directly to individuals makes a bigger impact than giving to nonprofits. So they would rather give to individuals on go fund me or another crowdfunding site than to give to a nonprofit. They find that more trustworthy.

[00:05:16.77] spk_0:
There’s another dimension to the, to the trust, which is government, trust in nonprofits. And you could read government as congressional or, you know, I. R. S. But you know, they they, the the U. S. Government has bestowed the charitable deduction so that the money is used for, as you said, you know, for charitable purposes as disclosed in your organizing documents. And if if I’m thinking more of Congress, you know, if congress feels that

[00:05:43.59] spk_1:

[00:05:43.80] spk_0:
nonprofit community can’t be trusted, you know, we could start to see some erosion of, uh, clawback of some of the, the benefits that nonprofits enjoy. Tax free status, for instance, and the charitable deduction to name a couple of

[00:06:00.50] spk_1:

[00:06:01.37] spk_0:
wildly valuable ones.

[00:06:22.64] spk_1:
Yeah, and that’s such a great point because just a few days ago, there was news about a case in Minnesota where government funding to feed poor Children, um, there was a huge scandal involving tens of millions of dollars. So, um, it really speaks to two if government stops trusting nonprofits or certain government agencies and cuts funding to agencies, how harmful that might be to charities and the beneficiaries they’re trying to serve.

[00:06:35.87] spk_0:
I think that one was even worse. I think it was like $240 million dollars

[00:06:41.59] spk_1:

[00:06:42.04] spk_0:
of pandemic aid money. I saw that in, in Minnesota is supposed to be going to feed Children during the pandemic and, and pocketed. Yeah,

[00:06:52.51] spk_1:
patterns there as well. It’s, it’s,

[00:06:55.94] spk_0:

[00:06:58.09] spk_1:

[00:06:58.93] spk_0:
is. It’s, it’s, um, and then of course there’s always been Charles grassley. I mean, he’s been, he’s been nipping at, uh, foundations and donor advised funds for for years

[00:08:03.64] spk_1:
now. Yeah. And in fact, the whole charitable sector, I think, um, and a significant portion of our lawmakers, um, take a consumer protection perspective of, we want to protect donors, um, and not strengthening the nonprofit sector perspective they want to create laws that will per, you know, try to prevent, um, uh, fraud or misuse of charitable funds as if this is rampant amongst the nonprofit sector, which my position is, it is not, but there are certain high profile cases that hit the new york times and the Washington post and all the other newspapers. And there’s so much media coverage that focuses on scandals because that’s what’s gonna sell right. The tweet or the short snippet that people’s attention span will, will actually stop on. Um, it’s gonna sell much more if it’s a scandal rather than a long term growth in in impact. Even, you know, the, the great news that child poverty has, has been really declining in in the country, which should be huge news gets short shrift compared to some of the big scandals that we hear about.

[00:09:08.60] spk_0:
Yeah, yeah. When I name dropped Charles Grassley, I should have said Senator, senator from Iowa, Republican, senator from Iowa Charles grassley. Um, yeah, right. It’s, it’s the scandals that, that’s, that get clicks that sell papers that get attention. I remember, I’m sure you do several years ago there was a scandal among an, an organization supposedly raising money for Navy Veterans like Navy Navy Veteran Foundation or something like that several years ago, but it was very high profile. Um, what was the other, do you remember, I don’t mean to put you on the spot. It’s okay if you don’t remember because I don’t the, uh, the veterans organization that was accused of squandering, you know, tens of millions of dollars on lavish retreats and high, high executive salaries. But, but, but it it had it had great outcomes. It was, it was funding lots of veterans organizations.

[00:09:25.25] spk_1:
I think the one you’re talking about is the Wounded Warriors.

[00:09:29.11] spk_0:
Thank you. Yes. Project.

[00:09:51.07] spk_1:
And yeah, it’s, um, it’s always difficult. Um, looking at an organization through the eyes of the media, um, about how, you know, how well or unwell they did. I don’t want to create, um, you know, uh, discuss particular scandals too much other than to say that they create problems for the whole sector. So, you know, that’s, it’s just something to be aware of. And they’re not necessarily reflective of the vast majority of nonprofits out there trying to do good work and help people.

[00:10:17.64] spk_0:
The 99.99% you know, our our that’s even higher than the nonprofit radio 95% No, uh, 99.99% of nonprofits are not scandalous. And could they, could many of them be running more efficiently. Yes, but we’re not, we’re not talking about mere efficiency. You know, we’re talking about erosion of trust because of high profile crises or scandals malfeasance.

[00:10:37.97] spk_1:
Yeah, high

[00:10:39.21] spk_0:

[00:10:39.92] spk_1:

[00:11:55.21] spk_0:
representative. It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. They know the nonprofit community and they know pr and journalism. Both partners are former journalists peter pan a pinto, one of the two worked as senior managing editor at the Chronicle of philanthropy. And after that he was at the council on foundations. So he understands the nonprofit space very well, which means he understands your challenges, understands how important pr and being a thought leader is to to your work. And the two of them together know how to build relationships with outlets, not just with journalists, but you know, also podcasters, um, conference organizers. So they understand nonprofits, they understand communications, how to build relationships and that’s what’s gonna get you heard across all media. So let’s turn to turn to communications. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o Now back to in nonprofits. Do we trust?

[00:12:00.88] spk_1:
It takes me to another tangent though, now that you talked about efficiency, tony and that’s kind of, we’ve talked about it before and you’ve talked about it with the writers of uh, article or a letter called the overhead myth. I don’t know if you recall

[00:12:16.06] spk_0:
that many years ago. Yes. The C E O. S of charity Navigator better business. Bureau wise giving alliance and guidestar.

[00:13:08.09] spk_1:
Yeah. And you know, they were saying that we shouldn’t, you know, base ratings on a charity in terms of how worthy they are to receive funds from donors simply based on overhead ratio. You know what their admin and fundraising costs are relative to their programmatic costs and those are really wise wise words, um, that that were stated in that letter. But even today we still see organizations even high profile ones that talk about their low overhead ratio. And it can engender trust um, in their organization at the expense of trust of other organizations that legitimately have higher overhead ratios because the infrastructures and you know, the things that they need to do may be completely different. So it’s not fair to, you know, compare across the board and across the maturity of an organization. So

[00:14:06.82] spk_0:
another very valuable thing to invest in is is research, research, uh, maybe maybe going beyond research, activating a new program that, you know, that may or may not succeed, but you have to invest upfront, you know that it’s annoying the folks who hold different opinions about wise investment in technology, you know, it’s Uber should be losing money for the 1st 12 years, you know, because it’s investing in the future. Um, Tesla, you know, non profit unprofitable for many years, but you know, look where they are now, but, but in the nonprofit sector, you know, we don’t we don’t allow that that research and um, spending on innovation, we consider that overhead like, you know, like, like rent, which rent happens to be important too, but you know, something, something um, rent is not a good example, but sort of, you know, frivolous or you know, self indulgent when it could very well be research and and scaling up for for a for a dynamic

[00:14:29.60] spk_1:
future or even things like a living wage.

[00:15:22.90] spk_0:
Yeah. Good. Exactly. Thank you. Yes. Um, yeah, I I don’t like the, you know, I don’t like the double standard where we we we praise it in in some industries, but we we we criticize it uh, in in non profits. And I’m thinking specifically about investment in the future and whether that’s people or programs or even technology, technology is a is a valuable investment. It saves time. It creates productivity, makes people more comfortable at work. It enables them to work out of an office now and be remote, give them that benefit, which so many people are craving now, you know, but these are these are all wise investments, not not um, detrimental overhead.

[00:16:33.02] spk_1:
Yeah, I absolutely agree. And there’s a way to do it cheap. You could invest in technology on the cheap and that might have long term adverse consequences, including to kind of the sort of the data protection and privacy issues that can result. So if you’re really thinking ahead and investing in, not only just technology, just to be sort of more effective and efficient in the short term, the protective of your beneficiaries and your staff and others your donors in the long term, um, then you need to make more of an investment in that. And that’s another thing where, you know, we lose trust if you if you sort of blow your donor lists that are supposed to be private and you know, other big companies get ahold of it and start to target your donor base for unrelated things or even if they’re related sometimes, but not your organization and it was due to a slip on your part or your technology and information technology protocols. You can run into trouble. So again, investments have a double edged sword there. Great. But they can result in a loss of trust too if you’re not managing it properly and you compromise people’s information.

[00:16:41.40] spk_0:
Um, and also, you know, you mentioned living wage but investing in people so that people stay with your organization.

[00:16:48.75] spk_1:

[00:16:49.07] spk_0:
right. And that that starts with a living wage that also impacts to on technology. Uh, you know, time away professional development. You know, these are, these are investments in staff that people see and appreciate and make longevity with your organization more likely than you know, than than to to jump ship every six months.

[00:17:11.75] spk_1:
And that builds trust to write, I’m much more comfortable working with you if you’ve been with the charity for 10 years, Tony than if you were hired three months ago and there’s always a different person I’m talking to as a donor.

[00:17:31.13] spk_0:
Absolutely. Yeah. All right. You have some insights into what we as a community or hopefully even individual nonprofits can can start to think about take to their C. E. O. S. Take to their boards. This is always where you Excel gene.

[00:18:33.73] spk_1:
Well in the first steps are kind of simple. Um you know, it’s be compliant yourself, make sure your own houses in order. Um so we can sort of raise all of the issues with where you can lose trust with organizations. Um but even though 99.9% of the organizations are well intentioned, I can’t say that 99.9% of the organizations are compliant. Um so working to make sure you’re compliant Working to make sure that the tone is set at the top with the strong board of directors that is actually providing direction and oversight and not just simply helping you, you know, with fundraising and otherwise just rubber stamping the decisions of the leaders. I think it really is important that the tone be set at the top of the organization through the board of directors. A

[00:18:34.26] spk_0:
tone say say more about the tone.

[00:19:11.50] spk_1:
So the tone of placing the importance of a trusting relationship with our beneficiaries with our employees with our other stakeholders. I think that’s really important and that should be reflected in policies. So it’s not good enough to say, you know, this is what we believe in. So the, you know, one of the hot topics today is a board sets a diversity equity and inclusion policy. But if that policy just sits on the shelf and that’s the end of the discussion of it. And there are no actual changes or action plans attached to that that’s gonna maybe harm the organization more than help it. So the tone at the top means a board that is doing its role in moving that organization forward and focusing um not only on doing good work and, you know, metrics for for programmatic success, but on building trust within and outside of the organization.

[00:20:07.00] spk_0:
And that that Ceo board chair uh Ceo executive committee, if the board has an executive committee relationship is key to this. I mean, they they all whether it’s two people or the Ceo and a committee, you know, need to be uh you know, committed to the same, not only the same mission, but the same uh strategy for getting there. You know, the same commitment to the things that you’re talking about, this needs to be a a unified

[00:20:08.30] spk_1:

[00:20:09.10] spk_0:
group at the top between the Ceo and the board leadership.

[00:21:55.36] spk_1:
Yeah, it’s absolutely critical tony I agree. There is, however, sort of another dimension to this which adds complexity and that’s kind of the feeling amongst particularly younger generations. Again, and why there’s a little bit of distrust is too much power focused on the top of an organization without sort of distributing leadership and and the right to participate in this. You know, the bigger decisions of the organization being dispersed throughout the organization and getting input from beneficiaries about um you know, how the organization should evolve or um move forward in further its purpose if we’re not really thinking about getting other voices in it, and particularly if our boards are not very diverse, um that’s gonna engender more distrust as well um with with an organization and this leadership. So while what’s happening at the top level and the relationship between the Ceo and the chair of the board is critically important, it is really important to also make sure that leadership, authority and power is being dispersed down through the organization and that the board actually can listen to directly um input from some of the staff. Um and we shouldn’t create like a wall between board and staff completely. You know, that there’s a little bit of um new thinking on that because the old old ways is like the board should not micromanage right. We should not interfere with staff decisions, which is partly true, but it doesn’t mean that we create a complete block. So the board members don’t see the staff members and the staff don’t see the board and they just don’t know each other. So, um there is a sort of a balance there that needs to be taken.

[00:22:20.82] spk_0:
Can we, can we say a little more about that in terms of examples of how this could be done? Like you’re you’re talking about staff, but also the beneficiaries of the programmatic work. Uh is this um like, I mean, certainly beneficiaries could be members of the board or or is it more an advisory committee, but then to your point, you know, you don’t want it to just be a committee that the board doesn’t listen to. The ceo doesn’t listen to. You know, how can we uh actually execute on on some of this in terms of staff and beneficiaries?

[00:24:23.71] spk_1:
So there are a lot of different ways that it might be done and there’s no one right way for, you know, for all organizations, but getting other voices involved can be done in, you know, um through committees as you suggested, but they can’t just be advisory. If you’re really gonna disperse power, you have to give them some power even if they’re not made up of only board members and some people call any committee that is not composed of only board members, they call them at advisory committees. And because of the name, they think that they can only give advice to the board, but they don’t have any management authority. But that’s not true. You can give these other committees management authority, the way you can give a Ceo or CFO management authority, the board can delegate authority down to these other committees. These non board committees as well. So that may be one way of getting power dispersed through the organization, that that committee might be made up of some employees, some beneficiaries and maybe there is a pipeline so that some of the other people that you’d like to put onto a board, but you might not know very well, you might not have enough experience in certain things that you’d like to have them develop more knowledge of the organization and the work before they possibly a strong candidate for joining the board, but that could be a vehicle or an on ramp to being a board um board member as well. And again, creating a more diverse and stronger board with diverse perspectives and understandings of what the organization does and who it impacts. So I think there are definitely ways and we’ve seen this in other models as well. Some that have worked with some organizations and same models not working with other organizations. Hill Ocracy is sort of one example of that. What

[00:24:24.13] spk_0:
is that drug in jail? What? Hill Ocracy.

[00:25:53.62] spk_1:
Hill Ocracy is a form of management where there are still remnants of hierarchy, but a lot of decision making is made in kind of circles and circles might be employed, they might be employees and others and circles have certain autonomy over their body of decision making. So you might have a circle based on HR issues. So it’s not just one person with the final say, it’s this circle or a group in the law, we would just call it another committee. But um in hypocrisy there all circles and and this was used by some high profile for profit companies and some nonprofits, some had success with it, Some didn’t. So um there are other models out there as well, not one size will fit all, but again, there’s an administrative cost to trying to implement new models, um, but new models or maybe the way that we want to go and their movement organizations all over the place that are impacting how nonprofits and for profits are to be governed and managed. And we should be listening to some of these forces that are out there because they will gradually shape what we’re doing. You can see this by some younger people not sticking with employment as long as they were the great resignation and stuff. If you feel powerless within an organization or if you don’t feel the organization is representing what you want, your employer to be doing, they may not stay and having a little bit of say in what the organization is doing, even if it’s just the starting points because you can’t jump from point a to, you know, to the ideal point in one step, it’s gonna take a long, a long time to get there. But just to seeing that progress may be assigned to somebody to to say, I’m gonna stick around here and and find out

[00:26:35.35] spk_0:
alright creating vehicles for right people’s voices to be heard. Um, and you’re right, it’s, it’s incremental, but just the, just the showing of some progress, some initiative to uh, opening up the leadership, opening

[00:26:38.15] spk_1:

[00:26:41.97] spk_0:
strategic decision making, could be, it could be uh, you know, valuable to, to folks right? And encourage them to, to stay versus looking for someplace that’s more inclusive. Yeah.

[00:26:53.98] spk_1:
You know, if your Ceo doesn’t trust the board or if your employees don’t trust the ceo, how are you going to expect donors and your beneficiaries to trust the organization? So it really trust has to be built throughout the organization.

[00:28:41.45] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Fourth dimension technologies. Are you seeing technology as the investment that it is not as an expense, but an investment in your sustainability, your staff productivity, your staff happiness, um, satisfaction, an investment in your donor relations through your crm database. Uh, it’s an investment in your organization’s work and its future. That’s what technology that’s where your technology ought to be thought of. And fourth dimension four D. For short can help you make those investments wisely so that you’re not squandering on something you don’t really need. Like maybe your backup is sufficient, but you need the multi factor authentication installed, etcetera. So you know, they can help you think through smart technology investments. That’s it four D. And you know where the listener landing pages to check them out. It’s at tony dot M A slash four D. Which by the way is just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. Let’s return to in non profits. Do we trust? What else do you see Gene as as things we can we can think about besides this sort of distributed, I’m calling it distributed leadership or maybe you call it distributed leadership. Yeah.

[00:29:32.73] spk_1:
So other things. Maybe some simple tips guard private data. We talked a little bit about it before with technology. If you’ve got data that you’re promising that will be kept confidential. Make sure you’re guarding that. Be careful about automating and depersonalizing interactions with technology as well. Like we could have a sort of a voicemail for everybody and you know, hit one if you want to do this. It too. If you want to do this and completely not let any donor speak to any individual without, you know, spending an hour on the phone that may not be, uh, seen as something that would build trust. So we have to be careful of our uses of technology there as well in our communications. Um, if you’re going to say something, um, don’t talk the talk. If you’re not going to walk the walk, right? So don’t make promises that you’re not going to keep

[00:29:41.70] spk_0:
that for an example of that is A D. I. Policy,

[00:29:45.44] spk_1:
right? Exactly

[00:29:46.80] spk_0:
written and never, never executed or remains written once and never evolves.

[00:31:13.44] spk_1:
And if you have a campaign to engage in a particular, uh, you know, program and you don’t raise enough money. And so that program never runs, you better be explaining this to your donors. Um, why that happened. And the possibility that that might happen when you start fundraising for it. So don’t just say, you know, after the fact when they complain that said, well we didn’t raise enough. So we used your money for other things that’s not going to engender trust. Um remember your mission and your beneficiaries don’t exist in a vacuum, right? Um, so it’s not just about your organization. And if you your numbers go up, um whatever metrics that you use financial performance or number of beneficiaries served whatever they are, you shouldn’t look at it as a silo. You should be looking at the entire ecosystem in which you are participating. And that would be, you know, open up things like environmentalism like you might not think environmental, your organization’s not environmental organization, but if climate change continues and creates hardships that, you know, scientists are predicting, predicting you probably will have an impact on your mission and your beneficiaries. And so to sort of think, just, you know, outside of that, that silo you want to be thinking about what your impact of your decisions will be, not only on your organization and beneficiaries, but on your allied organizations, on the broader community and what will that do to trust as well. So,

[00:32:03.91] spk_0:
a lot of these ideas, a lot of what you’re saying could be, you know, germinating in an advisory committee, you know, how could we look differently at at our contribution to climate change and what climate change means to us in the future for our for our for our people and for our work, but also what could we be doing right now, You know, even if we’re not an environmental organization siloed as you’re saying, you know, we still have an environmental impact. So what what contribution to to minimize climate change or reverse climate change can we make as well as planning for the for the future? Uh you know, that that those kinds of conversations can come out of these um advisory committees that is that are comprised of staff and and beneficiaries. I mean, these are the folks that live the mission day to day.

[00:32:36.09] spk_1:
Yeah, I love that idea to tony Sometimes the board may not have um or feel that they have the bandwidth to sort of discuss these sort of broader issues. Um and they’re a little bit more focused. So having the help um the advisory committee on an issue like like climate change for a non environmental organization or an organization whose mission is not focused on the environment. I think that would be great.

[00:32:45.06] spk_0:
Yeah. And I want to reiterate your point that which I’ve never thought of, advisory committees can be granted policy making authority and and and change within the organization. So whatever that looks like, you know, you can bestow that that authority

[00:33:05.16] spk_1:
Absolutely, and you can give them a budget to even sort of to putting

[00:33:11.20] spk_0:
money behind it. But that that yeah, money talks. That’s a that’s a big step granting them a budget granting them some granting them authority to make change that’s empowering and an advisory committee. All right.

[00:34:01.14] spk_1:
I think, you know, one area of trust that we haven’t spoken yet, but maybe, um why I as a lawyer and talking about these things and you’re not getting it from another consultant, is that the laws can also impact trust and non profits have to decide whether they want to set a position on certain laws. And um, some of the things that I’m thinking about is the deductibility of charitable contributions. So, we’ve had an above the line contribution where non itemizers could deduct as well because of Covid. Um, but that was just temporary. Um, and now there’s sort of a push for, well, we should make a charitable contribution deductible to all taxpayers, and not just about the 10% of taxpayers who itemize, who tend to be, you know, have a little bit more wealth, or some, in some cases a lot more than those who don’t itemize.

[00:34:17.90] spk_0:
Is it that small? The proportion of taxpayers who itemize is around 10%,,

[00:34:22.34] spk_1:
10-13%, is what I’m hearing.

[00:34:24.86] spk_0:

[00:35:52.18] spk_1:
So, um, again, you know, part of trust and distrust has to do with concentrations of power and wealth, right? And when the 1% or the .1% control so much policy control the leadership of pivotal organizations in all sectors, and in government, um, there’s going to be a distrusted institutions. Again, that, you know, one third of people distrust big institutions. Um, and, you know, that concentration of wealth and power is, is the reason why. Um so laws that sort of enforce that. So if we just give you no deductible, make make tax benefits to, to richer people who can deduct, who can itemize their deductions and not to others that may feel really unfair to the public. And another reason for distrust. So, will your organization’s, even though tax policy is probably almost no organization’s mission, it has an impact. Um, and so it may be something that organizations want to take a look at. And there are organizations like independent sector of the National Council on nonprofits and others who the Tax Policy center that that can explain this a little bit. But you you may want to take a look and see if you want to put a position on it. And one of the things that I also think, um engender distrust is when the media miss reports, the law in one area where the mis reported it is a lot of media say, charities can’t lobby and that’s just not true. Um, so charities can lobby on things like, you know, the the above the line deduction. Um, and and on other things as well, and there are just certain limits that apply, but they’re often generous, So learn a little bit more and we can build a stronger sector?

[00:36:21.84] spk_0:
Well, you and I have talked about the the lobbying limits on previous shows, is it is it safe to say that the law hasn’t changed over the past? I don’t know, 23 years maybe, since you and I have talked about this.

[00:36:34.17] spk_1:

[00:37:06.11] spk_0:
So, so at Tony-Martignetti.com, you can search gene Takagi, you’ll find many episodes that he’s on and one or one or two are about the uh, the lobbying limits, I think, I think the last time may have been 2020 when the pre election. So we may well, with the, with the election in late The election in late 2020, so we may have done something like in mid-2020 or so on the lobbying, uh, exemption or Well, that’s not that’s not that’s not the right phrase. What the limits of lobbying and you make the you just said, you know, they are, they are generous in some cases. It’s not it’s not that it has to be a de minimus proportion of your budget or something.

[00:37:24.83] spk_1:
Yeah, the

[00:37:26.87] spk_0:

[00:37:27.68] spk_1:
the losses insubstantial which scares the majority of charities away from doing any of it, but it turns out it can be fairly generous limits to engaging in lobbying.

[00:38:01.79] spk_0:
Okay. Um, and the point that you made before that, I was going to say something about that too. Well, sorry, what did you say? Right before you were talking about the uh, the permissibility of some lobbying activities. You made a point? Yes, thank you. The last thing we want is for Donating to charity to be perceived as, uh, as an elitist activity. That only the only the top now you’re saying whatever 10 or 13% of the population can, can give because they’re the only ones who get the advantage because they’re the only, they’re the ones who itemize their deductions. The last thing we want is for donating to charities to be perceived as an elitist activity.

[00:39:13.92] spk_1:
Yeah, absolutely. tony and with, you know, with our current tax policy, how it works. Um, then I don’t want to get too complicated with that. We are seeing a shrinking middle class. I don’t think there’s anything denying that people, most people have less discretionary income. So if we look at the fundraising statistics now, the giving statistics, we see that, um, even if giving goes up Giving from kind of the middle class and smaller donors has shrunk, um, and, and quite significantly, and it’s, it’s the people, um, that have put in huge contributions that have made up for that. So the Mackenzie Scott, you know, with, I think $13 billion dollars over the last few years, they’re making up for that. But that can change the way nonprofits run if, if it’s all about, again, elite, wealthy, powerful individuals who make the big contributions that then have the ear of the boards of these organizations that then talk about policy and they create policy or, or advocate for policies that keep that dynamic in existence. So it is problematic.

[00:40:52.59] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony Take two. My latest video on linkedin is this is not planned giving uh it’s short under two minutes. I give you an example of what is not planned giving and remind you what planned giving is, how simple planned giving is when it’s done right, when you start with simple gifts by will. But I’ve got kind of a lighthearted back way of looking at it through what planned giving isn’t in the opening. So latest video on linkedin, you’ll find me on linkedin. My name is tony-martignetti by the way that has escaped you. And uh it’s my latest video there That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for in nonprofits. Do we trust with Gene Takagi? Look at this dark potential that people look at at the United States as alright, the wealthy control government because of dark money and and the Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court uh wealthy control business because only wealthy people start and or run run businesses and grow them and only only white males have the access to capital to start businesses. And then and then the perception that um the wealthy control the nonprofit

[00:41:13.41] spk_1:
sector, you

[00:41:21.27] spk_0:
know, and the wealthy control of media, you know, this is all this is all very uh a very detrimental, very dark cynical way of looking at the at the country, but I’m not I’m not sure that where that’s far away from

[00:42:10.55] spk_1:
it. Yeah, I agree. tony And I think past generations, you know, including ours, you know, we’ve always kind of done better than our parents. Our parents were lucky enough to put us in that position. But the younger generations now economically um and maybe, you know health wise and mental health wise, they may not be doing as well as their parents overall and they’re questioning kind of the system because of that. Um and we maybe didn’t question it because our generation did better than our parents um in those terms. But now there is just legitimate questioning of do we need to change these policies and these dynamics and these power structures and um you know, organizations have a say in this and and use your voice, get get people to vote. Maybe that’ll be my my one of my big messages vote

[00:43:27.00] spk_0:
voting is fundamental to although, you know, in a lot of states that’s being eroded you becoming more difficult, although in a lot of states it’s easier to um you know, another thing that comes to mind when, you know, you’re talking about the generations below the the the boomers not doing as well as the one before them. Um The FDA just yesterday recommended mental health screening at regular uh regular doctor visits, like an annual annual health health checkup for everybody under 65 And and they had been considering this policy that this recommendation is just a recommendation to the medical community from from for years before the pandemic. This is not, this is not pandemic-related recommendation. They had been considering this for years before the pandemic that there’s a lot of stress and anxiety among the population under 65 and 65 is basically the baby boomer cut off within a couple of years.

[00:43:59.55] spk_1:
And then, you know, as you noted, this was even before Covid that they’ve been advocating for this and now with Covid and the mental health issues that are sort of go along with not just the disease, but the isolation that many are experiencing and long Covid, which is sort of an underappreciated under recognized problem and disabilities maybe creating more disability, disabled americans than anything. Um, since you know, the World War two, I think would be the last one. It’s just, it’s mind blowing

[00:44:01.44] spk_0:
and I and I and all this does contribute to a decline in trust in all institutions and nonprofit. The nonprofit community is a major institution in the country. So you know, that’s, that’s how this is all related

[00:44:15.09] spk_1:
to what you

[00:44:21.48] spk_0:
and I are talking about. I want to make that connection explicit that anxiety among the population creates anxiety for nonprofits and, and and distrust and disbelief in nonprofit work. Whether that’s justified or not perception is reality.

[00:44:36.71] spk_1:
Yeah, I agree. tony

[00:44:40.74] spk_0:
All right. I don’t know. So we had, we had said one of the things we’re gonna talk about is what happens, what happens if this continues? I mean, I already painted a pretty dark cynical scenario. Um, is there anything more you want to say around? You know, what, what the implications are if the community doesn’t start to help itself?

[00:46:25.73] spk_1:
Well, maybe on a more micro looking basis, it just means for a charity, they’re gonna experience diminished fundraising. Not everybody gets Mackenzie scott, Jeff Bezos money. Right. Most of them are relying upon a pool of donors, um, many of which are aging, um, and may age out of their donor pool. Um, and shrinking again, middle class, shrinking, discretionary income for many people, meaning West donations. Um, we might see more direct giving to individuals as people are saying, well, I don’t trust charities overall. I’d rather just give to my friends who say, you know, somebody is in need as crowdfunding fight sites just continue to, to grow in importance and also in in power as well. Um, and that’s just gonna be to the detriment of, you know, beneficiaries of our charity. So again, in the micro level, we make less money, people trust us less. Our employee retention is less. Um, our donor pool is shrinking and we can help less people even as the need for our services increases. So that’s kind of the dark side look of it. Um, we can try to be the nonprofit that stands out and you know, is the trustworthy non profit from, from a public perception standpoint. Um, that’s good. But again, don’t see yourself in a silo lift yourself up with all the boats in the water and, and really try to strengthen the nonprofit sector where you can, and, and advocating on some of the laws that make things more fair, I think is a good start there

[00:46:41.97] spk_0:
advocating maybe there’s a way of partnering

[00:46:45.00] spk_1:
with other

[00:46:55.64] spk_0:
organizations, not, not in all in all things. I don’t mean a legal formal partnership, but you know, if, if there’s, if there’s a way of working together for an event or, or some kind of advocacy,

[00:47:03.61] spk_1:

[00:47:11.44] spk_0:
know, we’ve had shows on the values of that and how to do that. Um, so that everybody, you know it, so that it’s, it’s not seen as a, as a zero sum within your, within your community that if if if someone else, some other organizations benefiting, then you’re losing. You know, that’s not the way to look at,

[00:47:25.67] spk_1:

[00:47:26.47] spk_0:
at the world and and that not nonprofit support. We we all could be or a couple of couple of organizations together could be rising together.

[00:47:37.64] spk_1:
Yeah, I’ll add that the independent sector survey, the Edelman Data Intelligence survey that we mentioned at the start of the show also has some tips on building up trust within the sector. So it’s not all of dark outlook. It’s just encouraging people that the importance of this is very, very high. Um, so let’s go out and actually make things happen? So that, that dark outlook doesn’t happen

[00:48:05.70] spk_0:
within independent sector. Gene, what’s the, what’s the name of the you’re saying? Edelman data?

[00:48:11.03] spk_1:
Yeah, I think they contracted out with Edelman E D E L M A. And Data and intelligence and their third annual reports. This is an annual report is available on the independent sector website.

[00:48:26.66] spk_0:
Okay, thank you. Edelman E D E L M A N,

[00:48:30.68] spk_1:

[00:48:49.24] spk_0:
Okay. Okay. Uh, you mentioned the five oh one C four’s a little bit, but there have been a couple in the news very recently, most recently the uh, Patagonia companies, uh, sort of evolution into a uh, a new nonprofit, a new a new five oh one C four. non profit the hold fast collective.

[00:51:57.05] spk_1:
Yeah. So the founder of Patagonia and his family member, they were the principal owners of Patagonia and they decided to give up ownership of the company, but you know, they gave it not to a charity, but to a 501 C four organization. Um, it’s called the social welfare organization and for listeners who aren’t maybe familiar with it, you probably are familiar with many five oh one C four organizations themselves, like the N. R. A. Planned parenthood, the A. C. L. U. Sierra Club. So these are advocacy organizations that have kind of charitable like purposes. Um, but our can engage in unlimited lobbying and can engage in election nearing or political campaign intervention? Supporting political candidates and political parties, as long as that’s not their primary activity or purpose. So this is sort of the source or one of the big sources of where dark money comes in tony that you mentioned with the Citizens United Decision before donor that wants to support a candidate but stay hidden from public view about their support of the Can rather than giving directly to the candidate, could give to a 501 C four organization and the C Four organization can get their money’s into the candidate. And the donor that is disclosed is the C Four organization, not the donor to the C Four organization. So that’s how you can create dark money. And with the Patagonia case, it’s very clear who the donor was. So we don’t expect that to be the dark money that we’re as leery of, but it’s still, you know, a huge gift which, you know, for somebody who believes in in in the environmental movement I think is a great gift. But news media miss reporting it or some news media are mis reporting it as kind of something that doesn’t get a tax benefit because a donor doesn’t get an income tax deduction for giving to a five oh one C Four organization the way they do if they give to a charity. Um but there are other tax exemptions that apply like a gift tax exemption or in a state tax exemption. So this gift is overall saving. Um uh mr Schwinn nerd um the owner and his family probably somewhere in the realm of $800 million in taxes. Um So it is not completely a no tax benefit transaction. Again this is not to disparage them for taking advantage of a system that allows for these gifts Um to go with with some tax benefits, but it’s not just the income tax deduction that matters in in donations there for for very wealthy people like billionaires. Um the gift and estate tax exemptions which can be 40%, right? So it can be very very high higher than income tax they matter. Um and so that’s something to be aware of that. Um this is a very wealthy person who gave up much of the ownership share, I guess all of his ownership shares to this 501 C4 organization, except really importantly 2% of the gift. Overall gift was given to a trust that’s not a nonprofit.

[00:52:14.55] spk_0:
Yeah those voting, those are the 2% of the voting that are the voting shares,

[00:52:58.58] spk_1:
right? So because they’re in control of that trust with with some close advisers um they have not given control out of Patagonia, right? They still can control Patagonia. Um And again they’re taking advantage of existing law what what it allows but it allows billionaires to not give up control of their company, get an $800 million tax benefit for giving or you know $3 billion Uh to a 501 C4 organization that could spend nearly half of it on endorsing political candidates. Um So it’s kind of an interesting tax system that that allows for that.

[00:53:18.19] spk_0:
And if if you consider that, you know supportive of uh of a liberal progressive cause because the whole fast collective the the new C4 is is devoted to uh the ill effects of climate change, you know, reversing climate change, impacting climate change. Uh So if you consider that of a left cause, then there’s an example on the right side with uh mr barr seed and the marble Freedom Trust. Another five oh one C four.

[00:53:44.39] spk_1:
Yeah. And that sea forces led by Leonard Leo who maybe the person most responsible for the changing of our Supreme Court and therefore the decisions on things like abortion might be largely attributed to mr Leo,

[00:53:56.21] spk_0:
fundraiser and activist and very well connected guy in conservative circles.

[00:56:20.34] spk_1:
Yeah. And used to be Executive vice president of the Federalist Society whose mission was to change the composition of the Supreme Court. So um I I don’t think that’s controversial and that’s just what their goal was. And they were very effective at achieving that goal. But this $1.6 billion kind of same thing. There there are some tax benefits that go along with it. There’s no income tax deduction. Um and mr uh c passed away. I think this was given after his death. But another big contribution to an organization led by somebody who has immense influence and now a huge war chest that can be used for political activities. Again, the primary activity cannot be political campaign intervention. Um, but some people believe, or many people believe that means 49% of the funds can be used for political campaign intervention. And that’s kind of the source of dark money. Although again in this case we do know where the donor came from. Um, so it’s not dark in that way in terms of hidden donors, but it’s still donations that didn’t go directly to the political candidate. It went through five oh one C four first, get the tax benefits for that, which his heirs, I guess would appreciate. Um, uh, and the impact of that again, is that? Well, in both cases, very wealthy people are able to keep control with people who they trust or their family members of their money to be used for political purposes. They can’t use it for themselves to, you know, to buy huge houses and boats, but they can use it for things that were very important to them. But that means for people like us and most of your listeners, tony is like, what influence do we have compared to that individual who gave billions of dollars to influence political elections. Um, and you know, what, you know, can we change our Supreme Court sort of composition the way that they’re able to do, probably not by ourselves. So it again is, is the reason why people go, hey, these are nonprofits that they’re using to do this. I don’t trust non profits, this is what they’re used for. And charities kind of get lumped in because the ordinary, you know, people, the lay person doesn’t know the difference between a five oh one C three and five A one C four organization.

[00:56:36.19] spk_0:
Yeah, and that’s right. And it’s it’s if it’s mentioned in a in in press coverage, you know, it’s mentioned in passing that it it’s it’s an organization that’s distinguished from from uh charities. But you know, it’s like, it’s like a sentence or two. You know, it’s it’s never it’s never a focal point. So your point is correct that people just lump them all together

[00:57:00.57] spk_1:
and flows through nonprofits and that’s why we shouldn’t trust nonprofit.

[00:57:04.97] spk_0:
So the wealthy control government and they control politics and they control business and media and and nonprofits.

[00:57:18.46] spk_1:
Yeah, that’s that’s what we, We’re finding more and more is the case, but we’re trying to change policies and change minds about this so that we can see that the impact of the 99.9% out there is actually even bigger than the impact that we mentioned about a few individuals. Um, it just has to be organized. Um, and non profits are way to do that.

[00:58:21.68] spk_0:
Well, that’s a, that’s a pretty good way to close. Probably we should have closed with what our community can do. But you know, you’re suffering the lackluster host. So uh you can rewind to that section and then uh fast forward and you can end with that if you want to. Um, but but jean, you know, always thank you, you know, sort of reality, but also wisdom and inspiration. And and not only um ethereal pedagogical inspiration, but you know, ideas that we can we can we can act on. So thank you. Thank you.

[00:58:24.63] spk_1:
Thank you Tony. And your closing statement is actually always the greatest ending. So, I’m looking forward to hearing it.

[00:59:39.16] spk_0:
Okay, All right, thank you jean. Next week. Let’s see what develops and why do I even say uh, next week if I don’t know what’s coming up next week, but we’re here we are. We’re talking about trust and part of that is transparency. So I’m being transparent that I don’t know what next week’s show is gonna be, I know what the 1 to 2 weeks from now is gonna be. We’re gonna have beth cancer and Allison fine talking about their new book, but I can’t promise that for next week because well, that would be a lie and that’s going to reach the trust because they’re not on next week. Next week. Uh, it’s up in the air, but trust me, it’ll be just that’s conclusory. Just trust me now, I hope you trust non profit radio I’ll find something good if you missed any part of this week’s show, I Beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com responses by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o and by fourth dimension technologies I. T. Infra in a box, the affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant four

[00:59:48.37] spk_1:
D. Just

[01:00:03.54] spk_0:
Like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. A creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff to show social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott stein, Thank you for that. Affirmation Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. Here it is, Jean, go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for June 27, 2022: The Chronicle of Philanthropy Will Go Nonprofit


Stacy Palmer: The Chronicle of Philanthropy Will Go Nonprofit

The Chronicle is taking a bold step, from privately held to nonprofit. Why? What does that mean for journalism that covers our community locally and nationally? What can you expect for webinars and professional development? Editor Stacy Palmer answers all the questions.



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Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join me each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
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[00:01:46.74] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d bear the pain of borelli assis if you infected me with the idea that you missed this week’s show, the Chronicle of philanthropy will go non profit The Chronicle is taking a bold step from privately held to non profit why what does that mean for journalism that covers our community locally and nationally? What can you expect for webinars and professional development editor, Stacy palmer answers all the questions. non tony steak too. This is show # 597. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o And by 4th dimension Technologies IT in for in a box. The affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D Just like three D but they go one dimension deeper here is the Chronicle of philanthropy will go non profit it’s my pleasure to welcome back Stacy palmer to non profit radio she is editor at the Chronicle of philanthropy. She’s been editor since the chronicle’s founding in 1988. Stacey welcome back to nonprofit radio

[00:01:49.19] spk_1:
delighted to be with you again it’s

[00:02:21.34] spk_0:
a real pleasure thank you, Thank you um and I want to Disclose to listeners that I was a podcast publisher For the chronicle of philanthropy for about four years I published their fundraising fundamentals podcast. So Stacy early May you, you had a little announcement, a little, a little thing. You leaked something out about the Chronicle going non profit So what’s this? What’s this little bit of news about?

[00:03:34.74] spk_1:
Thank you for asking about that. So we’re very excited about the fact that we’ve been working on a growth plan. Um, and one of the things that we realized we wanted to do more of is to influence how nonprofits are covered by the mainstream media. And so we are doubling down on a lot of the work we do to help nonprofit professionals, but also expanding our mission to do even more to make sure that other journalists are paying attention to nonprofits and foundations and giving them really the attention that they deserve. Um, so our mission is growing and our staff is growing. Um, and as a result of that, we decided that it was time for us to move out of the organization that now houses us, which is the Chronicle of Higher Education. We’re going to go independent and part of going independent is deciding that a non profit structure makes more sense that way. We’ll be in tune with what our readers are experiencing and doing every day. Um, and so, you know, it was sort of two separate decisions, how do we grow and what status do we want to have? Um, and we examined it pretty closely and decided nonprofit status was right for us. So now we have the I. R. S examining our requests to become a charity. So we are not officially that yet. We are in that waiting period.

[00:03:47.34] spk_0:
All right. You’re not just gonna be attuned to what nonprofits are going through day to day. You’re going to be enjoying it, enjoying it and suffering it with them. So there’s gonna come a day when there’s gonna be a donate now button on the Chronicle of philanthropy website.

[00:03:58.94] spk_1:
We haven’t decided what we’re doing about that piece of it, but money from foundations, mostly

[00:04:17.04] spk_0:
foundation. Okay, sure. Um, and you are going to be executive director of the new the new non profit Okay. How does that coincide with being editor of the Chronicle?

[00:04:21.91] spk_1:
So we’ll be hiring an editor to take my place. Um and obviously I’ll be working really closely with that person. Um, but we need to make sure that we have somebody else who is day to day thinking about our coverage. Um, so that I can do all of the things that the nonprofit needs to make sure we run well and do things and you know, develop these other partnerships. So I’ll be doing a lot of other things other than editing every day.

[00:04:49.24] spk_0:
Interesting. So that’s a huge transition for you.

[00:04:51.72] spk_1:
It is, it is

[00:04:52.66] spk_0:
gonna be you’re gonna be a nonprofit executive director

[00:04:58.84] spk_1:
Exactly. Learning how to do it. And one of the things I realized given the nature of our coverage. While we do a lot of advice. We also cover a lot of the ways in which things go wrong with boards and executive directors and those kinds of things. And so now I’m really putting my attention on what makes things go right. Um and realizing I need to learn a lot more about that,

[00:05:39.64] spk_0:
I see a stack of books that books about nonprofit management. No, I don’t know. All right, okay. So you’re you’re committed to increasing collaborations, increasing staff. You know, I think listeners are very interested in what this significant transition means for them as as readers as consumers of your content. So what what do you see around these collaborations? The staff increases?

[00:07:53.94] spk_1:
Yeah, I would say for nonprofit professionals, there are several things that are important about what we’ll be able to do. Um one is that we know we need to provide more tailored information depending on what job you have what size your organization is. And we have been doing a fair amount of research. Um some of it got interrupted by the pandemic to better understand what our audience needs and especially as the field is changing. Um so one of the things we want to do is provide much more tailored information. So, you know, newsletters that are geared to the kind of job kind of organization. Um making it easier on our website to find things our webinars, you know, that you can decide whether you need an advanced level webinar or beginner level webinar. We have people at all stages um and their organizations of all sizes. We, you know, provide information to one person organizations and to organizations that are as big as Harvard the nature Conservancy, those kinds of organizations. So we need to serve everybody according to their own needs. So our growth is going to be geared at, you know, making sure that when you have a need, you can turn to the Chronicle of philanthropy and we will be better able to serve you rather than right now. We’re a bit of a one size fits all kind of publication and we know that needs to change. The other thing we’re really looking at is how do we make sure that we reach the next generation of nonprofit professionals, a lot of people who have grown up with the Chronicle um we deeply appreciate, but we know we need to expand out to all the people who are coming into the field. That probably means more video, more audio podcast. Yea, um that will go back into doing things. So as we step up, we plan on expanding the skills that we have in the range of ways that we can reach people. One of the things that have just been enormously popular, especially during the pandemic are our live briefings um that are freely available, gathering experts to talk about really important topics. Um and we’ve been just delighted by the response to those. It’s a very easy way for people in one hour to get a lot they know on a specific topic. So we’ll probably expand those kinds of things too. So people shouldn’t think of us as just this old fashioned print publication. We’re not that anymore, but we’re going to be even less of that, I would say in the days to come.

[00:08:13.04] spk_0:
So you see greater investment opportunities than then you saw as a part of being owned by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Yeah,

[00:08:55.74] spk_1:
I mean part of it was just the capabilities that we had with it being within that organization were 1/6 the size of the Chronicle of Higher Education. So that just meant that we couldn’t grow as much as we wanted to. Um, but the, this is a very friendly separation, the Chronicle of higher Education, I knew that we needed to grow and basically encourage this because it was the only way that we would be able to serve our audience well. And one of the things we found, you know, a lot of our readers are in higher education and that’s it’s so natural that the Chronicle of higher Education spawned the Chronicle of philanthropy, but colleges and universities are now very different than not many nonprofits. And so the things that we used to have in common about serving our audiences, we don’t find those with the case as much and sometimes they’re so different that, you know, if we do something that the Chronicle of Higher Education does and we try it with our audience that just falls flat and vice versa. So that’s one of the reasons we decided that it’s better for us to go independent.

[00:09:41.24] spk_0:
You know, I’ve been seeing for years the decline in, in non profit coverage. So I, you know, I remember when Stephanie strom had been non profit beat the new york times and I think it was Melanie West had donor of the day in, in the, in the in the Wall Street Journal. I mean there were, there were, there were non profit beat reporters and I don’t know of one now any anymore.

[00:10:01.84] spk_1:
Well now there is, this is interesting actually. I mean the Times has David Fahrenthold who’s covering non profit fraud and you have nick Kulish who is covering billionaire philanthropy and those are the two areas that the Times has said is what it needs to cover and that’s the vote on the things that matter most. So

[00:10:09.35] spk_0:

[00:10:09.82] spk_1:
not know that when you know, we decided to go ahead, we started our planning long before those appointments were put in place, but I feel like that’s a call to action of all the other things that news outlets need to cover and especially one of the things we’re very excited about is working with all of these non profit news organizations that are sprouting up to cover either specific communities or look at specific issues, the marshall project, you know, looks at criminal justice for example, talk looks at education. Um, there are all of these nonprofits, you know, that are just starting to figure out what their coverage areas are and we want to make sure that they embed coverage of non profits as part of what they do all day. So that’s where we’ll be working most closely

[00:10:56.53] spk_0:
interesting. So you mentioned, even on the local level,

[00:10:59.14] spk_1:
yes, definitely.

[00:11:00.36] spk_0:
Much more local than like propublica or Center for investigative journalism.

[00:12:51.64] spk_1:
And you know, propublica has done a lot to go local as well. And so we’re following what they’re doing in terms of some of that, but you know, philanthropy is so local. Um, and that’s what people really need to understand these things. Um, and so that’s why we, we would like to work there. Um, you know, we will work nationally to. Um, but one of the things that we started last year um, is a fellowship program for local journalists. And so we have four fellows that are working on various projects. We’re teaching them how to cover philanthropy in their communities. So there’s a nonprofit news organization in Boulder that’s looking at all the money that came in after the Wildfires there to the Community Foundation and asking questions like how do, who decides how that gets spent? Where does it go? How do they raise money? What do they do? And it’s an unprecedented sum for that Community Foundation to have that flowed in because it was the nature of the disaster was so intense. But we were really excited that they had a pitch where they actually knew what community foundations were, they wanted to explain. You know, that this is how it works, um, and investigate that sort of thing. So we hope that assuming, you know, these fellowships go, well, we’re in the early stages of it, but then we’ll do a lot more of that where we work intensively with local organizations today in journalism. There are a lot of these one off seminars on nonprofits. Some of your listeners may have been asked to speak at those things where, you know, an hour on what makes nonprofits important or something like that. Well, that doesn’t have a really long lasting effect in changing the coverage. Um, and we’re hopeful that by spending an entire year with these news outlets that that will make them decide this is important and this kind of coverage needs to continue and we hope that it will be more sophisticated coverage than we’ve all been used to seeing. I think, you know, I know the number of nonprofits that send me notes every once in a while, say, can you believe this news organization set X or y or Z. And they clearly don’t understand how nonprofits work. And so we want to do something to change that.

[00:13:09.14] spk_0:
Alright. I’m still bothered by the fact that the new york times hyphenates. We

[00:13:12.50] spk_1:
we follow New york times style. So I get the angry letters about their style all the

[00:16:52.04] spk_0:
time. It’s time for a break. The only one of the show turn to communications have you got your crisis communications plan in place so that you know who’s responsible for message creation. Is it the one person or is it a couple of folks a committee who needs to approve that messaging who’s authorized to speak on behalf of your non profit who’s gonna brief internally and who’s going to brief external audiences. There’s more to a crisis communications plan than that. Turn to knows what all belongs in there and they can help you create yours so that you’re ready. When the crisis comes. Turn to communications turn hyphen two dot C. O. Fourth dimension technologies. Their I. T. Solution is I. T. Infra in a box. It’s budget friendly. It’s holistic. You pick what you need and you leave the rest behind. That makes it your I. T. Buffet but why is this a budget friendly buffet because you pick only what you can afford from the buffet selections, your budget can’t afford shrimp and lobster, have the tuna salad, no rack of lamb just get the mint jelly, choose what’s right for your I. T. Situation and your budget. Fourth dimension technologies. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D. Just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. It’s time for Tony’s take two. This is show # 597 woo. But don’t celebrate because the big celebration is coming in. Just a few weeks, three weeks to be exact because that’s when The 600th show is Coming out on July 18 of course we’ve got the live music coming from Scott Stein, you gotta have that with the live playing of cheap red wine and a couple of other songs that he will do for us, naturally the co host for every milestone show, Claire Meyerhoff, she will be with me, we’ve got our esteemed contributors, Amy sample Ward and Gene Takagi, they’ll be with us as well. The sponsors are coming sponsors turn to communications four D technology, they’re all going to be with us. So it’s the blowout show coming in just a couple of weeks, three weeks to be exact, the 6/100 it’s on its way. That is Tony’s take two, we’ve got boo koo but loads more time for the Chronicle of philanthropy will go non profit with Stacy Palmer, we’ve got the boo koo because I grouped the sponsored messages and the tony state two together. You see how it’s all structured for your benefit so we can do the boo koo. It’s it’s hard, I feel bad when it’s just a just just a butt load when you’ve got the boo koo but loads then you know your set, I mean, I mean that’s the ship when you got the boo koo. So that’s where we are, you, you you’re doing something now with the so thinking nationally now with Associated Press their partnership with them. What’s that

[00:17:01.94] spk_1:
about? So the lilly endowment made a very generous grant to our organization, Associated Press and a group called the conversation, which does terrific work to get um scholarly articles out to the public in very accessible ways. So we’re all working together to put the spotlight on philanthropy. So the Associated Press hired to reporters um who are now covering philanthropy, we’ve hired three reporters who, and so as part of a collaboration, we worked together um, to provide more coverage is aimed at the general public. You know, a lot of these stories appear for our readers, but you know, when we when those reporters are looking at it, they’re saying what’s of interest to local news organizations, what’s gonna cause um a local outlet to republish this kind of thing. And really the Associated Press obviously is global. Um, so what’s of interest to them. So the fact that we have now added five reporters focused on helping the general public understand it’s just enormous. I mean, what we were just talking about before is how the coverage has dropped so much. Um and the fact that now we have people paying attention to this all the time. It’s just fabulous. Our articles appear on the Associated Press feed. We published some of the Associated Press articles and we were working on some ambitious projects together. One area that we’re looking in, especially right now is gun violence and we started this, you know, long before Vivaldi and Buffalo, um, to put the spotlight on what philanthropy and what nonprofits are doing to curb gun violence. And so you’ll see a lot of stories going in depth on that topic over the next year.

[00:18:41.64] spk_0:
You, you promised to build a public commons for debate. How can people, what does that look like?

[00:20:02.54] spk_1:
I would love to hear from listeners, um, what they would like to see that we’re in the earliest stages of developing that. But I would say, you know, as, especially when I talked to funders, the thing that bothers them most and that they’re working on and that they want to solve. And they would like us to be a part of it is bringing together the polarized sides in philanthropy itself. I mean obviously they’re working to bridge the divides in the country. Um, but philanthropy has a lot of challenges talking to itself, um, lifting up voices that often aren’t heard. Um, conservatives often feel that their ideas are run over by progressive philanthropy. Um, you know, there’s great concern that there’s not enough attention to rural voices to people of color to younger voices. There are just so many challenges of getting people to express their views to hear each other to do well reasoned essays to debate each other. Um, and to figure out where they have common bonds, which they have a lot more of than they realize, but our work is going to be to help people overcome that. Um, and also, you know, we plan to cover that area to what are the non profits and foundation efforts that are successfully bridging divides. So they’ll be, you know, a multipronged effort on that. But we really would love to hear from as many people as possible about what, what gaps they see that we can feel. We don’t want to duplicate what other people are doing. Um, you know, we should be additive. So whatever we can do on that front, we’d love to do.

[00:20:24.04] spk_0:
Gosh, I I hear a lot of opportunities for podcast since you mentioned it. That’s that, that’s, that’s a rich one I think.

[00:20:31.32] spk_1:
Yeah, absolutely is more

[00:20:34.09] spk_0:
live events. You, you anticipate more those, you, you they’ve been well reviewed. Your, I know your webinars do well.

[00:22:17.24] spk_1:
Our webinars, our, you know, our webinars are geared at professional development and very, very well attended. Um, and you know, we bring in, you know, we work hard to get experts who, you know, know what they’re talking about can give real great case studies and examples and help, you know, help people understand what it is that they need to do in an area maybe that they’re not familiar with. Um, so those are very popular and then the live briefings are a little bit different. Um, in that there will be a topic, you know, one of the ones we’ve got coming up, um focuses on a new report that’s come out about how to reach diverse donors. And we’ll be spotlighting some of that research, for example. So there are a lot of different opportunities. I don’t know whether we’re getting to the point where we’re gonna be able to return to in person events. We hope so at some point, um, we’ve got some inquiries from folks that want to do some things in the fall. I I just don’t know health wise whether that’s going to be a safe thing to do. Um, so we expect to be virtual for a while, but we definitely do a lot live. And this partnership that I mentioned with Associated Press in the conversation, A component of that also is live online briefings. So, you know, we’ve done a number of different topics will be getting into climate philanthropy will do something on the gun violence package I mentioned. Um, we did, you know, as soon as the Ukraine war erupted, we did something to help people think about both the short term and the long term aspects of giving because we didn’t want to have, you know, there was such a rush to give, which is wonderful, but we know in all disasters you need to think about the long term. And so we gathered some experts who could talk about why it’s smart to start thinking about that now.

[00:22:33.54] spk_0:
So, you know, I’m hearing, uh coverage and professional development expansion of the the expansion of the work for the nonprofit community, but also, you know, in these partnerships and the fellowships, you know, expanding coverage about the nonprofit community to the, to the general readership.

[00:24:01.84] spk_1:
Exactly. And obviously for nonprofits, that’s usually important because they aren’t getting the attention or understanding they deserve. So while you know, you can talk about those things being different, they sort of our version of the same thing is we see it as an extension of how do we better serve nonprofits? We help get their stories out. And one of the things I think the Chronicle has always been very good at doing is helping nonprofits tell their story. Um, I wish nonprofits invested more in being able to do that themselves. I hope maybe we can help them in more ambitious ways than we do now. Um, but a lot of times when Chronicle reporter contacts and nonprofit, it’s the first time that they’ve had a chance to gather the photos to get the examples to get the data and the evidence that they need to show why what they’re doing is super effective and worth other people knowing about that often then allows them to take the story to their donors, to other people to know about them. Um, and so, you know, I think the more we can do with that to help get the word out about what nonprofits are accomplishing get people engaged in that. Um, we hope that that helps, it’s another part of the democracy and divide building, you know, is that if people knew that nonprofits are solving more problems, we hope that that allows the nonprofits themselves to be more effective.

[00:24:13.54] spk_0:
You’ve got some ambitious goals that you published double revenue and subscribers in five

[00:24:42.34] spk_1:
years. Yeah, we expect to be able to do that in part because what will be investing in is a staff that spends all of its time thinking about those things right now, we don’t have that. Um, and so, you know, once we add more people who focus both on our business and technology, we think it will be pretty easy for us to expand our revenue. We’re very excited that we have strong foundation support, but we want to make sure that we’re earning our own way, um, and that were sustainable and have very diverse revenue sources. Um, and so that’s what we’ll be working on building like every Good non profit needs to do.

[00:25:03.24] spk_0:
And then right on the heels of that comes the conversation about transparency and the separation between uh, fundraising and, and editorial. So why don’t you reassure folks?

[00:26:12.94] spk_1:
Yeah, no, that’s I thank you for raising that. What’s part of what we’ll be working on really intensively over the next few months before we become a nonprofit, um, is to strengthen some of the guidelines that we have now that we use when we’re accepting gifts and disclosing right now, we’re very good about that. We receive a very small amount of foundation support right now, and we’re grateful for all of it, and we always disclose it, but we want to be more transparent about how we make decisions about stories. Some foundations have asked me questions about, like if they’re supporting us, can they still pitch stories to us? Um you know, and how do we handle that? We probably will do webinars and other sessions where readers can ask us questions about Our coverage and make sure that if they see anything that bothers them, they can let us know. Um I think, you know, we’ve had nearly 35 years of publishing in this field, I think our integrity is pretty strong, but we want to make sure that we keep it that way and that there’s no perception of any influence. And one of the things I’ve loved in the conversations I’ve had with foundations seeking their support is how conscious, they are that they no way want there to be any perception that they’re influencing our coverage. And, you know, a few foundations, if they said no to us, it was out of that concern that they think that it’s impossible to help, you know, that perception is gonna be a problem and they didn’t necessarily want to be part of that, and I really respect that.

[00:26:30.49] spk_0:
Is it. Is it much different than the separation between advertising and editorial.

[00:28:18.04] spk_1:
Glad you asked that No, it’s not. And we have always had to be conscious of, you know, influences, you know, a lot of our advertisers provide services to the nonprofit field or their foundations that want to, you know, talk about a specific project, you know, and they’re doing it with their advertising dollars. Um, so it’s not different. You know, the other thing people often get in a not about advertisers or foundation support if we alienate our readers are subscribed or revenue is hugely important. And the fees that webinar, you know, each person is individually paying a subscription and it may not feel like a huge amount of money, but it adds up to being a significant sum source of our support and the reason for our being so if we do anything that tarnishes that we are in trouble. So that’s who we put first is our readers, um, and thinking about their needs. And I have found that, you know, as we’ve been going into this nonprofit work, I have become much, much more aware of the challenges that nonprofits face. I mean, I knew it from our coverage, but you know, I do, I already feel living it every day. Um, I understand much better what challenges they face. And I think that will be a good thing for all of all of my, all of the audience and for all of our staff, which will get to know that more transparency is something that is very different than the private company we’ve worked for. So, you know, we’re excited about, you know, really, you know, doing our 1st 9 90 making sure that it’s clear doing annual reports, all the kinds of things that we haven’t done before. Um, but we know that we need to meet the highest bar in terms of transparency. So we’ll be looking at that and I hope others will hold us accountable for some reason we fall short, but we’re gonna try to do our best not to

[00:28:23.64] spk_0:
what’s on your mind as you’re, uh, and uh, an imminent executive director. You know, what kinds of, you know, what’s keeping you awake? What are you thinking about?

[00:29:27.54] spk_1:
Oh, all of the things related to the transition. Um, as you can imagine, it’s, there’s just a lot of work to make sure that we do this really well. Um, and that my staff is really excited about what we’re doing. So, you know, the next thing we’re doing, um, is, you know, really sort of outlining our values as a team because we will have this new organization that we can build. Um, right now we follow what the Chronicle of higher education does. Now we get to say what happens when we build our own culture and our own organization and how do we do that? Well? Um, so, you know, it’s pretty thrilling to be able to reinvent an organization that’s as old as ours is, we’ve got the strong backing of the Chronicle and the organization that we have, but we are reimagining almost everything and and that’s just the most thrilling thing possible. But it is scary when you say what keeps me up at night say, which piece will we get to first? We have a lot to do. We have an ambitious agenda. Um, and how do we make sure that goes well?

[00:29:34.00] spk_0:
You already have your board, you have a core

[00:29:37.35] spk_1:
will be expanding the board when when we actually get charity status from the I. R. S will expand the board, but we have four independent board members now. Um, and then two people from the Chronicle of Higher Education are also on the board. So that part we’ve done and we’ll be expanding later.

[00:29:55.14] spk_0:
What would you like to leave listeners with Stacy?

[00:30:36.64] spk_1:
I really welcome all the suggestions about how we can serve the field better and what this transition means. If you had a chance to say what the Chronicle needs to do more as we grow. We want to hear from our audience about what’s most important, what do you need most um, and what can we do for you? So please um feel free to drop me a line. I’m Stacy dot palmer at philanthropy dot com. I don’t always answer as fast as I’d like to as tony learn setting up this podcast. But I do read my mail pretty carefully and I really would, we’ll probably do some sessions to actually, you know, webinars or other things to open it up to readers but feel free to drop me a line anytime I I truly love to hear from people about what we can do to serve you better. All

[00:30:40.34] spk_0:
right, and again, Stacy dot palmer at philanthropy dot com.

[00:30:43.54] spk_1:
Exactly alright,

[00:30:44.69] spk_0:
Stacy dot palmer, thank you very much.

[00:30:46.60] spk_1:
Thank you All right to be with you. Thanks

[00:31:48.84] spk_0:
very much next week. The future of fundraising. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by Turn to communications. Pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o And by 4th dimension technologies I thi infra in a box, the affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant four D. Just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. The shows, social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott stein. Mhm. Thank you for that. Affirmation scotty, You’re with me next week for nonprofit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great

Nonprofit Radio for August 23, 2021: How We Got Here

My Guest:

Robert Penna: How We Got Here

It’s the story of the unpredictable trajectory that led to today’s U.S. nonprofit sector. How did we come to be what we are? The story is told by Dr. Robert Penna, author of the book, “Braided Threads.” (Originally aired 8/3/18)




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Board relations. Fundraising. Volunteer management. Prospect research. Legal compliance. Accounting. Finance. Investments. Donor relations. Public relations. Marketing. Technology. Social media.

Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join me each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
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[00:00:02.84] spk_3:

[00:01:19.44] spk_2:
and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio Big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be thrown into this phase asia if I had to swallow the idea that you missed this week’s show how we got here. It’s the story of the unpredictable trajectory that led to today’s U. S. Nonprofit sector. How did we come to be what we are? The story is told by dr robert, Penna, author of the book, braided threads This originally aired on August 3, 2018, Antonis take two truly sharing is caring, were sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C. O. And by sending blue, the only all in one digital marketing platform empowering non profits to grow tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant in blue. Let’s get started here is how we got here.

[00:02:10.34] spk_0:
I’m very glad to welcome dr robert m pena bob back to the studio. Um he’s the author of the new book braided threads, a historical overview of the american nonprofit sector. He served for five years as a consultant to charity navigator and also as an outcomes consultant to the World Scout Bureau. Indeed, his last book was the nonprofit outcomes toolbox, which we talked about on this very show. He’s presented before, nonprofit organizations and associations across the U. S. And in Canada Poland kenya Saudi Arabia and Australia bob is a native of the Bronx new york and he still sounds like it, even though he lives in Wilmington north Carolina. You’ll find him in his book at braided threads dot com. Welcome back bob

[00:02:13.96] spk_1:
Bennett, thank you very much for

[00:02:15.13] spk_0:
having come a little closer having.

[00:02:16.49] spk_1:
Thank you very much for having me. My pleasure. Thank

[00:02:25.34] spk_0:
you for coming to the studio. Um, this braided threads, overview,

[00:02:26.06] spk_1:
overview. Um,

[00:02:28.54] spk_0:
let’s see what, you know, we’re,

[00:02:30.64] spk_2:
I think that, you

[00:02:39.04] spk_0:
know, I think you make the point, there’s just not enough of an appreciation among those of us in the nonprofit sector. Well, it’s, it’s not

[00:02:39.90] spk_1:
just where we are, where

[00:02:41.08] spk_0:
we came from, where we came from.

[00:03:19.84] spk_1:
Well, I think a lack of knowledge about the sector is probably throughout the population, but for those of us that work in it. Um, most people know it’s time to think about where it’ll come from. And uh, like so much else around us, we americans are notorious for lack of a historical sense generally. Uh, we just kind of accept that, you know, okay, that mall was built for my convenience right before I was born, forgetting about what was there before being a farmer. God only knows what is the same thing with the sector. Um, people just accept it for what it is today and you know, they don’t know the real size of the real dramatic uh, economic impact. And um, I thought that that story ought to be told. It actually started, uh, what I thought was gonna be a chapter in another work and it got as big as a book. And it was to me a fascinating, fascinating story.

[00:03:33.44] spk_0:
What’s the thread that you think is most important

[00:03:46.94] spk_1:
Resilience through the history resilience. In other words, it has changed. The reason it’s called braided threads is because it is not one unbroken series of events that took place in sequential owner and all in one line is a metaphor

[00:03:54.21] spk_0:
really for the history and and the strength. I thought

[00:04:23.24] spk_1:
both of the sector, there are all these different things that were happening that when they were woven together gave us what we have today. Uh, so that’s where the, the title came from. But if you had to pick one thing, I think it’s a story of resiliency. It’s a story of before. It was a formal sector, such as it is today. It still was a movement. It was, it was a things that people were doing and it ricocheted off of Reacted to, but also impacted events for over 200 years.

[00:04:35.94] spk_0:
You’re clear to point out that it’s not a history of nonprofits. It’s how the nonprofit sector evolved because of discrete events in

[00:04:54.44] spk_1:
history. Well, that’s why it’s called an overview. In other words, I didn’t start out with day one and try to give chronologically month by month, year by year. Whatever what I did was I looked at what I thought were the most impactful things that happened during or to the history of the sector. And those are the things I wrote about

[00:04:58.44] spk_0:
now. Um, I’m not sure we’re going to go strictly chronological. We

[00:05:01.62] spk_1:
made the book isn’t actually strictly chronological. They’re places where I had to double

[00:05:07.24] spk_0:
back. Um, now, when you were on last time we talked about Queen

[00:05:09.65] spk_1:
Elizabeth, important Elizabeth at first, but I know martin

[00:05:11.92] spk_0:
Luther uh, piques your

[00:05:13.96] spk_1:
interest. I thought

[00:05:15.30] spk_0:
pre he’s pre

[00:05:57.04] spk_1:
by about 60. His shame by about 16 years. I particularly thought it was interesting because if you look at the sector today is largely secular humanist. Um, not that there aren’t religious or religiously affiliated organizations in it, but it is not a religious sector. I mean, generally speaking, not that there aren’t religious organizations and affiliations, but it is a very humanistic secular in some cases, you might say liberal, I don’t know, uh movement and yet its roots were distinctly religious. So how did that break happen? Why did that break happened? Where did and personally, I traced it back to martin Luther and the reformation.

[00:06:00.94] spk_0:
So, you are. Well,

[00:07:07.54] spk_1:
because up until then, I mean, again, and this is not to be uh focused on just one, you know, ethnicity or religious tradition. This is certainly not to leave anybody else out. But the truth of the matter is that europe was catholic ever since, you know, Constantine made it the Catholicism Christianity, the official uh Religion of the Empire in 3 30, 80 europe was catholic. And then comes along martin Luther and he initiates along with a few other people with the reformation. And his biggest point was that unlike where the catholic church said it was faith and good works that got you into heaven, martin Luther with Sola fida faith alone and split them and he said you can do all the good works you want, they’re not going to get you into heaven. Faith is and he divided it at that point and that crack, that infant Ismael airline crack got wider and wider and wider and wider. People began to realize over time maybe they never even articulated it. It became a sense that there were certain things you do because they’re right, not because it’s an extra two points to get into heaven. This tradition had not existed there to four and that’s why I peg one of the 1st, 1st steps towards what we have today and particularly the United States with martin Luther

[00:07:15.18] spk_0:
now, uh huh and then Queen Elizabeth.

[00:07:17.86] spk_1:
Queen Elizabeth

[00:07:36.94] spk_0:
Was important. Yes. Now if listeners want to go back, you can go back to the June 2016 show, we talked for about a half an hour. Not all about Queen Elizabeth, but we talked a fair amount about her more than we’re going through today, but you could go to 20 martignetti dot com search bob’s last name pena P E N N A. And the june 2016 show last time he was on uh well well appear to

[00:08:23.84] spk_1:
You. Okay, please very quickly. Um Queen Elizabeth. We got time. Okay, Queen Elizabeth in 1601 uh issued something that was called a statute of charitable uses. And what she did was um and that’s not to say this had never happened before, but she codified with the idea that things that were of civic and civil benefit could be appropriate targets of charitable givings. What’s things founding of funding of schools, the funding of scholars, the building of bridges, the building of causeways, the ransoming of prisoners. All of these things were in this list. So what was she doing there? She was a further secularizing charity, but be she was putting into the charitable pot things that they’re 24 had not been considered charity charity, but charity was always personal to help poor. Now she’s moving far away from help the poor bridges, Bridges causes

[00:08:37.51] spk_0:
and ransoming

[00:09:02.24] spk_1:
hostages or also uh putting together a sort of a charitable pot for the dowry for poor maidens. Okay. Um there was things that today you might call you the social engineering or what what not. But the point is it was no longer the idea that charity always was always had to be about helping the poor. So first martin Luther breaks off the idea of These good deeds, having nothing to do with getting you into heaven. And then she comes along 60 years later and says on top of that charitable activity, things that are good for the community and not necessarily what was thought of his personal charity, putting the coin in the Beggar’s hand.

[00:09:19.44] spk_0:
Beyond martin Luther uh religion, the evolution

[00:09:23.28] spk_1:
of religion. I think it has been important, tremendous particularly the United States. We’re

[00:09:27.34] spk_0:
probably going to hit religion a bunch of times but give us an overview of why, why you say tremendous,

[00:10:44.44] spk_1:
Well I would say two reasons. First off because of the impact of the puritans. Um if you wouldn’t mind me mentioning another author, Colin Woodward’s book, american Nations, he makes what’s his name, Colin Woodard? American nations. He’s in your forward or your introductions in the introduction and he makes the point that they were founding cultures here in the United States and one of these founding cultures he calls yankee dumb basically the puritan culture. And uh the thing of it is that that had a tremendous impact because their worldview, they were the only ones coming here amongst the settlers, amongst the french, the spanish the Swedes, Everyone else who came here who came with this idea of creating a better society. We’ve all heard that term, the city on the hill, john Winthrop in their Mayflower compact was writing this down and was saying that amongst the things we’re going to do is every person has to be responsible for every other person built into the D. N. A. Of that colony. And what it became eventually in terms of one of the privacy dominant cultures in the United States was this concept that we have a responsibility, a civic civil human responsibility for helping each other. We’re going to come back

[00:10:47.14] spk_0:
to Winthrop, one of the new England puritans.

[00:11:53.74] spk_2:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. The relationships. They have the relationships with the well known outlets nationwide to get you attention to get you coverage when you deserve to be heard when you need to be heard when there’s something in the news that you can comment on and that you want to be heard on. Or maybe it’s not something news like news hook like but maybe it’s a simple op ed or blog post or getting to podcasts. Turn to has the relationships. So if it’s cutting edge like timeliness or it’s more evergreen. They have the relationships to get you covered to get you heard because your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C. O. Now back to how we got here.

[00:12:08.84] spk_0:
So let’s jump ahead. We might come back. Like I said, we may not chronological, but you mentioned Winthrop New England puritan. The new England puritans were different than in terms of their their uh concept of charity. Then the southern,

[00:13:23.54] spk_1:
it was also a pioneer was also what it had a lot to do with was the way they set their society up. If you think of the south. Um the first off there was the tidewater south, the Maryland Virginia. Uh northern north Carolina. That was one society. But then there was what we came to know for better, ill as the south. Eventually the confederacy, etcetera that all started in south Carolina. It was a plantation. Both of these were actually plantation societies and these plantations were largely self sufficient. So amongst the things they didn’t do, they didn’t worry about having a public school because the rich took care of their own Children. They had tutors or perhaps they sent the Children away someplace. But they didn’t worry about public schools didn’t matter. And the poor didn’t need education, neither white nor black. It didn’t matter. So all of the things that we take now as thinking of their earmarks of society, their earmarks of civilization, They didn’t exist down there. Conversely, the first things you did in New England was you, where’s the village green? The church is going to be at one end congregationalist of course. Uh, the school is going to be at the other end. Everybody supported it through their taxes. So right there you had a division. This then later was reflected in terms of things like the pieces of civil society that you and I would consider to be a charitable efforts. They didn’t exist in the south

[00:13:34.44] spk_0:
since religion is a

[00:13:35.52] spk_1:
threat that it’s

[00:13:36.80] spk_0:
very important. The congregationalists in that time. They were, they were the statement that the state religion

[00:13:43.38] spk_1:
in massachusetts.

[00:13:44.46] spk_0:
Oh, just in massachusetts

[00:13:51.84] spk_1:
in massachusetts, Rhode island Connecticut there as you went for the south. It became the anglicans. In fact, the anglicans were a minority in massachusetts. And what became of, you don’t, you don’t see a pilgrim church or puritan church anymore. They became the congregationalists

[00:14:03.14] spk_0:
which were supported by uh taxes, taxes,

[00:14:05.99] spk_1:
taxes, they all work. So,

[00:14:07.16] spk_0:
I mean, a complete, uh, you know, this is obviously uh all pre revolution, pre pre constitution, but in that, in that day we had state religions.

[00:14:16.44] spk_1:
Yes, yes,

[00:14:17.12] spk_0:
in every every colony, some of the Northern state, every

[00:15:14.14] spk_1:
colony, okay, could not, you know, including eventually, you know, as things got more settled down south. The Anglicans, the angle of the Church of England was the state church. So, for example, in Virginia had to de institutionalized the anglican church. So taxes wouldn’t go to it anymore. But it did have this thread, tony of uh of how religion impacted it. It goes through this whole story because when the minister is no longer were part of the government, so to speak, they had to find a new role. You had other sects that came along after the second great awakening amongst them, the Baptists. Methodists, they were incredibly influential because they had they didn’t have all the formal theology that others had. It was, that’s why you would hear a baptist preacher referred to as brother Parsons or something, because they weren’t ordained ministers in many cases and because of that lack of formality, number one. um they could, they didn’t church necessarily, they could preach under a tree, but secondly, they also had a much more accessible kind of idea uh the way they approached it and a lot of what we see today came from specifically the baptist evangelicals and the Methodists like

[00:15:31.34] spk_0:
what about some of these traditions as well?

[00:15:38.24] spk_1:
For example, the 1st 1st nationwide survived the first nationwide uh charities you want to call were bible and tract associations and they were all run by, funded by and pushed by these southern uh evangelicals, Methodists and Baptists and that became like the first nationwide charities. Uh, the precursors of all the big ones, you know, today, they were the first ones who were like coast to coast.

[00:15:57.84] spk_0:
What else is there? Another tradition that you can,

[00:16:46.14] spk_1:
you can, I think, I think another tradition I would connect is uh the activism of many, many groups. So for example, going back to the abolition of slavery, which of course started of all places in boston, boston was the home of the abolitionist movement and a lot of the people up there were religiously affiliated. But it is also true that during Reconstruction and wanted a lot of the quote charitable work that was done down there amongst the Freeman, amongst the freed slaves, etcetera, was done by northern Methodists and northern Baptists. So this threat, this involvement, but they weren’t doing it necessarily for the, for the same reasons that going back to, you know, the 14 hundreds, the catholic slash christians were giving money to the poor that was trying to buy their way into heaven. Slowly, completely different. This

[00:16:50.36] spk_0:
was this was a contribution to society. Exactly.

[00:16:59.84] spk_1:
It was, it was like a centering the nation beyond was a secular act being done by people who who belonged to uh a particular denomination in this case. It’s interesting to see the the degree of do get think back, you know, go back to the anti war movement during the sixties, how many of those people marching? They were protestant ministers, many of them, many of them were Methodists and Baptists. This strain never went away.

[00:17:30.94] spk_0:
What was, I’m jumping way ahead now, we’ll come back to the constitution and uh separation of church and state, but um ancient greek uh Greece Rome, Egypt. What was, what was the conception

[00:17:34.92] spk_1:
of charity then? Well, Egypt does

[00:17:37.14] spk_0:
vary by empire

[00:18:06.24] spk_1:
generally speaking. I mean, even in Egypt, there are, there are higher, horrible effects have been found and have been translated that roughly say that, you know, your place in the afterlife, depending upon how you treated people in this life. So you might say there was that kind of strain of charity in Greece and Rome charity was much more uh what um Queen Elizabeth did. In other words, the idea was particularly in Rome if you want to get ahead and you wanted to be noticed. So let’s say you were in the army and you want to move into politics, you were high up in the army, you would spend stuff, you would spend money on things that the public could enjoy. Like you would build a public bath or perhaps you would pay for a temple to Athena or some small thing of this nature. But the idea was the charity in those days, did the poor didn’t count the poor didn’t exist on anybody’s radar screen. You have a totally different perspective of human nature, human value. And it was for

[00:18:29.70] spk_0:
your own it was very good

[00:18:32.94] spk_1:
for your own good. Every wrong career, right, career development, career development. But the whole idea of what you

[00:18:38.54] spk_0:
Just can spend $400 to go to a conference. Uh, then I would have had to build a temple to Athena

[00:18:41.11] spk_1:
or you could today you could make a big donation to the hospital and I put a plaque on the wall with your name. This is tony-martignetti wink. I’d rather build a temple. But

[00:18:59.64] spk_0:
um, okay, that’s interesting. All right, thank you. So, so let’s go. All right. So now we have uh, our constitution, our bill of Rights, the First Amendment, um, obviously religion, no, no state religion and and separation of church and state. So how did these factor into

[00:20:39.54] spk_1:
these? Factored industry in three different ways. Number one, part of those, The First Amendment is the right of assembly, um, which the british kept an eye on when they, when they were in charge. Well now you could formally have, you could have group meetings, you could organize, you need to worry about perhaps the king’s soldiers would come and say break this up while you six people gathering here. One of the things that people did was they formed organizations de Toqueville Uh wrote back in 1830 something when he wrote his famous uh his famous review of of America based upon his tour that Americans were already organizing for virtually everything you name, the thought, music, culture, politics, something that they thought would be americans were organizing. He has, he has a comment that says, Uh where in England you will find a personal great wealth or prominence heading up an effort or where in France you will find the government doing that in America. You virtually always find it being done by a citizens organization interesting. So this has been a toqueville was here in like the early 21st, 20 years or so of American independence. I mean, I believe he wrote democracy in America somewhere around 1834. Um, and these are already his reflections by 1820, the New England area already had over 2000 of these citizen voluntary organizations. They were the precursors of today’s nonprofits. Yeah.

[00:20:40.54] spk_0:
And how are they structured? What do we know about their, their

[00:21:00.84] spk_1:
organs were structured like they were structured sort of, as you know, an association, they had by laws, they had officers, what they didn’t have was either illegal corporate identity, nor did they have uh any sort of fiscal power. Because the laws that created what we call today, a corporation? Yeah. Didn’t exist back then.

[00:21:06.64] spk_0:
All right, so we’re in the like early to mid 1800s. Are they are they doing their own independent fundraising?

[00:24:28.64] spk_1:
Yes, they were. Well, they were doing yes, they were doing when we would they called us? They would call it a subscription. They would call it a subscription. They put out a subscription player, subscription request, and it was today’s fundraising, but they called it a subscription. But the key things in those days were threefold. Number one. Uh they weren’t incorporated, so they didn’t have a legal standing identity, such as people don’t like about Citizens United. That whole idea that it didn’t exist, secondly, they did not have any uh separate fiscal ability to buy to sell to. They didn’t. And the third thing was that the officers or whoever was there, the officers were the identity. So if mrs smith or jones quit and or died very often the operation would fall apart because there’s no way to keep it going. It was very, very crucial for them to eventually get this right to uh to uh incorporate. And one of the most key points about this was that they eventually incorporated under the state laws, the laws of their home states. Now, who then control them? Did the state legislature because it charted them or allow them to incorporate control them or were they independent? And there was a crucial um, a crucial court case involving Dartmouth University whereby the courts found that even if public money went to these entities and even if in fact these public entities, these entities were incorporated under state law. Legislature couldn’t touch them. The Legislature could not give the money, but the Legislature could not tell them in this case. Specifically Dartmouth University what to do That. Independence was crucial because it allowed these organizations to in many, many, many cases proceed government in various efforts. Whether it was schools for the Children of freed former slaves, Whether it was schools for uh, today you called handicapped the death the blind. Uh They would very often create certain they would call them asylums. Today, you might call them orphanages for Children. There was one in new york city that was specifically for the, shall we say, uh Children of prostitutes who might have been called bastards back then or might be called illegitimate. Nobody. Where did these kids go? What did you do with them? And there were, there was a privately funded asylum was created just for those people. Just those Children for the poor as well. Very old houses. Well, arms houses. They, yes, very, very largely funded by these private entities. But very often, particularly in new york city new york city under Mayor de witt clinton high School in Brooklyn and the Bronx. Yes, right. He, he became, he was governor at one point. Um, he was not only when he was mayor, he was also head of one of the largest charitable efforts in the, in the city and was even back then. We’re talking early immigrants around, I’m guessing here trying to remember 18 20 something like that. I don’t remember the executives of his, uh, his term of office, but the city was already paying well. Today you would call a nonprofit to run the, run the schools for the poor. So in new york state, particularly this tradition of public money going to a not what we today would call a nonprofit to provide a Legislatively desirable and socially desirable end. Think about it Tony, this is 2018, you’re almost 200 years later, we’re still doing the same thing. Yeah,

[00:24:47.44] spk_0:
Yeah. I love that around this period. Let’s take mid 1800s. So what, what’s happening in the, in the rest of the country? Well,

[00:26:13.94] spk_1:
the slavery slavery about it? Well, slavery and civil war are percolating and a tremendous number of, of um Efforts, private government effort, rather private citizen efforts, uh, were trying to have the slave trade stopped because the constitution originally said that the government could not do anything even in the slave trade, not slavery, but the trade for 20 years. So this effort was going on for a long time and it was all being done by, by citizens in 99% of them up north. Um, a lot of them either spurred by or uh inspired by the culture of Yankee dim which was spreading across the country at that point. I mean think about it through from the mohawk valley to the Ohio valley, we spread from east to west and this culture came with us. And uh, the number of people who felt that this was a scar on our national character uh, increased and um, I mean, you’ve heard, you know the Missouri compromise, bleeding Kansas, we all know what all the things that led up to the civil war, but what was while that was going on, there was this tremendous effort to, among other things, abolished slavery, but at the same time penal reform, um, reform to end uh, what’s the biggest show in new york Hamilton? Right, Hamilton and burr dueling outlaw dueling. Um, all season. These

[00:26:17.06] spk_0:
are, these are efforts by the, by their non profit or

[00:26:21.37] spk_1:
These organs by these organizations. Okay, now the term non profit didn’t come along until 1950. Yeah, we’re

[00:26:26.62] spk_0:
gonna get the right, we’ll get to the tax exemption. Okay, but by the penal reform, what else, what else can you think of other examples what they were doing around this time. It was very,

[00:27:10.64] spk_1:
very interesting amongst these subscriptions today. You know, there there’s everybody is familiar with the term five oh one C three. Well the three denotes one level of five oh one C. There are actually 29 of them. Well, one of them. One of the earliest was what was called mutual society sort of mutual aid or mutual. Today there are mutual insurance companies which are non profit They started back then. The idea is you would again have a subscription and if a fire hit your house, this would pay money to you to get you back on your feet. This was another my nonprofit effort that didn’t exist. Benjamin for

[00:27:11.57] spk_0:
every year where I guess I remember Benjamin franklin, but every year I get my subscribers check from us, a right, a mutual mutual benefit uh insurance insurance company and now and bank. Ben

[00:27:53.04] spk_1:
Franklin. Ben franklin uh, is credited with founding amongst the first uh, non profit things in the United States. The Volunteer Fire corps in philadelphia, one of the first libraries, uh, the Juno Society. These were all today you’d call them nonprofit effort efforts uh, that he founded uh, in philadelphia before the revolution. So again, this was, but interestingly enough, not down south. Yeah, not down south. Once you started to get towards around the north Carolina border, you didn’t see it because of the plantation economy because of the culture. They didn’t

[00:27:56.42] spk_0:
have a civic, there wasn’t a civic, the civic sense. We have community sense. There was this my plantation, right? We take care of everything

[00:28:15.54] spk_1:
here. This is why two of the most revolutionary things that happened down there was thomas. Jefferson’s founding of the University of Virginia North Carolina’s founding one of the first state universities in the country because that was unheard of down there. It was just unheard of. So all of these efforts, as I say, we’re primarily northern.

[00:28:22.74] spk_0:
We have about a minute before the break. Um, the tax exemption, I feel like this is a good time. When did that, when did that?

[00:28:26.45] spk_1:
Uh taxes first? Tax exemption started way way way back because you have to ask about which taxes. So it’s probably gonna be more than it wasn’t

[00:28:33.99] spk_0:
religion. Okay. Wasn’t religion the religion

[00:28:39.54] spk_1:
1st Exemption. Religion and can also speak schools and things and things of that nature. So go back to that. Alright.

[00:28:45.74] spk_0:
It broadened but it started with, okay, so we teased it together

[00:28:46.94] spk_1:
and you always do,

[00:28:48.28] spk_0:
thank you very much. Always tease.

[00:31:12.84] spk_2:
It’s time for Tony’s take two truly sharing is caring who can you share. non profit radio with. I’ve been providing suggestions through the weeks. How about the new folks to nonprofits, the newbies there? Like babes in the woods, they’re, they’re jumping to, to avoid the obstacles there. Following the immediate direction. They’re just trying to get from like tree to tree to move forward. The trees are the, the metaphorical trees are the tasks that they’re given either by your office or somebody, you know who they work for, but they don’t see the big forest, they don’t, they can’t take the higher level view. They don’t know where they fit in overall. They’re just produce these labels. Let’s get this mailing uh, do this, query uh, volunteered to do this. Volunteer activity beep boop. But what’s the bigger picture? It will be elucidated, they will get illuminated, they will find their way through the from tree to tree because they’ll see the entire forest through nonprofit. radio There’s the, there’s the, I don’t know what this but the new folks, the new folks, they need some help. Right? Really? How do they fit in their, their, the, the development assistance, the Development associates. Maybe you were there have have empathy for them or maybe you weren’t, maybe you got right in at the director level or the, the Associate VP level or the VP level or have empathy for them. Anyway, non profit radio can help the new movies because we’ve got to bring them along. Right. We’ve had guests talk about this, we all know this, we have to bring them along, get them started on the right path through the forest. non profit radio if you can share. non profit radio with somebody new to nonprofits, it’s going to help them and it will help me. And I say thank you That is Tony’s take two. Now back to how we got here,

[00:31:49.24] spk_0:
bob pen is with me. His new book is braided threads, a historical overview of the american nonprofit sector, just get the book because you know, we can’t do it. Justice. Of course you’re interested in how are sector, our community evolved to what it is now. Um get the book. You know, we’re hitting some threads, some braided threads if you will. But you want the full story. You know, even, you know, bob mentioned something. I was like, oh yeah, the Dartmouth case, you know, I can’t remember at all. Um, just by the thing for Pete’s sake. All right. Um, where were we see now? I’ve ranted about bees and sunshine and all this live love. Where were we?

[00:32:06.24] spk_1:
Well, you well, you also screwed up the whole thing about baseball, but that’s another thing. Well, you have baseball doesn’t have touchdowns. But anyway, that’s different. We’re talking about, we’re talking about taxes and tax exemption and that’s what you would ask about.

[00:32:08.82] spk_0:
Thank you. So, it started religion was the first one. What period are we talking about now? We’re

[00:33:24.74] spk_1:
Going back to probably the 1600s. And that’s the point of the matter is we ask what taxes. Alright, Alright. Federal government levied very very few taxes before that. The state’s levied. Not that many taxes? Most taxes were on property and very early on churches were exempted from paying those taxes. Uh Now it wasn’t just the church building, it also became the the parsonage where the minister lived. Uh then if there was another building library perhaps, then schools obviously we’re not text, be they private or be they public. Clearly, a public government is going to tax itself. So public institutions like a public school would never we’re never uh text, but the idea was that the exemption list grew bigger and bigger. New york state was obviously this was going on in all states. I happened to have a quite an extensive accounting in the book of how the new york state list just kept getting broader and broader and broader and broader. Uh At one point, it was interesting because the law was changed to allow organizations that included in their charter or their mission, the uh the enhancement of the minds of young people or something. That’s how the why got in because the why had tried to get a tax exemption had gone to court. They’ve been turned down, they had to pay the tax bill. But everybody thought gee the why should be in in this. So why is very

[00:33:42.12] spk_0:
interesting to uh in the world

[00:33:43.92] spk_1:
wars? Yeah, well, that’s right in the book, right, that they were also involved. Yeah, this is the book. I know, yeah. But what I’m saying is that the why was not really was was not mentioned organizations like why now you mention New

[00:34:01.84] spk_0:
york State. Yes. Um I love this. Uh one thing I want to read this from 17 99 uh New york state. You you cite new york state has sort of Representative

[00:34:06.11] spk_1:
represent what was happening around there were very issues but it’s very representative. This

[00:34:33.84] spk_0:
Is an act for the assessment and collection of taxes. New York State 1799 Excerpt. I won’t read the whole thing. Of course, no house or land belonging to any church or place of public worship or any personal property belonging to any ordained Minister of the Gospel, nor any college or incorporated academy nor any schoolhouse, courthouse, jail, arms house or property belonging to any incorporated library shall be taxed by virtue of

[00:36:29.73] spk_1:
This act. Right. And that that list just kept going and as I said at one they amended it to include, and I forget the specific wording was something about the betterment of the minds of young men and women because there was the Y. M. C. A. And the Y. W. C. Young young men and young women’s christian association so that the law was changed and basically what the courts said was that these operations were doing good. They were doing good things and were beneficial to society and therefore society. Uh It was in society’s interest, but also as just a smart thing to do. We are going to do our bit by supporting them to the extent that we do so by alleviating them from the tax burden. They were still not called non profits because that concept him way later. Um But these organizations, these voluntary and for a long time it was called the voluntary sector. Uh, these are, yes, that was the name of uh, these organizations increasingly became uh tax free, what we know today as the people call them non profits. I’ll do this relatively quickly. Um, one of the last revenue acts of the 1800s uh included this idea that these kinds of organizations could be, should be exempted from federal taxes. That particular revenue act was found unconstitutional. However, when things started to fall into place and you remember, it was the 16th amendment that made the income tax legal in the United States. When that happened, the recognition that these organizations should be exempt was codified and it had to be three things. Number one, it had to be incorporated as a non profit. What does that mean? Does it mean they can’t make profit They can’t make money. Know what it means. Is that what any excess extra? It has to go back in? Well, it has to go back in. They cannot.

[00:36:31.43] spk_0:
This was contemporaneous with the 16th Amendment

[00:37:26.33] spk_1:
was well, shortly following that. But what does the nonprofit means? That rather mean? Doesn’t mean it can’t make money? No, that doesn’t, that’s not what it means, what it means. It can’t take that profit and distributed to partners distributed to stockholders distribute. It has to go back into the pot. That’s number one. The second thing is that no, none of its activities can make money for any of the officers. Right? And the third of the third idea uh is that the, well the roles and the idea is a nonprofit non distribute orI and doing some sort of civic good and so very often it was charitable and there was a charitable educational and the list got you know bigger now family really machinery. I like that word to me sir. That’s what they believe, believe that is maybe you’re right, maybe you’re right. I remember I come from the Bronx so I’m different pronunciation. Um

[00:37:35.13] spk_0:
well you were wrong about you around baseball

[00:38:21.32] spk_1:
Too. So our president tax liabilities president tax code comes from 1954. That was the first place where they laid out what we have today, this 501C category. And where the general exemption from. Originally the idea was that if these organizations made money they didn’t have to pay a corporate income tax on it. Then it became not legally but in terms of practice that they are basically free from almost all taxes other than things like excise taxes are taxes on gasoline or something that you pay as part of a bill, which is why the local men’s association will go to a restaurant and they’ll have the banquet and they give the the the owner, here’s my tax free by tax free number and they won’t have to pay sales tax on the restaurant. Yeah. Okay. So that’s where all that came from. But it was in terms of its codification. Although the roots go back to the 1600s codification goes back to 1954.

[00:38:31.12] spk_0:
Okay. Is that the 16th amendment? Was that

[00:38:33.10] spk_1:
The 16th Amendment was 1913? That’s what allowed the income permitted

[00:38:44.42] spk_0:
an income federal income tax. Okay, Okay. Um let’s uh were World War One. We saw an expansion. Uh

[00:38:46.74] spk_1:
yes, Yes.

[00:38:49.32] spk_0:

[00:39:20.72] spk_1:
Why? Because really? Well, because there was no functional way for the government to step in. One of the more fascinating things about it, was that the you meant we were talking about the why the why was the first organization to do what today? You think in terms like the Red Cross, you know, POW POW camps, uh, you’re checking on status bringing, you know, prisoners. Nobody did that government. Sure as heck did neither the union or the confederate government. It was the why the YMCA that first started this bringing this service to both sides to the confederates and northern. So they were they were in uh in confederate POW camps, ministering, so to speak to union prisoners and vice versa. You

[00:39:31.28] spk_0:
say that the White was the first large scale service

[00:39:41.52] spk_1:
corps, really, you could say that you can’t say that the other. So comes along World War One. Um there was a need for this, but nobody else to do it.

[00:40:33.81] spk_2:
It’s time for a break send in blue, It’s the all in one digital marketing platform with the tools that help you build end to end digital campaigns that are professional, affordable, organized and keep you organized digital campaign marketing. Most software designed for big companies, you know this and has the enterprise level price tag, send in blue is priced for nonprofits. It’s an easy to use marketing platform that walks you through the steps of building a digital campaign. If you want to try it out and get a free month and a 300,000 emails hit the listener landing page at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant in blue. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for how we got here.

[00:40:37.01] spk_0:
Why the why it was the Y. M. C. A. Initially or was it why it was there? Why?

[00:40:41.96] spk_1:
No. Well there’s two Y. M. C. A young men’s christian association and the young women’s, which came first who I am.

[00:40:49.13] spk_0:
Okay, so first large scale service corps. And

[00:43:29.00] spk_1:
well what happened was this, in other words, when World War One started? And uh, there was a need, when the americans got involved, when there was a need uh, to again uh brain services to this army that was being raised, whether it was, you know, outside of Fort Dix or whether it was, you know, eventually when the A. F. Got across the to the other side across the pond, expeditionary forces, right? American expeditionary force? Uh, the whole idea was somebody had to do the same sort of thing. And why was the first one to step in the Red Cross eventually joined the Salvation Army eventually joined. But all of this was being done privately. Meantime, both prior to America’s entry into the war and after it was a tremendous amount of uh refugee, if you will victims victims relief. I mean, you know, war is terrible whatever word is and there’s always collateral damage. The people who were displaced the homes that are destroyed. Well during war governments don’t stop to worry about taking care of that. They move on, they want to have a war to try to win. So who took care of those people? The refugee problem was tremendous. Belgium became one of the worst sites of it because when the Germans invaded Belgium, the al I said well you have to feed the Belgians because most of the belgians of food came from outside, German said no we’re not gonna be bothered doing that. We’re feeding our troops. You want to give them food, you give them food. Well, it was a relief effort that began in the United States that started working to bring food to Belgium. But it was not government, it was all private. It was all voluntary. It was all what you today would call non profit before our and there’s actually pictures, one of the few pictures that are in the book before the war, before the U. S. Got involved in the war when we were supposed to be officially neutral. Yes, there were organizations raising money for the poor and the suffering and the widows in Belgium and France. And but they were also organizations doing the same thing directing money to the german empire. The Austria Hungarian Empire in Turkey because we were officially neutral. So there are actually a couple of pictures in the book. I would appreciate it more pictures by the way I like, well I’m sorry, next next book of more pictures. But the whole idea was this entire effort was being done privately after the war, massive relief effort run by Herbert Hoover most of it. Not all of it at that point the U. S. Government was committing money but A great deal of it. You know, I don’t know proportion 60% maybe uh was all private.

[00:43:30.25] spk_0:
Today’s USO was formed by a collection of a bunch of the collaboration of a bunch of the organizations. You mentioned the Y. M. Y. W. C. A. Regular.

[00:43:38.50] spk_1:

[00:43:40.28] spk_0:
that’s today’s United Service

[00:45:29.09] spk_1:
organization. Right? And that’s where that’s where it was a coalition that was found was one of the first ever like that. One of the first ever efforts. I mean there are all sorts of things that happened back then that we we today for example, you’ve heard of United Way. Everybody knows United Way. You know where United what came from? I dont Community Chest Community Chest and you know today, most people in the Community chest is a sort of a space in the car. I’m a reporter. Okay. Community chest was local fundraising specifically for disaster, personal tragedy, private relief. So if you lost your job or the factory burned down and five people lost their job. Community chest was, was, was the entity in each individual community that would they would go to for relief. I mean, maybe if they belong to a particular denomination and the church might help them out or as well or you know, temple or you know, there’s a lot of that, I mean both and there’s a whole section in there on both the jewish and catholic specific uh, contributions to what we know today as the american nonprofit sector. That, that’s interesting reading on, on its own, but this isn’t to say the churches were involved, but every community, there was no public relief, there was no public welfare and so if dad died or fell off the roof and broke his leg and couldn’t work, there was no unemployment insurance, there was no workers comp people very often they went to Community Chest. What wound up happening was, uh, one of the transformative events was what we might call a cooperative fundraising. If everybody fun fund rose for fundraising, fundraising, whatever the the past tense that is by themselves, you want with competing appeals and they’re banging into each other. Well, uh, it actually started to believe it was in Cleveland was one of the first ones. Uh, I know there was one in Denver, there was one in uh, in uh Detroit, There was one, I believe it was Cleveland. Was

[00:45:48.69] spk_0:
this around the, was this also the hoover administration were now profit complained were basically testified before Congress were basically running over each other, stepping over each other, trying to, trying to help. Oh yeah. Also also was that the Great Depression or

[00:46:34.48] spk_1:
no? Yes, yes and no. You know, there was what you’re talking about was World War Two, uh, stepping on each other and tripling over. That was World War Two. No, what happened was when the, when the Depression hit, um, sort of the thought was that, uh, this community chest would step up and community chest tried, they would have instead of one annual drive, they were having to annual drives. They tried three. But the problem, as we all know, was much bigger than anybody could have predicted foreseen. And their efforts were just not up to the fact that the entire economy crashed, which is why government had to get in that. It was obviously FDR FDR appointed Harry Hopkins to run the relief effort. Harry Hopkins thought that it really should be local government that was doing this. Local governments sitting off on the side. They’re very happy not to be involved. So what Harry Hopkins did was, he said, okay, we’re gonna do this and it’s going to be federal money, but none of the money can go to what today would call non profits because they got completely cut out.

[00:46:52.78] spk_0:
That was not, that was not to punish phenomenon that was to encourage, that was to

[00:46:57.73] spk_1:
force the states unwilling

[00:46:59.40] spk_0:
states and states that had not taken on public welfare right to do it. Or we’re doing give the money to the state. But we, the federal money won’t go to these community chest. Exactly right. They’re trying to force the hand unwilling recalcitrant

[00:48:06.37] spk_1:
states and localities and localities. But, but yes, that’s and that was Hopkins idea of course. Now what did the nonprofits do? I mean this kind of left them out in the cold. Now, you also have to realize that at this point we were talking about community chest, but this was one, this is not to say that the arts efforts weren’t going on and people weren’t founding zoos and botanical gardens. And a lot of this was originally founded by private garden clubs or a zoological society. But the nation was in crisis and relief was always from the charitable sector, which is why it was called the show. And now they couldn’t do it anymore because it was too big a job and be the federal money couldn’t go to them had, you know, Harry Hopkins said no. So they, we invent themselves. I mean, I said the US made early on what was the theme I keep saying resiliency. And one of the things that one of the earliest tests of this resiliency was after the depression because basically the Fed said you can’t have anybody, you know, more money for you. So,

[00:48:15.77] spk_0:
um, say a little about the, uh, the jewish contribution to what we

[00:49:54.47] spk_1:
Know. I think this is utterly fascinating. There’s a book, believe it guys named wrote it was cale calendar. I don’t know how Taylor County, it’s called the gifts of the Jews. The gift of the Jews book is probably 20 years old at this point. But he makes the point that one of the biggest contributions that the jewish culture, the jewish religion made to us here in the United States was in fact cultural, cultural. It had to do with how human beings were viewed when the jewish immigration here started in large. Think about where these people come from, they were either, you know, they were persecuted in czarist Russia. They were persecuted in Poland, which was part of czarist Russia. They were kicked out of spain. I mean, you know, 1000 years of this, they had an outsider perspective, nobody else had and they brought that here with them and when they got involved in charity and what they were the ones they, they were the biggest analyze of the black civil rights movement because their idea that nobody should be an outsider was central to them. And they brought that to that. You think about today’s nonprofit space, We are concerned about the handicapped were concerned about all sorts of groups that you might call marginalized with semi marginalized and this was antithetical to the jewish world view. So to me, whereas a lot of these other charities were taking care of their own. So for example, there was the irish working in such and such, but you have to be irish. The jews said no inclusive, inclusive.

[00:49:56.57] spk_0:
Excellent. Thank you. The jewish

[00:50:27.16] spk_1:
tradition. I just, I cannot emphasize that enough because I mean truly today, if you look at at the, the whole core of the nonprofit mission, it is inclusivity and I personally feel that without the incredible jewish influence that particularly here in new york and new york became kind of like one of those centers of the nonprofit world. It still is. I cannot emphasize enough how strongly I believe that that, that world view, yeah, that threat, um, truly truly help the imprint. Uh, what we have today.

[00:50:33.96] spk_0:
You got to get the book because there’s some things were not going to be a great depression. Uh, Kennedy’s new frontier. And then uh, johnson, johnson and johnson’s war against four. War on poverty.

[00:50:46.44] spk_1:
We have about 3, 4 minutes. Uh,

[00:50:48.70] spk_0:
five. I want to talk about the future too.

[00:51:41.86] spk_1:
Okay. But then I’ll do very quick. Let me just do johnson All right, johnson set us on the road that we’re on the war on poverty, Right. War right. Great society, war on poverty. We are today farther down that road and that road is being fancied up there are, you know, there are curbs where maybe they didn’t used to be curbs, there’s a newer pavement, nicer pavement and original, but it’s the exact same road. What johnson did was, he said, we’re going to take federal money and we’re going to change poverty, We’re going to eradicate whatever his goal was. But it wound up that it wasn’t the government that was doing it. It was government money going to community action agencies and To nonprofits. Now we don’t time now to go to talk about what happened to non profits during the 50s between World War II and we, you know, to get the book, just get the book as well. I have the book. Oh, you mean that they should be talking to

[00:51:42.99] spk_0:
The 13,013,000 who are joining this

[00:52:29.55] spk_1:
condition, They should get, I should hope to God you have a copy of that, That’s a different story. But the whole point was that it was hard to get for me to get one LBJ LBJ set us on the road that we’re on. We’re on now. And my feet feeling and maybe there are people in the sector would argue, uh, you know, this is my theory is that basically things have not really changed in direction, They’ve changed in degree. Now, the nonprofit sector is not just the partner of government, there’s, it’s dependent upon the government. I mean, look what happened to the sector, during the depression. It wasn’t that individuals stopped giving individuals, even during the worst of the great recession, we’re giving corporate was down. The corporate is not that big. It was government money. The sector today is very, very reliant on. So again, johnson set us on the road that we’re on now and we are just farther down and very much deeper into it.

[00:52:46.75] spk_0:
I want to look, don’t look, don’t look forward. You, you cite generational change and technology change as our biggest, uh, opportunities, opportunities and

[00:53:07.95] spk_1:
challenges. I think, I think two of the two of the three biggest things, because we end the book on what’s happening in the future. That’s the last, the last Third or 25% of the book. I think that the three biggest things that are impacting the sector and sectors largely unaware of it is number one of the growth. We are adding 50,000 a year, Uh, in 1990, there were a couple of 100,000 nonprofits in the United States today. There’s, there’s a startling

[00:53:13.53] spk_0:
Chart in the book, one of the pictures of the picture of

[00:54:35.94] spk_1:
the chart I drew it myself dramatic. Um, now there’s over 1.76 million. Actually, nobody as, as, uh, Lester Solomon, who is one of the stages of the sector says nobody really knows how many there are. And it’s because there’s no registration, there’s reporting a different story. So the growth, this can’t just go on 50,000 new ones a year. Even given 3-4%, you know, uh, dwindling and going away. Talk about technology and technology. Uh, you talked before about making online donations easy. That is changing the paradigm between donors and organizations such as we’ve never seen before. You and I are of an age when we still remember, uh, March of dimes going door to door. All right, That is over the canisters canisters. But think about it now. We are making it so easy for online or text, but we’re also making it very easy to give uninformed donations because it’s impulse. It’s on the second. It’s right there in your finger. The third thing is the generational change. We’re already seeing the statisticians and the demographic demographers already seeing a great, great, great change in terms of values and behavior amongst the millennials and us, but not just us, also the generation right behind us. So these three things churning are Have the power to totally change the nonprofit sector as we know it over the course of the next 15 years. And all I’m saying is we as a sector should be aware of these things and be prepared for what could happen and maybe try to steer the ship instead of just being a cork bobbing along where the tides and the winds take is where they will.

[00:54:54.74] spk_0:
Okay, just get the book for God’s sake bob, penna braided threads, a historical overview of the american nonprofit sector, you’ll find bob and his book at braided threads

[00:55:05.01] spk_1:

[00:55:05.56] spk_0:
com. Thank you very much bob. Thank you.

[00:55:42.34] spk_2:
Next week. Edgar Villanueva returns with a popular archive show de colonizing wealth. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. And by sending blue, the only all in one digital marketing platform empowering non profits to grow. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant in Blue, our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott Stein,

[00:55:50.86] spk_3:
Thank you

[00:55:52.00] spk_2:
for that information scotty

[00:55:53.74] spk_3:
be with

[00:55:54.07] spk_2:
me next week for nonprofit radio

[00:55:55.92] spk_3:
Big non

[00:56:12.84] spk_2:
Profit Ideas for the other 95% go out and be great. Yeah.

Nonprofit Radio for November 9, 2020: How To Work In Uncertainty & Low-Cost Fundraising Software

My Guests:

Gail Bower & Karen Eber Davis: How To Work In Uncertainty
A June study of nonprofits has lessons for now and our future. The election may be settled, but there are unknowns afoot: reaction to the election; the pandemic; a divided federal government; federal stimulus; racial reckoning; climate change. The study’s co-authors shepherd us. They’re Gail Bower at Bower & Co. Consulting LLC and Karen Eber Davis at Karen Eber Davis Consulting.






Chris Bernard & Amadie Hart: Low-Cost Fundraising Software
Chris Bernard and Amadie Hart, the co-authors of Tech Impact’s new software selection guide, talk us through: What these systems offer; how to compare them; and how to select the best one for your needs. Chris is from Tech Impact and Amadie is at Hart Strategic Marketing.





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[00:03:18.74] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host. By the time you hear this, the election will be settled. It damn well better be. I hope you were okay. Going through it. I was immersed in the horse race and probably too much, which means I still am as I’m recording. But by the time you’re listening, it looks like it’ll be over. I hope we’re both OK. Be sure to take care of yourself, please. And others, I will do the same. Let’s each be understanding of what we and those around us have been through. It’s been a crisis, a trauma, and it’s time to start healing. I know there’s a lot of work and a long journey ahead. No doubt if we each take care of ourselves and have compassion for others, we’ll be starting that journey on the right foot. Let’s get started together. Is non profit radio still your favorite abdominal podcast? I just love that word. Why say weekly? When you can say abdominal, force your friends into the dictionary, I’ll start a campaign to replace the word weekly maybe not. No campaigns for a while. Oh, I’m extra glad you’re with me. I get slapped with a diagnosis of politico phobia. If you lobbied me with the idea of missing today’s show How Toe Work in Uncertainty. A June study of nonprofits has lessons for now and our future. The election may be settled, but there are unknowns afoot. The pandemic reaction to the election, a divided federal government, federal stimulus, racial reckoning, climate change. Need I continue. The study’s co authors shepherd us there, Gail Bauer and Karen Ebert Davis and low cost fundraising software guide Chris Bernard and Amidi Heart. The co authors of Tech Impacts New Software Selection Guide. Talk us through what these systems offer, how to compare them and how to select the best one for your needs. So stop asking, what’s the best system? Although I did Antonis take two. My November webinar were sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content For nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot c o and by dot drives Prospect to donor simplified tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant for a free demo and a free month here is had a work in uncertainty. It’s my pleasure to welcome Gail Bauer and Karen Ebert Davis to non profit radio. They are co authors of the study. What’s Really happening with non profit revenue? They’ll. Bauer is founder and president of Bauer and Co. Consulting LLC, a revenue strategy firm that helps nonprofits become self sufficient by developing reliable sources of revenue. Trained as a futurist, she studies where society is headed and what trends may impact her clients. Businesses Gail is author of the book How to Jump Start Your Sponsorship Strategy. In Tough Times, She’s at gale Bauer dot com and at Gale Bauer. Welcome, girl.

[00:03:47.14] spk_2:
Thank you. Hi, tony. Good

[00:03:48.39] spk_0:
to have you back. Thank you. Karen Ybor Davis and her firm, Karen Bieber, Davis Consulting Guide Organizations To discover propulsion tools to grow their profits and performance. She helps clients create dynamic partnerships and make an extraordinary impact. Her book is Let’s raise non profit Million’s Together. She’s at k e d. Consult dot com Karen, welcome to the show.

[00:04:14.26] spk_1:
Thank you, tony. It’s wonderful to be here.

[00:04:16.34] spk_0:
Pleasure. Pleasure. Have you both? Um, whoever wants to start, I don’t know with, uh, introducing the study and and a little about your timing and methodology. Who’s best?

[00:05:11.64] spk_1:
Karen. Go ahead. Sure about March this year we were looking at concerns and issues in the sector. Gail and I have been working together on different projects serving the sector for two years, and we realized that things were happening so rapidly. We didn’t really have a good handle on it, and we couldn’t go to meetings and meet someone and find out what was going on. So we said, Let’s go ask them questions And so we created this survey really curious about what was happening with individual income streams. There was this blatant, um, pictures of information and that things were just shutting down. All income was off and that yet that’s fine. But what was really happening? And from that, we put the survey out asking about individual income streams and what was happening. And the data was not surprising. About 125 people responded, but was fascinating to us, where the comments people made in the questions that were not multiple choices and that’s where we really have been still mining a lot of interesting things when I looked at it again, fresh, there’s new fresh things to see even though this data was collected in June.

[00:05:41.74] spk_0:
Okay? And Gail So I see. Ah, throughput of this is really the uncertainty that people were facing in. Well, you published in June. So I Karen, you said you were surveying what? I guess March, April May. I’m

[00:05:58.25] spk_1:
sorry. We surveyed in June, and then we came out in July.

[00:06:24.14] spk_0:
Okay, I see. So June, still early in the pandemic, Dale. Um, but uncertainty remains. And and now we’ve Now we’ve added the election to the pandemic and economic uncertainty and social justice upheaval. Uh, there’ve been more murders of black folks at the hands of police. So there’s Yeah. Uncertainty.

[00:06:25.31] spk_2:
Yeah, lots of uncertainty. When will there be a vaccine? When can we all get together again, et cetera, And all the other topics and all the, you know, all the details and sub issues of all of those that that still remain in our culture. So, yes, there’s a lot of uncertainty. There’s frankly, always a lot of uncertainty, but right now it’s at a fever pitch and times

[00:06:48.26] spk_0:
times five or six.

[00:08:45.54] spk_2:
Yeah, Exactly. And things were just shifting and changing so rapidly. It is really hard to get a handle on things. So I think one of the big differences between then and now when people completed the study and now is the biggest worry was Oh, my gosh, the pandemic. What does this really mean for us? You know, back in the beginning, you may recall people are thinking and we’ll be out of the office for two weeks and we’ll come right back. Well, now we know it’s gonna be more like a year and a half or so, um, we don’t really know. So now we’ve started to see people sort of settle in and and know that they have to continue operating. They can’t just stop. They have to continue operating, um, in the face of uncertainty. And so we’re starting to see people, you know, really? Take, I I would say one of three pathways count. I’m curious to see what you are seeing. And and tony, I’m sure you have an interesting perspective as well. But I think there are some people that have, uh, strategies from before that still have some merit. They might have had to update them or makes, um, you know, course corrections, but they’re still going strong with what? They’re what they’re doing. Um, some people and I’m talking about, in particular with revenue. Um, some people have had to make wholesale change, for example, organizations that are really dependent on in person revenue, like like concerts and, you know, performances and Gallas and things like that. It’s very difficult to be in in, you know, together and digital works to an extent. And then there are people that are really scrambling to figure out how they’re going to shift their revenue. Ah, lot of times, many of these, maybe your listeners, they run smaller organizations who may not have their footing. Yet they may not have developed repeatable, reliable revenue, which is really one of the hallmarks of being an unsustainable position. And so so this. This is a group that has to be really deliberate and thoughtful about their business model to make sure that they’re being creative. And they’re being thoughtful about the revenue sources that they developed. But they make sure that they understand how their business model functions so they take on the right

[00:09:15.84] spk_0:
forms of revenue. And Karen, I guess these these three sort of cohorts, maybe our sets of of of leaders, uh, emerged from those narrative comments that you were talking about.

[00:10:42.04] spk_1:
Well, we really saw that 0.3 kind of leaders, people who were still in a panic mode like Oh my gosh, and just kind of like whining. And it’s difficult in a survey because you’re taking a survey in any 15 minutes and you might have just had disastrous news. And so a little whining would be natural, appropriate, but the collection of the information and then there was these people who are kind of in this phase. We’re, like, really factual. This is is the tires of my car all flat? What am I going to do to fix it? And then this third group that was moving what we call the solving cells they were already moving into some like, Let’s try this. Let’s try that. So the e think in some ways we’re all we’re all those places, depending on what’s happening, we move through some of that, um, post election. Maybe we thought we were gonna have a plan, and all of a sudden it’s like, Oh, my gosh, how did this happen? Or where we at on Dhe then was like. Okay, now, this is what is what do I do with it? So it’s a begins to be a resilience model. The challenge is, is if you get stuck in any of those places if if you are just, you know, totally in the fax, we can’t operate. We can’t do it. We can’t that that’s a challenge, because you’re not gonna You’re not gonna make it. You’ve got to find some way to try to survive. You may not make it anyway, but trying something that makes logical sense, um is, I think, imperative.

[00:11:07.04] spk_0:
Alright. And that’s ideal for kicking us off with. With the last 25 or 30% of your your study is devoted to what? You know, how do we go forward? What? What’s the value of this info for your organizations? And by the way, let’s shout out where folks can get a copy of the study. Where is that? Karen? Okay, I’ll tell you what. I’m gonna talk to Karen. So, Gail, why don’t you look that up? That’s okay. Yeah, well, we want folks to be able to get this because we waken, uh, take off some of the stuff that I would like most to talk about, but there’s a lot more in the report. So, Karen, um, you the first thing you suggest is taking care of yourself, taking care of your organization. I’ve had other guests say the same thing, but it merits, you know, self care, organizational care. What, your ideas there.

[00:11:43.34] spk_1:
And And I would say part of that self care is recognizing you need more thinking time thinking

[00:11:44.10] spk_0:
is thinking is highly underrated. Yeah, terribly underrated thinking. Thinking is valuable,

[00:12:41.14] spk_1:
amazing and and define the place in time to say I am not gonna put out a fire for the next hour or whatever it takes. And I want to think about what it feels like. Maybe in six months. One of the re reading of some of the data is we were in June. We were so much right now. We were so much in the present. This is happening now and there was no there was no discussion of the election in June. There was no discussion off what the new year would bring, what we’ll be doing in 2021 that was six months away. Not all of us are into the future. But some of us should have been talking about it. So that ability to self care to take some time to think as well as toe recognize no one has been on this path before. No one has the answers. You don’t either. But you know your organization best and prioritize your brilliance about that.

[00:13:17.14] spk_0:
Okay? And organization Care to taking care of those who work with you for you, above you. Below you, you know? E feel like because it z things are so uncertain. Way need to take care of. We do need to take care of each other. You know, we have to go beyond the normal for some nurturing for some listening for some empathy, compassion. I feel I’m doing that. And I feel it in others to, you know, more. More more questions about How are you doing? How are you doing? You know, not just how are you? Like we used to Do you know before March? How you doing? You know, everything’s fine. Yeah, I’m good. Yeah. Yeah, more. I mean, there’s there’s more depth to that and and, you know, and beyond.

[00:13:38.84] spk_1:
Yeah, and in some ways, we have time we’re no longer running. We’re no longer commuting. Most of us are many of us. We are no longer running. Two meetings across town toe have lunch as a networking meeting. That would take three hours our day. And so we’re working more hours. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal this last week mentioning how many more hours people are working and it’s going to work on dhe yet we still have family obligations. So taking care of the people. Your staff, um, is really critical. I’m working with a group of CEOs, and the conversation they wanna have next is how to keep your non profit staff saying in the midst of a pandemic. So how do you help a staff member who has childcare full time at home?

[00:14:32.14] spk_0:
So, yeah, we need to be good to each other and understanding. Empathic compassionate. Yeah. Um, So, Gail, I didn’t mean to be the directive male testosterone burdening. But when I said look this up for you know? So, yeah, you give you homework while I was talking to Karen s. Oh, where can we find this study?

[00:14:36.54] spk_2:
I made a quick, short length. That’s not even that short but tiny u r l dot com forward slash revenue study results

[00:14:44.94] spk_0:
Okay, so it one more time,

[00:14:52.70] spk_2:
I put it in the chat box here to revenue a tiny URL dot com slash revenue study results.

[00:15:31.54] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. They help you build relationships with journalists because of our relationship started and nurtured by turn to the New York community. Trust got to features in The Wall Street Journal. That’s the value of the pre existing relationships Turn to specializes in working with nonprofits. One of the partners, Peter Pan, a Pento, used to be an editor at The Chronicle of Philanthropy. The return hyphen two dot ceo Now back to how to work in uncertainty You’re you have ideas about revamping strategy.

[00:18:47.54] spk_2:
Yeah, well, so as I was starting to say, with with your business model, a lot of organizations are continuing with revenue forms that they had in this study. We found, um, interestingly, some conflicting information. Whereas some respondents found that individual giving was decreased, uh, or they expected it to decrease over time. Another group found that that was their shining light, that it was the form of revenue that was going to increase eso, you know? So I guess it’s sort of just depends where people are in their life cycles and where they are in their strategies and so on and so forth. But one of the hallmark mindsets that we saw that came from this are, as Karen said, the ones who had moved along the scale of resilience and who were taking a very positive mindset. Who were they believed all out in their mission and in their abilities to get the word out about their mission and all the, you know, all the good work that their organizations were doing and to think really creatively about how to move forward. And so, in thinking about a new organizations business model A Z, I mentioned earlier organizations need to be thinking about what forms of revenue have the most staying power now. And how might they want to expand the revenue? What other you know, are there other sources that could be coming into the fold? But they have to do it again very thoughtfully for, uh, for how the organization works. So a business model is not just revenue that comes in and expenses that go out. That’s a budget. Ah, business model is actually the system about how you know how the business side of your organization actually operates. So, for example, um, corporate sponsorship is a big piece of my expertise, and people call me all the time with questions about sponsorship and getting some help with that. And I’m always listening for the right conditions that are going to help them create success. And I try to guide people when I’m hearing conditions that won’t be successful. So, for example, every business model has some key activities key relationships that are important for success. Sponsorship, for example, requires an active marketing operation, a strategy, a set of operations, an audience to be successful. It requires staff and organizational competence, because if you don’t have anyone that can actually go out and talk to a corporation and you know, initiate relationships to develop them, then you know you’re not gonna have success there. And so it sounds like a pretty obvious peace. But, uh, you know, organizations are under a lot of pressure from the board members. Let’s try this. Let’s try that Somebody that I spoke to recently said Oh, well, you know, our board member thinks we oughta have sponsorship. And when we talked further, three organization doesn’t really have a marketing push. Uh, it’s maybe not even appropriate that they would have a consumer market being pushed. They certainly don’t have events that would be viable. Sources of revenue and the work that they do. It was very intimate, very personal. And so I just said to her, I’m not really sure that sponsorship is the right fit for you. She was relieved. She was relieved to hear that, because now her brain is freed up and she can focus on revenue sources that are gonna be the right fit. So we are all four. And Karen, I’m sure you would echo this. We’re all for people being creative. But don’t spend your wheels on creativity where you know, you have roadblocks right in front of you. So you have to really make sure that your business model is the right fit for any form of revenue that you’re gonna pursue

[00:19:22.57] spk_0:
anything you wanna add. Thio?

[00:19:26.94] spk_1:
Yeah. Tell on opposite story. Because because it really depends on who you are and what kind of value you could bring to the market. So looking for your revenue in terms of what is our value, how can we bring it? Who needs that value? One of the woman people I work with, who is the CEO? They had been doing a lot of educational events, and we see the little bit of sponsorship well, their their revenue for those has just gone up tremendously. They recognize that the rate is a medical related thing. That the doctors who people who are promoting different health cures and their industry could no longer reach patients directly except through them. And so their ability to capitalize on that restriction inside of doctors offices like payday for them on dhe, they’ve taken advantage of it. So what may not be your neighbor friends? Non profit solution may indeed be your solution, and that’s matching that value that you have. And now maybe you can see new value with the value of what people are seeking and making those connections.

[00:20:32.10] spk_2:
That’s a good point, I think, to some of the other issues that you mentioned tony. So the racial justice issues, for example, that’s another, uh, that’s another, uh, point of leverage because obviously many nonprofit organizations are really devoted to racial justice issues, you know? Well, even before the incidents, the death of George Floyd this summer and, um, organizations that may not have had that as strongly on the radar certainly are more interested in that now. And that is a point of overlap with the corporate sector. We’re all saying that this is a really important issue. So there may be opportunities to have work funded or to expand audiences in the and in the, you know, in the colors of community. Ah, commune communities of color. Eso that people more people are being attracted to these missions and corporate sponsors. Sponsors can benefit from that as well, and can help, you know, joined the cause

[00:21:51.24] spk_0:
again. Let’s stay with you for your next idea is just basically keep. Just keep asking. Uh, including for for requests, planned gifts, But keep on asking your folks for for support,

[00:21:53.04] spk_2:
right? So, yeah, I mean, Mawr and more organizations are, you know, communicating with donors and communicating with supporters throughout the year. And, um, you know, there there has to be ah, lot of emotional mo mentum without causing donor fatigue at the same time. So these regular opportunities to be in touch with donors and to be, um, you know, engaging them in the mission, engaging them emotionally. And what’s happening, um, is what’s gonna really help bring that donor to the fold? An

[00:22:30.45] spk_0:
individual individual generosity was something that you highlight in the in. Early reports of the survey, as as a shining moment, are shining experience for a lot of non profits that their donors have come through for them. But of course, you got to keep asking so that give them the opportunity to come through for you.

[00:23:59.24] spk_2:
Yeah, I think a lot of ah lot of organizations in the beginning, uh, sort of panicked, not seeing where their mission fit in the big scheme of the pandemic on I know, I had several conversations like this with executive directors and leaders and the nonprofit sector that, you know, we need organizations of all stripes. Right now, we still need the full panoply, the full infrastructure of non profit service’s to help, you know, continue making our society better because, you know, there is such a ripple effect from all of these issues, from racial injustice from the pandemic and, you know, health care disparities and so on and so forth. So we need all the non profit infrastructure justice importantly and therefore non profits have an opportunity to really update and update their messaging update the ways that they’re talking about some of these really topical issues and how their cause their mission is to attack or solve a certain portion of it and keep their organization in the spotlight. So it’s really important for this regular communication at the same time, while acknowledging that some people may not have the means to give at this time because, you know, we do have a you know, a problem with the recession. At the same time,

[00:24:07.81] spk_0:
you need to be understanding but still straightforward about what your needs are. Yeah, not not humble about it. Yeah, Karen, let’s go back to you for looking at risks. Uh, this it’s It’s sort of running through what we’ve been talking about a little bit, but just make it explicit, you know, looking at risks to potential revenue.

[00:24:27.44] spk_1:
Absolutely. I think everyone woke up and realized that their earned revenue wasn’t a sure thing was it was one of the first biggest learnings. Um, but they’re also going back to the donors that that donors were like the heroes of this because they showed you people loved you. Um, one of the useful things your listeners conduce oh, is to write down all the things that are worrying them and look at the ones that they really can control. Um, you know, they cannot control um, when we get the vaccine. I don’t think unless they’re variant vaccines on dhe, they can control a lot of things they can’t control when it will really be there. Special. Most favorite people will come out and come to their meetings again. We don’t know, but they can control how often they talked to those donors and what they offer them bring them and share and how they provide that value. So getting out and saying, My gosh, this whole list of things, it’s like, Oh, my gosh, it’s so scary. Well, a number of those you can’t do anything about, but the ones that you can are the ones you can focus on and and and getting real clear where you have leverage with your time and energy and effort, and then really, in terms of your revenue.

[00:25:31.54] spk_0:
Now, that’s excellent. You know, Look, focus on what you can control and, you know, obsessed privately about that which you can’t. But you’re you’re non profit. Needs not to be going down the path of, you know, What are we gonna do about when the vaccine comes out? You know, our Yeah, exactly. Exactly. All right. Um, let’s stay with you for a digital You. I think a lot of non profit have already figured out some of this, but there’s There may be more work to be done around enhancing your digital, um presents skills.

[00:26:04.74] spk_1:
Yeah. Yeah. Digital is gonna be with us. We are not going back. You know, I just don’t think every board’s gonna ever meet every time at once a month in person again, I think we’re gonna have selective. So we’re gonna have a hybrid world. And so we all need to have some growth in digital skills. And it’s well worth watching the zoom videos and getting getting up to date on those and getting some skills because you need to figure out how to do breakout rooms and poles and all those things. But that aside, digital is becoming one of the heroes of this experience to people are having events that were for their local people who could come in for the evening and comfort event. And all of a sudden, the people who are coming to events, it’s much larger in his national or statewide. And who knew that I was doing in Miami biz? Um, conference last week? And we have people from all over the state of Florida, and I’m thinking, Oh, it’s not Miami biz anymore. It’s statewide, And what does that mean? And who are you? And if you’re really good at digital, maybe that’s your revenue opportunity.

[00:27:06.74] spk_0:
Yeah, your events are no longer constrained by where you’re gonna host, huh? Where you’re going to rent a hotel ballroom or or by where your offices

[00:27:15.44] spk_1:
and your ticket prices might be very different.

[00:27:21.89] spk_0:
Yes, right, right. All right, Gail. Anything you want to add? Thio Digital Digital presence.

[00:27:39.49] spk_2:
Well, I just think that helping people focus on expanding their capabilities. Uh, and seeing you know, people may feel flummoxed about digital skills. Uh, e think I

[00:27:41.23] spk_1:
think you

[00:27:41.57] spk_4:
have been

[00:27:41.84] spk_2:
out to two ways e Karen around Karen. And

[00:27:46.75] spk_0:
don’t just pick your co authors. Pronunciation. Karen, you talk breaker.

[00:27:50.40] spk_1:
I know what she met.

[00:28:09.07] spk_0:
Okay, Perfect. Middle of the road. All right, I get about what part of the country are you in? Maybe that Z in Philadelphia. I’m from New York, New Jersey. I mean, I live in North Carolina now, but now, so that’s not the explanation. Yeah.

[00:28:09.77] spk_2:
Anyway, yeah, So people might be stumped about about gaining digital skills, But But if people could start to see that as an opportunity, I’m really an optimistic person. So trying to see some of these new changes in our world as positive as you know, new ways to communicate with people and that there are, you know, so many people figuring these technical, you know, technical skills out or these thes new capabilities out. So the goal might be, um, learning how to have new capabilities for the organization and continuing to expand resilience so that when you emerge from this period, whatever it is, however long it is, you’re stronger in that you have new capabilities. You’ve learned new ways to hold events or you learned new ways to market to people. I’m working with a client, right? now on really subsea financially expanding the way that they attract new people to the organization using all kinds of digital skills. And it’s really been fun. It builds on things that I already knew how to dio that they were sort of new to. But we’re all learning new things together about how toe how toe communicate with people when we can’t see them with limited budgets so that their organization can continue to grow The same organization also, um, expand. Like many organizations turned their in person event into a virtual one wants to have their virtual event in person next year. But they thought that there’s so much value about their virtual event that they’re going t o continue doing it. But for a very specific audience that may have less access to the in person one because of costs And

[00:29:56.41] spk_0:
probably so they have a digital component with camera camera, too, and live streaming

[00:30:02.64] spk_2:
exactly, exactly and and all kinds of other capabilities. So so it really you know, while this might be a difficult time and they’re all exhausted and they’re working so hard and doing so much, but by the time and there’s some other changes that we made digitally to that that we just realized. Yes, you’re like, Oh, my gosh, We’re gonna have all this new data. So? So making these commitments and these steps and he’s taking these actions now is gonna pay off later. So it’s, you know, we’re all slogging through and trying to find moments of joy through through this, you know, challenging time for everybody, but hopefully will all emerge stronger and with new capabilities and more resilient in the long run. And that’s the That’s the eye on the prize right now.

[00:30:48.84] spk_0:
Okay? No, Gale, you’re trained, is a futurist, and we’re recording on Wednesday, November 4th. So who’s gonna win the election?

[00:30:57.29] spk_2:
Futurist? The first thing futures learn is you don’t make predictions, okay? Yeah, exactly, But we

[00:31:06.02] spk_0:
already within the next. It’ll

[00:31:07.40] spk_1:
be a white male. What

[00:31:10.38] spk_0:
do you say?

[00:31:10.70] spk_1:
Yeah, it will be a white male

[00:31:12.43] spk_0:
male. Yeah,

[00:31:13.18] spk_2:
in their seventies. Yeah, hopefully

[00:31:18.24] spk_0:
the vice president will not be, um eso eso futurist. You don’t want to touch like the next 18 months. You have to go 18 months and out. Is that Is that like you have a boundary beyond within which you will not. Well, some some awareness or understanding off.

[00:31:36.84] spk_2:
Yeah, different futures focus on different time horizons. There’s some some futures that focus really long term. So, for example, there are colleagues of mine that might focus 10 50 years out and might advice, for example, depart Ah, highway department in a state that has a growing population so that they can figure out where to put highways. My focus tends to be shorter term because that’s what nonprofits really need help with eso the advice this week. Yeah, not this week. Yeah, look a little bit longer the next couple of years. Just take a look at all the all the trends that are happening and the impact of those trends. And, um and again, as Karen said, spend some time thinking, see what this might mean for yourselves and don’t get hung up about any one way or the other because the future hasn’t happened yet. Eso we wanna be thinking about all the possible futures and carve out your path where you want to go. But always stay alert. Toe all of these different trends and resilient Yeah, and be willing. Thio shift on a dime when you learn more information so that you are prepared for any threats and you have the opportunity to seize opportunities and you don’t get, you know, you don’t get caught under a nen coming wave that you hadn’t thought about. It just helps us some more creative and more resilient and more agile as we’re going through this.

[00:33:21.14] spk_0:
And you know that that sounds like a, you know, a lead into the to our sixth idea, which is considering new markets, new audiences. Um, So I’m gonna turn to Karen too. Sort of Take us out. And, uh

[00:34:04.23] spk_1:
Okay, So So it’s we kind of have referred to it in this conversation. People finding new ways. Andi, I think this is the crux of what the message is is what worked in January. Probably is never gonna work quite the same way again. And in some ways, that’s a good thing on and one of the people I work with, I am not going back. I’m not doing some of those things, so it’s an opportunity to shed some things on, then make room for the new possibilities. Who needs your value? Where can it be provided? How can you communicate that that that you have this value and that they should really invest in you to get it is really the the hub of finding new places.

[00:34:36.74] spk_0:
All right, that’s Karen Ibra Davis. She’s at K e d. Consult dot com and co author of the study. What’s really happening with non profit revenue is Gail Bauer, who remains a, uh, flummoxed futurist. She’s at gale Bauer dot com and at Gale Bauer study again is at tiny u r l dot com slash revenue Study results. Karen Gayle Thank you very very much for sharing.

[00:34:39.34] spk_2:
Thank you so much, tony.

[00:34:40.67] spk_1:
It’s been a pleasure.

[00:34:50.22] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Tony is take two my webinar. I’m hosting a free webinar. Start your plan to giving in 2021. Yes, I’m hosting Kind

[00:34:55.08] spk_1:

[00:36:55.95] spk_0:
nice hosting my own, No longer subjugated to the will of the outside hosts. Know which I’m Of course, I’m always grateful for I get so many invitations, I don’t have time to host my own. But so at this time I’m hosting my own webinar. No, no more subjugation. Uh, it’s a quick shot. We’re gonna do this in 50 minutes. What plan giving is how to identify your best prospects, where to start your plan giving program, how to market your new program. And, of course, I’m gonna leave plenty of time for questions, which is my favorite. I enjoy the questions a lot, so I hope you’ll ask a lot. We’re doing this quick shot on November 19th. Thursday Thursday, November 19th at three O’clock Eastern. You can sign up for the Free Webinar at planned giving accelerator dot com slash webinar. That number again planned giving accelerator dot com slash webinar. I hope you’ll be with me posting my own, that is tony. Stick to now. It’s time for low cost fundraising software guide I’m pleased to welcome the co authors of Tech Impacts. Consumers Guide to Low Cost Fundraising software. Amid the Heart is a contract writer and researcher for Tech Impacts, Ideal Wear and president of Heart Strategic Marketing. She has a wide range of experience helping nonprofits assess their needs, select software to meet them and engage audiences and constituents. She’s at comedy Am a D. I. E. Chris Bernard is managing editor at Tech Impact. He’s a career writer and journalist with 20 years experience in newspapers, magazines, advertising, corporate and nonprofit marketing and communications and freelance writing. Tech Impact is at Tech Impact dot or GE. Comedy Chris Welcome to non profit radio. It’s good to have you.

[00:36:59.23] spk_3:
Thank you for having us, tony.

[00:37:02.73] spk_0:
Absolute pleasure. Chris. Let’s start with you. Please acquaint our listeners with Tech Impact.

[00:37:45.90] spk_4:
Sure, tech impact is a national non profit. We offer a variety of programs, and service is to other nonprofits everything from tech consulting software selection. Managed service is to our workforce development programs in Delaware, Philadelphia in Las Vegas, where we offer all sorts of educational opportunities for young people. We also have, since 2000 and 18, when we merged with Ideal, where we have an arm of the non profit that produces all sorts of publications and training for nonprofits around the country, most of them free of charge, including this. This publication we’re talking about today

[00:38:17.96] spk_0:
Now I used to refer toa ideal wear when I had Karen Graham on, she was the CEO of idea where, as the consumer reports of non profit software and she bristled a little bit, not really. You know, Karen didn’t get upset. I don’t know if she ever gets upset. She didn’t get upset at me. She bristled a little bit like a little pushback. Well, not quite. Uh, do you? Do you object to that? Do you bristle it? That that explains that whatever description of idea where

[00:38:20.51] spk_4:
you have been with ideal where since 2000 and six. Tony and we that is certainly accurate for one part of what we do. I think if anybody would argue that point, it’s only that we do so much more than just software reviews.

[00:38:35.22] spk_0:
Okay, Okay, Fair enough. Alright. I’m sure Karen explain that to me too. But because she bristled, I have to bring it up. So? So let’s let’s let’s dive into the title. So we know what folks are gonna be looking at and what they should be expecting. So how do you define low cost?

[00:38:54.22] spk_3:
Well, that’s one of the things that we did. Well, we first embarked upon the report over the years, we’ve always had fairly standard methodology for how we go about the report. And one of the factors that we do with the very beginning is decide. Okay, what is blow cost in today’s market? So in today’s market. We were talking with subject matter experts who represented people who work in non profits and work with the technology, as well as consultants who help nonprofits with their technology and decided that for this version of the report, $10,000 for a year’s worth of software is about the ceiling that we could have.

[00:39:38.12] spk_0:
Okay. And how about fundraising? How do you define fundraising versus C. R. M or donor management? Because this used to be called the guide. The low cost donor management software. Yes, we actually

[00:41:08.31] spk_3:
had a lot of conversations about that. Um, with all the systems that we have in here really run the gamut, some of them do call themselves C R M. Some of them do call themselves donor management systems, and some call themselves fundraising systems. And so we do set aside part of the report to talk about what we mean by each one. Um, so for the systems that were in the report, we needed them or to, um, really be the sole database for a non profit or have the ability to be the sole database for a non profit, um, and then let them do things like create online forms, a variety of online forms. Let them, um, creating collect data from email marketing campaigns. We did require systems in the report to be cloud based, and we also did require them to be able to, um, process online payments either natively or through an integration. Um, we needed them to be able to track fundraising metrics on the dashboard, um, and manage a report on both online on direct mail fundraising campaigns. So it’s a sort of, ah, lot mawr expensive than the systems that we looked at in previous versions of this report. Because in many ways, the work the nonprofits of I was doing in this area have really expanded a lot. And they’ve required systems and technology to keep up

[00:41:35.41] spk_0:
with that. You have 10 different functionalities that you measured. You measure all the system against I know, um, and that folks is just gonna have to get the guide. Obviously, we’re not gonna take off all 10 functionalities. Um, Chris, I’m guessing, uh, the following is not the right question to ask. What’s the best system? Uh huh. We try 5.5 minutes. We could just wrap it up. What thing You don’t Nobody has to read the guide.

[00:41:44.51] spk_4:
This is the fifth edition of the guide. And one thing that has not changed throughout the course of each generation is that we make a ZX clear as possible that there is no best system. This is not about ranking the systems against one another. It’s about teaching nonprofits what systems offer and how to compare them and how to select the best one for their needs. Because ultimately that is the best system. It’s going to depend on your specific needs,

[00:42:16.10] spk_0:
and you have very conveniently, I think, a dozen different use cases so that you can try to fit your needs into maybe one of those use cases, or maybe overlap a little bit like tiny but growing and prices critical midsize and want a system that grows with us. Meet easy, set up and use. No. And you have a dozen of those different use cases,

[00:42:50.50] spk_4:
right? That was one of the, uh, the features that comedy brought to this edition of the guide, where we’re always looking for ways to make it easier for the nonprofits in our audience to access the knowledge that’s in it. It’s a massive undertaking to put together, but it’s also a massive undertaking to read. Yeah, comparing that many systems against hundreds of requirements, criteria just results in a lot of data. And how do you make that data useful? So looking for sort of entry points for nonprofits, Ahmedi came up with the idea of coming up with use cases that were common to nonprofits in our audience demographic to help them understand how other nonprofits reusing the system, find the use case. That sort of matched in a reasonable sense what they were doing. And then that’s that’s sort of a starting point for them. Thio begin Narrowing Systems

[00:43:30.49] spk_0:
The comedy. This is the first guy that you participated with?

[00:43:35.31] spk_3:
No, actually, I did work on. I did several of the software evaluations from the previous version of this guide, and I can’t take full credit for the use cases and that we had a smaller, um, or more limited version of use cases in the last edition of the guide that helped, uh, divide up some of the systems or sort them into categories. But what we heard from people in the intervening years was That was one of the first things that they turned to in the last edition of the guide when they were trying to get their hands around what systems toe look at because they didn’t feel like reading all of the profiles. So realizing that that waas, um, the most useful entry point for non profits made it much more, um, it made it much more attractive as

[00:44:31.09] spk_0:
e made it more accessible. Yes. You know, these are the 44 or five systems that will suit best. This, uh, this use case, you know, And like I said, you know, times 12. So whoever is best for this, how do you think non profit could best use the guide, like Or maybe maybe what do we have? What we have to know in advance before we can get the most out of the out of the guide.

[00:45:02.59] spk_4:
I’m gonna let Ahmedi field that question, but I just wanna close the use case conversation by pointing out that not all the systems eso we picked systems to match each of the use cases, but depending on each organization, specific needs other systems that we didn’t choose for a particular use case might still be perfectly valid system for that use case, and it really comes down to specific needs. We just can’t drive home enough that this is the beginning of the conversation. And it should not replace due diligence on the part of the non problems themselves.

[00:46:49.68] spk_0:
Okay, Okay. You know what? I’m ready before we before we take on that. How best? Use it. Well, but I feel like we should just I just wanna take off a bunch of the I can’t mention them. I can’t name them all, But just so folks get an idea of what what products we’re talking about I just wanna I’m gonna sample from the table of contents. So black black Bart Boomerang e tapestry Every action Kila little green light nation builder Network for good Neon C r M salesforce salsa virtuous. Okay, so I just So people get an idea What? Just have some sense of what the universe is like that we’re talking in the abstract about time for our last break dot drives dot drives engagement dot drives relationships. Dot drives is thes simplest donor pipeline fundraising tool. They have made it customizable, collaborative, intuitive. If you want to move the needle on your prospect and donor relationships. If you want to get folks from prospect to donor, get the free demo for listeners. There’s also a free month. It’s at the listener landing page. Tony dot Emma slash dot We’ve got but loads more time for low cost fundraising software guide. So how should we? How can we best use this thing? What? This This thing, this guide, it took you like, 20 minutes. You know you thing, it’s like, uh, less time than this interview is. This conversation is the guy’s done? No. This, uh, in depth guide. What should we have in place or what should we be thinking about? Like before we take it on?

[00:47:09.26] spk_4:
Well, I think it

[00:47:52.08] spk_3:
follows along really much of the best practices in choosing any software system, not just, um, donor management or fundraising or C r. M. And the first thing that you dio is have do a lot of work internally about what it is that you do now, um, and what it is that you’re going to be doing in the future, Like what your goals are for fundraising and how the software can possibly help you meet those goals. So once you go in there, we have a full section that actually goes through the 10 different types of functionality that we review in the guide and talks about different questions that nonprofits can ask about things that they do. Um, that how it how it fits into, um, their work and so they can use that section to decide what it is that are the most important functions that a software package would do to meet the goals that they have, um, selected both presently and for the future. And then from there, they can prioritize that and then use those, um, prioritize functions to take a look at which systems do well in those functions. Which systems offer those functions? So while we have sort of the high level look at it in the in the pdf version of the report, the online version of the report actually goes into depth on every single function that is below the is part of the 10, um, divisions that we have so that self so that nonprofits can really look at the details and figure out which systems do exactly what and whether or not, it meets their needs.

[00:49:09.07] spk_0:
So the guide is that guides dot tech impact dot or ge slash forward slash donor hyphen management, hyphen systems and Chris. There’s much more than a PdF there. I mean, there’s certainly there’s a pdf version of the guide could go through that, but there’s a lot more on that site. A lot more robustness. Talk about what? What folks will find it that u R L

[00:49:58.27] spk_4:
Yeah, sure, we, as I mentioned before, this is the fifth edition of this guide, but we have probably put out more than two dozen consumers guides on different topics over the years, and it had long been a dream of ours. That idea where to make it even more useful to our audience with a digital version of the site that could be interactive that offered searchable sort herbal charts toe make it more user friendly to compare systems on. This is the first guy that we’ve been able to offer that, uh, digital site, which so it’s kind of a micro site version of the report, and we are adding functionality to it on a rolling basis as we’re able to so in the next week or two. We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to announce, um, added functionality to the comparison charts that let people just highlight which systems they want to compare in, which features they’d like to compare them against so that that’s coming.

[00:50:16.86] spk_0:
That’s just like consumer reports, just like you could do Sorry camera. You could do a head to head comparison or compared two or three on the criteria. The functionalities that are most important to you,

[00:50:28.35] spk_4:
right? And we have the common mission with consumer reports of educating people about purchases because this is a big, big purchase for nonprofits and thio that same point because there’s so much information in this report, and yet there’s still so much information we don’t cover. We’re also offering a companion training Siri’s, where one of our expert trainers is conducting live demos of 12 systems from this guide, and thanks to the generosity of Fidelity Charitable Trust, we’ve been able to make that Frito anybody who signs up while that Siri’s is already underway. All those demos are being recorded, so anybody who goes to the tech impact website and signs up for that training can have for free access to live demos or recorded demos of the 12 systems from this report.

[00:51:19.61] spk_0:
How did you pick those 12 question? Well, there are 12 use cases. I wow already know the answer, but I’m asking you,

[00:51:56.16] spk_4:
I’m gonna let Omni speak to this one in more detail. But we chose 12 systems toe line up with the use cases, not because they are the best systems, but because the it would be a little bit too much of a lift for us to do the detailed long reviews of every system out there. So we chose 12 that Air Representative off what systems can do in terms of meeting the needs of organizations for each of those use cases. How many do you want to add to that expound on that or clarify that?

[00:51:59.19] spk_1:
Yeah. So overall, we have 20

[00:52:01.16] spk_3:
three systems in the report on dhe. 12 of them, as Chris just said, were chosen to represent the 12 East cases that we have to select the ones from the use case. It wasn’t again the best system. Um, but it was a system that was highly representative off what you can do in a good portion of the use case. So, for example, the use case that we have for organizations that do a lot of, uh events is that we took a look at the ones that had strong events packages. Um, you know, uh, most of the systems that we looked at had either, uh, native or integration to be able to do some work on events. But there are some that really provide ah, lot of features around events. And so those were the ones that were in there and the ones that the one that we chose to represent the events category, um was, you know, a really good representative of that in a good representative. Overall,

[00:53:04.06] spk_4:
we get a lot of emails from people saying we’re looking at two systems. Neither of them are in your list of 12. What’s wrong with our systems? And we wanna We wanna make it clear that all the systems in this report are excellent systems. They all have different strengths and weaknesses, and that’s what’s going to guide people’s decisions. There are other systems that didn’t make it in this report. They’re also excellent.

[00:53:29.82] spk_0:
You say that you say that explicitly the report. Yeah, but they just didn’t meet your criteria for evaluation. Right?

[00:53:50.25] spk_4:
And people can read about the methodology by which we the methodology we used to find systems and how we narrow the list down on. We’re happy to answer questions by email, but it’s an important note that just because it’s not one of the 12 that we chose is representative To meet those use systems does not mean it’s not a good system, and that should not be a deciding factor. This is just an effort to educate people toe, help them start making decisions about what’s right for them.

[00:54:05.24] spk_0:
And Chris, those 12 videos are at the site that I read.

[00:54:27.94] spk_4:
Uh, no, I will put a link up there. But if you go to Tech Impact dot or GE and look at our training calendar, you confined that training on. Sign up for that and we will send you a link to all the different recordings that we’ve already done. A ZX well, Azaz, uh, invitation for the upcoming ones that have not happened yet. Okay, Okay. In fact, I’ll send you a link. You can post it on your page with this recording, if you like.

[00:54:39.54] spk_0:
Okay. Yeah, Thank you. I will. Um What else? We still got a few minutes left together. What else? You want folks to know about the guide? You’re unwilling to answer the question? What’s the best system? So that’s off the tape. That one’s off the table? Uh, no. What else would you like to know? What else would you like folks to know about the guide?

[00:54:48.74] spk_4:
I think you hit on a key point, which is that this used to be the consumer’s guide to low cost donor management systems on. For a lot of people who are familiar with that report, which has been out five times in the past, they may not realize that this is the same one because of the title change. So I just want to assure people that this is the same report. We’re just changing the title to be more in line with how the vendors and subject matter experts and users, a ZX well are talking about these systems.

[00:55:19.14] spk_3:
I also wanted to point out that it’s not the guide. While the primary focus of the guide are the reviews of the systems and the profiles that air in there, one of the things that we do put in there is. We take a look at trends and we take a look at how the marketplace has changed. And we do provide, uh, some advice for nonprofits who are in the process of selecting a system about, you know, some of the things that they should be looking out for and some of the things they should be thinking about. So I know it’s a long report. I wrote a lot of words, but that there are some good things in the front of the book material, so to speak, that can help sort of position the systems within the marketplace is the whole

[00:56:06.83] spk_4:
report of this size is a massive effort on. It can’t be done without the participate participation of a lot of people subject matter experts, consultants, but also the vendors themselves who are generous with their time for the demos and the fact checking on. We also couldn’t do it without the generosity of our sponsors. Which brings me to the point that we should talk just quickly about our editorial firewall. People will notice that some of our sponsors are also vendors of systems, but those of us who put the report together don’t know who the sponsors of the report are. That’s handled by Karen Graham in a different part of the building entirely. And we’re not aware of who the sponsors are until publication day. So one has no input with no impact on the other whatsoever.

[00:56:56.53] spk_0:
Do the sponsors know whether their system is going to be part of the guide?

[00:57:20.43] spk_4:
Not when they not not at the time of sponsorship. We have to reach out to them at some point when they become of, you know, when their system is selected, because they have to do the demos and everything. But there are Obviously it’s a limited constellation of vendors out there. All right, it’s tough to fund this kind of work, were grateful for the generosity of all our sponsors and advertisers who make it possible. But we have a pretty rigorous editorial firewall up to prevent any kind of impact from the sponsorship on inclusion in the report.

[00:57:56.03] spk_0:
Okay, we trust Karen Graham. She bristled, but you admonished me, could even go so far to say admonished, Um okay, should we, uh, I’m gonna read the u R l one more time Should we should we leave it there and encourage folks? Thio. Encourage

[00:57:56.70] spk_4:
them to sign up for the free training to see the demos. And if people do need additional help choosing software, if this is still too much of a lift for people to do on their own, which is valid considering the importance of a decision like this, that is something Tech Impact can help with. They can find that on the website as well.

[00:59:40.72] spk_0:
Assistance Assistance with selection. Yeah, okay, again the guide and the site that Chris described. Guides dot tech impact dot or GE forward slash donor Hyphen management Hyphen systems. How many Heart is a contract writer and researcher? Her company is heart strategic marketing, and Chris Bernard is managing editor at Tech Impact. Take impact dot or ge a median. Chris, Thank you so much. Thanks very much, Thank you. Appreciate it. Next week, A special episode. Adult learning with Nico Chin. If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you, find it at tony-martignetti dot com. Beseeches still good, but I am really liking abdominal abdominal May overtake Beseech I’m not sure were sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot ceo and by dot drives Prospect to donor simplified tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant for a free month and a free demo. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our Web guy, and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty, be with me next week for non profit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.