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Nonprofit Radio for April 26, 2021: Prepare To Tell Future Impact Stories & Modernizing Your IT Function

My Guests:

Stephanie Fast & Jeff Melando: Prepare To Tell Future Impact Stories

My guests from 21NTC want you to invest in technology, so you have the outcome and impact data you need to tell great stories. They’re Stephanie Fast and Jeff Melando, both from Social Solutions.

 

 

 

 

Derrick Gilbert: Modernizing Your IT Function

Now that you have a purpose for your IT upgrade, let’s take it to the next level. Derrick Gilbert explains his people, process and technology framework for IT upgrades that rival corporate achievements. He’s founder of Gil Technology Group. This is also from 21NTC.

 

 

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[00:00:02.84] spk_6:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti

[00:00:12.35] spk_7:
non profit

[00:00:12.97] spk_6:
radio big non profit

[00:00:15.11] spk_7:
ideas for the

[00:01:39.94] spk_4:
Other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh and I’m glad you’re with me I’d suffer the embarrassment of axillary hyperhidrosis if you gave me sweats with the idea that you missed this week’s show prepared to tell future impact stories. My guests from 21 NTC want you to invest in technology so you have the outcome and impact data. You need to tell great stories. There’s Stephanie fast and Jeff Blando both from social solutions and modernizing your I. T. Function now that you have a purpose for your I. T. Upgrade. Let’s take it to the next level. Derek Gilbert explains his people process and technology framework for I. T. Upgrades that rival corporate achievements. He’s founder of Gil Technology Group. This is also from 21. NTCC Antonis take two. Your mission based relationships were sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. And you’ll be hearing more about them throughout our 21 NTC coverage here is prepared to tell future impact stories.

[00:01:44.94] spk_7:
Welcome to tony-martignetti

[00:01:46.03] spk_1:
Non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC, the 2021 nonprofit technology

[00:01:51.64] spk_7:
Conference. We are sponsored at 21 NTC by

[00:01:57.84] spk_4:
turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c o.

[00:02:01.14] spk_7:
My guest now our Stephanie Fast

[00:02:03.33] spk_1:
and Jeff Milan does. They are both with social Solutions. Stephanie

[00:02:08.26] spk_7:
is president of Impact

[00:02:10.19] spk_1:
Partners at Social Solutions and Jeff is director

[00:02:14.51] spk_7:
of Impact Partners. Stephanie Jeff Welcome.

[00:02:18.54] spk_2:
Thank you for having us.

[00:02:19.82] spk_7:
Have you?

[00:02:22.14] spk_4:
Thank you very much. Your workshop topic is impact

[00:02:25.07] spk_7:
stories

[00:02:26.13] spk_1:
combining stories and data to better prove impact.

[00:02:31.83] spk_7:
Uh Stephanie, what we see that some shortcomings in

[00:02:36.12] spk_1:
storytelling, are they either to anecdotal or two data driven? Is that the

[00:02:40.54] spk_5:
problem? Well, I

[00:03:14.74] spk_3:
think that’s the problem historically is that the nonprofits have focused on telling the stories of their work, but they haven’t been in a position to tell the data that to use the data to back up those stories. So the, the readers get heavy on one side, which is the, the emotional side of the stories without having the technological data to support them. So are you know, what we were talking about in our in our session was how do you tell a better story? How do you bring those two together to be more impactful? Because you’re balancing both the heart and the head?

[00:03:20.74] spk_7:
Okay, right.

[00:03:25.24] spk_1:
The heart and the head. Very good. All right. Uh, important distinctions to make.

[00:03:26.54] spk_7:
Right. All right.

[00:03:38.94] spk_1:
So because we want to be data driven, but we also want to have some emotional appeal. Um, so Stephanie, let’s stay with you. Why don’t you get us started? How do we, what do we first think about if we’re going to be writing and we want to write one of these impact stories?

[00:04:55.94] spk_3:
Well, one of the things that, that Jeff and I talk about a lot is that you have to plan for data, it’s not something that just happens automatically. So most of the non profits that we talked to our, our clients of SSG have already sort of gone through their reporting cycle to their funders, right? They’ve written their 2020 statements, however, you know, um, unique. And um, I want to say, you know, messed up right? For let go better where like 2020 was what it was, right? And, and there was a lot of changes that we saw with funders in terms of their requirements for reporting, they reduced requirements. They allowed nonprofits to have more flexibility and how they spend There are funds. And, and so the reports that the nonprofits created for 2020 sort of reflect that like they had to just, you know, get work done as fast as possible. Kind of blow things out and, and so they’ve, they’ve now had a chance to report back to their funders on what they’ve accomplished. The, what we’ve been talking about is how is 2021 going to be different? Right? 2021? Like when we’re sitting a year from now in March of 2022, you know, looking back at 2021, like what do you want to do differently? When you talk about your impact in 2021 and if you’re going to have a change in your story, then you got to start thinking about the data that’s going to support that story now, right? Like figure out what you want to say next year. And then let’s back it up and look at what do we need to do today to be prepared to tell that story a year from now, Jeff, Jeff, pardon me. I was just seeing if Jeff had anything to add

[00:05:17.61] spk_1:
to that. Well, I was gonna ask

[00:05:18.61] spk_7:
the same. Yeah,

[00:05:19.44] spk_1:
absolutely. We’ve got to get to Jeff Jeff. All right. So, so yes, we’re going to predict what we want to be able to say. So how do we start now deciding what to capture to say that a year from now?

[00:06:46.84] spk_2:
I think, I think a lot of nonprofits, especially the providers of human services that we get to work with in our, in our daily lives at work, they know what they’re good at inherently because they’re doing it every day. But it takes a bit of a heads up approach to think about systems and strategies and most nonprofits don’t have time to do that right there like knee deep in the river trying to catch fish. And somebody is on the, on the, on the banks of the river with like a net saying like, do you want to try something different? Um, and so that’s kind of where we sit today, right? And we, it’s a constant, constant thing, right? There’s always room for innovation. There’s always a role that technology can play. And, and the, I’ve heard it once. I’ve heard it 1000 times nonprofits are behind when it comes to tech investment. Um, and we know that, right? Look at, look at the public-sector side or even the for profit business side studies are stone for profit businesses are investing anywhere from 13 to 22 of their bottom line revenue on technology because they know experience formacion a lets them do more with fewer human resources, Right? Nonprofits. I think Anton’s latest statistics is about two of annual operating budget is spent on tech.

[00:06:49.33] spk_1:
Oh my, it’s that low 2%.

[00:09:06.84] spk_2:
That’s, that’s the latest number that I’ve seen. And I’m, I’m not all that surprised. And if you look at the types of technology that most nonprofits have universal access to its Microsoft office and it’s an operating system and it’s a calculator, Right? Well, that’s really hard to show that you’ve actually exchanged. You actually moved the family from housing, insecure you stable, right. Other than you just put that in a letter to your donors or your funders, right. Um, so to be able to invest in like the technology infrastructure and the capacity to prove it and to prove it, not only that you’ve done it for that one family but that you’ve done for every family that you’ve touched or that you do a current X percentage of the families that you touched to be able to show your success is one side of the coin. I think the other side of the coin, maybe the side of the coin nobody wants to talk about. No nonprofits wanna talk about funders I want to ask about is what are the things that we’re doing and spending time and resources on that we’re not good at. So anecdotally we work with a nonprofit uh Were there for years. Right. Big non profit they run five programs in their community. They adopted some data systems to track their impact statistically quantitatively. And what they realized is four of their programs extremely impactful participants enrolled in those programs were having just massive life changes that broke down cycles like poverty or or domestic violence or abuse. The 5th 1 they were mediocre at and when they compared their notes with another nonprofit around town that did the same service, they found out that that other nonprofit was way better. So they developed a partnership, but data driven partnership to actually extend a better experience to the people that need that service in their community. So when I think about impact, I know that um, funders want to talk about impact for the sake of nonprofits telling it to them so that they can say look at what we invested in. But really impact is about changing a person’s life, right? So I don’t want to get to like it’s all about data, it’s all about stories, It’s all about telling this to your funders and it really it comes down to doing good work to change the reality of a person’s life. Right? Does that make sense? All right.

[00:09:12.48] spk_1:
Yeah. You said a lot there. I mean, I’m trying to I’m trying to take away,

[00:09:16.43] spk_7:
you know,

[00:09:24.54] spk_1:
technology investment, uh, and there’s lessons to be learned from the corporate side, but also

[00:09:25.86] spk_7:
focus

[00:09:28.64] spk_1:
on what you do best because because the things you’re not doing well are sucking resources away from where you you can be much more efficient. Every dollar spent on a lackluster program is a is a dollar not spent on a highly efficient and impactful and successful program.

[00:09:44.24] spk_2:
Yeah, economists would call that opportunity cost, right?

[00:09:53.84] spk_1:
Yes. The opportunity cost of doing something you’re not so good at is high when you’re talking about people’s lives or clean

[00:09:54.83] spk_7:
our air. All right. All right. All right. So, let’s get we gotta get back to now. We gotta get back to the root of uh

[00:10:02.94] spk_1:
writing these impactful stories. So drill this down now, Jeff. I’m not letting you off

[00:10:05.92] spk_7:
the hook. Bring

[00:10:07.01] spk_1:
me bring us back to

[00:10:09.14] spk_7:
writing impactful stories.

[00:10:11.24] spk_2:
So what if I got

[00:10:12.96] spk_1:
a deadline I’m on. I’m on deadline here. I’ve got a I got a 250 word e newsletter piece that’s got to be done by midday tomorrow. Where am I here?

[00:11:03.34] spk_2:
So, non profit Yeah. Do you think do you think your Thunder wants to hear about all the cool stuff that you did? Or do you think your Thunder wants to be shown the impact of all the cool stuff that you did? Right? That’s what it comes down to. Right. So take your data kill your investors, whether their institutional funders, private philanthropy, corporate funders or even individual donors and show them that the dollars that they spend on you are well invested. Um There are definitely donors out there that give from the heart and that’s very nice. And they’re definitely institutional funders out there that just want to write the check and hear about how many kids you served. But the ones that are going to be long term partners, the ones that are gonna give you grants year over year, maybe long term grants. They’re the ones that are gonna want to see that you’re the type of organization that believes in proof and evidence and that you have model and the systems to tell it.

[00:11:37.04] spk_1:
All right. All right. So there’s there’s there’s a lot that has to be set up. Well, that this is back to Stephanie’s point. You need to know what you want to capture and your point you have to have the technology uh, and the most efficient programs to capture the best. I mean, your most efficient programs are gonna show better data than your lackluster programs. So. All right. All

[00:12:28.14] spk_2:
right. And it’s as much a learning her for nonprofits as it is for funders. This is we often try to separate the two conversations because there Technically two different types of organizations. This is the same problem encountered for both groups. Write a funder says, Hey, I have this grant where I gave money to this organization that went to schools and handed out brochures about dental hygiene. What’s the how do I measure the impact of that? Was like, well, you don’t, there isn’t any like that’s a sponsorship not to grant. You know, if you’re investing in a fund is invested in organization, they should also want to invest in that organization. Success. Not just right, but you faded out. Not just what, not just writing the check in. Just in the success

[00:12:32.38] spk_1:
invest, right? Investment, not just a transaction

[00:12:35.58] spk_2:
versus a

[00:12:36.30] spk_7:
transaction. All right, Stephanie, Stephanie,

[00:12:49.54] spk_1:
I want I want you to bring us back to. I still am, I still have my deadline for 250 word article. And uh that I need to plan For what I want to say in 2021. It’s not gonna help me write my my impact story with my new deadline for tomorrow.

[00:14:42.64] spk_5:
Right. So one of the things that we that we talk a lot about is about the difference between outputs and outcomes and insights and impacts. Right? So there is a continuum. And I think the old way of of sort of looking at it was like dollars per participant. Right? So you could see how many people did I serve, Right. That’s sort of the old way of doing that. And I know it because that’s kind of my background. So I came from a nonprofit, I worked as a chief financial officer of a nonprofit for 12 years. And over the course of those 12 years when we started, we that’s what we were doing. We were counting how many people got access to clean water, right? How many people got access to a school and what we were finding over the last 5-7 years. I think it coincides with what technology is able to provide, right that the abilities of um, of technology keep growing so that you’re able to use data to find more and more. You can track more and more things and you can and you can move beyond just tracking access or just tracking outputs. And I think you’ve got to, you’ve got to develop your theory of change. You’ve got to figure out what, what is the true out outcome that you want to achieve and how do the outputs relate to that? Right? That’s an activity. That non profit should go through and figure out like what is their theory of change? We we did that at my former organization because our our donors were starting to ask those kinds of questions. They were starting to get more sophisticated. They were writing bigger checks. If the bigger checks, you get, the more that they’re likely to be thinking about impacts instead of outputs. Right? And so when you start moving from that mindset of just tracking the small outputs to starting to think about the outcomes, then you start to track different things. And that’s how you build what you want to track next year by thinking about what do I need to start tracking now?

[00:14:52.24] spk_1:
Okay. All right. My hypothetical uh my hypothetical writer who has articles still not written,

[00:14:59.30] spk_7:
That’s still not

[00:15:00.13] spk_4:
right. All right. So, I should have planned. All right. So

[00:15:03.35] spk_7:
All right, Well, the lesson

[00:15:04.46] spk_4:
is that

[00:15:05.44] spk_1:
you’re not gonna be able to write a great

[00:15:07.48] spk_7:
impact story

[00:15:10.54] spk_1:
for tomorrow at noon with unless you’ve got things in place

[00:15:14.24] spk_7:
to to track real

[00:15:16.37] spk_4:
outcomes, real, real real impact outcomes versus impact, I understand the difference.

[00:15:21.05] spk_7:
Alright, alright. So

[00:15:23.34] spk_1:
you’ll have to work with the data

[00:15:24.45] spk_7:
that you’ve got

[00:15:25.74] spk_1:
and weave that into a narrative for your deadline story that’s due tomorrow.

[00:16:13.24] spk_3:
And I think that if you haven’t planned then you’re going to have to rely heavier on the case studies and heavier on the you know, taking one piece, one example of how your work has transformed someone, right? And if you don’t have the data writ large, then you’re going to have to find the data in a microcosm and then tell that story. Um as part, you know, when I was saying before, was this balance apartment head, But if you don’t have the big data to talk about, then then pick a small case study and wrap your, wrap your impact around that one individual and how they’ve been transformed by your services. Okay.

[00:16:14.74] spk_1:
Okay. All right. You got

[00:16:15.49] spk_2:
unfortunately if if you didn’t invest in the in the right infrastructure to get the data, your noon deadline tomorrow is uh there’s a sane in the south. The ship sailed.

[00:16:27.04] spk_1:
Yeah, no, that’s

[00:16:28.13] spk_2:
clear. Alright.

[00:16:36.24] spk_1:
Well, yeah, we say something in the north. Well, I’m in north north Carolina now, but I’m from the north, which is, you know, you’re screwed, you work with what you’ve got and and Stephanie, Stephanie just explained how you can take an anecdote and you can you can also craft that into a larger sum larger narrative, but maybe without the ideal without the ideal data about about true impact.

[00:16:54.44] spk_7:
And and

[00:18:01.34] spk_2:
and we’ll never we’ll never have perfect data. There is no such thing in an ideal world will have clean and complete data, but it still won’t be the entire picture. I think whether you have good data or bad data that the end goal is no, I mean make for your investors, funders, donors community understand the work that you do understand why it’s helped them understand why it’s important and who your who’s benefiting from it, right? Find outside resources. So do your research. I’m on the help out. Didn’t say I’m on the board. Help out with a nonprofit here in charlotte. Um, that does empathy education. It’s really hard to get like metrics for a nonprofit with one employee around empathy education. But what we do have is research, right? We can show that by doing empathy education. K through five people are more likely to be nicer. They’re less likely to participate in bullying, right? Um, and the research happens to come from Harvard. So that’s, that’s a start, Right? So in the absence of data, find someone else that had data and show that you’re similar enough. Right? So, okay, there you go.

[00:18:07.47] spk_1:
All right, You can use them outside. You can use some outside numbers.

[00:18:10.10] spk_7:
You’re in charlotte. We’re only about five hours away by car.

[00:18:12.92] spk_4:
Where are you? I mean Emerald

[00:18:14.54] spk_1:
Isle on the beach.

[00:18:15.69] spk_0:
Okay, Very cool.

[00:18:18.44] spk_2:
Oh, I actually went to, so I went to Unc Wilmington. So yeah, hour and a

[00:18:23.25] spk_7:
quarter of south or so. Yeah, I have

[00:18:25.08] spk_4:
the ocean across the street here.

[00:18:26.53] spk_2:
I’m very jealous how close you are to a port city java. I know on podcast we don’t want to plug businesses that aren’t necessarily sponsors, but if you are attention folks listeners, if you are in coastal north Carolina and you go pass a port city java and your coffee drinker do not drive past it without getting something

[00:18:45.32] spk_1:
as he takes a sip from his mug. It’s not a port city java mug, but we don’t have Port City java here in Emerald Isle.

[00:18:52.04] spk_7:
It’s a small thing you’re

[00:18:52.97] spk_2:
not very far from, pardon

[00:18:54.95] spk_7:
me,

[00:18:55.53] spk_2:
not very far from, not very far from

[00:18:57.23] spk_1:
maybe anymore head

[00:18:58.73] spk_7:
or something. Okay,

[00:18:59.79] spk_1:
We’re a small town, only about 3500 time residents here, which is why I like

[00:19:04.37] spk_7:
it. Um, alright, but Port city job, that’s okay. We can shout out non

[00:19:07.86] spk_4:
sponsors. That’s right.

[00:19:09.44] spk_7:
We shouted out social solutions, you’re not sponsored, So

[00:19:12.22] spk_1:
there you go. There you go.

[00:19:13.94] spk_7:
Okay. Um, all

[00:19:15.80] spk_4:
right, so let you know this is becoming

[00:19:17.12] spk_7:
more of a conversation about

[00:19:23.34] spk_1:
how to prepare to write impact stories next year, which is where you started out, Stephanie, you know, saying you need to know what you want to report on a year from now to put those things in place to have the numbers to do so.

[00:19:31.69] spk_7:
Um

[00:19:32.59] spk_4:
All right,

[00:19:33.37] spk_7:
all right, that’s right.

[00:19:34.34] spk_1:
We we got our we’ve got our

[00:19:35.81] spk_7:
my my deadline off the hook, so we’re

[00:19:38.08] spk_1:
okay, you gave some solutions for that.

[00:19:44.84] spk_2:
I think the, like the actual story is the easy part if you build the the infrastructure to Yeah,

[00:19:50.34] spk_1:
that’s the point. Right? So I’m saying that this has evolved into a plan for the

[00:19:54.31] spk_7:
future, your impact stories

[00:20:02.94] spk_1:
for sure or impactful story. Impact stories, I guess. Yeah. To write those stories. Right? So, um, let’s talk a little more about then, what since that’s where we

[00:20:11.74] spk_7:
are. Um this preparation, you know what we’ve talked about the data driven, let’s talk about some of the emotional appeal,

[00:20:15.55] spk_1:
like Stephanie, you said, you know, it’s the brains and the heart.

[00:20:18.79] spk_7:
Let’s let’s

[00:20:23.64] spk_1:
all right for this story that we’re gonna be writing a year from now. How do we bring in more of the heart?

[00:21:44.34] spk_3:
Well, I think the place to start is with the people who are closest to the work. Right? So I think the best place to start talking about Case studies is with the caseworkers, right? They’re the ones that have the most direct experience with individuals, it’s not in the marketing department, it should start with the people in the field when in my in my previous role, uh that was we were doing work in Ethiopia, and so are field workers. Were the ones that were capturing the stories, you know, in the small communities, in the small rural communities, right? Because they’re the ones taking the pictures and I think people don’t want anymore, they don’t want the cookie cutter story of this little boy gets up at 4 30 in the morning, walks six miles to go get water. I mean, unfortunately that we’ve heard those stars too often. So I think what is appealing to people now is something that’s more raw, that’s more vulnerable. That’s more uh like real life of of what somebody is experiencing in the most direct way. That doesn’t feel candor staged. It doesn’t even have to be 100% good outcome. I think people are as interested in why things fail as why things succeed. And I think the more people are willing to tell authentic stories that that come come at issues from new perspectives. I think that really resonates with with readers.

[00:21:57.74] spk_7:
Okay, Jeff you wanna you wanna hit to the heart?

[00:24:31.94] spk_2:
Yeah. And I think if if we usually, usually with nonprofits, the Hearts, the part this nonprofit was typically started to do something for people, right? So there’s an inherent emotional attachment, emotional load do that. Um, so we almost say exclusively, but a lot of times it’s getting the pulling out from the emotion. What is it’s wonderful that we we got this family stable housing. How does that, how does that help them like go go one step further with the data? Um, but I agree with Steph, it’s about getting the stories from on the ground and it’s got a very non profit and non profit. Right? Um, so your Art museum, you have have to think about, Well, we have these great exhibits and we have this much, you know, there’s many people coming to see it and they’re experiencing this art that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. I’d also think about the equity of it, right? So, Oh, but also we have, you know, we subsidize visits for people of this income level and we have school trips come through, but that’s gonna be completely different if you’re an after school program, right? If you’re an after school program, you probably have really good data around, Hey, we know after the 14th absence, this kid is 40 less likely to graduate for any given grade, right? Well, what that means for little timmy is that he means family just lost their house and now they’re in a hotel. So we had to switch schools, which meant he was out of school for 10 full days. We have to intervene, right? To show show your readers. Think, first of all, think about what your readers are interested in and what you want to get out of it. So if it’s a donor or if it’s a community member and or a Thunder, you want to be able to show that you’re solving a problem, that you are providing a unique solution to a problem that we know exists in society. Um and from there, an accurate description of the problem is often a lot of the heart, the heart will automatically respond to that. The thing about that’s the thing about the heart or the other side of the brain. It’s it’s sort of it’s very responsive to that pain and under like it’s not hard to understand what it must be like to be a family losing their home or a person that’s out of work, especially this year with the pandemic. That’s easy, right? The next step is showing and here’s how our solution solves that. But by this point, if if your if your problem is real and your solution is good, people are already crying.

[00:24:39.14] spk_1:
Yeah. And and a lot of this emotion is uh Stephanie said it’s going to come from the folks who are actually doing the work on the ground, you know, the caseworker with timmy’s family.

[00:25:07.84] spk_2:
Yeah. And there are certainly cases where like instances where you don’t want to necessarily use who real world of an example, domestic violence shelters don’t, you’re not going to use a name or anything personally identifiable? Absolutely. 100%. We there’s always going to be data sensitivities and to think otherwise is um maybe blindsided. But that’s not to say that there aren’t stories that matter. And there are stories that are both meaningful from an emotional standpoint, but also backed up by data and science and proof

[00:27:22.14] spk_3:
tony Can I offer another perspective to this conversation? Um if we have time. So one of the other things that we’re talking about when you’re, when you’re building your impact story is not to do it in a silo. So even though you are one organization, you are part of a community, right? And we um we are trying to break down the barriers between organizations working in silos to getting people to have more of a community mindset, both in terms of the nonprofits that are working together to solve a person’s needs. Like he was talking about little timmy is needs homelessness help, He needs job or his parents need job help. He probably is food insecure. You know, there are people don’t live single issue lives anymore. They need they need organizations that can work together and can think about things in a community like fashion, both on the nonprofit side and on the thunder side. Right. What Jeff and I do is strictly raise money so that nonprofits can adopt technology, whatever technology they have, whether it’s social solutions or another technology, all we’re trying to do is get money into this sector because we think change starts with technology, right? So when you can get the funders to start thinking in a community way like pools of money and getting outcomes tracked for the whole sector, right? The whole community, then you start to have a different story to tell as well. And that story also would translate into your impact stories because then you’re looking at, you’re like, hey, it’s not just about how many people I served, it’s how many families got out of poverty because I’m connected to this bigger network and through this network, working together and sharing, sharing data and sharing outcomes and sharing, you know, tracking people across organizations. We were able to get x number of people sort of out of the system, which is ultimately the goal, right? The goal is not to just give them a meal. The goal is to get them stable so that they can resist a shock when it comes their way and that they can get sort of placed out of the system. And so like Jeff and I, you know, we we are obsessed with getting money into the sector so that so that this work can start to happen on a community level.

[00:27:43.94] spk_1:
Okay, we’re gonna leave it there. All right, Stephanie, we let Jeff shout out that he’s in charlotte north Carolina. Where are you

[00:27:48.99] spk_3:
in Austin texas?

[00:27:50.86] spk_4:
All right, go

[00:27:52.11] spk_1:
on. You’ve got yes, your bio said you’ve got three daughters in what, three different gig um, horns, boola boola and

[00:28:00.64] spk_3:
and roll

[00:28:01.48] spk_5:
tide. Roll, yep, we’re waiting

[00:28:04.75] spk_1:
for the tide is Alabama. I looked these up but I don’t remember

[00:28:08.52] spk_5:
what boola boola boola

[00:28:09.50] spk_3:
boola is. Yale. My youngest

[00:28:10.94] spk_5:
one in the ROTC

[00:28:12.00] spk_3:
program at Yale. Okay, and what was the third one is hook em horns. She’s a longhorn. She’s here in

[00:28:16.62] spk_5:
Austin at the

[00:28:17.87] spk_3:
University of texas. Ut

[00:28:19.48] spk_7:
ut

[00:28:20.84] spk_1:
that’s Stephanie, fast

[00:28:22.03] spk_7:
President of recent

[00:28:23.58] spk_1:
President of Impact Partners at Social solutions and Jeff Blando. Director of Impact Partners Also, it’s social Solutions. Thank you, Stephanie. Thank you

[00:28:32.28] spk_5:
Jeff, Thank you Tony.

[00:28:33.65] spk_3:
This is a great

[00:28:39.54] spk_1:
pleasure, my pleasure. Thank you And thank you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of the 2021 nonprofit technology conference

[00:28:42.74] spk_7:
where we are sponsored by turn to communications turn hyphen

[00:30:12.84] spk_4:
two dot c o It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. Here they are when there’s something in the news and you want to be heard on it. When you want to get an op ed published. When you want a guest on blogs and podcasts, speaker at conferences and be shared on social. You turn to turn to, they have the relationships, they know how to get you the coverage, they know how to get you covered. Turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c o as you’ve heard a few times throughout the show. It’s time for Tony’s take two. Your mission is the basis for your relationships. This has come up a couple times. Just this past week, questions about, you know, what do we talk to people about or how do we open a conversation? It’s your mission. That’s what you have in common with folks. Now, I’m not so much talking about acquiring new donors that, you know, my work is planned giving. We don’t acquire new donors. That’s a different science and art. I’m talking about having conversations, planned giving or otherwise with any of your existing donors. Even even first time donors, they’ve, they’ve just done it. What’s the common denominator between you and them? It’s your work they gave to your work. Even if it’s just one time

[00:30:21.24] spk_7:
you have it in common.

[00:30:22.38] spk_4:
You build from there. That’s the basis of your relationship.

[00:30:26.24] spk_1:
Now, of course, in planned giving, you’re talking to folks who have been given to you for a long time,

[00:30:36.54] spk_4:
easily decades and lots and lots of cases, decades. So, but the, so the relationship is,

[00:30:39.14] spk_7:
is already exists to some degree and you’re just

[00:30:42.66] spk_4:
maybe trying to expand

[00:30:43.71] spk_7:
it to be a little more

[00:30:44.69] spk_4:
personal. But wherever

[00:30:46.72] spk_7:
you are in

[00:30:47.67] spk_1:
either end of that spectrum

[00:30:49.87] spk_7:
from new

[00:30:50.86] spk_1:
donor or to plant

[00:30:52.96] spk_7:
giving or

[00:31:01.94] spk_4:
anywhere in between your mission, your work, your values, the importance of all that, that’s the common denominator that you’ve got with folks. That’s what you build your relationship from. You have conversations and

[00:31:09.55] spk_7:
those conversations might be digital

[00:32:04.84] spk_4:
or you know marketing materials, I mean conversations figura figuratively your conversations are about that. That’s what you’ve got in common with other folks. That’s what they want to talk to you about now. Of course you can build a relationship from there naturally. But that’s what you’ve got to start your relationship building with, that’s what you’ve got in common. So work from that and I wish you of course fruitful relationships of all types, all types of whether it’s volunteer or the folks you’re helping, wherever those relationships are, they come from your mission That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for nonprofit radio here is modernizing your I. T. Function.

[00:32:09.14] spk_7:
Hello and welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC. The 2021 nonprofit

[00:32:22.54] spk_4:
Technology Conference were sponsored at 21 NTC by turn to communications turn

[00:32:25.94] spk_7:
hyphen two dot C. O. I’m kicking off our 21 NTCC

[00:32:27.88] spk_4:
coverage right now. My very first guest of the

[00:32:30.63] spk_7:
conference is

[00:32:31.77] spk_1:
Derek G. Gilbert. He’s founder and chief business technologist at Gil Technology Group.

[00:32:37.38] spk_7:
He’s at D G. Gilbert

[00:32:42.04] spk_4:
I T. B A. Derek Welcome to

[00:32:43.65] spk_7:
Non private radio and uh kick off of the 21 NTC coverage.

[00:32:47.64] spk_0:
Thank you. Glad to be here, appreciate it. Been watching you last four or five. Ntc. So happy to be part of it. Yes,

[00:32:58.56] spk_1:
usually right. When we were on site, I’ve always been on the conference, the exhibit room floor. Cool. Thanks

[00:33:04.74] spk_7:
thanks for seeing us there.

[00:33:05.67] spk_4:
Okay.

[00:33:06.54] spk_7:
Um your topic is modernizing the I. T. Function people

[00:33:11.93] spk_1:
process and

[00:33:15.24] spk_7:
technology. I want to kick off by just asking what does modernization look like for nonprofits?

[00:33:22.14] spk_0:
Uh that’s the question of the day. Excuse me. I didn’t get a lot of coffee and we have a call.

[00:33:29.18] spk_7:
Okay thank you. Thank

[00:33:30.42] spk_1:
your time. We got plenty of time to talk about it. Don’t worry.

[00:34:50.94] spk_0:
Yeah. Uh non profit The whole principle proposed that session is that I believe in being able to leverage things in different industries into non profit. So I’m trying to to see how we can how the benefits the ceos of commercial enterprise leverage modernization and to improve their bottom line that nonprofits to definitely modernize their I. T. In order to their bottom line which is creating greater impact and and fulfilling the mission. So I’m organization It’s basically three phases. Once that people process and technology. I read an article. Mckinsey Company had an article about how Ceo with modernizing it for revenue games and you talked about the role of the I. T. Function needs to change a modern it uh organizations that actually become more strategic. And I know that the nonprofit has been quite a few years supporting nonprofit is technologies mostly seemed that the tactical solution to what the mission is versus a strategic element. So the first thing is to the role of I. T. Should be raised to be a strategic the culture should be more strategic and we so

[00:35:02.04] spk_1:
well so just we can you know we in the in the nonprofit community can can get the same types of benefits that we’re seeing with technology on the on the commercial side.

[00:36:59.73] spk_0:
Yes the different for different outcomes. Right? So permission for example, you know, in the commercial space, people may modernize to reduce costs in order to increase their profit line, increase better financial picture. The nonprofit space were modernized to reduce costs. But that’s also to put more money, uh, into investing into the mission or into services. But the idea is that when I see strategically, it’s like I can do more mission, more value to the constituents if I have more up to date in modern technology, uh, strategically thinking. So we look at the beginning of the front. So there are some financial and non financial benefits either way. So I was just trying to use the fact that, uh, let’s, let’s let’s position I think differently as a partner, uh, strategic partner as well as identified the right reasons we know that night, uh, non profits. They are challenged by funds for administrative or general services such as sad overhead. And so the second piece of that is you really got to have the right people that, I mean, I always quote Jim Collins book good to great to talk about the right people. So you gotta have talented and so I know you can’t have a whole slew of staff, but I think you need a leader there and you need a qualified leader. So the resources and then strategically use vendors, which were not a process. They do all the time they outsource but the right type of stuff. And then you look at how to modernize their technology infrastructure. And now we’re going to the cloud is obviously right where to go? There’s a lot of discounts for nonprofits to move to Microsoft 365, uh, and that the whole environment that right there is everything you need to do a nonprofit and then allows you to be able to scale and be more flexible. And if you do that, you just take the now you can spend more time focusing on how do we have greater impact in the work.

[00:37:21.23] spk_1:
Okay, so you’re right. Do you have this people process and technology framework, which I was, I want to drill down into a little bit. I do. But first I want to just, I want to flush out something. So folks get the idea,

[00:37:30.07] spk_7:
what does it mean

[00:37:31.49] spk_4:
to think of

[00:37:33.33] spk_1:
technology strategically versus tactically?

[00:37:36.92] spk_7:
How, what does that, what does that mind shift

[00:37:40.09] spk_1:
look like? How do we think about technology strategically rather than tactical?

[00:38:50.32] spk_0:
But the first thing is that he always teaches that technology basic has four primary purposes of roles for technology. Technology is not happen to be more efficient. What needs to have to be more efficient, Be more effective And enable you to do something extraordinary wouldn’t be able to do. And then the 4ft which is extra duct Jim Collins that put a lot of talk about technology accelerator, I had to find an E. So I had to say extra doctor. So so when you think about at a strategic level or business level or an executive level, productivity is key to being efficient in effect, when you see that technology is going to allow you to be more productive not just do more but be more effective than he becomes strategic. Now it’s imperative that you have the right technology solutions because your staff and resources are getting things done better more and more effectively and so therefore it is greater impact. So it’s not just technology keeping the lights on or utility, it’s actually helping me drive business dr missing, drive my outcomes that then openly makes me look better in the front of Okay. Yeah, So that that’s kind of, it’s

[00:39:12.82] spk_1:
kind of like, you know, adopting technology as a partner rather than like this necessary thing. Well, you know, we all need to process spreadsheets, so, you know, we need office 3 65 you know, we need we need the office suite if we’re not in the cloud, you know, whatever. Uh

[00:39:19.33] spk_7:
But

[00:39:40.22] spk_1:
yeah, so I’m thinking of it more as a partnership than like this thing that is aside, it just helps us do our work, but it doesn’t contribute to outcomes and and success. It just is like a tool. We, you know, we just, we need it because everybody’s because everybody’s got to have it. But all right, so that’s sort of that’s the way I’m I’m sort of processing what you’re describing.

[00:39:42.93] spk_0:
And in the 21st century we no longer technology just utility just keeping the lights on because now you can invest in that technology. Yeah. You’re not gonna put a lot of money. They’re gonna try to do as cheaply as possible because you don’t see how if I do invest money, my return is going to be greater for mission fundraising and everything else. So that’s that’s okay.

[00:40:09.91] spk_1:
Yeah. Excellent. No more like not just a commodity,

[00:40:13.37] spk_7:
but yeah, an integral part of your success. Okay. Uh, thank you. Thank you. I just want to make that clear for folks because because it’s hard

[00:40:23.00] spk_4:
to shift thinking,

[00:40:24.48] spk_1:
you know, we’re just used to technology is like, you know, like this commodity, this tool we, you know, everybody’s got to have it. But you know, so I like to drill down into

[00:42:05.60] spk_0:
and I can’t let me just to bring on the people process and technology got to know about infrastructure but the people that are getting the right people there you know what I find. And I had I saw this this week as well a lot of the I. T. Leaders in the nonprofit organizations didn’t come in as I. T. That came in as a programmatic person that took on responsibilities of I. T. So this is very important that you need to have an internal resource that their expertise is I. T. Planning. Leadership assessment understanding. So then you can strategically create this partnership. So there are I. T. Business partner roles in the commercial space right? Because I’ve been looking at a few of those roads and what we need to do a position I. T. As an I. T. Department in the organization. So we ride along with the programs area of development area. We’re sitting at the table with them because we can better be informed and have better information. And the process is is that that kind of leads to the processes that you’re involved in. The shaping the strategy, the development of business operations and things like that. Not because okay we need to talk about our crm. Bring in no no bring in the I. T. Director bringing it leads. You know the processes were multidisciplinary, let’s bring it at the table. And as you were strategizing around non technical things. Technology Leader the right leader will be able to see that and they understand and identify technology needs from those conversations. That can be very fruitful.

[00:42:26.60] spk_1:
Okay okay so in the on the people’s side uh you mentioned this but I want to I want to hit home that it begins with leadership because you’re talking about making I. T. Making your tech team or your tech lead. Who like you said may very well not be a person with a technical background. Making your tech lead

[00:42:32.52] spk_7:
a part of all

[00:42:33.73] spk_1:
the conversations. I mean that’s gotta start that’s gonna start with leadership and

[00:44:34.29] spk_0:
yes and I work for national the last seven years I was the I. T. Director for them and I just ended up relationship back in october so it’s fairly neat but that’s my country. And and what happened is that we got a new directive during my tenure there and actually I was promoted to director prior to him arriving then upon my arrival I had you know he was integrated into the organization. He was having all these conversations. So I believe position I teach Tv. Because I have an NBA. So I would have just fresh out of business school and not only did maybe permanent acting director but he also elevated my position to the leadership which was executive leadership team. This is where all the business units managing directors of those programs mission programs everything. So now I was at the leadership team table because he saw that it was I typically strategic to where he wanted to take a 21st century mission model ministry model he was pushing. And so that’s when the roads and the people promoting elevating I. T. To that not only just the I. T. Department but it would behoove us to have a senior I. T. Sitting at the executive table. That his role is not just like tea but it’s the shape family for an organization. So my objective director had to do that right? So no matter how well I was doing my job, the leader, the ceo of the executive director has to have see that as a true body. And so the Mackenzie are red on this recession. It talked about how what Ceos can do to drive that down in that organization. So it’s a culture change. So but definitely the leader of the organization, the one who the stuff you wouldn’t say, the buck stops at has to say you know what it is not just a utility for us. We don’t have the right technology in the right places and people understanding that we’re not going to be able to sustain our organization.

[00:44:58.39] spk_1:
Derek what is the small organization do that doesn’t have an I. T. Lead. Maybe they maybe they lean on a consultant to help them, you know? Uh Yeah so the smaller organization that doesn’t have that benefit of somebody that was in the position that you were in.

[00:47:03.48] spk_0:
Yeah. And the national Child Record, we didn’t have a funding issue, right? We had a nice endowment. So money wasn’t an issue. We didn’t spend on it because we didn’t have the money behind ever. And small organization is very talented. There are, you know, one thing is built technology group that I’m doing now been consulting had been worked for a while, but I developed this I. T. Advising the services company. But I saw this is what I thought that nonprofits small medium, they just need the right leadership. Now they can’t afford me individual right? As as an expert, but they need to have that relationship. So there’s a lot of so good partnership. So you need to have a relationship with someone you can trust I prefer. But I will have someone independent of the organization that you’re outsourcing to. But you may be obtained that advisory role, right. It could be very affordable. And actually my approach is similar to a financial advisor is that every a flat rate. Every year I come in, I spent maybe six, six times with you doing business analysis of your technology and advise you on these things and develop a plan. So once you have a plan, mm people within the organization with project management and programme management skills can actually execute, execute the plan. But the key thing is I think you need to get the right plan in place the right vision. If you engage someone independent of any vendor that you’re using, that’s just all over here is to properly advise you find out to be the fourth that amount of contractor consulting services. And I said, well I use I listen to dependent. We had a guy in our community conversations yesterday said you feel like the Ceo. Or E. D. Got in a three year contract vendor and he’s like that’s a bad idea but he didn’t no one to talk to, right? So because of the relationship they said well I’m just gonna listen to external person but you got to realize those vendors have a goal, they have to earn revenue, they gotta sell products.

[00:47:12.95] spk_1:
Yeah.

[00:47:24.18] spk_0:
Alright. Yeah. So so that is tough. But I think there’s there’s opportunity independent consultants because a lot of people who have experienced but you negotiate what you need right? Uh Sorry about that. Do you know negotiate with the services that you need to look the part time come in and help us develop a three year plan and we can be able to execute that.

[00:47:40.08] spk_1:
Let’s talk about the process then we we talked about the people in the technology and maybe we’ll say more about the technology but let’s let’s move to the process. What’s what’s that part of this framework?

[00:48:34.17] spk_0:
Yeah the process is really the strategic planning process right every year. Technology assessment maybe do all those things but however you your process little little streamline I. T. Services and delivery. Right? So what I did in my role is not only the end is a top of the help this uh software package right with online through Microsoft 3 65. Again it was free versions included. Uh the main escapes from now but that allowed the I. T. Television from an operational standpoint to be able to mesh support calls better be able to manage the assets so you have the technology to do that. So The acquisition with acquisition process uh proactively meaning don’t wait two things break down to do that. Right. Right. Life people, people end up

[00:49:12.67] spk_1:
in crisis without, you know, if they don’t have a regular modernization plan, they end up in crisis when something something fails or you know, uh an outdated app is no longer supported that they’re relying on, you know, all of a sudden now it’s now it’s a crisis instead of having a I guess a modernization path, I mean

[00:49:13.89] spk_7:
it’s but

[00:49:15.42] spk_4:
really but

[00:49:16.46] spk_7:
your technology should be a part

[00:49:17.86] spk_1:
Of your strategic plan, right? I mean wherever the organization is going, the technology needs to be right alongside with I mean integrated the way we were just talking about 10 minutes ago.

[00:49:54.87] spk_0:
correct? And that’s like that’s they in that non profit prop for profit That needs to be true and that’s the strategic nature of it right now that you develop your organizational business plan, mission plan and strategies and then say okay I. T. Director this is what we’re trying to do. They they’re looking at now you really handcuffed right? So he may look at and say well we don’t we don’t have this we don’t have that. So let’s, oh so

[00:50:16.96] spk_1:
now you’re strategic right now your strategic plan is no longer feasible because you don’t have the because the technology wasn’t a part of the conversation now you find out you can’t fund the technology to support the plan that you’re bored is just just adopted last week. Yeah I just got foisted on the I. T. Vendor whatever the I. T. Person whoever is responsible for it and what your

[00:50:22.85] spk_0:
plan. Yeah. Yeah

[00:50:26.52] spk_1:
it doesn’t. Yeah it does.

[00:50:27.93] spk_7:
Now hopefully folks are avoiding this

[00:50:29.83] spk_1:
because all right so yeah it’s gotta be technology’s gonna be integrated. All right. All right.

[00:50:35.76] spk_4:
Um

[00:50:36.86] spk_7:
Should we say more about

[00:50:37.76] spk_4:
the technology that’s

[00:50:38.90] spk_7:
out there? I mean you

[00:50:44.56] spk_1:
mentioned like the office 3 65 sweet shall we say more about movement to the cloud. I mean there are a lot of organizations still not cloud based and so you

[00:51:55.56] spk_0:
know that’s like cloud breaks, it is out there. People know that they know it provides a reducing costs and infrastructure and that kind of stuff. But the key thing not only just technology infrastructure also the technology personality to manage that. Right? So we had an opportunity we actually I’ve told people this week I said well I was lucky because we was actually the last two years we actually had to get out of our building and moved to a new location. So we bought a new building and we got into the new building and had to build everything from scratch. So I was like oh great. I not only have my I. T. Budget money, I got capital money from building out a building that I can invest in a new data center. Uh You know I had one server on prim and had moved to Microsoft, We moved Microsoft 365, remove the Azure and all that and all the security thing, firewall, we use the Iraqi system product which has the I can manage to find myself in the cloud. Right? So all that flex do that modern environment that uh maybe 30 $30 square feet. I had 500 so internet connections in the buildings and wireless. We had stated R. A. V. But

[00:52:09.35] spk_1:
now you’re now you’re bragging you know now but I can do this by a building. That’s the beginning,

[00:56:15.43] spk_0:
right? Because money, so there was some purpose is not because of it because we have the opportunity. So as I looked and said, not only that, but just minimal as mobile computers. And I’m one of the greatest thing I would say is that We was prepared when the pandemic last 12 months ago because I had already began the process of upgrading and moving people first of all off of uh that solitude because because I was at the senior lower table, I understood that the mission was going to be more robust and remote, right? We had to cut down on travel and all these other things. So I said, well you have to be more mobile than staff, kind of people in mobile. So I started moving people off of desktops. Then I started moving people to from them at that time because I needed some lighter, right, lighter and doable. And I experimented with a few but I ended up with no, you know how that quality of the product, but very like, you know, I think that they passed uh IBM product computers and and so I had moved everything by the time the last March I had completely got everybody off desktop so we had to go home. Uh that was no, there was no big, the only problem was printing right? And but we wasn’t closed so people could come in a little bit locally and have to do print jobs that come in and copy and print jobs, but I was very ahead of the curve so in order to teach it to you being be more proactive and preventive and not always a break fix and usually non process, that’s kind of what we do, we’ll get the money once it really has to spend it or we get in trouble. But that impact your you don’t need technology should be helping you execute things more versus hindering and so, and that’s why it’s important to modernize not only your people infrastructure, your process infrastructure, but the technology because there’s no technology so affordable now you’re right. Microsoft text, you can now non prosecuted the technology so there’s no excuse from a monetary standpoint and then its consumer base, not consumers consumption based versus uh, you know, such an overhead costs, right, appreciate operating from the however, but you’re gonna have these large capitalist incident to upgrade servers by more servers and start getting people on digital platforms and remotely. Uh, we have a lot of access databases. I’m trying to get them out, put them in the cloud or put them in some case. And the technology for VPN now, although that’s a, it’s a trend not too big BP because some security and some other things like that. But at the time I was trying to do this completely remote thing with Microsoft 365, they have the ability to, your network can always be accessible and you need this application. Uh things happen too fast and I didn’t get that, but I can jump this app, everybody’s contributing, then they need to get the resources, but none of the resources in the house, all the resources in the cloud. So you don’t need BP. Right, you still have the security of Microsoft. And so that’s where the modern infrastructure technology, computer technology, we didn’t do something with printing technology. I invested in Canon, multi function printers can do copy and all that throughout the building. So we before I left, I was getting ready to do this. Print anywhere in the building. So no matter where you go, just put your badge in your print. So that’s modern technology that afforded you move that way. But a lot of that is if you got the right leader negotiated work with the right vendors because there’s always a win win. Right? So uh some vendors I brought in a very top non suspenders uh but they do have, they want to get in non profit, they don’t want to leave non profit money on the table. So they’re willing to work with the problem.

[00:56:18.28] spk_7:
Well plus there

[00:56:19.59] spk_1:
are other resources like you mentioned Techsoup. Techsoup gives grants. Um you mentioned, did you mention IBM is there, is there are there grants from IBM?

[00:58:01.22] spk_0:
No, I didn’t get to the great texture protection. They have a noble thing. You know I’m talking like $1500 off of a $3000 backed up, you know. And I told him this week, I said if there’s no if you’re 513 seeded you register with them. But the key thing is you’ve got the resources but what I’m trying to sell it you can no longer get away without having a leadership right smaller organizations you need to consult with somebody is in your best interest for that advisory role. Leadership role or thinking about. It’s not uncommon for I. T. Directors or leaders to be hands on. So I’m not saying that I was very hands on. I was sitting there trying to fix computers update a server but majority of my work was leadership and management M. I. T. T. So you can have a leader there that can do some hands on work but then outsource the real day to day level one level two kind of things. And so that strategy is what I enforce. So before I left I had a 24 7 infrastructure management contract. You may have heard one hammer systems is out of create and uh their affordable that in order to manage the state of the art network they told me you would need like two additional engineers, one specialized security And suburb and all this kind of stuff. And that’s that’s 200 k. For that happened. And and I was just playing a third of that for them. There’s something that probably wouldn’t be a problem because he wasn’t that high. Eric.

[00:58:06.21] spk_1:
I want to leave us with 111 I don’t maybe not necessarily a tip but one thing that small small shops without without an IT. lead

[00:58:15.82] spk_7:
could be thinking about technology wise let’s

[00:58:18.13] spk_1:
leave us leave us with something that whether it’s security related or you know whatever. What what’s your one like one top idea that a small shop should be looking at technology

[00:58:35.12] spk_0:
wise, uh minimize

[00:58:36.32] spk_7:
your technology. What

[00:59:57.02] spk_0:
footprint? Yeah. So meaning your infrastructure layout. So moving considering the cloud particularly with the Microsoft environment and shoot about what AWS has. But right now I was Windows Microsoft stopped. So I just went to Microsoft and I news relationships with some people who are certified Microsoft vendors gold and I went that right. But that’s you minimize the amount of technology because the challenges if you see if you spend too much time trying to fix technology problem where you’re changing over and trying to support these, that’s that’s the issue. So you want to minimize the amount of support needed by simplifying your technology, footprint infrastructure operation and a printing quick. Like you know, hey, you don’t need individual apprentice, get him off the desk, your network printers because they only a desk that’s gonna appreciate technical support automatically but definitely modernizing infrastructure by taking advantage of the child. And last I would say it’s always see business technology business decision that people make organizations make affects their ability to effectively leverage technology. The right technology right cost at the right time. So really think about their mission decision business decisions and make sure I. T. Is at the table before you can finalize that because that impact your ability to be successful.

[01:00:27.01] spk_1:
You mentioned the uh we’re gonna wrap up but you mentioned the the I. T. Footprint sometimes that footprint is a leaky uh like a leaky closet where the server is. The old server is like uncalled. And and it’s a it’s a humid closet where maybe there’s a slop sink in or something and somebody stuck a server up on top or something. You know it’s uh that all needs to be up in the cloud. You know, we gotta, we gotta get our servers out of these little little uncalled closets that a lot of folks have.

[01:01:27.51] spk_0:
Yeah, you think about it once we have a virus or some love or something like that, it would take two days for our managed service providers, managed our infrastructure to resource some And then you miss all these, you know, all that was like, that was a headache. And I was like, no, we can’t do this in 2020, 2019 2018. So at the end of the day, please think hard about address and putting technology in the right place and realize that it’s an investment. Technology is not investment in technology, is investment into your mission organization? Success and sustainability. I think if they change that mindset that if I invest for weird, then that’s going to help me be more sustainable in my mission, then I don’t think that the argument to to find the money or you can raise the money, you can raise money specifically for technology advancements when they’re going to connect to you bending to deliver more mission for greater mission to have greater impact.

[01:01:36.11] spk_1:
All right, let’s leave it there. Excellent. Thank you. Derek Gilbert, founder and chief business technologist, guilt Technology Group. He’s at D G Gilbert I T B A. Derek. Thank you very very much.

[01:01:48.91] spk_0:
My pleasure talking with my pleasure. Thank you. Okay.

[01:01:55.70] spk_1:
And this is tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 ntc. The 2021 nonprofit technology conference where we’re sponsored at 21

[01:02:08.10] spk_7:
ntc by turn to communications turn

[01:02:08.46] spk_4:
Hyphen 2.c

[01:02:10.60] spk_7:
o. Thanks very much for being with us.

[01:02:33.00] spk_4:
Next week. We’re all about email. 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. There’s no way you’re gonna be forgetting that.

[01:03:07.70] spk_6:
Our 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 style. Thank you for that. Affirmation scotty Be with me next week for nonprofit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95 go out and be great. Mm hmm. What?

Nonprofit Radio for April 12, 2021: Build Lasting Supporter Relationships & Love Your Donors Using Data

My Guests:

Craig Grella & Wendy Levine: Build Lasting Supporter Relationships
Craig Grella and Wendy Levine, both from Salsa Labs, want you to build strong relationships all the time, not only when you’re fundraising. Their savvy strategies come from their own work building relationships for Salsa. This is part of our 21NTC coverage.

 

 

 

 

Shoni Field & Jen Shang: Love Your Donors Using Data
Nonprofit Radio coverage of 21NTC continues. When you are fundraising, data that tells us restoring your donors’ sense of well-being and identity will increase their giving and engagement. There’s a lot of fascinating research to unpack and apply, so join Jen Shang, the world’s only philanthropic psychologist, from the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy, and Shoni Field from the British Columbia SPCA.

 

 

 

 

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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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[00:02:18.94] spk_0:
Oh hi 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 be forced to endure the pain of benign prostatic hyperplasia. If you leaked the idea that you missed this week’s show, build lasting supporter relationships, craig, Grella and Wendy Levin, both from salsa labs. Want you to build strong relationships all the time. Not only when your fundraising, they’re savvy strategies come from their own work building relationships for salsa. This is part of our 21 NTC coverage and love your donors using data. Non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC continues when you are fundraising data that tells us restoring your donors sense of well being and identity will increase their giving and engagement. There’s a lot of fascinating research to unpack and apply. So joined gen XIANg, the world’s only philanthropic psychologist from the Institute for sustainable philanthropy and Shoni field from the british Columbia, s p C A and tony state too planned giving accelerator were sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C o. Here is build lasting supporter relationships. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 ntc. The 2021 nonprofit technology conference were sponsored at 21 ntc by turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c O. My guests now are Craig, Grella and Wendy. Levine. Craig is content marketer at salsa Labs and Wendy is marketing director at salsa Labs. Craig, Gorilla Wendy. Levine, Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio

[00:02:22.94] spk_3:
Thank you. Happy to be here.

[00:02:24.50] spk_2:
Thank you. Thanks for having us

[00:02:38.24] spk_0:
on My pleasure to have you both. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us, your expertise on beyond fundraising, building lasting relationships with your supporters. Wendy. Let’s start with you what as an overview, what could nonprofits be doing better relationship wise do you to feel?

[00:04:29.14] spk_3:
So we work with lots of nonprofits and I’ll just start by saying, you know, as a marketing team. It’s also, we’re kind of in a unique position because we are responsible for marketing. It’s also doing all the normal things that, you know, our marketing team does, but because our software helps nonprofits market their mission and engage with donors, we often work with those nonprofit clients to help them in their marketing efforts. So that was the genesis of this workshop for the intent conference because when we work with nonprofits we see so many of them doing so many amazing things on. And yet there are everyone has their, excuse me there. Their holes are their blind spots in their in their process. So our workshop dealt with um formalizing a content development process and content calendar. Um, craig does this for salsa. So he does a great job of you know, making sure that we are talking to the right people at the right time, that we have the right content in terms of blog posts and you guys and social posts and that’s a lot of work. So when a nonprofit who may not have a whole marketing team, um like we do tries to do those things, um sometimes things get missed. So our workshop was all about providing people content, calendar templates and talking to them about things that they can do to make the whole process of building new content easier. We talked about reusing old content, um repurposing content that you have developed before, how to improve message targeting and how to do all of those things in uh simple ways that can be done with smaller teams.

[00:04:45.64] spk_0:
Well. And we’re going to talk about those things here. You know, you’re not gonna just tease.

[00:04:48.79] spk_3:
Uh,

[00:05:11.44] spk_0:
listen, I’m not gonna let you just tease non propagated. Listen and say this is what we talked about, but we’re not talking about here. So we’re gonna talk about those things to, uh, so craig so you are, you are, it sounds like you are the writer, the content marketer for salsa, and we can all benefit from the wisdom of the corporate marketing team at salsa. Yes,

[00:05:28.94] spk_2:
yes, definitely. I think to kind of piggyback on, on what Wendy was saying, the impetus for this. Uh, this presentation was, I think nonprofits can learn from the more corporate marketing. I think even if you look at advocacy, I think nonprofits can learn from uh, political advocacy, which is kind of, you know, they use their email lists like a. T. M. Machines sometimes. That’s the way it feels like. Uh,

[00:05:42.71] spk_0:
and then I think you have a background in the Democratic Party in pennsylvania. Right? That’s right, yeah. Yeah.

[00:06:09.94] spk_2:
And and I think really it happens on both sides of the aisle. I think when you look at a lot of advocacy campaigns, a lot of political campaigns, I think they tend to look at their lists in that way they go to their list more often with fundraising than other messages. Or they wrap their message in a fundraising appeal. I think nonprofits can kind of get stuck in that rut as well where, uh, they’re using their list more often as appeals. So this presentation was a way for us to say, how do you develop those deeper relationships? How do you go beyond just the fundraising appeal? How do you engage all year long? How do you, uh, take that relationship to the next level or maybe change relationships wherever your supporters are with you in their relationship now, maybe there’s a way to move them to a different relationship that involves other type of work or a different relationship with your work. So that was kind of the idea behind the presentation and how we put together the different steps and tips and things like that.

[00:07:41.04] spk_0:
Now, I suspect, you know, most dogs are doing some of this, like, you know, uh, let’s, let’s assume that an organization has a newsletter, whether digital or print, you know, and they may or may not include an appeal. But, you know, I’d like to think that there are messages going out that aren’t all that aren’t all fundraising related, I mean, but you’re, you’re sounds like you and Wendy would like us to put this into a coordinated calendar, so we’re not just thinking of it at the beginning of the month. What are we gonna do this month or, you know, even the beginning of the quarter, but we haven’t laid out for like a year or something. Uh, so be more sophisticated about it. But then also it sounds like you’re encouraging a good amount of messaging that’s not fundraising related, has no appeal affiliated with it. It’s just purely informative. Is that okay? Is that are we are we wasting? You don’t feel like we’re wasting opportunities to communicate, wasting opportunities to fundraise if we, if we send something out that doesn’t have an appeal in it.

[00:09:18.34] spk_3:
No, absolutely. I think, um, and this became, I think this came more into focus when the pandemic hit as well. Um, Some organizations, I actually had an easier time fundraising, but many had a more difficult time, fundraising really depended on where they were and what their mission was. But, um, it’s, we always talk about engaging with your supporters outside of fundraising and the importance of connecting with your supporters, making sure they are, are connected with your organization in a way that makes them, um, use the term sticky. You know, they’re, they’re, they’re, they’re connected to you and, and they’re not gonna just, you know, I’m going to give you money this month. I’m gonna give somebody else money next month. I know who you are, I know who your people are. I really think that what you’re doing is great. I I understand, you know, your mission and and how you work with people. I know the names of some of your staff members, The more that you can connect with those supporters, the more they’re going to stay with you, the more they’re going to give when they can, they’re going to volunteer when they can. And that became even more important during the pandemic because some people weren’t able to give, some organizations, needed people to give more and you know, appealing to, um, people’s connection with the organization that you’ve built up over time is just so important and not just now, but even more so now I think.

[00:11:47.84] spk_2:
And I think for me it’s, it’s kind of human nature. Right? The first time you meet someone, you’re not going to ask him to marry you right there on the spot. I think there’s got to be that relationship development. Uh, there are different steps along the line, obviously that you need to take to get to know each other better. And I think the same is true for any kind of communication, whether you’re at A for profit company, a Fortune 500 company or a mom and pop type of nonprofit, uh, obviously you have a little bit of a head start because that person has found you. Maybe they joined your list or maybe they came to an event, whether it’s in person or virtual. So you have a little bit of interest there. But with so much noise out there these days, whether you’re trying to connect on social media or even through a podcast, there’s, you know, there’s a lot of noise out there and, and you have to rise above that and you rise above that by maintaining that constant relationship. And you can’t only ask for money. It can only be volunteer appeals. I can’t only be, you know me, me, me, me. I need, I need, I need you have to find a little bit of the reasons why those people connected with you and and speak to that and you have to offer a little bit of yourself too. And there are lots of ways that, that nonprofits can do that. And um, we like to it like you said at the beginning, I think this question was, uh, we do like to be organized with that. Uh, it’s a matter of sometimes nonprofits just looking at what they have, you know, oftentimes when I’ve taught courses, courses on how to create content. One of the things I hear most often is, I don’t know what to write or I don’t know what kind of content to put out there. What will resonate with people. And uh, so that holds them back and then they do nothing. And that’s obviously not a solution. So where we start with with this presentation and where we like to start in general, is to just go through the content you’ve created through the years, we tell nonprofits you’ve probably got hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of content out there. Look at your old blog posts. Look at some of the presentations you’ve done. If you’ve gone to conferences or presented, look at your social media posts, look at documents you’ve put together. If if you have programs, you probably have program information, put some of that together and turn it into something written that you can offer people, uh, and, and start there. And then once you’ve gathered all that information, put it together in a content calendar and be really deliberate about how you’re exposing that material to your audience in order so that it makes sense. And it drives a little bit of

[00:12:06.04] spk_0:
engagement, which is, which is much easier to lay out when you see it in a calendar rather than just you just kind of thinking, well I will do this in May and then this will be in june and you know, but you can be more, you’re more deliberate about it more, I think more sophisticated about it. If you if you when you commit something to writing it makes it makes you think about it more. That’s exactly right. I have a written and

[00:12:29.94] spk_2:
not only that, but you can also add responsibility and whether you have a big team or a small team, you can put names to the tasks that people need to do. You know, tony is going to do this article by this date and get it up on social by this date and there’s a little bit of responsibility there for the work that you’re doing, which I think makes people complete those tasks uh a better way.

[00:12:49.14] spk_3:
Yeah. And frankly, I think it makes it almost easier and simpler so that, you know, it doesn’t seem like quite as big of a mountain to climb. You know, I’ve got all this content to create from this quarter or this year, um, when it’s on a piece of paper or in a spreadsheet. And it’s something that just seems more manageable frankly

[00:13:09.94] spk_0:
when anything you want to add about the content calendar before we move on to segmenting your, your

[00:13:15.67] spk_3:
supporters.

[00:13:18.04] spk_0:
Okay, Well I’m willing it’s okay. I feel like we’ve covered the content calendar enough. I’m not trying to, you know, I think so. I think it’s, it’s something

[00:13:50.34] spk_3:
that a lot of nonprofits, um, do. Um, but we also see a lot of nonprofits that don’t do a content calendar and it’s, it’s not difficult. It’s just taking that first step. So we provided people templates, but just just getting it down and finding a way to formalize the process of putting a content together. It’s not that difficult. And it makes a huge difference

[00:14:00.44] spk_0:
helps you organize too. So you can see blog post, you know, maybe some other section on the website newsletter, email, social, social, facebook, social instagram, social twitter, but etcetera. And

[00:14:51.74] spk_3:
it also helps you identify holes in your content. So, for example, um, just as an example, we have some clients who, um, whose mission is focused on raising funds for medical research for a certain condition or, or issue. And they have content that they create for patients and their families, but they also have content that they create for, um, you know, medical experts and they’ll run medical conferences for doctors. Uh, so, um, understanding that they’ve created enough content for each of those groups is also important in having it in a calendar. Um, so you’re, you know, another organization might have volunteer, uh, content aimed at volunteers and content aimed at, at supporters or donors or community members. So just seeing that now, think about what your goals are.

[00:15:12.24] spk_0:
However you’re gonna segment, right? It’s all very orderly. Now. You mentioned templates. I don’t like to tease nonprofit radio listeners without without providing the substance. So can we get this template? Is this somewhere on salsa site or somewhere else? Where? Where?

[00:16:10.04] spk_2:
Yeah, So we we put up a landing page that’s completely in gated as part of the NtC presentation. Uh, it’s salsa Labs dot com forward slash 21 N. T. C. And there’s a little bit of a workbook that goes with the presentation and then of course the presentation slides, PowerPoint and pdf, I think, uh, and the workbook falls along the different sections of the presentation. So the first section is what we just talked about, which is to uh, figure out what you have. You know, go through, take stock of your content, your library, that kind of thing. The second part talks about putting together your calendar and segmenting. And then the third part jumps into really getting organized and then engaging or further engaging, going a little bit further than what you’ve done in the past. And to kind of tag onto the last part you said about or what Wendy said about the content calendar. Oftentimes we see nonprofits look for these templates. Uh, and they’re really just hashtags, you know, if the only communication you’re doing on social media is to put up a post about ST patty’s day or easter or things like that, you need to go a little bit further

[00:16:34.84] spk_0:
in your engagement. That’s not that’s not educating folks. That’s right. On your, on your mission, your work and your values. That’s not going to make them sticky because they can get easter messages anywhere.

[00:16:37.11] spk_2:
That’s right. And they likely are

[00:16:39.75] spk_0:
and they are.

[00:16:40.39] spk_3:
And we’ll tell you though, that the most engagement we get on our social posts are when we post pictures of our dog, there is some value that All

[00:16:49.42] spk_0:
right. Well, I don’t know what that says about the salsa Labs content, you know, talking to the content team. So I’m not gonna All right. Believe that their salsa labs dot com forward slash 21 ntc for the template that craig just talked us through. Let’s go to, uh, a little on segmentation. Who wants to want to kick us off the value of and the depth you should go to. Who wants to

[00:19:35.74] spk_2:
be sure. I’ll take it when it comes to segmentation. The idea is to be able to understand which audience member wants to receive, which message at what time and by what medium there are a lot of different mediums. We can deliver messages through these days and everyone’s busy and like I said before, there’s a lot of noise. So you need to find your way through that noise and the way we believe you do it is through personalization. If you can understand who wants to receive the message when they want to receive it and where they want to receive it, you will have a higher engagement with that person. And this is kind of goes back to the idea of just shooting out a ST Patty’s day message, right? I mean you might get 50 or 60 likes, but if those people never volunteer or they never donate or they never come to an event, what’s the point? Um, you know, it may be, hey, let’s put out a nice message and that’s fine. But at some point you need to generate people to support your mission, whatever that means. So we like to segment in a couple different ways. One of course is looking at what you have in your own crm or your own list and trying to understand demographics about that person and to be able to split them into some sort of discernible category. You know, hey, we’ve got donors here, We have volunteers or we have people who just engage with us on social media. And then if you are doing a lot of sharing on social, which many groups are really trying to match your organization’s message to the right social network and you’ve got people out there who, you know, maybe they have a very intelligent audience, or maybe they have a very specific demographic in their audience and they completely lining up to the wrong network and sharing a message at the wrong time. Maybe they’re sharing it once, instead of sharing it four times over a month or two months. So that different people see that message. So uh part of the workbook that we put together is going a few different places through your analytics and really understanding what your audience looks like and taking some critical uh peaks at your audience and the demographics of your audience, looking through your Crm, and uh figuring out what’s important to your organization. And how do you label those people so that you understand the message that they want, where they’re going to be and then where you can get that message to them.

[00:19:43.64] spk_0:
Mhm. When you want to add to segmentation.

[00:21:01.04] spk_3:
Yeah, I mean there’s it’s a little bit science and a little bit art, frankly, I think. So, there’s a balance between having too many segments and too many groups and having too few segments or groups. So um if you’ve got groups of supporters, there are so many groups of supporters that you’re sending very similar messages to some of the groups that you probably have too many. Um it may be difficult to handle all the messaging. Uh if you have too few groups, the messages aren’t targeted enough aren’t interesting enough to each of those groups. So as you know, Craig was talking about measuring engagement on social media and and looking at analytics for your emails and things like that. And that’s very important. And that’s all the science part. And then there’s a little bit of art uh in terms of, you know, where the messaging can be split, where the different messages make the most difference on how you engage with these folks, what words you use, what you test. Um, so, you know, I think it’s, I think it’s a little bit of both. And it just takes, you know, not nonprofits know their supporters, Right? So it’s really just a matter of sitting down and looking at, um, where they’re engaging, what they’re saying on social media and you know, what they’re reacting to when, when you send them emails or messages.

[00:21:47.24] spk_0:
Well, let’s probe that a little further windy in terms of knowing knowing your people suppose, you know, you know, something, you know, some people prefer email over phone calls or written mail over email, etcetera. But, and you can gauge some depth of interest by giving history, right. If if Humane society gets donations, when cat appeals from certain people and dog appeals are making this very simple. But you know, so then you know who your dog people and cat people are, but I suppose you wanna go a little further. Like uh, you know, who wants to engage on instagram or which of our programs appeal to you, You know? Uh, So I’m envisioning a survey is one possibility. What else? How else we still have a few minutes left.

[00:21:50.50] spk_3:
Okay. So that’s

[00:21:51.29] spk_0:
what you glean. How does, how does segment?

[00:22:08.74] spk_3:
That’s a really good question. It’s actually something we addressed in the presentation uh, in 10. Um, you’re right. A survey is one way and we made some recommendations. You no longer surveys where you, where you ask more than say three or four questions. Um, are something you shouldn’t do a lot of. And when you do, you should probably combine it with some sort of incentive and it doesn’t have to be, you know, you don’t pay people to take the survey, but you know, hey we’ll send you a button or bumper sticker. You know, if you fill out a survey or this is why it’s really important, you know, um at least, you know, appealing to their uh

[00:22:34.47] spk_0:
their interest in your

[00:24:16.64] spk_3:
cause. Um But we also like the kind of one question asks in emails is another way to do it. So if you’re sending emails to people, you can ask a question in the email depending on the tool that you’re using, you can put a link or button in the email and say, hey um do you have a cat or a dog or both? You know at home? Are you, are you a cat parent? Dog parent? Um have them click on that button and then now they’re in a group and the next time you send an email out, they either get a cat picture or dog picture at the top of the email. Um, and it makes a huge difference in engagement. Um, We talk a little bit also about, um, polls on social media. So that’s not going to give you on the, that’s not going to put a particular person in a group, but it can give you information on what people are interested in. So if you’re going to focus on, um, uh, one, you know, if you’re putting together advocacy petition and uh, you know, you need to understand where people are focused on what they’re most interested in. That can help also. Um, but putting a process in place so that your staff understands what kind of data you’re collecting so that when they bring up a donor record because they’re talking to the donor or they’re about to meet the donor at an event, hopefully we’re all doing that soon. Um they can look and say, oh hey, you know, we’re missing this one piece of information or these two pieces of information. So I’m gonna make a note and I’m going to ask them that when I meet with them and I’m going to put it in there and everyone needs to know to collect that information. Um and it, it just makes it easier and, and there’s a whole process we won’t go into now, but there’s a whole process of right figuring out what information is important on and which ones, which pieces of information should affect the message that you’re sending.

[00:24:32.24] spk_2:
A couple years ago, I think last week feels like a couple of years ago, Sometimes for a couple years ago you tony you did a podcast on integrating Crm with your email marketing and other digital.

[00:24:36.70] spk_0:
That was another, that was another NTC, uh 2017 18, something like that.

[00:24:42.40] spk_2:
Yeah, I think it was a while ago, but you know, it’s funny

[00:24:45.29] spk_0:
that nonprofit radio listener thank you for saying that

[00:26:25.94] spk_2:
it’s a great episode and I think it’s important here because obviously salsa is a product that tries to put together all these different marketing mediums and they work well with each other and, and there are other um products out on the market, but we also find that a lot of nonprofits have these disparate solutions and it makes things harder. It makes collecting data harder, it makes engaging harder. And when you have that uh system that pulls it all together, it makes this process easier because when you send an email and someone clicks on it, you get that information in your crm. So these one question surveys that Wendy is talking about. You can do a survey with a cat picture and someone clicks on it. You capture that data. Uh you don’t necessarily have to go to a full blown male pole or social media poll. You can do these things when you’re systems are integrated and pull that information between those systems. And then when you’ve got the information in your crm, you can then pull that information automatically into your email without having to upload or download or move data around. So It works on two ways. One it helps you understand and track the data but it also helps you personalize the emails that you do send. I think if if nothing else uh non profit should know. Just act just just do it. If you’re not sure where to start, just you know, get a message out there and just do it and then measure and track and along the lines of what Wendy said. If you are missing some information, just ask, just ask for it, create a message and send a note and remember when you do get that data to plug it back into your system so that you can use it uh in in many ways in the future. So that’s the important part

[00:26:32.44] spk_0:
two. We’re going to leave it there. Alright, alright, very much Greg gorilla, my pleasure Kraig gorilla content marketer salsa Labs, Wendy. Levin, marketing Director at salsa Labs. Thanks to each of you. Thanks very

[00:26:44.64] spk_2:
much. Thank

[00:30:41.24] spk_0:
you. My pleasure to have you and thank you for being with non profit radio coverage of 21 ntc the 2021 nonprofit technology conference where we are sponsored by 20 we are sponsored by turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c o. It’s time for a break. Turned to communications relationships. We just talked about lasting relationships. The importance of building them. Turn to has them, they’ve got the relationships with journalists. So when there’s something fundraising related or philanthropic related or even more broadly, non profit related, those journalists are going to be picking up the phone when turn to calls them with you your name as a potential source, source of quotes, source of background, source of help. They pick up the phone because they’ve got a relationship with turn to, it’s the relationships that get leveraged for your benefit. Their turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c o. It’s time for Tony’s take two. I started the second class of planned giving accelerator this week through the accelerator. I’m helping nonprofits launch kickoff, inaugurate their planned giving programs. I’m teaching members who join with me for a year, teaching them step by step how to start and grow their plan giving programs. The classes are fun. I look forward to them every week that we get together because there’s, there’s live trainings and then there’s Ask Me Anythings and I also do a podcast for them. Yes, there’s a, there’s a, there is a podcast that you can’t hear. You got to be a member of plan Giving accelerator to hear the plan Giving accelerator podcast. You see the symmetry there. So yes, I do a podcast for them too. But these trainings and of course, so we’re getting together for the training and they ask me anythings. I look forward to them. And rumors are that the members look forward to it too. I’ve heard rumors to that effect. So it’s, it’s all, it’s really very, it’s very gratifying, rewarding. Um, it’s fun and folks are starting their plan giving programs and in the first class that started in january, they’re already getting gifts. There’s already a couple of nonprofits that each have a couple of gift commitments already, just three months into the 12-month program. So that makes it enormously gratifying. I’m getting um, my synesthesia is kicking in. I’m getting goose bumps thinking about these groups that, that already have commitments only three months into the thing. So that’s playing giving accelerator. If you think you might be interested in joining the next class, it starts July one and all the info is that planned giving accelerator dot com. Check it out for Pete’s sake. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for nonprofit radio here is love your donors using data. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 ntc, you know what that is? It’s the 2021 nonprofit technology conference were sponsored at 21 ntc by turn to communications turn hyphen two dot C o. With me now are Shoni field and jen Shang Shoni is chief development officer at the british Columbia Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals. S P C A. And jen chang is a professor and philanthropic psychologist at the Institute for sustainable philanthropy. Shoni. Welcome to the show, jen, Welcome back.

[00:30:47.44] spk_4:
Thanks for having us.

[00:30:48.55] spk_3:
Thank you.

[00:31:06.24] spk_0:
It’s a pleasure uh, in talking before we started recording, uh, came to my attention that jen chang now has a british accent, which she did not have when she was on nonprofit radio many years ago when she was at indiana University. So we’ll get to enjoy that. And you’ve been how many years in the U. K. Now jen

[00:31:11.04] spk_1:
Eight years.

[00:31:13.14] spk_0:
Eight years with Adrian Sergeant. I assume he’s still at the institute.

[00:31:16.44] spk_1:
Oh yeah still living in the house to

[00:31:19.69] spk_3:
lose your

[00:31:20.19] spk_0:
house. Oh

[00:31:21.57] spk_1:
you don’t know we’re married sorry.

[00:31:23.17] spk_0:
Oh you’re more than uh philanthropic partners. Oh really? Okay. Were you married? When were you married to Adrian when you were on the show last? Uh huh.

[00:31:32.74] spk_1:
No

[00:31:34.14] spk_0:
your philanthropic psychology brought you together

[00:31:38.64] spk_1:
Absolutely really amazing

[00:31:40.94] spk_0:
mm fundraising fundraising brought you together. That’s wild. Well it’s a it’s a relationship business. So I look at you

[00:31:46.23] spk_1:
you’ve

[00:32:19.74] spk_0:
taken you’ve taken your own science to to heart and to deeper depth than than most people do. Well we’ll give give Adrian my regards, tell him. Absolutely tell him I say hello and hello from nonprofit radio he’s been a guest also. Well look at that interesting. And for those now we’re shooting with video jen has the uh suitable professorial background. There’s papers and thick books everywhere. It’s, it’s really, really quite bad. Oh yeah, there’s, there’s ghost faces up on top um and a crucifix also. So the place is blessed. You

[00:32:25.14] spk_4:
can make up anything about what we’ve got in the background. tony

[00:32:42.44] spk_0:
best mess. Yes, we’ll show me yours is uh yours is, I don’t want to say austere. It’s just uh its proper, you know, you’ve got a couple of framed items and you got a nice uh um um what we call those windows, uh,

[00:32:45.33] spk_4:
skylight,

[00:32:46.08] spk_0:
Skylight of course. Thank you at 59

[00:32:48.14] spk_4:
terrible for when there’s video because it makes the light really horrible. But radio it’s just fine. Yeah,

[00:33:20.84] spk_0:
I know yours is, yours is a like a sort of a gallery background. That’s what I would say. And shen’s is definitely Shen’s jen’s is definitely a professorial background. Okay. We’re talking about loving your donors. Your NTc topic is love your donors using data. So let’s start with Professor shang our philanthropic psychologist. One of, are you the only philanthropic psychologist in the world or just the first?

[00:33:25.74] spk_1:
I haven’t heard anybody else calling themselves philanthropic psychologists.

[00:33:38.14] spk_0:
Okay. So you’re both the first and, uh, and the only, first and only philanthropic psychologist. Okay. I love that you’re married to Adrian Sergeant. Well, that’s, you really took fundraising to new Heights.

[00:33:39.95] spk_4:
Small world fundraising. We all know each other.

[00:33:51.24] spk_0:
Rights, new depths. Yes, But they know each other quite well. Um, All right. So jenn, um, what, what can we learn from here? What, what, what, what, what are we not doing well enough with data that you want non profits to do better.

[00:34:45.14] spk_1:
Um, the first thing that we do that we don’t think nonprofits have spent a lot of time understanding is how people describe their own identities. And when I say when people describe their own identities, I don’t mean just how people describe themselves when they give as a supporter or as a donor, but how people describe themselves as a person outside of giving. Because research after research after research after research, what we found is that the descriptors that people use to describe themselves as a person are not always the same as the descriptors that they used to describe themselves when they think about themselves as a supporter. So not understanding who is the person behind the giving, I personally think is a huge missing opportunity for nonprofits to develop deeper relationship with their supporters.

[00:35:08.24] spk_0:
And what are some of these, uh, mm dis associations or in congruence sees between the way people identify themselves generally and the way they identify themselves as as donors.

[00:36:23.43] spk_1:
So one of the most consistent findings that we saw pretty much in all the data sets we have is that when people describe themselves as a person, they like to describe the morality of themselves. And usually there are nine highest frequency words that people use to describe their own morality and they are kind and caring and compassionate, generous, fair and so forth. And for most charities, you would see quite a large collection of these moral words in people’s self descriptors. But usually you see a smaller collection of these moral words appearing when people describe themselves as a supporter. So what that says to me is that when nonprofits communicate with supporters are about giving, they haven’t connected the giving to their sense of being a kind and caring and compassionate person as well as they could be. Usually you see the word generous, show up and you see the word helpful, show us show up in the descriptor of the supporters, but not the rest of the moral words.

[00:36:44.03] spk_0:
And there’s evidence that using more of the moral descriptors that the individuals would use will increase their giving.

[00:36:57.03] spk_1:
Not only it increased their giving, it also increases their psychological well being, and that is the real missing opportunity here. So when people give out of their kindness and out of their compassion, they feel better. Even when they give the same amount of money.

[00:37:39.73] spk_0:
You studied this really. You can you can gauge and Shawnee we’re gonna come to you. Of course. I I know there’s a practical application at british Columbia. I understand. I just want to flush out, want to flush out the like the limits of the, of the science and then we’ll get to the practical application. Absolutely. Um, All right. So so we can make people feel better about themselves through our non through nonprofit communications, through our communications to them. And they will then, uh, as as a result of feeling better or is it because they feel better than they will give more to our cause or we we just know those two things are correlated, but not necessarily cause and effect.

[00:37:52.63] spk_1:
We first communicate with supporters about there being a kind person and then we see giving increase and then we measure their psychological well being and we see their psychological well being increases.

[00:38:22.72] spk_0:
Okay, So we know that the giving has come first and then then from those for whom the giving has increased. Your then you’re studying their psychological well being. Yes, wow. Through our, through our communications, through our uh, is this what method of communication do we use phone letter?

[00:38:39.42] spk_1:
We have we have a few experiments in emails. We have survey evidence from donors. And we have laboratory experiments from the general population. Okay

[00:38:47.72] spk_0:
let’s turn to show me for the for the application of this uh at the british Columbia. S. P. C. A. What did you do their show me what how did you take this research and use it?

[00:41:16.41] spk_4:
So the and it feels like I’m jumping into the story halfway because I didn’t know how we got there but how we used it was um we worked with jen and her team to do um surveys and research into our donor base because you know, not every donor base is going to have the same characteristics. And so what do animal lovers in british Columbia? Um what are their characteristics of how they identify themselves as a moral person or in that sort of aspirational sense of self? Of where they’d like to? Well, I’d like to get to and supporting the S. P. C. A. As a way of getting there for them. So we we looked at our donors and came back with Jensen, looked at our donors and came and through surveys and research and came back with some some levers that resonated stronger than others with our donors. And so then we could go out and test those with, you know, our controls and then testing these levers and see where we see if we did. In fact, um originally c boosting giving over the long term, then we’ll be able to measure retention because I think with psychological well being would become an increased likelihood of wanting to stick with that relationship that makes you feel great. And so we’re able to measure um with within that field research what then when we put it into into play, what did get higher responses. And then we’ve gone back with jen and her team to study our three tests further and identify how we can build on that. Some of those tests worked better than the others. And so we that gave us some further insight into what we needed to to dig in on. And I think our our first error had probably been, we had all this learning and we wanted to use it all all at once, all in all the same time. Uh, the second sort of round of analysis really helped us be more focused and, and jen refers to allowing donors to breathe into the moment and just really be in that. And so it allow it, it allowed us to identify, yes, there’s a ton of good things we can do, but here we’re going to do three of them and we’re going to do them really well and really focused.

[00:41:18.91] spk_0:
What were some of the descriptors that you found were the levers for your, for your folks?

[00:42:43.90] spk_4:
Well, I mean, there’s so there’s the sort of descriptors of self that jen talked about in the, you know, the generous and loving and kind. Um, and then there’s one of those in particular, uh, dig into more, But there’s also these sort of, um, oh, you know, we call like victorious hope, this sense that there can be, um, that there will be success, that people have had past success in helping rescue animals and they will have future success. And, you know, this comes out of their love for animals. And so we use this victorious hope theme. Um, we we see, uh, personal sacrifice come through and we’re familiar with that from, um, you know, male direct mail that said, you know, just for the price of a cup of coffee a day, you could, you know, you could do this or you could do that, that sense of someone giving something up to get this, this outcome that they want. So we, we’ve used those a lot and we also saw the word loyal come up a lot more, um, than we had, than we had recognized was important. And it makes sense because people’s relationships with their animals are a lot about loyalty. Um, so it makes sense that they’d also value it as in a personal trait, but we’ve, uh, we had already been doing a lot of work around generous and loving and kind and we also increased that, that sense of loyalty.

[00:43:14.90] spk_0:
And now I don’t want any frustrated guests on nonprofit radio So you said, I asked you a question that came in the middle and you you uh, you thoughtfully answered answered the question, so thank you, thank you for that. But but I’ll give you the opportunity to go back if you want to take a minute and explain how you got into the jeans jeans research.

[00:43:19.10] spk_4:
I mean, this is like goes back to weigh like my beginnings as a fundraiser

[00:43:23.10] spk_0:
where a fundraiser

[00:44:01.69] spk_4:
where I got really frustrated with people’s perception of fundraisers as sort of snake oil salesman, you know, in the nonprofit world, there was the program, people who were doing the virtuous work and then there was the fundraiser, people that were, so it was sort of a little like unclean that you were trying to make people. And to me it always felt more like I was helping someone do the work that they couldn’t do themselves because their career had taken them in a different path. Like they wanted to save the environment, they wanted to help someone with the disease. They want they loved animals and wanted to help animals, but they trained as an accountant or they trained as you know, they have run their own business and so

[00:44:17.29] spk_0:
it’s very it’s empathic and magnanimous in the same that they wish they could be doing this good work. But they chose a different path. You have your like your empathetic to them.

[00:44:50.09] spk_4:
So this when I saw gems research of this sort of aspirational sense of self, this really struck a chord with me of like this is the work people wish they could be doing and we all know how we feel when we get to do something that’s really close and really important to us. It feels really great. So that just clicked with me. The sense of if we can help people do the work that they really want to do, but they haven’t been doing because something else does their pay brings their paycheck in and paying the bills is also important. Then we’re all going to be much stronger for it.

[00:44:59.69] spk_0:
And just quickly, how did you find jen’s research?

[00:45:03.89] spk_4:
I mean, this is, you know, I, I followed it around at conferences for quite a while before reaching out and saying, hey, I love this stuff. How can I, how can I do more?

[00:46:09.08] spk_0:
There’s value in conferences. Like, like ntc, there’s value in completely. Yeah, this reminds me of the work that you and I talked about when you were back in indiana before you were married to Adrian Sergeant. And we were talking about a phone research that you had done with public radio. I think it was in bloomington indiana. And you would describe women. I think it was Well, maybe you saw more of an effect that was it. You describe you saw more of an effect with women when the caller from the public radio station would use words to say. You’ve always descriptive words. You’ve always been so loyal to us. Or you’ve you’ve been such a generous supporter of us. Would you would you make a gift again? And you you saw greater giving when the right descriptors were used for those bloomington indiana Public Radio, uh, supporters. So this seems like a continuation. Uh, you know, where your again, it’s the way you describe the donors.

[00:46:16.18] spk_1:
Yes. And it’s not just the way that we describe the donors is the way that donors describe

[00:46:29.48] spk_0:
themselves themselves. Right. And then this increases their feeling of well being, more about that. How did you, how do you measure their sense of well being?

[00:46:32.08] spk_3:
So we, um,

[00:48:00.47] spk_1:
when we started measuring psychological well being, we explored a range of different scales. Um, at the moment, the the several scales that we use most often with nonprofits who haven’t started our kind of communication with supporters, our competence, autonomy and connectedness. Those are the three fundamental human needs that psychologists have studied now for decades. They in in the giving situation, they refer to, um, competence, my ability to make a difference for others autonomy. I have a voice of my own. I’m not giving out of any social pressure and connectedness. I give to make me feel connected with the things the animals, the nature and the people that I want to connect with. Those three needs. If we lack any one of them, we wouldn’t be able to experience well being. So it’s most ideal if any given giving act can simultaneously help people fulfill all three psychological well being. And those are the ones that we have now used most frequently in giving at the range. Um Lower than $500 a year.

[00:48:16.97] spk_0:
Shoni mentioned the next step being written, measuring retention. Have have you seen in your research whether there there is greater retention among the donors who whose well being we’ve we’ve enhanced.

[00:48:41.27] spk_1:
Um, so what we have seen is that um, yeah, the factors that drives giving are not always the factors that drive psychological well being, but if you can communicate with people on only the factors that drives both than that giving is more sustainable.

[00:48:51.47] spk_0:
Okay. Wait, all right. Say that one more time. You’ve been studying this for decades and I’m hearing it for only the second time in like eight years. So okay,

[00:49:35.27] spk_1:
so say, um you have five most important factors that drives giving and you have eight most important factors that drives people psychological well being. You’re five and you’re eight are not always the same, but sometimes they are three that are common between these two sets. If you only use those three to communicate with your supporters and increase giving an increase well being, then you can expect to see repeated increase in giving over time because the same three factors both increased giving and increase people’s psychological well being.

[00:50:29.66] spk_0:
Okay. I see it’s the intersection of the two little circles in the Venn diagram. Okay, You gotta explain this to a layperson, Right? All right. Thank you. Um So, were you So it’s fascinating, fascinating. Um Plus, you’re married to Adrian. I just can’t get over this how this this career has brought you together. I’m just I’m taken by all this. Um, Were you wondering about this back when you did the public radio research? Were you wondering how the description by the by the callers from the public radio station made the donors feel you knew you knew at that point? No, you weren’t thinking She’s shaking her head. You knew at that point that that describing them in certain ways could increase giving. Were you curious then, about how it made them feel? Um,

[00:50:44.26] spk_1:
I think when I first got into fundraising, it was very important to me to find some psychological motivations that can help nonprofits to raise more money. But once I realized that actually, that is not very hard, you can pretty much

[00:50:50.98] spk_0:
like, look, we’re not doing a great job in a lot of ways. Yeah,

[00:50:55.11] spk_1:
I mean, raise money by about 10 really is not hard when, you know, a little bit of psychology,

[00:51:00.15] spk_0:
you’re being more gracious, alright. A

[00:51:48.46] spk_1:
few supporters. Um But to make the giving experience meaningful for people to make the giving experience a part of people’s lives that they treasure. And to make that giving experience and experience that can allow people to experience the kind of life that they would not otherwise have. Those are the things that are hard because those are the things that do not have the the focus that they need and those are the things that I pretty much spent the last 10 years after I graduated from Indiana doing. Because those are the things that gives me meaning in doing what I do.

[00:51:59.06] spk_0:
Sure, let’s go back to you. Uh How much increased giving are you seeing you? I’m sure you’ve quantified this. What differences are you? Are you experiencing?

[00:53:05.55] spk_4:
Well, I mean, we’ve we’ve now tested it in a number of different areas. We, you know, we test it in, uh, we we use it in thank you scripts to our donors. So we don’t, you know, that’s a long term test of if we’re using this, this language consistently and everything, we we play around with the different levers on web forms, um, where we see, you know, we can extrapolate over the year if like, okay, if we use this, you know, we have a form and the form on the donor form, what difference are we going to see? Um, so it’s, you know, it’s hard once it becomes infused in everything you do, you no longer have a test in a control. You have, you have just the way you’re doing it now because you roll it out in all these different ways. I will say. I mean within that first batch of three, we paid for our research. So, you know, we got we we made an investment. We we we learned a ton. We paid for it right away. And then everything after that is, um, is bonus or, you know, is the real game. But it’s, it would be hard to measure at this point because we’re not, we haven’t infused in and everything, but we no longer have, uh, you know, we’re getting there, but we no longer have a sort of test and control where we can say this is the difference

[00:53:24.85] spk_0:
jen where can folks find your research? Is it is it somewhere that we can easily uh,

[00:53:32.90] spk_1:
most of our research is at the Institute for Sustainable philanthropy’s web site. There are freely downloadable.

[00:53:44.55] spk_0:
Okay. At the Institute for Sustainable philanthropy, um, what do you think? Should we leave it there where we explain this adequately that we picked people’s interest? I

[00:54:50.84] spk_4:
don’t I have if you have time, I have one more thing that I really think this work is sort of um a really important bridge between the sort of donor centric, the donor is always right. We’re stroking the ego of the donor and the community centric fundraising models because jen said, you know, this is I give to connect people, give to connect to to other people to the animals. And that I think in that sense of connection and love comes a more sustainable way forward because we don’t have to have this um artificial barrier between the donor and the beneficiary. And we don’t have to talk about, well if we privilege the donor, then it’s at the expense of the beneficiary or vice versa. We can talk about it’s about making connections as humans and and and together working for change and I I see it as a really healthy way forward in that conversation.

[00:55:20.04] spk_0:
That’s a great place to stop. We’re international for this segment from british Columbia and the UK from B C. Is Shoni Field chief development officer at the S P. C. A. Society for prevention of cruelty to animals, the british Columbia and from the UK, jen, chang professor and philanthropic psychologist at the Institute for sustainable philanthropy where you will find all this valuable, valuable research Shoni jen, Thank you very much.

[00:55:24.64] spk_4:
Thanks tony

[00:56:05.34] spk_0:
What a pleasure. Thank you Next week. Susan comfort returns with team wellness as 21 NTC coverage continues. 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. They’ve got the relationships for pete’s sake. Turn hyphen two dot c o r. 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. Mhm. Thank you for that. Affirmation scotty

[00:56:07.05] spk_5:
Be with me next

[00:56:25.74] spk_0:
Week for nonprofit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95 go out and be great. Uh huh.

Nonprofit Radio for March 29, 2021: Cure Communications Gaffes & Talking Mental Health In Your Workplace

My Guests:

Julie Ziff Sint, Claire Thomas & Shafali Rao: Cure Communications Gaffes
Our 21NTC coverage begins by explaining what to do after you put the wrong gala date in an email, or send a letter to the wrong segment. Might an intentional mistake improve open your open rate? Our panel is Julie Ziff Sint, Claire Thomas and Shefali Rao, all from Sanky Communications.

 

 

 

Dan Berstein: Talking Mental Health In Your Workplace
Also from 21NTC, Dan Berstein helps you avoid a different gaffe: Saying the wrong things when faced with challenging behaviors or mental health disclosures. He’s got easy-to-follow strategies. Dan is founder of MH Mediate.

 

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[00:02:22.04] spk_1:
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 be thrown into zero Estonia if I had to mouth the words you missed this week’s show Cure Communications Gaffes. Our 21 NTC coverage begins by explaining what to do after you put the wrong gala date in your email or send a letter to the wrong segment. Might an intentional mistake improve your open rate? Our panel is Julie’s. If ST Claire Thomas and Shefali Row, all from Sancti Communications and talking Mental Health in your workplace, also from 21 NTC, Dan Burstein helps you avoid a different gaffe, saying the wrong things when faced with challenging behaviors or mental health disclosures, he’s got easy to follow strategies. Dan is founder of M H. Mediate on tony State, too. How are you doing? We’re sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot c o. Here is a cure. Communications gaffes. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC That’s the 2021 nonprofit technology Conference. We’re sponsored at 21 NTC by turn to communications. Turn hyphen. Two dot c o. My guests at this session are Julie’s. If ST Claire Thomas and Shefali Row. They’re all with Sancti Communications. Julie is vice president of account and Strategic Services. Claire is copy director, and Shefali is senior copywriter. Welcome, Julie.

[00:02:22.57] spk_2:
Thanks for having us.

[00:02:23.81] spk_3:
Welcome to be here.

[00:02:32.24] spk_1:
So, uh, let’s see. So does everybody work for Julie? And then then And then Claire reports The Shefali is It doesn’t work like that. I’m sure it’s a very collegial place. Thank you. Community were totally lateral. Totally flat. Everybody gets the same pay. Everybody is exactly the same

[00:02:54.44] spk_2:
way. We’re really collaborative agency, but I work more on our strategic side of things. And Claire and Shefali are two of our genius copywriters who manage our clients messaging.

[00:03:37.34] spk_1:
Okay, I think it’s important to flush this out. So give folks a feel for swanky communications because they might be working with you someday. Your workshop topic is my bad to all. Good. How to repair a mistake in donor communications. So, like if you dropped an email with a mistake in it, or you sent out an email about the gala, and it has the wrong date or the wrong time. That’s that’s That’s a particularly egregious one. We would think we would catch that in copyrighting. So, um, Shefali, let’s start with you. How does these things happen? First of all, like suppose that example? Wrong time in the gala invitation. How could that How could that possibly happen when we have multiple eyes on projects on communications?

[00:04:14.34] spk_4:
Yeah, you would think that it wouldn’t, but sometimes it just misses all sets of five. I actually gave this example, even in the conference, but I used to be a journalist, and I used to be at the news desk copy editing and one day on the front page in a headline. The word public was missing an L. And that just went out the next day. And, um, the good news is that we have a system we have, like, strategies in place where we kind of make those mistakes work for us. Which is really what our workshop was about.

[00:04:18.19] spk_1:
Yeah. I mean, you could have some fun. I don’t know. Pubic might be tough. to have fun you can have fun

[00:04:22.29] spk_4:
with

[00:04:36.74] spk_1:
without getting carried away. I mean, I think making light of a mistake, a gaffe. I use that all the time. I mean, you’re suffering with a lackluster host, so don’t be surprised if this comes up three or four times in a half an hour. Um, like the banging? I don’t know. You know, I have you here that banging

[00:04:42.14] spk_3:
a

[00:05:03.04] spk_1:
little. Okay, it’s It’s a hammer. There’s guys working on my stairs. You might hear vacuuming because they’re very fastidious about cleaning up. You might hear some, uh, sawing drill drill. Uh, circular saw type work. Um, not that that’s a gaffe, but, you know, it’s background noise. We got to call it out. If I can’t hide it, I’m gonna flaunt it, so well. Shit. I gotta ask, What did the paper do with, uh, public to

[00:05:20.94] spk_4:
pubic? And then we printed into the collection the next day. That’s all you can really do. That’s not the fun way. I mean, it’s not a fun where it was pretty upset about it, but we have actually had fun with some of our mistakes in the bus. Right?

[00:05:24.44] spk_1:
Okay. Who wants to share a mistake that, uh, so

[00:05:27.40] spk_3:
one of them One of them was in the footer. You know of an email and, you know, these things go out all the time, and and everybody is real careful about the

[00:05:36.00] spk_4:
content of the email, and And

[00:05:46.34] spk_3:
was the subject line perfect? And you kind of forget to be as careful about the footer and in the footer to the donors. It said eight cents of every dollar goes to programs services.

[00:05:51.34] spk_1:
Okay. Yeah.

[00:05:52.64] spk_3:
Now, most people already wouldn’t even see

[00:05:55.27] spk_1:
that Most people are going to look at the footer,

[00:07:01.34] spk_3:
right? This and this is an animal shelter. So? So when when it was caught, we were like, Okay, so we’re So what we did was we said, Okay, let’s let’s send it up. But let’s stay in character for how the donors know us. And we we have with this with this, um, animal shelter. We have a really fun, friendly voice. And so we sent out a correction email, and we used it to educate donors on what the truth is. And what we said was forgive us if you are, forgive us for our mistake. Um and we try. We’re pause P a w positively horrified. We made this mistake because the truth is it’s 82 cents of your dollar that goes to programs services, and we’re really proud of that. And then we talked about how we care for donor services. But we kept the really used pictures of cute puppies and kittens and, you know, it was all friendly and fun, and it was a good chance to educate the donors on what the actual You know how the organization uses donor resources. And,

[00:07:25.04] spk_2:
of course, the silver lining on that example and everything else is that when you do have an effective apology like that, um, you can have extraordinary engagement with your donors. So for that example that Claire just shared, we had over 50% open rate and almost a 5% click through rate, which is more than three times as high on both metrics as as you might hope to see.

[00:07:39.04] spk_1:
Yeah, Julie, I was going to go to you. Uh, so it sounds like the first thing you should do when you discover one of these gaffes is don’t panic,

[00:07:40.84] spk_2:
never panic. Panicking definitely does not help

[00:07:43.58] spk_1:
you accomplish your compound, right, you’ll send the wrong thing. You won’t think it through. You’ll blow the one chance you have to really fix it well, so keep your head on.

[00:08:35.44] spk_2:
Panicking definitely doesn’t help in any environment, I will say before, you know before you get there. It’s definitely worthwhile to have a comprehensive QA process. Um, and quality assurance process. Make sure that you’re going through steps to try to avoid the mistakes in the first place. But then, yeah, once the mistake happens, because no matter how good your quality assurance process is, mistakes will happen. Um, so when something does happen to be able to, like you said, don’t panic, figure out what was the mistake? What was what type of mistake was it? Is there an opportunity there? There might be a silver lining. There might be an opportunity. And how can you? How can you apologize in the most effective way? Or turn the mistake into make some lemonade from that lemon and really find a good silver lining there?

[00:08:58.34] spk_1:
What if someone is screaming at you? Maybe it’s a board member who just got the email. Maybe it’s the CEO. Whoever someone senior to you is furious about the mistake. Yeah, about them. Yeah, not about Not about what you’re wearing that day. But yeah,

[00:09:03.86] spk_3:
I’m just because the other problem is when the donor picks up the phone and starts to screen with you, right?

[00:09:20.34] spk_1:
Okay. It could be a donor, but I was trying to manage in the office first, but that’s a good one. Clear. We’ll get to. We’ll do that later. The secondary. The secondary market. Yeah, the other constituents. But how about right in your office? Uh, you know, a CEO or board member? Well, we’ll consider board members insiders for purposes of our conversation. What do you do there? Furious.

[00:09:49.54] spk_3:
Yeah. Yeah. And the first thing to do is to say, this is this isn’t all bad. There’s There’s probably an opportunity here. And we had a whole section on opportunities. Every every one of the case studies that we presented and the our speed round where people were talking about all these are the mistakes they made, you know, we talk about Well, there’s an opportunity there, like shuffle. You had some great ideas about opportunities.

[00:10:22.94] spk_4:
Yeah, and I mean, the first question you asked that the step was How does this happen? You know what I mean? Like, how do these mistakes happen? And they happen because there are human people at the other end of that happens like we all make mistakes. And sometimes the donor wants nothing more than to know that a person is at the other end of these communications. And that’s your opportunity right there to say sorry. Build a connection to make, like, some sort of personal, heartfelt apology. Um, and then you have a lasting connection with the donor.

[00:10:51.04] spk_1:
Claire, let me continue with you where we’ve got a furious supervisor here. Doesn’t it help to just also say, I’m sorry? I mean, I know, I know. I know. I made a mistake without trying to deflect or, you know, just even if it’s not 100% your mistake. Like if two other people read the copy also, but but the CEO is in your office in the moment. Oh, yeah. You just say I know, I know. We messed it up or I’m sorry. You know, I mean, just right, well,

[00:10:56.17] spk_3:
and and it is, you’re you’re absolutely right. But then there’s the other. The other mistake that you just alluded to when it was completely out of your control. Julie, talk about what happened with the USPS this year.

[00:11:30.54] spk_2:
Oh, my goodness. And so this is, you know, there are definitely issues that are outside of our control, right? So, you know there was for people who use Blackboard Online Express there was one year that it stopped taking donations on giving Tuesday. There was the black pod data breach last spring and summer. Gmail started hard bouncing in the middle of December this past year. And then, of course, in direct mail, USPS had delays and we had some of our clients were sending out holiday fundraising appeals at the very beginning of December. But then the seeds weren’t even received until the beginning of January. So if you’re mailing that,

[00:11:54.84] spk_3:
you think Yeah, I mean, there’s There’s a pissed off CEO pissed off client pissed off everybody that people didn’t The donors didn’t get the asks.

[00:11:58.54] spk_1:
Yeah, it’s

[00:13:06.94] spk_2:
outside. It’s outside of your control. But there are ways to make that into an opportunity. We had one client. They had sent out a mailing that talked about a December 31st, matching gift deadline, but people didn’t receive the mailings. Um, it bombed. And so we have brainstormed with them. What can we do to figure out a way around this? And we ended up doing an email campaign in early January that effectively said, We understand there were delays with the post service. We know that you may not have received our appeal letter. We would like to tell you that even though it said that the matching gift deadline was on December 31st we talked to the matching gift donor, and we’ve been able to extend it. Please make your contribution now, and so you know it’s not going to necessarily completely counter active. You know that’s not our mistake, but it’s not going to completely counteract that problem. But you can still look for a silver lining. You can still try to connect with the donors, show them that you are a human, show them that you’re all partners together for the mission, um, and then bring them back on board for for the mission.

[00:13:26.44] spk_1:
Claire, you you seem to be the one who raises the good hypotheticals. Alright, let’s let’s go outside now. I suppose it is a donor on the phone, so it’s not. It’s not a supervisor, but now it’s a donor. You know, maybe it’s maybe they’re the ones who maybe they’re the challenge donors who December 31st, you know, in January 3rd, they got the they got the challenging male or whatever it is, you have an upset donor or a very upset volunteer. How do you manage that?

[00:15:20.44] spk_3:
Well, first of all, remember that the fact that someone has picked up the phone and called you you have a dedicated donor on the other end of the line. This is a person who cared enough, cared enough about the work that you’re doing and is invested enough in the mission to pick up the phone and complain. So you’ve got someone on the phone who really cares, and then you kind of follow some basic steps. Remember feelings before solutions? Let them vent. Let them say whatever it is that made them angry and listen to it and be sympathetic and listen for opportunities to connect and then solve the problem. Sometimes it’s that it’s that the donor says, Well, I only wanted to be mailed once a year, and this is the third appeal I’ve gotten this year, and so you know you have a chance to draw them into a conversation and get them talking about why they care about the organization’s work, why this mission matters to them. Once they start talking about why they care, they usually talk themselves into wanting to give. I’ve been in the situation where I’ve been the person talking to the donor that was angry and letting them talk and then finding a way to, like, say, Well, that’s a really good point and I think we can We can address that mistake and then upgrading the donor getting them. That’s actually how I started in fundraising. I was. I was asked to call donors who were angry, find out what the problem was and and then just these were people who had pledged money, and we’re going to pay it off. I raised all the money they had pledged just by listening to them just by solving little problems that they had really small. Um and then they ended up being very dedicated, the organization, because again it’s what you’ve always said is that human human, you know, these are people on both sides of the equation. Philanthropy is, of course, the most human of acts.

[00:15:40.74] spk_1:
You all know the service recovery paradox.

[00:15:44.84] spk_3:
No,

[00:15:46.44] spk_1:
really, I haven’t. We

[00:15:49.33] spk_3:
do that. Pardon me? My suspicion that we actually do that.

[00:16:07.54] spk_1:
Well, yeah, you’re you. You could very well be a part of it, but, um, it’s bona fide. There’s research. The service recovery paradox is that someone for whom a mistake occurs and and has that mistake satisfactorily corrected will be more connected to the brand. I think I’ve seen it more on the commercial side will be more connected to the brand than someone for whom a mistake never occurred.

[00:16:20.14] spk_3:
Yeah,

[00:16:21.62] spk_1:
actually, you’re describing Claire like your clarity talking about upgrading people who were upset.

[00:16:28.24] spk_2:
There are a lot of psyche communications. We were founded by sinking pursuant. Um, back in the late seventies. And there are a lot of myths around Spanky Pearlington. Um, and many of them are not verified.

[00:16:42.65] spk_1:
Uh, thank you, man or a woman or

[00:16:44.76] spk_3:
she is a woman.

[00:16:49.84] spk_2:
Um, I think he was a nickname for Selma. Um, apparently, maybe that’s the new thing that we can learn for today. Um,

[00:16:54.61] spk_1:
I think

[00:16:55.60] spk_3:
I

[00:17:24.44] spk_2:
know so So There are a lot of a lot of myths around her in the industry, but one, and I have no idea if this is true. But I have been told that she used to plant mistakes and direct mail letters because there was an increased increased responses or an increased response rate or an increased giving. If there was a mistake in the letter, people would actually right back, correct it and send in their check while they were at it.

[00:17:26.56] spk_1:
That’s brilliant.

[00:17:27.84] spk_3:
It’s brilliant,

[00:17:43.84] spk_1:
right? They love you enough to point out like Claire was saying, they love you enough to point out your mistake. But then they might feel bad about not including a check. So you’re you’re you’re helping them get over the hurdle of, uh, whether to reply, you’re giving them a giving them an even better reason to reply. And by the way, they feel bad. If they if they only complain so they’ll give you money too well.

[00:18:05.94] spk_3:
And we writers like to believe that once somebody has noticed some kind of little mistake, they start reading for other mistakes, and then they actually get hooked into the message. Those of us who spend all our time crafting those messages. It’s our chance to hook them.

[00:18:13.44] spk_1:
Shefali, do you do you deliberately? Have you ever deliberately honest Now have you any deliberate mistake in?

[00:18:18.61] spk_4:
I have to say I’m having this conversation. I’m already thinking of, like subject lines that maybe you have a mistake, but not super obvious. But it would get people to just open the email.

[00:18:30.64] spk_1:
Wait, wait, I want to flush this out. We’re getting good advice. This is the stuff I love. A nonprofit radio. Actionable, actionable advice. What way?

[00:18:53.54] spk_4:
What’s an example? For example, I’m just thinking, What if the subject line just had somebody else’s name and you click on it? Because you think OK, this person made a mistake? That’s not my name. And then you open it and says, Just getting Of course we know you’re tell me because you are one of our most dedicated supporters,

[00:19:06.84] spk_1:
Okay, but they think they’re being voyeuristic by opening it up. It’s made for somebody else. I definitely want to check that out more so than I would read my own. The problem with

[00:19:09.64] spk_2:
tony that that that will be great with the donors. It may not be so great with that CEO that comes into your office yelling.

[00:19:24.34] spk_1:
Well, I should get approval in advance and say, Look, I want to want to test it. I want to test it exactly like we’re going to send 1000 that are that are misnamed than 1000 that are correctly named And, uh, let’s see. Let’s see which one pulls better. Which one clicks through better. You want to

[00:19:34.69] spk_3:
share one more?

[00:19:36.33] spk_1:
I have these copywriter minds think it’s amazing. Anything else occur to you while we’re talking?

[00:19:42.54] spk_4:
No, that’s it. I mean, new campaign idea in two minutes. I’m pretty happy with

[00:20:13.64] spk_1:
that. Yeah, right. Okay, well, we’re 17 minutes in, so try to try to up your game a little bit. Were already. You’re only one idea in 17 minutes. We’ve got to do a little better than that. Um all right, what else should we talk about? The crisis communications management is this This is this is no, I mean, that’s a crisis, but we’re now we’re moving to organizational crisis. Where the where the local paper headline and it’s not good. Who? Julie, you got You got a first bit of advice for that.

[00:22:10.54] spk_2:
Um so I think we we go back to where you started with before, which is always start with. Don’t panic. Um, for many of the organizations that we that we work with, one of the first things that we do is we talk to them about what is the rapid response plan? Um, it applies to if there’s a hurricane that impacts your services or if there’s a political situation that impacts your services or if there’s something in terms of internal politics where there’s something that is going to impact your reputation and you have that that rapid response plan. And it’s a question of, you know, we’ve given whole other talks about this and that it’s a whole other topic of conversation, but it is. It is really important, right? If you have the plan going in that you can deal with whatever the issues are, so you say Okay, who are the decision makers at the organization? What is the chain of command? Who are the people who we need to gather at the organization to figure out whether or not we respond? If we respond, what channels do we respond in what is the messaging of that response, right? And so you know that that really does have to depend on what is the situation. And in some some issues you don’t some problems, whether it’s a mistake internally, a mistaken communication or a one of these kind of rapid response publicity, something some situations will not require a response, and others do. And so it’s a question of what is the message? Is it something where, you know, if you actually do something really offensive, who is the right person to say something? Is it the executive director? Is it the chair of the board? Um, so so is it somebody who is a trusted individual who is the right signer for it? What is the right message? You know, we do. We do often. I will say, use humor when we are crafting an apology. Claire Claire talked about that example of Please forgive us from an animal shelter. You’re not going to do that if it’s something really offensive, you

[00:22:22.60] spk_1:
don’t want to. Yeah,

[00:22:24.30] spk_4:
I

[00:22:30.54] spk_2:
mean, you never know, but you want to be very human. Talk about it. Ideally, you want to be real explain. Here’s the situation and and have a very real genuine apology. What?

[00:22:56.84] spk_1:
Okay, what if at the outset, you don’t You don’t have enough facts. I mean, can you Can you come out and say we can’t comment right now? You know, we’re still looking into whatever the situation is, and we don’t want to say anything inappropriate. So give us 24 hours or something like that. Well,

[00:23:34.54] spk_3:
and committing to transparency in that process, I think is going to go a long way to saying we’re still figuring this out. We want you to know we’re on it. Were These are the steps we’ve already taken. Here’s a step. There is the next step we’re taking, and we’re going to tell you what’s going on. You know, you’re going to hear about this. Um, and just just to reassure them anytime you’re you’re dealing with somebody you’re dealing with donor group, they’ve given you their money. This is this is an act of trust. You have to you have to work to keep that trust, um, to make sure it’s, you know, earned. So you don’t want to lose that,

[00:23:49.04] spk_2:
and transparency is important. But you’re also then messaging them and saying to them as a donor. You are. You are our partner in executing our mission. You are part of the organization. We owe you an explanation. And we need you to help us get through this. We need you to continue to support, um, you know, shelter, animals, homeless youth, whatever the population is that you are providing services to you, our our partner in supporting this mission. And we need you to stand with us.

[00:24:11.94] spk_4:
Yeah, and the more authentic and personal it is, it’s also it’s more of its transparency. But it’s also assurance that not just like it’s not just we have your best interest isn’t just that hot, but it’s also you’re in the know about what’s happening in the organization. Like Julie said, you’re a partner

[00:25:33.54] spk_1:
building on that trust that Claire was talking about. Yeah. Yeah, right. You have that trust in the bank you don’t wanna you don’t wanna exploit it, uh, and squander it, which, you know, conflicting messaging will do. I think too much delay. Depending on the situation, you know, too much delay. Then the story gets ahead of you, and I’m envisioning something really bad, you know, and then somebody else controls the narrative, and you’ve You’ve lost your opportunity. You know, those those things are bad. And that’s that’s a squandering of good faith, squandering of trust. All right, well, that’s that. That’s the trust to that Claire you talked about when we were talking about the gaffes. You know, people love you so much that they’re going to let you know that you made a mistake. Those are those are the most concerned, Like most invested people, the ones who don’t care, we’re gonna write off like, uh, another. Another problem with these people, you know, something like that. But the ones who really care, we’re gonna say, How could they let this happen? Do they know? You know? So, yeah, they’re invested their invested. All right. Um, what else are we talking about? We got a couple more minutes. We don’t have to wrap up whatever we covered yet.

[00:25:38.94] spk_3:
Well, one of the fun things we talked about not fun at all. It was how to apologize appropriately.

[00:25:45.24] spk_1:
Okay, well, you gave a good example of the animal shelter. Were,

[00:26:02.84] spk_3:
But if it’s offensive, what we’ve all noticed in, you know, in our media consumption in the last couple of years. Is all of these people, uh, providing apologies? You know, apologies.

[00:26:25.34] spk_1:
Backhanded apologies, if backhanded apology. If anyone was offended. Exactly, I didn’t intend it. And I regret that they’re offended. So it’s like it’s like their fault. It’s your fault for being offended, right? I regret that you’re offended, you know? All right, talking about her one. Horrible. Yeah,

[00:26:36.14] spk_3:
it’s horrible. And we actually said, Be sure if someone if someone said something offensive, be sure they say I offended. And I apologize.

[00:26:37.31] spk_1:
We should follow, you know, making human. There’s a human behind this apology. Not it wasn’t written by a

[00:26:43.58] spk_4:
robot. You know, it’s not like a template apology. Yeah, 100. An apology

[00:26:50.44] spk_1:
if anyone was offended. I’m sorry that they are regret that they are people who won’t even say step. Probably won’t even say sorry. I regret that. It’s unfortunate that you are

[00:27:01.19] spk_3:
all

[00:27:16.04] spk_1:
right. All right. What else you want to, um Let’s see. Anybody who wants to take us out with, uh, parting parting advice for the Let’s stick with the Gaff. I like that. That was the most animated part. The somebody take us out with good gaffe advice.

[00:27:19.24] spk_3:
Well, I’ll tell you one of the things we had fun coming up with Shefali and I, um, included. We gave a little bit of conference swag in some some checklists and things that people

[00:27:31.03] spk_1:
can take.

[00:28:21.14] spk_3:
And we also provided a little freebie five subject lines to try if you made a mistake. So this is how this is how to get somebody to open your email apology. And so we came up with we came up with. Well, this is awkward. Um, let’s see if we can get our apology right. You deserve our best. You didn’t get it. Can you forgive us? Name of donor and then my favorite. I think this is shit follies. Um, the email you were actually supposed to get name. Okay, So just kind of helping people out. We have. We have unfortunate reasons. Were knowing that all of those emails are successful. Um, so a

[00:28:35.84] spk_1:
lot of communications is gonna be a lot of mistakes. I mean, it’s going to happen. It’s humans. You don’t you don’t strive for them. Obviously you strive not to like Julie was saying, but but with QA. But it’s going to happen now. What about this? I don’t like I don’t like teasing nonprofit radio listeners, and then they don’t get anything. What about this checklist you mentioned? So

[00:29:03.24] spk_2:
those five subject lines along with a variety of other things, including some of the most common QA mistakes to watch for, um, at sinking dot com slash ntc 21 you can download a pdf that has whole bunch of good checklist for both avoiding mistakes. And then what to do if you made a mistake.

[00:29:07.44] spk_1:
Okay,

[00:29:13.54] spk_2:
so that was Thank you. Slash And so sink e ink dot com slash ntc 21.

[00:29:20.54] spk_1:
Got it and sank is s a N k y. Thank you dot com slash ntc 21. All

[00:29:24.33] spk_3:
right.

[00:29:43.34] spk_1:
Thank you. Think as opposed to what I said, which was Thank you. Thank you, Link. All right, Nobody talked. Now nobody talked. Thank e ink dot com slash ntc 21 You betcha. Thank you. All right. I don’t like cold, madam. Non profit your listeners. Alright, Good. So they can get the resource there. We’re gonna leave it there. Julie’s if sent Vice President of Accounts and Strategic Services. Claire Thomas, Copy Director Shefali Rao, senior copywriter all at Sancti Communications. Thank you very much. Wonderful.

[00:30:01.56] spk_3:
Thank you so much Fun.

[00:32:49.14] spk_1:
Real pleasure. I enjoyed it. And thank you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC 2021 Nonprofit Technology Conference where we are sponsored by We should be sponsored by sank Communication with all these shout outs I’m giving, but we’re not. We’re sponsored by turn to communications sank e ink dot No, not spanking dot com Turn to communication. Turn hyphen two dot c o responsible. I turn to communications Turn hyphen two dot c o thanks to each of you. Thank you very much. It’s time for a break. Turn to communications relationships turn to has the relationships with media outlets, journalists, even bloggers podcasters like me they have the outlets to get you placed When there’s a reason for you to be in the news. There’s some news hook that they can grab and they can talk to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, CBS Market Watch, et cetera. They’ve got the existing relationships and they’ll leverage them to your advantage because you’re their client. You get in the media, turn to communications. Turn hyphen two dot c o It’s time for Tony. Take two. How are you? How are you doing? Have you had a vaccine? How’s your family doing? Your family been vaccinated? I’m interested. I’m interested in how listeners are doing. I sent this out asking folks who get the insider alert our weekly insider alert. And I got a bunch of responses back. People. People told me how they’re doing. Tell me what’s going on, How they’ve been what? What It’s like, uh, planning to go back to work, etcetera. So I turned it to listeners. That’s you. How are you doing? How’s your family? Let me know. You can use my email. Here it is. It’s not gonna be able to use it and give it to you tony at tony-martignetti dot com. Tony at tony-martignetti dot com Let me know how you are That is Tony’s Take two. We’ve got boo koo, but loads more time for nonprofit radio. Here is talking mental health in your workplace. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC, The 2021 nonprofit Technology Conference. We’re sponsored at 21 NTC by turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c o. My guest now is Dan Burstein. He is founder at M H. Mediate. Dan. Welcome to our coverage of 21 NTC.

[00:32:59.94] spk_0:
Thank you very much for having me.

[00:33:15.94] spk_1:
Pleasure. Absolute pleasure. We’re talking about something that’s important. That’s not talked about enough. Your session is talking mental health in a virtual workplace. There’s there’s stigma around mental health. Is it? Is it Is it worse now in a

[00:35:38.34] spk_0:
virtual world? Um, I would say that, and I’ll just say, I’ll just say that, you know, my background is I’m a mediator and I do work to help people talk about mental health. But I also personally live openly with bipolar disorder. And I would say that stigma is a funny thing, because when we think about stigma, we think about well, do people have a negative attitude towards someone having a mental illness? And as time has gone on the general climate of negative attitudes to someone having a mental illness, I believe is shifted so people are more accepting of the idea that someone might have a mental health problem and we need to work with the fact that everybody in the workplace has mental health needs of some kind and people might need take a personal day or something. The interesting thing is, what kinds of ideas do people have about what do you do when you see that somebody may or may not have a mental health problem? And that’s where so much talk has happened during the pandemic, where, UM, people are saying, Well, what do we do? How do we pay attention to our co workers? How do we notice if there’s a mental health problem and help them? Their statistics out that about half of people have some kind of mental health symptoms now during the pandemic. And so there’s a lot of people have these good intentions that they want to find a way to support someone who has a mental health problem. But the way that they offer that support might actually be stigmatizing. And, um, one way of doing that is if you assume someone needs help. So if someone hears I have bipolar disorder, or even if someone notices, I’m having personal issues at work, if they approach me with the assumption that I need their help, that that’s paternalism and that’s one kind of stigma, another type of stigma and I’ll end it right there is, um, another type of stigma is, if you believe, for instance, Oh, well, Dan has bipolar disorder, but if he goes to the doctor and he takes his medicine, Dan will be fine. Where you that’s That’s an accepting idea. But that’s not how it works for everyone, because I have a choice about how to take care of my mental health. And plenty of people don’t get better even when they take medicine, because they have side effects or treatment resistance. And it’s a difficult journey for them. And so sometimes there’s an oversimplification of we have all the answers for someone’s mental health. Now you just need to come tell HR tell somebody, and we’ll be able to get you the help you need. Use the employee assistance plan. You’ll get your help, and we have it all figured out. And that creates a lot of stigma as well, because it puts that pressure on people to have their mental problems figured out or solved.

[00:35:59.64] spk_1:
Okay, so we want to. We want to be able to say the right things and avoid these Gaffs around dealing with folks who may need help and you said during the pandemic, What’s the statistic? Like as many as 50% of people have have some mental health needs. Intervention needs. Doing what

[00:36:56.43] spk_0:
I would say is 100% of people have mental health needs. So that means, you know, everybody has stressful days. They get to have worried, overwhelming, take care of ourselves like we’re all in a spectrum. In a normal year, one in five people will have a diagnosable mental health problem. So that’s what a normal year looks like. It’s about 20% of people will have a diagnosable problem now with the pandemic, it’s been. About half of people have been reporting mental health symptoms of some kind, and that’s for a number of reasons. That’s partly because of the social isolation, the fear of the illness, getting sick from the pandemic. Um, you know, losing your job. I mean, so many things are happening that are possible stressors that can trigger someone to have a mental health problem. So putting it all together, the data has shown that about half of people are having some kind of mental health symptoms that they’re reporting.

[00:37:09.23] spk_1:
Okay. All right. So yeah, 2.5 times as much as a as a as a normal year.

[00:37:10.53] spk_0:
All right? Exactly. So it’s more relevant now than ever. Accept that we all always have mental health stuff going on in some degrees. So I like to say it’s always relevant all the time for us to do.

[00:38:08.32] spk_1:
Yeah, fair point that. Everybody. You’re right. 100% of people have mental health needs. That could be as easy as I need. I need an hour away. Uh, I need I need quiet. I I gotta be with people. I’m too. I feel like I’m twice later, I got to get outdoors. I mean, those are all us, uh, responding to what we’re feeling in the moment and trying to take care of ourselves. Exactly. You’re right. Of course. 100. You’re right. Not that I thought you would be wrong, but yeah, you give voice to it. 100% of us have mental health needs. Absolutely. All right. Um right. So can we Can we flush these two things out? You know, assuming that people need help or that is assuming that the answers are simple. Is there Is there more like is there. Are there more ways we can help people avoid saying the wrong

[00:41:26.41] spk_0:
thing? Yeah, So what I usually do and what I taught in the workshop at the conference is, um, I try to focus on people remembering that when we’re in the workplace, we have to know what our role is. So are are you this person’s, um, you know, support system. Are you this person mental health treatment professional? Or are you there co worker or boss? If your co worker or boss you should start thinking what’s appropriate for me as a vantage point to engage in the topic of mental health and what what really is appropriate is talking about the behaviors in the workplace and how they affect the workplace. So you may see somebody who let’s say their absence a lot, and that’s not like them. And it’s not really appropriate work, even if it were like them. And so you’re thinking, Gee, from the way they look, they remind me of my friend from college who suffered from depression, and I might go over to them. And I might say, You know, Dan, uh, you’re absent a lot. I’d like to refer you to the employee Assistance Plan, which offers free counseling benefits. Or I’d like to suggest a way to help you with your mental health. I’m concerned that might be an issue that is wrong, because done now is you’ve added the backstory of your idea of what their mental health might be from your personal experiences instead of just focusing on what you’ve seen in the workplace, which is the absence is. So the better conversation is to sit down and say, Um, you know, Dan, I’ve noticed that you’ve been absent and I’d like to talk to you about how that affects the workplace and what we can do to manage that going forward and follow that conversation forward about the behavior. And then there’s ways that you can integrate mental health, you know into that conversation. And the typical way is to say, you know, whenever anybody is absent three times or whenever anybody misses this many deadlines or whenever anybody turns in lower quality work, we always let them know that there’s resources here to help them. And here’s a handout that includes all the resources we have that includes the employee assistance plan, etcetera. But what we’ve done here is we’ve taken the behavior indicator and we said, Okay, my role is really about the behavior I’d like to offer mental health support. You don’t have to. I’d like to offer mental health support. So what I do is I find a way to do it without singling anybody out. And I regularly promote these resources, um, and link it to clear behavior based criteria when I do it, as opposed to my hunch that I’ve seen something and I’m guessing, if you may are made out of a mental hunch about you, right, So that’s 11 way to look at it and that covers most situations. The the other thing that happens, Um, so that covers if you if you if you see you know performance problems at work or if you see inappropriate conduct, you can do the approach, I just said, But the other thing that can happen is someone can come and disclose to you, and they can disclose to you either just in passing like I did on this program and say, I have bipolar disorder and that’s it. Or they can disclose to you by saying, you know, I have bipolar disorder, I have depression and I’d like to change something here in the workplace. And at that point, most workplaces of a certain size have a responsibility legally to consider what’s called a reasonable accommodation for disability. And so there is a process for talking about that, and the American

[00:41:29.53] spk_1:
is that’s under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

[00:42:56.00] spk_0:
Yes, this is under the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodation. Most Most organizations do not talk about this very well in the sense that they have a policy. If somebody asked for a reasonable accommodation, but they don’t educate the managers and the staff of when someone says something that could be a request for an accommodation. Um and so the example that I give is You know, a lot of people hear me say, I have bipolar disorder and they go, Whoa, that’s serious. Do you need help, Dan, Um, you know, But if I said, Oh, I’m feeling depressed right now and I need some time off I might not realize that that person is suffering from major depression and they’re actually asking for a disability accommodation. So it’s very dangerous to use your own judgment of whether or not a situation is serious enough to refer to H R or to refer to the disability accommodation on policy. And so what you really need to do is, um, when someone shares anything that includes two elements, which is possible health condition and that requests for a change in the workplace you should have, you should offer to process it like a disability accommodation. Um, and you should not, as a manager, informally offer the health, because even though you think you’re doing that person a favor, you’re making that person feel insecure that there’s not a real system to take care of them and instead that they’re relying on the goodwill of their manager. And that’s not a comfortable thing. In addition to the fact that if you’re letting the manager do these ad hoc favors, um, you’re opening up the possibility that there might be discrimination where whoever the manager notices, some people get, some people don’t etcetera, and and that becomes a problem. So that’s basically the whole gamut of interactions. You can have that work related mental health.

[00:43:21.80] spk_1:
So what is so what is the best way? By the way, I don’t know if you can hear There’s vacuuming because I have a contractor preparing my stairs, and

[00:43:22.84] spk_0:
I can’t hear the vacuuming, but I I feel for you.

[00:43:44.10] spk_1:
Okay. Thank you. I was feeling for you because I thought it might be distracting. Uh, well, if you hear vacuuming or pounding, it’s on my end. Okay? There’s no one trying to break into your home. What? So what is the appropriate thing to say? Then tell us, You know, like, if you can script it, what should What should the supervisors say when the person presents with these two? You know, these

[00:46:51.98] spk_0:
two criteria? I think they should just ask, you know. Oh, I I hear you’re saying that, um I hear you saying this and that. Would you? You know, would you like us to, um, Steve, there’s a way to adjust the workplace as part of an accommodation. This is what we say to anybody who presents with a possible health issue and, um, request for help. And most people will say No, I don’t I don’t want to do it as an accommodation. Um, and I’m saying this also with the caveat that you should go to your own HR department and find out how they want you to do this, but because they have their own practices and they have their own attorneys that have decided how to do it at your organization. But the key thing is, a lot of people at the organization don’t understand that regularly. People are saying things that could be a request for accommodation. And the fact that you would take it more seriously if I say I have bipolar disorder than depression is on its face. Discriminatory because you know you don’t realize it because you’re just thinking you’re being nice. You’re being supportive. Um, you know, But, um, but it’s just it’s just it’s better to have a uniform approach where anytime anybody shares any kind of health need while asking for for some kind of change at work, you refer someone, and if somebody just shares it like I said, I have bipolar disorder. Um, don’t assume they need help. So that’s the other piece. You need both elements before you offer the accommodation for all. Otherwise, there’s some lessons about generally how to talk about mental health. Um, and people can get resources that I promoted on the conference. I guess we could add a link to go with this podcast. But I could say that you are l, um, Dispute resolution and Mental Health Initiative is where you can get the free resources. So it’s D r M h initiative dot org. There’s a lot of resources there to help you figure out ways to talk about mental health and empowering ways. Um, one example is person first language. So you wouldn’t say Dan is bipolar because that’s defining me by my condition. You would say Dan has bipolar disorder, or Dan, um, you know, has a diagnosis of bipolar, you know, or whatever it may be, Um, the other thing is, you should really never make any assumptions. So when someone says something to you, the easiest thing to say is, Oh, what What do you want me to know from that? What do you want me to know from that? Instead of jumping in and saying, Oh, I have a friend who also has, um, you know, depression, right? Or I’m depression myself. I’m anxiety. You know, someone says to you, Hey, I’m mentioning, um that I have, uh, I’ll use me again as an example. Bipolar disorder, you can say. Oh, Dan, I hear you. You know what? What do you want me to know from that? And I said, Oh, you know what? I’m fine. I don’t need anything. I’m just open with everyone so that, you know, I just was saying it because it’s just what I do to feel more comfortable or it’s just part of what I do for my work. Um, but but But most people, when they hear something like that, they go into their hole on their whole inner wheel in their head. Um oh, what do I do to help this person?

[00:46:53.73] spk_1:
What I read about that. Yeah, I

[00:47:03.18] spk_0:
read about that. And it’s the actual advice to take care of. This is it’s actually quite simple. Don’t listen to yourself. Listen to the person who’s talking and make sure you hear what their ideas are and what their desires are. Um, to guide the conversations and there’s a lot more to it than that. You can get those resources again at D. R. M. H initiative dot org.

[00:47:19.48] spk_1:
Okay. Okay. Um, since we’re talking so much about bipolar, why don’t you acquaint folks with what it means to have a diagnosis of bipolar.

[00:49:52.37] spk_0:
Sure, well, but well, every mental health diagnosis because of the nature of what a mental health problem is, where it affects your thoughts and feelings and behaviors is unique to each individual. So I don’t want anyone to generalize from my story to other people. But I have bipolar disorder. It’s a mood disorder, which means I have trouble regulating my moods to some degree. And because it’s bipolar, there’s two different types of ends of the spectrum. On the one hand, there’s the low mood, which is depression. Um, what differentiates me from someone who has a diagnosis of depression is there’s also periods of high moods, which can be mania or hypomania. Traditionally, people think of that as you get very euphoric. Um, but you can also, which means very happy. But you can also have a very upsetting or dysphoric mania. And there’s a lot. There’s a lot of complexity, so I don’t want people to walk away thinking they know what it means that someone has bipolar for me. I was 19, um, in college, and I didn’t sleep for four straight days until I was then hospitalized and they checked my brain and, um, saw that I didn’t have drugs in my system. I didn’t have a brain abnormality physically on the scan and diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. Because if you have one of these big up episodes where you don’t sleep and you talk faster than I’m talking right now and you engage in erratic behaviors, um, that is definitive for a diagnosis of bipolar. Basically. So, um, if you just have depression, you don’t know if someone’s going to have depression or not, because you need to see that up episode to know that somebody has bipolar disorder. So for me, I was 19. I had that episode in college. I missed a semester of school, you know, got hospitalized and I’ll stop the story there. But it’s obviously a long story of life with a mental illness. Um, and it’s complicated, and it’s just one of many people’s different stories. Some people go to the hospital. Some people don’t. Some people take medications some people don’t, and that’s why what’s important is to let people tell their story and tell you what they want you to know. Instead of asking your own questions and pro and probing. Um, what? Your question was totally appropriate, Um, for this podcast. But in general, if you’re at work, you know, you keep your head down, and when someone brings it up to you, you listen to them and you ask them what they want to talk about. And you follow some of the other skills that you can learn to be empowering and talking about mental health.

[00:49:54.57] spk_1:
So a better way to ask. What would you like me to know

[00:49:57.77] spk_0:
about? What Would you like me to know and or just Yeah, or just I mean, you can say diagnosed. You can say anything, but yeah. I mean,

[00:50:05.84] spk_1:
what would you like me to know

[00:51:19.56] spk_0:
about what you’re saying, what you know or what are you? What are you trying to convey to me? You know, the idea is less about specifically what you say and more about showing the person a few things. So number one is I’m listening to you. I want to hear your ideas and your story. You’re you’re empowered in this conversation. So that’s one thing you’re trying to do. The other thing that I mentioned earlier, it’s really important is I’m not judging you and singling you out to treat you differently than other people. So those are the themes that you want to show with. Everything you’re trying to do is to say we we we check in on everybody who is absent, we check in and everybody who misses deadlines, you know, we have the same conversation. It’s better to give a written handout because with the written handout, um, people can see Oh, yeah, You didn’t just make this up just because you’re freaked out by me. You you give this out to everybody. So those are the key principles that are the most important. And if you say the wrong thing along the way, um, you know that’s not always pleasant for someone. But if they can see that you’re really trying to be fair and treat them like somebody else and if they can see that you’re really trying to listen to them, then you’re going to have a good outcome. And and that’s not just when there’s a mental health problem involved, that’s actually all communication. Um, you know, in all interactions, it’s good to do those

[00:51:22.44] spk_1:
things listening,

[00:51:23.50] spk_0:
listening, listening

[00:51:24.73] spk_1:
just as I just cut you off as you’re talking. But I’m saying, but I’m emphasizing, Yeah, listening appropriately. Careful

[00:52:24.25] spk_0:
listening. Um, and what happens with mental health is a lot of times people see mental health niche and they start panicking about what do I do? What do I do? And it’s like, actually, you should really just focus on treating everyone great all the time, and then you won’t have any problems. And and And that’s where I come in as a trainer or, um, you know, to help different organizations is, you know, basically what happens is they have They have some missteps and how they’re dealing with mental health. And so we address those. But it’s actually addressing the culture for everyone because as we started, um, this podcast 100% of people are having mental health needs 100% people, um, you know, might need to communicate about feeling sad or worried or overwhelmed or having a rough day and and and these skills will benefit in all those situations. Um, you know, as long as you get to that mindset of the empowerment and treating everybody the same, all

[00:52:50.55] spk_1:
right, that’s excellent. And I’d like to leave it there if you make you make your points very, very clear. Very succinct. I do want to leave folks with DRM H initiative dot org for Dispute resolution and Mental Health Initiative. DRM h initiative dot org For all the valuable resources you were talking about, Dan Dan Burstein, founder M. H. Mediate Dan, Thank you very much.

[00:52:51.89] spk_0:
Thank you for having me.

[00:53:56.85] spk_1:
Awesome. Valuable Thank you and thank you for being with tony-martignetti. Non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC were sponsored at the conference by turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c o Next week. More 21 NTC panels 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. 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 nonprofit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95% Go out and be great.

Special Episode: Tech Equity

My Guest:

Amy Sample Ward: Tech Equity

Amy Sample Ward

NTEN has a new guide on equity for nonprofit technology, to deepen the racial equity conversation. To explore and reveal intersecting inequities between technology and nonprofits. You know who my guest is. You know who it has to be. Amy Sample Ward, NTEN’s CEO and our technology contributor.

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[00:01:31.24] spk_1:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host. This is a special episode of non profit radio to help you be the change around racism and white privilege. Tech Equity and 10 has a new guide on equity for non profit technology to deepen the racial equity conversation to explore and reveal intersecting inequities between technology and non profits. You know who my guest is? You know who it has to be. It’s a me sample ward and tends CEO and our technology contributor response erred by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot ceo and by dot drives, raise more money, change more lives for a free demo and a free month. It’s my pleasure. Always a privilege to welcome Amy Sample Ward to the show. She is our social media and technology contributor and CEO of her most recent co authored book is social Change Anytime everywhere, which is actually running a little old Now you’ve been resting on that laurel for a while.

[00:01:34.73] spk_0:
I was gonna say the same thing. I was gonna say, Gosh, I just looked at the book the other day and saw how many years ago that came out. I think we have to like, we gotta find some other filler sentence for that intro.

[00:01:48.29] spk_1:
Oh, you don’t want to write a new book. We just

[00:01:50.23] spk_0:
What? What? What is there? What would I write a book about? You know?

[00:01:56.14] spk_1:
Oh, you’re a bright person. Oh, there’s more to say about technology. You could go deeper into technology subject, but it’ll be a lot easier if tony-martignetti just changed your intro.

[00:02:06.05] spk_0:
Yeah, then there’s no like writing.

[00:02:16.94] spk_1:
Alright. No six months of writing, collaborating, finding publishers. None of that imagine. Imagine the eat that I could let you off the hook with on Dhe. You’ll find her, of course, at Amy Sample Ward dot or GE and at a me RS ward, the not so recent author. Any simple words?

[00:02:26.34] spk_0:
How you doing

[00:02:26.76] spk_1:
out there? Portland,

[00:03:27.24] spk_0:
You know, after feels, I think it feels kind of moment to moment in Portland. Whether it’s Portland, especially inspired or scared or motivated or ready to just hunker down in the house and never leave again. You know, it’s kind of Ah, a many front situation happening in Portland right now between fires and protests. And cove it, of course, and so many things. So you know, it’s it’s interesting to visit as a team, and 10 has 15 staff and nine of us are in the Portland metro area and six are all over the U. S. So, um, you know, we’ve got staff in Seattle in San Francisco and New York and all these other places, so it feels like every day when staff meet, you know, there’s there’s kind of, like our correspondents out in the field reporting in from all the different the different corners of all these different issues, you know, And it kind of helps everybody feel connected and informed in, like, a real way versus Oh, I saw this random article that got tweeted. You know, it’s like, No, you’re really in that city. What’s it feel like? You know,

[00:04:02.44] spk_1:
you’re the 1st 30 minutes of your staff meetings were probably what’s happening in San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Right in Portland for those outside. Yeah. Um, okay, let’s talk about equity equity and technology

[00:04:06.94] spk_0:
sounds again.

[00:04:11.64] spk_1:
So how did N 10 get into this guide.

[00:06:35.54] spk_0:
Well, since we’re talking about this for the whole show, I’ll tell you the long story version and that is that a number of years ago, actually, in 2016 a tw the end of that year you may remember something of note happened that has shifted some of the direction of our country and we twice a year. All staff have, like, come together in person. If you could remember what what being in person with other people was like on the board also has to in person meetings a year and at the staff and the board in person time. At the end of 2016. We did this kind of like a visioning exercise, But it’s not the type where we were trying to create a new strategic plan envisioning specific toe intend, but mostly saying, like, What do we think is gonna get worse in the sector? What is there anything that’s going to get better? Are the things they’re going to stay the same just like what? What’s the environment we’re working in? And then from there, what kind of role could we play in service to that? Because then 10 really sees our work as community centered in service to the community and the number one opportunity that came out from both the boards work and the staff’s work. Waas being a leader in talking about or putting forward information about that intersection of ethics and equity and what we are doing. We’re using technology tools that are also being used. Bite people holding kids in cages were using technology tools that are making a ton of money off of us were you know, like all of these pieces, that whether we can change those things or not, we can at least name those things and equipped folks to better understand them and talk about them and make decisions to kind of navigate what all those implications are for their staff and for their community. So we started really elevating that type of content in articles and, you know, within the community a lot of NTC sessions on Dhe. Then last year in 2019 it was like, Okay, it’s really time for something that folks could like, you know, print and hold in their hand and say, like there’s a lot of ideas here for me to work with, you know, something more than individual sessions or articles. So we put together really diverse and honestly, just like super cool. Like I loved getting to talk to all these people working group of community members, folks that work, you know, in in building tools and using tools that, you know, all all across the spectrum. There have.

[00:07:23.00] spk_1:
Ah, a lot of the work group members were We’re have been guests. Oh, really? That’s awesome. Raj Aggarwal, Tracy Krohn Zach Tristan Penn who works for in 10 Jason Shim Ruben Sing. And they have all been guests. Yeah,

[00:07:25.21] spk_0:
well, look at you. You’re pulling the right people. You know,

[00:07:28.79] spk_1:
we are. I am. We are. Yes.

[00:07:33.54] spk_0:
So we had this big working group on dhe. Really? Just went through a lot of, you know, idea intake and try and kind of synthesize that and then regroup and talk it through and brainstorm or things. And, you know, I think what ultimately came out is a guide. I know we kind of talked about this before, but just to name why we named it that. Yeah, Report

[00:07:59.24] spk_1:
versus guide. Okay. We’ll talk about that.

[00:08:06.84] spk_0:
Yeah, we I mean, we really wanted to create something and make clear that even this thing we’ve put out is probably gonna look different six months from now as the sectors that were working in change as we as organizations changes, people change, you know, there might. We might feel there’s more things we can add to it. There might, because it feels like it becomes the standard and we don’t need to name it anymore, and ADM. Or, you know,

[00:08:32.42] spk_1:
right it sounds artificial to say it’s a report on equity racial inequity in technology used by non profits. E think of the conversation.

[00:09:39.44] spk_0:
The other piece that we really wanted to acknowledge in this is that it is not like it’s not comprehensive. This, like in so far, is like this is not the list. You know, there’s nothing else to dio that would improve equity. Um, and you know, it’s not the things that are included there. We really are like bumpers or directional guides. They don’t tell you what the policy should be, because ultimately the specifics of the policy you’re gonna be based on your organization and your staff. And how many staff do you have? And where do they were? You know, there’s all these other pieces that we don’t know, But we can tell you like Don’t go past this bar, you know, stay within these bumpers on dhe that will get you going in the right direction. So ultimately downloading or reading on the on the website, the Equity guide is just like the jumping off point to a lot of work. It is not already the work for you. You

[00:09:53.84] spk_1:
know, I was very careful to when I was writing the description, I wanted to say to reveal intersecting inequities, not reveal the intersecting inequities again. A ZX If it’s if it’s the finally

[00:10:03.32] spk_0:
the only ones. Yeah,

[00:10:37.54] spk_1:
right. This is all. There’s no more exploration to do now. You’re like like the entire white privilege. Racism, conversation. It’s a It is a It’s a conversation. It’s a journey. You know, Every guest I’m talking about these issues with says the same thing. No, of course. And I know you and I have talked about it. It’s long term. It’s not a check off item, it’s it’s maybe never done, but it Z it’s consciousness. It’s working through policies. It’s having difficult conversations, so there isn’t going to be a definitive guide and definitive report record, right?

[00:11:06.34] spk_0:
You want this to, of course, be used at organizations that maybe haven’t done a lot of investing specific Teoh Mawr Equitable outcomes internally or with their community as well as organizations who feel like they really have, you know, and 10 has really deeply and across the organization invested in equity work. We look at this list and are like shit, man, there’s a whole lot of work to dio, right? Like any organization, No matter how much you’ve already started or gone down that journey, it is forever work. So there’s tons on within the guidelines where we think, Oh, that’s we We’ve done something there. But now that we’ve done something, we can see how much more we could do there, right? We could see what even further down each of those roads could could be for us. So and this has to

[00:11:36.79] spk_1:
be continuing work because, right, it’s just as just the same as your um propagating your values, the organizational values when so when, when racial equity becomes a value, you don’t say your values have an end game. The value of, um, I’m trying to separate it from

[00:11:58.03] spk_0:
before. I mean, I think it’s a really great way to think about it, thinking about racial equity, the value, because all the other values you may have, you know, whatever they are, joy, you know, whatever. You also don’t see them as having a singular definition. You don’t say old equals this. You say, Hey, in this decision we’re trying to make right now, what would bold look like? Bold is our is our value. What would bold look like? Right. So why why wouldn’t we also say the same thing about equity and say, hey, in this situation in this decision, whatever we’re working on, what is that what you look like here? You know?

[00:12:35.84] spk_1:
Right. Okay. I just had the servant Ah ha. Moment around naming equity as a value of the organization on dhe. Therefore, and as you just described, all the other values don’t have in points checkoffs. Yeah, completion statements. Why would racial equity? Uh, okay. It was a bit of a moment for me. Sorry.

[00:12:58.65] spk_0:
I’m glad I could be here. I’m trainable, e.

[00:13:08.54] spk_1:
I swear I’m trainable. All right. Um, so equitable technology. So you talk about, um, inequities that intersect between the non profit community, non profit work and technology. That’s that’s the That’s what we’re trying to elucidate here in this in this guide that the way those two circles intersect

[00:16:42.54] spk_0:
Mhm. Okay, you know, I think that a lot of in equity, especially in equity related to our technology, gets overshadowed. Like every other instance in organizations, we kind of look less at the technology because we’re focused almost exclusively on programs. And so we’re saying, you know, just like we do in budget conversations or anything else. You know, there’s this focus on programs, and so equity looks like how racially diverse are our participants or something like that, which is important. And I’m not saying Don’t look at that. But that’s not the end of what equity means in your organization, especially when we start talking about technology. Because if you’re providing service is or programs to a racially diverse group of community members and you’re using a technology tool, you know you’re using ah database, for example, where they register on your website for those programs. And it requires they enter certain data that some groups either don’t have or feel really untrusting trying to give that data to you. And you’re not thinking that through that right there is already a nen equity, right you are. You are trying to discourage certain people even though you don’t maybe recognize it, or or unconsciously making the decision to do it. You are discouraging groups of folks from participating in your programs just because of that technology decisions, you know, So technology doesn’t operate just visit’s itself. You know, it’s not just the hammer sitting on the shelf. It is what’s allowing you to do your work to communicate with people. Thio Get them registered for that program, whatever it is, And we can’t let go of technology being that instrumental to all of our other decisions. Otherwise, we’re not going to acknowledge, like, really what’s influencing the outcome there. And, of course, then we think about, you know, non profits and the the technology sector. I think one big area that we talked a lot about in the working group WAAS organizations aren’t inclusive in the ways they make decisions, so so often we see non profits, not including community members in decisions about the way the program might run or the way the website might be redesigned. Those air, anything that involves the participants should have have those participants in the same process for the decision and the planning. But organizations so rarely do that. And then, on the technology side, we have a really not diverse group of people building these tools. So we’re having a real lack of inclusivity of any kind in the building of the tool, then being used by an organization whose not including all of the participants in the decision to use it or how to use it. Of course, it’s gonna enter some problems, right? Like there’s no way that that can’t be the outcome here. A very small group of people made it, and now an organization is using it kind of without their eyes open to it.

[00:17:21.84] spk_1:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. They help you build relationships with journalists because of a relationship built by turn to the New York community. Trust got to features in the Wall Street Journal. That’s how well it works when you have the existing relationships turn to specializes in working with nonprofits. One of the partners, Peter Penna Pento, was an editor at The Chronicle of philanthropy. There are turn hyphen two dot c o Now back to tech equity. So let ZX spend a little time. Let’s let’s talk about the the guide itself. Oh, you you haven’t You haven’t organized for for users and for builders of technology and for funders,

[00:17:36.64] spk_0:
which is profit. Could be all three of those things, right?

[00:17:51.74] spk_1:
It certainly could, Absolutely. If you’re building technology and you make and you provide grants, you you fund fund people or organizations, of course, equitable text. So, you know, there’s a lot of you gotta look for listeners. You just got to get the guide. I mean, waken doom or than weaken then I can with authors, Right? Because those air 250 page books, this is not a 250 page guide. It maybe, maybe maybe in a couple of generations it will be,

[00:18:10.42] spk_0:
but so we can currently Currently I think it’s 27 pages.

[00:18:25.04] spk_1:
Okay. All right. So you got to get the guide. If you want to do this work, if you wanna be making be centering equity among all your other values as you make your technology decisions as you think about technology and the way it’s used in your organization or purchased in your organization, or maintained or used by those who you’re serving or any of your other constituents. And, you know, you gotta get the guide, obviously, which, uh, the guide we could just get the guided and 10 dot or ge right?

[00:18:46.24] spk_0:
Yep, totally free up on the website. If you go to end 10 or GE and then you click on resource is listed right there.

[00:19:09.44] spk_1:
Okay, so let’s talk about Equitable Tech Not assuming tech expertise. Yeah, training, you know, having equitable policies around use, um, providing money where a lot of organizations wouldn’t typically What? What? What are our concerns here? What do you what? The group

[00:19:17.49] spk_0:
we’ll talk

[00:19:18.24] spk_1:
about here

[00:22:23.24] spk_0:
that, you know, hiring folks whenever they think about having a more diverse staff. Racially diverse staff. They always think thio hiring new people because the place they’re coming from is a staff that isn’t diverse. Writer is predominantly white, and there’s this feeling that, like, well, so we’ll just not change any of our higher being process or change. Our organizational culture will just hire people of color through that process somehow which, if that If that was all that was gonna happen, then you wouldn’t be in the situation, right? Especially when it comes Thio technology roles. And that doesn’t mean that it’s like the I T director, as we talked about before it, you know, communications director is the technology staff person, right? Like they’re making lots of technology decisions all the way across an organization. So recognizing that the folks who have had all kinds of systemic access and encouragement to go to college to graduate from college, to graduate from college with a computer science or some other technical degree like guess who those people are super well resourced white men, right? Like that’s just been the reality we’ve had for decades. So if you’re hiring for roles that use technology and you’re saying that you require a college degree, you require a degree in some specific field that you, um, are expecting folks to apply and already have experience or knowledge of specific products, your you are signaling in that job description. We are looking for that well resourced white man, right, because while of course there’s like exceptions to that reality, that’s not you’re not going to necessarily find the exception in there, right? So what? What’s the difference in saying that someone has a college degree or not like, Are they having to write term papers for their job? Like, I don’t know that that isn’t necessary In 2020. I don’t know that we need to rely on those kind of outdated expectations. Nor do we need to say you already know how to use all the products that we use. Well, did all of your staff know how to use them when you bought them? No. You trained them. Why wouldn’t you train a new person? You know, so really investing in hiring great people who love your mission, want to do your work are from the community you serve and knowing that regardless of the position, regardless of the title, once you’re hired, we give you all the training you need to succeed. Not somehow. We think that you should magically already have all of that training. And that makes you the perfect candidate because the folks who would have had historical like jobs before that also use the same tools. Like all of those things are filtering towards the most privileged people. When you let go of all those expectations and say no, Like, we wanna hire great people who care about our work. And once you’re hired, well, make sure you’re successful. Like who wouldn’t want to work in that environment? A. And B, you’re opening it up for anyone, regardless of what their past jobs, maybe, or what tools those other nonprofits use. Like they could have great experience with databases just because that organization used a different one. You know that that shouldn’t preclude someone from getting a job.

[00:23:03.94] spk_1:
So let’s let’s flush this out more and and explore more. Uh, and I guess, I mean, I feel like I’m playing Devil’s Advocate. I didn’t intend to, but the

[00:23:04.37] spk_0:
devil doesn’t need an advocate. E think the devil’s okay? You just ask what you want to ask

[00:23:51.44] spk_1:
you. Uh, and the report, the guide is, um, even drills down to like, operating systems. You know that. Why would you have to say, Why do you need to say familiarity with or or proficient with the Microsoft Suite, Microsoft Office Suite of Tools? You know, because you could you could train that. I guess I’m thinking a little higher level a college degree college degree. So I’ve, you know, I’ve had this conversation with other guests to it might have even been Raj. Um, so this isn’t the first time, but it’s been a while. Yeah, a college degree. There’s certain skills and expertise that’s presumed from a college degree. So let’s not quibble about whether you know one college degree has means that the person can write and read and speak articulately and different. College degree means it doesn’t. That means they can’t. It doesn’t necessarily mean that. Let’s just assume that there’s that there’s a certain skill and expertise level and

[00:24:17.48] spk_0:
eso can you just skills.

[00:24:18.73] spk_1:
I mean, can you just commemorate the skills that you need without having to say you have to have a college degree to have acquired them?

[00:24:25.84] spk_0:
Right? Totally Skills E. I think that there is

[00:24:29.56] spk_1:
advocate really just flushing it out. So

[00:26:25.14] spk_0:
on there is a time and place. You’re saying you have this specific degree or specific certification because the job you’re applying for is a mental health worker, and you need to be certified in our state social work that keep those instances very specific and very separate from we’re hiding, hiring a communications director. We’re hiring a program manager. What does a college degree make or break for that role? Like I have a bachelor’s degree in literature like I in creative writing and I am the CEO of the technology organization. Like what? What’s the correlation there like? Yes, I’m very proficient at writing emails, but that’s not because I have an English degree. You know, like just name, name those skills. And I think it can also be very. I think organizations try to equate the tiered education system with their organizational tear. So they are reliant internally on a very archaic, perfect pyramid shaped or chart. And so they’re thinking, Well, if we’re gonna hire anyone you know in that leadership tier of the triangle, whether it’s see sweeter, you know, directors, whatever their title structure, as then those folks need to have like a master’s thio. Others people have, you know, only a bachelor. Why, I would argue someone who spent even longer in school versus out in the community or in the work force has less personal expertise, right, because they haven’t been doing it. So to try and like map to that, you know, and that then rolls into Well, then who gets those jobs? Also gets paid more because that work structure is also reliant on saying that people a different titles make a different amount of money

[00:26:38.43] spk_1:
forces the privilege of having

[00:26:40.78] spk_0:
exactly, exactly, exactly, it’s just a permanent circle. You know,

[00:26:47.14] spk_1:
some of the details like providing money for Internet connections, not assuming that people can afford that giving technology, not expecting it to exist when it’s required for work.

[00:27:08.22] spk_0:
Those things have certainly come up with these air like these are so many

[00:27:22.84] spk_1:
things that air sort of innocuous. I mean, like like asking for a college degree. It z well, it’s become so commonplace. Everybody has a cell phone. Everybody can afford Internet and high speed WiFi. But another of those things are true. So

[00:27:36.54] spk_0:
and and just because one has a phone that you have a staff of 10 people and all people when they were hired said they had a smartphone. What smartphone they have, what data plan they have, what, how many minutes they have, even like what functionality is available for That type of phone is probably not the same, and the idea that it’s just on them to use their personal phone. If there’s something that you you need someone to use, then you need to give it to them. We can’t operate in this world where whatever you personally already had or invested in is going to make or break your professional success. That’s that’s not going toe ever end inequitable way

[00:28:19.94] spk_1:
data, data usage you touched on it and you start to touch on the collection part. And while you were talking about collection, I was thinking about the individual questions that you ask, Do you have quickly binary male female? First of all, you need to even ask Do the gender matter. And But how? How narrow are the choices that you’re offering in that lots of other places. What do you What do you want to say about data?

[00:29:10.44] spk_0:
I feel like data is so tricky for organizations, you know, it’s It’s something that I think from, you know, a decade of the greater sector, talking about how organizations need to be data driven and data informed, and you know what data do you have? And you know, there’s just been such a focus in in a kind of a more FIC way that nonprofits need to really care about Jada, that they now really care about data. They don’t know why they care about it or necessarily, like what to do about it. There isn’t.

[00:29:18.64] spk_1:
Well, they’re gonna

[00:29:19.08] spk_0:
mind data practice,

[00:29:21.04] spk_1:
get a lot of data, and then we’re gonna mine it

[00:30:40.24] spk_0:
on. Then we’re gonna use We’re gonna upload it all into this like a I machine, and it’s gonna tell us who’s going to donate to us, who’s going to do whatever. Who’s gonna come to our programs? Yeah, but I think the very first piece, I would say, is not just acknowledging but truly accepting and making all of your decisions around data from the perspective that it is not yours. It is each of those people’s data and you, for a temporary amount of time, have access to it. If that is the place where you can make your decisions from that, you need to be doing everything in your power to protect it. To Stuart it to make sure they know what data you have that it’s clean and updated. Your your relationship to that data changes. And I think even just in that relationship change will get organizations on a better path, you know. And then once you’re in that mindset, it’s so obvious to say, Well, of course, those people should be controlling their data and able to edit it at any time or request that we delete it, you know, and don’t keep the record anymore, like you kind of roll out from there so many of the things that are in the guides just because it’s obvious. Once you have the mindset that it’s not your data,

[00:30:48.70] spk_1:
you know they own it, they own.

[00:31:16.84] spk_0:
And if it’s, there’s of course, you shouldn’t just offer binary options on gender or anything else, right, because you don’t know it’s not your data, so you can’t have already decided what the option is. You know, I think that mindset shift really influences a lot and open the door for you to say, Hey, the outcomes of this program aren’t ours to decide. Participants benefiting from our programs and service is actually get to decide what the outcome of that program was for

[00:31:31.04] spk_1:
them. Yes, that was a very interesting winning the guide that that who sets the metrics for success? What is success in our program or programs. What is it? How is it defined? Right, right,

[00:31:52.74] spk_0:
which I don’t think is is far from ideas that you have certainly thought about whether or not they’re They’re super like widely accepted now, But even in fundraising, right that like someone participating in that in a fundraise e or ah, donation relationship with you like you don’t necessarily have to say. Okay, well, your donating $10 and it’s specifically going to this, But what kind of thank you they want? What kind of recognition they want isn’t for you necessarily to decide it’s Do you want to be recognized? Do you want to be acknowledged? You know? So I think once we remember that as organizations, we are essentially the facilitators of change making. We’re not the ones who owned the data. Who owned the program? Who owned the success, who owned the impact? Like we let go of essentially a lot of a lot of pressure. Teoh be like fortune tellers or something and and future tellers and instead say, we’re facilitating this program. These participants air coming through and look, they’re like five different outcomes that were achieved. And it’s great not every single person had one outcome. They liked it in the same way. They’re gonna use it in the same way, like it’s all humans that were interacting with. And we need to We need to bring back that human focusing.

[00:33:15.84] spk_1:
This is related to funding. So you have a whole. You have several ideas for funders to think about to act on. What do you want to say to our institutional funders?

[00:33:18.74] spk_0:
Uh, you do have some work to dio

[00:33:54.14] spk_1:
time for our last break dot drives dot drives Engagement dot drives relationships. Dot drives is the simplest donor pipeline fundraising tool. It’s customizable, collaborative, intuitive. If you want to move the needle on your prospect and donor relationships, get the free demo for listeners. There’s also a free month. You go to the listener landing page at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant. You know what we’ve got we’ve got but loads more time for tech equity.

[00:36:06.83] spk_0:
I think funders air in a tricky spot because not on Lee do all of the same Inequitable outcomes happen as faras using technology like there’s still a kind of non profit using technology and doing work, so they’ve got, like, all of that section of work to Dio, and they also have the relationship where they are investing in the sector. There’s there’s some shifts that I think need to happen there, especially for funders who are saying that they don’t invest in technology, not investing in technology. Like I think the last six months have shown what has happened to a sector that has been chronically under resourced and technology, and when a lot of organizations or getting donations or grants, that’s a You can’t use this on technology. Guess what? The outcome of that ISS the last six months. It is organizations who cannot continue to function, who I’ve already started closing their divorce, who cannot transition programs online and don’t know don’t have the internal capacity to do that. So we we just can’t any longer have grants that say, you can’t use this on technology like you can’t have a program without the database that stores all the participants in it. Why would the grant for that program not include the database? Right? It’s just ridiculous. Thes air these air, the necessary tools for programs success. They have to be part of every gram on dhe. I think the other piece that we’ve seen, We’re gonna We’ve seen funders try even just over the last number of years. And during the pandemic is we have solved this for you. We’ve chosen the tool, or we’ve chosen the consultant. And now, if you apply for this grant, what you actually get is for free. We’re going to give you this product that we, as the thunder have decided that you all will use. Or we’ve paid for this consultant who’s gonna go set this thing up for all of you. Why in any world would that be a successful strategy? You know, a single technology be known in advance to be the right tool for all this?

[00:36:17.45] spk_1:
Sounds like something that a company would do. And it would be more for a ZX the guy brings out. It would be more for visibility. That impact, right? If

[00:36:25.37] spk_0:
it’s such an easy route, right, its

[00:36:27.80] spk_1:
ability is your goal. Then that’s the I mean, I’m giving an answer to your rhetorical question,

[00:36:47.33] spk_0:
right? I mean, it’s honestly, like a lazy way to approach capacity building. You’re not accepting that there’s nuance in any of this work and that there would be differences and needs and you’re just saying like Here’s here’s one giant hammer. I hope it works for all of your work sites by you

[00:36:57.13] spk_1:
know, what about for technology creators? Way said earlier. Non profit could be. It could very well be a builder of technology as well.

[00:38:10.72] spk_0:
Mhm. Yeah, there are. I think it’s more common than, you know. Maybe the broader us really thinks about how many nonprofits are building technology because it may not even be technology that they sell, or even that they share or distribute. It could just be technology that they built for themselves to do something. But all the same kind of guidelines apply. You know, how are you building tools for unending use or an end community and not including those people in the process? There’s There’s just no way that it’s going that you could never assume it’s gonna work for those folks if those folks are not part of the process. Um, that doesn’t mean you need to have you know, 50 different people trying to be in the code on your website or something that you know, we’re not. We’re not saying that, but there are plenty of ways to include folks in scoping out what you’re gonna build testing it, piloting it, um, you know, making it over time. And the more of those folks that are included, the better the product will be. And and in the world of technology, I mean, success equals adoption. So if you really want it to be adopted, you really want people to successfully use it. Then you better be including them so that when it gets to them, it does work, and it is what they needed to be. Andi, I think

[00:40:12.86] spk_1:
I was talking about this in the early 19 eighties when when I was when I was getting the degree that I don’t use, which is from Carnegie Mellon degree, uh, information systems. I asked Economics and Information system, and we had to develop a creative build a project our fourth year. Our our senior project course was an inventory control system for the maintenance and Facilities Department. So we brought the users in who were not I mean, these guys. This is the guy who runs the inventory room, right? College degree. He wasn’t even white, but he was gonna be the he was gonna be. He’s one of the prime users. We were building this for it was a bunch of white. Mostly, I don’t know if it was mostly male, probably probably Waas, but this mostly male white group, you know, bringing this thing this man of color in tow help teach us how he does his job and how what we’re scoping out is going to impact his his work life on and teaching us, you know, teaching. But so we were talking about this in 1984 you know, bringing users. And that’s just the end user. There’s also the people who are entering data maybe not as users, but or not as recurring users, but as new users as benefit from your program as they check in for the meal or the overnight stay or the bag of uh huh of food. You know what, so right, Inclusive e. I mean, it was just called inclusive design,

[00:41:47.81] spk_0:
right? And how do you compensate those people? How do you acknowledge those people? How do you give them actual power in the process? You know, like again if we if we think about this as we’re just here as the facilitators of this work then it is clear that they should have our They should be able to influence our plans. You know, this isn’t just for the sake of saying we had some user group come in and five of five people and they gave us the feedback. You know, like, this isn’t This isn’t to check the box. This is to say, Hey, we’re the facilitators of change of the process and we’re here for you. So, like, let’s find the path. And I think, of course, that’s, like, so counter and scary to the old white dominant way of managing technology managing organizations, you know, Why would you ever give up control willingly? But I guess I’d argue. Like, what control do you really think you have? You know, like the idea that you’re giving up control. Well, right now, if you’re really trying to, like, hold everything in and make every decision internal. Are you having a tonic success? Like, have you met your mission? Is your mission all done like I don’t know that it’s something you really need to try and hold on to. Because if you can be far more centered on the community, you also have the benefit of Of likely accelerating that impact and more, more rapidly meeting your mission. Right? Because

[00:42:32.30] spk_1:
another word for controllers power. You’re giving up your surrendering power, which which so many people think you know, it’s it’s zero sum. So whatever I lose, you know, whatever I give up, I don’t have any more. But that’s like that’s like finding time. Well, you find the time. No, you make the time. Otherwise the time Or, you know, uh, you know, it’s time. It’s it’s a It’s the same abstract concept. It, um So the surrender of power, they and I would even hesitate to say the delegation of power. But it’s because then it’s

[00:42:36.73] spk_0:
just acknowledging that actually, these other bodies,

[00:42:40.35] spk_1:
these other, like I’m making a sign of across I give you power,

[00:42:44.40] spk_0:
right? No, it’s it’s just technology that everyone already had power. It was just power. You denied before. And now you’re saying, Oh, I’m gonna like actually listen to that You’re not getting ready of any of yours. You’re just technology that everyone else also has power on dhe. What does it look like? All work together and put all of that power towards the same direction.

[00:43:06.77] spk_1:
And then, you know, sometimes you hear well, that’ll be anarchy because they’ll be Everybody will have all

[00:43:13.96] spk_0:
the same power jurisdiction. So

[00:43:38.00] spk_1:
you know, your ruled by Antifa? Uh, that was purely sarcastic. Uh, no. I mean the the authority is still gonna be recognized. It’s not like it’s not like by by giving voice to other folks, you’re no longer the CEO of intent or, you know, you’re no longer people don’t no longer recognize you as the chair of the board. It’s not. It’s not that way. It’s not anarchy. It’s tze just inclusivity,

[00:44:40.39] spk_0:
right? I mean, if you’ve always relied on defining your job, is the CEO as being the only one allowed to make decisions? A. You probably put a ton of pressure on yourself. Be You were likely never the best person to make those decisions. So were they ever that great? Anyway, you know, it’s like remember, you’re just the facility. You’re the facilitator. Is the CEO of your organization being successful? That doesn’t mean you make all the decisions. It means you’re the facilitator. You make sure the right staff were making decisions or the right community members got to be part of things like let go of again. It’s not the power or the control. Just let go of these really outdated definitions of who we need to be in these roles so that we can get out of the way of all of this inequity, right? Like, create or make that space so that people are in this work together because then it’s gonna be better work.

[00:44:56.19] spk_1:
Yeah. Get out of the way of the inequity. No! Get out of the way of the equity. Out of the way you want. You want to stand out of the way so that equity can come through? Yes. Don’t want to get out of the way of the inequity.

[00:45:04.83] spk_0:
Car

[00:45:05.87] spk_1:
inequity would prevail. You want to get out of the way of the equity? Alright, stand clear and the equity will emerge. Okay. Um So what else? Let’s let’s start to wrap up. What else you wanna tell us about the report? That the guide, the guide? I’m sorry. The guy that we didn’t talk about, I

[00:46:16.78] spk_0:
think the thing that I would love to say is, you know, it’s all, um it’s all it’s all practice, right? Like you’re not going toe. Read anything in the guide and have it be like word for word, something you copy paste. And now that’s your policy or anything else. And yeah, and also there’s nothing in there that you’ll that you’ll, you know, be directed or inspired to put forward in your organization. That’s gonna be like quote unquote right the first time. Because there is There is no right on Lee Path in this work, and it’s really committing Thio, the practice of of focusing on equity and trying Thio identify and make clear where they’re inequitable outcomes so that you can again practice how to get to a better place on dhe. In that vein, you know, the working group isn’t done. The working group is still the working group. They are excited to continue working together to find places to add or adjust things in the guide. And we really, really want to hear from organizations who read the guide and, you know, try and do something in their organization with it. They, you know, have ah, internal committee that looks at these ideas and tries to make recommendations or whatever. Like if you try and use this guide. Let us know. Let us know how it goes. If if you’ve got things that you wanna share, we gladly publish them on the in 10. Um, you know, publish an article from you on the intense site. Um, you know, whether it was, like, a learning process or something, that well, whatever it is, we really just want to hear from folks that are using it so that we can find, you know, is there more that we could put in here to help you translate this into your work? Is there Are there places that you’re finding? Ah, lot of challenge that we could address with more guidelines. You know, um, And if you’re really into this and you want to join the working group, you can also let us know, and we’ll just add you to the working group. And you could be part of this work as well. So ultimately, just go use it. Read it, share it with your funders, share it with the vendors you’re considering buying technology from, you know, and be in conversation with us, so that we can kind of learn from how you do it.

[00:48:03.17] spk_1:
And the report explicitly asks for folks to join the working group. Your email AMIA 10 10 or GE.

[00:48:05.77] spk_0:
Yep. So yeah, email me in time.

[00:48:24.94] spk_1:
Did you want me? Oh, you want Meteo? You want me to blank out your email address? No, you don’t mind, folks have no. Yeah, right. Okay. Thank you. Brava! Brava! Uh, in your simple word and 10.

[00:48:26.77] spk_0:
Thank you. Thanks. Thanks for elevating this and helping us share it with more folks.

[00:49:31.17] spk_1:
Absolutely a pleasure on Thank you for doing it. Thank you for helping me. Thank you for helping next week Volunteer engagement and artists. Sunday. Yes. There’s someone taking over looking to take over the Sunday after Thanksgiving for artists. Artists Sunday 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. Raise more money. Changed more lives. Tony dot mus slash dot for a free demo and a free month. Ah, creative producer is clear. Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy. And this music is by Scott Stein with me next week for non profit radio Big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great