Tag Archives: stewardship

Nonprofit Radio for August 29, 2022: Your Tech Problem Is Actually A People Problem


Ananda Robie & Sam Dorman: Your Tech Problem Is Actually A People Problem

Wrapping up our #22NTC coverage, Ananda Robie and Sam Dorman sort out why your nonprofit’s technology problem is very likely a people problem. And they share their roadmap to better technology tomorrow. Ananda is with the Center for Action and Contemplation and Sam is from The Build Tank.





Listen to the podcast

Get Nonprofit Radio insider alerts!

I love our sponsors!

Turn Two Communications: PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is our mission.

Fourth Dimension Technologies: IT Infra In a Box. The Affordable Tech Solution for Nonprofits.

Apple Podcast button




We’re the #1 Podcast for Nonprofits, With 13,000+ Weekly Listeners

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

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

Transcript for 606_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20220829.mp3

Processed on: 2022-08-26T19:11:13.159Z
S3 bucket containing transcription results: transcript.results
Link to bucket: s3.console.aws.amazon.com/s3/buckets/transcript.results
Path to JSON: 2022…08…606_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20220829.mp3.463558328.json
Path to text: transcripts/2022/08/606_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20220829.txt

[00:02:02.70] 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. Oh I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be stricken with cause Elijah if you burned me up with the idea that you missed this week’s show your tech problem is actually a people problem wrapping up our 22 Ntc coverage. Ananda roby and Sam dorman sort out why you’re nonprofits. Technology problem is very likely a people problem and they share their roadmap to better technology tomorrow. Ananda is with the Center for Action and Contemplation and SAM is from the build tank on Tony’s take to wrapping up national make a will month we’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. And by fourth dimension technologies I. T. Infra in a box. The affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D Just like 3D but they go one dimension deeper. Here is your tech problem is actually a people problem. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 22 N. T. C. You know what that is by now through all the interviews we’ve been doing, it’s the 2022 nonprofit technology conference and you know that it’s hosted by N 10. The smart folks who help you use technology as you’re doing your important work with me now are Ananda robi and SAm dorman. Ananda is digital Managing Director of digital products at center for Action and contemplation Sam dorman is co founder At the build tank Ananda Sam welcome to nonprofit radio

[00:02:23.64] spk_1:
Thanks tony

[00:02:24.87] spk_2:
Yeah, thank you so much for having us.

[00:02:36.99] spk_0:
The pleasure. Pleasure to have both of you. Your session topic is your technology problem is actually a people problem. Sam can you, can you give us an overview of what folks are often, uh, misconstruing about the real problem perhaps at at their smaller, mid sized non profit

[00:03:30.65] spk_1:
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. My partner chris and I, we, you know, founded the bill tank to try to help organizations resolve their pervasive technology pain, which is, um, which is really common. It’s just about every organization is struggling under these, these same restrictions where they just don’t have the technology that allows them to do what they want to do and it’s holding everybody back and it’s creating all all kinds of pain points. And so what I think that people don’t realize is so often it’s not actually a problem with the technology, the symptoms, you know, feel like their problems with technology, but it’s a gap in a certain kind of technology capacity. Um, and it’s about actually getting the right internal team doing the right types of things, which is sometimes not what people expect it should be. And Ananda is a perfect example of that kind of person. And the team she has built at C A C is a perfect example of what it looks like to go from those sorts of pervasive technology Pain points to actually really using leveraging technology to its potential to help increase the organization’s impact

[00:03:58.76] spk_0:
ananda what are some of the symptoms that you were you were feeling at center for action and contemplation?

[00:04:54.00] spk_2:
Yeah. Well, luckily I was so blessed that by the time I came to the C a C, they had already met chris and SAm and gotten bought in on the digital product team model and investing in structuring technology Well. But prior to coming to see a C in previous roles, I’ve had, I did experience that other nonprofits or in higher ed, which has been my kind of career path. That really what’s most common is you hire folks to do a job and then technology is treated like off the side of their desk. So you might hire a development director who’s responsible for fundraising for your organization, but then they’re also responsible for, you know, keeping the donation platform up and running and troubleshooting issues or if you need a new platform going and finding it and uh, you know, putting it into place. And so it’s just means that people a have too much work on their plate. So their workload is too much and then you don’t have the right people with the right kind of interests and skills doing the work. And so there’s a whole model for how we kind of have distributed ownership and break down the ownership between content folks and technology folks.

[00:05:10.36] spk_0:
Okay. You say there’s a whole model, Is that, is that part of what your your session was about?

[00:05:51.03] spk_1:
Yeah, exactly. So, so, we, you know, we pulled together this thing called the road map to a better technology tomorrow. So chris and I were always trying to share everything we can as resources. We can work with some organizations like the CDC, but we can’t work with every organization. But it also feels like a lot of these things, once you understand the concepts there not that hard, they’re pretty based on common sense. They’re definitely not common practice, but uh, we try to share everything freely. So we put together this roadmap with just sort of six key steps about, here’s how you go from where you’re, where you are now to building this kind of capacity that’s gonna be able to supercharge you. So, in the, in, in the session, we just walked through those six steps.

[00:05:54.01] spk_0:
Okay. And this is the road map to better technology tomorrow. Like something from the 1950s,

[00:06:01.43] spk_1:

[00:06:02.85] spk_0:
new electric stove is the the kitchen of tomorrow for the happy homemaker.

[00:06:09.47] spk_1:
We kinda did. It’s a little bit tongue in cheek. We, we like to have a lot of fun with the work that we do. And so we sort of, it felt a little bit like it was like mad men branding the road to a better technology. Yeah,

[00:06:37.24] spk_0:
that’s what I think of it immediately, but before we All right. So, we’ll go through the roadmap Sounds, uh, sounds very exploratory what sam, but why why are we defaulting to blaming, uh, faulting technology? Is that, is that because it’s easier than looking introspectively at our team and our skills and gaps there in? Well,

[00:06:44.52] spk_1:
it’s hard to

[00:06:45.16] spk_0:
blame technology.

[00:07:49.02] spk_1:
Well, it’s understandable. That’s where you feel in the pain. So people just don’t have the basic tools that they need. If you’re trying to accomplish anything, you’re trying to, you know, not to use the example of a fundraiser. You’re trying to raise money if you’re a communicator, if you’re a program person, if you’re an executive trying to understand what things are working, the pain point is focused on. We don’t have a system that helps us track our donors well, or understand their journeys with us. Or a lot of pain is felt with websites, you know, like everybody needs to use the website as a key. It’s like your front door. It’s also your engagement pathways. It’s a key property. And very rarely do organizations have it where everybody who has needs with those properties, with those, with those technology platforms, is actually getting those needs addressed. And so, you know, they, that’s where you feel the pain. But what people don’t understand is it’s because there’s a lack of ownership and lack of stewardship and it’s not a highly technical kind of lack of ownership and stewardship that’s missing. It’s a highly strategic, highly communication based set of skills that needed to steward these platforms and make sure that everybody’s getting what they need out of them and have sort of a long term oriented view. It’s exactly the kind of stuff that Ananda is so strong at.

[00:08:08.05] spk_0:
Okay, okay, so it sounds like the shortcomings uh manifest themselves in people’s performance because we don’t have the kind of tools we need, you know, the things you ticked off saying that you’re you’re more eloquent in describing that I’m going than I would be, so I’m not gonna bother, but I’ll just say it’s everything you just said, but it manifests itself in poor performance or overworked or

[00:08:57.22] spk_1:
Yeah. And I’ll just say, you know, it’s sort of like you have, you you you you wanna you get great people around you in an organization, you have a really inspiring um mission and you get great people around you and it’s like getting a bunch of expert chefs in your kitchen and then all you give them is a bunch of wooden spoons and you say cook a gourmet meal, they just don’t have the tools, they need to make their amazing, you know, and so what you wanna do is you want a situation where you have someone whose job it is to just make const consistently enable their colleagues to do better and greater work via those sort of technology systems. So promise of technology is just not commonly realized for most organizations, it’s just paying up and down the up and down the books

[00:09:06.58] spk_0:
because the people at that dining table are gonna say these chefs suck

[00:09:10.08] spk_1:

[00:09:10.81] spk_0:
Yeah, you’re gonna say something

[00:09:12.73] spk_1:

[00:09:13.80] spk_0:
I’m sorry. But

[00:09:15.34] spk_2:
no, I was just gonna say, I think um

[00:09:17.99] spk_0:

[00:10:12.60] spk_2:
we say it’s a people problem, it’s that’s not to be misconstrued that it’s a problem with the people currently in the organization having a deficit or something. It’s usually a people problem because the right staffing to steward your technology has not been put in place. So it’s really a people problem often in terms of a gap in people for the technology. So it’s a misconstrued notion that, you know, when you get technology, it would be false to think that good technology is just plug and play, you get it off the shelf, you plug it in, you play, it works for your org forever more. Um, that’s not the case for anything. Your organization is growing and developing and adapting and evolving. Um your technology needs to do so as well. But in order to stay on top of that, you have to have the staffing of the folks like me who are responsible for treating that technology almost like a product. So we’re gonna make sure it stays up to date, it gets um serviced and updated and replaced as needed. So I just want to make sure no one is hearing this as it’s a people problem within your org. I’m sure the people within existing orders are phenomenal and they likely have too much to do and a full time job in addition to potentially looking and focusing on technology, you should have a specific stripe within your org that is focused on the technology much like you have stripes focused on your programs.

[00:10:40.30] spk_0:
Okay, thank you. Alright, banana. Are you, are you familiar enough with this too to launch our journey on the, on the road map to a better technology tomorrow?

[00:10:45.91] spk_2:
Well I’ve had the benefit of truly like working under chris and SAm’s mentorship for the last six years. So I like to think that I’m very familiar

[00:10:53.79] spk_0:
with it.

[00:10:54.46] spk_2:
Yeah, SAm and I have kind of been on a little bit of a publicity tour lately. I feel like where Sam you know because he and chris is brilliant minds are what came up with the kind of road map and then I get to offer a bit of the color commentary about what it looks like in like implementation and actuality versus

[00:12:51.20] spk_0:
theory. Turn to communications media relationships and thought leadership. First comes the relationships then comes the leaderships leadership but I couldn’t pass up the rhyme. You gotta have the relationships before you can get the leadership the thought leadership because you need those relationships so that when an opportunity for thought leadership emerges either because there’s some big news hook or you just have something that is compelling that you need folks to hear. You gotta have uh you gotta have the journalists and the other content creators in a position where they’re gonna pick up the phone when you call, they’re gonna reply when you email. That takes relationships turn to knows how to build those relationships. So you gotta have the relationships, then you can get heard. Then you become a thought leader in your field, turn to communications, they can help you build those relationships. And while you’re working on your messaging, that can help you craft that also so that you become the thought leader, you ought to be, you deserve to be turn to communications. Your story is their mission turned hyphen two dot c o. Now, back to your tech problem is actually a people problem. And what about buying leadership by in Ananda? Was was was was C A C beyond that. When you got there, you said they had already bought in. So, had you, like, had you passed that phase, Is that something you didn’t have to deal with?

[00:13:32.75] spk_2:
I mean, I think it’s always ongoing. I’m always telling the stories that it takes to make sure we’re investing in technology properly from a capacity and funding in time perspective. But I really was fortunate when I joined the Sea a sea, that our executive director, Michael Michael Poffenberger had attended one of chris and SAm’s talks and really just connected with their approach to technology and wanted them to support the C A c is really up upping our game when it came to tech. Um but one of chris and SAM’s requirements was that if you want to partner with them, you’ve got to have internal staffing to kind of fill that gap that is all too common when it comes to tech. Um, so hiring my position was basically the organization’s response to this is the direction we’re gonna head when it comes to structuring our technology and this is the first position we’re gonna hire to make that happen.

[00:15:11.64] spk_1:
tony maybe I’ll add. It’s also really important to note that a non as part of the leadership team now at C A. C as the chief of this team and that’s one of the things that we really emphasize is important. You know, the actually the first step in the road map we were going to talk about is you must be willing to invest and it’s about investing, not only resources, but time and care and focus. If technology is not part of what your leadership knows and understands, then you’re making decisions sort of devoid of what you can actually do in the world. You know, it’s like technology nowadays as your arms and legs to do almost anything in the world as an organization. And so if you have a bunch of people at leadership level, making decisions about programs and what you’re capable of or timelines or anything like that without that strong back and forth communication with those arms and legs and you have an organization that sort of lurches forward and can’t walk straight. And so it really makes a huge difference when you see a situation like CSC where nana is there as part of the leadership team, able to say yes organization. This is what we’re capable of. And also, um yeah, we can we can do these tradeoffs that we’re talking about at a leadership level, but here’s what we’re gonna have to dip prioritize and here’s what we’re going to prioritize. So it’s just sort of a whole different approach of, of investing in technology is a key skill set for the organization.

[00:15:17.61] spk_0:
Okay. And you said that’s our first, our first of the six steps is investing, but not only in the technology, but also in in the organization the people

[00:15:48.39] spk_1:
well. And that’s why we start with saying, you have to invest as, you know, you have to be willing to to hire people in this certain type of uh, you know, a certain type of capability and that means salary and that means head count and that’s one of the most expensive things. There are, so a lot of times we say, you know, that’s, you got to hear the bad news first, which is, it’s gonna cost a lot, most organizations are woefully under invested in internally internal technology capacity. And that’s just the truth of it. So when, when people come to us and say, you know, is there an affordable way we can do a B and C. We say no. If you want to be good with your technology and good good meaningful impactful outputs, you have to invest in terms of resources in terms of development, in terms of external experts and in terms of your internal team

[00:16:13.51] spk_0:
ananda what what’s the annual budget at Center for Action and Contemplation and and how many employees?

[00:16:20.30] spk_2:
Yeah. Great question. I believe our annual budget is close to about nine million and we have about 55 employees.

[00:16:35.89] spk_0:
Okay. All right. I want listeners to understand the context of what investment means. Why is at the center for action and shouldn’t contemplation come first and then comes action after you’ve given after you’ve thought about what it is you might be acting on, you

[00:16:51.54] spk_2:
know, one of my favorite things that our founder father Richard moore says is that actually the most important word in our title is the word. And because what is good action without sufficient contemplation? And what is the point of contemplation if it doesn’t result in good action? So and is the most important regardless of which order? Those words come in.

[00:17:08.97] spk_0:
Okay. All right, thank you. And thank you Father Also. Alright. All right. So, um Sam is there a place for folks who have you know have a smaller organization like uh suppose it’s like half the size of of C a C s annual budget like it’s 4, 4.5 5 million

[00:17:22.95] spk_1:
dollars is still

[00:17:24.56] spk_0:
a place that that they can improve their relationship. I’m gonna say their relationship with technology.

[00:17:31.79] spk_1:
It’s a great question. You know we have done this with very large sort of

[00:17:38.48] spk_0:
two great questions in a row. It’s all downhill. Yeah

[00:17:39.66] spk_1:
pretty much

[00:17:41.58] spk_0:

[00:18:54.94] spk_1:
average, batting average is solid so far that we’ve done some very large sort of enterprise scale organizations. We’ve done it with tiny organizations and people ask me that often like well you have to be a certain size and I think the answer is no you don’t have to be a certain size. So I used to work out of an office where there was social enterprises that were being incubated. And so like people starting uh you know, triple bottom line businesses as they used to call them. And what they would do is either the founder uh would be someone with great technical sort of oversight capability or your first hire was sort of a C. T. O. Or a technical co founder. And so nowadays it scales down to I think the size of two, if your organization has a headcount to half of that capacity is probably focused on your technology because anyone starting an organization today understands how essential that is to be able to do anything in the modern day world. The problem is a lot of old organizations are trying to get away from this really old model of like the tech person in the back corner who just thinks of all things tech and everything. Tech goes through that person. We often say that’s like having a department of paper where everything on paper goes through one person in the back room. It just doesn’t make any sense. Everything is technology at these days and you have to be more sophisticated about what who you’re putting on what there’s a lot of different skill sets that you need at the table. Most organizations have their traditional I. T. Covered. Most organizations have their super users of technology covered. And almost no organizations have this particular gap which is technology stewardship

[00:19:15.10] spk_0:
Amanda. What were your credentials before you came to see A. C.

[00:19:55.68] spk_2:
Yeah so I um I actually studied film in college and I think that’s really comes from, I had an inkling towards technology. I really loved editing, I loved editing software and afterwards I went to work for a nonprofit. My goal was to actually be in the creative team. But but as a part of working there, a part of my job was using salesforce. Um And I was kind of what is traditionally called an accidental admin. So using salesforce for a couple of years they’re like, hey you’re really good at this, Would you be interested in doing this more full time learning more, taking on more responsibility. Um And I said yes and I think it’s one of the best decisions I ever made. Unfortunately our nonprofit went through a pretty massive downsizing. Um So they kind of kept on people who were like the jack of all trades and could do a lot. So I was kept on kept on as primarily the technologist but I’ve been working in Salesforce now for about

[00:20:16.08] spk_0:

[00:20:16.66] spk_2:
years. Uh So now certified Salesforce admin and focus on our digital product team. So I oversee our Crm Web and I. T. Teams for the C. A.

[00:20:24.93] spk_0:

[00:21:30.54] spk_1:
Maybe tony I might add that. It’s like a perfect background. So you know one of the things we say is when you’re looking for technology people a lot of people think that means oh we gotta we gotta hire a bunch of developers um And that’s usually the worst thing you can do. Usually development is something that’s not easy um to hire for to manage to to evaluate the quality of work. And it’s one of the best things that you can outsource because there are firms that that’s their job, that’s what they do, that’s what their specialty is. But this sort of this sort of skill set that Ananda is such a master of this sort of like this communication based sort of ally ship based strategic layer of technology stewardship that comes from all all kinds of backgrounds and so oftentimes in an organization, people already have people like this that could be amazing stewards of their technology but they’re just not tapped for that, They’re not put in the right roles. So it really is, it really opens the floodgates for who can come in and help as opposed to sort of competing for the same highly technical, um, you know, people with, with, with depth in a, in a technical area. You’re really looking for people who are just, you know, great communicators and understanding of the big picture and allies, natural allies and uh for for their colleagues to help them do everything they do better.

[00:21:55.43] spk_0:
I think big picture big picture technologist is is valuable the way you, the way you described it. Let’s let’s move on to our let’s continue on our journey. Sam what you and your partner have, uh, what’s your next, what our next stop? What’s our next stop on the

[00:22:40.26] spk_1:
journey? We’ve already been hopping around in a few of these and you can, you can see them on on the road map. But I’ll mention one piece that Ananda referred to earlier, which is this, this we have this model of trying to separate out the just because of a chart we we created long ago, it was the Blue team and the gold team. The Blue team was this sort of tool. Optimizers like Ananda and the gold team was the people who are trying to use their tools to accomplish their work. So most, most of the people on our chart an organization, they might be like fundraisers communicators, program. People, executives, any number of things. They need tools but they need them to accomplish their work. And like said what often happens is they don’t have the tools they need. So they sort of finally go out and they’re like, I’m gonna build a Crm or I’m gonna build us a new website

[00:22:49.66] spk_0:

[00:23:02.20] spk_1:
now they’re on the phone with developers and talking about platforms and all the stuff that pulls them out of what their strength is instead of work focusing on their areas of expertise, which could be fundraising or anything else. And you’ve got these other people like who are just natural tool optimizers who can sit down with those people here, what they’re trying to do and say, okay, I can go figure out how we do that in technology land. Let me spend all my time on all these crazy paths that that takes. And then we come back together, have a meeting and I can tell you the three options and we go from there. So it’s it allows people to focus on their areas of expertise and and when you see that all of a sudden the machine really starts humming a lot more.

[00:23:32.29] spk_0:
So uh summarize the second stop for us. How would you, I mean if if the first one was invest, nothing has to be a single word. I don’t

[00:23:59.21] spk_1:
know that’s fine. The second one is differentiate three key areas of technology. So that’s where I was talking about, not just the sort of everything goes through tech but you’ve got traditional I. T. Which is something else which is setting up your computer’s security and software and hardware and all that. That’s a different set of skills. You’ve got your content users, your your super users and then you’ve got the the team that Ananda leads which is actually your your tool optimizer team, your digital product team

[00:24:09.47] spk_0:
stewardship to you call technology stewardship

[00:24:12.73] spk_1:
technology stewardship. Exactly.

[00:24:14.58] spk_0:

[00:24:45.49] spk_2:
Yeah. I think one of the um you know chris and SAm have a great one liner that I always love to mention when we’re talking about this part of the road map which is that everyone likes to geek out somewhere. And I think that’s the importance here is like are the folks that you have hired within your organization able to focus the majority of their job on what they were hired to do that they’re likely experts and excellent in or are they getting distracted by having to work on tech or technical people having to contribute more to content. So the idea is making sure that folks who like to geek out on development or marketing or creative customer service program execution really get a partner that then is responsible for making sure that we find and build and train on, allowing them to have the best tools possible to do their jobs well. Um and that will just alleviate a lot of dysfunction and a lot of missed opportunity for um, just prioritizing capacity.

[00:28:50.81] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. 4th dimension technologies. They still have the free offer exclusively for nonprofit radio listeners. You get the complimentary 24/7 monitoring of your IT assets. It lasts for three months. They’ll be monitoring your servers, your network and your cloud performance. They’ll monitor your backup performance as well all 24 7. If there are any issues, they will let you know ASAP at the end of the three months, you’ll get a comprehensive report telling you how all of this is doing against different benchmarks that are standard. You know, you want to know how you’re, how you’re faring compared to where you ought to be faring. And they promised to throw in a few surprises as well. It’s all complementary. It’s on the listener landing page, tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. It’s time for Tony to take two national maker will month is coming to an end. So sad. But I am celebrating to the bitter end. We’re not letting any of national make a will month go away, leave us without full celebration. And to that end I’ve got more ideas, more reasons really. They’re not just there. They are. My ideas, they’re my thinking. But these are, these are reasons, this is not in the abstract reasons why wills are the place to start your plan to giving, I’ve done 13 through 15 already. I’m gonna do 15 through 13 through 15 already. I’m gonna do 16, 17 and 18, the last week of August and you can see the compendium of reasons at linkedin so far. Eventually they’ll be on my blog. But right now you go to linkedin through the month of august, you will see the cornucopia of reasons why planned giving should be started with Will’s simple charitable bequests. So go to my linkedin and you will see the vast array of reasons That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got just about a butt load more time for your tech problem is actually a people problem with ananda roby and sam dorman. I’m thinking about fundraising, which is what I do. I do plan giving fundraising consulting and thinking about how the supplies and fundraising, like there are people who are great at relationships but not so good about the simple, the simple, very simple user task of documenting the relationships and the activity and the steps and things. So, you know, like for them, if there could be some smoother way, like maybe they could dictate instead of having to type or you know, maybe give them a portable device, you know, they can, they can do it on a, on a on a pad or a service, you know, instead of having to carry their laptop or feel like they have to go back to their desktop to to preserve things like that. I think that’s a simple example. It’s a

[00:29:20.61] spk_2:
simple example but it’s perfect. I mean that’s the epitome of my job is like what do you need to do in order to do your job well and if one of those things is documenting your interactions and there seems to be a roadblock to doing that well let’s find out why is it like that you are constantly maybe out in the field doing your work and there’s not a good mobile app in order to complete that. So you’re having to wait till you get back to your desk is the platform, you’re using the UX UI really clunky to use are you just not trained? Have we now not provided the reporting that then shows the return on your investment. So you have this incentive to see how all of your work is paying off. There’s not necessarily a single or simple answer. So the trick is understanding the need and the reason and the why behind that need, understanding what the roadblock is and then alleviating that and that’s different for different people, some people that might be a technology use equal issue and other people that might be not understanding the need or the reward behind doing it

[00:29:49.06] spk_0:

[00:30:16.31] spk_1:
so well said and you know when you hear a non to talk, you can just imagine the power of having a colleague like that who’s just sort of a heat seeking missile for problem solving and knocking knocking hurdles out of people’s way. It’s completely flips the sort of traditional dynamic that you have for technology which is if you got a problem submit a ticket and we’ll get to it when we can, you know, that’s like the opposite of what anna and her team are doing. They’re out there being like tony your we you know, you’re out there trying to fundraise for us. We want you to succeed your our colleague, your ally. Like how can we help you do that better? And what you find is that once people realize they have that kind of a team on board, those sort of that kind of allies in place. The ideas just come fast and furious and then the R. O. I. Just sort of spikes where all of a sudden everybody is more powerful and more effective with the hours in their day, the R. O. I. And it’s just unbelievable. But it starts with that upfront investment

[00:30:48.00] spk_0:
see all right, continue us on the road map.

[00:31:53.81] spk_1:
Well yeah, we’ve been getting a lot of this. So we differentiate those areas of technology, you build this team, a technology accelerator team or a digital product team like talked about and then it’s all about hiring the right kinds of people which we’ve talked about that sort of strategic stewardship level layer and then one thing we didn’t talk about is insourcing and outsourcing the right things. I did mention this idea that you don’t want to generally in source uh development, you want to hire, you want to work with external partners. Actually, the last step of our road map, we call make magic with external partners. And even though that’s sort of flowery language, we chose that on purpose because when you have the right dynamic, you have, you know, sort of a superhero internally, like Ananda working with a really skilled external developer or external firm giving sort of depth of strategic and technical expertise. Well that will take us on a certain, you know, certain type of work that they’re doing, but also for their, for their web work. They working with a terrific web firm and for their Crm work, they’re working with a terrific crm firm and not just, you know, the traditional thing is just handing the work out to somebody and then they do whatever they do and they deliver it and good luck. And on day one, you know, you figure out whether you can use it or not, it’s the opposite of that. It’s, it’s very much an ongoing partnership, just probably not to talk about this because that’s where you see a lot of the power, it’s not about building a team internally, that’s going to do everything, It’s about building a team that’s going to steward it, figure out who are the right players that you need on the field.

[00:33:53.49] spk_2:
Yeah, I think often like this part of what the roadmap that we talk about can be very surprising to folks, especially if you’re saying like, hey build a technology team and the first thing is maybe not to hire like an extra under the hood. Super incredible. 10 times certified developer. Um that’s not what we would look for as the first hire doesn’t mean you’re not going to grow and expand into meeting that kind of expertise within your org um but for me, technical knowledge is one of the easiest things to learn and like SaM said the contract for so yeah, what we want to ensure we’re not doing is outsourcing the brains because if you do that then you really risk making bad investments and bad prioritization so you might be doing the wrong work or not actually getting at the root of what’s needed because truly like no one has better knowledge of the needs and nuances and changes of your organization than someone internally. So you need someone internally who is truly tasked with owning and stewarding, you know, the strategy, technical work and investments for your platform. The way that we do that is like, you know, we do all of our own admin work inside and then we have a phenomenal partner for our sales force team that if we need any coding or high level development, there’s not enough of that work for us to need to staff a full time position, but we have a great partner that we can outsource that work to um but again, like sam saying it’s not just an outsourcing, we don’t have a partner that’s just an order taker. They’re not just like, yes, we’ll do it. They really come to the table and we expect and ask of them to bring their wisdom and their critical thinking and their partnership so that they up our game, so they’re just not execute ear’s, they’re actually asking questions and giving advice about how we’re investing in our technology as well. So we get an additional phenomenal external partner on our

[00:34:18.62] spk_0:
work. And I can see why you said earlier that you’re constantly making the case for a particular technology investment, you know, what’s the, what’s the return gonna be, how is this gonna improve our efficiency? You know, I can see how your regularly making this case these cases all

[00:34:47.30] spk_2:
the time. Yeah. You know, and we started with moving the air, creating a Crm team internally and advocating for this type of investment on crm structuring the team in this way, finding the external partners in, you know, replacing old platforms that were not performing well with newer technology. Um, and then a few years down the road, you know, went back to chris and SAm, I think our executive director went back and said, hey, we’re experiencing a lot of pain on the web, like what’s going on over here, and they’re like, it’s the same issue you’ve got to treat and staff your web technology like you have crm. So we’ve brought web into the fold and made the same kind of advocacy and same kind of investment for internal staffing, Internal stewardship and external partners.

[00:36:03.20] spk_1:
Yeah. And you know, Tony. I think you see the same sort of like when there’s pain, there’s turf penis because people are just fighting to get the basics of what they need to do their work. So they say, no, this is ours, we’re gonna hold on to this is, you know, I had to go build a new web site. So I’m gonna hold onto this with everything I got, once you have a team like Ananda hired this amazing uh, product manager for web jesse jones. Once Jessie’s in there, people are only too happy to sort of let go of control because they know that she is gonna look out for their needs and do it 10 times better than they could have done it themselves. And meanwhile they get to do their fundraising or communications or program work and focus on that. So it’s just this process of getting everybody optimized onto the skills that they are best suited for and the things they love to wake up in the morning and geek out on, you know, what better option is there, that one, you’ve got the tools all that, that you need and two, you get to do the work, you’re excited about with them. It’s, you know, a lot of it is common sense, but it’s about bringing the right types of people in

[00:36:28.82] spk_0:
ananda? What have we not talked about yet that you want folks to know about this the process or the investment maybe questions that came during your session that you think are were valuable.

[00:36:33.03] spk_2:
Yeah let’s see what have we not covered yet. We’ve covered a lot.

[00:36:38.04] spk_0:
Well non profit radio is a comprehensive podcast. I hope I hope you’re not surprised by that.

[00:36:43.06] spk_2:
I expected nothing less.

[00:36:44.64] spk_0:
Thank you very much. Thank you that’s the validation I’m looking for. Thank

[00:36:48.60] spk_1:
you very

[00:36:49.47] spk_0:
important to me it’s very important

[00:37:59.95] spk_2:
um I would just say I think the only other thing that um I have discovered in my work here that um is important is often people can start conflating um digital product team members with more like traditional I. T. And so one of the things that has become important about my role is really protecting my team’s time in their remit so often you know when you put these really ally oriented folks onto your staff and they start fixing all of these pain points or debacles and make things run smoothly and get improved and partner with your gold team members, your content members. Um you can start to develop a reputation as almost like a fixer and so one of the things is then all of a sudden you’re getting all kinds of questions like hey can you fix this printer, can you work on my computer, Can you do this? So I think you know we touched on it earlier about the three different areas of technology but really keeping that distinction and not letting you know I. T. And digital products kind of become one in people’s minds because then all of a sudden you have folks who re we have the potential to be force multipliers for your organization whose time ends up getting eaten up by you know fixing that are important but they’re not really what the remit of this

[00:38:14.17] spk_0:

[00:38:24.51] spk_2:
which is so important if you need to print that’s important to your job. But that’s not a force multiplication for the productive nous. And the mission of your organization said it’s a different skill set and they should be treated and maintained separately.

[00:38:34.04] spk_0:
Sam same question for you. Anything you’d like to uh I’d like to add that we haven’t talked about yet.

[00:39:26.23] spk_1:
No it indeed it has been very comprehensive and I appreciate the time to talk about it. I guess I would just say um that the the this path is very possible. Organizations can make this transition and like we say it there’s no shortcut you have to put in the time to focus on the resources you have to care enough uh to really invest and to invest in all those ways but you can walk down this path that’s why we’ve tried to share these resources as as openly as we have. It’s all there like the bill tank dot com slash roadmap you can read through it. Um it’s just about the sort of common sense of things are not going to be great unless you have great people stewarding them, just like every area of your organization. So I guess the thing I want to, I just want to offer some hope to people who are struggling under the burden of systems that hold them back instead of supercharge them that it is possible, you know, it’s not possible without investment but with the right investment in the right structures it is possible that everybody has the tools they need to work more effectively to be more happy at their work, to be more effective at the end of the day and to have more impact

[00:39:46.44] spk_0:
and you’ll find the resource at the build tank dot com slash resource map source roadmap of course that’s roadmap. The build tank build tank dot com slash

[00:39:58.45] spk_1:
roadmap which

[00:40:00.13] spk_0:
is the roadmap to better technology tomorrow for our happy homemakers

[00:40:04.77] spk_1:

[00:40:11.24] spk_0:
50s. Alright, that’s Sam Dorman, he’s co founder at the build tank and also Ananda robi, managing Director of digital Products at Center for Action and Contemplation. Ananda SAm thank you very very much for sharing. Thanks

[00:40:22.10] spk_1:

[00:40:24.06] spk_2:

[00:41:45.33] spk_0:
thank you and thank you listeners for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 22 N. T. C. Next week. We now return to our regularly scheduled non 22 N. T. C. Programming principles of sustained fundraising with larry johnson. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I Beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C o and by fourth dimension technologies Yes, I Tion for in a box, the affordable tech solution for non profits but also get the free offer, the listener offer all of its at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant four D. You know, just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows, social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott stein, thank you for that. Affirmation Scottie with me next week for nonprofit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great

Nonprofit Radio for May 17, 2021: Your Partnerships With FGWs

My Guest:

Esther Choy: Your Partnerships With FGWs

First Generation Wealth creators have different values and mindsets than those who inherited their wealth. And FGWs far outnumber the inheritors. Esther Choy’s research will help you understand these folks and how to build valuable relationships with them. She’s president of Leadership Story Lab.



Listen to the podcast

Get Nonprofit Radio insider alerts!


I love our sponsors!

Turn Two Communications: PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is our mission.


We’re the #1 Podcast for Nonprofits, With 13,000+ Weekly Listeners

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

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

Transcript for 538_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20210517.mp3

Processed on: 2021-05-15T02:34:23.677Z
S3 bucket containing transcription results: transcript.results
Link to bucket: s3.console.aws.amazon.com/s3/buckets/transcript.results
Path to JSON: 2021…05…538_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20210517.mp3.661993242.json
Path to text: transcripts/2021/05/538_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20210517.txt

[00:00:10.64] spk_2:
Hello and welcome

[00:01:47.84] spk_1:
To Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast and I’m glad you’re with me, I’d suffer with lateral epic and colitis if you gave me the elbow and told me you missed this week’s show your partnerships with F G W s first generation wealth creators have different values and mindsets than those who inherited their wealth and F GWS far outnumber the inheritors Esther choice research will help you understand these folks and how to build valuable relationships with them. She’s President of Leadership Story lab and tony state too, in praise of donors like my dad, 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 pleasure to welcome to nonprofit radio Esther choi she is President and Chief story facilitator at leadership Story Lab, teaching storytelling to institutional and individual clients or searching for more meaningful ways to connect with their audiences. She’s a contributor for Forbes Leadership Strategy Group and you may have seen her quoted in leading media outlets like the new york Times and entrepreneur dot com. Her practice is at leader Story lab and leadership Story lab dot com. Mr choi welcome to nonprofit radio

[00:01:50.29] spk_0:
Thank you so much for having me.

[00:02:06.24] spk_1:
It’s a real pleasure. Welcome. Um you you have you have some new research out that we need to, we need to talk about transforming partnerships with major donors. What are, let’s let’s just jump right in and why don’t you explain what F. G. W. Folks are? And uh tell us a little about your research that you did with these F. G. W folks

[00:03:57.54] spk_0:
sgw folks? Well, I recently published as a research report um and lucky enough to have a really, really good exposure, such as the one you mentioned in the new york times. And uh, there are a lot of surprises about the folks that we generally in the broader society, just just overly sort of broad and call them the rich people or the wealthy folks or the high net worth individual or the ultra high net worth individuals as if they all belonged in this model is a group that they all think act believe in the same way. And so I got curious about them after I’ve taught uh, in this major gift strategy program at Kellogg for awhile, wondering why are these people so hard to get What, uh, because so many nonprofits is doing amazing and moving and important and urgent work that no one else is doing. So why is it so hard to reach them? So I dug further end. Uh, did a lot of homework and I interviewed 20 very, um there are ultra high network folks and I just ask some questions about how did they get you their wealth? What is it like? Um are there any downsides too well having wealth and so on and so forth, and focusing on philanthropy. Um so this report, I can talk about anyone number of ways. So you tell me, what do you, what do you want to most learn about these first generation wealth creators? Well, let’s

[00:04:01.27] spk_1:
let’s start with how big a proportion they are of the of the wealthy,

[00:05:24.64] spk_0:
wow, I am glad you start. That’s the starting point. Um that’s one of the biggest surprises that I’ve learned because they are At least 68 Of the, this massive group that we call wealthy, ultra high net worth. They are at least 68 of them earn their wealth instead of inherited. That’s a big, big difference between inherited wealth versus earned wealth and that means they’ve traveled a entire social economic class That they did not grow up with. And so some of them, very few of them really make the majority of their wealth in their thirties or even 40s. Most of them are in their 50s and 60s. So we’re talking about full on grown adults with Children and maybe even grandchildren by the time they become um this wealthy. So it’s a very interesting transformation of your life, your community, your social circles, the things that you worry about Or not worry about all happen around starting from the point of 50s and 60s.

[00:05:42.34] spk_1:
All right, So, so they’re at least two thirds, but maybe even a little more than two thirds of all the, all the wealthy folks. The way we would describe as you’re saying, high net worth, Ultra high net worth. These are these are 2/3 of those folks,

[00:05:46.24] spk_0:
correct at least. And it’s actually you

[00:05:49.01] spk_1:
said 68%.

[00:05:51.10] spk_0:
68%. I picked the most conservative number, but I’ve read elsewhere too. And put that to um somewhere 80,

[00:06:14.44] spk_1:
80%. Okay. Alright. 800. And and everybody you interviewed is first generation wealth. That’s that’s where your research was correct on those folks. Okay. So let’s get to know them a little bit. Um, your research has uh, a nice chart. I like, I like pictures of the first thing I look for in books and pictures. Uh, simple, simple. You’re you’re burdened with the host with a simple mind. Um, but you do have these, these pillars of wealth generation. So let’s describe these folks, not, not not all three. I mean, people are just gonna have to get the research, you know, I’m not going to quiz you, I’m not quizzing you on block number four in line three on the no we’re not doing that. I don’t want to go like word by word because people got to get the research. Which which is that? Leadership story lab dot com. Right.

[00:06:47.04] spk_0:
Alright, okay. You can download,

[00:07:07.34] spk_1:
yeah, there’s an executive summary and you can download the full report as well. Right? So leadership Story lab dot com for the full thing, for the full, for the full study. Um But let’s get to know these folks a little bit these these first generation wealth creators. Um you start by saying they’re understated. There may be even humble, are they are they to the point of being humble and modest,

[00:08:01.84] spk_0:
humble and modest and they have a hard time. They have a hard time with the, with the word wealthy, they understand the size of their assets, They understand um what they are capable of affording, which is basically anything, but they have a hard time with the label wealthy and um they oftentimes think of in regard and never really left their middle class roots and that’s the majority of them come from very middle class, you know, they don’t want to be flashy, nor did they enjoy flashy things that attract attention. So um you know, make no mistake, they are part of things that are very um you know, shiny and, and sophisticated and, and high quality, but it’s not who they are inside. So that’s one thing to keep in mind is that they are very understated themselves and they often appreciate other people as well as other things that are understated.

[00:08:31.64] spk_1:
You make the point a couple of times of saying that they don’t they don’t identify themselves as wealthy even though they know that they fit into that category, correct? Okay. Um so you sat down and you you met these folks, you, well maybe not face to face, but you you spoke with these people or couples or how did how did that all work?

[00:09:12.34] spk_0:
Yeah, So I did all the interviews with in partnership with the research firm And it’s all done virtually because it was done in 2020. Um There was one noted exception um where I was invited to her home uh and I met all her kids and her husband’s and you know, it’s just like the whole family in the background and it’s kind of funny to talk about her family while her family was around, but for the most part it was done um through zoom One through calls and then um there are four people, so two couples. Um I interviewed them at the same time together and uh the length just got doubled. Um you know, it’s usually 50, 50 minutes to an hour and with a couple um we talked for over an hour and a half.

[00:09:34.84] spk_1:
All right. All right. How do you, I’m interested in some of the details. How do you reach out to these folks? How do you, how do you get their

[00:10:58.44] spk_0:
attention? It’s really hard. So the first thing we mentioned um in one of the four pillars is their understated right? They don’t identify with the word wealthy. They certainly don’t make big advertisement to the world that they are wealthy. And so to find them and to get them to agree to speak on record, although it’s anonymous. Um and to get them to open up and talk about money and wealth. It’s really hard so I have to rely on a couple of key relationships. Um One is through one of my alma Mata um texas A. And M. University. And my friend and colleague, the ceo of texas A. And M. Foundation help me recruit a few quite a few of these interviewees. Uh My business partner who also happens to be a uh trustee at the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati foundations and um through a couple of my own resources as well as my research firms. So 20 for qualitative studies is you know, sufficient. It’s definitely not a lot. 20 people doesn’t sound like a lot but 20 of these type of people and get them to talk about very sensitive topic. Um was it took quite a bit just to get them to agree to talk to me.

[00:11:13.64] spk_1:
Go. Aggies.

[00:11:14.34] spk_0:

[00:11:18.54] spk_1:
you. Absolutely. Um And what was the median income for these 20 folks families?

[00:12:25.64] spk_0:
So um at this point I don’t think their income is very meaningful any anymore. So where I am uh by median I would refer to their uh their their networks. So the net worth the median range is 50 to 80 million. Um Although um the low I would put it in the low teens, the highs I would put them in 100 and 50 just give you give you give our listeners a sense as well of what we’re talking about like by Well you know millions is like a lot of Zeros. You know at some point it’s just like my mind can’t keep them all in one place. Um according to the Fed in 2020 the top one of the U. S. Um Folks have 11 million. So these are all um uh you know sort of the top 1%. Er And um

[00:12:35.44] spk_1:
If for the one even right right mid teens to 50 or so was was roughly the median net worth.

[00:13:07.24] spk_0:
Exactly exactly. But then if you think about the one of 300 million people in the us That’s three million 3 million people. And that is about the size. If you put them all in one city all in one location there just below new york city, just below new york, just below Los Angeles but just above the city of Chicago. Mm So three million people. That’s a lot of people.

[00:13:27.04] spk_1:
Okay. And And you estimate conservatively that of those 3,068 our first generation they earn their wealth versus inherited. Okay. All right let’s go back to get to know these folks a little bit um uh their entrepreneurial, no surprise but tell us what, what does that mean for the way they think about themselves and the way they might think about uh, their philanthropy.

[00:15:37.94] spk_0:
Yeah, so in the most literal sense, they are were entrepreneurs. That’s how they created, most of them created their wealth and with a few um less than 20 of them had a very lucrative corporate careers. And entrepreneurs also means that it’s a mindset, it’s the lenses in which they apply all things through. Um So it could be the way um that they would like their Children or grandchildren to approach um you know, if I wanted to study abroad even um and you know, I need additional funding. Well, how much you think about it as what untapped opportunities might there be out there for you in this country that you want to study, but it’s not currently fully leveraged. Um but entrepreneurial could also means to, as they think about non profit, as they really think about how they want to leave their social impact and how they want to fully make sure that their philanthropic dollar is put to good use that also applied and, um, compatible with their middle class values. So, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s up and down side, right? Um, sometimes something just can’t be measured. Sometimes nonprofits are run by people who are philanthropic reminded and socially minded and they don’t necessarily have the same sort of business acumen as, as, as well as, um, fear competitiveness, um, that these donors tend to have an embody. And so the downside of having that entrepreneurial mindset is that sometimes it creates clashes. And if, you know, at the very least disagreements on, is this really the best use of the precious dollars that your organizations have? Um, sometimes there’s no straight black and white answer yes and no. Um So um that’s what I mean by entrepreneurial

[00:15:52.04] spk_1:
And what else what comes next in those four

[00:16:03.84] spk_0:
pillars? So the third is free and I truly it seems like a very simple no nonsense and and and we’re like oh we live in a free society. But I think the truth of the matter is that a lot of people are not free, they are not free to pursue whatever they want, they are under certain professional career obligations or financial pressures

[00:16:22.84] spk_1:
and they are a lot of options.

[00:17:44.94] spk_0:
Yeah, exactly. And that’s why a lot of career counselors ask mid to even late career folks, you know, what would you do if money is not an issue? Right? I’ve heard that questions asked a lot in Korea counseling because a lot of people are under that pressure. But these F. G. W. S. They are not and for them it’s often times for the first time is, wow, now it’s not a theoretical questions anymore, I really don’t have to worry about money. Okay so now what what do we do? And so um a lot of them pursue experiences, a lot of them want the same thing for the Children and grandchildren. Um They uh pursued 3rd 4th 5th careers that they’ve always are interested, intrigued by, know that they’re not very good at and know that they probably may not may or may not be able to make a ton of money with. Um But they pursue it anyway, so it’s that sense of freedom. Um that I think a lot of people as long as they have to still worry about saving for retirement, saving for making sure you can pay your mortgage and things like that. It’s really hard to wrap your mind about. And then these folks are just sort of Mhm fully embracing,

[00:17:56.94] spk_1:
may want their Children to understand that having a wealth of options doesn’t just come, it comes from hard work and and devotion, which is what they devoted their decades too, so they want their Children understand that, that does just doesn’t just happen for everyone.

[00:19:40.94] spk_0:
Yeah, I’m glad you bring up Children across all 20 of them, even though the ages ranges from Late 40s to a few 80s, um they all worry about their kids even though their kids have all grown up or they have worry about their kids or have regrets about uh the way that they raised the ways that they pass on their assets uh to their kids. And the funny thing is that they did not tell me oh I have so and so um I really can confide in or I know these uh professional resources uh that I can go to and um all of them are just kind of like, I hope I’m doing the right thing. In fact, I know I haven’t done the right thing, but then talking to piers surprisingly was not an option across any of them. And so although they’re free, but this taboo topic of money and wealth have prevented them from really searching for the right answers at the time when decisions had to be made. So Children, it’s a constant universal worries, especially for people with wealth. Um, we’ve seen from studies after studies that for example, substance abuse tend to affect um, Children from families with means disproportionately higher than those who are not from a family with means.

[00:20:45.54] spk_1:
I wonder if there’s some tension for them because they’re not comfortable talking to those who inherited their wealth or even just other wealthy people because they don’t they don’t identify that way, but then they’re not comfortable talking to those folks that they knew when they were struggling in their careers and before they’re they’re great success there, great financial success will qualify that because success can take lots of, have lots of different levels to it, but before the great financial success, because they, like, they don’t want to, they don’t want to appear overbearing to their non wealthy friends who they know from high school and college and, you know, maybe professional school or you know, whatever. Uh so there they, like, caught in the middle, like, they don’t have valuable personal relationships to, to leverage and count on in in in times like when they’re questioning what, what to do with Children and, you know, sort of existential questions like that.

[00:22:44.14] spk_0:
Yeah, so this is another downside of being entrepreneur. Um another way to call someone very entrepreneur is what, you know, he’s he has a can do spirit, she has a can do spirit. So if you can do, you can do it yourself, you don’t need to count on other people to help you, you can pull yourself up by the boot strap. So uh that’s one and two is again, the subject of wealth, it tends to be taboo. Um in fact, the broken institute economist Isabel Saw Hill made this really app as observation and she said that people rather talked about sex than money and money than class. So first generational wealth creators have travel across classes and so that makes it really hard for them to say, you know, I don’t know what’s the right way if we do, if we travel, is it wrong for us to buy business class or first class and what are your middle class friends going to say? Poor tony poor Esther you’re struggling with questions like should you travel in business versus first class and it’s not something that a lot of people, first of all empathize with, and second of all have the right context to give sound councils and what about professional um coaches and um counselors and whatnot? I didn’t actually covered in the report, I chose to exclude it and just in the in favor of focusing on nonprofit and fundraising. But their experience with uh wealth management advisors are very mixed because it’s an industry that has a lot of conflict of interest. There are some really, really good

[00:23:04.54] spk_1:
let us in on something that didn’t make the report, this is great not profit radio you gotta let us in on the, on the, on the back story. What? Say a little more about these, the trouble they’ve had the mixed results, mixed results, I’m sure some have been, some results were fine, some relationships are fine, but so a little more about what didn’t make the final report there.

[00:24:40.84] spk_0:
Um I cut a whole section of just because I think it might be detrimental to getting people to read it when it’s beyond a certain length. So this whole section that I cut off was on um, how they view advisors, um, counselors and things like that. And indeed, you know, uh, two words to describe the entire section is that it’s very mixed. Um, some have great experience, some on the other end of the extreme is um, they thought the people they interacted with is just uh, the advice weren’t very good or too obvious or that again, they can do it themselves. Why do I need to pay you so much money to tell me something I know already. And uh, and, and by the way, that is somewhat parallel to their experience with uh, fundraisers. So I don’t want to just put the hammer on uh, wild advisors and and and um, tax advisers and whatnot. Um, because this idea that, oh, we know you’re wealthy, we know what you can do with your money, either for the benefit of yourself as well as for me or my organizations. That really changed the dynamic of the conversations as well as the services, how services rendered and that’s to their relative to their expectations. Um, so that’s why it’s not very helpful I think just to come off and um list a bunch of things that they’re not happy with without being able to say what would be helpful. So I just removed the whole section and also in favorite of keeping it readable length.

[00:32:20.44] spk_1:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. You remember them, you’ve been hearing about them, the biden tax plan, the infrastructure plan, immigration. Is there anything in there in these continuing conversations that you’d like to be heard on? Anything in their impacting your work? Anything in there that you’re expert on and you need to be heard. You want to be a trusted source on something that’s under constant conversation and it’s in the press turn to has the relationships that can make that happen. They are a trusted source by lots of media outlets. They can get you heard on the subjects that you know best and that your expert on let them use their relationships to help you because your story is their mission. Turn life into dot C. O. It’s time for Tony’s take two In praise of donors like my dad. My dad is 88 years old and he gives to dozens of nonprofits a month. I have seen the checks that he writes now, 88 years old. So you know, he’s not doing online giving, he’s not doing online bill paying. He writes cheques for those of you not acquainted with checks. They come with check registers. That’s a little booklet that you can write all your checks in. So you can reconcile month after month, right? It’s an old process, but For an 88 year old, it’s the way it gets done. He’s outgrown check registers. He writes so many checks to charities each month that he just keeps a running list on sheets of paper. And there are so many check entries on each sheet that the sheets are curling up a little bit. When the sheet is complete, it’s almost like parchment. It’s curled up a little bit because there’s three columns Of checks in on each page. I don’t mean each check takes up three columns. I mean there are three columns of checks on an 8.5 by 11 page. He’s got a he’s got the check number, his own abbreviation of the name of the charity and then the amount and uh, he’s got the date, it’s got the date in there too. And so that’s how he reconciles. Uh, so yeah, dozens of checks to charities per month that, you know, that’s a kind of giving that I only and experience with through him because I do plan to giving, which is on the other end of the spectrum of giving. Um, he certainly doesn’t consider himself a philanthropist, but he’s very, very supportive of charities and and how does he choose the ones? Well, first of all they find him, I don’t know how the list exchanges or sales work, but charities come to him. So they send him U. S. Mail. He’s got no email, he’s got no cell phone. Um We’ll get to vetting in a second. So charities right to him. And he read the materials he scrutinizes, he decides whether he thinks the work is merits, his giving and something that he wants to give to, something he’s interested in. And then he goes to the Better Business Bureau. Why is giving alliance report on charities? And why does he choose that one? Because it’s in print, there’s no going online to charity navigator or any other rating service. Uh, that’s online. He goes to the print the booklet. So Better Business Bureau and if he likes your work and you’re listed in the Better Business Bureau, giving booklet rated well in there. Then he writes a check and you probably, these charities are writing to him again a month later and there’s a good chance he’s writing a check a month later, et cetera. It’s a very iterative process. There’s no real learning that goes on. I can’t say there’s a feedback and improvement part to the iterations. But, uh, the cycle continues. You know, we need people like that. These small donors. That’s a, you know, some people prefer to say modest donors. I’m not commenting on my dad’s or anyone else’s character. When I say small donors, it doesn’t mean that he’s a small person. Just he gives small gifts. So I avoid the euphemism, I just say he’s a small donor. We need small donors like this. You know, they he’s loyal. Once you, once you meet his threshold and it’s not very high what I described, then you’ve got him for a long time. Don’t try to upgrade him though. He’s not going to become a major donor and he’s not gonna put you in his will. I’ll see that that part. So forget the planned gift. That’s not happening. No, but he’s not, he doesn’t think that way. He’s never gone deeper with any charity that he gives to the way I’m describing. We need folks like that. We need the, uh, $10, $15 $20 donors. And in some respects, he’s a recurring donor. I mean, he is a recurring donor. He’s just is not part of your monthly recurring program that’s set up automatic, you know, the automatic debits credits. Um, he’s not, he’s not one of those, but he’s he’s a recurring donor. So in praise of donors, like my dad, it’s very interesting to watch him. We’ve talked about his process. Yeah, We need folks like that. And here we are talking about future, um, or wealthy, wealthy folks. I’m sorry, first generation wealth. Here we are talking about. And my dad, is that the, well, these folks, I would put plan giving at the far end of the spectrum. So these folks are near there, but my dad’s at the, on the left side of the spectrum. We need them all. We need all these donors. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo, but loads more time for your partnership with F. G. W. S. All right. Finally, these folks are lone rangers. What does that

[00:35:39.44] spk_0:
mean? Um, we touch upon it a little bit where we, um, you know, they are part of this new class of wealth. They’re like immigrants in some way. By the way, I really wanted to recommend a few books, uh, not just mine, um, that really helped me round out my understanding. So this whole idea of um, think of first generation wealth creators as immigrants. Um, they have migrated from a different class altogether and enter into this world where the beliefs, um, the values and oftentimes even language, um, or foreign to them and although it’s great, this is paradise. Um, they often find that there are tricky conditions. Some even would say because their native born Children and grandchildren, um, don’t understand the privileged privileges that they were born and then we’ve gotten accustomed to you. Um, and the cliche or the adage or however you wanna wanna wanna call it shirtsleeves, to shirtsleeves, rice paddies to rice patties, wealth does not last past three generations and they know that. And so when you think about this special Land of Paradise again, by the way, this is uh, I learned it through the book called uh strangers in Paradise by James Grubman. Um, their need of born Children and a grandchildren, statistically speaking, will be deported back to harsher land where the first generation have migrated from. And um, and here’s the kick tony I, I just, I just found it fascinating and this is why I can talk about this, you know, forever and ever mismanagement of their wealth, taxes and inflations and bad investments. All of those are more just the natural delusions from, you know, the couple, two Children, two grandchildren, right? All of those reasons are reasons for wealth, not being able to last past three generations, but you will probably, I’ve never found anyone cases for example, or family where the story basically is, well, grandpa and grandma gave it all the way to charity and left nothing to us. That’s why we’re poor again, you know, that just doesn’t happen. And so what my I think what I really want to focus on, I think the opportunities for non profit is that what might there be an um different way to think about the conversations that you have with these donors where you help them solve a problem or maybe many problems and then you also help yourself um solved the problem. By the way, I’m getting like, way, way, wait, this is a problem when you we have no script. I’m getting like way away from the lone ranger questions. I’m going to bring

[00:35:49.36] spk_1:
you back, but I

[00:35:51.31] spk_0:
but I think I’m getting to the whole

[00:35:58.84] spk_1:
profit radio No, no, you’re not. You’re, what you’re saying is still valuable. Don’t don’t 2nd guess yourself. What

[00:36:34.33] spk_0:
I’m, what I’m getting at is that it’s lonely to be first general. It can be lonely to be a first generation immigrant. Mhm. Except that most immigrants have somehow found other immigrants and they talked, they share notes that commiserates, they help each other out. But um, first generation wealth creators are particular type of immigrants where for all the reasons that we’ve talked about, they don’t actively look for help nor was real quality help readily available.

[00:37:15.83] spk_1:
Okay, interesting, really fascinating analogy analogizing them to immigrants. Um, did you, did you put any of them together uh, since you met 20 of them and got to know them? So these folks that are, uh, feeling loan, feeling loan, I don’t know, lonely, I’m just using what I’m not saying, they’re lonely in their lives. Maybe they are, but they’re lone rangers. Did you, did you put any of these folks together? Say look, you know, I met I met so and so like two or three weeks ago. And she was saying the same thing that you’re saying, you know, one of the two of you talk or would you be interested? You know, did you put any folks together to help them? Uh commiserating at least maybe even help. Maybe at best help each other.

[00:37:21.08] spk_0:

[00:37:23.32] spk_1:
think I

[00:37:44.63] spk_0:
Would I would if I were asked, but with these 20, because of the promise of confidentiality, um, I don’t share their names or contact with anyone, but um, I have done webinars since then where I was asked. So how do you find these people? And then if if they asked me then I will help.

[00:37:49.37] spk_1:
Okay. Okay, well I’m like a connector. So I was thinking, you know, if I could get her permission, would you like to talk to her? Because the two of you are saying things that are really identical and maybe together, you could help each other

[00:39:15.72] spk_0:
as well as having very similar questions. And this is where I was getting at the opportunity part because they’ve asked questions like how much and when should I pass my asset to my kids and grandkids, It’s dealt with by, um, with wealth advisors on a very case by case basis. And I think that should be, that’s the way it should be done. But what’s really sorely missing is how do other families handle this right to your questions of? Well, there are other people like me, what do they do? Because they’re in my boat? Um, so as well as questions like how do I get in sync with my spouse? Um, and then they also have questions on like, how do you truly vet? um, a non, a non for profit, you know, and how do you help? Not my, you know, the nonprofits that you support become more efficient and they are aware that not coming off as because I’m a donor, I give money and um, you should do what I tell you to do. Um, things like that, you know, that productive relationship with nonprofits. So there are endless questions like this that they can talk about, not just commiserated, although commiserating is great too.

[00:39:49.42] spk_1:
All right. I don’t know. I think you could be a connector, a major connector. Um, and I notice I’ll leave that there. Uh, but you know, the title of your research is transforming partnerships with major donors. So, so let’s let’s let’s transition to some of those opportunities. You talked about problem solving that could be mutually beneficial. How do I would’ve fundraiser ceo approach someone with that with that kind of opportunity?

[00:39:59.62] spk_0:
Yeah, so I want to break it down to three steps. I want to break one,

[00:40:00.91] spk_1:
2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 3 step process. Okay.

[00:40:03.92] spk_0:
Yeah. Well, yeah, okay, you can call it a three step sauces,

[00:40:07.35] spk_1:
but I didn’t invent it, you made it

[00:42:35.30] spk_0:
up. I think the first thing is you have to really think about the questions you ask them and uh, oftentimes, how curious how respectful for how informed you are are all set out by the kind of questions you asked? Are your questions mostly really at the end of that they self serving. Um or are you only focusing on a very narrow aspects of the donors? Um or are you really broadly interested in problem solving? Now, here’s another thing that entrepreneurs like to do, they like to solve problems and oftentimes they take the same mindset towards non profit Am I really giving to an organizations that are going to solve real major problems in assisting for sustainable way. Um, so that’s the first thing is the questions that you ask And then two is reading once you really find out about uh, you know, what you could learn from the donors, is that really being able to pair what your nonprofits have to offer and that structure in a way as well as well as frame it in a way that, uh, fits the mindset of, well, oftentimes the folks are very busy, they know they need to do something, but they’re very busy. So, um, how is it, uh, how do you make it easy for them? In other words? And then, um, the last thing I would say is, um, it would how do you acknowledge them? Right. Um, it sounds really obvious, right? You know, their stewardship program, there are people will involve in thanking donors. But what I’ve found is that people found, uh, people thought there’s not enough thank you or there’s too much thank you. And they’re not thank through the right medium. And so, Uh, we’re not talking about, you know, $10 $20 where there may be hundreds and thousands of them and you can’t manage them one by one and customized it. But with major donors, it’s absolutely worth it to make sure that is customized to their preferences needs. So questions, the way that you frame as well as the acknowledgment part

[00:43:38.80] spk_1:
and the acknowledgement of the stewardship is interesting. Um, you say somewhere that they, these folks have a hard time understanding, uh, the name on a building. You know, why that why people find that appealing? Why some donors find that appealing? So, so a brick and mortar in fundraising was a brick and mortar recognition would not necessarily be appealing to them. But finding out what is appealing comes from, you know, maybe this, this three steps is sort of iterative, right? And if you’re starting to get near, uh, near something promising, you want to, you want to be finding out to about what they would like in terms of acknowledgement. Yeah. How would you like to be recognized what’s important to you?

[00:43:42.92] spk_0:
So I have a friend of mine who advised nonprofits with operations like this. And um, she helped one of them. She said, you know what, why don’t you just want to just ask?

[00:43:57.37] spk_1:

[00:45:25.09] spk_0:
Uh huh. So he did, he created a survey through surveymonkey and you know, they have more than a handful so they can’t just call them up and ask them individually. So, um, he created a survey and he got over 70 response rate, which is really, really good, right? If you’re for for survey. And um, so the survey basically center around 33 things. Um, how would you like to be think? How often would you like to be think and through which medium do you most prefer to be think? And it’s not only do they have really good a feedback, but it’s such a positive gesture from the non profit to the donors saying, hey, we actually admit we don’t know, but we care and we should, we know what we don’t know and we care and now we really would like to learn more from our donors And that truly is a practical, helpful, informative donor centric step to take. And by the way, her name is Lisa Greer. She also has a incredibly helpful book called philanthropy revolutions. So it’s a mixed of, um, it’s a mix of memoir, it’s a mix of research because she told her story, but she also has interviewed over 100 principal gift level donors and um, and uh, and the last mix of how to. So it’s super helpful.

[00:45:41.44] spk_1:
How does lisa spell her last

[00:45:45.69] spk_0:
name? G R E R lisa Greer.

[00:45:54.79] spk_1:
What else? What else can you tell us Esther that uh, in terms of approaching these folks? Um, how about you get, I have a question for a little more specific question. How about you get their attention?

[00:49:04.47] spk_0:
Yeah, I know, um, getting the first meeting, it’s like 50 or 60 or, I don’t know, 70 of the work just being able to get in the call. Um, I think everything matters in the smallest amount of space, which is if you have no other ways to reach them. What do most people do? Emails and so make sure that your subject lined is the most attention grabbing as well as intriguing possible. Uh, way to, to get people’s attention by the way I have. I don’t know if I can memorize the four persona um, off the top of my head. Oh actually I do, I have it right in front of me. Um, my colleague scott more Dell. Um, he is the longest serving ceo of Waipio global young presidents organizations. So these are a lot of the highly concentrated, um first generation wealth around the world, 30,000 of them are around the world. Um, he actually put the their philanthropic tendencies in four ways. Um the idealist is the first one. Those are the ones that you want to make a true impact, long lasting impact. Soft societal problem. Another one is called the legacy Leader. Those are the one who really loves to leave, make sure they name last generations and generations that they are getting credit for the big impact that they made. The third one is called the model citizens and those are the ones that look around and understand what is the highest and highest of highest level of service and they want to be there and the philanthropic effort reflects that. And then the fourth one is called the busy bigwig. That’s the ones who are busy, extremely busy and yet they know they should do something but they don’t know what and how and so back to your questions of how do you get their attention? I think you should first by starting with having a point of view of Mhm. Of these four possibilities which one is this person most likely going to be. And then once you have a persona in mind, then is a lot easier for you to craft a message with the subject line that is most intriguing and attention grabbing for you. I get, despite what my clients and friends and colleagues know about me, I still get these extremely bland and generic um email messages that are, you know, if you just replace the logo of the nonprofits, I will fit anybody

[00:49:11.38] spk_1:

[00:49:35.07] spk_0:
all. And so, uh that would be the first thing I think about is have a persona in mind. Even if you’re wrong, it’s okay. Even if you’re wrong, at least you have a point of view about that person. But the upside is that Even if you’re not 100 right, just having the personal, that persona is going to help you speak to that person as if you know a lot about them already.

[00:49:49.87] spk_1:
Are you only really only going to get to them through an introduction or like somebody has to give you their email or I mean there’s not a directory of first generation wealth creators, is there? I know yours was obviously yours was anonymous, but because they’re a I don’t know is there a directory or

[00:50:00.81] spk_0:
something that I think that’s a really interesting question.

[00:50:04.75] spk_1:
Basic basic is what I major in

[00:51:01.96] spk_0:
basics. So really, really interesting question. I love the way you think about things. tony Um Not only is isn’t there one um they really know how to how to hide their wealth. You know, they believe in stealth wealth, not only because of the way they live their lives, but they know how to put things in all things in trust and so everything comes through a different name. And um data can help, um, the right kind of data can, uh, data enriching as well as data matching. Um, I don’t know a ton about it, but I know enough because there’s another company that I co founded that like, that’s all we do because in the old ways, how do you get names of donors? Okay. You ask your board, uh,

[00:51:20.56] spk_1:
that’s how you start. A small organization starts. But, um, but then now, I mean, now we have social media and you can have a campaign and see who gives to that. And then you then you do some research on those folks to see who, who might be, uh, have the capacity to do more. And then you expand your relationship even with the others who may not have capacity, but our willingness.

[00:51:22.66] spk_0:
But see, I I think there’s a lot in your current database that is not being fully utilized,

[00:52:05.85] spk_1:
that maybe for some folks. Yeah. And uh well, because we’re talking about stealth wealth. I mean, yeah, that’s that’s certainly possible. I mean, these these folks live modest, live modest means. I mean, Uh at least outward. Um I mean what, 20 years ago, there was the book the millionaire next door. I mean that’s essentially what we’re talking about this is there are more Zeros now and there are more of them. And we’re in a more financially mobile society now than we were 20 years ago. But the concept is the same that there are these hidden families of wealth that that are may very well be in your database. You know, then it was the millionaire next door now the millionaire in your the ultra high net worth in your database.

[00:53:26.15] spk_0:
Yeah. And when you, you know, go back to the questions, the way that you ask questions of when you have an opportunity to talk to a donor directly. As well as the way that you ask questions about your databases. Um That can really help you look for hit millionaires billionaires right in front of you were in front of your eyes. I wouldn’t be surprised that there are already uh but you aren’t you’re you’re not even aware that you’re pretty close when lisa and night um because of our share passion about this topic and she’s really doing it full time. I’m doing this. This is because This is my baby. Uh you know the first time she wanted to make a a principal gift um to her local hospital. Um she uh budget for $2 million dollars for her hospital and it took the hospital seven months to pay attention to her. And $2 million dollars isn’t a small amount for that hospital. It is definitely a major amount.

[00:53:57.95] spk_1:
But the latent, unconscious sexism, I’ve heard this from women. I do plan to giving fundraising, but I’ve heard this many times from women just ignored when they made explicit overtures. Not just subtle hints, but explicit overtures. You know, I want to do this. I want to remember the organization in my estate plan and, you know, ignored, repeatedly ignored. So, unfortunately, what you’re describing, your friend, lisa’s, uh, I don’t think it’s so uncommon.

[00:54:03.23] spk_0:
Yeah, I

[00:54:21.34] spk_1:
think it’s, I think there’s some, I think there’s just unconscious latent sexual, uh, not sexuality, sexism, uh, uh, in fundraising, it’s and money is left on the table as a result, died from the morality of the, uh, of the, of that that misunderstanding.

[00:54:41.64] spk_0:
Yeah. Yeah. So, so it’s haven’t seen quantitative research on just how frequently that happened, but that’s leases from her research, from her personal experience from your experience. So I think there are actually plenty of money within reach of nonprofits that they probably have missed, but they didn’t know they have,

[00:55:25.64] spk_1:
we’re gonna leave it there, it’s perfect. Now you have opportunities and I know that our conversation has stimulated thinking about how to find these folks and how to transform your partnership with them Esther choi the research is transforming partnerships with major donors. I’ll give you the full title aligning the key values of first generation wealth creators and fundraisers in the age of winner takes all. You get the research at Leadership Story Lab dot com. That’s where Esther’s company is. Leadership Story Lab and also at Leader Story Lab, Esther choi I want to thank you very much.

[00:55:27.50] spk_0:
Thank you. This is such an invigorating conversation, thank you for the opportunity.

[00:55:47.64] spk_1:
Thanks for saying you’re glad that I asked you were one of the generous, generous guests. I’m glad you asked that I got, I got chills. Thank you Esther next week, overcome your fear of public speaking. If you missed any part of this week’s show,

[00:55:50.02] spk_0:
I beseech

[00:56:00.84] spk_1:
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

[00:56:03.44] spk_2:
Our creative producer is Clear. Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark

[00:56:08.57] spk_0:
Silverman is our web

[00:56:09.49] spk_1:
guy and this music

[00:56:13.74] spk_2:
is by scott Stein, mm hmm. Thank you for that information, Scotty be with me next week for nonprofit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% Go out and be great.

Your Decade Plan For Planned Giving

If you start your Planned Giving fundraising program this year, you won’t believe how much you can achieve by the end of the decade. Here’s your plan for getting there. 

15NTC Videos: Your Content Strategy & Storytelling

Nonprofit Radio video interviews for your content strategy and storytelling. More smart guests from the 2015 Nonprofit Technology Conference, hosted by NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network.

Multichannel Storytelling (audio only) with Jereme Bivins & Megan Anhalt
How To Get Found with Elizabeth Beachy & Arika Sanchez
Your Content Strategy with Katie Carrus & Brett Meyer