Tag Archives: RFPs

Nonprofit Radio for June 20, 2022: Your RFP Process


Josh Riman: Your RFP Process

There’s a better way to manage requests for proposals, so that you weed out vendors who aren’t right, choose the best finalists, select the best provider, and transition smoothly to project launch. Josh Riman from Great Believer explains. (This is part of our coverage of #22NTC, hosted by NTEN.)


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[00:01:58.74] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast and oh, I’m glad you’re with me, I’d get slapped with a diagnosis of awful Modena if you paint me with the idea that you missed this week’s show your RFP process, there’s a better way to manage requests for proposals so that you weed out vendors who aren’t right, choose the best finalists, select the best provider and transition smoothly to project launch josh Lyman from Great Believer explains This is part of our coverage of 22 NTC hosted by and 10 on tony steak too. Thank you. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C o And by 4th dimension technologies I T infra in a box. The affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Just like three D but they go one dimension deeper here is your RFP process. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 22 N T C. It’s the 2022 nonprofit technology conference of course you knew it was coming on non profit radio and we’re kicking off our 22 Ntc coverage with a returning Ntc guest very welcome, very glad to have you back josh Lyman President and founder of Great Believer, josh welcome back.

[00:02:06.24] spk_1:
Thanks for having me

[00:02:57.44] spk_0:
Pleasure. Real Pleasure. Thank you for, kicking off our 22 NTC coverage, your session topic at the conference was running an RFP process while keeping your cool and I see that you’re a solo this time in in the past, you’ve had, you had the support of other great believer team members now, your solo, let’s see. Let’s see how the founder and Ceo does by himself, your team is watching. That’s right. Um so what about this RFP process? I imagine you’ve filled out, I don’t know, scores maybe hundreds of these through the years. Uh great believer. What just like overview, What are we not quite getting right about our R R F P s?

[00:03:36.94] spk_1:
Yeah, I think I’ve got an interesting perspective because I’m not the one who’s writing the RFP or sending it around or reviewing it, but the one who’s actually receiving it and responding to it and like you said, we’ve seen scores and seen the good and the bad and the ugly and some are FPs are great and some RFP is leave a lot to be desired when they’re not specific enough or they’re not clear enough. And We’ve essentially created a session that organizes the RFP process into six stages which are right. The RFP distributed, hold Q and a review proposals, interview finalists and select a winner. And in looking back at other our FPs, we’ve received and things that work and things that don’t put together a series of dues and don’t that we thought could be helpful for organizations that are working on our FPs, whether it’s someone who’s an RFP wizard who does it all the time or someone who’s making their first RFP trying to give them a good place to start from.

[00:04:08.74] spk_0:
Okay. Um before you even Alright, so you have six steps, so I’m gonna be a little troublemaker. I’m gonna be like before even the first one was writing, what about, you know, do you need an RFP? Does does this project require an RFP? Do you need that kind of formal process?

[00:04:49.54] spk_1:
Our way? Nothing would have an RFP. Our understanding from talking to organizations is that there, there could be a lot of reasons the two that I’m aware of that organizations put out our FPs are a, if there’s a certain amount of budget being invested, there’s a policy that says you need to consider a certain number of vendors and in doing so you should release an RFP to make sure it’s a level playing field. That’s one reason. Another reason is that often the board stipulates that no matter what the project size might be, they want to have multiple candidates, they can review and and assess who might be the best fit. I think there could be other reasons also to play into it. But those are the ones that we often hear. I don’t think anybody likes the RFP process whether you’re the one writing it, receiving it or reviewing it, but it feels like it’s a necessary evil for a lot of nonprofits.

[00:05:10.14] spk_0:
Okay. And uh, and let’s acquaint listeners with what great believer does like what kind of R. F. P. S. Are you seeing what what is what web design I know, but you may go much deeper than web website development.

[00:05:50.34] spk_1:
No, it’s mostly that were graphic design agency for nonprofits. Web design and development is our core area of focus and most the vast majority of the RFP s that we apply to our for web. And I think that makes sense because web is often a large investment that a non profits making compared to something smaller one off projects, let’s say an annual report or something of that nature. And when they’re doing a website project, it’s often years in the making to collect the funding to get the executives on board to go for it and to actually engage someone in this project. I think because of that, they want to review multiple vendors, candidates and they also want to have a document that says, here’s exactly what we’re looking for, solve the proposals they receive are as apples to apples as can be.

[00:06:11.54] spk_0:
Right. Right. Right. Like you said, everybody’s level playing field, everybody’s had a chance to answer the exact same questions. Everybody’s seen the exact same specs, etcetera. All right. Alright. Let’s get into your your six steps writing. What do you what do you want to see us do better.

[00:06:17.14] spk_1:
Yeah. So we did a poll

[00:06:19.55] spk_0:
actually just stop. Don’t don’t. Right.

[00:06:21.98] spk_1:
Right. Right. Exactly. Yeah.

[00:06:24.31] spk_0:
You have to if you have to. All right, let’s get started.

[00:06:26.84] spk_1:
Exactly. We we did a poll at the session and asked of these six phases which one do you most to test? And again, the six phases are right. It distributed hold Q and a review proposals. Interview finalists, select a winner, the vast majority of people most to test right in the RFP. It’s definitely the hardest thing. And because of that we have the most dues and don’t that apply to that stage. So happy to just start ripping through them. And if you have any thing you want to add or questions you wanna ask, go for it.

[00:07:03.54] spk_0:
Yeah. Okay. My my fear here is that people feel that they have to be like formal, you know, like they’re almost writing a legal document. They want to be such, such great degree of specificity that I don’t know. Maybe the maybe the overall purpose gets lost in the in the in the in the weeds. We’ll find out. All right, go ahead, take off some and we’ll see

[00:07:20.24] spk_1:
Well, that’s a good point because one of our dues is be specific about your needs. But I think there is a limit there where some groups try to be so overly specific that it becomes prescriptive and you’re not letting the candidates themselves showcase their process and how they would actually solve your problems. So specific enough that the right people apply for your RFP but not so specific that it puts them into a box,

[00:08:04.24] spk_0:
right? That we have to do exactly this way. Or, you know, even though we think we have a better way and it leaves out the possibility of some, I mean, you’re a lot of your creativity is is in not only graphic design but in like database design, right? You know, the back end and, you know, they’re not availing themselves of, you know, maybe half your expertise. If they’re just if they’re speaking it out so much detail that uh, you know, they just want you to be an artist or a graphic designer and then and then like a droop a code or something. All right,

[00:08:16.02] spk_1:
Right, right. Where we’re more focused on on WordPress, but your point is

[00:08:19.34] spk_0:

[00:08:35.04] spk_1:
is totally legit. We don’t expect the RFP to have all the answers and we also don’t don’t expect to be able to solve everything through our proposal, but at least we want to get somewhere where it’s feeling like this could be a promising fit and we’re understanding your needs. Okay, notice.

[00:08:36.64] spk_0:
And what I say, I

[00:08:37.71] spk_1:
think that’s the balance is we shouldn’t expect the RFP to have all the right questions and then you the organization shouldn’t expect our proposal to have all the answers. We only know so much at this point, but if it seems like there’s good chemistry and it could be a good fit, then let’s move forward and talk more about the potential of working together,

[00:08:55.33] spk_0:
right? And you want to give your vendors a chance? You you mentioned this to showcase their expertise, but here’s what we bring to it, you know, let us let us share some ideas that we have that we think may be better than yours because this is what we do.

[00:09:10.00] spk_1:
Exactly you

[00:09:11.13] spk_0:
didn’t, you wouldn’t need us, you know, if you

[00:09:13.43] spk_1:

[00:09:14.32] spk_0:
what else you got in the writing stage?

[00:09:52.54] spk_1:
Well related piece to that is you definitely want to get input when you’re working on the RFP? I think there are two groups you can get input from because writing an RFP when you started off, you could be thinking, I don’t even know where to start. How do I frame this thing? How do I organize it? How do I structure it? So two thoughts here, one is ask other organizations who have put out similar RFP s, how they did it. And we asked them to share their RFP if they’re comfortable doing so and then use that as a template and use it as a starting point, modify it as needed to best serve your organization’s needs, but don’t feel like you need to reinvent the wheel. There are lots of good RFP s out there and by asking friends in the space what they’ve done for their R. F P. S, you can probably get a good template to start from.

[00:09:59.04] spk_0:
Okay, What else you got? That’s that’s a straightforward one. Good.

[00:10:01.37] spk_1:
And then the other thing in terms of asking people for input is people at your organization? So maybe there’s a group that’s assembled, that’s the RFP team and it’s perhaps mostly the comms team, maybe some people from development, you’ll still want to survey, you know, folks in I. T. Executives, other people to make sure the RFP you put out is as comprehensive as can be in terms of collecting the goals and input from other groups of your organization. So then you get the right agency to work on this project in a way that helps everybody and doesn’t just help comms or just help development so on and so forth.

[00:10:39.54] spk_0:
I can see, you know, this is generic advice that’s gonna apply to any RFP, not only a web development project. RFP conversation.

[00:10:43.76] spk_1:
Yeah, this is, this is, this is for any RFP that anybody puts out.

[00:10:48.64] spk_0:
Yeah, more more on the writing.

[00:11:06.24] spk_1:
Got a couple more dudes in the writing stage. The first is this is kind of sounds like a simple one, but when you receive a proposal, you’re gonna learn so much about these agencies, you’re considering, you know, the project team, the process, their budget or timeline and so on and so forth. In the RFP, it’s nice to view the organization, also introduce yourselves, not just your mission and vision, but your project team. So we the agency can get a sense for who we’d be working with, you know, how big is the team, Who are they, How long have they worked there? What are their positions? That’s just a nice way to kind of level the playing field and give us the recipients and respondent to the RFP a sense for what it might be like to work with these people.

[00:11:48.44] spk_0:
Yeah. Like what, what’s their expertise, you know, the expertise, maybe all all uh, maybe it’s all technical or, or maybe it’s on the other side. Maybe it’s all graphic, communications, marketing related. And there isn’t anybody with, with, with with a technical background that’s that’s valuable for the RFP respondents to know

[00:12:23.14] spk_1:
I’ve got one more due on the right, the RFP section, which is, there’s something called intent to bid, which can be a deadline you said in your RFP that says you’ve, you know, received this RFP, you’ve read it through if you plan to submit a proposal, let us know by x date. And that’s great for the organization, primarily because then, you know, let’s say we distributed this RFP to eight groups where we know we’re gonna get five proposals and we don’t need to play a guessing game, maybe one of the people we distributed to is one that we’re secretly hoping is the best fit for us. And then you’ll know if you say again, submit your intent to bid, which is just an email where where we would email the organization and say we intend to bid on? Just on this RFP, you’ll know who’s bidding. You’ll know who’s not. And then there are fewer surprises when the actual proposal deadline hits as to who submits and who doesn’t

[00:13:32.74] spk_0:
what if your, your secret insider or not? Not necessarily inside your secret favorite, um, is not, has not said that they intend to bid do you now? I mean, you’re supposed to be fair about this too. But I mean, there’s nothing legal around it. It’s just, it’s really just ethical and moral, right? You know, you’re not supposed to be favoring the whole purpose of an RFP. Well, that’s not the whole a purpose of an RFP is the level playing field. You’re not supposed to be favoring your your favorite, you know? And so what do you, what do you do then? You just, you ought to just let it go and hope you get another another good one that rivals what you what was your favorite? That’s what you ought to do is that you think people do that or have you? I don’t know. Have you seen shenanigans? Have you seen dirty tricks around our FPs? You don’t have to name names,

[00:14:00.04] spk_1:
but I’ve definitely seen some shenanigans. I think something that you could do as the organization to inquire as to who’s gonna submit while still leveling the playing field is maybe a day before the deadline for organization for agencies to submit their intent to bid, email. Everybody that you sent the RFP to and just say just a reminder tomorrow is the deadline for receiving your intent to bid. So in case, you know, your your favorite, your secret love. It falls off their radar, but they do intend to bid. And they just honestly, for God, it gives them a second chance to do so. And then for a second reminder to do so. And if they don’t submit, then se la V. I think you’ve done everything you can while still remaining as impartial as you can.

[00:14:22.44] spk_0:
Yes, impartiality. You know. Right. All right. But you’ve seen shenanigans,

[00:14:27.84] spk_1:

[00:15:25.94] spk_0:
it at that. All right. Maybe you’ve been the insider. Maybe you’ve been the beneficiary of shenanigans. We’ll leave it there. I’m not. Maybe you have. Maybe you have not. It’s just the host speculating pure speculation. It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. Have you got your crisis communications plan in place so that, you know, who’s responsible for message creation in the face of a crisis. Is it one person or a couple of folks who needs to approve the messaging? Who’s authorized to speak? Who speaks internally? Who speaks externally, there is more to a crisis communications plan than that turn to can help you with yours? Turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c o. Now back to your RFP process. You had some don’t some don’t just give us a couple of like to your top two donuts for the for writing.

[00:15:51.84] spk_1:
I’ll give you just one don’t for writing and that is don’t withhold your budget. It’s so important that the organization puts a budget in their R. F. P. It could be a specific number, it could be a range, it could be a don’t exceed this number, but if you really want that apples to apples comparison you need it and also it helps to filter down the right types of candidates. So if your budget is X and you’re clear about it, you’re gonna get candidates that can do your work for that amount. You’re not gonna get a much larger agency who can never work with you because their price for that work is four times that. And you also probably won’t get a small freelancer who is a one person show and isn’t able to do work with the kind of capacity they have. So I think budget is important because it doesn’t waste the candidate’s time in submitting a bit if they’re not the right fit from a financial perspective and doesn’t waste the organization’s time reading through proposals that ultimately have budgets in them that are way too high to make work. So sharing the budget of essential.

[00:17:08.64] spk_0:
That’s an important point that the last point because, you know, let’s continue your hypothetical, you submit to, you send it to five, sorry you send it to eight and five submit, they say they’re going to and then they do and then like four of them are out of your out of your budget range now you’ve got now you’re down to one or you’ve got to expand your budget, you know, but so I’m emphasizing that point because the obvious pushback on the nonprofit side as well, if I give them my budget or even a range, then they’re gonna go to the top end of it, they’re gonna, they’re gonna expand my budget. I tell them it’s a $30,000 project, they’re gonna, they’re gonna build me $30,000 when they would have done it for 22-5.

[00:17:32.94] spk_1:
That’s fair. But I would say just give your budget honestly put a number in there that you’re comfortable spending and no matter who it is that you choose to work with, just know that you found the right fit and sure maybe they could have done it for $5000 less. But ultimately, if that’s the budget you set aside, who cares, that was already set aside for the project. So just put it toward it.

[00:18:09.14] spk_0:
Okay, well put, I agree and and it is, it is valuable. I I, you know, as a plan giving consultant when I’m at the inquiry stage, I don’t, I think, I don’t know in in in 19 years of consulting, I’ve probably done like two RFP S so they’re highly, highly very rare. Um, But you know, but in conversations I always ask for a budget or a range, you know, I need to know is, you know, everything we just scoped out in a, in a great, you know, 30 minute conversation is your budget in line with the aspirations that you just identified.

[00:18:13.44] spk_1:

[00:18:32.34] spk_0:
If I’m thinking this is, a a $30,000 project and you’re thinking it’s an $8,000 project. we’re not, you know, either you’ve got to scale down your aspirations or you’ve got to bring up your budget because we’re not even close. So it’s, it’s, it’s critical, it’s, it’s, it is critical to share your budget. All

[00:18:52.04] spk_1:
right. And, and I do think that the way things are moving more organizations are more comfortable sharing budgets. And I think this is in some ways working in parallel to job listings. I feel like many more job listings these days have the actual salary requirements, whether it’s a specific number or a range, especially in the nonprofit space. I know that web sites like idealist essentially mandate that you share a salary, which I think is great. And I think those things again, are moving in parallel and there’s definitely a movement toward transparency.

[00:19:20.44] spk_0:
A lot of that is equity too. That, that, that minority populations are going to be, uh, are going to be Disadvantaged when it comes to the salary discussion because they’re generally, you know, paid less. So N 10 is another example of that. N 10 requires either a, either a number or a range. They require at least a range in their job listings too. So

[00:19:26.42] spk_1:
I love that.

[00:19:27.41] spk_0:
Um I agree. Yeah, distribution.

[00:20:54.74] spk_1:
Yes. Now it’s time you’ve you’ve you’ve written your RFP now it’s time to send it out. I’ve got one doing one don’t that are essentially opposite sides of the same coin. Do is you need to find qualified candidates. So consider people you’ve worked with before, ask around, ask other organizations who have done similar projects in the past, who they worked with and how well it went, do some research, you know, do some online digging, search for some key words that take you to groups that maybe you’re not aware of or people in your network are not aware of that. You think could be a good fit. We get a lot of RFP some people to find us online through searching for, you know, design agencies in new york city or nonprofit focused design agencies in Brooklyn, whatever the keywords are that bring people to us. So it’s essential to find qualified candidates. And the flip side to this coin is do not blast out your RFP to the masses and you know, we see this happen a lot and I understand why it happens. There are websites like RFP DB dot com. There are other places to post your RFP s. You can put it on a list, serve like the progressive exchange and you are going to get a lot of respondents and you’re gonna get a ton of junk, you’re gonna get people who don’t thoroughly read your RFP that are just spending 10 minutes on it that don’t really understand who you are. And it’s gonna create a lot of extra work for you to review these and try to pick out the, you know, the needles in the haystack that are actually fits for you. So it will take time to find the right groups to send your RFP to. I know we said eight as a number before. I think it is a good number to shoot for try to shoot for at least five that you feel good about. But if you spend the time to make sure those you send it to our actual potentially good fits, it’ll pay off in the end. Save you some time.

[00:21:12.74] spk_0:
I like the idea of asking for a an intent uh what do you say? An intent to

[00:21:17.34] spk_1:
intend to bid,

[00:21:44.14] spk_0:
intend to bid because then if you know, if you only come back with one or two intends to bid then to be fair to everybody, you might want to revise your RFP or you might end up sending it to more more agencies than you, you know, and then you have to expand the deadline I guess. Yeah, you would um you know, but you want to reassess if you’re only going to get like one or two out of out of however many you you you distributed, you know, one or two is Not, it’s not so good. Well one is terrible

[00:21:47.20] spk_1:

[00:21:55.34] spk_0:
Is is always like is half as bad as terrible, bad, terrible. Three is one third is bad. So you know you wanna have a decent number to choose from.

[00:21:57.64] spk_1:

[00:23:02.04] spk_0:
right it’s time for a break. Fourth dimension technologies. Their I. T. Solution is I. T. Infra in a box. It’s budget friendly. It’s holistic. You pick what you need and you leave the rest behind. That’s why it’s your I. T. Buffet. Why is it budget friendly? Because you’re picking what you can afford from their extensive buffet. Your budget can’t afford Chateaubriand for two. Have a hamburger. No chocolate souffle. Get the brownie. You choose what’s right for your I. T. Situation and your budget. Fourth dimension technologies. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D. Just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. Let’s return to your RFP. Process the Q. And A. Stage. Should be the Q. And A. That’s for um who’s that? Is that for the bidders to to ask questions.

[00:24:11.34] spk_1:
Exactly. So the two things here the first is that there should be a deadline in your RFP that says you need to send us all of your questions by X. Date and that’s important to give people an opportunity to help to put things into focus or clarify different parts of your RFP to make sure they’re the right fit. And also that they understand how to price it out and how to develop a process around it. And then so that’s a do set a deadline for all questions. I would say give candidates at least two weeks when they receive your RFP to submit their questions to you and just submit them through email and then the don’t is don’t withhold Q and a results. And by that, I mean, don’t just send the answers directly to the people that ask the questions, send the answers to every question to everyone you send your RFP to. Even if someone didn’t ask you a single question, you need to share the answers with them because there might be things that you answer that fundamentally change the structure of your RFP or the process or the old ultimate goal that you’re looking to strive toward. So it’s essential and will be often received. And we love

[00:24:15.04] spk_0:
a google

[00:24:27.84] spk_1:
doc or a word doc that just has all the questions in there divided into categories. So maybe there’s a question about timeline, a question about budget, a question about process, a question about logistics, whatever it might be. And it’s not saying like great believer asked this question and so and so asked this question. It’s just questions and answers. It’s very generically formatted, ideally divided into sections and it’s so helpful for everybody to receive.

[00:24:51.14] spk_0:
Do you only do that at the end of the question period or are you doing it? Are you updating it as questions come in because it might stimulate because those questions might stimulate new questions. And if you only did it at the deadline then then it’s too late for the people to ask those new questions.

[00:25:23.94] spk_1:
Yeah that’s a good question. I would recommend doing it once. And then if people still have questions after that then they can make clear that they’re making assumptions in the in their proposal and that’s okay. They can just say like here’s a piece, I’m not sure about it, we’re gonna approach it like this. But if you have other thoughts then we can reevaluate. But I think the way it usually works is the Q. And A. Where all the questions are collected and then all the answers are distributed usually answers like 95% of the questions. Because if you’ve got five groups that are really engaged in the process and sending really thoughtful questions between those five groups you’re gonna answer almost everything and between those five groups they’re probably gonna have a lot of similar questions also.

[00:25:49.24] spk_0:
Okay okay so one time one shot. Alright alright reviewing stage,

[00:26:31.54] spk_1:
you called your QA if you’ve you’ve received the proposals now it’s time to review them. And the first well these two DUIs are are related because you’ve got to get an RFP review team, it shouldn’t just be on like a single person let’s say to review all of these proposals and say who the winner is. You need to develop a team ideally it should be. Should people should be people expand different departments. Somebody in com somebody in development, somebody in I. T. So on and so forth? There should be some nice representation there and you also need scoring criteria. So there should be kind of a rubric rubric that you develop where you can score each proposal based on let’s say the plan they put together the experience, they demonstrate the budget, they share their timelines. Reference like

[00:26:35.04] spk_0:
a one through five. You know again you’re trying to level playing field. Should should every evaluator evaluate every proposal.

[00:27:19.84] spk_1:
Yeah that’s that’s the goal. Everybody evaluates every proposal. But you could also say okay we’ve got these five scoring criteria you know let’s say it’s project plan experience, budget, timeline and the understanding of your mission. You may say I don’t want those to be equally weighted for us. I think project plan is 40% and we think that the budget is 10% whatever that is. You can then assign different weights different categories but you should still evaluate every proposal with the same way. And literally when you finish reviewing a proposal score it Have those those five columns right there and give it a score on a scale of 1-5 and then do it blindly and then come together as a team afterwards and look at how you all review these groups and see which one has the highest average score or which let’s say three had the highest average score and those are the ones you might want to interview in the next stage.

[00:27:50.84] spk_0:
You mentioned something review blindly. So are we is your recommendation that you not know who the who the respondent is? Is that what you meant?

[00:27:52.54] spk_1:
I think it’s okay to know who they are. What I meant was um if you got a review team of four people review them in isolation from each other and then come together and share your unbiased thoughts.

[00:28:30.74] spk_0:
Okay. Okay. Alright, interesting. Yeah everybody everybody should get a shot. It’s like college admissions. I think everybody should get a shot at all the all the bidders. Okay um mm the review stage. So now it’s um does it happen much in review that that the organizations come back with questions or is that more of that’s more of like interviewing the finalists stage?

[00:29:10.04] spk_1:
Yeah that’s the that’s the interview stage for sure. I we well before I get there I want to share one. Don’t that I think is really important for the review proposal stage which is we said this before, there could be like a secret favorite. You have someone who submits a bit. Oh they did hooray and then the proposal looks good. I think we’re ready to move forward but try your best not to prejudge any candidates because whether you’re looking for a specific candidate or not? You might be surprised. You know some groups are small, some are big, some of you may be aware of. Some you may not be aware of. Some are based in the same town as you, some are based across the country. What I found is you may be surprised by who you ultimately think is your best fit and going to the review process with an open mind.

[00:31:12.64] spk_0:
Okay. Okay. Hard to do. But still it’s an it’s an aspiration. You know, if you have a favorite, it’s hard to abandon that and and keep that open mind. But you should, you should try try. You might be short changing your organization there maybe and like you said, there might be an agency out there that you don’t know or that you don’t, it’s not one of your favorites. Maybe you know them, but it’s not a favorite, but maybe come in a little lower cost seems to be a comparable work. Yeah. They seem to be a little friendlier, you know? Yes. Alright. Keep an open mind level playing field. It’s time for Tony’s take two time for me to thank you again for listening for supporting nonprofit radio I’m grateful. Any sharing that you might be doing so that the love gets shared. You’re learning your friends are learning whoever you’re sharing with your board is learning. If you’re sharing with your board, your colleagues are learning if you’re sharing with them. So thank you. Thank you for listening. Thank you for sharing share share. That’s fair. That’s way that’s the way I grew up. So no, thank you. Uh, if it wasn’t for you, There wouldn’t be 13,000 plus listeners each week. So I am grateful that you listen to non profit radio I’m ecstatic that it helps you. That’s the point helps you in your work. Thanks for listening. Thanks for supporting the show. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for your RFP process with josh Lyman, your finalists. You wanna talk to some finalists.

[00:31:36.14] spk_1:
Absolutely. So a couple of dudes and don’t hear when it comes to interviewing finalists. So you’ve done your review process, you’ve scored everybody. Schedule calls with a handful of candidates. So if you’ve submitted, if you said your RFP to eight people, let’s say five groups submitted proposals. Speak to three to your point before. Don’t speak with to that that’s two for you don’t speak with one. You probably also should not speak with all five because ultimately, when you look at the scores, there should be, there should be some candidates that rise above the rest and you should save yourself the time of interviewing the candidate that you think truly might not be the right fit and you’re just doing it to do it. So try to filter that process down to the handful of candidates that feel like they could be the best fit.

[00:31:56.54] spk_0:
Are you informing the ones that are not finalists that that they’re out of the process or is it better to keep them in your back pocket just in case one of your top three doesn’t pan out.

[00:32:23.14] spk_1:
You know, this is an interesting question. I’ve got a really important do about this in a little bit, but I would say it’s okay to keep them in the back pocket at this point, but there needs to be a lot of transparency later in the process and I’ll I’ll tease that for now. I’ll get back to it in a second.

[00:32:25.14] spk_0:
Okay. Okay. What what other advice uh talking to the finalists?

[00:32:29.24] spk_1:
Two things. The other do is ask to speak to your potential project team. The goal being you don’t want to just speak to generic representatives from an agency you’re considering. See if you can speak to the people, you’d actually be working with. Your account director, your designer, your developer, your project manager or your copyright or whatever that person is. Um to actually see what kind of chemistry there is and what kind of car that that’s essential. And it’s not always possible. Some bigger agencies may say, look, I’m sorry. We don’t know what our project team might be. You know, we are more of a small agency were about a full time team of 10. So when we are proposing to work on a project, we already know who might be working on it. I think that actually puts us at a bit of an advantage because you can meet the people you’d be working with, not just people that you may or may not be working with.

[00:33:21.04] spk_0:
You want to talk to the Ceo as well, bringing, bringing him or her as well as your, as your, your potential project team.

[00:33:52.74] spk_1:
Yeah, absolutely. I, you know, we are again, we’re a full time team of 10 and I as the president and founder, I’m creating all the proposals. So I’m always the person who’s working on these and submitting them. It might be tougher if you’re considering working with a much bigger agency to get the, you know, the top brass into the room, but if you want to meet the people at top, you can always give it a shot. And honestly, if you ask if somebody can join and they say no, maybe that’s a sign you should keep.

[00:34:06.84] spk_0:
Yeah, yeah. What what what’s the value of your work, what’s the importance of your work to this uh, to this agency? You know, the Ceo can’t give up half an hour. All right, josh. Lyman will never turn you down.

[00:34:08.50] spk_1:

[00:34:10.07] spk_0:
asked for the CEO, you will get the Ceo President President. Um, okay, more more more advice around talking to the talking two finalists.

[00:34:50.74] spk_1:
One more piece. Which is in these conversations. I think you mentioned this before. You alluded to it when it comes to writing the RFP, it doesn’t need to be a formal meeting. You can keep it light. One of the best meetings that we had as part of an RFP process was we ate lunch with an organization who was considering us for the project and we did not talk about our proposal for a single minute. We just had lunch, we talked about each other, we talked about where we came from, you know, we talked about our interests and hobbies and T V. Shows and whatever and it was really fun hour and they called us the next day and said we’re in so it doesn’t, it doesn’t need to be that informal, but it’s important to not keep things so formal and so structured and so buttoned up because that’s not what it’s gonna feel like when you work with this agency, so try to replicate that feeling. Hopefully

[00:35:18.24] spk_0:
not right. I mean, this is this is an an iterative process, There’s so much back and forth. You know, this could be a six month project, you know, you want to uh yeah, you wanted to make sure you have chemistry with the folks that you’re gonna be working with,

[00:35:21.64] spk_1:

[00:35:29.24] spk_0:
don’t want it to be so formal that you don’t, you know, you know, you feel like, wow, maybe I better not bother them now or something like that. That’s that’s that’s a bad feeling like, you know, they wouldn’t give us, they didn’t give us much time or I felt awkward asking questions, you know, that’s those are all red flags big

[00:36:11.73] spk_1:
time and when you think about it, a lot of projects that require an RFP are pretty long term projects. A website could take up to a year. It could take longer depending upon the goals of the project. So you want to make sure you get along with these people because you’re gonna spend a lot of time with them over the course of the project. So use that meeting as a litmus test to see how well you get along with the candidate, how well the candidate gets along with you and then make that part of your criteria as to who goes from a finalist to an actual wegner that you want to work with.

[00:36:22.13] spk_0:
What’s like a median time for the projects you’ve done. Can you say, you know what, what should folks plan on? What what’s the median, a median time arrange for a, for a let’s say, a complete, not just a refresh, but a completely new new new site.

[00:36:57.03] spk_1:
Sure. For us it’s about 10 months and that’s because the first few months of the process, we’re not doing any work yet. We’re just doing research. So we’re doing interviews. Were researching your current site, we’re talking to other stakeholders in your network and we spent a lot of time on that before the work actually starts. So we are in the 10 month range for a full website redesign. There are groups that can do it faster. There are groups that spend more time on it, but For us a great believer, it’s going to be about 10 months.

[00:37:20.93] spk_0:
Okay. Okay. Um, so that is that, is that it for questioning the questioning the finalists? Oh and uh, who should be doing these questions? Should do you have like if you had a panel of three or four reviewers, those three or four reviewers be in the in the meeting? Because because that’s how you get, you know, you you want multiple people, I would think right?

[00:37:49.23] spk_1:
Yeah, I think that would be perfect. And if there are other people in your organization who you think might be on the project team, people that are on the day to day communications with you, the agency you hire those people should also be in the meeting and you don’t want it to evolve into something where there are like nine of you and three of them. But all the key players that have been involved in the process so far and those that are gonna be involved in the project with whoever you move forward with should be there.

[00:37:51.93] spk_0:
Okay. And selection?

[00:38:33.22] spk_1:
Yeah, this is it. So you’ve you’ve you’ve interviewed your candidates, you found one that you know you want to move forward with. So doing a don’t here to do is share the news with all candidates in a timely manner. So once you have made your selection, the contract is signed, then you can say send an email to everybody saying like thank you, we’ve made a selection, you know, we appreciate the work you put in your proposal. We’re going in a different direction and do that in a timely matter because people I know like myself were wondering, you know, where do things stand? Are we still in the running? We were a finalist. But how did that meeting go? Did it go well, are we gonna get to work? So that’s the do. And then in that email, this is the don’t which is don’t give the people, you did not select the finalists. You did not select the cold shoulder. What I would suggest, what I appreciate immensely is if in that email with the organization

[00:38:46.00] spk_0:
there have been that you did not get

[00:38:48.92] spk_1:

[00:38:50.17] spk_0:
that’s happened to you. Absolutely

[00:38:52.29] spk_1:

[00:38:53.97] spk_0:
believe it. How could that happen? I can’t I can’t imagine it.

[00:40:06.41] spk_1:
I appreciate the endorsement. But for us we’re trying to learn from those that we don’t get is the why. And in that email where organizations say, you know, we’ve chosen to work with somebody else. For me, I understand like we’re we’re one of many who submitted a bid and we gave it our best shot. But what I want to have the opportunity to debrief with the organization and this could be as simple as a 15 minute phone call where the organization says, you know, here’s why the agency we selected stands out here are some things with your proposal that we fell fell short and and push you down to like a second tier was the other group rose to the top. And the organization may also say they’re comfortable, here’s who will be working with those kind of things are so valuable. I think organizations are often well intentioned and extremely respectful, but they can forget sometimes how much work goes into a really good proposal. A really bad one could take an hour, a really good one can take a day or more of time creating a thing, developing a timeline, developing a budget, talking to team members, making sure the process makes sense for these specific organizations needs. So Just a 15 minute phone call and look, I know it’s not the most comfortable thing to do to talk to an an agency you’re not working with but they are gonna be so appreciative of the opportunity. Some may not even take you up on it. But those that do will be happy to have the conversation and learn more about the process. They’re not gonna go into the conversation with like a chip on their shoulder. They’ll just go in looking to learn more.

[00:41:04.71] spk_0:
Yeah, they certainly should not. Yeah, you’re being very generous if you’re if you offer that offer that to the folks who weren’t selected. Yeah. And and if you look, if somebody does come, You know vindictive, you know, then you know that you made, you know that your selection process works because you suss them out. Okay. You just had to sit through an awkward 15 minute phone call that validated your process come. Yeah, yeah. I do find that valuable. Remember the last time I I asked it wasn’t offered and I asked and then I just didn’t hear back. You know, you know, basically an email said I’d like to know how I came up short, it’s happened to tony-martignetti I know it’s hard to believe

[00:41:06.99] spk_1:
too, but

[00:41:38.81] spk_0:
I’ve also not gotten something that I’ve been on one time and uh yeah, you like to know, you know, it’s just it’s just a gracious way of, it’s just a gracious way of conducting business to share your lessons, maybe, you know, help someone be better for next time. They’re not gonna try to talk you out of their decision that that’s that would be ludicrous. They’re not gonna go that far, it might be vindictive, but they’re not gonna try to talk you out of your, you know, they’re certainly not gonna try to talk you out of your decision. Um So yeah, that’s very that’s a good idea, josh. Very yeah, very magnanimous.

[00:42:18.70] spk_1:
It’s such a it’s so much appreciated because when I look back at proposals that I submitted to organizations, let’s say 56 years ago, there’s so much better and more thoughtful now because we’ve evolved as an organism as an agency. But also because we’ve gotten great input from those organizations. We submitted bids to that we did not win. And that’s helped influence how we evolve the way we pitch ourselves. So it’s it’s extremely beneficial. And again just a nice way to be magnanimous to use your word and show some appreciation to these agencies that truly wanted to work with you and gave it their all. Because if they’re a finalist they really did want to work with you. It’s not one of the groups that submitted this, you know crappy fill in the blank

[00:42:23.80] spk_0:
proposal. Yeah

[00:42:25.35] spk_1:
They genuinely put effort into it. So give them 15 minutes of your time and it’ll be much appreciated

[00:43:01.10] spk_0:
but good. Yes good karma. Um so some dates that belong in the in the RFP, you know the the deadlines that you’re specifying. I’ve got, you know the intent to bid then when the question period is gonna be I guess. And then should you say, you know what your review period is gonna be like we’re gonna take these three weeks or these two or three weeks to during for review and then and then the selection date, Are there other, are there other milestones you should you should be including,

[00:43:30.20] spk_1:
well I think you you got it. The one thing I recommend is flipping have the Q. And a deadline first and then they intend to bid after. So all the agencies can understand the questions that are being asked and then confirm if they might be the right fit to submit a bid. So Q. And a deadline, you know at least two weeks after the RFP is distributed intend to bid maybe a week or two after that. And I love it when there’s a little grid in the RFP that says, you know, um Q. And a deadline this intend to bid deadline, this your proposals do this date, we’re going to review over the span of these two weeks. Here’s another, this is like a more off the top of the head thing.

[00:43:43.18] spk_0:

[00:44:24.19] spk_1:
almost never that an organization says we’re going to review proposals during this time frame that they just need that much time. They always need more time. So when you’re writing a proposal, give yourself more time If you are gonna share how much time you want to spend reviewing tag on a week, because it’s gonna take more time than you think. Not just to get through all of them, but to have everybody internally score them. So I think it’s great to have that time in there. And if you can estimate when you’re going to actually interview finalists and make a selection, That’s great. And look, you can put a note. These are estimated dates are subject to change. But if you can give organisms or agencies rather who are applying a sense for what’s to come, That’s really great because they they’re probably pitching several other things at the same time, I want to make sure they can not just get your proposal and on time but make themselves available for potential interviews.

[00:44:34.50] spk_0:
Alright overall, you want to just make this a humane process,

[00:44:39.29] spk_1:

[00:45:03.39] spk_0:
may be humane, we’re talking to human beings. You don’t have to be overly formalistic. Um, you probably don’t want to be, you know that may put people off, that may put agencies off. Like we said in the beginning, they feel they have no latitude. That may discourage some bids. So right. Running you an RFP process while keeping your cool. Yeah. Bu man, come on.

[00:45:05.39] spk_1:

[00:45:13.59] spk_0:
all, we’re all humans. Alright, josh Excellent. Anything parting words you want to leave folks with reporting advice.

[00:45:16.19] spk_1:
Mm Yeah, I think you know, I think these dudes and don’t are really helpful and I mentioned this in the session but if you want to skip the RFP process, come straight to us, happy to work with you on a different website. Projects design and development and other facets also like branding in print. But I understand that our FPs are like I said before a necessary evil and when they are required. Hopefully these dudes and don’t make the process a little bit easier.

[00:45:41.19] spk_0:
Okay, great believer. What’s the website?

[00:45:43.69] spk_1:
Great believer dot us

[00:45:46.59] spk_0:
josh Lyman founder and president, Great believer, Great believer dot us josh. Thank you very much. Good to talk to you. Thanks for sharing all your ideas.

[00:45:54.94] spk_1:
Thanks tony

[00:46:54.48] spk_0:
my pleasure next week. The chronicle of philanthropy will go non profit with editor Stacy palmer. 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 knife into dot C. O And by 4th dimension Technologies IT Infra in a box. The affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant four D, Just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott Stein, thank you for that. Affirmation scotty be with me next week for non profit radio Big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for October 19, 2018: Your Tech RFPs & Donor Advised Funds

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Drew McManus & Ceci Dadisman: Your Tech RFPs
Two tech providers from #18NTC reveal what they wish you knew about crafting your proposal solicitations. Plus a few secrets their colleagues wish they wouldn’t reveal. They’re Drew McManus, principal of Venture Industries Online and Ceci Dadisman from Form.



Gene Takagi: Donor Advised Funds
Gene TakagiGene Takagi returns to discuss the pros and cons of this increasingly popular donation method that gets lots of press. It’s gifts for nonprofits, why all the fuss? We’ll find out. Gene is our legal contributor and principal of NEO, the Nonprofit & Exempt Organizations law firm.




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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, i’m glad you’re with me. I’d come down with sheer adoni sis, if i saw that you missed today’s, show your tech r f p s to tech providers from eighteen ntc reveal what they wish you knew about crafting your proposal solicitations plus a few secrets their colleagues wish they wouldn’t reveal. They’re drew mcmanus principle of venture industries online and sissy dad baizman from form and donor advised funds jean takagi returns to discuss the pros and cons of this increasingly popular donation method that gets lots of press it’s gets for non-profits where all the fuss we’ll find out. Gina’s, our legal contributor and principle of neo the non-profit and exempt organizations law firm tony take two a driving rant responsive by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled tony dahna slash pursuing capital p wender cps guarding you beyond the numbers gregor cps dot com bye tell us turning credit card processing into your passive revenue stream. Tony dahna slash tony tell us and by text to give mobile donations made easy text npr to four, four four, nine, nine, nine here are drew mcmanus and cc data zeman from the non-profit technology conference welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of eighteen ntcdinosaur twenty eighteen non-profit technology conference we are in the convention center in new orleans, nola, louisiana, and we’re kicking off our coverage with this interview. This interview, like all, is sponsored by network for good, easy to use donorsearch and fund-raising software for non-profit i’m very pleased to welcome for our kickoff interview. Drew mcmanus and cc dahna sametz drew is principal of venture industries online and cc is digital marketing manager four for money and your seminar topic is everything tech providers wish you knew about reading an r f p plus the stuff you want they want, plus the stuff they want to keep secret. All right, let’s hope that the conversation is shorter than the title. Welcome well thinking. Well, you’re very welcome, let’s start off cc i love you. I don’t know, i don’t know if viewers of the video are not gonna be able to see your pendant, so show that off. No, all that off. Put that on the mission in camp. Okay. Awesome. Thank you. Yeah. Very striking. Thank you. Why do we need this topic ? What’s what ? What’s not going right with peace ? Well, i think it a very basic level as non-profits we all need to do our peas at one point or another. Right ? And sometimes they can be a source of a little bit of trepidation for, to write and to sort of put out there to vendors. And we felt that this was a very timely topic to talk about to help ease people’s minds a little bit about that. And really give them some deeper information into the r f p process. Yeah, okay. Drew there’s, there’s trepidation people people are fearing this this process, right as a web developer, we get extremes there’s either trepidation where people don’t know how to approach it because they don’t feel comfortable with how to evaluate proposals. They don’t know what to ask for. They just don’t know how to kick the process off or on the other side of that. They have this extensive laundry list of things they think they want without really knowing even what they can can’t ask for or what i knew. Platforms and options are available. The r f p process really should be more involved with learning what you have and what can be. Okay, so that’s, what we’re gonna be talking about what you have and what can be so both of you are on the receiving end of a piece. Is that right ? From from non-profits currently, although i’ve spent most of my career working full time at non-profit organizations and as a consultant working on behalf of the non-profit for these kind of things. So that’s sort of how we’re approaching this drew is definitely on the vendor side, but my experiences is farm or on the non-profit side. Okay. Okay. So, let’s, stay with u c c your description promised tio pull back the curtain. What ? Pull back the curtain of how tech providers are crafting their proposals. Okay, with you right now, he’s. The current can you ? Uh, yeah, yeah. I mean, i could talk a little about what’s behind this curtain. Yeah, i can talk about it a little bit from the from the non-profit side in creating the r f p you know, our peace can be a really big project, right ? They could be something has looked at that is that is very involved because you want to make sure that what you’re putting out there is is true to the project that you’re looking toa have completed, and you want to make sure all the right information is in there so that you get the right vendors because ultimately you want a good vendor experience. You had a good working experience and we want attracting the right exactly you want you want the right vendors toe look at that project and won a bid on it, and ultimately you want to find the best vendor for your particular organization on dso in this session, you know, we’ll talk a lot about, you know, really what needs to go in that r f p from the non-profit standpoint, it only in the session we’re going to sharing here, too, right here yet. Zoho back on non-profit radio listeners, i don’t know we’re going to be doing out here too, right ? Right now we are ok, we are right. So one of the big things that we’ll talk about from the non-profit standpoint is at a very basic level just being honest about what you need from this project to put into the r f p, you know, bring all of your assets together, bring your team together before you even start writing the r f p to, you know, figure out what you really want let’s say it is, you know, a website project. You know what ? You really want this website to do what you want, tohave it, what you want to have contained in it. You know what your delivery bals are, what type of conversions you’re looking at so that you can start the process out where everything is sort of laid out on the table before you’re even starting to write the r f p and then as you go through the r f p process, making sure that all of those things are in there so that you know it’s full disclosure for the vendors, okay, what i what should we have in place before we start typing words into r r r f what does stick with you ? Ok, the big things to have in place are number one, the team that is going to be working on this project and have a point person assigned. For the project and that’s a really big thing, making sure that there is somebody responsible for communicating with the vendors about the project, who, you know is going to make the time and the energy commitment to do that, and also gathering together all of the information that needs to go in the website, whether that’s text or photos, multimedia files, whatever that might be bringing all of getting all of that together because ultimately your vendor will need that you’ll have to give it to them eventually, so might as well do it right off the bat, and then you need to gather together all of your other sort of software providers. You know, any other piece of tech that might touch that website ? So if you have, you know, a fund-raising cr m ifyou’re in arts and culture organization, and you’re selling tickets to shows, you know that that software is well, you know, your email marketing software, whatever those things are that need to interact with that website in some way getting all of those things together. Okay ? It’s, time for a break pursuant they’re e book is fast non-profit growth stealing from the start ups. They take the secrets from the fastest growing startups and apply those methods and good practices to your non-profit it’s free as all the pursuant resource is our it’s on the listener landing page. You know where to find that it’s tony dot m a slash pursuing the capital p for please now back to your tech or f p’s drew let’s, go to you. Who should be the point person ? Who’s the right person were now our listeners small and midsize non-profits so i’m gonna assume there is no director. Ok, correct. We should be in charge of this process. Dede was sisi was describing. I knew that was gonna happen that way. Have a dd coming later. I’ll answer to it. It’s not here. Now, it’s actually, cee cee cee is with us who should be in charge for most organizations is going to be the marketing director or the vp of marketing that’s typically the person who ends up becoming the point person because they’re going to be the gatekeeper for most of the content architecture that sisi was talking about. And so that’s usually a decent person to be able to be the point to contact oh, and process the art piece that are going to come in, you know, i’m one year earlier questions you had toss to see see about, you know, the things that we’re looking, i didn’t metoo i’m not gonna look at me, i’m gonna beat it up. Now i gotta beat it up now, so i focus on myself, okay ? On my my mistakes. I know it’s just but being able to actually educate non-profits into the things that they need to realize before they even start soliciting our peace and won the big ones is that that tech provider world, especially web development, is in a massive state of flux. Right now, there are really two large competing schools of how to go about being a service provider, which there’s the traditional old school model of you. Give us the specs, we build this for you, and then it’s yours. Hand it over, enjoy it. Yeah, and then there’s mohr of the annual license fee model. There are one ofthese for things like design and development programming, that kind of stuff. But then there’s an ongoing relationship that provides training support. I like to call it attrition insurance because you’re going in insurance, attrition, insurance, you’re going to have people who are going to turn over, and you need whoever comes in to be able to talk to someone who has some kind of institutional knowledge about that online presence, at least and that’s really not even just a non-profit but in the tech sector, especially that’s been around for years now, it’s almost expected oh, and it’s still a new concept to non-profits and so even understanding when they start soliciting are of peace, they could get some very radically different ideas coming in, and if they’re not prepared for it, you might out of hand, just toss something else that could actually be your better solution. Do latto on doing a lot of nodding ? Yeah, yeah, i mean exactly what drew just said about non-profits are used to this in terms of websites, the subscription model type of thought where, you know, you might pay a maintenance fee, monthly or yearly two, your web developer but really, i think for this particular industry, that is the way to go because there is so much turnover in terms of staff and knowing that you have someone there at all times to, you know, sort of help out, you know, god forbid something breaks or, you know, maybe you just have a question that there is somebody there at all times that can really take care of that. This industry, maybe more than others, should be using that sort of dahna i’m surprised to hear that non-profits air not acquainted with this attrition problem, i mean, they have it in having a crime, i mean, certainly in fund-raising where i mostly you’re saying that they’re not factoring that into this process, exactly, exactly there not really thinking about how that relates to their web presence and also having, you know, a monthly maintenance contract or yearly can be very helpful, even just when you need a little thing fixed or changed usually non-profits will go out and you don’t try to find, you know, a one off kind of developer project or, you know, hyre a freelancer to do something and and once you have, you know, all of these different people that are going in there and touching your website at any one time, ultimately that’s sort of going to dilute the integrity of the website so it’s best to just be able to keep with one person who really knows it in it. Out now, i highlighted. Beautiful necklace pendant. I want to highlight drew’s vest, very dapper vest and pocket square. Now, i am not to be outdone. Pocket squares, but yeah, exactly. Undo that. Drew is the king of the waistcoat. He has a warrior he’s, a waistcoat warrior hashtag waistcoat warrior he’s got a waistcoat for every occasion, and he looks damn good in them. Thank you very much for your marriage. You know each other. You know, it’s outside, outside the professional realm way. Do we’ve been friends for a very long time. And actually, one of the first ways that we met was doing a session. You contacted me to a website session. But when c z was a marketing director at the palm beach opera, they became client of mine, and they’re still clients. Oh, and we worked together on a number of sessions and mostly in performing arts based conferences. But yeah, way. Have a good report. Okay, show’s. Awesome. I love that this is a great energy. Great five kickoff kick off our coverage of auntie. Easy. Okay, drew let’s, stay with you. Something else that sisi mentioned next in the sequence. Gathering the right information that belongs as a part of this or ft flush out out more that’s the perfect question to ask yeah, number question number eight is it took me a while, we’ll slow out of the gate. Oh, it’s, just a number eight it’s one the best ones, because that’s also one of most difficult, because when organizations look at their content, i mean, they look at the stuff that they’re familiar with and what they know. So the actual copy, the media co-branding elements and that’s something that they tend to do fine with but where we encounter groups, having the most trouble is when they have to actually get all that information from point a to point b, meaning that let’s say they have a system built on julia or even wordpress, which is what we use in its open source. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to extract the data depending on how that web site was originally built previously. And if in order to say what kind of data we’re talking about trying to get out, it could be anything from more complex information like customer data or event information there an event driven organization if they sell tickets. There’s all kinds of event. Meta, which are little bits of data, like the starting time, the location to find these terms. Because we have jargon. Jail on non-profit mirriam would hate to see you behind bars, but you live served time. You have. Not on this show. I don’t allow it. So you described it. You defined it quickly. Okay, so, yeah, little bits of data that right ? And so that they don’t know that that getting that from point a to point b isn’t a simple as doing, like a simple export. There’s no standardized format for something like a vent data. Even though google and apple have their own standards, it only covers a few bits of metal, so being able to move that might actually require a substantial amount of time and effort that they had no idea it was needed. But worse didn’t budget for, and that could sometimes be the most expensive element dahna project outside of something like developing an ap i connection to something like sales force or cr m or any kind of outside donor-centric connection between your data and some other outside latto yep, it’s the language that allows to different platforms to be able to talk to each other in the same language as opposed to having, you know, something in german trying to talk to someone in russian. Okay, now, how does it now ? I made you tigress thought your fault. How ? Does this all relate back to what belongs in our f and that’s ? Just it ? Those are the things that providers in my position usually don’t tell clients in advance because they well, do they even know i mean at the art of the stage ? Well, that’s just it most non-profits don’t they didn’t ask for that. But the provider doing replying to the r f p at that stage probably doesn’t even know that level of detail, do they ? They should, and they should be asking, and not every provider does that this goes into the heart of this stuff they don’t want you to know about the process is going to be iterated we’re not not just foisting an art of pee on a bunch of vendors, and then they return it within within this by the specified deadline. But there’s a there’s a back and forth there’s a community there. This conversation there should be questioning that’s a beautiful way to put it and that’s one of things that were going to be talking about is the r f in the traditional sense that we’re talking about way are is that the old school ? Throw out the laundry list of things that you want and get it back is not probably going to be in your best interest. We’re going to be talking about some alternative methods, which will be including project evaluations. We are talking about project evaluation, and a project evaluation is different than our pee. In that you will usually pay someone a small fee, a developer, aura potential provider to look at all of this stuff for you, and then be able to give you a legitimate fair estimate of what it cost will be. Okay, so that that’s sort of. Leading into your r f or is it in place of it could go in both one of the options is a migration where i’m sorry, ah, hybrid model where that can then let them build a detailed, accurate r f or they can use that as just the basis of being able to move forward after they’ve looked at a couple of groups to narrow down to a shortlist based on reputation and previous work. Ok, and this can only be good, really, for the non-profits because in this process, you get to know the developers who are responding to this r f p and, you know, that can help you choose what the right relationship might be, you know, rather than just saying, oh, well, these people look great, and there are f p submission looks great, but you don’t really know them. Yeah, all right, so we’re holding hands before we sleep together. Exactly. Get way. Get going. We’re going on a few dates before we sleep together. Okay, look on dating apps. A great wayto use that analogy. That’s. One of the things we have in the session that we’re talking about here now. Thank you. Is that if you wanted to go online and find someone to date and you just have a laundry list that’s called tinder ? If you actually want to find someone that you want to have a relationship with that’s that’s an entirely different story and shoot it might be in harmony, i would like to know the harmony, harmony, scientific that’s, yes, yeah, yeah, yeah. Profiles are more detailed, nothing no yeah, that i know from experience. I’ve heard. I’m happily married on dh, not on any any dating site. In fact, i’m happily married has nothing to do with other dating sites. That’s. True, i don’t know. I don’t see a ring, you know, you’re right, i don’t know. My wife has what she’s here, but we don’t wear rings right on. But, yes, i see your true oh, she’s on she’s, yes, okay, showing you just take that truth, okay ? So what was that ? Aggression ? Okay, all right, so so we’re dating, all right ? So how do we find the people who the potential vendors who could be valuable to us either for this project evaluation or for our f p how do we know where to send this thing ? We’re jumping around a bit, but listeners are accustomed to that that’s a good question, how do how do we know that’s actually really good question, and i know that, and i know that drew will have some thoughts, too, but if your friend on for non-profit that doesn’t really have a lot of experience in doing this kind of thing. I think the first thing to do is to reach out to colleagues for other organisms from other organizations who have recently been through a website, redesign or development project, or maybe you don’t even know them, but maybe it’s a non-profit or another organization that has a website that you like, reach out to them and see who did it see with their experience with and then also utilizing any sort of membership organizations or associations that you might be involved in convene helpful like a f p or a or p r s a and ten more any of those only, like number three any of those. And only after i prompted you. All right, let me sample warning would have been on my list. Trust me. Hyre where ? Seven it’s not there’s, no value. Nobody’s listening that yes, people listen. So all right, so i think that would be the first laurel referral to someone who did something you like or from among your or from among your professional network, including professional associations. Yeah. Putting. And i think putting it out there that you are looking for someone is really good as well. Even just on your social media on your linked in that hay, whether it’s personal or professional or both. Hey, we are looking to redo our website. Does anybody have any ? You know, recommendations, people you love people you worked with that you don’t love you no stairway from this kind of thing. Okay ? Do you have more ? That that’s a great way to go about it. I would say when you go the social media route or a public rout beep prepared for the onslaught. Yes, because there will be plenty of people who are in business development, we’re going to look for those sort of things reach out to you. The only thing i’ve really add to that is looking at other sites that you like as a starting point. You look at that that face is it pretty ? Do i like it ? Do i enjoy how it worked as faras the interaction and the user interface ? And if there’s, ah, website credit at the bottom, which not all sites do, but if there is, then start to reach out to those organizations. But most importantly, when you go to their websites, you want to try to find someone that has as much information about process as in the results because it’s the process that what we’ve been talking about here that really develops that relationship, that build a successful lives, you’re because you’re successful outcome ? Yeah, absolutely. Ok. Yes. You don’t want to just focus well said you want to focus on how great the site looks. It works. But was was it held to get here ? May not be worth it. It may not have been worth it. Is it a mistake to send out a dozen or of peas. I mean, is there an optimal like there ? Max, i don’t need. I don’t want to hear from fifteen vendors. I can’t r or just can’t process that much. Cc what’s. Your advice around how many descent ? I think that i don’t think that it’s a bad thing to get a lot back, i think in this kind of situation, because there aren’t there aren’t a ton, ton ton of developers that work with non-profits to start out with, you know, with some other types of businesses where you might get an onslaught of r f piece from web developers non-profits air a little bit lucky in that, you know, it’s going to be a relatively smaller number just to start out with, but i do think that it’s better to sort of see what your options are and that’s an important part of this process because what i find is a lot of non-profits when they’re doing a website project, they may be stuck, quote unquote stuck with a certain solution because they didn’t know what their other options were, and they were they were working with a developer aura developer was recommended to them that is saying, you know, this is the way that you need to do x, y and z and not that that’s a bad way, inherently, but maybe not the best way for that particular organization, but they just went with it because they didn’t know what there are other options were. So i’m more of the mind that the more sort of information that you have and it is it is a pretty good thing. Okay, so you don’t want to put our backs on it. Andi it’s likely to be a small number anywhere you’re saying, because right, and you’re going to sort of tear those things down. So once you get the first group of them, then you’re immediately going to be able to see, okay, yeah, these were not interested in so here’s, my smaller core group that we’re really going to look at, you know, and then from there, okay. We still have a few minutes left together, drew let’s talk about something that’s related to this development versus legacy costs. How does that relate to this sort of process and what listeners need to know about development versus legacy cost everything they don’t know, which is everything, and it is the biggest issue moving forward for non-profits is if you’re a non-profit like a performing arts organization, they already have a really good idea of what legacy cost is with labour expenses because their labor intensive organizations there’s no way to avoid that. Websites and technology platforms in general are starting to become mohr like that there’s, a minimum legacy threshold, cost wise from an expensive perspective that is increasingly going up because of how much organizations are relying on those platforms, but they don’t traditionally look att them from that perspective because of that one off here’s your website. Now i’m gone. We’re talking about the ongoing costs of maintaining the site exactly, but it’s not just maintaining the site, is maintaining that the ap i connective ity all the software in the scripts that make things do what they do change at haste, that is far more. Rapid than it used to be that’s a great example. Sites are goingto break connections, yes, and what other things are legacy costs that the last thing, the biggest one the next one is going to be with regard to how responsive design functions and responsive design is when you see a website on a desktop, as opposed to on a smartphone and everything shifts around so it looks better on a smartphone that works better. The underlying technology that makes all that work is also in a hyper state of developed and that’s, constantly changing. So it’s and it’s constantly changing to keep up with changes and things like iphones, they come out with new specs and new dimensions, and thing’s called media query thresholds change. So all the rules that go into how stuff shifts around has to change. And if your website or your online platform is a couple of years old, it may already be behind the times and not working well on those devices, even though you thought it originally was designed to do that. Now, listener’s, you’re gonna want to know that i did hear drew say the media query threshold we don’t have enough time to flush that out. So i’m gonna get you gonna get passed, it’s one of fury’s, everything but i’m letting this one go, but i did notice do not do not think that i didn’t catch it, okay ? And then sisi, why don’t you explain the different mean, what ? Drew was just describing those legacy costs and development costs, which i think is pretty commonly understood, but that’s just right, right ? So your development costs that’s really going to be, you know, the money that you’re putting out to make the site right in that first project to actually create what you’re trying to dio and it’s, i love that we’re talking about this because from an organizational perspective, it’s really important to keep a line item in there somewhere and some money in it for those legacy costs, you know, because a lot of times we’re just looking at it and say, okay, well, you know, it’s going to cost x amount of dollars to build the site and then that’s it or, you know, we’re given, you know, we get a grant for it or were given money from a donor to build the site or something like that and it’s looked at as just sort of a one off. You’ve got to think about keeping money in a line item for these ongoing kinds of things and also the developer that you’re working with. Khun give you a good sense of how much money that might end up being, depending on the functionality of your sight, because that’s really going to vary from site to site and from organization to organization. Okay, i should got they should another should from drew. All right, we gotta leave it there. This is twenty martignetti non-profit radio coverage of eighteen ntc. I’ve been talking to drew mcmanus principle of venture industries online and cc dat baizman digital marketing manager at form. This is tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of eighteen ntc and this interview is sponsored by network for good, easy to use donorsearch and fund-raising software for non-profits. Thanks so much for being with us. We need to take a break. Wagner, cps. Do you need help with accounting or your nine ninety thinking about a change of accountants ? Time to get a fresh opinion. Check out witness. Cps dot com start there. Then talk, you know. The partner to talk to you, eat each tomb. He’s been on the show, he’s a good guy. I trust him. He’ll be honest about whether they can help you. Regular cpas. Dot com. Now time for tony’s, take two. I do a lot of ah long distance driving about twelve hundred miles every month, or or every six weeks on dh. I’ve got a couple things. Ah, couple things on my mind about that, that i’ve, that i’ve seen that ah, bother me. So the video talks about three of them. I was for here. I feel like the one i wanna talk about is getting gas. The gas lanes in ah, in a gas station are for getting gas and for cleaning your windshields on when you’re cleaning your windshield, that doesn’t mean wash your car with the squeegee that means clean the winter came the glass certainly get your glass nice and clean. Fill up the gas. Take your time doing all those things don’t trip don’t spill any gas, you know, dribbles over anything, nothing like that, but when you’re done, get out of the gas lane and park that car. Don’t be the person sitting still in the gas lane while you’re going to get iced tea. There’s a couple more rants along with that one on the video at tony martignetti dot com now time for gene gene the law machine you know who i’m talking about ? Of course. Well, who else would it be ? Jean takagi, the managing partner of neo the non-profit and exempt organizations law group in san francisco, he edits the wildly popular non-profit law blogged dot com and he’s, the american bar association’s. Twenty sixteen outstanding. Non-profit lawyer he’s jean takagi he’s at g tak. Welcome back, jean. Thanks, tony. How are you ? I’m doing very well. How are you this afternoon ? I’m doing very well, feelingood out there. Good. Good. I’m glad. Um, i’m overdue for a visit. I need to i need to come see you on the west coast. The ads actually the perfect time that we’ve got some nice weather. It’s a little cooler earlier this summer. But we’re headed out towards cem. Cem a nice weather at the end of september and october. September, october. There are good months. You’re right. I know, i know. I’ve heard that from others. I’ll get there because it was, like twenty. I think twenty fourteen may have been the last time was that when we met, i think it was twenty fourteen the time we met, i think quite awhile. Yeah. Yeah. Uh oh. But then i had another trip, and then you were. I think you weren’t available. Yeah. You blew me off my last trip. I think that was two years ago. Twenty. Um, okay, so we’re talking about donorsearch vice funds. You have some interesting stats about how popular they are that they’ve grown oh, since twenty twelve, give us give us just some basic numbers so we know why we should be paying attention to these things. Sure. And i think some of your listeners may know that that we have to start paying attention to donorsearch buy-in funds and and i’ll i’ll use the lingo dafs if that don’t get me into jargon, no that’s that’s approved. Yeah, okay, so dafs sir, like the fastest growing recipients of charitable giving now in the in the u s so donations of increased from just under fourteen billion in two thousand twelve two. Twenty three billion in two thousand sixteen. And meanwhile, sort of in two thousand sixteen, we’ve seen the top. I think six, uh, charities or six recipients of charitable giving in the country were dafs so, you know, the biggest one being fidelity charitable out doing united way and and american red cross and everyone else. So six out of the top ten recipients of charitable giving were dashed. Something to pay attention, tio sure on also the interesting that the growth rate so you cited uh, fourteen billion in twenty twelve to twenty three. Billion. Twenty, sixteen that’s. Two thirds growth, sixty six percent over five years, and individual giving over that was five years grew by only fifteen percent. Yeah, and you’ll see a lot of reports now saying, suggesting that they’re fewer and fewer donors e-giving teo to public charity, that air doing direct service work. Now, the big donors are still contributing, but fewer numbers of smaller donors, and part of that because of the tax incentive that are changing. But, you know, that’s, huge growth in the donor by fun, you know, in light of those numbers of lessening donors, the growth of donor advice on sixty six percent over five years. Any investment manager would love that. Yeah, no kidding. Shoretz naturally. My my portfolio would certainly love that. My portfolio buy-in buy high sell low. That seems to be my mantra if you look at my portfolio over the lifetime of my portfolio, um, so you and there are a couple of reasons why these air so attractive to individuals ? You know, you get that immediate tax deduction first ? Yeah. I mean, it works great. From the donor’s perspective from, you know, from the donor, you make a contribution. You khun taken immediate charitable contribution deduction, but you get to practically kind of control that gift on and decide who you want to ultimately give it out to in future years, even if it’s going to be two years later, five years later, ten years later, twenty years later, you can sort of hold it in that fund. Now, legally speaking, you make that gift immediately, and you get the deduction. Because your gift is complete. You have given it to a charity in the in the year you made that gift. But practically speaking, that charity that’s, the dafs sponsoring organization, that donor by sun sponsoring organization, which typically is associate it either with a financial services company like fidelity. Charitable that’s the biggest, you know, charity that that receives gibson in the world or hyre you can give it to a community foundation that’s, the other big sponsoring organization of bath and so legally they have control of the money. But practically speaking, they’re probably going to listen to where you want to make the donations to so long that it’s illegal distribution later, so long as you’re going to make the grant toe another public charity, even if it’s you know your intention to give it twenty years later, that’s okay ? Yeah, the donor’s make what’s called a recommendation to the to the charity fundez holding their donor advised funds and ninety nine times out of one hundred. The recommendation is approved. I think basically, they’re just looking to make sure it is a bona fide five o one c three charity that’s being recommended. And then the fund hyre approves that recommendation and makes a gift from from its fund to do that to that five. Twenty three ? Yeah, i think that’s right, tony. So, you know from from the sponsoring organizations by then they might have a little bit more in terms of little legal obstacle. Teo to live up to but from from the perspective of the donor, a lot of them feel like it’s still their money, they still get to control where they’re going to make a grant to even after they’ve taken the charitable contribution deduction, right ? And it’s, you know, apart from sort of getting an immediate charitable contribution deduction, it also allows him to do other things like it allows them to give annually i’m sorry it allows them to bundle up their donation, so maybe they give to a charity to the dafs sponsoring organization like once every five years, and they do that because the incentives for getting a charitable tax deduction have drop because, you know, i don’t want to get too technical, but the rise of the standard deduction that took effect earlier this year and we talked about that that already means only five to ten percent of taxpayers actually get a charitable contribution deduction anymore for making a gift, because the standard deduction is higher than their itemize, but by bundling there donations and say, bundling them up. So instead of making a five thousand dollar gift every year and not being able to use that to get a deduction, they can decide to make a twenty five thousand dollar gift over five years, and then that twenty five thousand dollars now, combined with their other itemized deductions, is big enough to get the value that deduction so they can use the dafs to give every five years. But the charity that they want to be the beneficiary of the fund could receive money from the dafs on an annual basis after they do that, so to the charities that looks like the donor is giving to them every year once that funded the death. So another another useful way that that an individual can use the donor advised funds that’s created by the new tax laws understand, right ? You gross it up to get the get the hyre deduction compared to the standard, and then you can give it out, uh, slowly over time, all right, but make it make it the gift huge big enough to take advantage of the larger deduction at one time or maybe a couple times over several years, exactly in the charity might like that, too, if they’re like saying, you know, we actually don’t need your annual contribution because we’re actually saving up to buy a building or to create this brand new project. So if a year five you give us the larger gift, we would really appreciate that, so it can work for everyone involved as well. Okay, we’re going to take our first break, but when we come back, we’re going to talk about this feature of being able to latto it’s, make your gifts directly to the to the charities over over lots of time and the constant nation that that causes tell us for pete’s sake. Oh my goodness! Think of the companies you can refer and start asking them. You’ve heard the charity testimonials. You’ve heard the company testimonials, it’s time to claim your own long stream of passive revenue from tell us fifty percent of the card processing fees that tell us gets from the companies you refer. Go to you fifty percent month after month after month. That’s your long stream of passive revenue. Start with the video at tony dot m a slash tony tell us now, let’s, go back to jean takagi. Okay, uh, sometimes i don’t remember where i am. But this time i do. So i made because i said it, okay, so this feature that you can give over time over many, many, many years causes consternation in the non-profit community. Do i have that right ? Yeah, you’re right. So what ? You know what ? If the donor is e-giving annually to their donors buy-in spun and saying to the charity, you know, well, i’ll give to you at the end of five years at the end of ten years from my donor advised funds, but, you know, in five or ten years that donor, right have other priorities, and so that charity that used to get the annual gifts from that donor might not be on that list anymore, and so they can’t really think about that in their budget, so it does create some concern by charity. Yeah. Now, in that case, i mean, if i were advising them, i would get that pledge in a written document and the legal enforceability of that, you know, we can we can write us that it’s got some enforceability weaken. We’re relying on your promise, we’re going to take some administrative actions. Buy-in reliance, you know, maybe there’s a small consideration, maybe there’s a small dahna yeah, so, you know, we can we can we could make that legally enforceable in a lot of states, if not all the states, yeah, i think that’s true, tony, but then you have to think about whether even if you win the battle with the one donor-centric it in court, what that does in terms of the long term and your relationship with every other donors who now knows you sue donors when i don’t clean get yeah, yeah, i mean, you got a definitely are you ? Yeah, i know you’re right. This is an interesting conversation because planned e-giving i’ve dealt with this and way we deal with it as gifts come, and i’ve dealt with the aftermath of it after afterwards, i’ve never had a client that that maybe i shouldn’t reveal this. I don’t know clients non-profits are very reluctant to sue their donors. They you rather work something out. Andi it’s true, i haven’t had a client that well, first of all, i haven’t had that many clients we have to enforce we had where we had to force agreements against, uh, right against the donors and that’s, very rare that you have. To hold this document up that they signed years earlier and remind them of the enforceability of it on ben, you know, charities are reluctant to do it and have to be, i don’t have to be a scenario where there’s a lot of money at stake and it’s a pretty clear case because you’re right, the pr is very bad, and, you know, it may never even make the popular press, but just in donorsearch coll’s within that individual organization, you know, things get around, especially if it is a large gift from a prominent donor. Back-up yeah, and especially that donors still alive tony versus in a plan gift where you might be contesting it against airs or for other recipients of that. But when the donor is still alive and saying, i don’t like your charity as much as i used to, i still like you a little bit, but i don’t want to give you my full gift that i thought i wanted to give to you that’s a tough i got a raise, so there is a practical aspect too the enforceability of these agreements that i’m saying can be made legally enforceable, but but the enforceability and itself sometimes is enough of a persuasive factor to a donor that, you know, i think they keep up their commitment when, when they think they might not have otherwise might never go to court. Yeah, but the donor might see the seriousness of the donation and know that he would hurt the charity he or she would hurt the charity if they didn’t go through with that pledge because maybe relied on it to partially constructed building, and you need the full funds to finish construction. Otherwise you can’t do it, and you’ve wasted a lot of money and may be created some lawsuits against you for not being able to do it. So the donors, you know, relying on that donor’s money to your detriment or twenty to your detriment is is the basis for a lawsuit, and that would hopefully be convincing to a donor, even without the lawsuit part that you relied on on their promised teo, meet their place. I like heidtke idea. Yeah. Okay. Um but the bigger issue so let’s take it away from an individual charity. The bigger issue is that there’s. A lot of money parked in dahna. Advice, funds and we really don’t know how much and the what bothers congress and a lot of people in the charity community is that this money is parked there and it’s not getting to the five oh one see threes that it’s that it was that the donor earned a charitable deduction for giving to you it could sit indefinitely literally, right ? Yeah, so under tax laws, it could sit there indefinitely. So the donor advice fun sponsoring organization is not legally compelled to make any distributions at all. If the donor says nothing about it for ten years, twenty years than the sponsoring organization doesn’t have to do it. Although some of started to say, you know what ? We’ll have an internal policy that says, if you don’t, if you’re completely inactive your fund, we will start to make distributions based on what information we have of where you want it to go, so they’re trying to do some self regulation there, but there are no external laws right now that required donorsearch funds, teo, make any distributions at all. Yeah, well, i suspect they see a lot of a lot of the the the concerns, especially from the isat, the senate finance committee, charles grassley, chuck grassley is chair of is that senate finance ? Yeah, right, well, the senate finance committee might be concerned with that asshole, but they’re really the argument is going on with academics and professionals and big organizations, including community foundations and these big financial institutions all over the place. And you’re seeing a lot of books on the non-profits sector now sort of criticizing no philantech be including through donorsearch buy-in funds and the controls that these donors have over large amounts of money even after they’ve taken the deduction. Interesting, interesting discussions out there now now it za parallel to me, you know it’s, it’s, it’s similar to a lot of the planned gift’s a similar principle or policy around a lot of the planned gif ts so take i’m thinking like the charitable remainder trusts or charitable gift annuities where basically ah, person let’s use the trust because that’s not that’s, not charity specific. So let’s use that example. Someone creates a charitable ranger trust. They leave the option. Teo name some charitable beneficiaries a cz remainder beneficiaries which means at the death of the donor what’s left, goes to these charities and in the during the life of the donor or donors, sometimes a lot of times, it’s a couple there getting income for their getting income. So getting income for life when they die, what remains goes to charities, and they reserve the right to change your those charities might be now they get an immediate income tax deduction for that. When they create that in the year that they create that charitable remainder trust. So i see a similar policy. No it’s it’s. An immediate deduction for a long term gift to charity. Although there is some guarantee because the difference is that the donors are going to die and when they die, the people getting that people died getting the income die, there will definitely be a gift to charity. So there’s there’s that right there is that limiting factor. But you could see the policy similarity, right ? Yeah. That’s. Definitely some similarities. But i think that the donor advised funds are more concerning, particularly because when you do a charitable remainder trust, for example, your deduction is going to be the value of the gift that ultimately is left over for the charity using you. Know, like actuarial tables. Yeah, that present value there going ? Yeah. So what is it going to be worth ? The likely could based on average, like bands and stuff. What will the charity likely get ? That’s what you can deduct the donor advised funds, especially if you give gifts of like real estate or privately, closely held stock, you get to not pay any capital gains on it. If you’re a donor on, then you get a deduction of the fair market value, which is big because if you gave it to a private foundation, if you formed a private foundation, you don’t get that gift a fair market value, that deduction of fair market value essentially get the deduction of cost. So being able to sell something that, you know, wildly appreciated in value and getting the fair market value deduction and not having to pay any capital gains on it and then still having the practical control of where to ultimately spend that money. Um, you can see how that might be even more attractive. A donation vehicle tow an individual donor, but why ? At the same time they’re concerned some from from congress and from from others. Who think that they are, you know, advocates for the nonprofit sector of saying is really going to be put to good use for charitable use, or is it going to sit in these funds, particularly in funds that are run by some of the financial institutions where their continued to get, you know, investment season stuff that that air being generated because they’re continually being invested ? You know what charitable good are those funds doing ? You know, professionally, you know, if they’re if they’re held by fidelity and being managed and no promise of went to distribute. All right, hold that let’s, take our last break hoexter give, you’ll get more revenue because they make e-giving simple if your donor’s consent a text that can make a donation not only simple, affordable and secure ceo chadband oid very smart guy, he set up a smart company. You want to get the info, which you should, you should want to get the info text, npr. Two, four, four, four nine nine nine and you will ah, not only get info, but also be able to claim a special listener offer. We’ve got several more minutes left for fund-raising no, not fund-raising dahna advice funds where’s, my where’s, my lousy intern. I wish i had one. We’re not talking about fund-raising that was a big mistake. Sorry, jean. We’re talking about dahna advice funds. I need an intern. Esso, i have someone to blame for this poor copy. All right ? Yeah. Yeah. The fair market value. Yes. The donor donor advised funds gives a fair market value. You made several points, but the one that hit me the most because i do plan giving is dahna advice fund to get a fair market value charitable deduction immediately plan give to get a present value deduction based on your life expectancy. So it’s going to be less. And if you hold the money in your donor’s vice fund for twenty years, it’s, in fact worth less, then it was in the year you put it in. But you’ve got a face value fair market value deduction, didn’t you ? Well, actually, you know what ? What you holding to donorsearch buy-in fundez might appreciate wildly. So if you put a, you know, a million dollars investment or even a ten thousand dollar investment into a donor advice fund of apple stock, you know when it was nothing, and you held it for ten years, and all of a sudden you’re sitting on, you know, potentially hundreds of millions of dollars and nobody take capital gains tax for that, right ? But you are, you know, the donor advisor or the donor of one hundred billion dollars fund, you know, that’s held by financial institutions, affiliated charity sponsoring dafs sponsoring organizations. And, you know, you get all sorts of benefits for, you know, being, you know, the donor to donorsearch by son. You know, you get to go to the fancy cocktail parties and gala charity gallas and people swooning all over you because, you know, you can make huge distribution to the to the folks if it was your own money, but not your own money anymore. Yeah, well, it’s, not yours, right ? It’s yours to decide what to do with, but it doesn’t belong to you. The recommendation of where it should go belongs to you. Now, of course, on the other side of that, you could have invested in. Annoy ll start. I’m trying something the stock that crashed terribly, but you might have invested in something that depreciated on dh there’s going to be a lot less left for charity because you didn’t invest well, yet you got you got a deduction for what you put into the fund initially. So in that case, the charities really do lose the public loses out because a lot less money is going to go to charity. Then we gave you a deduction for sure that’s true as well, and i don’t mean teo be sort of a nay sayer of the donor advised funds because there’s a lot of good things that they do and, you know, they’ve been around for, like over eighty years, really, with community foundations and, you know, the original intent was sort of to collaborate. Have donors collaborate with the advice of the community foundation about how they could sort of use their money’s on dh use their donations together to fund some of the most important things to benefit that community. And, you know, that aspect of donor advised funds is, i think, a wonderful thing and the, you know, a lot of critics. Who are arguing against the critics of the donor advised funds so the ones who are the pro donorsearch buys fundez woobox are saying, you know, a lot of this money that is going into donordigital fun would otherwise not go into charitable goods anyway, they might they might never make the charitable sector. S so it’s not like saying that, you know, people are e-giving too don’t advise funds, and it never gets charity that way that, you know, the counter argument is some of those funds would never get to charity unless they went through donorsearch buy-in funds. And by the way, our distribution rate is much higher than private foundation grade, so even if the donor gave it to, you know, created their own private foundation, then they’re just required to invest or grant out essentially five percent of their investment assets per year and don’t advice funds are granting out, on average, somewhere about twenty percent of their assets for years, so we don’t even have a problem here. Why do you want to create rules to limit what we’re doing but there’s a counter to that as well ? That says well, that twenty percent includes donorsearch vice funds e-giving toe, other donor advised funds and that’s like when you want to shift your donors fund from fidelity to vanguard xero or to the silicon valley community foundation or did it new york community foundation ? You’re just moving money around from one financial talkto another one charity to another, but nobody’s actually putting it to use teo, do good for the community that the other arguments and counter arguments the other problem with that look atyou doing both sides. The other problem with those measures of distribution are they could be skewed by very large gif ts that come from one or two funds while lots of small funds aren’t making any any distributions jean, we have to leave here. Maybe we should have planned this for a whole hour. But we hyre is this your lackluster host ? He’s ? Jean takagi, managing attorney of neo non-profit exempt organizations law group he’s, our legal contributor just following for god’s sake non-profit latto blood dot com and at g tak thank you very much, gene. Great talking to you next week it’s website day https and getting more gift from your sight if you missed any part of today’s show, i beseech you, find it on tony martignetti dot com, responsive by pursuant online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled. Tony dahna slash pursuant capital p weinger cps, guiding you beyond the numbers. Wagner, cps dot com, by tell us. Credit card and payment processing, your passive revenue stream. Tony dahna slash tony tell us and by text to give mobile donations made easy text npr to four, four, four, nine, nine, nine. Creative producer is claire meyer, huh ? Sam liebowitz is the line producer, shows social media is by susan chavez. Marc stein is our web guy. How much mark silverman is our web guy, and the music is by scott stein. She we will be next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and be great better than me. You’re listening to the talking alternative network, waiting to get a drink. Nothing. You could. Hi, are you interested in blockchain technologies and crypto currencies ? Then tune in here on talk radio. Got n y c with me, david every friday, eleven a, m twelve p, m eastern time. As we answer your questions and interview, great guests live on internet radio on building the blockchain where you can catch the blockchain revolution. Oppcoll you’re listening to the talking alternative net, are you stuck in a rut ? Negative thoughts, feelings and conversations got you down ? Hi, i’m nor in sumpter, potentially ater tune in every tuesday at nine to ten p m eastern time and listen for new ideas on my show. Yawned potential. 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Nonprofit Radio for October 17, 2014: UX Secrets Revealed & Better Tech RFPs

Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%

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Jared Schwartz: UX Secrets Revealed

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User Experience (UX) is all the stuff visitors see on your site and how they navigate through it. What are the secrets to strategy and design so people enjoy engaging with your site and find the content they want? Jared Schwartz is senior consultant at Beaconfire Consulting. (Recorded at the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) 2014.)




Peter Campbell: Better Tech RFPs

Peter CampbellPeter Campbell has strategies to make your software and service requests for proposals smarter, so you build better relationships with vendors and get what you need at the right price. Peter is chief information officer of Legal Services Corporation. (Also recorded at NTC.)



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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host and i’m glad you’re with me. I’d bear the pain of relapsing polly con dryness if i learned that you had missed today’s show you ex secrets revealed you ex user experience is all the stuff that visitors see on your site and how they navigate through it. What are the secrets to strategy and design so people enjoy engaging with your sight and find the content they want. Jared schwartz is senior consultant at beaconfire consulting and better r f p’s. Peter campbell has strategies to make your software and service requests for proposals or, if he’s smarter, so you build better relationships with vendors and get what you need at the right price. Peter’s, chief information officer for legal services corporation both of those interviews are from auntie si non-profit technology conference on tony’s take two something to tuck away for twenty fifteen, responsive by generosity, siri’s hosting multi charity five k runs and walks here’s. The first ntcdinosaur view with jared schwartz on user experience. Welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of ntc fourteen. The non-profit technology conference we’re outside, we’re in washington, d c at the marriott wardman park hotel. And with me is jared schwartz he’s, senior consultant at beaconfire consulting, and his workshop topic with the other some other panelists is top five u x rated secrets revealed. Jerry swartz welcome to the show. Thanks that’s. A pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me. My pleasure. Thank you for taking time on a busy conference day. You ex let’s make sure everybody starts at the at the same level. What is you, x or user experience? What? Music’s? So you exes user experience. So that’s all i’m sorry, i already i already revealed you gave the cat. Yeah. That’s, that’s that’s number one of five. You’ve gotta come with four more secrets. Yes. Oh, you exit is the user experience. And a lot of what that is is a lot of the front and pieces of these web applications. It’s the when the user interacts with the computer. Whether it’s with the website, whether they’re the product of an application, it is the experience that they’re having that is guiding them to achieve a certain goal. Um, and so the goals of you, except to make sure that that is optimized for the user so that they can achieve their goals as quickly and efficiently as possible. And then so there is a lot of what falls under the u ex umbrella, such as user testing, focus groups that there’s a lot of like pieces of u ex butler. The heart of it is making sure that when you want someone to do a thing, they get that done as official as they can. So first thing we need to know is, what do we want people to do? And that could change by a week to week, right? Month to month? Yeah, i mean, so a lot of what you ex starts with this sort of one of the goals and the goals for your application for you is the organization of the company. But then also the users goals were they coming here to accomplish, and that also ties into audiences. So a big part of user experience is who are your users? And so we’re talking about demographic data, but also, you know, a lot about what are they trying to accomplish? What other internet habits? So ah lot of our session, one of the other panelists is talking a lot about users and audience and having empathy for who they are and what they want to do. I’m trying to put yourself sort of in their shoes, they are coming here to do a certain thing. It may not be exactly what you want them to accomplish, but you need to think about what they would do and lead them down, that pathway, what they want to do, but it also has to be coordinated with what you want them to do. Absolutely if you’re in the midst of ah campaign for for gathering emails or a campaign for fund-raising or, you know, whatever, yes, i’m so ah lot of what we do it beaconfire and some of our initial work with our clients is to sort of figure out these audiences and then their goals and your goals and how that thai house that matches up to each other, it doesn’t always jive oneto one sometimes it’s close, sometimes related, but you know, if the goal is is email conversion, you don’t just want it’s not just simple, to put an email sign a page. On your on your home page because they may not be there yet, and they’re not coming to your website yet to give you an e mail address. They’re coming for another reason you wantto figure out what they’re trying to accomplish. I think of what is the pathway that would lead them down the road to okay, they’ve gotten what they’ve wanted the next step would be now how do we lead them to where we want them to go? And so it’s zoho trying a lot of what we always start with his understand your audience, and they’re prioritized them and then understand try to match up your goals with their goals and that’s that’s a really key to making sure that you’re gonna have successful application if you just put your goals first there, you’re not going to get there don’t care. Yeah, so start with them and then try to lead them to where you want them to go. And i think the email conversion is a very good example. Putting on a light box on your home page may not be appropriate because your point people haven’t come for that purpose on lex out of the light box, maybe they’ll stay for what they wanted to achieve, or maybe they won’t. But either way, at least one of you is unsatisfied and that’s you because you bombarded them with the email purpose before they were ready. Essentially, absolutely. And i think you have anything you haven’t sold them. Why also you’ve got to make the case for someone to give it their email address. It means you’re going to be invading their personal space potentially several times a day. You need to make the case for why they want that space invaded. And so, you know, a lot of work just by putting a female sign a box and say join our list great isn’t really going to actually convince somebody that i should do that. I should get more email from you, so it’s make the case with content that you have made the case that the organization who you are, that they see themselves and your community, your community is them, and then when they feel that connection there, then say, join our email list to get daily updates during our email list to get job postings that that is a much telling. Them what they’re going to get that is the benefit to them is much better than just opening up with join our list because that’s just that’s just serving your own purposes and not theirs and our audience is small and midsize non-profit so ninety percent of cases we’re going to talk about the organization’s website you had mentioned aps ahs a possibility, but we’re probably talking about their their their website and that’s most of our clients as well, you know, it’s, a u x there’s a it breeds into, you know, the applications you carry around with you, i mean that the cars you drive, i mean there’s there’s user experience toe actual physical products that chairs you sit in this user experience by but really the most most of our clients are also medium to large non-profits and so they’re mostly it’s mostly, you know, web sites as well some web specific applications, so not just like organizational website by the website that does a thing and then occasionally in tow, like abs or things like that. Okay, now you’re part of the panel was the psychology of users correct and what’s going on literally what’s going on physically in their brains as their coursing through your site. Yes. So, i mean that this is sort of, you know, i do a lot of us work, and then my hobby miree of interest is a lot of this pop psychology and okay, you know what is making the web sites are the most successful. So successful. Why are people going there? You know, tens twenties, hundreds of times a day? What are they tapping into the underlying human psychology? You know what? What is firing off the dopamine? And you’re their brain that says, i need to go here. I’m getting a pleasure, but results. I’m gonna go there again and again and again and again. How do you hook them? How do you keep them coming back? What are the triggers that are being fired off on them now? Some of my my pat, my peace talks about there’s. An external internal triggers there’s. Probably a lot at this conference about external triggers. So that’s getting an email, that’s getting a text message, something saying go to my website internal trigger is instinctively on their own. They make a decision to do that. So an example. Would be facebook photo sharing when you take when you see, you know this amazing celebrity walking down the street, you take a picture of it. No one said facebook doesn’t say to you, go share that photo here. They don’t remind you you instinctively know to do that. The goal is to form a habit isto have the minimal amount of neurological activity required to get there and so it’s to try to find, you know organisms are not going to be facebook, but what is what is the thing that when someone wants to do something or find something they instinctively know to go to you and so try to identify what those internal triggers are because that’s mean that that’s what drives massive amounts of traffic? And how did you get get interesting that you said that you said it’s a hobby? I get into the psychology of it. So i mean, i’ve been doing, you know, sort of web application development for the older than i look from the beginning, the beginning of the internet and he looks about for listening. She looks about thirty a lot to be forty and northern. Thirty. Okay, so and i’ve been doing this for about twenty years, and i just, you know, it always sort of fascinated me, you know? Why does someone do what they do? Why are these things so successful? There’s millions and millions of web site, you know, i think i heard that the top thirty websites account falik ninety some ninety five percent of traffic and it’s insane, the food that that dominate the space. And so what are they doing differently? And you could start to see the patterns of the understanding of their words and it’s, not reward wasn’t giving you a t shirt or a sticker it’s the rewards of, like, stroking your ego, making you recognize the community. This, like, the sense of the hunt is when i talk about so, like reddit and countries that you want to keep looking for, what may be that you know, that next great things going to be on the next page, i can’t leave, i got five more things, and so they’re all tapping into this, like, you know, that this hundreds and fifty tens of thousands of years of human psychology and leveraging that, you know, make their website successful interesting. Okay, so you you mentioned dopamine, there are there are physical changes happening in our brain as we’re going through. Ah, website? Yeah, and then this actually was just that south by southwest. And i saw a really fascinating panel on don’t know the name i can’t without my head. Unfortunately, it was fantastic. I love to give him credit, but it was on the neural, the neurological effects that happened on the successful websites on so they were actually, like, scanning people’s brains they were interacting with. And it was really fascinating to see that, like, its firing off the same, like pleasure centers. When you, for example, what would you do? Something good. And you want to share that? And then people like it. And so having someone like that, you did something good. Just fires off the same pleasure center as anna’s. Mother sex? Yeah, i mean, it’s, that sense of you know you. Yes. You want to do good things that you wanna be altruistic? Yes. You want to have an interesting life but it’s even more exciting when somebody you know acknowledges that likes it back to you. And so that’s include that’s. Why, facebook? Tapped into that very early and so that’s why the like button is so ubiquitous tower, what part of what it actually does that that reward is, you know, is this it is a super powerful thing in your brain that you don’t even know is happening, but it’s, you know, it keeps coming back because you want more, but you want more of it. You want more of it? I’ve read research that takes the talk about the first step that about how pleasure centers are activated when you do something positive and what i was reading about was making donation when you, uh, you know, the science was someone who makes it makes it a donation versus someone who doesn’t, and the pleasure centers are activated, but you’re going a step further and research that shows that when someone likes yes and and acknowledges and approves of your having done something beneficial, it is even more activity. And i think that greater pleasure and i think you see, a lot of that was like the peer-to-peer fund-raising stuff it’s spreading now because you can give ten dollars organization, you feel good about it, but once you do that, now you’re invested and it feels even better to get someone else to give arms, it feels even better toe, like have them know you care enough that you’re going to get them roped in. So i think that’s why a lot of peer-to-peer stuff that’s, why they’re trying to know share when you make this donation because they know that, like, you know, that’s, that’s a human ego thing that people want, they want to feel like they’re part of the cause and bigger than just a donor. I feel it, i think, just dahna simpler level when i find an article that i’ve read that i think someone else is going to like that. So i just forwarded to them from the time sight or send them the u r l n e mail and then i get something back says oh, yes, thanks. That was pretty cool, you know? Yeah, i was right. The person did like i liked it and they like to to feel good and is the opposite feeling that that sense when you send it out and nothing happens, you know, like that they think is that sense of like what i thought? For sure, you’d validate my my mind knowledge of who you are, my mother. I least deserve acknowledgment. At least say thank you, even if you didn’t think, well, just something okay? You’re listening to the talking alternative network. This’s. The same way we’re hosting part of my french new york city guests come from all over the world, from mali to new caledonia, from paris to keep back french is that common language? Yes, they all come from different cultures, background or countries, and it comes desires to make new york they’re home. Listen to them. Share this story. Join us, part of my french new york city. Every monday from one to two p, m. Are you stuck in your business or career trying to take your business to the next level, and it keeps hitting a wall? This is sam liebowitz, the conscious consultant. I will help you get to the root cause of your abundance issues and help move you forward in your life. Call me now and let’s. Create the future you dream of. Two, one, two, seven, two, one, eight, one, eight, three, that’s to one to seven to one, eight one eight three. The conscious consultant helping countries. People be better business people. Dahna talking. Hyre dahna okay, so let’s, let’s, look on the flip side, what happens when we’re in a site and we’re not finding what we want. You made the point that we come with with with our own goals in our own purpose, to go to a site, what what do we feel when when that frustration of cars and we’re not getting what we want, what were therefore, i think the first thing you’ll see is you’ll see luke users leave. I mean, you know, the internet loads so fast, there’s so many other options out there, you know, data analytics is a piece of you x as well, and i’m looking at like, the simplest thing is bounce rates, that is an example of you think they care because you’re in that organization, you deal with this every day, but if what they’re saying they don’t care about they’re going to bounce rate is how fast how many users leave the first pay, but about bounce rate is the percentage of people who, like, come to a page and then lead it, they don’t go anywhere else on so that so that, you know, they think that you’re gonna have the answer for them. They go there. You don’t have what they want. Boom! There were only one page deep there, one hand, even after one, too. Yeah, and that that is a really easy way to identify. Are you giving users pathways? Are they seeing themselves in your sight? Are they connecting with your brand at all? If your bouncers every high ah, what’s jai, is it possible to generalize what i hate putting numbers on things that are because it always depends, like in a one organizations bounce cerini complete different than another it’s i would you know, i would say, look at trends. So if you’re seeing that you know you’re going worse, they’re getting better. A lot of us is testing and so it’s to keep trying to you always want to try and try and try and then look at what the data’s telling you. And so if you’re making adjustments and the bouncer is going down, you’re doing good things. If you’ve if you’ve taken something off of your home page, if you redesigned it in a way that’s what you think it works and you see that change, i would look at trends trying. To always say, like, this is good, this is bad, you know, it is i find that sometimes unfairly for example, like open rate supplies. That’s what a good open percentage it depends on, you know, if you’re talking about a list it’s a small list of highly cultivated people or one hundred thousand like random strangers you just bought, you know, so it’s really hard to say what affair basically, okay, trends trends are valuable, too, and and now bounce treyz something that users confined in google analytics. It’s, one of the top analytics applied to your your your page, your sight, your sight and there there’s that’s when, like the first top things you can see, it’s very easy to find google analytics is very rich, very deep. They just come out with universal analytics, which takes it even richer and deeper. I’m very fortunate that i understand that at an emotional level i can kind of interpret with the number someone’s telling me the numbers say, and i work with people who understand this stuff in a very strong, deep technical levels, you know, i’m fortunate that this that i consent, that we have people who look at the data, you know, process that data because their data analysts and then it’s my job. Treyz okay, now that they’ve process that for me, like what’s the driving reasons of these, okay, but even though, you know, people were sort of amateur, google analytics bounced rates, the ones that know google smart, the ones they put upon that first page view that summary page, they know what they’re doing, but we’ll give you good answers. Okay, well, let’s, let’s see if there’s some advice that we can leave non-profits with we have ten minutes to stop, we got plenty time. Um, based on from your perspective, from the cycle of psychological perspective, what would you like to see? Non-profits maybe doing better? Smarter? I think one of the things that they tend to forget is that their users and themselves are different, that it’s very hard, you know, i worked non-profit space for a long, long time, it’s very hard not to step back from that bubble, right? I mean, you’re causes your there, you work for these organizations because you’re insanely passionate for them, that is your job. Everybody you work with is interested in it when you have this great idea for a campaign, of course, everybody would want to do it because you’re in that. And so i think the hardest thing to do is kind of step back and say, not me, but somebody who is a squishy middle, someone who not the converted, not the staff, somebody who we want to make the case for they’re not there yet, and a cz much as possible when you’re designing your sights. When you’re thinking of your imagery and what your imagery is saying, i think i see all the time. So taking advice, i see a lot of organization websites have large, beautiful imagery now, but they will put in that image whatever the latest news is and don’t realize that image is connecting your brand more than anything else. And so did you really think about what your imagery is saying thing with your confidence saying not to the converted, but to that people who you want to get to your so you have to take that that perspective of the person who’s? Not, as you said, not yet converted. Step outside your day today dafs site excitement of your work how do you get somebody as excited as you are because i have been part of lots of campaigns when i’ve been working non-profit space where we’re like this is going to explode, of course, who wouldn’t want to, like, share this on with all their social media friends i personally do, and then it doesn’t really explode, and i think a lot of that is because we just have you just not well, you’re not coming from their perspective, and so you need to think, okay, they’re not here yet. What do they want? How can i lead them to the point when then they’re fourth, fifth, sixth views visit now? They really care. But those first few visits or the is that making break time and they’re they’re not where you are. You need to really remind remember remember that? Okay. Is it important to know what sights are? Ah, referring to your to your own site? Yeah, i mean, where people are coming from there. I mean, i think that’s that’s always important to look at that. The number one thing to remember is google’s. Probably number one, bob. A lot of organizations spend time trying to put everything. Possible onto their home page because they think that’s how people are getting to their content because maybe that’s how they are, but truthfully, most people are coming to your content as an internal visitor. If you go to look up, you know, blue cheese, you’re going go to google type blue cheese, you’re not going to go to the cheese foundation and see if they have a navigation. It takes you to cheese colored block. Yeah, so i’m looking away. Other organizations where people come from is important. I think the most number one to remember is it’s probably google people on your home page come in because they want to know who you are so that’s probably a brand thing, but that most uses air hitting you first at an internal page and so that that email sign up just shouldn’t be on the home page. If there’s, that pathway should be accessible anywhere. People get to your content because they’re not going home page first, they’re not going to your navigation likely they’re doing a google search and coming into an internal piece of content, and so you still need to make that conversion case even three. Four levels down your cs. Okay. Excellent. Yeah, very good point people. Not they’re not doing it the way top down. They’re coming in the middle somewhere. That doesn’t know there’s a lot of what we have. Several u ex folks. There’s always big debates about navigation, the value of navigation. I’m on the stage. So i get to like you say my opinion versus the person i work with who tend to disagree. I think navigation is least second third tier navigation is this is somewhat overvalued. You know, i think taxonomy, i think having smart tags. I think having your content search engine optimize is really the best way to get content. And not just necessarily, like, do you have to think about things and strict categories of first level, second level, third level? Because people just don’t navigate the web that way anymore. That it’s it’s not that hub and spoke structure. Yes, or did they just jump around from from thing to thing? What more? What more can we say about the psychology? Other advice? Mom it’s. The other advice about the psychology. So, you know, understanding the rewards is a huge one. The other is that there’s a person and bj fog who i’ve read a fair amount of honest what’s called bogey bogey has the fog model and the but you can find online type in five model the core of it is that when the trigger goes off another internal external, the reward has to outweigh the effort to get there very right simple idea, but that’s that’s the core of successful websites, and so that rewarded, whether it’s a internal reward, whether it’s a hyre you know, i want to find things wherever that might be the level of effort they have to take to meet that reward. They’re going to make, like internal mental calibration essentially a cost benefit analysis essentially cost benefit analysis, and so that that level of effort has to be usually fairly frictionless because that reward is probably not as high as you think it is. So too, you know, to to keep that you try to make that as frequent as possible try to get people invested a lot of times. Why, you’ll see, you know, the most people don’t leave facebook for google plus was because they were heavily invested, their data was there their friends were there. So if you get people invested, it makes it easier for them to just to re engage because they’ve been through experience. They have already signed up. They have your data. So i think trying to kind of always balance that reward effort is really that’s. That’s that’s the challenge. What if we have to justify spending time and money on on our user experience? If we feel it’s lackluster and, uh, but we have to go to an executive director, maybe even to a board to justify this. We were sort of talking around the benefits, but let’s, i think that would make them explicit. Yeah, man, that that’s a fantastic question. Because one of the things that that comes up a lot, that is my best, you know, you’re great at it. We’re twenty minutes in and it’s the first good question. Okay. Ah, one of things that gets cut from a lot of our clients budgets is testing and user experience and things like that and it’s. Not because they don’t value it. It’s. Because it’s not as tangible, right? You have to have a design. The site has to be developed. It has. To function and so when they’re you know, non-profits have about budget restraint constraints, and so they do tend to say, okay, we’re not gonna have those audience focus groups, we’re not going to bring in users to test our wireframes to valley that we’ve done is right because we can still build it, it’ll still maybe be pretty little still, but we think it’s going to be and i can get by on less money, and so that is always a challenge. I think you will never regret spending money tohave a actual audience, our users actually interacting with your sight structure, interacting with your of the wireframes you set ups interacting with your prototype, giving you information ahead of time, you will never regret that information. I’ve never been a time when someone said that was useless like you always lie learned something when you actually get out of your own space and put in the hands of users back-up so it’s super super important and it often gets cut and it’s a challenge. I think one of the things is to try to make the case for, you know, when you’re inside under an organization that this way. We want this to be successful, that with with our users we need to hear from them. It also sometimes helps sell with the internal politics one why did you design it this way? Why did you put it here? If you have users informing that it gives you a little bit of protection, you can say we put it there because users are finding told us that’s where it goes were designed in this way because users test said that when we did the blue button, it didn’t perform as well as the red button. So back-up it’s not only hugely successful tow the product being a success. It’s hugely important that provoc buy-in success. It’s also can help with when it comes time to defend the decisions that you’ve made. It’s not because it’s just the three of you in a room who’s on the core team deciding this it’s because this is what our users have told us. So i it’s it’s a it’s. A big challenge because you see it, it does all it’s. One of the first things to go. Well, you know, we could probably get away without this user tests. We probably don’t have to bring in user focus groups. We know the answers ourselves and it’s, always surprising, there’s, a really interesting study where they asked people to sort of guess how many jelly beans are in a jar and, like a hundred people guessed, and no one got any closer than the average of everybody’s guesses. All right, nobody got any closer than the average ok, even though there was wildly low gas isn’t some wildly high guesses. The hearing from the larger community actually gave the smartest answer than even the expert jellybean kapin guests, so nobody did better than the average. So as much as you try to think like that, we could just get this exactly right on our own idea. It’s, you’re always going to do better to hear from a larger perspective, to hear from thoughts outside of your own it’s super valuable, okay, dahna. I want to ah admonish you live it on the show. We have jargon jail okay now, just for people who may not know what a wireframe is. Yeah, it was a few minutes ago, but i didn’t want interrupt you. Although used a lot of times i do it threw up, but you were i didn’t feel like interrupting you, but what’s a wireframe just eso a wireframe is in a nutshell, a website design without a design it’s the functional captures the general layout. It captures the functional specifications of what that piece of the website will do and how people do wireframe is very, quite a bit. But i guess you could think of it as if you were going to design a home page you would have at the top that there is a big maybe hero space, and there’ll be a couple sentences that would annotate, saying it is going to do this, it will rotate this way. It’s not designed it’s not actually drawn. It just sort of implies what it’s going to do. And so then then those wireframes go to designers who then design around that aunt? I don’t know we often. Tell our designers that design is not a coloring book, they’re meant to kind of interpret this, but it’s just sort of say, this is what the thing is supposed to do in generally how it’s supposed to look, and then it also feeds over to the developers. You, seo when i see this email sign up thing here that the wireframe tells them well, it means that when they sign up it’s going to put them into this also database, for example, so it’s the wireframe is these step before you start designing and before you developing is just a way to capture those requirements. Okay, put me in jail. That’s okay? You’re out to make prohibition comes easily. That’s okay, um, or parole should say welcomes you were in jail on parole comes after, um, let’s say, all right, so one, one final thing we can leave people with just throw to you, uh, about about user experience, you know? So i guess i’m one final thing about user experience. I would say, you know, we’re doing an exercise at the end of our session and it’s an audience exercise and the reason i want to do that. Is with a hammer home that think about who you’re trying to do this for. So the exercise that we’re going to do, i think it is a good example where we’re taking a really bad donation page so that, you know, we have one of our folks in our teams like this on the worst possible nation page, and then we’re going to tell the team, break up in small groups and say one of you is the audience the rest of you take five minutes interview that audience member about when they’ve had a good donation experience and who they are and what they’re trying to accomplish and then take notes on that, and then they’re going to be asked to then redesigned this with that audience member in mind takes five, ten minutes to do you know, i think it’s a really good, easy exercise, so when you’re saying, like, wow, this we want to do this thing, do it, and then think of an audience person have somebody played that role for five minutes and then redo it for that person you’ll make, you know, some nice improvement. So it’s a really low hanging way to kind of like just keep tweaking things for for different your audience and a way to see that adopt that outside perspective that we talked about earlier on we do that’s no, we’re consulting firm, we do that. We helped lead clients through that, but you can certainly do-it-yourself think any any organization can say, you know what? We were built this thing. Now we’re going to think of who’s going to visit there. John, you can play the role that person tell us about this from your perspective, and now we’ll tweak it and it’ll get a little bit better. Excellent. Thanks very much. Pleasure to be here. Thanks for having my pleasure. Jarod schwartz is a senior consultant with beaconfire consultant. And thank you for being with tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of non-profit technology conference generosity. Siri’s you know them? They host five k runs and walks. You probably. I’m guessing can’t generate enough runners to host your own event. And then, if you did, you’d have to deal with the permitting and the medals and the sound system and the starting finish line and the porta potties. That’s what generosity siri’s does they do? Porta potties? And all the other things that are involved in multi charity runs and walks where there are hundreds of people because each charity brings the participants that they can, and together they have hundreds talk to dave lind he’s the ceo, about becoming one of their charity partners. They have events in new jersey, miami, new york city and philadelphia coming up. Tell dave you’re from non-profit radio, please let him know that he’s a seven one, eight, five o six, nine triple seven or generosity siri’s dot com can you start planned e-giving in twenty fifteen? I know you’re in fourth quarter fund-raising right now, it’s not any more detailed then just something to tuck away in the back of your mind for next year. Planned giving is not complicated. You do not need special expertise. I’ll have more to say about it later, but that’s all for now. Just tuck it away for next year and that is tony’s. Take two for friday, seventeenth of october forty first show of this year here’s my interview with peter campbell from non-profit technology conference on better requests for proposals. Welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of the non-profit technology. Conference ntc two thousand fourteen the hashtag is fourteen and tc we’re at the marriott hotel and wardman park washington d c my guest now is peter campbell. He is chief information officer for legal services corporation. Peter welcome, good to be here. It’s a pleasure. Thank you on your ah workshop topic is requests for proposals making our of piecework for non-profits and vendors. Peter campbell, what is the problem with our f p’s that non-profits do no, my take is so rps request proposals um, commonly used by organizations to gouge whether a vendor is going to be able to do their projects for them or whether the software they’re buying is going to meet their needs. But i don’t think it’s something that’s well understood non-profits i don’t think there are a lot of resource is for understanding how to write our appease, how to do that well, and as a result of that, a lot of the vendors in the sector really hate them to the point where i’ve sent our if he’s out to vendors who have refused to even open them, much less response. So part of the problem is non-profits i’m not going. To be getting the the quality and volume of of replies that they could be getting to their art piece because they’re writing them in a bad way. Well, he let me see how i see the issue say you need a new website, your non-profit you need your website um, how much that cost you so it cost fifteen thousand should it cost seventy five thousand? It cost one hundred fifty and if you spend one hundred fifty, are you getting a much better website than you would for fifteen or seventy five? And i think today the answer is you have no idea you could pay one hundred fifty and get a much worse website than me when you could get from somebody who’s very smart and doesn’t charge a lot. Um, so the non-profits goal is to gouge who should i hired to do this job for me, who will give me the most value for my money? And if you’re buying, say, a software system something that’s really well defined before you buy it, you can ask very tactical questions, get them answered that’s fine you khun do a request proposal has a list of i need this feature? I need this functionality i need to integrate with this. Get a good answer, but if you’re doing a website or you’re doing a sales force implementation or you’re doing a project that is much more open ended, um, using the form of our a p that you would use to buy a product doesn’t work very well. And i think what happens often this people use that form and send it to a consultant say beaconfire you were talking to earlier? Yeah, and the chances going into a web project that you know exactly how many hours it’s going to take to do that project and what type of effort’s going to be needed are very, very slim, right? So my argument is that our of peas are unimportant thing because when you go into a relationship with a vendor to do an expensive project, we’re talking one hundred thousand for an organ, it maybe makes three million, you know, bilich revenue. Um, you want to make a good investment in that relationship, you know, you don’t as someone to marry you on the first date, you get to know them first, you got to know. What? You’re compatible. You get to know if your needs are going to be mutually met, that type of thing. So we need to be more creative about how we do our fees in order to ensure that, and i think one of the problems is the non-profit i want the rp to tell them exactly how much they’re going to have to pay that’s what they’re focused on. Yeah, cause we need a new website, we need fifteen thousand pages. We need this color scheme. How much will you charge us to do that? And i think that that’s a question you really can’t ask and shouldn’t be asking. So when i do an r p for something like that, i recently won recently did one for a sales force ghisolf the r p est a few basic things i want to know if the vendors i was sending it to had the expertise i needed for my project, i had some particular aspects of my project that one vendor might do better than another say, integrating with databases in my organization, so i ask questions about that and asked him to give examples case studies when they done before, if they can send me pictures, website links and then i also have section, what are your standard rates for each role of consultant that would work? What i didn’t ask is how much will this project cost? I didn’t it’s a multi year project, i have no idea, and i just didn’t think that was fair question what i i was looking for and what i think i got was a vendor that had the expertise needed do my project that i felt my staff and i had a good report with that we’d be able to work well with, um and a good relationship and through the reference checks, assurances that they were very sensitive to non-profit budget needs that they could stretch the project out longer if the money wasn’t coming in to pay the bills, that type of thing. Do i know what the project’s gonna cost when it’s all done? I don’t do i know that this vendor is going to work with me? I’m not going to get in financial trouble on this project. I’m pretty reassured, you’re confident so my pushes the ar fi sessions say r f peace can be good. But we’re kind of being cruel to the vendors and frustrating the life out of andrews by sending them questions that can’t be answered. Ok, all right, so do we need to spend more time in planning on r f p? I think a lot of non-profits that’s sort of the mind set is, well, we need a vendor, and this is going to be a sizable project for us. Let’s, do an r f p, right and then and okay, it’s going to fall within your department. So you put together the questions we need to do more than we need better planning around the rof pieces that were part of the problem. So the r p is a piece of the process of evaluating purchasing a system. If you’re talking about software that needs to be in consultants and that type of project, the web sales for us, who are the, you know, fund-raising database of things that highly customized. Project that you’re going to need that help on there are few is a piece of it. Any organization going into a project like that should understand their business needs. Our sales were surprising. For example, before we’re doing the sales worse project, we’ve hired business process consultant’s help us fully understand what we’re doing today before we start trying to do it better. So so it is a piece of that process, and again, the rp we think about the rv is being the session a bunch of questions that we weren’t asked avenger, but just as important as part of the therapy that explains to the vendor what we’re trying to accomplish so that we’re helping the vendor understand the depth of the project and the scope of the project. You’re going to get better answers back. Yeah, it’s zoho learning process both ways. It’s a two way into yeah, okay, i think, yeah, i think that perspective is not really seen. Basically we ask questions, you come back and answer, and and the questions are not really that informative about what we’re trying to do. Yeah, this is really very timely, actually, for may i do play. Into giving fund-raising consulting. And just last night, when i got back to my room at the hotel, i had an email from someone who had been referred to me, and she asked me to give her a price quote for creating a plant giving program for our organization and i and i don’t really know about your organization. She said that, you know, a small number should get to give a number of donors, but i have no idea how they break down in terms of age. I don’t know whether they’ve ever attempted plans giving in the past and maybe it’s been unsuccessful or this is the first venture. What are their goals were planned e-giving of how deep do they want to go? Is this gonna have the most sophisticated programs? And or is it just gonna be maybe charitable bequests? Is that all we’re going to start? Stop there. So what i sent back was, can we plan a call before i give you a range and that’s actually what you said i need i need a range of costs. Teo, give to my board. I said, well, it’s kind of premature. I don’t don’t know. Enough about the organization, and so i need to learn more as the vendor and that’s what you’re suggesting? Yes. So i will say as the client and, you know, i work for a quasi government organization, and we have very appropriately bureaucratic process follow-up just explained legal services corporation plays what? Rolling? Oh, yes, i have a legal service corporation. We are the federally created five a onesie three non-profit that allocates federal funding to legal aid programs across the country. Ok, our tagline is america’s partner fecal justice, and i think people know legal aid, you know, legal aid in their community and in their cities. People know exactly what people get confused about is because we have so many cop shows telling us that everybody has the right to an attorney. They forget that that’s only in criminal cases. So if the bank is foreclosing on your home or you’re in a domestic abuse situation or children or being threatened, take it away and you can’t afford an attorney we’re trying to address that. Those are all civil. Yes is criminal and illegal. That’s what legal aid provides? Yes, legal aid gives the attorney to the people. Who are too poor to afford one? Our funding program has requirements on coffeecake income. Yeah, of course. Yeah. Alright. So legal services corporation is the primary funder of legal aid services throughout the country. Yes. Okay. Absolutely. Okay, please. Okay, so on our way to talk about, oh, learning and how i was giving you my example of how i need to learn more about the organization before i could. Yeah, there was a change of prices, but i want to add to that from my if i’m doing an rp process, i want to be very fair process. I don’t want to give one vendor advances another one might not have so i might agree to have a five minute phone call just outlying a little more of our situation, and i’ll have that same conversation with every vendor that i’m including in the process of but i generally don’t want to do the full pledged interview with the vendor until after the r p e r a p is determined which of these people who have responded to the therapy are the ones who really look like they might be a match? Narrow it down and then from there, go to the interviews. Usually, when i’m doing our fee for a large project, all in, you know, include a deadline to ask questions, preferably send those questions by email, and then i’ll send out the questions and answers to every participant in the r p so, again, everybody’s getting the same answer is getting old questions. Asked even nothing worth questions, they particularly asked. Okay, e-giving didn’t think dick tooting getting ding, ding, ding ding. You’re listening to the talking alternative network e-giving. E-giving cubine have you ever decided to reinvent yourself? Are you navigating a new life’s journey? Are you an aspiring artist that’s looking for direction? This is kevin, barbara, ll and my new show, coffee talk three point, always your new best friend. Tune in live to hear successful professional artists and their inspiring real life adventures. Mondays at two p m eastern, right here at talking alternative dot com stand. Wait, no this’s, the same way we’re hosting part of my french dinner city guests come from all over the world, from mali to new caledonia, from paris to keep back french is that common language. Yes, they all come from different cultures, background or countries, and it comes desires to make new york they’re home. Listen to them. Share this story. Join us, a part of my french new york city. Every monday from one to two p, m. 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 way. Look forward to serving you. Hey, 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. Hi, this is claire meyerhoff from the plan giving agency. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at tony martignetti non-profit radio. Oppcoll what? What? What specifics can we leave? Give the non-profits around our f p planning. So creation so very important. Assess whether the rv is necessary or not. My take their two things that in general there’s a dollar amount relative to your total revenue that’s going to justify doing the rpg? Determine what? That is really another thing that’s kind of abusive to the vendors is you have a twenty thousand dollar project and the vendor is used to doing fifty one hundred hundred fifty thousand dollar project it’s not worth their time to answer the our feet that’s work they’re doing without getting paid for it. So you want to make sure that there is some value to vendor in taking the risk of the answers are api. They’ll put the hours putting the time means yes. Okay. Okay, so, so being part of this is be respectful to the vendors. And you know, if this is a simply project and not that high dollar, then just go straight to the vendor interviews. Don’t do the rp process. Don’t make him look that hard. Okay, value to it. Okay. Other other advice? What else? What else could we be doing better the when you do have the valid or if he makes sure that you’ve got the right questions and they’re not the ones there, you know, and just the right ones. I think there is if you go look for examples of our apiece on the web, you get one’s written by very large companies that are sixty pages long. I think in a lot of our cases with the work that we’re doing this non-profits we don’t have to write sixty page long are appease, we can keep the questionnaire is shortened just what they need to be. I’ve done our peace for large dollar projects, but they’ve really only been one or two page question because because that told me what i needed to know to move forward well, let’s, explore this a little more what other advice to have around questions that don’t really belong that you think, are there often that you see often? Well, again, i think comes too. You wantto ask what you know, not ask what you don’t know so again in that kind of web, our fee, you know? All right? Or let me even back off again with myself feeling example, i didn’t ask every vendor if their sails for certified i didn’t ask if they, you know, do you know how to do this? That or the other detailed thing in sales for us? I asked broader questions for hyre level skills and ask for examples again because, you know, i didn’t want just putting questions for the sake of having questions if the vendor is on the sale, i found all these vendors through sales force af exchange, they’re certified yeah, okay, yeah, anything that i didn’t need to ask. I didn’t ask so again, focus the questions generally you could assume if you’re picking the vendors were going to send the rp two, is supposed to just posting rp publicly and both are valid ways to go. But, you know, you really could make some assumptions that they’re going to have this that or the other thing and not necessarily make them answer questions on necessary. I do like to ask questions like particularly if i’m going for some kind of there’s a sport contract following its avenger than to rely on past the initial install what? The rate of turnover is the questions like that. So you, khun gouge the stability of the company. There are different types of r f peace. Yes. Okay, let’s, talk about some of different types. What are they, um how do you categorize? Ok, so i work in technology, and i see two general types. One is for product ones for services to a very different and, you know, again with the products i think you want to ask. Actually ask a lot of questions on day one of the reasons you want to do that. You’re looking for a new phone system. It’s very important to you. They’d have certain types of conference calling functionality. Or maybe it does calls center. You know, there are things that your particular looking for for your organization. So you ask every one of those questions. Do it in a way that simple. The answer that they can check a box or, you know, just say yes. No, um, you know, again that’s the way you be nice with a lot of questions, everything they demolish, everything doesn’t have to be a narrow exactly. And then once you decide on the vendor include the r f p response as an amendment to the contract so they’re accountable for what they said their system could do in the ar fi. O interesting. Okay, that sounds like that’s very good advice. Other other something else and different tight around different types is just product versus services bilich anything else that you want to leave people with around labbate i’m kind of okay, okay, um, what if? Well, i guess let’s get to what the ultimate benefit of all of this is if you have smarter or f p’s, we’re going toe is going to be hiring the better the better providers. Well, i mean that, you know, the goal is for the non-profit to get the return on investment on, you know, we’re spending a lot of money on this project that’s why we’re doing the therapy in the first place. We want to make sure that when it’s all said and done, we haven’t wasted that money, the two risks icy or one that you make a big investment in my case in technology, and then that technology is rolled out in such a way that it’s not useful to people it’s not used you’ve made the big investment. You haven’t gotten the functionary that you were seeking that’s one problem the other night where we see is that we haven’t really picked the right vendor. The project has become a money pit that we’re now thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds thousands over what we wanted to pay software evaluation for major systems for your new fund-raising system for, you know, your new website something that is a big investment for the organization in a very important project provoc can’t can’t be decided on by one or two people in a room somewhere e i mean project’s go much better if more people are involved at the start of them in the evaluation in determining the needs and entering what’s important product demos are great opportunities to educate staff about what the software could do for them because most people go into a software project thinking, i know what i like in my current product. Does the new product do the same things? But the question really should be, how could this new product give me more capabilities? Mohr strategic possibilities and my existing software did and going to the demos and seeing you know what the president is going to show, you can spark the imagination. Okay, having this many people in that room as possible. Okay, now your program is an hour and a half, so i know we haven’t exhausted this. What more can we? I mean, your your workshop is going to be so what more can you can you share? I’m leaving it open to you. What more can you tell us that we haven’t talked about my pushed any anti seizure shin is to do about food four, five minutes worth of presentation, so you’re right. I have more than this, okay? And then open up for a good discussion and in this case, because we’ve got vendors versus staff and it’s a controversial topic, i’m hoping for some violence. You are? Yeah, we’ll see. Last year i did one on project planning. I’m agile versus waterfall, too. Computing project management philosophy’s i was hoping that we’d have some, you know, excitement in the room. But no, everybody agreed with me that there’s time for one in time for a male. We’ll see. It wasn’t it wasn’t. It didn’t turn out to be his. Provocative as he would have liked. So maybe, well, maybe start out by moving all the consultants to one side of the room in the staff to the other. Okay. And then looking throw things or something. Okay, well, let’s, leave it there then. Peter campbell is chief information officer for legal services corporation on dh. You’re listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of ntc the non-profit technology conference. Thanks so much for being with us, thanks to everybody at the non-profit technology conference and there hosts the non-profit technology network and ten next week, an interview or two from fund-raising day that’s the one day conference in new york city in june, where i got a whole bunch of speaker interviews, i have one or two of those. If you missed any part of today’s show, find it on tony martignetti dot com generosity. Siri’s they sponsor non-profit radio generosity siri’s dot com or seven one eight five o six. Nine triple seven our creative producer is clear miree off. Sam liebowitz is our line producer shows social media is by julia campbell of jake campbell, social marketing and the road producer of tony martignetti non-profit radio is john federico of the new rules. Our music. This music is by scott stein. Be with me next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and be great. Talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. 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. 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