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Nonprofit Radio for February 14, 2022: Fundraising Amid Polarization

Drew Lindsay: Fundraising Amid Polarization

From The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Drew Lindsay uncovers the details from his two recent articles reporting on the impact of political polarization on nonprofit fundraising.



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[00:02:25.84] spk_0:
mm hmm. Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. It’s the valentine’s Day show. I hope you and your valentine or valentine’s can snuggle a bit and do something special together or at least share that you’re special to each other. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be thrown into para que sis if I had to hear that you missed this week’s show fundraising amid polarization from the Chronicle of philanthropy. Drew Lindsay uncovers the details from his two recent articles reporting on the impact of political polarization on nonprofit fundraising on tony stick to an example beyond polarization into conspiracy theory. Last week I said Amy sample ward would be on this week. You have no idea what it’s like working with these big time celebrities. There was a calendar mistake and it would be indiscreet of me to say who made the mistake. Amy, 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 fundraising amid polarization. It’s my pleasure to welcome to nonprofit radio Drew Lindsay. He is a long time magazine writer and editor who joined the Chronicle of Philanthropy in 2014. He previously worked at washingtonian magazine and was a principal editor for teacher and M. H. Q. Which were each selected as finalists for a national magazine award for general excellence In 2005. He was one of 18 journalists selected for a year, Long Night Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan. You should be following him. He’s at Drew Lindsay C. O. P. If he was Drew Lindsay COPD that would be chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. But he doesn’t, he doesn’t have COPD. He’s at the Chronicle of philanthropy. So Drew Lindsay C. O. P. Welcome

[00:02:35.66] spk_1:
Drew, appreciate it.

[00:03:24.84] spk_0:
My pleasure. Thank you. We’re talking about two of your very recent articles in the Chronicle. one is donations in the balance fundraising in the age of polarization. The other is advice for fundraisers caught in the middle of political battles. I’d like to start with a quote from, from the second of those. And then, uh let’s let’s talk about what’s going on, quote at the extreme our episodes where blocks of disaffected donors protests and organizations position or work. But fundraisers report that even casual encounters with supporters can lead to challenging conversations about political and social issues. End quote. What does your reporting tell you what’s going on? Drew

[00:05:00.44] spk_1:
Well, it’s interesting how this story even came about in the sense that um for that I’ve been asked to do for six months. Very deep stories on fundraising. What’s going on. So, I’ve been talking a lot of sources, a lot of fundraisers, a lot of consultants just generally to see stories that I should pursue. And almost as sidebars, um, these individuals had mentioned and oh yeah, this is going on. This is sort of we’re encountering this daily. Um, and I also saw there were some stories where some of these, um, sort of collisions of politics in a sense popped up and became news stories. Um, so I decided this was sort of worth the story for us. And I think, um, importantly for us, I think we write for a audience that is largely fundraisers in the sense I have often is that they’re not very connected with each other. They often think their work and their problems and their challenges, they sort of face a little bit of isolation. So we wanted to talk about the daily experience as best as we could to sort of in one sense, make nonprofits, their leaders and fundraisers realize, hey, we’re not alone. It’s not like we’re doing anything wrong. Um, at times it’s that we’re encountering this because the way the country is and, and the way things are playing out. So that was our goal with this story, um, is to offer a glimpse. I don’t by any means suggests that my reporting covers at all and that this is happening nationwide. I do think it’s common enough that people are going to count encounter maybe just in a casual conversation and maybe something bigger. But we wanted to show that happening.

[00:05:21.54] spk_0:
Yeah. You know, you say in one of the pieces that non profits are bringing together large numbers of people who just reflect society’s divisions and the country is divided polarized. So nonprofits are sometimes in the Crossair. Um, you know, let’s talk a little about, you know, social media and what, you know, how things can inflame, you know, so quickly. And, but the anonymity behind that

[00:06:31.54] spk_1:
to, I think one of the interesting things, some of the veterans that I talked to about this issue said, you know, the, the country has, you know, this is not new to fundraising in the sense of encountering donors or others who disagree with the organization for some reason, but, and there are examples in the country’s history. Talk to one fundraiser who have been, you know, working since at least the civil rights movement, he said, she said, this is, you know, this, it’s been part of what we’ve dealt with a long time. I think there is some sense that social media um accelerates this intensifies. It amplifies it, um, that, you know, people are, as we all know, people are very quick on social media to be in their own camp one and two to react to whatever they see in the moment. Um, without measured thought without context. Social media itself is not a great, um, you know, a great means of conveying nuance of conveying, you know, um, deep background and context. So I think people are reacting sometimes too quickly to things that are not put forward in the right way, which just inflamed the situation in a sense.

[00:06:46.64] spk_0:
And then you have the anonymity to it. Also, you quote, you quote someone who wonders if the people there, that she’s talking to day to day, you know, it might be trolling anonymously, you know, and and inflaming

[00:07:55.34] spk_1:
I think that’s true. I think it’s unsettling for people that you don’t know. Um you can be sitting in a development officer communication office and you are putting forward messages from your organization and you can have um, what’s called clap back people reacting on social media to what you’ve done and you really don’t know. Is this a supporter? Is this, uh, alumni that is upset? Or is this someone from the outside? Is this someone who has no connection to the organization whatsoever will happen to see this and reacted. And so it’s a little hard as a um, you know, steward of your organization to understand how to react to those kind of things, because it may just be somebody who’s Who isn’t again, isn’t a supporter and doesn’t even know much about your organization just responding to those 160 characters in the tweet. Yeah,

[00:07:56.50] spk_0:
it could just be a troll threatening to stop giving who’s never has given and and maybe never even heard of your organization until they

[00:08:48.84] spk_1:
Yeah. And I think some of the in the advice piece, I think some of the folks really tried to help put that in perspective, that you can’t just assume that because you have a mini firestorm on social media, that that is all your supporters, that if someone on social media declares, I’m never giving you this organization again, that may not be true and maybe something I thought about it in the moment and so to try and also that it it often doesn’t represent had several organizations. Tell me, you know, something that happens on social media that probably doesn’t represent our whole constituency. It’s it’s maybe a small minority and you need to keep that in mind as you react as you respond. That isn’t all what’s on social media doesn’t represent your whole supporter base.

[00:09:45.14] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. Thought leadership. Do you or your nonprofit want to be seen as leaders in a public dialogue, not merely participating in a conversation that involves your work. Wouldn’t it be delightful? Wonderful to have media call you to get your opinion on breaking news. It takes time to learn that credibility to build those relationships. But it’s eminently doable. Turn to can get you there, turn to communications. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o now back to fundraising amid polarization. Yeah. You you say the group at M. I. T. The Free speech

[00:09:47.61] spk_1:

[00:09:55.04] spk_0:
You know, they based on your reporting or at least up until your reporting. You know, they had something like 500 followers but Almost 150,000

[00:09:56.36] spk_1:

[00:10:10.64] spk_0:
but but a vocal a tiny minority but but vocal inflammatory and that you know that leads to um the potential of donations being used as a one of your 11 of the folks you quote says as the donations can be a screw that’s

[00:11:14.84] spk_1:
turned. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that’s um I think that’s one of the things that surprised me about it is that I knew that that you know, people sometimes talk about on social media and letters or you know, they’re responding, there’s an organization to a message that they may say in that individual response I’m never gonna give. It was interesting to me to see that some critics of an organization now have taken it and become more formalized since uh the M. I. T. Case. You you mentioned um the Free speech Alliance has not taken this step, but they are considering forming a donor advised fund in which they would encourage um supporters of their free speech issues to instead of giving to M. I. T. They would give to this donor advised fund. And then it would in a sense, be held as leverage as they try to convince the university to to pursue certain free speech principles that they adhere to. So um that somebody gets surprised me is that in some cases it’s become a little more formalized in terms of how you used donations as leverage.

[00:11:23.24] spk_0:
Yeah. You saw this at Washington. And lee also,

[00:11:55.44] spk_1:
that’s correct Washington lee the free speech group there um has I think 10 to 12,000 supportive followers. I won’t say supporters that, you know, they, when they sent out an email, they have a base of about 10,000 and they have encouraged repeatedly to their supporters to withhold their contributions to the university as a means of getting the university to pay attention to them. They feel the university we disagree that they feel they have not, their views have not been heard. And so they are trying to, in a sense, use donations as a way to make the university pay attention to them. Um, so

[00:12:15.24] spk_0:
yeah, at Washington and lee, it’s around the, the treatment of general lee, the, the administration took his name off the chapel and that, that seems to have incited ignited the, the, the organization called the general’s readout. That’s correct. I guess they’re the Washington and lee generals.

[00:13:05.94] spk_1:
And I think it’s, I think Washington is an interesting case study of this in the sense that, um, you know, it’s an older institution. Um, it has that history going back Washington lee or in the name and its current, there are a number of, of um, individual supporters, faculty alumni who would like them to consider dropping lee from the name of the institution itself. So they have that pressure at the same time as an institution, they made the decision to take the name of lee off of the sort of central chapel to the college. It’s now called the university Chapel. So, um, this, this generals readout is not, is not, I’m happy with the decision to drop leaf from the chapel name, but others are not happy with the university because it’s not taking lee out of the college name itself. So, um, in a sense, they’re feeling this pressure on all sides

[00:13:27.44] spk_0:
on 11 side believes they’ve gone too far on the other side believes they haven’t gone far enough. That’s correct. And then, and you know, non profits are caught in the balance. Um, and your reporting suggests this is, you know, across all missions. I mean, we’re talking right now about education, but you’ve talked to folks in the arts, social services, Environmental.

[00:16:32.74] spk_1:
It’s true. And it’s, um, that it was interesting to me and I think, um, the social scientists I talked to David Brubaker, um, sort of put this in context, in the sense that, you know, nonprofits, any, any organization in the country at this point, schools in particular, you’re seeing a flash point, any, any organization or group in the country that is bringing together large groups of people behind a mission. Um, it’s sort of subject to this because the nature of that mission now gets called into question. So yes, you see. Um, uh, so I think that’s one thing I think there’s another viewpoint we ought to consider in that, um, there are, there’s some pressure on groups, in a sense of taking it, you know, I’ll just say it’s their outside their lane, you know, since they may be doing environmental work, or they may be doing health work and if they take up an issue or cause um, I think the one that’s most, most, most top of mind for me is an environmental group, um, stands behind Black Lives Matter or takes up an issue like that. They even have some liberal supporters, people who are part of their constituency, kind of them saying you’re an environmental group. I’m not, I’m not supporting you for your stand on Black Lives Matter and supporting you for your work in the environment. So, um, I think it’s it’s across a lot of different cause areas, um, perhaps most, I would say it’s most intense, perhaps at schools, colleges, universities, um, in some sense, those are places where supporters feel a real personal connection to those institutions and they, in a sense, have much more invested in what they’re doing and how they’re doing than say, uh, supportive for a health group that is behind its mission to reduce produce cancer, to do certain things. So, um, and, and there’s a sense of belonging to those institutions. And so, um, a lot of talking to schools and colleges, that sense of belonging is sometimes hurt when or change, that’s their their relationship with school changes, um, when they feel like the mission is now, or the school has gone off and done something they don’t agree with. So, um, colleges and universities also see themselves as um, societal change agents in a sense. They may be seeking a change in, in the society that some of their online may say, Well, that’s not something I see as a positive. So I would say it’s most intense that I was surprised. Um, David Rubin acre put me onto this. Um, the number of clergy and churches that feel because of Covid caught in the middle in a sense and that they are, you know, obviously, you know, bringing large groups of people together. And the question of whether you have in person services, worship group meetings, kinds of things, whether you wear masks and things have become real contentious to the point that, Um, David pointed me to the survey, four and 10 pastors recently surveyed said they are considering leaving the field and this is a real distension. This dynamic is a real problem for them. So

[00:16:42.83] spk_0:
yeah, the masking is in churches is interesting, but I could see it in theater groups

[00:16:47.74] spk_1:
too. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:20:41.24] spk_0:
We’re gonna, we’re enforcing masking for the safety of our, of our patrons. Well, you’re going too far, you’re giving into fear. And then if they don’t have a masking requirement, then you’re not keeping us safe and we’re not. So for that reason we’re not going to come to the right to the congregation or to the theater. Yeah, It’s time for Tony’s take two drew and I are talking about political polarization, hurting nonprofits. There’s a story this week that goes even more extreme. It’s more extreme in what’s driving the pro driving the impact and in the impact. I can’t think of anything more benign than butterflies except maybe tofu butterflies at least you know, have have independent flight tofu, you shake the plate and just jiggles. So tofu might be more benign than butterflies, but butterflies are pretty darn benign. Not according to some conspiracy theorists who claimed that the National Butterfly Center, a nonprofit in Mission texas is a refuge of human smuggling and child sex trafficking. There’s no evidence to support any of these claims. It’s a, it’s a gross conspiracy theory. Sounds very much like the, the pizza parlor and pizza gate in Washington D. C. With the, with the theories the National Butterfly Center has had to close because they’re concerned about the security of their staff. I mean, I presume the butterflies would be safe, although maybe the butterflies are the ones, maybe they’re spiriting aliens across the border. Uh, so the center has had to close because of these concerns about safety. It involves the border wall. There’s, there’s a segment, there’s a segment of the border wall that’s near the, the butterfly center and, and the center objects to the wall being built through their property. That’s what seems to have given rise to the, to the theories claimed to be happening at the National Butterfly Center. So you know, you can, you can find that it’s again, National Butterfly Center in mission texas. It has been in the news just this week. So you know, Drew and I are talking about trends. I mean he’s a journalist. He, you know, he has dozens of people that he’s spoken to. I see this one case. I’m not saying it’s a trend. It’s not one case doesn’t make a trend, but it’s quite disturbing. And you know, it could happen to any nonprofit really. I mean, I don’t see how an organization can be exempt and I can’t think of one that’s more innocent than a butterfly center. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for fundraising amid polarization withdrew Lindsay listeners, you may notice a change in sound quality. That’s because we lost the internet connection and uh, I’m now on my phone. But non profit radio perseveres through technology, uh, disruptions and disappointments. But there’s no, there’s no, we’ve, I’ve been at conferences and had the lights turned off around me. So there’s no, there’s no stopping. non profit radio Drew, you had mentioned racial equity statements and black lives matter, but it could be something as seemingly innocuous as an auction item that incites people.

[00:21:40.34] spk_1:
Yeah, I think Auction finishing. I talked to some, some consultants and fundraisers in the west or some rural areas where 10 or 15 years ago, no one thought twice about Putting in, um, say an afternoon at the gun range as an auction item or auctioning off a piece of weaponry or some sort of accessory. No one thought twice about it now, 10, 15 years later with school shootings and other things starting raising the profile and issues concerning gun safety. Those are really questionable. Yeah. At the same time they’re part of the culture in some of those rural areas. So fundraisers think really wrestle. I think, you know, there are other things. Even something as basic as a holiday, email or video for any given holiday particularly say around the christmas season is a real cause for anger for people. How do you, how do you, um, write something that isn’t offensive at the same time? It’s not gonna gonna still has meaning still has something some some back. So, um, yeah,

[00:22:15.34] spk_0:
all right, interesting. You know, interesting times. Uh, important. I think just for consciousness raising. So uh, nonprofit leaders are aware that there’s the potential out there. So let’s, let’s talk a little bit about advice for, for fundraisers, which, you know, draws from your second piece. And the first idea is that prepare.

[00:24:01.44] spk_1:
Yeah. And I think a lot of the folks that I talked to really want to put notice leaders on notice that this is part of your job as a nonprofit leader as an advancement leader is to consider this and prepare your staff. Um, part of, you know, the advice is often that a position the group takes or a new program or something needs to be firmly explained and put in context of the organization’s mission. And um, you know, that can be done at a high level. But the thinking and strategy behind it needs to be conveyed to the gift officers. That needs to be conveyed to the donor communications staff to steward folks. They all need to be prepared for even perhaps have talking points prepared for individual conversations with donors for putting out their own communications so that, you know, a stepped in organization takes that is rooted in mission. Those routes have to be made very clear to folks. Um, so that’s a little bit on leadership. I think leadership also has to look at gift agreements and look at, um, what those policies call for, what gives it that can accept what’s the contingencies for them. Um, that was something everybody suggested that the groups ought to take a second look at in in lieu of this kind of political context out there. Um, I think there’s also some sense that, um, Gift officers in particular needs some process put in place for them. That if they have really awkward, uncomfortable, even sometimes offensive conversations with donors that they have recourse, they have a process. They know what, how the organization will handle those situations. You can’t leave your Gift officers out there alone to deal with this and manage it on their own, that, that they have to feel supported backed up. So a lot of this starts with leadership and proper preparation.

[00:24:32.14] spk_0:
And your reporting suggests there’s there’s a shift away from donor centrism and, and into, uh, you know, you’ve, you’ve alluded to it a couple of times that the mission and values of the organization, that, that in the past this might have been something that organizations rolled over on just to appease appease donors, especially major donors, but not so much anymore. You’re seeing a trend away.

[00:25:17.94] spk_1:
Well, I, I think, um, and you know, put this in context, I think there there’s donor centrism that people embrace, say, 15, 20 years ago, some veterans in the field talked about, there might have been a time where the donor could call the shots on these things and this is a long time ago, but people have begun, I think, to move away from that strict and embrace of donor centrism and there was some sense that, you know, the gift that someone is giving you is for the mission and purpose of the organization. And again, your conversations have to tie whatever you’re doing into that mission and purpose of the organization. Um, so it’s perhaps, um, A little bit of a shift away from the focus on the donor and what they’re doing for the organization as opposed to here’s what the organization is doing. Um, so I think that’s true. And, and again, it was the veterans mainly talking about this and that there was a time again, 15, 20 years ago where donors called the shots. So

[00:25:46.24] spk_0:
and that also helps the organization root the, the controversy in, in its own, in its own work. And so that this is not, you know, just a reflection of the times. It’s not a whim that we, you know, we, we read a headline and we’ve taken a stand, but this is rooted in our, in our work, what we

[00:27:04.04] spk_1:
believe absolutely that and that folks may, you have to make clear when you make a change or you make a position, similar things you really have to read and strategy in your mission because people can too often see you as reacting to the headline, putting a finger to the wind, trying to react to the times. And you know, it’s one of the things about social media that was interesting in my conversations with both you for to hear two things you hear, you know, um don’t, there’s a temptation when you’re getting for the flap clap back on social to sort of pull back and not do as much and folks that, you know, you can’t do that. You’re not, you’re not, you know, you’ve got to continue to advance and promote what you’re doing in your cause. But at the same time you have to consider that social media is an incredibly condensed prism through which to view something and if you need to do the work to tie something into mission and to provide context and nuance, Keep dynamometer going to social social has to be done very carefully so that you can make the connections that are necessary for people to see how this ties back to your mission. Um, so that’s it sort of contradictory advice in the sense of you want to keep doing social, you want to resist the temptation to pull back, but at the same time you gotta be careful what you do and really craft it well. So,

[00:27:18.64] spk_0:
and then likewise, you know, having difficult one on one conversations with donors don’t, don’t shy away from them as well as its the advice you were

[00:28:09.04] spk_1:
hearing. Well, it was really remarkable and a lot of fundraisers, you know, there are some challenging and difficult conversations and um really they need to hear out from people some borders what the concerns are. And again the conversation is bringing about to explain calmly and, and you know, um, without reacting defensively, in a sense to how this ties to mission I think um, I was surprised and that a number of fundraisers talked about those difficult conversations actually leading to a deeper relationship with a donor and sort of getting you beyond some superficial sort of things and getting the donor perhaps to understand more about the mission of the organization. So that part of the advice that don’t shy from these conversations is there can be a real benefit from. Um, so, but at the same token, there are some people are gonna walk away, but that there are some benefits,

[00:28:28.04] spk_0:
it wasn’t it the ceo of the Salvation Army who told you that that when, when he has these conversations, they almost almost uniformly lead to, uh, an understanding across on both sides.

[00:28:52.64] spk_1:
Yeah. And I think that that suggests there has to be a process in your office for when perhaps you get an email back or you get, um, some sort of response or negative reaction to seek out a personal one on one conversation, those can often, you know, people are disarmed by those and suddenly you see each other as humans and things change, the dynamics change.

[00:29:08.24] spk_0:
So yes, considerably right, right. 11 thing that came out of the reporting that I was, I was surprised that was the idea of in these conversations sharing your own personal views.

[00:30:15.34] spk_1:
Well, attention that since the peace has gone out, that’s the most reaction I’ve got from people and some suggesting and that’s not what you should do. I think, um, I think as the piece suggests that there are some fundraisers who really feel like their job is not to censor themselves that, that in a sense, you know, they’re putting their whole self into the job and for them to censor. Um, I think perhaps one way to look at it is, you know, your personal view of why this fits within the mission of the, the, you know, I don’t think you need to sound off on things that are completely unrelated to the topic, but if you have a view of an organization position or program or what it’s doing and how it matches with your beliefs and what the organization should be doing. That’s a way to frame it. Um, as opposed to, you know, you know, if this conversation strays into say gun rights, it’s not like you have to pop off on that just because that’s how you feel. But try, you know, you don’t eliminate your personal, um, views when it comes to things that are really related to the organization and is said to make you a a more three dimensional person for for the donor, if you explained how your views high end to why the organization is important to you.

[00:30:22.94] spk_0:
Yes, you’ve, you’ve said it a couple of times relate how it relates to the, to the mission and values of the organization,

[00:30:28.74] spk_1:

[00:30:29.27] spk_0:
Um, being willing to apologize when you when you do make a mistake.

[00:31:38.34] spk_1:
And I think that, um, you know, there are a couple example of, of organizations that perhaps did something that touched off something they did unintentionally. And I think, um, and again, I’ve had some response since the piece has been out, but being upfront declaring it a mistake, not trying to wrap it in some sort of pr gauze as if really this is what we intended and oh, you’re, you know, you the donor or not understanding how we came out, you know, just sort of upfront be upfront about it. I think some readers that I’ve talked to since the piece came out suggested that if a donor is offended by something, it’s not, there isn’t necessarily a mistake on your part and you shouldn’t be automatically apologizing for something. It’s, I think the piece and I probably didn’t frame it correctly is suggesting more where, um, you know, the organization truly has made a mistake in terms of language or something. And again, the the idea is to be upfront, um, to not try to hide that just leads to erosion of trust. Um, but by the same token, not to assume that every time someone objects to something, you’ve done that it is your mistake. Um, so if that makes sense.

[00:31:47.65] spk_0:
Yeah, yeah. And that’s a fundamental of crisis communications to and if if the organization has made a mistake,

[00:31:55.14] spk_1:

[00:31:55.83] spk_0:
be out front with an apology,

[00:31:58.26] spk_1:
you know, right,

[00:32:04.34] spk_0:
yep, control of the, of the narrative. Um, and then, you know, finally you alluded to it earlier, but I’m gonna flush it out of it. Not to panic if people say they’re gonna withdraw their support.

[00:32:40.44] spk_1:
Yeah, I think that’s the case, and again, it’s it’s numbers and particularly looking at noise on social media or noise of, you know, phone calls or response, you know, keep in mind, um, you know, that you have a very large constituency and supporters, um, I know of, of a couple of nonprofits that had, um, something touched off, you know, phone calls or social media and they felt compelled then to write to their entire constituency about it. And then long behold their entire content. You know, 90% of the constituency had no idea what anybody was talking about. And all you’ve done is raise it to their attention. So keep the criticism, the protests, the concerns raised in context of your broader, um, set of supporters.

[00:32:58.24] spk_0:
What’s some of the other reader feedback that you’ve heard?

[00:33:46.34] spk_1:
Uh, it’s been it’s been good in a sense. I I described this as you said it to a glimpse of what’s happening. And, you know, I never in our reporting want to suggest that this is universal or anything we’re describing. And I really didn’t want this to be seen as a glimpse. Um, and, and this is not that people are seeking me out. But if I continue to talk to people for other stories, they will mention this story and said, oh, yeah, you know, you’re right, this is happening. And it’s often the what you and I have talked about in the small ways that this sort of tension is creeping into everyday work. There are some cases where individuals have mentioned, yes. Because of our stand on this, a million dollar donor walked away and, you know, that’s this is a reality. So, um, I’ve heard it just in casual conversations that I’m doing reporting on other stories. That a confirmation in the sense that this is an issue for a current in front of mine for a lot of people.

[00:34:20.44] spk_0:
All right, well thank you for making us aware and sharing some of the advice advice based on your reporting. Again. The pieces are in the chronicle of philanthropy donations in the balance fundraising in the age of polarization and advice for fundraisers caught in the middle of political battles. He is Drew Lindsay at Drew Lindsay C. O. P. Thank you. Thank you very very much.

[00:34:22.03] spk_1:
No, thank you for your time. I enjoyed it.

[00:35:36.44] spk_0:
My pleasure. Next week For sure. Amy Sample Ward returns to talk about the 2022 nonprofit technology conference. Talk about celebrity culture. But I will work through it. I’ll work through their booking agent, attorney Pr staff virtual assistant. I will get them here 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. Marc Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott stein. Okay, thank you for that. Affirmation scotty Be with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for December 20, 2019: Impeachment, Say What? & #SaveDotOrg

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Gene Takagi

Gene Takagi: Impeachment, Say What?
What’s your nonprofit allowed to say about President Trump’s impeachment and potential removal from office? What about the 2020 election? What’re your employees allowed to say, where and when? Gene Takagi has the answers. He’s our legal contributor and principal of NEO, the Nonprofit and Exempt Organizations Law Group.



Amy Sample Ward

Amy Sample Ward: #SaveDotOrg
There’s a possibility that management of the .org domain will be privatized. The #SaveDotOrg movement thinks that’s a bad idea. NTEN is part of the opposition movement and Amy Sample Ward explains why. She’s our technology and social media contributor and CEO of NTEN.





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[00:00:12.14] spk_1:

[00:00:41.93] spk_2:
and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio. Big non profit ideas for the love, their 95% under aptly named host. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d turn extra tropic if I saw that you missed today’s show. Impeachment. Say what? What’s your non profit allowed to say about President Trump’s impeachment and potential removal from office? What about the 2020 election? What do your employees allowed to say, where and when? Jean Takagi has the answers.

[00:00:43.68] spk_3:
He’s our legal contributor and principle of neo the non profit and exempt organizations Law Group,

[00:00:51.04] spk_2:
then save dot or GE. There’s a possibility

[00:00:53.45] spk_3:
that management of the dot org’s domain will be privatized. Save dot org’s movement thinks that’s a bad

[00:00:59.84] spk_2:
idea, and 10 is part

[00:01:01.88] spk_3:
of the opposition movement. And Amy Sample Ward explains why she’s our technology and social

[00:01:06.93] spk_2:
media contributor and CEO of 10 on tony Steak, too.

[00:01:14.04] spk_3:
Thank you for 2019 were

[00:01:14.24] spk_2:
sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com. But Cougar Mountain Software Denali

[00:01:54.24] spk_3:
Fund is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and, by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen to dot CEO, and I’m hoping that we’re gonna welcome Jean Takagi back. Do we have him? We’re trying. OK, uh, he’s in. Is he in the conference? Okay, we’re trying to call the conference, so I don’t know. Gene probably cannot hear us. So what we’re gonna be talking about is, um,

[00:02:02.93] spk_2:
some some stuff on, uh, what’s permissible

[00:02:37.85] spk_3:
for 501 See three’s to talk about, um, whether it’s around impeachment or the election election earing things like, Are you allowed to host a candidates forum? Candidates debate. Um, what about promoting issues versus candidates? What do your employees allowed to do? And that’s Ah, that’s what we’ll be covering. We’re gonna

[00:02:38.21] spk_2:
do Jeanne Jeanne! Jeanne! Jeanne! Jeanne! Jeanne de la machine. We got him. Jean Takagi is the managing attorney of Neo,

[00:02:44.28] spk_3:
the non profit and Exempt Organizations Law Group in San Francisco. He edits the wildly popular non profit law block dot com and is the American Bar Association’s 2016 outstanding non

[00:03:02.08] spk_2:
profit lawyer. He’s at G tak. Welcome, Jean Jean. Great. Ah, great to have you. I know you were there, but we were having

[00:03:04.94] spk_3:
trouble getting in. But now we’re now we’re in, You’re in and we’re

[00:03:12.26] spk_2:
in and s so it’s a very communal Wonderful Are you doing out there? Looking forward to holidays? I’m sure

[00:03:15.50] spk_5:
I am. How about you turning

[00:03:17.13] spk_2:
very much? Yeah. I love this

[00:03:18.50] spk_3:
time. Uh, we have a couple of weeks off from the show, and I have nothing scheduled for a couple of weeks. So, uh, it’s

[00:03:25.47] spk_2:
good time, too. I mean, I’ll be working light work light, I guess. And good time.

[00:03:30.99] spk_5:
Same way.

[00:03:31.64] spk_3:
Yes. Excellent. Good for you. And

[00:03:33.71] spk_2:
good time for reflection.

[00:03:38.44] spk_3:
I think on the new year, I like that you have any, uh, any goals for Ah, 20

[00:03:42.73] spk_2:
20 that you want to share or anything exciting coming up in 2020.

[00:03:53.29] spk_5:
Really excited. My partner, Aaron, Brad, Rick and I are going to be teaching a course at Columbia University starting in January, so we’re really looking forward to that in their non profit a management program.

[00:03:59.50] spk_3:
Wonderful is not gonna bring you to New York or you teaching virtually.

[00:04:03.29] spk_5:
We’re teaching online, but we may make out a trip itude in New York

[00:04:07.89] spk_2:
trip or two. But you gotta let me know. Of course.

[00:04:10.12] spk_5:

[00:04:16.83] spk_3:
I mean, unless you want Oh, yeah. I hope you don’t want to stealth in and stealth out. Not not. Talk to me. I certainly wouldn’t do that if I were visiting San Francisco again.

[00:04:20.94] spk_2:
Um, okay, so let’s start with the most timely.

[00:04:30.74] spk_3:
Um, President Trump was impeached two days ago in the U. S. House of Representatives. Um,

[00:04:31.72] spk_2:
what’s, uh what can we talk about?

[00:04:33.38] spk_3:
If we’re 501 c three around that

[00:04:48.90] spk_5:
Well, it’s a great question and, you know, because they’re different types of 501 see threes and different types of non profit. I should make clear that we’re only talking about public charities here. There’s different rules for different other types of organizations, including private foundations for public charities. There’s quite a lot they can talk about.

[00:04:56.93] spk_2:

[00:04:57.64] spk_5:
we should also differentiate between impeachment, which has already happened, and the removal from office, which is still going to be a matter of legislative action, specifically a supermajority vote by the Senate whenever they get that before them.

[00:05:11.85] spk_3:

[00:05:12.57] spk_5:
I know that’s related issues.

[00:05:16.20] spk_2:
Okay, uh, because there go ahead. Yeah. So Well, why? Why? Why do we

[00:05:21.09] spk_3:
distinguish between those two. This is a big

[00:05:24.51] spk_5:
authority happened,

[00:05:25.38] spk_2:

[00:05:32.43] spk_5:
so because it’s already happened, you know, charity are fairly free to comment on

[00:05:33.34] spk_2:
that action. They’re

[00:06:33.93] spk_5:
also free to comment about how they feel about governmental leaders in doing their jobs. And, you know, it might be really important to do so in the context that it may really impact the charity’s mission. And, you know, for example, I would think that charity to mission is to end hunger, for example, for for American suffering from poverty. They might have a great deal to say about the administration’s rule to end food stands for like about 700,000 people. You know, the 700,000 people are making, on average 2200 and $50 a year. And if you want to comment on that at a charity, that’s okay the same way you can comment on the impeachment whether you think that that was proper or not. But what may not be okay if you’re gonna be talking about the electability of that person for or in any way talking about the upcoming election so you can talk about impeachment in and of itself on dhe. Whether it was, you think it was right or it was improper. But you can’t start to talk about, um, or start to influence the upcoming election. So that’s a little bit of a fine line. Thio. Walk on

[00:06:58.93] spk_3:
okay, and we’ll get to the election and election hearing. What about the coming potential removal from office, The trial in the Senate and, you know, advocating one way or the other for what you think. The Senate, your organization thinks because we’re talking about the organization level, we’ll get. Individual employees will get to that, too. But what your organization thinks about removal from office.

[00:07:14.68] spk_5:
So you know, there’s no absolute guidance from the i. R s on the impeachment of the president. Surprise. But, um, there’s It’s generally thought to be attempting to influence the legislative action inaction by the Senate.

[00:07:26.24] spk_2:
The mall’s

[00:07:51.21] spk_5:
within the tax laws, definition of lobbying and not political campaign intervention. So we know that there’s an absolute bar to, um, you know, endorsing or supporting or opposing candidates for public office. That would be election hearing in that not allowed by any type of 5 23 but public charities are allowed to engage in lobbying so long as it’s considered not substantial, and commenting on a potential legislative action like the removal from office action that will fall before the Senate would be considered lobbying. And to the extent that charity can lobbying and there are some limitations involved, the charity would be free to do so. But again, it has to walk that fine line because we are coming up to an election year on. Dhe has to look like it’s not trying to influence the election itself. So you don’t really want to talk about other candidates for office or on the general overall qualities of Trump as a candidate for another four years. But you want to talk. If you want a charity, you want to talk about the removal from office specifically about what, before the Senate. Why, why would he be removed from from the office? So you’re really took ing taking a look at those two articles of impeachment and commenting on the merits of those articles?

[00:09:02.54] spk_3:
Okay, understand? We need to take our first break when we come back very shortly. We’ll, uh, well, we’ll talk more about lobbying and what’s allowed, not allowed there. And, uh, we’re taking a break for, um, for wegner-C.P.As. Of course, in the new year, might you need a C p. A, whose service is excellent, who provides clear directions and timetables and who’s easy to work

[00:09:10.88] spk_2:
with. That’s not me talking.

[00:09:22.82] spk_3:
That’s from the testimony. Old. That’s not my opinion. That’s, Ah, the opinion of someone who’s worked with not with wegner in the past, a CZ you’ve heard the past few weeks. So if you

[00:09:26.02] spk_2:
do talk

[00:09:39.50] spk_3:
to partner, you eat each tomb. He’s a good guy. No pressure wegner-C.P.As dot com And now let’s go back to Jean Takagi and Impeachment. Say what? Okay, we’re

[00:09:39.89] spk_2:
allowed to do some

[00:09:56.68] spk_3:
lobbying, you said, as long as it’s not substantial. Uh, how do we measure substantiality? Substantial ability. Substantiality substantiality. I think it’s I think that’s what This How do we make whatever helps called Republic

[00:10:33.26] spk_5:
charities there Two ways to measure it? Sort of. The default way is just what the law cost backs and circumstances, and that leaves it up to the Iraq to determine whether you’ve engaged in too much lobbying or not. And if you want to challenge it, ultimately, a court and nobody really wants to go down that route. So, you know, professionals typically uses guidelines. You know, there was this old case that said, you know, 5% of your resource is that should be okay that, you know, anything under 5% should be okay. You want to think about your expenditures, your volunteer time? You know the amount of publication space you’re giving all of those things. If it’s about 5% or less of your resource is you’re probably not too worried about exceeding the lobbying threshold under that backs in circumstances.

[00:10:42.37] spk_3:
Okay, Yeah. 55 percents pretty low.

[00:10:46.35] spk_5:
Yeah, it’s pretty low. Um, but, you know,

[00:10:48.39] spk_3:
for some

[00:11:26.97] spk_5:
organization, that’s all they want to do. But you know, the better choice for the vast majority of charities. And I would say, almost the no brain and choice for charities that are not churches who are ineligible to do this but share other charities that are eligible to make the 5018 lobbying election. I’m. And that that is just a basically 1/2 page born where you put name, address and check a box on it. If you make that election of the charity which could do it any time at all. Um, you get thio, measure your lobbying strictly by your lobbying expenditures, and the limits are just so much more generous.

[00:11:27.98] spk_3:

[00:11:28.59] spk_5:
so it’s 20% of your 1st $500,000 of what they call exempt purpose expenditures or mission related expended

[00:11:36.12] spk_3:

[00:11:36.75] spk_5:
20% of that

[00:11:40.62] spk_3:
100 $100,000 right there and it’s it’s deemed non substantial.

[00:11:46.76] spk_5:
Yeah, yeah, And there’s a separate limit for grassroots lobbying, which is lobbying a different type of lobbying, where you’re not going straight to a legislative body or an employee or member of the legislative body. But you’re going to the public and you’re asking them to contact a member of the legislative body and you have a called action included in that. So if it’s grassroots lobbying, it’s 25% of that total lobbing limit.

[00:12:11.99] spk_3:

[00:12:51.64] spk_5:
expenditure limits under Bible one h are much, much more generous than that 5% kind of rule of thumb that we look at the other time again. Um, a big, big tip for any public charity that wants to, um, discuss the removal from from office, um, stay positions on that before it gets to the Senate or wallets in the Senate, the 501 each election could made and be made any time. And it will be effective for the year. And would you make the election? If you decide you don’t want to, you know, continue electing it. Which might be the case for super big charities. Um, where the 5% could actually be, You know, a lot of money you could, you know, revoke your election that anytime after as well by just filing the same form and checking a different box. So a no brainer election for most public charity.

[00:13:00.35] spk_2:
Okay. Okay. So and we’ve talked

[00:13:15.52] spk_3:
about this before. I was probably the April 2016 which was the last election year. Um, you and I talked about advocacy generally, and I think the 501 h came up then. So you’re still a five. A one c three. You’re just making this 501 h election for the year.

[00:13:23.94] spk_5:
Right? So

[00:13:24.75] spk_2:
what do you

[00:13:25.08] spk_5:
make it?

[00:13:25.49] spk_2:
Your sort

[00:13:26.16] spk_5:
of permanently on that until you revoke it. But all it does that 501 age super easy election to make this thing. We don’t want to tell the IRS everything about our lobby. We just want the IRS to measure our lobbying on what was spent. We don’t want to try to estimate volunteer time How much of our office space is dedicated to lobby? We just want to tell them exactly what we spent and recorded on our financial for a lot. So, so much easier to report, so much easier to track. The limits are much easier. And if you violate it, if you go over the lobbying limits without the election, that facts and circumstances test.

[00:14:00.03] spk_3:

[00:14:00.37] spk_5:
you violated in any one year, you can lose your Bible. One secret that

[00:14:04.58] spk_3:

[00:14:04.93] spk_5:
But if you make the election, you have to violate it over a four year period, not just one year, but over a four year rolling calendar. And then you have violated by more than 50%.

[00:14:16.61] spk_3:
Wow. Okay, so that

[00:14:18.03] spk_5:
that’s just so much more advantageous.

[00:14:39.09] spk_3:
It is sort of a no brainer. And for those much generous, much more generous limits. Okay, cool. All right. 501 inch. Thank you, G. Um, what about our our individual employees? What are in terms of what resource is they’re using when they speak, when they when they speak publicly? What? What are the rules around employees?

[00:15:56.92] spk_5:
Well, you know, first thing to recognize is is individual tax First Amendment rights, right? So they have the freedom of speech. They have the freedom to say whatever they want. Charities shouldn’t control what you know their employees or their directors or officers are saying in their individual capacity. But they should control what they’re saying as representative speaking on behalf of the charities. So there’s that distinction to make so again don’t control what you know your your employees and your staff members and volunteers are saying about impeachment or removal or any other wegner slate of action or political endorsement. But make sure that they don’t use any charity. Resource is in doing so, and that’s really important. Don’t let them use their work email address. Don’t let them use the work. Tell a boat. Don’t let them perform those activities. If they’re, they’re, you know, working on campaigns in the office and the charity’s office. And if they should put their name on with the name of their employer, which is a charity on like an endorsement list of a political candidate. Make sure that there’s some sort of Astra’s back says that the name of their employer is only listed there for identification purposes and doesn’t represent an endorsement by the charity itself.

[00:16:22.14] spk_3:
Okay, Okay. Um and so what? What employees do on there personal time and their personal Facebook Twitter email all all, uh, really of no concern to the to the charity.

[00:16:28.54] spk_5:
Yeah, but social media is actually a good point about hitting that gray area, tony, because you probably follow your twitter, tony. So you

[00:16:37.06] spk_2:
probably follow you

[00:16:42.79] spk_5:
individuals who are on Twitter who have both their name and their charity affiliation like listed?

[00:16:46.34] spk_2:
Yeah, in

[00:16:55.29] spk_5:
their account, it might be in their Twitter handle, or it might be in their short bio underneath. You know, the Twitter handle. And that’s where it becomes kind of tricky. Who does that Twitter handle belong to? Does it belong to the individual or doesn’t belong to the charity And could the chair to get in trouble if there is a political endorsement or a statement of opposition to a candidate for public office?

[00:17:12.21] spk_2:
Yeah, I always

[00:18:04.09] spk_3:
have presumed. Although I’ve never followed upto see whether my presumption is, uh is accurate that someone who has the charity name in there either in their handle or, as you say in their short Twitter bio, has another account that doesn’t talk about the charity, Asai said. I never have investigated to see whether they do or not. I’m following their charity account. Um, so maybe maybe people don’t. But that would seem like the better the better practice. And especially if, I mean, shouldn’t that be in a, ah charities social media policy that if you’re going to use the charity name, you know, there are prohibitions around what you can do with that and then and we encourage you? Or we insist that you have, ah, private well non A non charity Twitter account for all other all other non work purposes.

[00:18:56.44] spk_5:
Yeah, conservatively. You know, I kind of like that type of policy, tony. But for practical purposes, it’s kind of like our president or or Hillary Clinton when she was running, separating their kind of personal accounts from their work account. Um, there they are co mingled all the time, and not just by charities and their employees, but by four profit in their employees, so disclaimers can work outright prohibitions and requirements that they have a separate, Um, a Twitter account or face social media account may be helpful at times, but often times you know they’re just going to combine the two. So, um, just be careful about that one thing about, you know, sort of the election hearing prohibition that you can’t endorse or oppose the political candidate. One thing did note is that the Republican Party platform and President Trump himself said they really don’t like that Prohibition often referred to as the Johnson

[00:19:14.09] spk_3:
and Johnson

[00:19:14.70] spk_5:
talked about that before.

[00:19:16.87] spk_2:
Well, they

[00:19:17.05] spk_5:
want to get rid of it, although most the vast majority of charities. And I think the mast majority of churches. I don’t want to get rid of it because I could turn all charities into these election vehicles for where donors say, You know, I’m not gonna give you this donation unless he said a message to all of your members and donors of, you know, in support of a political candidate, and that would suddenly be okay.

[00:20:05.12] spk_3:
Yeah, that’s we’ve been talking. We talked about that. Probably when it around the time it first became a proposal, or at least well, I guess it’s been in the platform. The party platform, you’re saying. But there was some There was more talk about it, I don’t know. A year and 1/2 for two years ago, and we, you and I discussed the Johnson Amendment. Um, it hasn’t happened. Maybe because of the nonprofit community opposition. What what’s your scent? You were you were monitoring that very closely. What’s your sense of where it stands?

[00:20:57.67] spk_5:
Yeah, you know, I think the non profit community’s opposition was very, very helpful in that there were there were others who were opposing it. A CZ well, with a matter of policy. And I think as people got more educated about it, it became less and less popular. Um, it was a way for dark money. T sort of enter into the political system where we didn’t really know where the sources were in. People were getting tax deductions on top of it. So it’s something that be really bad. But the reason why I brought it up here is because if an organization wasn’t quite sure, it was speaking out on impeachment or removal from office, and you know we may be crossing that line. Well, conservatively, I would say, Yeah, the closer we are to election time, you’ve got to be careful even within the bounds that I said that it might be a lobbying activity and not, uh uh, banned political campaign activity. But closer do you are to election that could turn into what looks like a political campaign activity. If you’ve never spoken about the impeachment itself, and you just never it looks like your charity was never interested in the issue until just like, you know, a few months before the election with the

[00:21:25.32] spk_2:
happened that

[00:21:48.92] spk_5:
looks like this casted election hearing communication. But overall, I’m not sure that the I. R s and the current executive branch is really that interested in enforcing the political prohibition laws because, you know, doesn’t resonate with what their messaging has been. Maybe a little bit risk. And it would have been for four years ago.

[00:21:49.85] spk_2:
Okay? Yeah. You still

[00:21:56.54] spk_3:
want to err on the side of caution, right? I mean, I, you know, because they there could be some exception to their enforcement activity or priorities or something. So but

[00:22:01.99] spk_2:
you’re you’re the

[00:22:11.33] spk_3:
conservative conservative guy, at least in terms of legal legal advice of the legal advice side. You know, um, least that’s Yeah,

[00:22:13.26] spk_2:
that’s always been your You. You’ve always been cautious

[00:22:15.77] spk_3:
about advice you give. Yeah,

[00:22:41.47] spk_5:
Yeah, I think when we have a lot of smaller to medium sized organizations amongst the client, there’s just less risk capital, you know, private foundation with, you know, $10 billion might have a little bit Arjun for taking a risk and maybe fighting it in court if they felt like the I r s sir. Uh, neutrino general not correct in their interpretation of whether a lot was violated. But for most small and medium sized charities, they can’t afford to have that battle.

[00:22:49.70] spk_2:
We’ve been

[00:23:15.61] spk_3:
talking mostly about candidates. You mentioned a little bit about issues, but let’s make issues issues clearer versus candidates. Are you saying that if you’re non profit now, as an organization has has been following an issue for a long time and not just doesn’t just start commenting, you know, 60 or 90 days before an election, then eyes that part of the facts and circumstances test for people who don’t for organizations that don’t take the 501 h election. Is that Is that one factor?

[00:24:01.94] spk_5:
Well, just commenting on issues themselves, it was If it isn’t stating a position on a piece of legislation, you’re free to do that all you want. So if you’re educating the public about a particular issue, whether it be climate change or, um, you know, immigration, um, you couldn’t talk about broader issues and educate the public. You know, if you’re giving material facts and you’re doing it in a non part of objective and fair manner, that that should be sort of a fundamental thing of what you do if it’s gonna help further your mission. But when you start to comment on a particular piece of law or legislation and say, you know, this is either a good piece of legislation or this is a bad piece of legislation

[00:24:11.27] spk_3:
or this

[00:24:11.70] spk_5:
new legislation that we need now you’re entering into the realm of lobbying and subject to those limits that we just discussed the 501 h limits or the the facts and circumstances with

[00:24:26.22] spk_4:
Okay. Okay. Um,

[00:24:28.72] spk_2:
you still there, June? I am okay. Yeah. You

[00:24:41.39] spk_3:
Ah ah, word or a syllable at a time seems to pop out, and then it got quiet. So I I, uh I got concerned. Okay, You’re still with us. All right. Good. Um, thank you for flushing that out.

[00:24:43.22] spk_2:
What else? What else

[00:24:44.49] spk_3:
do you think listeners need to know?

[00:26:06.27] spk_5:
Well, there are all sorts of other things that public charities do around election time. Um, you know, they can’t endorsers support any candidates for public office, But the concert, we engage in voter registration and get out the boat drives. You see that all over the place, and you’re gonna continue to see it over the next year. So a CZ longer again there, you know, conducted in the neutral, non partisan matter without reference to, you know, any of the specific candidates or political parties, you can host a candidate debate or forum. I think many of you have seen those, uh, you know, hosted by a public charity. And again, the purpose of the, uh, debates reform should be for educating the public. So you have to be very careful about not doing it in a partisan man is not with leading questions or a selective choice of topics that that might influence the public one way or the other. Be careful about your selection of moderators and how you comment on the candidate’s response. Yes, I want to be careful about the time allotted to each candidate. You know, it would be very wrong if you allowed just one candidate. If there is, it just came down to the presidential race, for example, and you let one party’s candidates speak for 90% of the time and the other candidates to be 10% of the time. It will be pretty clear where that charity is leaning.

[00:26:28.95] spk_3:
Okay, So to borrow the old Fox News motto, you need to be fair and balanced, but not fair and balanced like they were where a court ruled that they were de facto, not fair and balanced. Need to be really fair and balance. I think

[00:26:29.39] spk_5:
that’s that’s right,

[00:26:30.53] spk_2:
and and

[00:26:35.50] spk_5:
obviously a charity will have its own mission statement to think about. But they’ve got a sort of put it in their back pocket a little bit when they’re designing those type of debates. Reformed Also, voter guides, Kennedy questionnaires, um, also permissible and even candidate appearances. If you’re providing equal opportunity for all candidates, you see that on television is Wow.

[00:27:05.64] spk_3:
Okay. Okay. Um well, we have just about a minute or so left. Uh, what? Ah, what do you want to leave us with for the for the year on this topic?

[00:27:17.93] spk_5:
Well, I think I’ll just say I think people should be really active in their advocacy. In furtherance of their mission. There are a few resources that are out there. Board sources stand for your mission. Campaign has some excellent resource is on the Alliance for Justice gives you more than mechanics of what I’ve been talking about. What type of advocacy, What type of lobbying, what type of political activities public charities could do on. There’s some nuances to all of this. There’s another layer of election law that may be on top of all of the tax law we’ve been talking about. So those resources are good places to go and go ahead and advocate as much as you can for your mission.

[00:27:58.17] spk_3:
Junior. So modest. Another very good source is non profit law blawg, which is at non profit law blogged dot com. And Jeanne, I wish you lots of

[00:28:01.34] spk_2:
let’s of enjoyment, lots of good time.

[00:28:03.07] spk_4:
Uh, I

[00:28:03.64] spk_3:
hope you enjoy your holidays and the New Year

[00:28:07.14] spk_5:
Happy holidays to you and your family. Tony,

[00:28:28.89] spk_3:
thank you very much, Gene. It’s a pleasure. And thank you so much for what you’ve done for 2019 and what we’re looking forward to. In 2020 he’s Jean Takagi, my pleasure, managing attorney of Neo, the non profit and Exempt Organizations Law group. He edits that non profit log log, and he’s at G Tak. Now it’s time for a

[00:28:33.08] spk_2:
break. Cougar Mountain software designed from the bottom up for nonprofits The same nonprofits we’ve been talking about, the ones, the ones we all know. Non profit radio, for God’s sake. What does that mean For you?

[00:29:00.64] spk_3:
That means fund accounting. No more spreadsheets to manage your restricted grant funds. Also fraud prevention and exceptional customer service. You’ve heard all that in the testimonials. Cougar Mountain has a free 60 day trial on the listener landing page at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant. Now let’s transition,

[00:29:03.15] spk_4:

[00:29:03.88] spk_2:
subtly, but ah, but smoothly, uh, suddenly and

[00:29:27.75] spk_3:
smoothly to tony stick to and my thanks for you. Our listener. Listeners in 2019 were the number one podcast for nonprofits. Most listened to, uh, most longest running, most consistently produced, most sponsored just generically. Overall, you can say Number one podcast for nonprofits. And

[00:29:35.00] spk_2:
that’s because we have so many listeners. So I am grateful

[00:29:49.24] spk_3:
to you. Thank you for your listening If you have shared the show. I appreciate that as well. Thank you for that. That’s how we grow the audiences by listeners sharing what? What

[00:29:49.94] spk_2:
they believe is good content. So thank you with you. Listen, live or archive.

[00:29:54.54] spk_4:

[00:30:13.47] spk_3:
makes no difference. Thank you very much for listening. If you want to see my thank you wishes from the Chesapeake Bay, then you can view the video at my thank you video. Thank you so much. We

[00:30:13.61] spk_2:
have a B sample ward. We do not have

[00:30:55.80] spk_3:
any sample word. She hasn’t called into the conference line yet. Okay, well, uh, when when we do connect with her, um, we will be talking about save dot org’s. The issue is that the dot org’s domain that we all use I don’t use you all use. I actually don’t use I’m dot com for my for my business. Um, but you all use it. You know how important it is. There’s the potential that it will be managed by, ah company ethos, which is the water, you know, you may know ethos water. Um, that’s the company that may gain control of the dot or domain. And Amy and I will talk about how these things are all managed. Um, we

[00:31:03.55] spk_2:
have Amy as Amy called in yet

[00:31:40.84] spk_3:
means not. Okay, So what we’re gonna do is, um Let’s do the live listener. Love will do that. And if you will give me a nen dull Jin ce for a few seconds, I’m gonna get my phone and share with Emily. Amy sample Ward’s contact info so that Emily can text and call Amy. So hang on while I get my phone. Okay? The dreaded dead airtime.

[00:31:43.74] spk_2:
But I told

[00:32:11.54] spk_3:
you was coming. So, uh, you had you had time to prepare, so it should not have been dreadful. Uh, for you, So I’m getting her in my pulling up in my contacts. Okay, Emily, Here you go. There’s the ways to contact Amy. Sample word. Please Do use my phone actually, or whatever you want to use. All right, so we’ll be talking about dot Organ. There’s a movement. Does The hashtag is saved dot or Ge? Well, I’m only works

[00:32:29.19] spk_2:
on that. Let’s do the lifeless in love and it is extensive. My gosh, Um let’s go abroad first. Tokyo, Japan! Oh, konnichi wa Ramat Gone Israel! Welcome, Live! Listen, love to Israel as well as Japan. Gwangju, South Korea. You’ve

[00:32:35.28] spk_3:
been with us before. Gwangju. Thank you so much. Seoul, South Korea as well. Um

[00:32:41.53] spk_2:
Brazil. Mina Mina Gerais meant Minas Gerais. Jakarta, Indonesia,

[00:32:42.64] spk_3:
Capital of Indonesia, of

[00:33:07.84] spk_2:
course. Live! Listen, love Thio. Each of our foreign listeners and they continue coaching men city in Vietnam. And, uh, well, we see Vietnam from time to time. Thank you. Live low about to Vietnam and touch skin sherry in Uzbekistan. Yeah, it was Pakistan. Not too often, but we’ve heard from you before. So very glad. Very glad you’re with us. Who’s Becca? Stan? Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil, South Korea, Israel, Japan.

[00:33:20.68] spk_3:
Multiple. South Korea, of course. Want credit that live? Listen, love. After each of those, uh, countries and coming abroad, we’ve got, um Brooklyn, New

[00:33:24.94] spk_2:
York, Cheyney State Park, Kansas. That’s interesting. Cheyney State Park. Are you actually in the state park? You can, uh that’s interesting. You listening from the State Park. Wonderful. I’m a very

[00:33:43.26] spk_3:
big advocate of state parks. Public lands. You got it. You gotta have park. That used to be the motto in New York City, but it applies throughout the country. Doesn’t matter. Of course you gotta have park green space. Um,

[00:33:49.29] spk_2:
Ashburn, Virginia. San Francisco, California, Tampa, Florida, Fairfield, Connecticut. Live love everywhere. We’ve got her. Okay, well, on the heels of the live love Let’s see now we got to make her wait,

[00:33:55.85] spk_3:
because there’s no way that I’m doing a lot of love without the podcast pleasantry. So now she’s gonna

[00:33:59.60] spk_2:
have to wait. She called in late. It’s our own fault. Um, the podcast pleasantries are over 13,000 listeners.

[00:34:06.65] spk_3:
You heard me say it on Tony’s Take Two. But

[00:34:09.17] spk_2:
I’m grateful. Thank you so

[00:34:10.49] spk_3:
much for being a part of our listener audience. The podcast listeners. Thank you.

[00:34:23.20] spk_2:
Any sample Ward. She’s our social media and technology contributor and the CEO of N 10. Her most recent co authored book is social change Anytime, everywhere

[00:34:26.74] spk_3:
about online multi channel engagement. She’s

[00:34:32.63] spk_2:
that amy sample ward dot org’s oh dot org’s. This is considered a potential personal personal threat dot ord and she’s at a me RS ward. Any sample ward. Welcome back.

[00:34:53.87] spk_0:
Thank you. I’m not sure what happened. I’ve been trying since, like, 10 20 to get in. And I assume I always assume user error trying to re dial, and it never let me in.

[00:34:57.38] spk_2:
Okay, Well, we had the same trouble

[00:34:58.91] spk_3:
here, actually trying to connect with Jean Takagi. We saw that he was in the conference system, but we couldn’t get in ourselves to connect with him so on. And so it’s probably not user error times, too. There’s something flunky.

[00:35:12.16] spk_2:
And the reason we’re using

[00:35:21.69] spk_3:
this conference system and rather than having you call the studio directly, which we almost always do, is because there’s some problem with the with

[00:35:21.81] spk_2:
the phone line. Four lines? Yeah.

[00:35:23.94] spk_3:
So we’re using the conference line. Of course, we need the phone line to get the company line, But

[00:35:33.87] spk_2:
anyway, well, you’re a technology technologist, our technology contributor. It’s wonderful until it fails. I mean, I’m almost I’m almost sorry for saying this. I do apologizing. That was gratified that you have trouble with technology too.

[00:35:43.21] spk_0:
Oh, don’t worry. People are always so happy when an 10

[00:35:46.72] spk_2:
says that something

[00:35:48.02] spk_0:
that happened because it’s so validating.

[00:35:51.43] spk_2:

[00:36:22.00] spk_0:
know, it happens to all of us, because at the end of the day, all these tools, they’re just tools, right? They’re not perfect systems. Humans built all of them and humans that themselves. They’re not perfect. So things are bound to happen. But I think it’s really interesting the way folks respond when something, you know, technological is happening. That is not what they want. You know, the folks who get really frustrated and upset, and it’s like, Well, sure, But you know, how far is that getting

[00:36:23.35] spk_2:

[00:36:24.02] spk_0:
or the folks who are like, Oh, I’m gonna you know, like MacGyver my way around, just like you all did. So good. Good for you for having a productive response,

[00:36:34.73] spk_2:
Thank you very much. And for you as well.

[00:36:36.44] spk_3:
You kept trying. And, uh, I could I could imagine that your frustration was growing as 10 30 Pacific time came and went, which is the time I I was expecting your call. I can imagine your heart rate was rising blood pressure as well. But you

[00:36:51.11] spk_2:
mean I mean,

[00:36:51.78] spk_0:
what could you know? I usually like to dial in early and listen.

[00:36:54.52] spk_3:

[00:36:55.08] spk_0:
And so I tried. But

[00:36:57.23] spk_2:
you know, to know about it

[00:37:00.06] spk_0:
anyway, here I am.

[00:37:04.26] spk_2:
Indeed, let’s talk about save dot or ge I While we were waiting

[00:37:06.00] spk_3:
for you, I was introducing the topic. I explained the listeners that there’s the potential that the dot org’s domain could be managed by a private company

[00:37:20.46] spk_2:
ethos My saying that right? Or they are ethos right ethos. Okay, which is the water that they’re also there? I think

[00:37:25.44] spk_3:
they’re best known for water. At least that’s the way I know them. Their social.

[00:37:26.07] spk_2:
No, they’re

[00:37:26.36] spk_0:
brand new, so I don’t think they’re best known for anything.

[00:37:29.42] spk_3:
Oh, listen to the oh, we’re

[00:37:37.08] spk_2:
already getting. They’re already getting some attitude about this subject. All right there, Brandon. E. Hear it? I heard the tone. I know you. I heard that tone. All right, so this is not the ethos water company,

[00:37:42.12] spk_0:
brand new

[00:37:42.83] spk_2:

[00:37:43.21] spk_0:
equity firm.

[00:37:43.81] spk_2:
Okay. Oh, brand new

[00:37:45.14] spk_3:
private equity firm. Okay. I didn’t know it was brand new. I just kept seeing equity from All right. So

[00:37:49.39] spk_2:
let’s introduce, I think to get our way into this, we need to understand how

[00:37:54.06] spk_3:
this domain the dot org’s domain is managed. I mean, and I know you’ll be right. I know you’ll be judicious about acronyms because you don’t want to end up in jargon jail S o, I

[00:38:05.01] spk_2:
think. But I think it helps to understand how this

[00:38:07.05] spk_3:
thing this dot org’s is managed.

[00:38:13.47] spk_0:
Right. Okay, so I’m going to try and explain in some somewhat basic terms.

[00:38:18.47] spk_2:
Okay, But then

[00:38:22.62] spk_0:
I will rely on you to interject questions or fast forward or pause, you know, as I go.

[00:38:26.84] spk_3:

[00:39:42.59] spk_0:
Okay. So the internet, everyone listening has used it. I’s probably using it to listen even And we know that website, You know, we don’t just write non profit radio. We write non profit radio dot whatever, and the part of the website that comes at the dot whatever follows is called a top level domain. So there cannot. We can’t just go make one up. Those top level domains are managed, and there’s only so many of them. And I can they use the acronym I can as their name, which stands for Internet Corporation for assigned names and numbers. There you can kind of think about them is like the body that’s mento. Organize the Internet, So they’re the ones that say OK, you know, we’re allowed to use dot com and dot or GE and dot I owe and dot. Whatever else, they’re kind of the keepers of the order. So they are involved in olive ist as those keepers of the order. Okay, The next group we need to talk about is the Internet society that is a nonprofit organization, and their mission is essentially to promote a globally connected and trustworthy Internet.

[00:39:48.31] spk_3:
Okay, listeners may see the acronym I s O. C, right. Let’s

[00:39:54.36] spk_2:
have the night knock Internet society yet.

[00:40:31.46] spk_0:
So, almost 20 years ago there, when I can waas working to continue their their work and managing those top level domains, uh, they bid tohave the contract for the dot org’s domain. And there was a lot of conversation about the value of a non profit managing the top level domain that’s essentially four non profit right instead of a four profit domain registrar.

[00:40:36.01] spk_2:
So I can I can is itself a non profit. Yes, okay.

[00:42:38.49] spk_0:
And Internet society is non profit, and they they won the dot or contract, and in the process of that, created another non profit called public interest registry PR, which would be the organization that owned the contract and operationally managed it. But P I. R. Was connected to Internet society, so Internet Society was choosing the board for P i. R. And revenue kickbacks went to Internet society, that kind of thing. So there very closely related as organizations. You No one is like the owner of the other. And for the last, like 18 years or so, PR has managed the dot or domain, and their work has included managing that. Making sure that there’s, um, resource is for non profit. They have they have, you know, everything from sponsoring events to funding training programs, Thio investing in research about, you know, the way non prophecies, the Internet. They’ve done lots of things to kind of re invest the money they make into the use of the Internet by non profit, and everyone kind of thought things were fine. Who write things are moving along just fine, and last month’s just over a month ago from today. All of a sudden, there was an announcement from Andrewsullivan, the executive director of the Internet Society, that they we’re going to sell P. I r to a private equity firm and that it was essentially great news because Internet society would get so much money from the sale that they would create an endowment for themselves. That was kind of position is the only the good news about this was because it would just be so much money for them.

[00:42:44.95] spk_2:
Okay, that was that. That was obviously early day.

[00:42:48.45] spk_3:
That was early day, because I in my research, I didn’t find I didn’t even find that anymore. So that that

[00:42:54.27] spk_2:
must have been that their first position. I’ll tell you what. We got to take our

[00:42:56.90] spk_3:
break, Theo. Only one we need to take. And then you and I can continue to invest the show. Okay. Thank you. Um,

[00:43:04.35] spk_2:
have you ever wondered why some nonprofits

[00:43:13.42] spk_3:
are always mentioned in the news? It’s because they work to build relationships with journalists who matter to them. Turn to communications can help you do just that. They are themselves former journalists. They specialize in helping nonprofits build meaningful media relationships that lead to great coverage.

[00:43:29.45] spk_2:
It’s all about the relationships almost in life. What isn’t There are turn hyphen

[00:43:41.49] spk_3:
to dot ceo, all right. And we have but loads more time for Amy Sample Ward and save dot org’s. Okay, So the initial justification for this well, it’s not really much of a initial rationale. It’s not even it didn’t even didn’t even bother with justification. Just initial rationale was this will be good for I sock will make a lot of money by selling P I R.

[00:43:53.80] spk_0:

[00:43:54.31] spk_3:

[00:43:59.51] spk_0:
which of course, uh, raise a lot of questions.

[00:44:02.12] spk_2:
A lot of black people.

[00:44:32.91] spk_0:
And now the second piece that we need to talk about happened months before this announcement. So back in the early spring, the contract details for the dot or contract were up for renegotiation with I can and a few things happened in that renegotiation that already have the community kind of in critical response. Those things included some changes to what had, for a long time been part of the contract. One of those was taking away the price cats, so prices could be set at whatever was desired.

[00:44:45.21] spk_2:
The price for

[00:44:47.40] spk_3:
a dot org’s domain is very low, right?

[00:44:50.79] spk_0:
It’s about $10

[00:44:52.71] spk_3:
$10 for the year. Okay,

[00:44:54.88] spk_2:
Okay, you’re more acquainted

[00:44:56.72] spk_3:
with this and I am because I don’t use dot org’s I love Dot or GQ. You know, I make my living at dot org’s, but I don’t I don’t use it personally, All right? So, yeah, it’s $10 a year. Okay, so they’re So the initial conversation about a contract renewal was take away those takeaway a price cap,

[00:45:23.25] spk_0:
take away the price cap, and then some other pieces that essentially made folks feel that it could be organizations with these domains. There’s some vulnerabilities around censorship and that kind of thing.

[00:45:30.91] spk_2:
Okay, So a

[00:45:31.79] spk_0:
number of organizations

[00:45:33.22] spk_2:

[00:46:04.28] spk_0:
people had responded to those changes back in the summer and spring saying, you know, Hey, wait a second. This is not right. This does not feel right. This is, you know, longstanding components of the contract. Why’re these Chicken Jane? And despite overwhelming over 3000 responses saying don’t do this, I can. And public interest registry went ahead and the contract gotta prove that way.

[00:46:05.26] spk_3:
Ok, wasn’t I? Sock, actually, isn’t I Sock?

[00:46:09.57] spk_0:
I can

[00:46:10.46] spk_2:
I can. Okay, but I stock

[00:46:12.67] spk_3:
owns public interest registry, right?

[00:46:15.88] spk_0:
Sure. But public interest registry is kind of the manager there. The owner of the contract.

[00:46:21.62] spk_3:
Ok, ok, and they’re the ones who managed the managed. OK, all right, So now

[00:46:43.06] spk_0:
and what is kind of an added so we can think about it as there’s all of these changes happening? And then, isn’t it so convenient that now a private equity firm is willing to pay over a $1,000,000,000 for this contract that no longer includes price caps and includes some vulnerabilities around?

[00:46:50.72] spk_2:
Wait. Oh, I hold on. I didn’t see that. The price tag is over a $1,000,000,000.

[00:46:57.22] spk_0:
$1.12 billion.

[00:47:11.85] spk_2:
Wow. Okay, I did not see that. I was I was wondering, but I hope she’s okay. So All right, so the question All right, So let’s let’s fast forward now. You aren’t

[00:47:20.74] spk_0:
even following who don’t. Maybe you don’t even work in a non profit that has a doubt or domain. You can already see from, like a, you know, business magazine perspective. What? What seems questionable about the situation?

[00:47:29.30] spk_2:
How the hell are they? How the hell is going to make all that money back, right? Yes. On the backs of

[00:47:34.24] spk_3:
America’s 1.3 million charities.

[00:47:37.88] spk_0:
Well, and keep in mind, this is for the entire globe. this is non profit over the entire

[00:47:43.35] spk_2:
world way. Talk

[00:47:49.38] spk_0:
about wanting to have a human rights lens on reviewing this transaction. When we talk about vulnerabilities for censorship, we’re thinking about non profit, not necessarily in the U. S. We’re thinking about non profit in parts of the world where they rely on a dot or domain so that people here in the U. S. No. Oh, this must be a new organization doing good work. I’m willing to donate to them. I’m willing to support them. They’re likely doing work in a geographic region where their government is not in support of what they’re doing right. And having vulnerabilities for censorship means their government could just turn their website off. Right?

[00:48:28.27] spk_2:

[00:49:21.43] spk_0:
uh, there’s a lot happening that is sure maybe not happening in this moment, but very, very likely could happen, right, because these changes have happened. So, um, what has also been challenging is that in a few of these public forums and 10 held a community call and invited the folks from Internet society and PR to come. And John Nevins said that he asked for those changes to be added into the contract, which kind of further creates this web of questioning about who knew this was happening. And how long was this plan, right? If those changes to the contract are what made the contract worth apparently over a $1,000,000,000 how did all of this happen?

[00:49:23.63] spk_2:
Did you have someone from ethos on the call?

[00:49:30.23] spk_0:
We did Eric Brooks, That Theo.

[00:49:50.31] spk_3:
Okay. And he has, uh, yes, I wanna be. I wanna be balanced here because he has a block post that from December 16th where he answers some of the answers, all the questions that a Mozilla Block post had had asked

[00:49:57.17] spk_0:
Answer some of those questions and I would say responded to them. Did not answer them,

[00:50:29.66] spk_3:
You would say responded. Okay, okay. So, like, for instance, on the pricing, um, what assurances gonna dot Or community have that ethos and p i r will keep their promises regarding price increases. We’re committed to limit increases for dot, or domain registrations prices to no more than 10% per year on average, based on domain prices today, that would equate to an additional $1 per year. We plan to embed these pricing commitments in our public benefit LLC or other corporate governing documents that that doesn’t care. Is that not satisfactory?

[00:50:43.24] spk_0:
No, I mean on average. So that could say, over the next 20 years, the average has been 10%. We all understand that Average doesn’t mean every year has to be.

[00:51:05.50] spk_3:
Yes. Okay. Okay. Now Eric says that they are Ah, they’re going to create a P I R. Stewardship Council. Right now, The Stewardship Council, um, concept behind our proposal is to put in place a dot org’s community advisory board body. The council will seek input from the daughter of community and convey the needs of the data or community to P i R. Management provide advice to p ay, our leadership on key matters impacting the daughter of community. And the leading voice in recommending new service is capabilities to be offered through the dot org’s platform to serve the mission driven community.

[00:51:29.44] spk_0:

[00:51:31.06] spk_3:
okay. What? You know,

[00:52:33.02] spk_0:
they had a, uh webinar. I guess you’d call it yesterday. So did and spoke at more length. It wasn’t a discussion or, you know, they didn’t take live questions or anything like that. But they spoke at more length about the same topics. And what we can understand about this advisory council is that the P. I. R. Board and the folks already working there working within this deal will choose who the council is. The council has no actual authority. Oh, our mechanisms for accountability. And, you know, it’s like a group that they have chosen that they say is able to give be back. So I don’t see how it addresses any of the kind of concerns that rest of the dot or community has for riel accountability.

[00:52:35.39] spk_3:
Okay, so your concern is that it would just be like an advisory board on sort of perfunctory and not not without really thought without authority. The authority would

[00:52:48.12] spk_2:
still be may not

[00:52:52.65] spk_0:
be folks who would have divers or critical views because their hand selected.

[00:52:57.75] spk_2:
Okay, well, hey, did say

[00:53:09.60] spk_3:
again Eric Brooks in his block post. He said that there would be standards for qualifications for membership on the stewardship Council. So

[00:53:10.65] spk_0:

[00:53:11.40] spk_2:
they would think

[00:53:12.31] spk_0:
that’s a pretty like white, dominant view of saying I’m gonna choose my friends.

[00:53:31.50] spk_3:
Yeah. Okay. Yeah, because, Well, yeah, The question is whether the dot or community would have input into, I guess I guess we’re talking about. Enter the terms of this disagreement between ethos and I saw. Right,

[00:53:32.83] spk_0:
Right. So we’re moving from a world where the dot or contract is managed by a non profit organization who would also managed by a non profit er organization and into a world where the dot or contract is held by a for profit entity owned by a private equity firm.

[00:53:50.69] spk_2:
Do it right. Just the principles

[00:54:02.33] spk_0:
of those organizational set up completely changes the context in which the dot or contract is maintained. Right? We’re going from a non profit entity reinvesting any additional funds back into the sector to two organizations that are really meant to maximize profit. Right?

[00:54:18.87] spk_3:
I understand. I do understand. And this falls into the category of I I’ve noticed this more in the past 10 years or so. We

[00:54:23.50] spk_2:
have to I feel like I have to fight Maur for what I did to keep status quo.

[00:54:28.65] spk_4:

[00:54:29.74] spk_0:

[00:54:32.60] spk_3:
So this is something that all

[00:54:32.93] spk_0:
right, let alone progress.

[00:54:37.08] spk_2:
But yeah, I’m just I’m just Internet

[00:54:54.29] spk_0:
society. Didn’t feel that it was sustainable to manage PR PR didn’t feel like it was manageable. Thio sustain the dot or contract there’s a different solution to that than completely, you know, throwing it out.

[00:54:56.36] spk_3:
I understand. All right. I’m

[00:54:57.40] spk_2:
gonna let us go

[00:54:57.93] spk_3:
a little longer. We are. Typically, we would end right about now, but let’s let’s go another few minutes. Not not not 10 minutes. Because listeners are pretty much counting on on our but, you know, really go another 45 minutes.

[00:55:09.79] spk_2:
Do we know how much

[00:55:12.26] spk_3:
revenue P I R earns? I don’t know. Over the

[00:55:16.01] spk_2:
past years, Annual 19 nineties

[00:55:18.24] spk_0:
and that kind of thing.

[00:55:20.44] spk_2:
Okay, what do you know?

[00:55:21.19] spk_0:
It’s like 90 year.

[00:55:24.12] spk_3:
90 year? Okay. And you’re saying that the contract price is 1.1 billion?

[00:55:30.09] spk_0:

[00:55:40.30] spk_3:
Okay. It takes a long time at night at the rate of 90 year to earn back 1.1 billion. And then it’s a venture profit. It’s a venture capital firm. Well, Fletcher, profit venture capital firm, which is a which is a profit profit firm,

[00:55:46.59] spk_2:
that it would be a long

[00:55:47.44] spk_0:
time if you had price caps.

[00:56:00.20] spk_3:
Yes, but there may be other methods, you know, we’re not, you know, we’re not venture capitalists, so I guess you know it comes with a healthy dose of suspicion, not just skepticism,

[00:56:02.04] spk_2:
but I mean challenge. There’s

[00:56:04.47] spk_0:
so little information that’s been shared and so

[00:56:06.68] spk_2:
many questions way.

[00:56:29.19] spk_0:
We have asked, you know how in the community Call it and 10 held. We directly asked Capital if they could confirm how long they plan to own the new version of public interest registry, whatever the new or profit is, how long they plan, tone and invest in that company. And they their answer was a really long time in terms of this work. Okay, well, in terms of private equity, I mean, a year could be a long

[00:56:38.39] spk_2:
time, you know,

[00:56:55.20] spk_3:
Right on his block post. Eric Brooks says Ethos has stated on multiple occasions that we are committed to investing. P I R for the long haul. Are investors include families and not profit acquisitions with long term investment horizons. Um, okay, now, but

[00:56:56.08] spk_2:
your concern is that they could resell it and then and then and then we And then it’s then it’s

[00:57:27.76] spk_3:
between 22 Private. Well, even if their public to four profit entities contracting and the outside community has no input into what contracts are between two companies any more than you know any more than we can comment on intends contracts with vendors for NTC, it becomes a matter of private contract in the case of every sale. Okay. All right. What should, uh, what your listeners do. What should we be doing? We gotta we gotta

[00:57:34.50] spk_2:
move on What you’ll do, you really

[00:57:36.45] spk_0:
love? You can

[00:57:37.14] spk_2:

[00:58:25.50] spk_0:
to save dot org’s dot org’s s a V e D o t org dot or GE where we have posted the recording of the community call, for example, if you want to be able to hear what the folks from these companies have said, uh, you can see the letter that we’ve sent to them that outlined some of the issues in the contract and what is really important right now. As for organizations to sign on and endorse our request that the sale stop or if you can’t sign on behalf of your organization, sign as a person as an individual. Right now there’s almost 550 organizations who have signed on, and we have almost 19,000 people who signed on those numbers really matter and help demonstrate that this isn’t you know, just in 10 and e f f who have a problem, right? This is a lot of organizations diverse people who understand that this is not in the best interest of a non profit, you know, four good world of the internet.

[00:59:14.24] spk_3:
Okay, Andi, uh, some of the other organizations involved Association of junior leagues. I’m just sampling from from a list of crisis text line do something dot org’s listeners know Aria finger Do something dot or GE ff Electronic Frontier Foundation Girl Scouts of us A Independent Sector Meals on Wheels America, National Council of Nonprofits and 10 Techsoup Volunteer Match Volunteers of America Wicked Media Y M C A of the U. S. A Y W c A U s A. All right, Amy Sample Ward. Thank you very much.

[00:59:22.12] spk_0:
Thank you so much. Tony. I really appreciate you kind of diving into this when I know it can feel a little acronym heavy, but it really will impact every single non profit

[00:59:33.62] spk_3:
Amy Sample word social media and technology contributor and CEO of in 10. You’ll find her at Amy sample ward dot or ge and at a M. E. R. S

[00:59:40.76] spk_2:
board and Aimee. Simple word. Lots of good wishes for your holidays. And for 2020. That’s a good wishes. Radio,

[00:59:47.02] spk_0:
I hope 2020 means we get to see each other in person.

[00:59:51.12] spk_2:
Well, we will it ntc

[00:59:52.47] spk_3:
But we need to go beyond that. Hopefully.

[00:59:54.43] spk_0:

[00:59:56.03] spk_3:
Thank you so much, Amy.

[00:59:59.01] spk_2:
Next week and the week after, there are no shows. I hope you enjoy. Enjoy the hell

[01:00:24.21] spk_3:
out of your holidays. Take time for yourself. Disconnect off grid. You know what all that means? I don’t need to flush it out. I hope you do it. I hope you do it for yourself. Friends, Family. Do it. Take the time you need. You need to take time for yourself because you’re in a giving profession. So no show for two weeks. If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you, find it on tony-martignetti dot com

Nonprofit Radio, December 2, 2011: SoMe 4 PG & Your Nonprofit In Politics

Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%

Sponsored by GE Grace corporate real estate services.

Listen live or archive:

My Guests:

Kristen Schultz

Kristen Schultz: SoMe 4 PG

Kristen Schultz, senior vice president for Crescendo Interactive, shares her research on the best uses of Social Media to support your Planned Giving program: videos; testimonials; blogging; technical info and more.

Please take a moment to take the survey for this week’s segment with Kristen! You’ll find it here at the end of the guest and segment descriptions. Thank you!

Emily Chan

Emily Chan: Your Nonprofit In Politics

Emily Chan, one of our regular legal contributors from the Nonprofit & Exempt Organizations law firm, identifies the limits around political campaign activity and electioneering. We’re approaching a presidential election year. What can your nonprofit do and how does the IRS decide if you’ve crossed the line? Under the First Amendment, what can your employees say?


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Here is a link to the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7QJ7RTM

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Dahna welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host. I hope you were with me two weeks ago when we had your plan. That was jason hutchins as my guest, he’s, the president of non-profit solutions. And he told you why you need a night plan and what belongs in it. We talked about budget equipment outsourcing the cloud and mme, or to help you avoid an crisis and the goods on google plus pages are tech contributor scott koegler, the editor of non-profit technology news. He’s on with me once a month, you kicked the tires on the recently released google plus pages for organizations. Should you take one for a test drive? How are they different than facebook pages? And last week i hope you enjoyed your thanksgiving. I hope you did not go shopping on thanksgiving day this week. So me for pg kristen schultz, senior vice president for crescendo, is going to share her research and interview results on the best uses of social media to support your plan to giving program video’s testimonials blogging tech in from technical information and she’s joining us from camarillo, california our next guest on the show is also from california. It’s going to be your non-profit in politics emily chan, one of our regular legal contributors from the non-profit and exempt organizations law firm in san francisco, identifies the limits around political campaign activity and election earing we’re approaching a presidential election year. What can your non-profit do? And how does the irs decide whether you’ve crossed the line under the first amendment? What can your employees say on tony’s? Take two at roughly thirty two minutes after the hour my block this week is thank you. There are many things i’m thankful for, and i’ll talk a little about those on tony’s take two. We’re live tweeting this week we have a guest live tweeter manette singleton from atlanta, georgia. Thank you very much, lynette, thanks for joining us. You can follow lynette she’s at s c g for non-profits and that’s a number four and to join the conversation on twitter with lynette’s live tweeting use hashtag non-profit radio this show is sponsored by g grace corporate real estate solutions. We’re going to take a break. And when we returned, kristen schultz from crescendo. So me for pg, stay with me. Dafs you’re listening to the talking alternative network. Are you suffering from aches and pains? Has traditional medicine let you down? Are you tired of taking toxic medications, then come to the double diamond wellness center and learn how our natural methods can help you to hell? Call us now at to one to seven to one eight, one eight three that’s to one to seven to one eight one eight three or find us on the web at www dot double diamond wellness dot com. We look forward to serving you. Is your marriage in trouble? Are you considering divorce? Hello, i’m lawrence bloom, a family law attorney in new york and new jersey. No one is happier than the day their divorce is final. My firm can help you. We take the nasty out of the divorce process and make people happy. Police crawl. Offset. Two, one, two, nine, six, four, three, five, zero two for a free consultation. That’s lawrence h bloom two, one two, nine, six, four, three five zero two. We make people happy. Hyre hey, all you crazy listeners looking to boost your business? Why not advertise on talking alternative with very reasonable rates? Interested simply email at info at talking alternative dot com oh! Welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent on tony martignetti non-profit radio, i guess now is kristen schultz. Kristen is an attorney at crescendo interactive. She specializes in online marketing and social media for planned gif ts she speaks widely and is a principal faculty member of gift college christians on the board of the american council on gift annuities and isa boardmember for the partnership for philanthropic planning of greater los angeles, you’ll find her on twitter at crescendo tweet and her planned giving blogger is kristen schultz dot black spot dot com i’m very glad that kristin’s work brings her to the show. Christian schulz welcome tony, pleasure to have you on you did some research and some interviews to try to discover best practices for planned e-giving why don’t you tell us what your methodology was? Yeah, i was receiving questions on social media in my work with plan giving, charity and charities were asking me why my organization use social media were planned gift. Is anyone using these tools successfully? And how much time will this take? And really what they want to know is what is the return on their investment are they going to achieve any result from these efforts? And so i began looking for information in this area and found a lot really on the current giving side, but nothing specifically directed towards certain gifts. So i started to compile my own information i it took a survey and advertise it broadly and receive the numerous examples from charities across our community and began to share those as best practices that they spoke this last year and next year. Well, ok, and how many websites did you look at? How many charities did you hear from? I would say over a hundred different sites, and then i personally interviewed sixteen charities that i thought were the best example i found, and those are the ones i featured in my study, ok? And did those i guess the sixteen since you thought those were the best? Did they cluster around any particular mission? Charitable work? No, they were all different, i would say the majority of securities that are doing social media, our educational institutions in that makes sense because they’ve bought vast alumni networks and they’re already doing that for their students on. So i found a large group in the college and university field, but i have examples that are hospitals and medical centers and community foundations, all different types of organizations, okay, when i think that’s reassuring to charities to know that whatever their mission, they can do well with social media for planned e-giving maybe we should just give a little encouragement a little inducement, perhaps teo be using social media and promoting online giving? Well, obviously that’s an increasing trend right online, giving it is it’s an increasing trend and there’s been tremendous growth in that area there surveys produced by blackbaud, and they do the online giving report on video online e-giving group in two days ten by thirty five percent and at the same time, we’ve seen this rise of social media so there’s this explosion and growth on the web charities air trying to find easier ways to communicate more efficiently and cost effectively, and social media certainly is a place to be. Even if you think it’s a bad your donors or not, there they are, they’re there i looking at pictures of the grandchildren, and they’re on these mediums every day, and so it’s a perfect place to capture their attention? Do you find people who think that facebook, twitter linked in four, square are fads? Uh, you know, there certainly are some people that think that, but i think the majority of recognizing, like, the internet, a lot of people don’t want to set a plan giving websites, and now they realize that the direction the technology is going and we to be there and the charities that are there are going to capture that audience, and i didn’t mention google plus and i guess right, i guess you could say, you know, the i’ve seen written that tweeting it will be will be around for a very, very long time and there’s, the question is whether twitter would be around for a long time and that sort of captures, you know, the concept of meeting people online will, i think, is unending, but just whether it’ll be facebook ten years from now or google plus or something else that we don’t we’ve never even heard of, so i think the concepts will endure is just what platforms? Yeah, certainly we’ve seen changes in technology, you know, starting my face-to-face book, and now there might be a migration to google plus, we’ll have to see, but i think the idea is that individuals are out there, they’re using social media on a daily basis and whether you like the concept or not, that is where your supporters are at and if the captive audience and so i think there are a lot of charities that are really leveraging that they’re posting on facebook i daily basis, they’re not necessarily using it for fund-raising purposes and i don’t think that’s the goal, but they’re using it to build a relationship, and that really is the key. When we talk about plan, get what you want, a relationship and how should ah non-profit start in social media for planned e-giving yeah, i think the most important thing is to find out where your community is and the way you do that is through testing and listening there’s a lot of literature in this area that cantor kind of social media guru for non-profit she’s written about this non-profit technology network and ten has a lot of resources, but the idea is that you need to find out where your community is, and the best way to do that is to set up a facebook page, set up a twitter account, start posting and tweeting, advertise with your email on your website, and see where you are followers or your fans are at. And then, you know, this is the medium that’s working for me, and then you need to try some different types of posts or tweet to see what your community response. Teo so it’s a matter of really testing, listening and it’s going to be different for each organization. Christian schulz is senior vice president at crescendo. We’re talking about social media for your plan giving programme. We’re going to take a break. Please stay with us tooting, getting dink, dink dink, you’re listening to the talking alternate network duitz get in. Cubine are you stuck in your business or career trying to take your business to the next level, and it keeps hitting a wall? This is sam liebowitz, the conscious consultant. I will help you get to the root cause of your abundance issues and help move you forward in your life. Call me now and let’s. Create the future you dream of. Two, one, two, seven, two, one, eight, one, eight, three, back-up two, one, two, seven, two, one, eight, one, eight, three. The conscious consultant helping conscious people be better business people. Hi, this is psychic medium. Betsy cohen, host of the show. The power of intuition. Join me at talking alternative dot com mondays at eleven a. M call in for a free psychic reading learned how to tune into your intuition to feel better and to create your optimum life. I’m here to guide you and to assist you in creating life that you deserve. Listen. Every monday at eleven a, m on talking alternative dot com. Are you feeling overwhelmed in the current chaos of our changing times? A deeper understanding of authentic astrology can uncover solutions in every area of life. After all, metaphysics is just quantum physics. Politically expressed buy-in, montgomery, taylor and i offer lectures, seminars and private consultations. For more information, contact me at monte m o nt y at r l j media. Dot com talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. I’m leslie goldman with the us fund for unicef, and i’m casey rotter with us fund for unison. You’re listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Durney welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent on tony martignetti non-profit radio kristen schultz from crescendo interactive and i are talking about social media for your plan to giving program kristen i since you mentioned that this is not necessarily for getting gifts directly, but really just in large part building dona relationships. One of the poll questions that i asked listeners for before the show is whether you’re non-profit is using facebook to build donorsearch ships on day, three quarters of the respondents said either yes, quite a bit or yes, slightly and twenty five percent. We’re not using it at all, so overwhelming majority using facebook to build dahna relationships, what do you like to see in in terms of goal setting for social media around planned e-giving i think in terms of gold, you have to set some basic objective and then begin to track your results. I like the smart objective that non-profit technology, uh, network uses smart. I mean your specific about your goals, they’re measurable there, attainable the relevant and their time bound. For example, in the plan giving context, it might be that i post a link to sign up for my organization can give you use letter on facebook and i might that’s the goal of achieving thirty new sign up in the next thirty days so that’s, quantitative and it’s time down. But once you’ve set a basic objective like that, you can use some of the measurement tools to actually measure how you’ve achieved your results and absolute organizations want to see they want to see that they’re achieving results from their social media efforts. Where will we find the and ten groups? Do you know? Do you know there you are, l ten ntn dot or ge and that’s the non-profit technology network? Is that right? Okay, i have a lot of resource latto resource is out there for people who are dafs or social media experts who are actually doing the actual posting. Most of the organization’s i’ve talked to in the plane giving arena are not posting to the page. They have a general charity facebook page and there ford and post to that person. Okay, so let’s talk about some of the methods that non-profits can use are around social media for plan giving. What did you see around the use? Of video. Yeah, i’ve seen a lot of the area video, and i think this is a growing area. Facebook allows you to drop videos on youtube and establish a link, or you can record a video via webcam. Texas am university is an example of security that has dropped number of donors testimonials. I had a great one a couple of months ago. A couple of made a request through their will, and they are a couple that has spent generations of their family, their children and grandchildren through texas a and m. And so they shared their story and talked about why you should contribute teo and m in their requests, gifts and the benefit of social media with dr stories and testimony, menu testimonials and videos that individuals can respond right on the paint and so you can share in that enthusiasm. Both seems staff testimonials where staff members, charities will talk about why they’ve made a commitment to their will on and then mission videos are very popular. The citadel foundation has a great video talking about the work of their organization. Save the chimps are really wonderful, custom branded video that shares images of their work so there’s a lot you can do with video about facebook and all summer long, andi want toby reassuring to our writings, which is small and mid sized non-profits that that these videos don’t have to be high end there’s been there’s really compelling stuff out there? That’s really just like a flip cam, right? Really, you could drop anything on facebook that meet their specifications, but you’re just simply dropping the video out there and establishing a link, you know, youtube or where, and it just doesn’t need to be, you know, high production value as long as that you mentioned some donorsearch s timoney als and another question that i asked around facebook and since you mentioned it for listeners before the show is, are you using facebook to support your plan to giving program? Nobody said yes quite a bit about a third a little more than third said yes slightly and then all the rest, about two thirds said no, they’re not using facebook at all to support planned giving so summer some are using it for donor relationships generally based on the first question, but on this on this question, not really using it. So much for plan e-giving and that is true, and i did my survey there’s only a small group that it’s starting to use facebook and twitter and lengthen and some of these platforms for planned gift. But i think it’s a growing group, certainly we’ve seen a lot of growth the current giving side no securities air out there talking about their efforts, and they also have cast donation button paypal account’s attached to their facebook pages. But yeah, there hasn’t been a lot said about this in the plane, getting community and that’s why this research was so interesting to me, and i wonder if if some of that reluctance to use facebook for planned e-giving is because the older, older community sixty, people sixty seventies and eighties are reluctant to use facebook beyond, you know, just tracking keeping in touch with family. I think that some individuals you that correct, but it’s actually not if you look at these fucking site survey’s biggest growth has been in recent years women age fifty five plus they are online and again, they’re looking at grandchildren’s pictures and they’re on their facebook pages every day. And so there’s actually a growing group of seniors who are out there one of the individuals i talked with david moore from chapman university he’s got a facebook page that’s just dedicated to his plane getting group, and he established it because he found so many of the seniors who were supporters of the university were out there on facebook. So it’s surprising, but there is a growing group there and it’s, a group that you can capture their attention if you are out there with a present for your carrying on with kristen schultz, senior vice president for crescendo interactive. We’re talking about planned your social media for planned e-giving remind you that we are live tweeting when that singleton is guest live tweeting for us. Use the hashtag non-profit radio to join the conversation on twitter and if you have a question you want to call in, we can’t take your call at eight seven seven four aito for one two oh eight, seven, seven, four aito for one two oh, you mentioned the quests kristen, is that really the place to start? If if you’re a small and midsize shop, is that the? Is that the place to start your social? Media effort? Yeah, it really is. The majority of plan gifts are still bequest. Request our blanket virtually any charity can offer and it’s interesting. Because if you look at the statistics, lawyers got confidence survey, sixty five percent of adults have no plan. And so a lot of individuals have not even begun to plan for their future. But planning when it does start its beginning earlier than we previously thought. It’s actually not a sixty five at forty forty five, the average age for the first will of actually forty four. And this is based on a study that was reproducing if key eventjournal average age for first requested forty nine and you can see actually metoo start capturing the attention of individuals in their forties when we talk about plan gift. Okay. And of course, i want to keep myself out of george in jail on the show we have judge in jail. And, you know, i said bequests. I just wanna make sure that everybody understands that that is a gift in someone’s will i think most people understand that, but i want to stay clear of dark in jail because if i’m in george in jail than be nobody to talk to you way we just have to hang up now would be the end so that we don’t want that. How about getting testimony? Sorry, getting technical information to either donors or advisors? How much of that did you see? I would say the most common plan getting post on facebook or tweet on twitter are short they’re typically wanted two lines with a short length back-up teo plan getting website and it’s really important to use a short link when you’re linking teo anything on your site, go to billy dot com or tinyurl dot com the best toasts are always the ones that linked to interactive tools or ask the reader to take action or respond. One organization i’ve seen it done quite well in marquette community foundation in northern michigan. They are on facebook and they have established a series of link on facebook. Teo will kit, and they invite people to download this freak it it’s a guide to planning your will and trust and that’s led to request discussions on the page. Uh, it’s resulted in vivid when someone asked questions on the page, and it seems that they’re interested to get planner will then take the discussion off the page and going have a normal visit, just like you would do with any plan gift, and that resulted in commitments for the organization. Both cast cash gift, but also bequest. Okay on dh that’s ah, technical information for donors. Did you see much use of technical information for advisors on being promoted around social media? I mean, i know technical sites exist for planners and advisors, but did you see non-profits encouraging advisers to go there through their own social media? I have not seen as much of that, but what i have seen is that there are a couple of non-profit that have advertise seminars for sessions for advisors, you, twitter and facebook, and i’m thinking of a jewish organization, the washington dc area, that sundown fairly effectively, but yeah, i don’t see a lot of post directed towards advisors from charity. Ok, let’s, talk a little about blogging. I know you. You have some have some tips about blogging. What? Just let’s again. Tryto encourage people. Why should there be a plan giving block? Yeah, i think that blogger is your own expression the way teo. Talk frankly about your work, your mission. And there are some organizations that have done that very effectively. Valencia college foundation in florida. Sorry, where was that? Was valencia? Yeah, valencia kottler foundation that gives planner there. Dahna marino has a great blogged herb log is on the word press platform and she’s featured a number of different types of plant gifts. She’s talked about the quest, uh, stock gift. She in a bequest post, will post her bequest language so individual knows how to include the charity in their plan, she always post to a gift acknowledgement, forms a form where the individual can fill that out, acknowledge a guest and join their legacy society on and all of her posts link back to her plan, getting website and her email and so she’s using the bloggers away to drive people to the plan, giving sight for more information and what’s your advice around driving people to the bog. I think that’s a great idea as well, it’s just that unless you build a really comprehensive block, you won’t have all of the information that you might have on your plan giving sight so you would have to make sure that you have big coverage of the different gift model and also, you know, some really motivating stories, but certainly she’s making a good example, someone who has built up a plan getting file, she actually files and takes her block and all of her blog’s are filed under plan giving. So if i wanted to find all of the information on plan giving on her block, i would just click on plan giving and she’s built up a fairly comprehensive list of posts on plan getting topic. So i think you can grow that over time, but it might not include all the information you might have on your plan getting website, you know, write clearly, and i was just i’m asking about howto promote the blog’s that people go there, people go there to see it, and then they find the information elsewhere. How does she promote or what? What’s your advice around promoting the block well, when i drop a block, i always tweet to it right away and so my twitter followers no, i’ve just posted something and then my block also migrates over to facebook so a charity can connect their blawg to their facebook page and by tweets also migrate over to facebook, and then i have my facebook page and my twitter account linked, smiling, then account, and so anyone whose only sin will be able to view both of those. And so when you connect your accounts like that, i think it really saved you a lot of time you only have to post or tweet in one place and the information then migrates over to the different platforms. So you’re reaching different audiences, and i know that he does that also effectively, they post to the block with your face. So all these are inextricably intertwined. They’re all pointing to each other. Okay? And then the block is the source of information deeper information you said their links and archives pointed to from there right? I also spoke to someone from unicef foundation and they have a great block. They feature donorsearch stories and they will post their facebook page a link to the block every time they have a new story. Alright, kristen, we have to leave it there. That’s video testimonials, technical information for donors and advisors and blogging. Christian schulz is senior vice president for crescendo interactive. She mentioned that she actively tweets. You can follow her on twitter at at crescendo tweet. Kristen schultz, thank you very much for being a guest. Thank you, it’s. Been a real pleasure having you. We’re going to take a break, and when we return, it’ll be tony’s take to my block this week. Thank you, and then after that, we’ll have emily chan talking about your non-profit in politics, so stay with me. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Are you feeling overwhelmed in the current chaos of our changing times? A deeper understanding of authentic astrology can uncover solutions in every area of life. After all, metaphysics is just quantum physics. Politically expressed buy-in, montgomery, taylor and i offer lectures, seminars and private consultations. For more information, contact me at monte m o nt y at r l j media. Dot com are you stuck in your business or career trying to take your business to the next level, and it keeps hitting a wall? This is sam liebowitz, the conscious consultant. I will help you get to the root cause of your abundance issues and help move you forward in your life. Call me now and let’s. Create the future you dream of. Two, one, two, seven, two, one, eight, one, eight, three, that’s to one to seven to one eight one eight, three. Conscious consultant. Helping conscious people. Be better business people. Hey, all you crazy listeners looking to boost your business? Why not advertise on talking alternative with very reasonable race? Interested simply email at info at talking alternative dot com. Welcome back, it’s. Time for tony’s. Take two. My block this week is thank you. Thank you very much for listening to the show whether you listen live or to the podcast. There are a thousand of you that download our podcast from itunes and i’m very grateful for that. I also thank my clients for trusting me with their plan to giving work or their charity registration work. Thank you. Also to the eleven hundred people who get my weekly radio email alerts. I am grateful that you let me into your inbox thinly veiled as a radio show. Thank you. Thanks to those who follow my blogged and comment on the block, i have a lot to be thankful for. And there’s mohr gratitude expressed on my block this week. The name of the post is thank you and you’ll find my block at mpg a d v dot com. Thank you. That’s tony’s, take two for friday, december second. Joining me now is emily chan. Emily, how you doing? I’m doing really well. How are you? Excellent. Very good to have you back on the show. Emily is an attorney at neo-sage non-profit and exempt organizations law. Firm in san francisco, and she is principal contributor at the non-profit law blawg dot com. You can follow emily on twitter under her name at emily chan. Emily we’re talking this week about political activity we’re coming up on a presidential election year just generally what is the rule around political activity by non-profits so today we’re going to focus on five, oh one, three organizations, but it would be like public charities, and the general rule is that they’re absolutely prohibited from engaging in political campaign activity on so generally this means things like no contributions, no endorsement by the organization and no use of the organization’s resources by one candidate without giving equal opportunity to the other candidates. And i want to thank you for catching me. You’re very thoughtful when i say non-profits that’s really not right? We’re talking about five o one c three, the charitable part because there are lots of non-profits that are not five or one c three, not charitable, so thank you for that and you didn’t even even called me out and possible jargon jail violation was because i missed used the term we’re not talking about non-profits like labor. Unions or or membership associations were talking about exactly as you said, the charitable sector of the five o one see threes, but thank you you mentioned not using the charity’s resource is what what kinds of resource is do. Charities need to be careful about their employees possibly using or or the or board members possibly using so there’s actually quite an array of resources that could lead into political campaign activity if used improperly to touch upon the first one you mentioned about staff on board members there’s, a major confusion area for many five on three organizations about what their staff on board members could do in their individual capacity. Because people have first amendment rights so many times individuals want to engage in political campaign activity on their own behalf, sometimes it causes problems. So for example, when that individual uses their organizational email address, they make statements at an organization sponsored event basically things out with lead one to believe that it’s the organization speaking or asking that person to speak or supporting what that individual says. The organizations want to be very clear in making that separation between what an individual khun d’oh in. Their individual capacity on what the organization is prohibited from doing so that’s interesting just use of the company or the sorry the charity’s email. I mean, i think people probably use their office e mail all the time because it’s just so much easier than switching back and forth between that gmail account or something, but so if your if you’re using your charities email, then that’s gonna that’s gonna look like you’re speaking on behalf of the charity? Yes, it certainly could, and so organizations will wantto have policies to make sure that the individuals are aware of this. But i think in most cases, it’s not intentional. I don’t think the individual wants to get the organization in trouble, but as you said, it may just be a matter of convenience or just not being knowledgeable about the kind of restrictions on the organization. So the organization should really put this into a policy and educate their staff on board members about what they can’t dio another issue with the board members or officers in the organizational when they used their titles and they speak and then are identified as being what say, the president of such organization in most cases, you want teo avoid that one possible. But if identification is going to be used in that way, really have a disclaimer that it’s just for identification purposes, because, again, there needs to be a difference between, you know, joe speaking on behalf of joe it’s, president, when joe, as the president, speak on behalf of the organization. So if someone is introduced, then at an affair on and they are going to be talking about a political statement, so so let’s say, somebody introduces joe, and they say that he’s a board member of a charity and then joe goes and and gives his political opinion about whether it’s a candidate or an issue, you’re saying that the use of that charity’s name in the introduction could cause a problem it could. But again, there are ways to add more protection around that. So asking the host of the defense to put that disclaimer out there that it’s just for identification purposes, having now disclaimer language in let’s, say the event brochure just to be sure that the attendees who were coming in other outsiders who are seeing this know that it’s just being used. Teo identify this joe from another job, but it’s not actually on behalf of the organization that he people excellent advice? Is there a difference between talking about political candidates on dh political issues or they or it doesn’t matter if they’re certainly is so with this absolute prohibition? It’s a facts and circumstances, of course, many things god organizations care about are going to be related teo elections, i mean, the people who are in the office can really influence the kind of policy and, you know, laws that our leader decided, so there are some cream izabal election related activities. The best way i’ve had it described to me is that these air yellow light activities you always want to proceed with caution because of the fact that given any kind of facts and circumstances, it could cross over into this prohibited activity. So the kind of things that organizations can do with the would be activities like voter education, such a voter guide doing voter registration like we’ve seen get out the vote candidate education, so sending all the candidates to educate them, dr policy issues and also issue advocacy and if you have this in particular, is one area that organization should be cautious about as faras crossing into political campaign activities, especially if they have advocacy on certain wedge issues. So the kind of issues that really distinguish one candidate from another, such as, you know, pro life, pro choice, looking at all the facts and circumstances if an organization is only doing this in election years really close to the election that’s not going to look right to the iris, others, but if, for example, they do it all the years, including non election years made do with the same kind of mean and scope, and they’re really doing it then to highlight their charities agenda, then that’s going to be something that issue ads that is permissible okay. And again, the name of that test that the irs applies is facts and circumstances. Is that right? Yes, like most of their test way. Then you come back. Okay, well, i guess i’m context is important, but but it also that’s such a sort of a nebulous test that it doesn’t really give a lot of guidance to non-profits to charities, right? And so that’s again why these are yellow light activities. Proceed with caution certainly seek experts to help you, especially if you’re doing something that could be seen as possibly being in support or in opposition to a candidate for public office. It’s really important to note that because the rule as a friend and it comes right out of five one two three in the internal revenue code is absolute, the revocation is the penalty, so that is pretty severe. River give me revocation of charitable status. Yes, on so that’s a severe penalty that you know the death sentence, any charity? Generally speaking, you see more of intermediate penalties. And so there’s also a penalty tax that the irs can impose on the organization and managers who approved knowingly approve a political like senator. But because that way let me stop you. How does that penalty tax work tax on attacks on what so it attacks of the political expenditure. But it can be imposed on the organization, so that would be ten percent. And then it also could be imposed on a manager who knowingly approved the political senator. And that would be two point five percent of the political on does that mean the manager would be personally? Liable to pay that tax? Do you know or work in the charity? Pay it on the person’s behalf. The person would be personally liable. And there’s also a second layer of attacks that can come in if the organization does not collect it or the manager, another manager, or that the manager refuses to approve the correction. So again, there’s some serious final piece because the public charities really are not supposed to be election hearing organization there there for public purposes for the public. Good. Look, let me ask you, emily, how come things like voter education and voter registration? You mentioned how come those things are allowed? These are seen of activity that helped facilitate democracy, but the same concept, the pie again as far the organization needing to be mutual and nonpartisan. So, for example, with voter education guide, he should not be guide that rank candidate. They really should be informative so that it allows the individual to make the decision of who they will vote for voter registration again, that can’t be just targeted to certain political affiliation or, you know, some kind of group them that would be aligned more with party affiliations. Of the post suggest getting people to register so these guys really need to be fair and balanced on dh oh, my god, fair and balanced. That’s fox is to say that and then they told they can’t know that’s a bad phrase. Lynette singleton, don’t don’t tweet that out fair and balanced thes things need to be nonpartisan. They need to be neutral, right? Right? Is that it? Okay, um, something about the organization should keep in mind with all of its activities because again, they can help the facility with democracy help educate the public, but they really shouldn’t be making that decision for the public for who they vote for. Okay, what if a charity invites candidates to speak or invites a candidate to speak? How does that work if they want to have, like, a political night where the candidates themselves speak that impermissible election related activity? But again, there are certain back-up that the organization wants be sure they take care of so all candidates should be invited to speak. If you’re having something like a debate, you know each candidate should be able to have equal time to speak there should be unusual moderator creating as much of a mutual, unbiased environment as possible will be important. You know, no campaigning, far fund-raising should be taking place, and no one from the organisation should be making statements to support or oppose someone who was there. Okay, again, neutral, you even mentioned neutral moderator very good. Okay, we’re going to take a break. Emily chan is going to stay with us, of course, for our last segment, talking about your non-profit and politics and election earing. So stay with us. Talking alternative radio, twenty four hours a day. Hi, i’m carol ward from the body mind wellness program. Listen to me, my chauffeur, ideas and information to help you live a healthier life in body, mind and spirit. You’ll hear from terrific guests who are experts in the areas of health, wellness and creativity. So join me every thursday at eleven a, m eastern standard time on talking alternative dot com professionals serving community. This is tony martignetti athlete named host of tony martignetti non-profit radio. They get non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Technology fund-raising compliance, social media, small and medium non-profits have needs in all these areas. My guests are expert in all these areas and mohr. Tony martignetti non-profit radio fridays one to two eastern on talking alternative broadcasting. Are you concerned about the future of your business or career? Would you like it all to just be better? Well, the way to do that is to better communication. And the best way to do that is training from the team at improving communications. This is larry sharp, host of the ivory tower radio program and director at improving communications. Does your office needs better leadership? Customer service sales or maybe better writing are speaking skills. Could they be better at dealing with confrontation conflicts, touchy subjects all are covered here at improving communications. If you’re in the new york city area, stop by one of our public classes or get your human resource is in touch with us. The website is improving communications, dot com that’s improving communications, dot com improve your professional environment, be more effective be happier and make more money. Improving communications. That’s. The answer. Talking. Hi, i’m kate piela, executive director of dance, new amsterdam. And you’re listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Welcome back. Emily chan is with me she’s one half of our regular legal contributing team of jean takagi and emily chan. And they’re both with the non-profit and exempt organizations law firm in san francisco. Where is jean takagi this week? Emily? How come, she’s? Not with us? Xero jean is here. He’s taking care of some other matters that the office is busy. You know, that’s how the holidays go. Nice he’s in the office and you can’t come to the phone right away. He’s. Not in the office. Cubine is not the office. All right, you’re covering will be on the next. Okay, i keep document these things. There are records you mentioned training a couple of times, what’s what’s the best way to train employees about what the policies are so that they know that the constraints, the first step to training, i think, is having a policy, i think that’s something that many organizations don’t have when it comes, teo advocacy related work, having the organization first become aware and informed of what they need to know is so crucial to then passing on that training, too. Volunteers dafs so once they have the policy, it really just be something of going through the policy together of revisiting that every year and making sure it’s up to date with the law and making sure that that handbook essentially is acceptable to anyone who would be having access to things like the organizations, email or social media accounts or would be staffing and events. Something we haven’t talked about yet is on individuals, election choices. Can i use the charity’s email or platform and and say what i’ve, how, how i voted or how i feel about a candidate? I don’t know, not about a candidate, sorry, but can i say how i have voted or how i intend to vote that is most likely going to be viewed closer along the lines of prohibited political campaign activity, again, using the organization as a platform than to an outsider, it certainly can have the appearance of the organization itself now engaging in this prohibited political campaign activity, even if it was an intentional, really, you know, organizations should not be able to indirectly circumvent the rules, so in that case, organization should not be publicising how individual votes and individuals in the organization should not be. Using organizational resources are platform teo voice that since this fact in circumstances test is so nebulous, i’m going to guess that social media is going to be kind of a gray area, depending on what the activity is like. Like if the organization lynx let’s se teoh somebody’s into account its website. Yes, that’s correct. A social media is such a dissolving field right now, there’s a lot of uncertainties and question marks far how the wall will fall down on this, but it certainly creates more opportunity for organizations to unknowingly or even knowingly violate the rules. So the irs has suggested, basically, from most of it, revenue rulings, another information that’s coming out that it is going to hold charities responsible, for example, the links that they have established on their web site. Two other pages, so what’s item bob chat room bulletin for its face. But this is all being treated the same way printed material has been treated traditionally by the irs. Not something organization needs to be careful about, because, you know if you link to a page one day that page, maintain tomorrow and you may not know that so any kind of connection you have to outside link should be revisited and ensure that they’re not putting the organization in a bad position. How does the irs find out about these things? Do do we know? Do they randomly check oars that when somebody blows the whistle, how does how did they find out? There are many channels for which the irs will start investigating an organization. It may come from news reports from reports from the public from things that they know internally, but win organisations so out of form ten twenty three they also put their website. And so that is something that the ira certainly will look at at the initial stage, and it’s something that on record too. So there are many ways to find out what an organization is doing, especially today on and if you are let’s, say, a controversial organization, it would not be surprising them that the media would also be paying a lot of attention. He was, well, way talked about linking to candidates website. What if the organization links to all the candidates websites with that, then be election education or you think that would be over the line? It depends of course, so that the best you can always say no family depends what gene gene over here getting no, i’m joking it again. We want to look at the purpose for why they’re linking to begin with. So it’s it’s something more similar to a voter education guide where it’s saying, you know, descriptions about each candidate’s and then providing it as like a more information line that’s that’s more like, you know, neutral information being passed on to the individual. If it’s something though we’re now it seems like one candidate is getting, you know, kind of more favoritism, mama sight or, you know, kind of less exposure like you have three candidates on your main page and to that air four clicks in, so there are a lot harder to find then. Now the facts and circumstances changing there’s no real purpose for linking it. That also raises the question of why the winks or even they’re really it would depend on all the facts and circumstances for why those wings are on the page to begin with. And your answer that it depends, i think, is perfect because it is because charity’s it is a nebulous test. Facts and circumstances and charities need to be very, very cautious and risk averse. Yes, on a great point that comes out of the question to questions about the different ways that organizations can connect tio candidates. So i believe you mentioned things like friending or re tweeting or liking their pace. I mean, these are all questions that the irs is going to have to deal with. So from a more conservative standpoint, you know, organization stands, they want to be very cautious about kind of avoiding any situation that could potentially lead to being seen as a favour to them. No, again, if there’s no real purpose in doing it, it’s probably best to not put the organization at risk by testing the waters in those areas where the irs is not clear yet on how it’s going to take a position on the kind of action. Emily chan is an attorney at the non-profit and exempt organizations law firm in san francisco. She’s, a principal contributor to the non-profit law block, which you’ll find at non-profit low block dot com. You can follow her on twitter at emily chan emily, thanks very much for being on again. Thank you for having me, it’s. Always a pleasure. Thank you. Give our regards to jean. I want to thank my guest this week, kristen schultz and, of course, emily chan and the net singleton thankyou for live tweeting lynette, you’ll find lynette at singleton consulting group that’s her company, and you can follow her on twitter at s c g the number four non-profits next week fund-raising throughout your life cycle, what does fund-raising look like in these stages of a non-profits life brainchild, startup adolescents, maturity, stagnation decline? And how do you avoid the last two of those stagnation in decline? We’re going to talk about fund-raising throughout your life cycle with jeff sobel principle of jeffrey sobel consulting and marrying major and planned gif ts are these two compatible? What do their courtship and marriage look like? Charlie gordy, the director of planned e-giving for harvard law school, and margaret hohman principle of home and consulting are going to reveal how to make this match one that’s made in heaven that was recorded pre recorded at the national conference on philanthropic planning. Keep up with what’s coming up! Sign up for our insider email alerts on our facebook page. If you like today’s, show, please like us on facebook, click that button become a fan you can listen to tony martignetti non-profit radio live or archive on itunes that’s the place to listen archive, and you’ll find us at non-profit radio dot net. You can subscribe and listen any time on the device of your choice, you can follow me on twitter. The show’s hashtag is have said is non-profit radio, use it wisely and thanks again to our guest tweeter lynette singleton, the creative producer of tony martignetti non-profit radio is claire meyerhoff. Our line producer is janice taylor. Social media is by regina walton of organic social media. This show is sponsored by g grace corporate real estate services. If you’re worried about the rising costs of rent for your organization or need to capitalize on real estate, you’re non-profit owns g grayson company provides you, and you’re bored with analysis so that real estate decisions are made with transparency and thoroughness. George grace has been advising non-profits on their real estate decisions for over twenty five years. G grace dot com or eight eight, eight, seven, four, seven two, two, three seven i’m tony martignetti this is tony martignetti non-profit radio. I hope you’ll be with me next friday once. Two p m eastern. We’re always on talking alternative broadcasting always found at talking alternative dot com. Xero you didn’t think that shooting getting dink, dink, dink, dink. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. E-giving nothing. You could. 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