Tag Archives: Sarah Olivieri

Nonprofit Radio for November 7, 2022: Align Your Money With Your Goals


Sarah OlivieriAlign Your Money With Your Goals

There’s a dimension to your budgeting you might be missing: Organizing your budget so you know what impact your money is achieving for you, and you know the costs connected to your goals. Sarah Olivieri returns to help you course correct. She’s the founder of PivotGround.


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[00:03:22.35] spk_0:
and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. We have a listener of the week Cheryl McCormick, she’s ceo of Athens Area Humane society in Athens Georgia. Cheryl is a longtime fan many, many year fan of non profit radio she blogged about the podcast once, putting it in her top five, that was years ago, she’s been listening a long time, she was in my plan giving accelerator class, the very first one um in fact she was the first person to sign up for the very first class and we finally met in uh in Atlanta Georgia just a couple of weeks ago and she was so gracious, she took her her afternoon off to meet with me and we spent hours getting to know each other even better, catching up learning more. It was just a it was a real pleasure to meet this uh non profit radio super fan for many, many years. So Cheryl McCormick, thank you, thanks for taking all that time to to see me, you’re our listener of the week also happy Halloween. Now that’s a week late uh I need an intern to blame because I didn’t realize that, I mean I knew Halloween was coming up, but when I was doing the show I just didn’t realize it was gonna be published on Halloween Day the 30 obviously 31st so um you know, I you’re stuck with a lackluster host what can I say I hope you enjoyed your Halloween I’ll leave it with that I’m doing the best I can without an intern to blame. Hope you enjoyed your Halloween and I’m glad you’re with me because I’d be thrown into our neuralgia if you inflamed me with the painful idea that you missed this week’s show, align your money with your goals, there’s a dimension to your budgeting. You might be missing organizing your budget. So you know what impact your money is achieving for you and you know, the costs connected to your goals. Sarah Olivieri returns to help you course correct. She’s the founder of pivot ground Antonis take two does this show sound better? We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. It’s a genuine pleasure to welcome back Sara Olivieri. She has over 18 years of nonprofit leadership experience. She was co founder of the Open Center for autism, Executive director of the helping Children of War Foundation and co author of lesson plan Ala carte integrated planning for students with special needs as the founder and heart behind pivot ground Sarah helps nonprofits become financially sustainable world changers. Her company is at pivot ground and at pivot ground dot com Sarah Welcome back to non profit radio Hey

[00:03:31.03] spk_1:
tony It’s so great to be here.

[00:03:42.02] spk_0:
It’s a pleasure to have you. Thank you very much and uh and thank you for sitting through that longer than usual intro to the show. I I had to shout out our listener of the week Cheryl and then I had to explain why I didn’t say happy Halloween next week last week. So thank you for sitting through that interesting through that. No

[00:03:53.15] spk_1:

[00:03:53.94] spk_0:
Now, you know I pronounced your name Olivieri,

[00:03:56.84] spk_1:
you got it. But

[00:03:57.78] spk_0:
do you just say Allah very,

[00:03:59.41] spk_1:
no, no Olivieri

[00:04:01.34] spk_0:

[00:04:09.56] spk_1:
yes, thank you. Just lean into the italian sound. People think I’m italian because I kind of have a little bit of that look but it’s actually from the jewish side of my family but you know, I’m an honorary italian with an italian last name.

[00:04:14.43] spk_0:
Absolutely. And you want to, you want to get every vowel sound in there. So thank you. Thank you for not doing olive very you’re

[00:04:20.88] spk_1:
welcome. Like

[00:04:21.86] spk_0:
O L I V E I know you got to get the Olivieri.

[00:04:26.96] spk_1:
Olivieri. Olivieri.

[00:05:11.81] spk_0:
Olivieri. Yeah, well the sarah kind of always wanted sarah that doesn’t sound italian sound not really, but I understand. All right. So you’ve got two great ones, uh, jewish and italian, I’m often confused for jewish people, people that I have a look that folks think is a jewish look. So I don’t mind it, we’re all suffering under our mothers. It’s all we all we all have the guilt from, from mothers so jewish or italian we share, we have that, we have that bond but let’s not, let’s not talk about oppressive mothering, let’s talk about organizing your budget, organizing you know what your money is doing for you so that you’re aligned with your goals. Let’s say high level, what could we be doing better?

[00:05:42.17] spk_1:
Yeah. Well, first of all, so many nonprofit leaders are not like money. People, they don’t have M. B. A. S. They’re not like and their budgets scare them. So if you’re listening now and you’re like budgets like, please, no, I want you to know that we can make budgeting fun because high level your budget is like your financial strategy, right? It’s a map that tells you how your money can work and how well it is working, Right? So if you like things like having more money next year than you have this year, and if you like things like having incredible financial data to tell these amazing stories about the impact you are making and the impact you could be

[00:06:08.14] spk_0:
making. If

[00:06:34.11] spk_1:
you like to have money to pay your staff and equitable, you know, fair market value so that they’re not overworked and run down and living in poverty themselves. A budget, not just any budget is your very, very best friend. Because it’s the thing that if you know how to arrange it, will unlock the answers to how you get most of those things. And unfortunately most people’s budgets are not telling them those answers right now. And so hopefully we’ll be able to demystify that a bit today.

[00:06:41.64] spk_0:
We absolutely will. Yes. We’re gonna we’re gonna achieve that. Hope. Alright. So, I should have called this budget is your friendly budget. Budget is your budget is fun and friendly.

[00:06:52.62] spk_1:
Yes. Right. Love your budget.

[00:07:13.31] spk_0:
Alright. Alright. Love your budget. Love your budget. I love how you were going to demystify and uh be upbeat about something that could be very uh dull if we’re not doing it right. So, but I can tell that you’re doing it right. You’re have manufacturers enthusiasm around budgeting. Okay. Um Where should we start? We need to start with vocabulary or is that

[00:07:17.29] spk_1:
like any bit of vocabulary just to make sure that nobody is kind of getting lost in the weeds because whenever we talk about budgets were starting to bring in a little bit of financial vocabulary and um I don’t want to need to be lost if we’re using that language or if you hear it. Right? So um

[00:07:36.26] spk_0:
Okay. Yes. Plus All

[00:07:37.47] spk_1:
right. We don’t want to be in

[00:07:39.17] spk_0:
it for you to be in jail when you say, you know net profit or something. Okay,

[00:07:59.21] spk_1:
that’s right. And you know what I want to tell everybody who’s ever nervous about budgeting vocabulary. Is that different people use it in different ways. So, my number one tip, when it comes to vocabulary actually what you write in your budget is def find what you mean in the budget because one’s person’s gross is not someone else’s gross. And these terms, you know, you’re like that’s gross. right? What’s net, right? It’s not the same for everybody. And you might find yourself in a disagreement about these terms. Um and you could both be right and both be wrong. So um I just encourage you to like really eliminate the jargon and just describe what you’re talking

[00:08:22.36] spk_0:
about, define like define it in a footnote or something like that,

[00:08:45.48] spk_1:
define it right in the line item, right? Just put it right in the line item. So um so first of all, most, a lot of the numbers in the budget are either money in numbers or money out numbers, Right? So they’re now we’ve eliminated all the dragon, right? Either it’s money coming into the bank or it’s money going out of the bank. And then we have another set of numbers which are called assets and that means assets is the amount of money that you have kind of stored away, right? That it was already put in and stayed in or things that are worth money, right? So if you have property that could be turned into money stocks, that could be turned into money, right? All those things are worth money. And so if it’s worth money or is money just sitting around that’s your assets

[00:09:12.77] spk_0:

[00:09:49.59] spk_1:
to the money in money out, right? Money in. We have some terms like revenue, gross revenue, net revenue. Um These are all ways of talking about our money coming in and usually money going out is a little easier because we talk about like x expenses typically, and there aren’t as many words that we throw around to describe expenses. Um And then the last kind of category that I’m just gonna call measures for today. These are the most important numbers that are usually missing from most budgets. These are the things like percentages in your budget that tell you how the money is working and that’s where the secret is. And luckily for you is, most of these numbers are less than 100. So smaller numbers are easy for our brains to like look at and think about. And so looking at percentages telling the story about how our money is working is really, really important and we can talk later about what some of those

[00:10:18.21] spk_0:
are. In fact, if the percentage Is equal more than 100, then we have a problem.

[00:10:20.48] spk_1:

[00:10:22.66] spk_0:
Of our of our assets or our expenses are okay. All right. So do we need to distinguish between revenue and gross revenue? You mentioned those two.

[00:11:09.90] spk_1:
Yeah. So at the end of the day, so you’re always gonna look at all the money coming in in a budget. That’s usually what we call top line revenue, because usually at the top line of the budget. Right? So you want to be thinking about the total amount of money coming in and then you also want to be thinking about kind of breaking down where the money starts to go out and then how much is left over. So gross and net are terms that to describe how much is left over after certain kinds of expenses come out. So what I want to know is what’s my top line revenue and then after I’ve paid for my programs, um and especially like money that I wouldn’t have to spend if I didn’t have that program. So I want to know how much is left over after I paid my program expenses. And then I usually want to also know what’s left over if I not only paid my program expenses, but also paid my staffing programmatic expenses, like how much is left over after that, right in

[00:11:32.58] spk_0:
my right? Just staff program expenses.

[00:11:35.16] spk_1:
So all the program expenses and the staffing expenses of the program

[00:11:39.61] spk_0:
staffing, expensive program but not staffing of other other functions,

[00:11:43.46] spk_1:
not staffing of other functions.

[00:11:45.06] spk_0:
We’re not there yet. Okay.

[00:11:46.14] spk_1:
And then I get this number, some accountants call it contribution margin. A lot of people have never heard that, but basically it almost sounds like

[00:11:55.25] spk_0:
a contribution margin. Anybody says that I’m putting them in jargon jail,

[00:12:18.31] spk_1:
right? You’re like jargon jail. Right? So, but but what we’re talking about is how much money is left over after everything came in and you paid for all of your programs, how much money is then contributed to the general operating expenses, which you will never ever hear me call overhead. I call them operations. And the language we use in budgeting really matters. Right. And we all heard, but just in case somebody missed it. Right. Overhead is a good thing. And the reason is because overhead is operations and operations are critical to operating, right? No operations, no operating.

[00:12:38.67] spk_0:
It’s also investment in potentially future,

[00:12:40.28] spk_1:
essentially future

[00:12:41.49] spk_0:
work maybe you’re reserving for for a future ambition for a future purchase, maybe you’re reserving so these are all, you know? Yes, it’s it’s it’s it’s absolutely operational, but I also see as investment for the future

[00:12:57.23] spk_1:

[00:13:08.42] spk_0:
the and that’s essential your sustainability for God’s sake. So if people on your board are complaining that you have a reserve for something, you know, ask them. Well, don’t you reserve for future for future future recessions, don’t you reserve for future investments and expenditures in in new markets? So please sir, you know, be quiet

[00:13:38.17] spk_1:
Yes, you should have a reserve. And when you get to the very, very bottom, people sometimes call the bottom line at some point, you’re going to have a number that if you are a for profit business, you might label it profit profit margin margin. When we hear that word margin, I don’t want you to be scared. It just means how much is left after something else taken out right? That’s all margin is right. It means we had money in and we took some money out and then we wanted to know how much, how much pie was left. Right. Do we have one slice left, two slices left, you know that

[00:13:51.08] spk_0:
give an example of something margin, flush it out please.

[00:14:41.76] spk_1:
Sure. So, um, you’re, so we just talked about contribution margin, right? That’s how much money is left after we took out program expenses and program labor, right? So if we take out all of our expenses, program expenses, labor expenses, operating expenses, everything what’s left at the bottom is also our margin. Some people call that net, but some people put net somewhere else. That’s just the total amount of money that’s left over after all of our expenses. Now we need that money and I want to reframe the way we think about that bottom line because people get like really focused on that bottom line, obviously you don’t want to be leaking money every year, year after year. However, it is okay to have less than nothing left over one or two years. If you spent that money to invest in something that’s going to bring in more money in the future, right? Not everything pays off in one year, right?

[00:14:56.46] spk_0:
Staff, new staff, right,

[00:14:58.92] spk_1:
new staff or building a fundraising department. Right? So if you don’t have a fundraising department

[00:15:04.54] spk_0:
and write

[00:15:09.49] spk_1:
the people. So some people are making money, some people aren’t. So then at the very bottom, I want you to realize that, you know, kind of a rule of thumb I use is if the money left over, it needs to be at least equal to inflation, which on average is 3%. So if you don’t have 3% and what it was, what we have to define our terms, I’m always telling people define their terms. So this is where we get into those measures, right? So percentage is the amount of money that’s left over our margin, right at the very

[00:15:37.20] spk_0:

[00:15:39.10] spk_1:
Um, and what percentage of that

[00:15:42.60] spk_0:

[00:15:42.90] spk_1:
the total revenue that came in? Right? So if total revenue came in was 100,000, right? We wanted and we have $10 left, what percentage, you know, is $10

[00:15:54.51] spk_0:
of, you

[00:16:09.72] spk_1:
know, 100 or 100,000 whatever. So, and you know what, you don’t have to know how to do the math because any spreadsheet will do it for you. And I have a template that we can give away where the formulas are already in there. So, um, So, but that way we, we want that bottom bottom number to always be at least 3%, is the new zero.

[00:18:35.77] spk_0:
It’s time for a break turn to communications. They sent their bi weekly e newsletter on message this week. And it had something that I think is interesting. It’s called three under the radar targets for your pr pitches and the three that they suggest our association publications trade and professional associations eager to hear about news regarding one of their members or latest advancements in the field, alumni publications and hometown newspapers. If your pitch is mostly about an individual, consider sending it to, uh, to uh, alma mater publications and, and hometown newspapers. And the third is e newsletters. They say you’ll likely have a few of these in your email inbox right now, like morning brew. Good, good, good. And the skim these folks published daily and offer the opportunity to get your news delivered to lots of loyal readers and they make the point that, you know, this is not the new york times or the Washington post or even the Chronicle of philanthropy. But you’ll get some, you get some coverage, you’ll get some exposure and you can use the, uh, use the content, repurpose it on, on your social channels. So linked to it, uh, that way also, and maybe on your blog as well. So it’s some coverage, right? I mean, it’s not the end all be all, but it’s three things that sort of are as they say under the radar and that is turned to communications. Clearly your story is their mission. Turn life into dot C O. Now back to align your money with your goals Folks in our high inflation period right now that we’re living in 2022, folks may ask, well, should it be higher now, should be eight or 9% or should it just be sticking with like 3-4 because that’s the average over over a long term and don’t have to worry about an annual fluctuation up or down. So

[00:19:01.58] spk_1:
I think you know you can go either way certainly if we’re gonna have high inflation for a while, I’d be wanting more money left over right? But overall I want you to be trying to not have zero. Right? You if you have so 3% is the new zero. That means you’re just treading water. You want to be or you know if we’re at 5% inflation, you just and you’re at 5% you’re just treading water so you really want to be Probably and it will vary pro organization, I would want to be at least 10 to 15%. So that means I now have money to invest in next year. Right? So if I want more money next year than this year, I have to increase my operations around how I raise

[00:19:21.90] spk_0:
money. Which

[00:19:48.08] spk_1:
means I have to put money into the money making machine so that it can make more money, right? Your fundraising function is a money making machine. And the fuel is money. You put money into the machine, you put a dollar in and you get a dollar 25 out or a dollar 50 out. Or maybe it’s even better. You get uh $2 out, right? But if you don’t feed the money making machine money so that there are people to run it. Um And materials and all the stuff you do to fundraise, you won’t have more money than next year.

[00:19:56.99] spk_0:
Alright, alright, now some folks are gonna say so I just have to get this little thing out so you want you want rather than treading water, you want us to be doing a strong breast stroke?

[00:20:06.74] spk_1:
Yes, right? Doesn’t that sound better? It

[00:20:10.33] spk_0:
just felt like extending the metaphor

[00:20:12.89] spk_1:
butterfly. If you feel like

[00:20:14.56] spk_0:
you could do the butterfly, that would be that would be outstanding. Now some folks will say well, but the the the only way to there are two ways to increase your margin at the end of the year. Either increase revenue through feeding the fundraising machine or cut expenses.

[00:20:33.11] spk_1:

[00:20:43.46] spk_0:
now if you start getting into cutting expenses, what do you, you know, are we just cutting paper clips or are we cutting staff? Which could be very detrimental, cutting back on properties where we have outreach, you know, that could be very detrimental. So

[00:20:48.99] spk_1:

[00:20:49.45] spk_0:
put words in your mouth. So

[00:21:14.27] spk_1:
No, no. So I I like to take all of my expenses and kind of mark them in my budget according to three categories. I like to be silly. I use three icons, I use a heart icon which means this expense is creating an impact. I use a money bag icon to say this expense is generating money, right? And then I use a picture of a toilet bowl to say this money, just goes out the door and it doesn’t make impact or money, right? And some things make impact and money and we want a lot of those, if you have an organization that all of your expenses are making impact and money are probably very, very healthy financially. So all the ones

[00:21:33.97] spk_0:
with, that’s

[00:21:38.31] spk_1:
right. Or you can put two icons in the one, you know, in the line. Now, if you start labeling the moneybag line items as your revenue generating expenses, if you want more money next year or the year after or tomorrow, you need to increase your revenue generating expenses. If you decrease your revenue generating expenses, what’s going to happen?

[00:22:02.90] spk_0:
I mean

[00:22:18.77] spk_1:
revenue, Right. So I think, and once those words are so powerful because watch somebody try to cut a revenue generating expense once it’s labeled like that, right? They’re not gonna do it now all of a sudden it makes perfect sense. And I, I saw this mistake happened at the beginning of the pandemic. I’ll never forget the first time I sent out an email to my list at the beginning of the pandemic, I got back all of these like auto responder emails of people who had were gone because they had been fired so many nonprofits cut their fundraising

[00:22:39.78] spk_0:
staff. Yeah,

[00:22:43.77] spk_1:
that was like, that’s like cutting off your own feet, right? You need to increase. And as true with many, many disasters, you know, it turned out the pandemic was actually quite a good time for fundraising. All of my clients did better financially, not worse. And they were investing in revenue generating expenses in a time when they were going to need more

[00:23:31.15] spk_0:
revenue. Yeah, it was a short time. It was a short term panic. Uh, and unfortunately there are organizations that and for profit as well, corporate as well that reacted panic wise, you know, knee jerk and um, and that I think in the, in the medium to long term that hurt all those, all those who did that. Um, yeah, that’s

[00:23:32.36] spk_1:
rough times. Well, let’s get back to fun things like budgets. So here’s a big tip when it comes to lay out, right?

[00:23:39.24] spk_0:
Just for fun friend. Remember that

[00:23:40.86] spk_1:
my fun friend.

[00:23:42.07] spk_0:
Budget a mere friend. This is your one of your fun friends. Okay. Yeah. Yes, We’re back to budget. All right.

[00:24:00.90] spk_1:
So maybe I’ll just a little P. S. A a little budget advocacy to take us into happy times is I want your budget to be for you, right? The I. R. S. Has a version of your numbers that they want to see. And if you we get grants, foundations may have a version of a budget that they want to see. But first and foremost, I want you to feel that your budget the way it’s laid out is a tool for you, the nonprofit leader, right? That’s what it’s there for. This isn’t just something we need to throw to other people and yeah, you can have somebody rewrite it. So it satisfies somebody else. But I want you to really love it as the tool for you and lay it out the way it starts to tell you a story.

[00:24:31.23] spk_0:
All right,

[00:24:33.10] spk_1:
That’s right. You love your budget?

[00:24:35.13] spk_0:
Yes. Budgets. Budgets are budgets are people too.

[00:25:54.62] spk_1:
That’s right. So one of the ways I like to get my budget telling a better story that I don’t see anybody doing it. So simple is I like to take all of my fundraising revenue and expenses because your fundraising function is kind of like a business inside a business. Right? And I like to move it to the very, very back autumn of my spreadsheet. So I have revenue that comes from programs at the top. And then I take out the expenses from the programs and then I take out the operating expenses and then I get the true cost without fundraising of my nonprofit. And it might very well may be negative. It kind of depends if it’s appropriate for your non profit to be generating funds from its services. I do by the way, count, um, restricted grants that our first specific program as program revenue. Right? Because if you didn’t have the program, you wouldn’t have that revenue. That’s how I kind of divide the line. And then, so I get this, this is the true cost. So my nonprofit is negative. 200,000 to run all of our programs. Right? So we now know now we have, our true fundraising goal are true fundraising goal is, You know, 200,000 plus three

[00:25:58.61] spk_0:

[00:25:59.88] spk_1:
Right? And now, because have you ever been in front of a budget? I bet you’ve seen this tony where like, you know, you’ve seen various versions and they’re just kind of like monkeying with the fundraising numbers at the top. It’s like a game to make the bottom number go zero, right? Like it’s not necessarily based in reality, I’ve seen that happen on lots of

[00:26:17.54] spk_0:

[00:27:07.63] spk_1:
you know, budgets being presented to boards. So now we have the true, you know, fundraising goal and the true cost of running our nonprofit without fundraising. And then I have this little section where I have fundraising money in revenue, you could call it if you want, but we have the amount of fundraising money coming in is unrestricted money. And um, and the amount of money going out. Right? So what is our fund Raising staffing costs? What are, are you know, marketing expenses, communication expenses all around fundraising. And then I see how much is left over. Right? My fundraising margin, if you will. Right, this is so this is do I have $200,000 coming out to match my bottom line or let’s say if we have 200,000 at the bottom we want 300,000 out of fundraising. So now I know if it’s going to be enough, right? And what do I do if I want more, more fundraising money, I gotta, put

[00:27:15.66] spk_0:
the machine, you

[00:28:58.41] spk_1:
gotta feed the machine, you gotta put dollars in the machine. And then I also, there’s, this is where those measures come in and it’s harder to talk about these Over the radio. But, um, that to 300,000 out, I want to make sure that that’s a healthy percentage of how much I put into the machine, right? So I want to know is my machine working well, right? Do I put a dollar in and get a dollar out or do I put a dollar in and get 50 cents out? Now? The truth is, unfortunately, people measure this in different ways. So there isn’t like, you know, an industry norm that’s really well calculated for you to assess on, but certainly if you’re putting a dollar in and getting a dollar out, You’re not fundraising, right? That’s, that’s zero, that’s a total sum of zero. And, but what I really want you to watch then is year over year or even month over month. Um, is that, is that percentage increasing? Like, so maybe I put a dollar in last year and I got a dollar 50 out and then this year I put a dollar in and I got a dollar 75 out and then next year I put a dollar in and I got $2 out, right? So double your money is always pretty good. I like to benchmark against some other things like what’s the average return on investment, right? There’s another jargon term, right? Just means return is how much money comes out of the machine, Right? So your return is I put a dollar in and my return is $2 out. So I compare that to the stock market. You know, would we be better off just putting money in the stock market on average compared to our fundraising department? Can they beat the average? I’d say they should be able to beat the average otherwise just don’t have a fundraising department and invest in the stock market. Right? Um, um, so you can kind of benchmark around some other things, but really you want to be investing in and making a healthier and healthier money making machine and that percentage is how healthy you are.

[00:29:41.12] spk_0:
And, and if the, if the margin is not where you want it to be. I mean, there are other reasons to have fundraising outreach, building long term relationships with corporate funders, individual donors, ultimately, hopefully leading to planned gifts. So there are, there are reasons why, as you had said earlier in the, in the short term, your margin may be negative on fundraising. You’re, you’re working to turn that around as relationships grow, whether institutional or individual, uh, as maybe events grow. Hopefully you’re not too event depending if

[00:29:49.21] spk_1:
you measure those events, probably their margin is, you know, their percentage is probably much lower than your other activities

[00:29:56.82] spk_0:
gets hard. Events get hard to measure then you should be measuring the staff time that goes into the events

[00:30:02.00] spk_1:
and absolutely

[00:30:09.97] spk_0:
that’s where you know your bake sale type events are not not sustainable. Not certainly not going to sustain your nonprofit. Um

[00:30:15.28] spk_1:

[00:30:15.64] spk_0:
so I just you know I just want to flush out a little bit when you said you know you may as well be in the stock market if you’re if you’re fundraising margin is zero but you’re building towards something.

[00:30:26.84] spk_1:
Yes, absolutely

[00:30:28.42] spk_0:
much much more robust than you’re you’re working with now in the in the immediate term.

[00:31:25.59] spk_1:
And probably you can make your fundraising department work way better than the stock market, especially in the long term. And that goes back to your budget being for you. It does not have to just be an annual budget. In fact I always encourage organizations to be looking at least three years into the future, right? Like real life doesn’t function on the calendar year, right? Like real life things develop over time and they don’t have to fit into that 12 month box. That’s for the I. R. S. Right. But your real budget should really consider like when is a reasonable expectation for us to be seeing that money coming back when we know it takes the you put the money in the machine. It’s not instantaneous. And some things like you know used to plan giving right? Plan giving has a really long time line, you put the money in the machine And it might take years. It might take 10 years, 20 years, but you could put a dollar in and get like $200,000 out, right? Like

[00:31:39.27] spk_0:
huge. Um Let I I want to get to connecting your you’re connecting your goals to you, to your budget. But I but I want to make sure is there anything else that we should talk about around, you know, organizing the budget and seeing the impact of your money before we get, you know, specifically two goals.

[00:33:02.42] spk_1:
Yeah, I think just that, you know, just like we talked about, right? That that percentage margin, right? That’s the the percentage of money that’s left over compared to how much came in is the number you can use over and over in your budget. That’s the number that tells you how well is this working? Right? So, if you want to know, so, you know, maybe you have three programs and you want to know, you know, how good is each program at making money, right? And they don’t all have to make money because we’re primarily trying to make an impact. But you can then take say how much money, you know, does this program being bring in and subtract all the program expenses including the people and then say what percentage of the money left over compared to the money that it brought in, Right? And then you can say, okay, out of these three programs Program A is great at making money. Program B is so so at making money And program de just, you know, eats money. It doesn’t bring in any money. It’s always in the negative. But that’s okay. And then like what we’re about to talk about measurement, but we might then say, well, pro program A is good at making money and it’s good at making an impact. So let’s do a lot more of Program A program B is so so at making money and you know what? It’s also so so at making an impact. Maybe we should consider getting rid of it, right? If it’s not really doing either. And program D. Maybe it’s gushing money, but it makes such a big impact. You’re like, this is totally worth it for the impact. And we can make up the difference with our fundraising.

[00:33:32.21] spk_0:
Why do you go A B. D.

[00:33:33.96] spk_1:
Oh, I don’t know. Abc I’m getting over from Covid. I may still have a little brain fog, right? You know, your

[00:33:41.17] spk_0:

[00:33:42.38] spk_1:

[00:33:43.27] spk_0:
your numbers person, not a

[00:33:45.43] spk_1:

[00:33:46.92] spk_0:
not alphabet. The alphabet will work on work on the A. B. CS. And another in the next

[00:33:50.98] spk_1:
show. Right,

[00:33:53.03] spk_0:
okay, let’s connect all this to our goals.

[00:33:56.26] spk_1:

[00:33:57.54] spk_0:
it seems to me that’s something that you you seem to emphasize that folks are not not aligning the two, you’re budgeting with your costs with your goals.

[00:34:12.14] spk_1:
Yeah. So one is like, you know, if you can measure your your money and how well you’re making money, right? Where are you able to make money either in programs or through fundraising? You can line that up now, right? Do you want to expand a program? Right, So that’s a common goal, right? We want to expand program d my favorite, maybe program C right? Program.

[00:34:31.88] spk_0:
You can

[00:36:31.38] spk_1:
See that. So program, see we love program, see it’s helped 400 people this year, and we really want it to be helping more like 4000 people buy in the next three years, Right? So we want to expand that. So in order to expand that, we need to, you know, how much money are we gonna need to expand it? Right? And it always costs more to grow than to maintain, right? So for expanding, I’m always thinking extra money, extra money, not just the cost to run it. Um, And then we can say, okay, how do we, you know, is this gonna generate money as it goes to fund itself, its own expansion? Or do we need to simultaneously be boosting up? You know, improving the fundraising machine so that it can fund this expansion. So now you have kind of, you’ve connected the finances to the goal and you can start to make decisions like, okay, I don’t just need to write if you just said, oh, I’m gonna write a grant and pay for the expansion of this program. Well that always sends off red flags for me because I’m like that program, if it I need to know first, if it’s not gonna pay for itself 100% and its own growth, then I’m gonna get the grant, I’m gonna launch the program and then the grant’s gonna end and the program’s gonna be in trouble. Right? So I know that while the grant might be icing on the cake, I really need to invest in boosting up my fundraising machine, making it more more effective, efficient feeding it more money. I need to be putting money in there so that I can now expand and have another program. So every time I like to call a mission pie, right, there’s your programs and your money pie, that’s your money machine. So every time you want to make more mission pie, you probably also have to grow your money pie capabilities. And so a lot of people don’t do that. And then we get like huge programmatic operating costs and we don’t grow our fundraising capabilities simultaneously. So that’s one example,

[00:38:49.13] spk_0:
it’s time for Tony’s take Two I think this week’s show sounds better. Am I in both of your ears this week instead of only your left ear or both speakers. If you’re on your desktop instead of only your left speaker, Pretty sure that I am and I am sorry about the past many weeks in august I upgraded audacity, which is the program that I use for post production, Like adding intro and outro and these Tony Take 2s and sponsor messages and cheap red wine. Of course you gotta gotta add cheap red wine, right That all that all gets added at the end later on in post production so that I’m not interrupting what I hope is a valuable conversation with guests. Right? No interruptions. I had the stuff later and something changed in the new version. After I upgraded audacity. I knew what was wrong. I knew it didn’t sound right, but I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. Uh, and then finally I researched and I experimented and I did find the problem. So now the music is in both ears, The talk is in both ears and the problem is fixed and now things are back to normal. Uh, it had been quite annoying. I know to listen in one year but those days are over, we’re, we’re, we’re now in november and the technology, Well the technology has an advanced, the user has caught up with the technology that’s what’s happened. So that was annoying as sh it as I was listening to it and I was frustrated but the frustration is in the past brighter days now, starting in november. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for align your money with your goals with sarah olivier t another

[00:39:07.53] spk_1:
another is around. yeah. Around how we tell our donors and ourselves how good of an impact we make and whether or not it’s the best way to do it. Right? So this is where you’re in your budget and in the template I have, it’s fully laid out like this. You want to have kind of a a separate tab. Hold on. Let me start. Let’s

[00:39:10.98] spk_0:
make sure we get this out. Where can listeners find the template?

[00:39:14.85] spk_1:
We will let me see if I can tell you the link right now.

[00:39:20.19] spk_0:
Is that pivot ground

[00:39:21.63] spk_1:
pivot ground dot com. And I may have

[00:39:26.19] spk_0:
you just click resources or something like that

[00:39:38.29] spk_1:
if you click um free resources from the homepage. If you’re following along. Um, and there are a few places we can that you’ll have several resources.

[00:39:41.39] spk_0:
Okay, what’s the template called that? We

[00:39:44.59] spk_1:
template is the ultimate nonprofit budget,

[00:39:48.35] spk_0:
nonprofit budget. It’s at pivot ground dot com. And click on, click on free resources. Okay. You needed that. You need that little parenthetical. Ok? Please please continue. I want to make sure folks can find this.

[00:40:54.82] spk_1:
Okay, so let’s say, you know, let’s deal with you know, programs. See again, we’ll give it some more love. And we’ve started to measure its impact. Right? So, and this is tricky, right? There is not a direct correlation. Oftentimes, especially in human services measuring impact. You know, we’re kind of triangulating? It’s not like, oh, X number of people served well, how well did you serve them? Right. Was this like a life changing service or was this like you’re not homeless last night kind of service. Right. Um, so, but what, however way you can, can measure it and you can measure it in multiple ways, how many people you served in a day in a week, Right? Um, you can now then take those program costs and say, you know, divide, divide them by how many people you served and find out how, how much it costs to serve one person. And the math is all in the templates. I don’t want people to get like nervous about math, but there’s lots of examples. So, um, now we know

[00:40:57.65] spk_0:
maybe, uh, maybe a little uncomfortable with math, but they definitely have their alphabet down.

[00:41:02.51] spk_1:
That’s right. Which I clear I’m good with the math. Just not, not

[00:41:06.06] spk_0:
properly radio listeners, very savvy, very savvy group. We have, we have the abc, we’ve mastered that recently, but we’ve mastered

[00:41:14.38] spk_1:
it. Good for you. And I say,

[00:41:16.79] spk_0:
we, I’m including myself in this.

[00:41:18.65] spk_1:
That’s right. We’ve

[00:41:19.48] spk_0:
mastered the alphabet. We can, we can rely on that baseline.

[00:42:26.93] spk_1:
So let’s say, you know, it costs, you know, $500 to serve one person for one day. Now there’s a few things we can do with this, number one. We can tell a fundraising story. Like, hey, it costs $500 to serve one person for one day, how many people do you want to save? Right. Like, um, do you want to say one person half a person. Right. And we started actually just had this conversation with a client the other day. They help victims of domestic violence and the real costs of supporting somebody to leave their house. Often it’s women who are leaving with an average of two Children and leaving everything behind and now have a giant legal battle ahead of them as well as rebuilding their entire life from scratch. The cost to save a life of a victim of domestic abuse is very, very high. It’s in the many hundreds of thousands, Right? Um, so you can start to get a grip on what does the impact you’re trying to make cost? So, but besides telling a donor story, you can, and I really think you should start asking yourself, is there a way we can get the same result with spending less

[00:42:39.57] spk_0:

[00:43:59.50] spk_1:
Right? Because if we can do that, then we can get that result more and more and more. That’s how we begin to scale. That’s how we begin to say, Okay, last year $100,000 could get this amazing result for 100 people this year. The same $100,000 because we’ve changed the way we have designed to get the same result now serves 100 and 50 people right? Isn’t it better to serve 100 and 50 50 then 100 as long as the result is just as good. I’m certainly not suggesting we like fun results. Um, just to save money. Um, that’s not what we’re talking about, but, but we really want to ask that question like, you know, and just like we compared to the stock market right? Like is this help we’re providing that cost this amount of money? What else could we do for that money? You know, does this really make sense? Is that a really good amount of help? And you know, there’s, um, I think they’re called give directly, they’re a nonprofit that just gives cash. Um, they serve poor communities I think around the world and they’re very good at measuring this kind of thing. And they’re always comparing, you know, if we’re trying to solve this problem, like, um, you know, starving Children in this community, Is it more effective to open the soup kitchen and start feeding the Children or is it more effective to just give their parents cash or give the kids cash? Right. And again and again, you know what they find is just giving people cash free and outright no restrictions solves the problem at just as well, if not better for less money than building a whole

[00:44:14.70] spk_0:
program. But

[00:44:16.03] spk_1:
if you don’t know those numbers, you’re not gonna have that answer. There may be an easier way. There may be a better way, but you’re not going to know that if you can’t start measuring this kind of thing,

[00:45:21.16] spk_0:
that’s also where investment in technology might be able to make a difference for you in terms of, you know, the way your scheduling, uh, the way you’re in taking, you know, maybe maybe your intake folks to use your client example of domestic violence victims. Uh, maybe your intake folks would be better served with tablets than paper or, or laptops and tablets or, you know, or, or phones than laptops. So, investment in technology may help, um, investment in processes or the designing processes. So that takes time. That’s, that’s a lot of introspection. That’s a lot of time because again, you know, you don’t wanna you don’t want to diminish the impact and you don’t want to treat your, your certainly your, your beneficiaries as anything less than people deserving respect. So I’m not saying hand them a tablet, but there may be process ways, technology ways, um, maybe different staff organization, but you know, it takes introspection to try to reduce, reduce friction, reduce costs and, and keep impact the same.

[00:47:29.35] spk_1:
And that’s where you then get all of your, um, you know, I like to kind of like your, your tactical, your, your tactics related to your goals. So the goal is, um, you know, so I break goals down into like what’s the outcome that we don’t have control over and then the kind of related goal that we do have control over. So if the outcome goal is we want to now see if we can serve 150 people instead of 100 without spending any more money. And then the thing that you do have control over. Well let’s test, let’s set a goal to test new technology. Let’s set a goal to test new processes. Let’s set a goal to work with a consultant to improve the way we do intake. Um and then let’s see if these things start to have the the the total impact that we are hoping for. Um I had that with a large client human service organizations like 45 different programs and they had no central intake process or process to kind of move people between their different programs. They were mental health organization and a lot of people needed to go from one service to another, like maybe first they needed addiction recovery and then they needed peer support and housing support and then they needed job job support, right? So they really need to be taking a journey, but they didn’t have a way to take people on a journey. It was just kind of a free for all the person had to be their own guide. And so we kind of really went through with a fine tooth comb. How do people come in, what service are they coming in for? And then how do we begin to take them on this journey? So that because the more people who go on a complete journey the bed, the result is right. That’s how we go from making somebody just not homeless last night to making a lifelong impact for someone who now is in stable consistent housing, has a job and has become self sufficient and is able to manage their mental health and whatever other issues on an ongoing basis.

[00:47:56.78] spk_0:
Um Let’s um let’s talk. We’ve we’ve you’ve identified some, but let’s let’s let’s identify some some of these important metrics. Like let’s kinda um I don’t mean summarize because we’re not necessarily finishing, but I’d like to put them all in sort of one place where people can say, well, these are important metrics for me versus you know, versus not so much more vanity or less important. Can we identify some of those?

[00:48:22.96] spk_1:
Yeah, I think, you know, all the metrics around,

[00:48:28.13] spk_0:

[00:49:28.86] spk_1:
good are we at, right? The metrics that answer, how good are we at? So for you, whatever question you wanna ask of your budget, right? The budget is like, you know the secret Jeannie, you want to ask it? How good are we at making money? How good are we at serving? You know, people, how you know, how efficient are we at it? So um to kind of summarize to give you the answers. The budgetary answers, where to find those answers really is. How good are we at making money while you can find that answer per program by taking the income and all the expenses out and then seeing the percentage that’s left over. Right? And the dollar amount, right? Having $100,000 left over. Maybe it’s good. Maybe it’s bad. Right? But if we look at percentages, then we can really compare year over year. So we may not know if it’s good just by looking at one year, but if it’s improving year over year, then we can say, oh, improvement is good. We know that that’s good. Right? Um, we can then also

[00:49:30.76] spk_0:
as a percentage of what what we’re spending on the program.

[00:49:34.05] spk_1:
Right? So the percentage

[00:49:35.81] spk_0:

[00:49:36.34] spk_1:
exactly. So the percentage that you’re spending of the total amount that’s coming

[00:49:40.77] spk_0:

[00:49:41.84] spk_1:
That’s where we look at percentage. How good are we at fundraising? Right. You just look at the total fundraising income, subtract out the fundraising expenses and say what is left over, Right? So we can say how are we improving? Then we’re gonna look at that percentage year over year. We can look at that percentage and compare it to other things in the world that make money.

[00:50:02.68] spk_0:

[00:50:02.89] spk_1:
then we can also look at the total dollar amount. And answer the question of are we is our fundraising machine making enough money to cover our expenses?

[00:50:12.66] spk_0:
Right? Making enough

[00:50:13.87] spk_1:
right? Making enough So not how good is it? But is it making enough? That’s where we start to look at the total dollar amounts. Is it enough. Is it enough

[00:50:22.25] spk_0:
subsumed in what you just described is the often cited cost of raising a dollar?

[00:51:43.97] spk_1:
Yes. Yes. Now, you know the nonprofit space likes to use that amount and I think it’s helpful because it’s kind of very tangible, like, oh, you know, what is your cost to raise a dollar? But I like it less for two reasons compared to the percentage method because um, it’s hard to do the reverse math. So if I said like, hey, tony like if my cost to raise a dollar is 75 cents, How much money do I need to put in the money machine? If I want $250,000, Like it’s just not easy math, right? So, um, it starts to get easier if you look at percentages. Also, the for profit world doesn’t really use cost to raise a dollar, they use the percentage return on investment. And so if you want to, because there’s lots of other ways to make money. So if you want to compare how good your way of generating money is to another way of generating money. Like if you really are asking like, do we invest in our fundraising machine or do we invest in the stock market? Right. Um, that may be a real question at some point. And or not for all of your money, but for part of your money and um, you then, you know, need to have apples to apples, right? And so the percentage is that kind of apple that the for profit world uses to talk about, how good are we at making money. Um And so it’s easier to compare. Does that make

[00:52:03.21] spk_0:
sense? Also you gave me long enough to calculate that.

[00:52:05.84] spk_1:

[00:52:16.29] spk_0:
If it costs 75 cents to raise a dollar and we want $200,000, we would need to put $150,000 recorders. Um Okay. Other other metrics. This is where we are metrics. But

[00:52:20.38] spk_1:
yes, I think

[00:52:21.24] spk_0:
we should know. Yeah.

[00:53:51.20] spk_1:
So um so we covered how good are we at doing this? Is it enough? Right. And then when you get into per program, how much does it cost to make a unit of impact? Right. So one person and I recommend you maybe even kind of when I think about, you know, it’s hard to measure impact at nonprofits. But most recently I kind of like to break it into like levels right? Low level impact help somebody for a few days, medium level impact like made you know, a year long type of change and then high level impact like life changing and you could have multiple levels. And so you might want to kind of break your levels of impact into that. But you know, how much does it cost to make one unit of impact? That’s one metric, You know, and then is that good? Right. Is that, can we do better than that? Um and there that’s where we need to like compare the cost year over year. And we also need to look at um, metrics where we want to think about, are we able to scale this up? Are we able to grow this dramatically? So you mentioned bake sales earlier, bake sales are highly profitable typically. Right? Like people donate all the food, all the labor, you know, as long as your staff, you know, if it’s like a, you know, P. T. O. Type bake sale and you get to keep all the profit right? Cost is almost zero. profit is almost all that money that comes out. That’s your profit That’s the margin.

[00:53:53.00] spk_0:
If everybody’s a volunteer, sure

[00:54:40.50] spk_1:
if everyone’s a volunteer, but if you were to scale up a bake sale to the size of a county fair, not everybody can be a volunteer. You know, I have to have security and ticketing and a special location that can handle all those people all of a sudden our profit the money coming out of the machine comes way way, way, way, way, way down because bake sales are not scalable. You can’t grow it to a large amount. You can’t just say, you know, $1 in, gets me $2 out. Now I’m gonna put in $100,000 and get $200,000. No, no, not if you’re fundraising machine is a bake sale, your fundraising machine will break if you try to put, you know, 200,000 in. So you wanna be mindful as you look at, how good are we at Making money with our money machine you want? And this is the same for delivering an impact you want to be mindful of, would this work if we put 10 times as much in? Right. If we grow it 10 times as big, would it

[00:54:54.41] spk_0:
break or we,

[00:55:29.18] spk_1:
would it work? Right. Would we sink the ship? We break the machine? Would we overwhelm it? Or would it work? And you can ask the same question about your programs, right? You’re able to serve 100 people now? Well, what if 200 people showed up your door? What if 10,000 people showed up at your door? Could you, would you just, you know, 10 times as much or, you know, however many times as much of what you use to serve people? Right? You just scale up your machine, will it still work? Not always. Right. So, you wanna be mindful and you may see as you track your budget that how well something is working is getting worse and you’re like, but we’re doing more and more, why are we getting worse at making money? Let’s say. Um, and that’s because the thing your machine needs some tending to, because your machine is not designed, you know, to go that fast. It’s not designed to work at that level. And so that’s another thing we have to be mindful of,

[00:55:54.02] spk_0:
Okay, anything else that we haven’t talked about that You want folks to know about our, our new fun friend, our our budget,

[00:56:29.75] spk_1:
you know, I think just you know, in summary, right. The the answers of is this good, are we improving? Is it enough? It’s the same kind of calculation over and over again. And that’s why I want you. What I want you to take away is it’s not like we have to do a jillion different kinds of fancy things with our budget. It’s the same type of math and it’s the same type of questions. But those are very, very powerful questions. Is it enough? Is it getting better? Is it the best thing we could do Right? Those are things that your budget can tell you. And we’re basically using the same kind of formula is the same calculations again and again and

[00:56:45.77] spk_0:

[00:56:47.12] spk_1:
So it’s it’s simple. Once you’ve done it a couple of times you’ll start to see, oh I can apply this here and I can apply this there and it becomes relatively easy.

[00:56:59.74] spk_0:
Sarah Olivieri, pivot ground uh company is at pivot ground and at pivot ground dot com you’ll find her template and other resources at pivot ground dot com. When you go to free resources, Sara, thank you very much. Terrific. I have a new fun friend.

[00:57:20.10] spk_1:
The the budget

[00:57:21.44] spk_0:
budget. Well, you’re you’re a long time fun friend?

[00:57:26.27] spk_1:

[00:58:04.02] spk_0:
thank you again next week. Corporate funding with Lori’s Osk Roscoe. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I Beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by Turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c. O. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott Steiner Brooklyn. Thank you for that. Affirmation Scotty. You’re with me next week for nonprofit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for December 14, 2018: The Encouragement Show

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My Guest:

Sarah Olivieri: The Encouragement Show
Sarah Olivieri wants you to shed fear-based decision making, scarcity mentality and reflexive negativity, in favor of confidence, abundance and an open mind. Your host has encouraging words of his own to contribute. Sarah is principal of Pivot Ground.

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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 be hit with Geren Topia if I saw that you missed today’s show. The Encouragement show Sarah Olivieri wants you to shed fear based decision making scarcity mentality and reflects of negativity in favor of confidence, abundance and an open mind. Your aptly named host has encouraging words of his own to contribute. What a surprise. No surprise. Sara is principal of Pivot Ground Tony Steak, too. Train. We’re sponsored by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled Tony dahna slash pursuant by Wagner. C. P a’s guiding you Beyond the numbers. Regular cps dot com By Telus durney Credit card Processing into your passive revenue stream. Tony dahna em a slash Tony Tell us, and by text to give mobile donations made easy text. NPR to four four four nine nine nine My Pleasure to introduce Sarah Olivieri came down from upstate New York. She’s a non-profit digital strategist, helping Non-profits bring their mission and services to life on the Web. At Pivot Ground, she leads her team of digital experts to help clients increased capacity, deliver better programming, attract more funding and make the world a little better. In college, she studied in Spain, Tanzania and Cuba, then moved to Japan to teach English. Sarah’s company is at pivot ground dot com and she’s at pivot ground. Welcome, Sarah Olivieri. Thank you. Thank you for having me. Pleasure. Pleasure to have you in the studio. Thank you for coming down from upstate. I love it when guests come to studio. Thank you. Always my pleasure. You’ve been abroad. You would’ve brought a good bit in your in your life. Yes, I traveled quite a bit. I studied international studies as an undergraduate. And so that took me abroad. And the University of Chicago University of Chicago led me. Tio move to Japan afterwards. Then I came back and to my home community in the Hudson Valley. Start getting involved with the local non-profit. They needed a conference organized which led to running a program which led to starting my own non-profit on. And then I went and got my graduate degree in humanistic, multicultural education. Humanistic, multicultural education. Alright, break that down to make some sense and what was what’s the non-profit thatyou started. Tell us a little about that. Your first? Sure. I started a non profit called the Open Center for Autism. It was following in. The program they had been working at was a school for kids on the Spectrum. High school on that program was shut down. And so I went and started my own program. If if the state isn’t gonna provide it or whatever, the counties that if the school is gonna provide it, I’ll do it myself. That’s right. And hope you mentioned it myself. Okay. All right. All right. Andi, what? How long were you with that organization? What? What happened? Well, kind of good and bad. You know, what happened was the need became so clear that a number of the other local public schools picked up their own programs. So we ended up not starting this school as we anticipated because the need was filled. S o. That was all right. But it was a great It was a great start to learn all the elements of not just starting a nonprofit. But when you charter school in New York State, there’s a whole bunch of extra things that need to happen on that happen when you’re a fundraiser, right? Right. And, you know, thinking about what you do that really led me to go in, like, Wow. I couldn’t find lawyers who knew about how to register a school in New York State s o. I just dove into reading the law myself, and that kind of even deepened my like the stuff isn’t so hard. No one knows how to do it. I’m just gonna dive in and figure it out, okay? And, uh, how long at pivot ground pivot ground has been since, uh, we had another incarnation that started in around two thousand five. But we’ve been in our current state about three years. Okay, you you brought along some some words of encouragement. Like so sort of some symptom and problem areas on DH words of encouragement. I thought this would be a nice wayto. This is really wrapping up the year because the next the next two shows the next two weeks, there are no shows. So this is our end of year Show so and like, end of your encouragement, looking to the future. Ah, people can be feeling overwhelmed. In this In this hectic fourth quarter, Lots of listeners may not even hear this until January, so it could be the look forward kind of show for them. Um, so what are some of the What are some of the symptoms that you hear in your practice that dahna raise your raise, your consciousness raised red flags for, you know, maybe we should be thinking a little differently. Yeah. I mean, anybody who works with Non-profits have heard these things like, we just can’t do it or we don’t have money for that, or we can’t spend on overhead. All our money has to go directly to programming. Actually, had it was part of a local group, kind of a support group for non-profit. Leaders run by front of mind Susan Ragusa. And we talked about this one day, like, scarcity, mindset. And a lot of it, I think, boils down to money. Um, and a lot of people in that room that day said, Yeah, you know, like, I don’t have a good relationship with money. And my non-profit doesn’t have a good relationship with money on guy. Think that it’s a little self identified when they really raised their hands and say, You know, we have we have issues with money. Yeah, but only in the situation where we said this is a safe space and we’re going to talk about scarcity mindset. Otherwise, I don’t hear a lot of people realizing that that that’s kind of one of the cores of the issue is the This relationship with money and resource is just I think that the people say, like, Oh, we’d better like, do it ourselves And I think the reality the worst reality is what I call D E. Why do everything yourself? Yeah, well, we can’t afford the expertise that we need. We’ll just have to learn it ourselves, which takes you away from core work and distracts you terribly down some rabbit hole that someone could come in and be so much more efficient at it. Um, so these are there’s a lot around you talk about money. There’s a lot around fund-raising, too. I just in your own personal experience, how aware of the fact that you had to raise your own money. Were you? When you started the school program? I was pretty aware my mother had actually run a school in much the same way. She just kind of fell into it and figured it out on the job. I did have some family experience, but, you know, related to the money question. I think, Ah, lot of people, you know, when they start feeling in non-profits like we don’t have enough money, the only they see have tunnel vision. They’re like fund-raising. We need to raise money. But that’s only half of the picture. Like you have to be good at spending money as well as raising money. So there’s two sides to this coin about money, and it’s not all raising money, you know, outright gifts. I mean, there there could be revenue opportunities. Yeah, so look, think strategically. You met you, whether you’re capable of producing product or service is or some form of revenue, that other non-profits or government or individuals and whatever will pay for lots of lots of non-profits have a thrift shop. That’s one way of what’s won. Simple way. Not simple that it’s one common way, I should say of raising raising revenue. But you know when we think of fund-raising, it’s not all grants and gifts from individuals. Absolutely not. Right, your revenue stream of revenue right When you’re non-profit, you’re like revenue. What’s that? But that’s that’s just your total money coming into your non-profit fit, and you want that to be somewhat diversified. And now it might sound like we’re talking about a stock portfolio, but we’re talking about your non-profit. You have to think about having some of you know, if you can charge a little for your programs you want, you may want some revenue streams that way. If you can have a donor base of donors who give small donations more regularly. Some donors who give larger domain donations some grants. Maybe there’s some government funding you can apply for. You want a mixed bag, because if one of those pieces goes away, you don’t want to go under. You wanna have a few Resource is you can pull on and the one you didn’t mention. Eyes events which we see I see sometimes a little too much. If we’re going to take our first break, though pursuing they have two. New resource is on the listener landing page. The field guide to data driven fund-raising is practical steps to achieve your fund-raising goals using data. Plus, they have incorporated case studies and demystifying the donor experience guides you through creating a donor journey, plus savvy stewardship strategies for your existing donors could check those out. Tony dahna em a slash pursuing Capital P for please. Now back to the encouragement show. So events sometimes you know, actually often to too much too much reliance on events. I think that comes from a fear of asking someone directly across their desk for a five thousand dollar gift or a fifty thousand dollar gift or whatever it’s going to be. We’d rather invite people to a big party and have them pay tickets, pay money for a ticket at a table we got, You know, you got it again. Diversify. You see Too much event. Definitely, too. I think you know, it’s natural you get into a room of people is like, What can we do with the like our hands? You know, with with an event, but events, most kinds of events that you’re probably familiar with, that non-profits air doing are the least return on investment, meaning you’re going to spend a lot of money and a ton of energy. But I have event you’re absolutely and you’re going to get a relatively small amount of money back. And when I see happens, is if when you lead with events, then you’ve used up your entire fund-raising capacity, your money, your energy. It’s all spent on those events, and you don’t have time for those activities that actually generate a lot more money. I love the example you just shared, like picking up the phone and calling them and asking for money is like super super effective and the non-profits I know who are really great at Fund-raising their executive director Nose, like a handful of twelve major donors who are interested in supporting their non-profit, doesn’t have to be twelve. It’s just an example, and when they need money, they call them up and say, Hey, we need twenty thousand dollars for this program or we’re going to have to close it or, you know, whatever the thing is that they want if they want to take a step forward. And usually when you ask people for something, they give it to you. I love to test this out, and I encourage people. Tell it out like that. Go, you know, go over to your your friend or your relative or somebody on the street and be like, Oh, hey, could I borrow your pen? They’re going to They’re going to do it. Probably They’re going to feel extremely compelled to do it on DH. It’s same thing. When you ask people for money, people are compelled to give something just because you asked. So this this kadre of close, you know, major donors. However, you define major donors based on your needs. And your work, um, is, you know, you’ve recruited them because you know that they’re committed. I mean, they’ve risen to the top. They’ve they’ve been perhaps been volunteers for you. There were people who asked, What can I do? What do your needs, They shine. You know, as you as you’re listening to this, people are probably occurring to you. Oh, yeah, like she’s she’s like that. We’re that couple. Is that you know where the So those are the people you want to continue to cultivate that they do become sort, of course, supporters of yours. So that when you have a big need, you know, those are the people you can go to when you kick off a campaign. Those are the people you talked to initially before you go public with your number so that when you do go public for your hundred thousand dollar campaign, you’ve already got forty or fifty thousand dollars or sixty thousand already committed. And now you’re just asking people to get you to the margin. You know, the other thirty or forty percent those having that kind of a kadre of donors you can go to who, you know, love your work, cultivate those people that is time very well spent and don’t only cultivate them when you need the money. You know, this is a this is a long term process of cultivation bringing people to your Yeah, I think a great way to start with That is what? What some people call the friend raiser. If you’re nervous about, start by just getting those people in the same room just for the purpose of, like having a positive interaction with them. And that’s a great way to build that relationship. I think that there’s another piece to this where a lot of people, when they think about asking people for money, they feel like they’re there feel like they’re a fraud. Or that, like the person who’s giving them money isn’t getting anything in return. You gotta you gotta cut that shit out way Don’t have. We don’t have AA affiliate AM FM stations anymore, so I’m free. I could I could do the George Carlin. You know, seven words if I if I felt like it, we’re not bound by the FCC anymore. So, yes, you’ve got to cut that out and they are getting something. They are getting really the most valuable thing that you could spend money on. They’re getting a positive feeling. They’re getting the feeling of fulfillment. How else do people spend money to get that feeling? They buy food, alcohol, drugs, people who go shopping to feel that feeling of fullness. What? I can’t think of a better way to trade in money for a feeling of doing. You know, that positive, fulfilled feeling than giving money to a non-profit. And the peace of that is, you know, I just was reading about a business book about you know, what is the most motivating thing for employees, and it’s when they feel they’re making a positive contribution. That lead that creates progress. For an outcome that they’re interested and having fun. It’s not salary. It’s a salary, no snack. It’s not exactly so. It’s the same for donors. They’re interested in the outcomes that you’re having. And when they give, they want to feel like they’re helping in that journey there. Making that step a little piece of that step now belongs to them. A little piece of that progress and that’s worth that’s worth real money to people and share it with them. Invite them in. I don’t mean just right. A right. A direct mail letter that shares a story. Yes, storytelling is important, but I’m talking about, you know, if you’re talking about major donors, bring them in, let them see the impact of your work. How can you show it off if you haven’t figured that out yet? Brainstorm with your staff. Brainstorm with your board. How can you show off the impact that you do? There are ways If you can’t bring people to it, you can video it and present it to them. Uh, you can prove your impact. Do it. That’s how you know that. That’s how they’re going to get the positive feeling that you’re talking about, right? That’s what they’re buying their buying. Something from you. You’re not there. Not just giving you money. I think another piece to this is I remember this one in my early days working at a non-profit cause I know I’ve never had a corporate job on DH. And for a moment, I felt well, thank you for money. I would be a terrible employee. I vacation request forms, Please. Can I have the week between Christmas and New Year’s off? Oh, please. Oh, please. What? Are you kidding me? I just take it and I can’t. I can’t. I would be a terrible employee. I believe the interview. I won’t even show up. I show up late because I Because I don’t care. You know, I’d be an awful employees. I would never even get hired. Yeah. What do you make? The second interview got bounced. I won’t even make the full interview. I’d like I probably walk out. What? You kidding me? I don’t need this shit. Why am I even here? I made a big mistake. I’m sorry. I’m getting out. I won’t even make it through the first e here yet, so yeah, So you know when that came in those early on, I was like, This person makes a high salary, like theirjob is making money in some way. That’s why they have their job, and my job, like the purpose of my job is not to make money. I might be making a salary at my non-profit, but ultimately my purpose is to do good. And so somehow I felt like initially that that the person who is giving me money knew something about money that I didn’t and it felt like the scales were because they have it because they have it on and I need it more than we have, right? So they’re smarter about exactly have your about money than I am, and we are right. But now I know better, and I want non-profits to know better, too. What you’re doing is important, and it’s worth money and and you’re savvy because you’re getting people to give you money in exchange for a valuable experience. You know just a CZ much about money, if not more than for-profit businesses. And in fact, I dive a lot into business. Operations for Non-profits and Non-profits are more complicated than for-profit because you always have to target customer groups, even if you’re you know, even if you’re a teeny non-profit, you have the people who donate and give you money. And then you have the people you serve or the impact you’re trying to make and the people who are going to help make that happen. And so by that very nature, by having you always have to audience Ah for-profit company that small can have just one audience, the people who want to buy their product or service. So it’s it’s more simple in that nature to be a for-profit goodcompany before you have shareholders, right so on. But you know, as a board, as if as a small non-profit you have aboard. So that’s like having shareholders when you’re just a teeny cos. True enough. I’m not a financial stake, but yeah, but absolutely. But there’s certainly commitment, right? Commitment, opinions, human relationships. So be proud of yourself. If you’re running an non-profit, you already probably know a lot more than many for-profit business. You’ve got your three constituencies thie service you’re doing whether it’s two people or animals or the environment, there’s that’s considered outta constituents. Your community and your donors and your board. Absolutely. Right now and then, if you have a staff, you know, whenever there’s relationships involved, I like people think about like, imagine you know, you’ve got one person in the room that’s no big deal. You got two people in the room. You think you just doubled. But you actually tripled in complexity because you have two people and hopes you have the relationship between those two people at a third person to the room. You’re not three times bigger than you were when you were one person, you know, have three people, plus the relationships between each two of those people. And when all three of the people are in the room in your mind and now it’s nine, right, Zack, growing exponentially. Which person you add to any kind of dynamic, whether it’s your board, your staff, the people you’re working with you now are exponentially increasing in complex ity on. I think that a lot of non-profits as they start to grow there, like this spaghetti mess starts to begin. And that’s why Because you didn’t expect that you were growing exponentially in all these relationships. Right? It takes people off guard. Doesn’t it often reflect itself in the board? Because as the especially in early phases, as the board is growing, we need more expertise. You know, etcetera. I see it in the board, but I see in the way staff and departments are organized more as you grow and you start adding programs. Sometimes it’s like you might add a program and you might suitable who in our non-profit, like, has capacity to, like run this new programme and you just throw it in. And then often with my clients, who tend to be a little bigger, they they have these kinds of organizational structures that don’t make sense like that. They don’t work efficiently because they just started throwing things in on DH. They didn’t think like very carefully about how exactly should we organize it? We should just They just threw it in where they could. And then we go through a process of kind of reorganizing. So they get so much time back in their day, Are they going to fill it up again with amazing work delivering their mission? Absolutely. But at least then it’s It’s faster progress towards their mission. Yeah, it’s a more deliberate rather than just let’s throw it in, you know, foisted on somebody who they can learn they can train up. That’s the that’s the kind of you know, Yeah, that goes back to the scarcity mentality. We can’t afford the expertise that we need to help us develop this program. We’ll figure it out on our own. Yeah, and I want I want people to stop, Stop thinking that way because there’s two things that I think if you had, if I had like two dollars left in my pocket, I would buy one of two things or both of these things access to expert advice, not even like how you know if you can’t get help doing it, if you don’t have money for the tool getting an expert to tell you which way to go, I think, is like, one of the most valuable ways because they’re going to see things that you don’t. You’re in your own bubble. Even if you were that expert, you wouldn’t be able to see it for yourself. And once they point you in where your next step is, you have a step to take forward the other thing these days that I think people who are really strapped for money will get a huge return off of is investing in some automation. So we have, you know, computers and the Internet can take off a lot of the busy work that your staff might be doing right now. Or if you’re a solo, you know, solo operation. They’re things that you’re doing right now that the computer could start doing for you and free you up to take some real positive growth. Steps to resource is come off the top of my head in that vein non-profit Technology network, which helps, which helps non-profits used technology smarter so that they can focus more on mission. Listeners know Amy Sample Ward are regular social media contributor every month. She’s the CEO of and ten non-profit technology network and ten Dot or GE, and the other one is idealware idealware dot org’s ah, they They are essentially the consumer reports of technology for non-profits. They don’t accept grants or GIF ts off of technology, but they evaluated and they evaluated objectively. The CEO Karen Graham has been on the show. I think she’s been on twice, just really loved when I was an object strenuously, but I don’t think she loves when I make the analogy between idealware and Consumer Reports. But to me, it it works. So those are two excellent resources that are agnostic, you know that They care about platforms. They’re trying to help you in ten and on idealware. Yeah. And you shouldn’t care about platforms. The biggest thing, you know, I work a lot in technology, and I talk about automation and digital strategies for people and the people. They always come like, what tools should I use? And that is the very last question you ask. First you ask, what problem? And I’m trying just trying to do with it, right? Exactly. And if it’s we’re talking about automation. You need to have a process in place of how you do something. So if if it’s not something you repeat and if you don’t haven’t written down how it goes on like what the process is, then you’re not ready to automate. But, you know, and automation can get, like, really complex. It takes like a bit of like mind shifting to think about automation. But people should start simple with automation, and I often like to just remind people that, like there’s elements of your email that can probably already be automated and say Pierre, which is one of the most common tools for connecting things it can actually automate without connecting to ass. I got I got connected to Zippy or some other from someone else do it just this week gdpr you create zaps and and it links like, Aah! Sales force with your with your outlook, right? And actually, Khun, do some automation is just with one app. So, like, if you if I use it. Teo, you know, if you receive an email with a certain subject, it can then, you know, send a reminder to somebody else. Sorry, it’s very company. We just think the tax that it can automate yes between thousands of it. Very good guts, but they’ve got partnerships with that. You can start simple. Lt’s a Piers has a free level, but for Non-profits, you can get their pro level for free if you put their logo on your website. Oh, yeah, so it’s You can really do a lot with Napier. It’s what a lot of the automation people kind of use at some point to connect things, even if they’re using more advanced tools. So I think that’s a great starting step for people. Symptoms of this. If you if you can use automation, I think of If you’re if you find yourself entering the same data in multiple places, doing a lot of copying and pasting routinely. Yeah, there’s a good chance that that could be automated. Sarah, you mentioned email so there are. There are lots of email tasks that could be automated. What you’re following up with people is huge. If you set appointments or need to remind people to do things, automation is great. For that, you can create a Siri’s of emails that remind people to do something on and for non-profits you, especially if you’re a human service non-profit. You can use automation to help deliver some of your programming programs. If you teach a course in your in your organization, you could turn it into an online course. You could make it what we call in Evergreen Online course, which means that it’s like video. The content is written, content and video that as soon as somebody signs up for the course they can, then access the material, so that’s one great way. And parenthetically, is a revenue possibility. There absolutely will be. So think about it. You could charge for your course. You could have, you know, get a donor to commit to like a matching sponsorship. Everybody who enrolls in the course they’ll make a certain donation. Lots of possibilities for that. Andi, just which other symptoms of we could technology could help us here? Absolutely. And you know, I love still of the classic email course email miniseries, um, the kind of tool that you used to this. Anything that does what’s called a drip campaign. That just means email one goes out. You wait two days or however amount of time you set email to goes out. Then email three goes out. It’s just on a timer. And you, Khun, deliver education that way. One of my favorite uses for that is internally, a lot of non-profit struggle with keeping their staff trained or keeping them up today on policies that they really want them to remember. That might not be that fun. We send out reminders of the critical policies and the organization that the staff, especially if they’re like direct support staff need to remember. We often rewrite them and make them a little more fun in the email. It’s like if you want to read the real, you know the original policy, go to the handbook. But we’re going to make this a little more fun and remind you to, you know, drive safely or whatever those key policies are. So it’s a great way people aren’t going to read like if I give most people like a book and say, Here’s the man, you want to read it yet? Do they read it? No, it’s not. But if I turn it into five or six emails that air just like one or two paragraphs long and remind people in a fun way of the things I need to remember their going to read it. Yeah, Provoc could also be part of a campaign. Exactly. Do this with your volunteers with their donors. Um, okay, Automation. All right, so we’ve spent almost the first half of the show just like spitballing. But this is great. You know, I feel like I’m at a bar and we’re just having drinks and, uh, and there’s thirteen thousand people listening in um, but you know, so, uh All right. So you came with more orderly. You know, this is not all just a spitball thing, but leader now, I mean, this show does get planned, but I love this just back and forth. And, you know, it’s what we’re what we’re seeing through the years. Um, okay. We just have about a minute or so before a break. Let’s introduce this idea of overhead. Yet we haven’t, uh, yeah, the lingering overhead myth. Let’s introduce that, and then we’ll pick it up after the break. Sure. The lingering overhead myth, I think Damn pelota grave. A great Ted talk on it, dates back, apparently to the Puritans. But it’s this idea that there’s your programs that where you deliver all your impact and then there’s your overhead and that the overhead has nothing to do with the impact. And overhead is bad and impact is good. So all the money should go towards those impact. And I’m putting quotes around that because, yeah, around those programme activities and nothing should goto overhead because that’s a waste of money s O. But really, that’s not true. May be after the break. We’ll dive into that. Absolutely will. Because that is not true. And we need to I see it being eroded, but we need to kill it. Well, your C. P s. You need help with next year’s nine. Ninety perhaps. Or you are you doing? You’re nine ninety. I hope to God you’re doing You’re ninety for country. Are you thinking about a c P A change, perhaps in twenty nineteen or changing audit firm, maybe time for a fresh look at the books. Look at Wagner. Talk to partner yet each tomb. You know, he’s been a guest on the show. There’s no hard sell. There’s no bullshit duitz It doesn’t matter. We’re That’s right. We’ll have to see free. So I’m getting carried away. Ah, good weather cps dot com Now, time for Tony Steak too. Train your staff. Basic plan E-giving. I’m encouraging you to get them comfortable. Just opening conversations about the most popular type of plan gift, which is the charitable bequest in people’s wills. There’s no lifetime cost to your donors that can keep it private if they want to. I mean, you, you always want them to tell you, but if they want to keep it private. They can. They can change their minds. These air a couple of reasons that bequests are always I don’t care what size organization always the most popular planned gift. And so that’s the place to start. So that’s the place you want to start getting your staff trained just on the basics again, opening a conversation you don’t need in house expertise. You don’t need a lawyer. You don’t even need a consultant like me. You don’t need a lawyer on your board. You don’t need all that because you’re going to refer people to their own attorney because we’re doing this on a You know, this’s a streamlined which is trying to get you into plant giving. You don’t need the expertise. You can open those conversations. All right? I say more about this on my video. Aunt, I bring in the holidays. You see, as I talk about training is awesome. Holiday in search there as well. Ah, and I did it from a beach. And you’ll find that video at tony martignetti dot com. Okay, let’s go back to Sarah Olivieri and the encouragement show. Okay, So the overhead myth. Ah, yeah. So what do you counsel clients? On who? Who say that they’re concerned about possibly spending too much. And are donors going? Think we’re wasting money on overhead? Yeah. I mean, first of all, be brave, be intentional. Know that it’s not true that this I don’t even like to use the word overhead. I call, I say, its operations, right? So, like operations is the backbone of your organisation. Nothing happens without it. It’s the core. It couldn’t be more opposite then. This overhead myth. You need good leadership. You need structures and processes in place in order to make your whatever you’re delivering consistent and efficient. I love to talk about efficiency with non-profit. Okay? You need technology. Just technology, fundez technology. All these supporting you that costs money. Exactly. You need tools. Oftentimes you invest in a tool and you’re going to save so much time for so much money. But people are hesitant. That’s that D y. We’re going to do everything ourselves mentality. And it’s literally when you have that mentality, you’re sinking your own ship because your your ship is your overhead. It is your operational structure. And then it’s like the cargo is all the stuff you’re going to do to deliver your mission. So if you have a teeny ship and you just load on a ton of cargo, you are just going to sink it and you’re not going to deliver any mission. You’re not going to go anywhere and you’re not going to solve any major problems. So you need to make sure that if you’re going to grow programs, you grow your capacity. That means growing your ability to operate, right? So I hope people can begin to think like overhead is operating its function, its investment. In other words, yes. An investment in in your office, in a nice place for people to come to work on investment in professional development for your staff, an investment in technology investing in the future, right? You’re saying, you know, make you tea to be sustainable and have it be the right capacity. These are all investments, right? This is not wasted overhead. It’s investing in the future right here. If you’re planning something new, you might have to invest for a year or two in it and lose money at it. T get up to speed. That’s an investment in a new programme. Exactly. Yeah, I think I think you’re absolutely right and end its fundamental, you know, too many times to talk about, You know, of course, there’s the Non-profits are messy right on Dne on people say not, You know, a lot of non-profits. I’m like, Oh, man, we’re kind of dysfunctional, that dysfunction. That means you don’t have good functioning, Good functioning. That overhead is how you get good functioning. That’s how you become not dysfunctional, that that’s how you become not messy. That’s how you become a clean, effective, oiled machine that just is doing good in the world and can scale that up. If you want Teo and deliver, you know, deliver to more people, um, or whatever. If your environmental organization make a bigger impact, that is the key to making a bigger impact. It is not, you know, spending. You know, I think that the mindset shift that people need to make is they think, Oh, if we’re spending money on operations, it’s like we’re spending money on ourselves and we don’t spend money on ourselves. There’s kind of like that martyr mentality. Yeah, it’s got to go. Really got to go. You are worth investing in your staff is worth investing in your office is worth investing in. Technology is worth investing if you go to. If you go to your office on Monday and you’re boarding up windows X P you are not investing the way you need. Thio technology. Bring that shit to your boss and tell them this has got to go. We’re eight years behind on and just since this is the you know, I want to give some motivations of encouragement for people. You know you are, but you’re more the story and the story. That’s alright. Bien and Yang. Positive. Negative. You have this in you already. The story of Dorothy, right? Dorothy has the power to return home all along, but she has to go through this great journey. All she has to do is click your heels three times and say there’s no place from home. Well, you if you’re running a non-profit right now, or if you’re involved in one no place like home That’s right. I want to go home. I like to be really directed. Right? So you already believe in your non-profits mission? Like I know this about you like listening, right? Now you believe that your mission is worth investing in, which means you already have the power to believe that this is that it’s worth investing in. But you are part of your non-profit. And so you have to believe. Now you have to take that same belief that you believe in your mission and just convinced yourself you are worth investing in. Because if you don’t invest in yourself and in your organization, you’re not investing in your mission. And so if sues you, connect those two dots you already have that power to believe that you’re worth it. I don’t even. Yeah, the overhead myth. The way we gotta bury it, we got to kill it and bury it. It’s gone. All right. Um, something you have some ideas around feeling like you. You appear that you don’t have enough or appearing that you have too much Teo. Donors what? What is this? What is this second guessing? Why we looking over our our shoulders at ourselves? Why? We’re looking over our own shoulders. How did we do it? Yeah. Why are we looking over our shoulders? Wear we second guessing where we how we’re perceived, you know, I had a nice coincidence. I had two clients start where he will be around the same time on DH within within a week of each other. Had these two conversations, one client was a non-profit who had money and they said, Well, we’re afraid that, like if our website and our brochures and stuff look good, people are going to think we have a lot of money and they’re not going to want to give to us right. And then the other client who was a very small startup didn’t have any money, said We need our we need our brochures on our website to look really good because if people know that we don’t have money, they won’t give to us. And guess what? It doesn’t matter if you have money or if you don’t have money. You have just be authentic. Be yourself, play your own game, run your own race. If you have money, people will say Hey, this organization’s impact is important. That’s always the first thing and wow, they’re stable, They’re sustainable. They have enough money I’m going to give to them because I know that they’re going to keep going for the other one people want to give to their impact the primary driver. Is that like that emotional return? Yes, For some people, there’s the tax benefit. But I really think that secondary or twenty three year, twenty years in fund-raising consulting and it’s absolutely secondary. Yeah, for they’re buying an emotional return. They’re buying a feeling on DH And so but if you don’t have money, then you say, Hey, we don’t have money. We’ve got this amazing thing that we want to do. We have a great way, way so far, right? We want to scale do this with a thousand people instead of the dozen that we’ve served so far. Right. So you’ve got a great argument whether you don’t have money or you do have money with one caveat. If you’re worried that you’re not really delivering the impact that you say you are, measure it. Measure your impact. And if you’re not, if you if you take it and you’re like, man, we’re not really two making the changes. We thought you were just reorganise. Start time to pivot, right. It’s time to invest in that overhead and utter and figure out you know how you can make that impact cause you probably didn’t. You know, there’s a need there. There’s always a need. This goes to also just you touched on, you know, be genuine. Be honest. People can people when they’re talking to you less. So when they’re reading your material, that’s one dimensional. But but it applies somewhat. There. Two people can tell when you’re genuine and when your phony you know, if if you’re a small shop in your producing fancy four color brochures or you’re spending money on lavish video production, when when low production value could be just a sincere and jet or more sincere and genuine people see through that stuff, you know, be yourself. You said it yourself. Don’t And don’t don’t be ashamed of who you are and what you’re what you’re coming, too. Yeah, and when the way you look exactly. And both those problems, you know, relate to those air marketing marketing concerns, and I just like his marketing gets thrown around a lot. I like to just clarify, like what is marketing and because it’s not a department. Marketing is a means to an end. Marketing is about finding people whose who have an issue or problem that you can solve. So if it’s a donor, it means they’re looking for this positive experience. If it’s somebody who you might serve, it means they have, you know, you have a solution to the issue in their lives and then engaging those people who you found who already basically need what you have so that they take action with you. That’s marketing. Yeah. We have to take a break. OK, Eso look over your page air and you’re goingto welcome you to introduce the next topic right after this break. Tell us. Start with the video at Tony Dahna em a slash Tony, tell us don’t think what companies can you talk to toe? Ask them to switch their credit card processing to tell us maybe it’s one owned by a boardmember. It’s a local company that supported you or one that you’ve been thinking about approaching because you have a relationship of some type. Talk to them, have them watch the video. If they switch, you get the long stream of passive revenue from all those credit card um, transactions that they process. Tony Dahna may slash Tony. Tell us for the video. It’s not for the live listener love. We’ve got to do it. Did you think I had forgotten because I didn’t do it after Tony take to perish the thought? Hell, no. I could get it going further than hell. No, but I’ll just stick with hell. No. Um So where are we? So let’s go abroad. I want to go abroad. Russia. We cannot see your city But we know that you’re with us. Russia, Live Love out to you Toronto up north. Welcome. Live Listen, love to you Mexico We can’t see a city And we got multiple Mexico. We have more ellos Mexico as well So we can see more ellos live love to you point a start is and the city we cannot see live love out to you Also, we got multiple New York, New York. Always got multiple New York, New York, Brooklyn, New York is in Queens, New York. Thank you very, very much. I don’t see anybody upstate. Sarah. Olivia. He didn’t bring her tribe, but they’ll listen to the podcast. And that’s the podcast. Pleasantries that come on the heels of the live listener love. You know, it’s the podcast Pleasantries that one dreaded follows the other can’t have. You cannot have one without the other. You cannot. It’s actually matter pleasantries to the thirteen thousand plus podcast listeners throughout the mostly in the US But I know throughout the world, but I know the UK checks in I know we’ve got listeners in Germany and now we’ve got Mexico podcast listeners also Ah, pleasantries, pleasantries to you, the vast majority of our audience. Thank you for being with Non-profit radio. Okay, What did you pick? What we were talking about Next. We’re gonna talk about wasting money, wasting money. What do you got? Well, I think you know a lot of people. It goes back to what we first talked about, right? This bad relationship with money and that a lot of people feel like when we spend money at Non-profits were flushing it down the toilet. When we spend it, it’s gone. That’s what’s happening. And that’s not the relationship I want youto have with money. I want you to realize that the way you should be spending money the way you hopefully our is thinking about what am I going to get back for my money and my getting Mohr value back than the money costs me. So you know, I get excited about spending money, not because I love spending money, but because whenever I choose to spend money in my business, I’m always getting something back that’s worth even more to me than the money that’s going to take me to the next level. So it’s great. It’s always like this exciting moment of growth where I’m getting something on DH. That is the mentality they really want people to adopt this coming year is that when we spend it, we are not throwing it away. But if you’re not thinking about what you’re getting back then, you might be wasting money. S O. This is one of those like, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy. If you feel like spending money is wasting money, then the chances that you are wasting money are away. Hyre if you feel like spending money is a process of trying to get more back then you spent then you’re probably not wasting you want value for the dollar that each dollar you spend exactly. So I definitely want you to think about that. Another thing that’s related to this, I think, is a lot of people think about, You know, we need something it costs. I don’t know. Two thousand dollars, twenty five hundred dollars. We don’t have that money. Now. When we have that money, then we’ll spend on this. And that’s just like a process. I was just like in the future, if you have more money, we’ll spend on that. That money is never going to come. There’s not going to be a delivery of money that says you’re marked for this purpose that you’ve been putting off for eighteen months. Exactly gonna happen that way. So here’s the way I want youto think like time. Sorry. Exactly what? You’re not gonna find time now when I could find the time. I’ll do that. No. If it’s something that’s worth, well, you gotta make the time. That’s consciously put the time. Put the time aside now. And if you’re constantly putting it off, then you need to evaluate. Maybe this thing that we think talking about is not that important. Or maybe you’re not prioritizing correctly. Exactly. It’s just it’s it’s recognizing the value of time and the fact that it’s just not gonna land on your desk a week. Oh, here’s that project time you’ve been thinking about for eighteen months doesn’t happen that way. You need to be much. You need to be intentional about it. Exactly. Attention about time. Attention about money. So here’s the new way. I want people to think about it is that if you’re thinking, I need something stop and say What is the problem that I’m having? If you think you need a website if you think you need automation, stop for a moment and say What’s the problem I’m having If you think I need fund-raising say what’s the really cool Rob? What is the real problem? Get down to that problem. Could be a person. It could be a person, right? A process could not be working. A person could be in the wrong seat. It could be You know, it could be any number of things from outside influence, right? Once you’ve found that real problems say, if I fix this problem how much is that worth to me? If I don’t have this problem? If this problem is gone, how much is that worth to me? What can I do next? If this problem is gone and then say how much time money resource is. Am I willing to spend to have this problem gone? And then then you have your budget, if you can solve it for less bio all means. But then you have your number. You have your number, and then you go get that money. You say I need this problem solved. I see this probably the most painful area where I see this is with employees. If you have the wrong people in the job and you’re just, like, afraid toe, let them go or afraid to change their position. That is really hard. But if you ran the numbers, you bilich I’m wasting, like, fifty thousand dollars a year on this person. Shopping, energy and other people see it as well, right? No, it’s about the other people in the organization know it’s a bad fit that they’re seeing a day in and day out of their employees. It’s draining you. Yeah, so your problems are probably costing you more than you realize. And if you really think about that, you’ll be like, Oh, yeah, we’re going to raise that money right now, and that problem’s going to be gone. Let’s talk about something you mentioned early on fund-raising events, events sucking the life blood. What did you What did you say? It caught me. But But I But I also want to talk about you know, that over reliance on events. Sure. Yeah. I mean, I said I think like it sucks the capacity. All of your fund-raising capacity goes to putting on an event because the time Yeah. And then you have nothing left in you to do the more important fund-raising. Like, if you’ve done all other fund-raising strategies and you still have a ton of time and energy on your hand, do an event. But if you haven’t just, like, try not to do that event, try to stop doing it trying to do any other fund-raising strategy event. Also, a lot of times you have tio, um, defeat on argument by a boardmember. Yeah, that events. You know, I just went to this great gala, and they raised two and a half million dollars. Yeah. Okay. Well, so what size organization was that? Did they have entertainment that cost him three hundred fifty thousand dollars? You know, to get to get Don Henley on stage or something. Oh, are the Eagles, you know? So Don Henley here’s the Eagles. Okay, so you know, board members often come with these gala ideas because they just played, and they just they just played in a golf tournament. Or they were just at this lovely event at a restaurant. Is it? You have to help your board members recognize that you likely don’t have the capacity to produce the event that they’re trying to get you to do and then want something you might do is ask them to chair it, right? Exactly. And the event that they went to probably didn’t actually like after expenses. Probably right. And sometimes people think just about you know what they netted at, you know, based of costs, but put on that event, but they forget to calculate that it took, like, one of their employees full time work for three to six months. So you factor in there that salary chances are you’re taking a loss, and a part of the argument is, but think of all the people will bring. We get hundreds of people thinking about us and giving to us. Whoa, Thinking about us? Yeah, they’re thinking about you that night giving to you. That’s a big stretch. That’s a huge stretch, and there’s enormous follow-up That has to happen. And notoriously, event attendees who came because they’re friends invited them are unlikely to become long term sustainers for you. They were happy to do that. They were happy to buy the fifty dollar table or the fifty dollars seat with a two hundred fifty dollars ticket, whatever it was. But beyond that, it takes a lot of cultivation to get them to become close to you that they give beyond the annual event. So don’t let your whoever espousing this this great gal idea talk you into the idea that every everybody who comes is going to become a major donor instantly. It does not happen. There’s enormous cultivation and has to take place after that event. In fact, you know a pivot ground. We don’t really focus on fund-raising that much in a lot of people who come to me with, like we need to do fund-raising I say, Okay, well, what’s your capacity to like, manage donors like, Are you able to follow-up donor follow-up with donors? Do you have somebody who can like put together a fund-raising strategy. No, you need to do that for because there were these hundreds of people who come right reportedly come to this event exam you have No, you have no capacity to fall to do the follow up. Right. And for small non-profits out there, you know your thing thinking like, Oh, I need to do my end of your fund-raising letter. Ask yourself first, Do you have a list of people to send it to? No, but don’t worry about the letter. Move on to an activity you can do Move on to list building host a friend raiser host a holiday party that costs you almost nothing. Get some contacts on your list. Someone someone’s home, right? I love small events are great Hold that thought will come back to get take our last break text to give Talk about email many courses. Sarah was talking about the drip campaign. The five part email Many course debunking five myths. Do you think text donations have to go through a phone bill? And so they take ninety days to collect? No, not true. Doesn’t have to be that way. Do you think there are high startup costs? No, not so. There’s a lot of misinformation around. Text e-giving. You can raise more money, get the email many course from text to give you text. NPR to four, four, four nine nine nine, five Emails. Okay, We’ve got several more minutes for this encouragement show. All right, sometimes, as just now happens, as sometimes happens, I forgot what we were just talking about many events, but I’d love to talk about our pieces in the buying process, wake and finish up with many of them. That something? Yeah. In someone’s home. Right. Deal. This is ideal for the boardmember. Who says I hate fund-raising? Okay, you can help us. Friendraising you can bring some people will bring some of the some people to you’re not only responsible, but we’re gonna have We’re going twelve or fifteen people on DH. There’s going to be a short presentation by me. The CEO on We’re going toe that, you know, that’s something manageable, right? Weaken follow-up with twelve or twenty people. Exactly. And it should cost you roughly nothing. Like usually, like you get a host who has a nice house and we’ll buy dinner and, you know, make dinner you get. Maybe someone else donates the wine. Or you might have a host told Burghdoff grantmaking dinner. Exactly record make dinner or Kate or whatever their level is, there’s lots of people who would host a dinner for eight to twelve people in their homes. You know, you somebody from your organization, a couple boardmember show up and then you just have to Between your organization and the hosts contact list, you invite a small group of people and those can have fantastic turnout’s a great way to spend money and energy that you spend money. But spend energy. Yes, not so much money. Right? So eight to twelve. You could cook for that. But I was thinking, like, twenty might want to cater that right? Exactly. And it all depends on what your resource is air like. Who’s you know who’s house? It’s at what you’ve got. What you waiting get to think about. These cultivate small cultivation events, right? Much, much more manageable in terms of both front end and the follow-up. After that, what’s your point? Right? And you’ve got a follow-up after the event, and you know you really want to focus on that moment. That the donation is given and then expanded out from both ends. What happens? What’s their experience after they gave their donation? And what’s their experience just before? So a lot of people focus on making a great experience so that somebody gives them the donation. But then they forget about the follow-up after somebody gives, which is just a CZ important because you want them to give again and tell their friends that was great. That was the, uh, what What about the donor journey that pursuant as they have a whole, they have, ah, resource on this demystifying the donor experience. It’s exactly what, at twenty dollars slash pursuit with a Capital P. It’s exactly what you’re talking about. That donor journey mapping the experience out exactly. Exactly. It’s really important. Another tip I have for people is, you know, if you have a website, you can probably make a unique donation landing page for each of your board members. That way, when they go out and start soliciting their personal contacts to say, Hey, would you give to my organization? They can send them to a landing page. It’s like This is the donation page for my organization. But it’s got, like, as if I’m the boardmember. It’s got my name and picture on it and what my pitches to most of my friends and that way I know that when I give my friends and I’m asking him to make a contribution when they do, they’re having an experience that’s connected to me and that I know what that experience is going to be. And then for the organization, you know, exactly like you could give me credit as a boardmember, you know, you’ll know whence one of my contacts makes a donation because they came through my painting at the organization’s all trackable personalized boardmember landing page. Yeah, yeah, simple, even a short shit that you like for landing pages. I’m not particularly, you know, we do website, so we actually usually build them in the in the site itself. Um, and otherwise, you know, lead pages. Oftentimes if it’s a donation page, Whatever tool you’re using to list your pages, this is an area where it can get kind of complicated for non-profits picking the right tech stack we call it. That means the tools you’re going to use that all work together, so But yeah, there’s no specific recommendations. Really matter what you have already in places where you need to bring in experts in this, that is the moment. Like private group. Yeah. Pivot ground. That’s right. All right, so there was something we just have, like two minutes or so left you lying process, You know, r r f. P s and the buying process. You know, I think a lot of non-profits rely too heavily on our piece. Like our peace, Our good. Ifyou’re like, we have plans for building and we’re now going to build the building, we need a contractor doing R F P. But you don’t need an r f P for everything. And especially if you’re going to get, like, expert advice or have your situation assessed, You don’t need an r F. Pierre, you don’t need a complicated r f P. It could be like, What are you selling and what’s your process? Or maybe it’s like rather than rpm, it’s an announcement. Like it doesn’t have to be this giant document like, Hey, we’re hiring for this. Come, tell us if you if you solve this problem. And another thing is you, when you make complicated R F P is especially no in the marketing space. Like most good marketers, I know good Web people. They won’t respond to our I’ve had guests on the show talking about the R F P process for tech. Protect provoc. You’re going to get the bottom of the barrel. They won’t respect. You have to intensive. So if you can avoid it at all, costs like don’t do are of peace for tech projects. And then I think another thing is I’ve come across this concept that doesn’t I don’t understand of non-profits thinking, we have to be fair in who were hiring. And I think that this comes from like, we don’t want to be corrupt or we don’t want to, you know, have a conflict of interest that causes us to hire someone out of favoritism. But and you should make sure, though instead that you’re getting the best value for your non-profit. Don’t get this fairness. What do you mean? I heard it a lot like, Oh, well, we just left. Sure. So here’s a great one. We can’t hire someone who’s on our board. Who’s an expert in this because they’re on our board, and it wouldn’t be fair. They already know what the project is. And that’s just silly. I think people get confused about conflict of interest versus confluence ditigal hyre them, they become an employee, and then they shouldn’t. Probably they should not be on your board anymore as an employee, but but they could still be some kind of. Now you’ve got their expertise, right? Or if they offer a service, you know, you know, they shouldn’t be the only one. You asked for it, but chances are, if your board members a professional, I’m sure if you were on a board, you would give your services at that. Probably a better rate than anybody else would. Well, so you know this process of going out and getting a few quotes on something that’s great. But the purpose is to get the best value for your organization. Not to be fair to all the people out there. We’re gonna leave it. There grayce Sarah Olivieri. You’ll find her at She’s at Pivot Ground and the company’s pivot ground dotcom. Thank you very much. Thank you. It was a great conversation. Thank you. Next week, there’s no show. The week after that, there’s no show, no show. For the next two weeks. We’ll be back on January fourth. I hope you enjoy the hell out of your holidays. Take time for it. Make time for yourself. Don’t just look to find it. Make time for yourself some quiet time over the holidays. Enjoy the hell out of it. If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you. Find it on tony martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by pursuant online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled Tony dahna slash Pursuant Capital P Wet Nurse Oppa is guiding you beyond the numbers when you’re cps dot com. Bye. Tell us credit card in payment processing, 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 A creative producer is clear. Myer, huh? Chris Gutierrez is today’s line. Producer shows Social Media Is by Susan Chavez Mark Silverman is our Web guy, and this cool music is by Scott Steiner. Brooklyn. You with me next week for Non-profit radio Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and be great. What? Great. Go. You’re listening to the talking alternative network e-giving. Xero cubine you are listening to the talking alternative network. Are you stuck in a rut? 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