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Nonprofit Radio for May 22, 2020: Easy AI & Impact Storytelling

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My Guests:

Nejeed Kassam: Easy AI
Artificial Intelligence is an opportunity for your career, not a threat to your job. Nejeed Kassam explains how to leverage your skills in a new landscape and describes some of the intelligent tools available for you to work with. He’s CEO of Keela. (Part of our 20NTC coverage)


Tim Sarrantonio: Impact Storytelling
How can technology help you share your impact with the right people at the right time? How do you distill your big story down to a small, comprehensible, individual story? Tim Sarrantonio is with Neon One. (Also part of our 20NTC coverage)



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[00:02:26.44] spk_0:
on Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% on your aptly named host. This marks a month of a dizzy production with audacity and zoom. I’m rather proud of myself. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be thrown into Abdur mission if you made me numb with the idea that you missed today’s show. Easy A. I Artificial intelligence is an opportunity for your career, not a threat to your job. Najeeb Qassem explains how to leverage your skills in a new landscape and describe some of the intelligent tools available for you to work with. He’s CEO of Kayla. This is part of our 20 NTC coverage and impact storytelling. How can technology help you share your impact with the right people at the right time? How do you distill your big story down to a small, comprehensible individual story? Tim San Antonio is with neon one that’s also part of our 20 and TC coverage on tony Steak, too. Draw another breath were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turned to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen. Two dot ceo. Here is Easy a I Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 NTC. That’s a 2020 non profit technology conference. The conference was canceled, but we’re pursuing it virtually. Yes, they are sponsored at NTC by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for non profits? Tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial? My guest now of our second interview of 20 NTC is Najeeb Qassem. He is CEO at tequila. Uh, Majeed. Welcome.

[00:02:30.64] spk_1:
Thank you. It’s a real pleasure to be here, tony. Pleasure

[00:02:33.14] spk_0:
to have you as well, and I

[00:02:54.21] spk_1:
want to correct you. But one thing and TC may have canceled, but the spirit of the conference has not been. There are events popping up all across the continent. Webinars recordings. It’s been I was texting with Amy last night, and I think despite the heartbreak that it’s been, there’s so much community and grassroots support of the folks looking to build capacity and continue their learning, and it’s been heartbreaking, but yet inspiring at the same time.

[00:03:02.91] spk_0:
Yeah, well, you jumped into the void, right? Didn’t Didn’t you start put up a page or pages with, uh, virtual webinars that people were gonna be that we’re planning?

[00:03:27.71] spk_1:
Yes, sir. Actually, key allies hosting Ah, three day conference called Plugged in. Um, nope. You’re all needed. And Ah, and ah, it’s 99 sessions on different sort of some of the many of the topics. A lot of the speakers from from the intense conference I they’re gonna be speaking on everything from using tech in your social media toe A I and fundraising we’ve got I think five of aunt intends 12 board members are actually speaking. So we’ve had an incredible amount of support from amazing women and men across the U. S. And in Canada to bring people together.

[00:03:53.54] spk_0:
Now, when you’re doing this because I’m not sure when this interview you and I are doing right now is gonna air it, maybe after what you’re planning. So

[00:04:01.61] spk_1:
it starts today of all things.

[00:04:03.19] spk_0:
Okay, You’re definitely It’s not gonna not a

[00:04:06.01] spk_1:
big, but it’ll all be recorded as well as if you go to kill a dot com website. I’m sure you’ll be able to find it.

[00:04:11.25] spk_0:
OK. K E l a dot com. Yes, sir. Okay. Okay. Cool. Why is there a tennis racket hanging on your wall? Significance there. So

[00:04:40.04] spk_1:
it’s funny. It’s wow. Firstly, I had I have a love affair with tennis. I always tell my wife you’re my wife, but tennis is might miss stress. I’ve been playing since the age of three, which is also the time that I’ve been involved in the nonprofit sector. So by two earliest memories are volunteering and hitting a tennis ball. You

[00:04:40.24] spk_0:
were volunteering at age three.

[00:05:16.84] spk_1:
My mom and dad fled East Africa in the late sixties, early seventies and, uh, they had a rough go growing up and they’re 10. My dad got his first job at 11 to support a bunch of people. My mom had to get scholarships, but they were so supported by civil society and the nonprofit sector. I was born in Canada with, you know, what is the perfect life and so very early my parents taught me and reminded me how important it was to be involved in civil society to build nonprofits, to partake in my community. And so, you know, how do you tell a three year old that you’re not gonna donate to the cause? He’s He’s asking money he’s asking money for And so my mom and that it has refused, right? But I think more. They taught me about how important our sector is and how valuable it is. And so for 30 something years now, I’ve been playing in and around the nonprofit sector, and it’s it’s been a passion of.

[00:05:39.03] spk_0:
I should have had Children just so I could bring them along on solicitations. Its strike do.

[00:05:43.19] spk_1:
It’s true. I

[00:05:55.91] spk_0:
do plan giving, consulting plan, giving fundraising? Yes. If I had a three year old in my lap, I’m now. Could they have been impossible? It’s impossible. It’s better than a therapy dog. I don’t have Children. So I joke about, uh, well, my wife. I love Children. I love chilling. I love all Children, Children of all persuasions and and genders I love all Children know nothing about. Okay,

[00:06:09.51] spk_1:
well, you know, I think we’re building all of this for the next generation to write, to make every generation a little bit better and help this generation a lot. A lot, A lot as well. So I forgot to ask you how you holding up in all this craziness

[00:06:31.15] spk_0:
when I was gonna ask you Thank you for preempting. Yes, I’m finding in North Carolina, um, safe and well, and I have the ocean across the street, so I can not.

[00:06:36.54] spk_1:
The worst thing

[00:06:37.54] spk_0:
I can walk on the beach is alone on bits. Find where you and how are you?

[00:06:55.34] spk_1:
I’m in Vancouver, BC, and I’ve got the ocean about five minutes away, so I’m blast. My wife is nine months pregnant, so she’s due next week. Um, and so it’s a funny time to be bringing a baby into the world. But they say the 1st 100 days is brutal anyway, so I’m gonna be home, which is a blessing in disguise.

[00:07:03.12] spk_0:
Congratulations. We’re recording on March 24th. Are you expecting by the end of this month,

[00:07:09.49] spk_1:
Probably early April. I mean, who knows? Now it’s anything that’s two weeks, but it will be exciting. It’ll be

[00:07:51.51] spk_0:
right. Let’s talk about artificial intelligence. Your webinar topic, uh, was well sorry. Your workshop topic was on the topic we’re discussing remains easy. Artificial intelligence, simple tools toe tools to elevate your non profit impact. Let’s just start with a basic understanding. What? What what kinds of things were talking about with respect? Artificial intelligence? That’s a wide I was a phrase that could captures everything from manufacturing to big data. What are we talking about?

[00:08:23.11] spk_1:
So I think we’re more on that big data spectrum or just the data in general spectrum. So, you know, I’m actually giving the talk at Oculus plugged in in about two hours, so I should hopefully be able to answer this question. Well, you know, we’re talking mainly about machine learning driven, artificial intelligence that’s really part of software. And that’s what I wanted to talk about. How there’s tons of ways that organization, small and big anywhere in the world, can adopt tools some out of the box, some custom built that helped them gain insights, understand, get predictions for their organization on programming, on fundraising, on bullets, your management, whatever it might be on how that’s not some scary, um, mystical kind of thing. It’s a very tangible riel thing that isn’t all that difficult for us to adopt. Even if you’re a tech light, I like myself.

[00:09:21.08] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Wegner-C.P.As. We received RP PP funding. Now what? That’s their latest recorded webinar. What about loan forgiveness? How do you get the max forgiven? Remember, it’s merely forgiveness, not absolution. You go toe wegner-C.P.As dot com, Click Resource is and recorded events. Now back to Easy A I with Najeeb Qassem. Okay, it’s not not easy to adopt and, uh, nineties to adopt and to adapt to also bringing into your daily routine.

[00:10:00.54] spk_1:
So, you know, I think it once you make the commitment to make the change, it becomes it’s It’s one of those things. I’m not sure how you lived without especially, you know, And I think so. It is making a change, but not a revolution. It’s about, you know, our thesis and the pieces of the conversation that I was gonna have an NTC was It doesn’t have to up and how you work. It’s not gonna fire people. It’s not going to fundamentally change organization. It’s just gonna make it a little bit easier and a little bit quicker to do some of your work. And so I think part of my responsibility at at in that in that conversation in the webinar I’ll be giving was to say, Don’t freak out of a the A I It doesn’t have to be super expensive. It doesn’t even have to be complicated. But it’s something you’ve got to go out there and be committed to learning about so that you can build capacity at your non.

[00:10:19.80] spk_0:
Okay, Well, instead of your saying it there, you’re gonna say it here before you say it again in two hours. So? So you didn’t put the jacket on for non profit radio? The jacket is on for plugged in, right?

[00:10:29.18] spk_1:
You know, I put the jacket on no matter what. Definitely for you, tony.

[00:10:37.22] spk_0:
Look, now look at me. I’m in a T shirt. Come on. Monday. But I’m on the beach. I’m but I’m

[00:10:37.94] spk_1:
a recovering corporate lawyer. This is like,

[00:10:40.83] spk_0:
all right. And you recovered a lot more recently that I did. I recovered General Liability melt medical malpractice defense attorney. But that was many years ago. 1990 1994. So you have. When you get further into your recovery, you’ll address you’ll just like this.

[00:10:55.84] spk_1:
It I’ll just sort of go from that high a lot of time. That’s all

[00:11:09.74] spk_0:
right. It’s incremental. It’s in command. Trust me. Yes, 10 years from now, you’ll stop shaving your wear T shirts every day. Im you 10 years Dennard.

[00:12:31.24] spk_1:
Yeah, Yeah. All right. So I think I think the first thing I want to talk about is a little bit about demystifying. What is a I and a at least a I that I’m talking about? Yeah, that I’m talking about is not the robot on TV that takes over humanity. It’s not a piece of technology that can think for itself that can make decisions for itself that can operate. And sometimes I think the perception is artificial intelligence is like I said, this big scary thing The thing I’m talking about is the thing that tells you what song to listen to on Spotify or what products to recommend for you on Amazon. Simply put, it’s it’s taking huge amounts of data and teaching it about ah, developer and engineer. Ah, data scientists will teach it something. It’s like writing an algorithm, right? It’s It’s the same thing we used to have. But instead of just writing the algorithm, if this then that right, it’s it also teaches them how to learn better. Because we know that the more data we have when operated in the right, you know, by the right people. When built properly, they can actually make decision making and better and better. So the a I that we’re talking about the eye that’s built in the Killah and built into tons of other tools sales tools, Amazon, whatever it might be, is simply saying to This is this piece of software that says When David gets in, I’m gonna get smarter and smarter, or it’s gonna get smart and smarter to make that decision or that recommendation or whatever it’s coded to do. It’s a very simple, not simple to build that simple task.

[00:12:52.60] spk_0:
Okay, let’s dive in. So can we start with, say, a fundraising application? Absolutely. Well, what? What do you have to offer there? What?

[00:12:57.17] spk_1:
So So And I don’t want to talk about kilo here because

[00:12:59.76] spk_0:
I know. And I don’t mean not

[00:13:00.96] spk_1:
No, no, no. Of course. But, you know,

[00:13:02.83] spk_0:
agnostic. What? What could we do with our r c R M database?

[00:13:48.78] spk_1:
Absolutely. So So let’s pick something like when a donor is gonna give. Okay? Like you know your your plan. Gift giver. You know, you probably know, you know, the organization to work with probably have years or even decades worth of data, right? They have it. It might be in a spreadsheet. It might be in a CIA ram. It might be, you know, like me on Post it notes. But it’s there. And so that data is, is the It’s the key to making these decisions. So if you know that Tony’s get probably gonna give on giving Tuesday and on December 30th because he’s got tax money, he wants to write off over time. Right now, that’s you. Now you add tens or hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of donation records for you and for all the other people. What the’s tools could do is start to see patterns and the smart, the A I The machine learning of it is it sees the patterns, and as it gets more data, it the recognition of the pattern gets smarter. Does that Does that make sense?

[00:14:12.87] spk_0:
Yeah. All right,

[00:14:45.04] spk_1:
so So now I know if I run this through the you know, in my crn if I’ve got this tool later, don or whatever it is that tony is gonna give in these these times and the on the predictions over time over the years over the multiple donors you have are going to get better and better and smarter and smarter and ultimately, more accurate. Now you cannot replace the intuition of a fundraiser. The personal relationships A I tools and the fundraising space are not trying to do that. What they’re trying to do is give you tony a tool to help your work better.

[00:15:09.48] spk_0:
Okay. All right. So we need we need a decent amount of data. You know, obviously, the larger the sample, the smart area smarter it is, and the more you could pull out of it, Right? Sorry. All right. So, um okay, so we could predict, um, let’s say bringing into my arena because I’m shellfish. I’m the host planned giving. So I mean, I know from doing this since 1997 that the likelihood that someone is going to be make make a planned gift is based on their They’re giving two factors there giving history, consistency, loyalty, like these are people who now, of course, there are exceptions. But

[00:15:35.24] spk_1:
of course, of course. And so that’s what I can’t can’t override, right? You’re 14 right? I mean, sure, they can do it. Agree. But the exceptions or what? Why we need you. This is why you’re not out of a job. At least not yet, right? You know, But but But you’re right. Those two factors, or

[00:16:20.50] spk_0:
west, the loyalty of giving. So these are people who have maybe given 25 gifts in 20 years, 18 years or something. 30 givings, 25 years, lots of loyalty, regardless of the gift size and roughly age 55 to 60 over. Yes, some people make planned gifts when they’re 30 something. But again, we’re generalizing. How is ah? So how is artificial intelligence going to help me with that experience based conclusion?

[00:16:21.51] spk_1:
So you know what? It might do it And I’m just spitballing here, but you might have a tool that’s built that says that’s able to recognize those factors. And then at a tag or a badge to this ex donor, right? My mom who says, you know, she has the preconditions based on the data we have based on all of your donors, Not just you, all of your donors. These air the patterns. We see these are the preconditions that the developers have sort of said, You know, this is likely. Like you said, history and age and a few other things, and they may run these models is what’s really and then they can say this person is a high likelihood of medium likelihood of low likely. For example, it can spit out a prediction just like Spotify says, If you like Pink Floyd, it might suggest the Zeppelins right. That’s that. It’s this. It’s literally the same logic. It’s It’s a predictions. Okay? An algorithm.

[00:17:28.02] spk_0:
I just thought of a way it might actually work alongside. What I just described is, let’s say you’re you know, it’s a statewide organization. It would find the people you tell me if it could probably find the locations. Maybe the county’s sure have a You have a density of planned giving donors or play giving prospects based on who the donors are. But you never realised. You don’t realize there’s a there’s a There’s a greater likelihood for Johnson County to be a plan gift donor than for Smith County,

[00:18:50.74] spk_1:
for sure, and I think wanted great things. You know we talk about artificial intelligence as this siloed thing, but it’s actually not. It’s part of any a data or an intelligence strategy in a software or as an organization. It’s not one you know. Software can see stuff that we can’t not just because of the A I because it’s like there’s so much data. There’s only so many records that you conflict there or remember or into it like there’s there’s a whole other ah, bigger right. The reason it can do calculations, fasters. It’s not that it’s smarter than me. It’s just it’s got more processing power than Ideo, and it’s probably smarter than me. But you know, what I’m saying is, and so I think you, you know, you can add the benefit of these things and a good developer, well, actually work with the sector in this case and understand the different preconditions so they might look at location they might look at, You know, the primary things might be age and frequency, but there might be a whole host of other things that determine maybe the stock market, maybe not even example right now. But, you know, maybe the location, maybe the weather who knows. But these factors are then tested on a sample in the development process. What they do is they take the data set in. They carve out a sample, right, like a little bit of it, and they run their models to see if the machine will predict the same things. That the sort of the pure algorithm like, if then kind of stuff.

[00:19:33.87] spk_0:
Can we expect if we’re going to the artificial intelligence marketplace to find tools that are already exists? And then we cast we like it’s on a plug in for salesforce or razor’s Edge or something, while majors that you may not allow plugs, but Salesforce would resident probably would not, Um, is something like that is, This is not all custom development, right?

[00:19:39.80] spk_1:
No. And that’s really important to note. There are tons of amazing innovators and thinkers and technologists and dedicated, passionate people in the nonprofit sector who are building the stock times. A few on I get to work with a bunch of every day. So here’s where I will say Kayla is a C. R m. We focus on small to medium sized nonprofits, sort of sub 10 year and it’s built right into the tech. So it’s a C R M. But it’s got all this stuff already layered in. There are other tools, like gravity and I wave and other tools a couple of other organizations that lets you plug it into your your sales force or your or your whatever C. R m. And so and they’ve gone out and they’ve analyzed just like we have, you know, and built the factors and work with the sectors and built the technology. So you literally plug in your day that it’s just fresco

[00:20:29.04] spk_0:
that was very gracious of you to shout out gravity and I wave

[00:20:32.45] spk_1:
No, no, it’s, you know, we’re building something and innovating for the sector together, and I want to make sure that we’re doing what’s best for the sector. And it’s not often I believe it’s kilobit. Often it’s not.

[00:20:44.34] spk_0:
What else besides fundraising could give it? Give us another

[00:21:05.94] spk_1:
that I want to use a really, really out of a non one that’s got nothing to Akila or I wave or sale sports or anything. I want to talk about suicide prevention. Okay, so there’s an organization in the U. S. That’s that. That worked with data scientists to analyze 65 million text messages across which is heartbreaking by the way to think about the 65 million text messages have been sent in around that, I think it’s called the Crisis text line. The crisis.

[00:21:14.58] spk_0:
10 of them. Yeah, they were there, founded by the founder of Do Something.

[00:21:19.70] spk_1:
Maybe maybe? Yeah.

[00:21:48.41] spk_0:
Forget. Oh, my. I’m embarrassed. I forget her name. You know, the I know are your finger is the current CEO of Do Something but Crisis text line. Yeah, they’re they’re data intensive. Yeah, kids. Sorry, young people Azaz do something became and is now well known in data science and Lewis for people like, you know, like, 16 to 25 or something like that. Or maybe 11 2 25 like that. Yeah, yeah, I know. Crisis took Nancy. Nancy. I forget Nancy. Loveland e. I think Nancy Bubbling. We’re talking about the crisis text line.

[00:23:37.24] spk_1:
So crisis text line analysed 65 million text messages on what they were it. So one thing that I learned is that them every minute counts. When you’re talking about suicide, right, the more the quicker you get to the young woman of the young man who struggling that sent the text, the more likely you’re able to help them in time, right? And so what they did is they, You know, the example that I was taught was there’s to exempt to text messages. One. That’s, I don’t know if I could go on. I just want to drive my, um, car off a cliff And the other one is my friend committed suicide. I don’t know how I’m going to get by now. The urgency of those two things is very clear, right? And so, using machine learning, they were able to rank high priority and low priority cases on the high priority cases where they were able. I think there’s something like 50%. They were able to to read out the lower priority ones and get to the high priority ones really quickly. And so something like 90% 90 plus percent of the texts that are high priority as determined by this machine learning algorithm, and that within five minutes they could get to them. They took 65 million text messages, analyze them, built the model that got smarter, that was able to use. Think it’s called natural language processing To say this is high priority. This is lower priority. And because of that, they’re able to save lives. And that’s a really cool example of how our sectors using I Does that make sense?

[00:23:42.96] spk_0:
Yeah, of course. Yeah, uh, again, big data. Um,

[00:24:05.64] spk_1:
yeah, that one was custom built. A lot of other ones don’t have to be right. That one was cost. Okay. Yeah. Um, one of my engineers actually worked on a data science project in his master’s degree where it was using. And I don’t exactly know much about this one using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help people with prosthetics and getting the nerve movements right, because it was tons of data that they were able to crunch. To say, this is supposed to do this. That’s posted batter. You know, he’s 10 times smarter than I am. But the’s air application, some of them are custom like those and others air out of the box like some of the fundraising ones or chat bots. A really big example. Non.

[00:24:26.71] spk_0:
Oh, they are so check box for an example of

[00:24:42.64] spk_1:
what you do is you teach they can be. I don’t know if everybody you know you can Great chatbots. And some of them you can just, you know, kind of sign up for and you give up 50 questions or 50 answers. Right? Then people chat in, and as people talk to the bought, it gets smarter and smarter and more able to recognize which crushing it is an answer appropriately, or that it doesn’t know and categorize them and even suggest what questions you should be answering. That’s an example of artificial intelligence. Okay, okay. And not crazy. Not scary. Not take over the world end humanity. Kind of a I just simple. Yeah, you’ve

[00:25:14.44] spk_0:
reassured us. Oh, yeah. Okay. Those of those who were words worried in the beginning, um, you want your wonder bullets in your description says, uh, talk about how to leverage your skill set new landscape using working side by side with We’re working with artificial intelligence. That’s not fluid. Like it’s another employee working with it yourself. Well,

[00:25:30.52] spk_1:
you know, So I had property.

[00:25:32.58] spk_0:
Well, just know what skill sets are are advantageous.

[00:26:19.38] spk_1:
You know, I’m in the decades I’ve spent in and around the sector. One thing that I’ve learned is the ingenuity and the commitment of our sector is maybe the biggest and most important resource. And I think the commitment and ingenuity to learn and to continue to grow and drop these tools into our work processes is the most important skill, you know. And sometimes myself included, we’re a little bit rigid, and how we think we’re like this is how we’ve done it for 20 years. Why would I change it? But technology is is whether we like it or not a great disrupter. And this tech is not a fat. It’s not going anywhere. So we need Teoh. It’s not. It’s not difficult to learn, but it it does involve us taking a leap of faith or or getting at least out of our discomfort zones or rather, our comfort zones into our discomfort zones and saying this could be part of my work. The second thing is thinking structurally thinking about this as an opportunity rather than a threat, right? And I think that, you know, I’m disappointed to a degree in how our sector has reacted because this tech has been around its not like its 14 months old,

[00:26:54.98] spk_0:
Ondas you said earlier. You know, we’re already taking advantage of it through Amazon products, Absolutely. On Spotify Suggestions are easily see. This is an opportunity, not a threat. Um, but also

[00:26:55.61] spk_1:
like the big one, the big guys air using it hard. Just Rocchi’s universities use it for their endowments. They use this, the little guys, the medium organizations. Now that there’s out of the box solutions and other opportunities, you know, that’s great. Like, let’s let’s embrace them. And let’s have the courage to embrace

[00:27:29.74] spk_0:
them. All right, we’re gonna leave it there, and that’s that’s a perfect way because our audience is small and mid sized nonprofits, 13,000 weekly listeners so wonderful They’re there, right in your sweet spot as well. Thank you very much. All right. Tony Judaism CEO of tequila Kiva dot com Thank you again.

[00:27:31.14] spk_1:
Thanks. Don’t appreciate it.

[00:30:08.47] spk_0:
And thank you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 and T. C. We need to take a break. Cougar Mountain software. Their accounting product Denali is built for non profits from the ground up so that you get an application that supports the way you work that has the features you need and the exemplary support that understands you. They have a free 60 day trial on the listener landing page at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant. Now time for Tony’s Take Jew Draw another breath. No, the ice age is not coming. You just need to take care of yourself. It’s essential. Things are still screwed up badly, and it takes a toll on you. It may feel like it’s more of a routine. Now it is. In fact, it is more of a routine now. But things are still screwed up, and it’s still impinges on the way the way we work and it and it impacts our minds badly. So please put yourself first at some time each day. Maybe it’s total relaxation. Maybe it’s a vigorous workout. I have been saying pure relaxation, which I do, but maybe that’s not it for you on, By the way, I do work out to I’m not a sloth. I’m not even sure what a sloth is. But I’m not a slug, No, but a slug. I’m not sure what a slug is is, um, you know, I don’t crawl around. Um uh, you know what is? Well, I’m not one of those, um Yeah. No, I’m not. That Whatever it is that takes your mind off, work off disease off everything that’s going on around you around, all of us. What is that? Puts you at peace. Find it? You know what it is, you know, think about it. Just got to make time to do it. You know what it is that puts you in peace? Do it. Take care of yourself. Do it each day. You deserve it. You need it. Please. That is Tony’s. Take two. Now it’s time for impact storytelling. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 NTC. The 2020 non profit Technology Conference. The conference had to be canceled in Baltimore, but we are persevering by Zoom virtually. We’re sponsored at 20 NTC by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for non profits? Tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial. My guest kicking off Day two of our coverage is Tim San Antonio. He’s director of strategic partnerships at Neon One. Tim, welcome to the show.

[00:30:18.63] spk_2:
Hey, thanks for having me. Thanks.

[00:30:20.35] spk_0:
Thank you. I’m glad we could work this out virtually. And you’re well and safe in the Schenectady area upstate New York. I’m glad.

[00:30:27.75] spk_2:
Yes, yes. And I’m happy that you’re also doing well. Uh, you know, I am finding it. It’s a trying time for everybody, but I’m also inspired by the creativity that I’m seeing as well.

[00:30:56.45] spk_0:
There’s a lot, especially around NTC and and the community commitment to do these virtually whether it’s non profit radio are. Yesterday there was, ah, conference that Ah company called Kilo put together our NTC subset Virtual conference. Kilo did that plugged, and I think they called it. There’s been a lot of community support. We’re resilient. It’s a resilient. It’s a resilient, committed community.

[00:31:27.44] spk_2:
Well, and actually, that’s one of the things that that we kind of kicked into. High gear. Neon one is one of the sponsors of the fundraising effectiveness project. Okay, And so that’s Ah, that’s from it was an outgrowth of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Anderman Institute, in terms of data analysis, and we actually looked back in terms of like what happened in the last crisis, 7 4000 and eight. And we actually found this is a data set that draws from from neon serum, blue meringue donor perfect some other data providers. So it’s very accurate, especially for, you know, small the midsized organizations.

[00:31:38.32] spk_0:
That’s our audience here

[00:32:27.04] spk_2:
and so, so great. This is this is gonna be relevant because that’s gonna impact us for months, right? Even though we’re talking right now in the midst of the storm, this is not going to go away anytime soon. And what happened in 7 4000 and eight, with the study of about 2400 organizations, is that even when an economic downturn really started to kick in the gear, you know, GDP was dropping and things of that nature donation revenue relatively stayed flat. It didn’t go down that much. Um, and actually small to mid size donations kicked up in the beginning, actually. So? So there is historical precedence. It’s not apples to apples situation, especially with with kind of the social distancing elements here. But, um, if we go back, historically, there is data that shows that we’re resilient. It’s not just kind of like hope is, you know, hope is not a strategy, right? So So you

[00:32:34.58] spk_0:
have. And how about after the, uh what do you have data for what happened after the great recession was over 9 4010

[00:33:03.44] spk_2:
Yeah, things have consistently year over year, especially when you start to look at giving institute data alongside of it, which we help supply for think individual giving. But if you look at foundation data, even corporate social responsibility, things go up. Things have historically been going up. The issues are that donor retention is going down. That’s that’s the problem that the larger pie is going up. There’s more money being put into the sector, but individual donor retention has hysterically been kind of taking downward year over year. And that’s that’s the concern that especially a lot of people have with what’s what’s happening right now.

[00:33:23.83] spk_0:
I know there is a lot of donor attrition. I’ve had lots of guests talk. About 70 75% of first year donors don’t make a gift. Second year,

[00:33:34.04] spk_2:
it’s actually it’s actually a corner pheap. Most recent fundraising effectiveness project data. It’s probably in the eighties at this point when we look at what happened in 2019 and then the fourth quarter report is just about to get announced, so

[00:33:53.24] spk_0:
it’s getting worse than getting a guest. Like I said, 70 75. Yeah, all right.

[00:33:54.84] spk_2:
And ultimately, I mean that touch. Well, let’s let’s try to shift into the positive tone

[00:34:12.06] spk_0:
to the part of what I was gonna shifted into impact storytelling. Which exactly what We’re here to talk about what you were going to talk about MTC. And we’re talking about today standing, standing out in the crowd with impact storytelling. All right, so what do we need to do? Better about

[00:34:53.82] spk_2:
what we need to do to do it? Yeah. So ultimately, there’s kind of a lot of different industry theorists and consultants and other thought leaders, you know, talk about an impact feedback loop in the very simple, simple idea there is. When somebody makes a donation, they’re expecting the here report back on the impact of what was done with that. And then there’s data, you know, from people like Adrian, Sergeant and stuff like that that show that the quicker that you tell an effective story to someone on what was done with the money, then they’re more likely to donate again. And so especially way with donor retention going down for first time donors, storytelling is key to engaging those folks and keeping them coming back,

[00:34:59.33] spk_0:
Would you say as tell a story as soon as possible? Do you mean within 24 hours you have the donation? Here’s where here’s where your money went.

[00:35:07.47] spk_2:
Absolutely absolutely because and now, realistically, because of just how our industry works. And these are things that me on one wants to addresses, is speeding up, getting money into into organizations hands quicker But realistically, like unless it’s like a credit card donation, someone probably isn’t expecting that they’re check where their donor advised fund dispersement or something like that is going to like immediately from day one, like start, start feeding kids or

[00:35:37.67] spk_0:
being in the hands of right right being in the hands of beneficiaries, right?

[00:37:01.52] spk_2:
Just that’s not realistic. So there’s a little bit of, ah of a you know, gap in terms of what donors we’re gonna understand. But they do know that that there’s a rolling trailing basis of impact that should be happening. People should be doing work every single day that you can talk about right and so so the quicker that you can say, Look, this is what the money that you’ve you’ve put toward is going to do, then the better it’s going to be in terms of your retention rates that there’s there’s just concrete analysis and and and precedents for that type of thing. And so when you’re talking about impact storytelling, the thing that you don’t want to do is four people with statistics, right we could talk about, you know, for instance, just even in this conversation, we can talk about all the different things that people are experiencing right now when it comes to Cove in 19 and and things of that nature. But what we’re doing at me on one, for instance, were actually just about to launch a campaign called N Pose. Rise is focus in on concrete tactical examples of what people are doing to get through this. So examples. Let’s think about the arts world, right? You’re really getting hit because a lot of people’s attention are going toward, you know, health and human service is and food distribution and obviously things that are important. But it’s been fascinating to see organizations in the arts and culture world pivot very quickly the virtual, which they’re not very comfortable with in many ways, right like, If you’re if you’re doing a play or a performance to immediately, then go well. I don’t have the crowd in front of May. What Dough? I dio

[00:37:20.24] spk_0:
the only person an actor without an audience.

[00:37:35.71] spk_2:
Exactly. And so So to be able to see examples of that where it’s where it’s like one person, Um, one of my favorite organizations locally here is a small art studio that helps kids and it’s called Create Community Studios. And what their executive director start doing is making videos for kids on how to do art. Right? And that’s the thing where, where she’s not sitting there saying like We’ve had such an impact And here’s that, you know, x amount of number that our revenue has dropped right, like That’s not like those things are important to help supplement. But from an impact standpoint, it’s her face saying this is a way that we’re gonna help you if you want to turn around and support. This is how you can do it. But here’s me giving. This is This is the time that we, as organizations, need to give value as opposed to just kind of like provide value and there’s a difference between, like giving with no expectation of return and then like providing an expecting return. And

[00:38:48.72] spk_0:
there will be there will be a time for the for the ladder. Yes, on bit’s not in the next week or month, but the time will come when, um especially if you’re keeping in touch with your your supporters, your your donors in ways that you’re describing giving ways if you’re keeping in touch, just explaining. And here we are again storytelling, explaining what’s happening without your hand out. Then when that time is right, your donors gonna think 3/4 expect that there’s there’s been a need and, you know, and how can we? How can we be of help?

[00:40:10.37] spk_2:
And there’s there’s concrete in terms of even the psychology of storytelling. Um, uh, it’s interesting in terms of like, there’s been studies done, and we were gonna talk about this in terms of NTC. But But there’s been actual studies done where there’s a difference between, um, basically are you can somebody individually connect with the story that you’re telling because if you tell a story that has too much like it’s to big right, it’s very difficult for us to even think about Cove in 19. On the macro level, right? We hear, like, 200 you know, near 300,000 cases globally. Stuff like that, people kind of tune out. Like, psychologically, there’s there’s been studies that have shown that, like, once you get to, like, really high, big numbers don’t connect this much. And actually, data shows that if you can take the big macro story and then bring it down to here is one individual person or small group of people that have been impacted by this that is when donations actually go up. And so when we were gonna be doing the ah presentation, I was going to focus in on the Syrian crisis because, you hear, you know, refugees. And so you know. And we were gonna actually even show imagery that shows like Think about when you think about the Syrian crisis, what stands out right? And what stands out the images that people remember or not like people in refugee camps. It’s the little boy who lost his life and was washed up right? It’s a little girl who the photographer said, Can you please smile for May and There’s just tears in her eyes, but she is smiling, right? Those are the things that that send chills down people’s spines because it’s just like you and I were having a direct conversation. You know, imagine when you get all the different zoom things, it’s a little bit harder for you to focus in on one like multiple faces in even a meeting or things like that. Where is when you’re having a conversation? You’re building a relationship with someone, and that’s what you’re trying to do virtually as well as when you’re when you’re telling your story. When they’re not actually in the room with you, you know they might be reading a direct mail piece or things of that nature. You want to tell your story where there’s an individual residents because that’s when donations

[00:41:09.27] spk_1:
actually go up.

[00:41:18.81] spk_0:
Yeah, yeah, that’s consistent with what other guests have said. The macro level is just difficult to combat to comprehend. Okay, okay.

[00:41:28.99] spk_2:
And that’s ultimately there’s different strategies that you can do that because you also don’t want to be, especially now seeming opportunistic, right? But

[00:41:29.85] spk_0:
yeah, right. But

[00:41:30.87] spk_1:
it could be

[00:41:41.36] spk_0:
done with sincerity and genuineness and still showing a story revealing an impact without it being you know where your heart on the on your sleeve and with a handout.

[00:41:46.30] spk_2:
Now now is the time for

[00:41:47.89] spk_0:
the line there There was a line you don’t want across it, because then it looks like you’re being opportunistic. And exploiting the Corona virus for the benefit of your non profit

[00:41:57.28] spk_2:
authenticity is what’s going to to help most right now, being vulnerable, being being understanding, you know, like

[00:42:06.60] spk_0:
vulnerable is a good. That’s a good adjective. Yeah,

[00:42:09.31] spk_2:
it is. It is. I mean, and and for me, you know, it’s it’s difficult even on a personal level, because, like right now in the back of my head, I want to focus on you. But then I’m hearing my Children crying, right, And that’s the reality is that if we understand that that’s happening everywhere.

[00:42:25.10] spk_0:
Let’s assure listeners, your wife is home to

[00:42:32.97] spk_2:
my wife is home thing. This is not a Lord of the flies situation. My wife is. I

[00:42:34.16] spk_0:
want people to know. Yes,

[00:43:18.94] spk_2:
yes, so and were trading things off. And she’s an engineer and she has a lot of she’s actually deemed essential by New York state in terms of the work that they’re doing because its data centers that she’s supporting. But at the same time, we want to make sure that our Children are getting, you know, a good continuing an education as much as we can provide them attention. So we’re even picking themes, you know, weekly. So this week’s Dimas is store. It’s fairy tales. So it’s like storytelling, right? So I’m actually even trying to go back to them and and take the concepts that we’re talking about here and and apply that to their own life, right, because they don’t understand what’s happened in their little so. But how can you tell it? In a way, it’s actually purple. It’s going through. This experience is pushing me to be a better storyteller.

[00:44:22.45] spk_0:
Time for our last break turn to communications. They’re former journalists so that you get help getting your message through. It is possible to be heard through the Corona virus cacophony. Plus, you want to prepare to build media relationships when the din subsides. Didn’t I love that others with over dinner? It’s just just quick, then in in and at dinner, and it’s just a great word you use the word din. So when they didn’t subsides, you want to be ready to build those media relationships. They know exactly what to do. Let’s turn to. But we may. My, uh, didn’t die. Aggression may have forgotten We’re talking about turned to communications there at turn hyphen two dot ceo. Near the end of this segment, Tim talks about an April 16th virtual conference on giving events. Dream Big Virtual conference Forgiving Day hosts Tow. Watch the recorded conference. Email him Tim at neon one dot com. We’ve got but loads more time for impact storytelling.

[00:45:05.66] spk_2:
But everybody’s going through this right. It’s this weird young in collective consciousness that we’re all experiencing and and it’s global. And and And what’s fascinating is that we didn’t have this back in 1918 when you know they influenza situation hit right. Same elements happening there, but we didn’t have all the technology toe help us connect. I don’t know if tony have you seen the mean where it’s like before cove it and it shows everybody just staring at their phone. And then it’s those after Koven is like everybody’s outside. That’s pretty good. It’s pretty good social distance, though 16th

[00:45:18.99] spk_0:
in the meantime. What what advice do you have for, Ah, communicating with your institutional funders now and over the next Over the coming months, Way just talked about individual keeping in touch with individual donors. What if you’ve got a grants relationship pre existing? They’ve been funding you. How do you keep in touch with those folks? Is anything different? I mean, I would say institutional funders are made of people. Yeah, but you may have different advice for keeping in touch with whether it’s corporate supporters or private foundation.

[00:46:50.58] spk_2:
So and kind of the approach that neon one takes is that that we lean on people with subject matter, expertise and technical expertise because we don’t do everything right. And so what I’ve learned from Flux, which was gonna present with us for the NTC panel, is they focus on Ford Foundation like that’s their client base. So it’s all like private foundations and other institutional partners. And what they’re finding is that, um, one funders air stepping up. There’s a running list of emergency relief funds that we’re seeing because neon one actually does a lot of giving days, for instance, right. And so giving events by community foundations, private foundations or establishing relief funds Giving events are actually having dedicated relief funds and pages for these types of things. And so this is a time to basically don’t shirk away from being honest if you’re in pain. Um, if your organization is experiencing, um, you know, there’s a lot of things when it comes to rent. There’s a lot of things when it comes to paying employees insurance. Um, check what general operational support that you can like ask about general operational support for your institution,

[00:46:56.54] spk_0:
maybe even converting an existing grand from something project of programmatic to general operating.

[00:47:44.38] spk_2:
Yeah, don’t don’t. I was I got my start as a grant writer, tony, and that was like the first job that I had in the non profit space. And, uh, and this is not the time to focus on non restricted giving That has nothing to do with the immediate needs that your organization needs to distribute. You know, um and so being honest about that and also being prepared to to have difficult conversations around your budget is going to be key to talking to any of these. I will say on the corporate social responsibility side. It’s gonna I think I personally think it’s going to take a bit for that to recover. Now. I did check with our partners over a double the donation, and I said, Have you heard anything about corporations dropping their matching gift programs during this time? No, they have not. So we don’t need to panic. I’m actually seeing more matching gift elements come up, so I definitely lean into those. But you’re probably not gonna be getting a lot of ah, gala sponsorships at this point. Realistically,

[00:48:08.82] spk_0:
double the donation. Is that that Adam Adam What? What’s his last name? He was I’ve had him on the show.

[00:48:11.89] spk_2:
Why here? I think.

[00:48:12.95] spk_0:
Why, wegner? Wine, wine? Yeah,

[00:48:20.86] spk_2:
like that. He’s going todo while he’s actually one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. So he’ll be like, Oh, no, this is a supposed to me. You know, Santonio? No, that’s That’s how you say, Uh, yeah, Adam’s. Adam’s great. The team over there is is really great. And actually, Cougar Mountain is neon one part or two. So I’m pretty excited that they’re they’re sponsoring this.

[00:48:34.91] spk_0:
Oh, excellent. Yes. There are sponsors 20 NTC. We’re gonna have a booth together. Uh, we’re gonna We’re gonna be in double Booth 10 by 20 together.

[00:48:54.47] spk_2:
Yeah. So let let’s go. Actually, let me Let me ask you this. What do you think? The Post Cove it conference world is going to be like, Well, there are for ourselves,

[00:49:45.37] spk_0:
Coated. What? I mean, what do you mean, like next year? Yeah, I think there’s gonna be. I think there’s gonna be double the investment in 21 D. C or near double that. There was in 20 and D. C. Yeah. Um, and I some of that is that’s not just my thinking. Some of that is actually quantifiable because I have talked to any sample ward yesterday. You know, then 10 0 yeah. She is a regular contributor on the show she’s on each month. She’s great looking about technology, but on dhe, she’s been on with the show for years, so I know her very well. She said there were. She didn’t know why, but some of the major exhibitors and sponsors had had near double there. Their their support from 2019 to 2020. They were seeing big, some record numbers in sponsorships and support. Um,

[00:49:46.26] spk_2:
between We were gonna have a double booth, and actually

[00:49:48.42] spk_0:
you were going to Okay, that’s that. That was among a lot of the big sponsors, so it made cancellation that much more difficult.

[00:49:56.37] spk_2:
I know. It’s like what, like, 60% of their revenue was anti

[00:49:59.93] spk_0:
62 to be exact. Yeah, to pretend the revenue is that conference.

[00:50:03.82] spk_2:
Well, they definitely they do have a support fund. I’ve donated to it. For instance, in terms of the even, though my stuff would be covered by neon one. I I personally, uh, made a donation. So folks want to support NTC. I would say this is a good time to

[00:50:30.59] spk_0:
radio. Yes, I’ve done the same thing. I made a pledge by April 30th. Yeah, yeah, and 10 dot org’s, but in terms of Well, that s so I just know NTC. I think 21 in D. C is gonna be a blowout. I think I think it’s a mistake. If you don’t exhibit in 21 d c e. I wouldn’t be surprised if they pushed 3000 people where their usual is 24 2500. What

[00:50:44.86] spk_2:
I do see happening is supplement, Terry. Virtual events being spun up. So, virtual conferences. We It’s interesting. We actually

[00:50:52.02] spk_0:
amorphous gave that. I am I narrowed down to one. I only know in D C. You’re able to look global. Uh, all right, well, that’s why that’s why we’re picking your brain, you

[00:50:57.17] spk_2:
know? And that’s part of my job is to pay attention,

[00:51:03.84] spk_0:
wegner. Thank you. All right. Despite its strategic sponsorships, I’m a little leak in fundraising Consultant in podcaster.

[00:51:06.93] spk_2:
But I love it. I love the podcast, tony, Thank you into every year.

[00:51:19.82] spk_0:
Yes, Podcasts have a place, especially now. But, you know, I’ve been at this for 10 years. July is gonna be our 500 show, so you should jump on the sponsorship bandwagon and

[00:51:19.97] spk_2:
I’ll talk to marketing. I’ll talk to talk to our marketing.

[00:51:26.30] spk_0:
Okay. Um yeah. Cougar Mountain is already on. Um okay, so that go back to what you were saying? What you expect to see we’re

[00:53:39.84] spk_2:
going to see more. So a MP, for instance, they they’ve created So NTC has done community submission. So, you know, for instance, Dion, one is doing ah, Siris of Webinars and things of that nature specific. Teoh Cove in 19. Um, you know, virtual events, virtual galas, that type of situation. We have some interesting things around, live streaming with our partners That tilt if I, for instance, you know, silent auctions with click bid, Um, on then all of this needing to go back to a database of records so you can cultivate that relationship. But it’s also interesting to see what a f P has done, which is that they association fundraising professionals. Basically, that was going to back to back Ah, this week. So, you know, my wife was gonna hate the the fact that, um, you know, I was gonna be gone for a week, But be careful what you wish for, I guess in terms of my wife, um So if he’s done a full virtual conference and I think we’re going to see more and more of those supplementary things because even if you can get thousands of people in one space, which we will, that will happen again once once, you know it’s going to take months, but it’s gonna happen. I do still think from an equity standpoint that virtual conferences are, uh, are going to start popping up mawr as Look, you can’t make the physical thing, then come to our virtual conference. And I think we’re going to see more and more of that not only from an equity standpoint, inaccessibility standpoint, but just because it’s good business as well. Um, I mean, we’re spitting up our first virtual conference, and we actually planned it months before any of this happened. But, um uh, you know, it’s in April, April 16th and it’s gonna be on giving events, you know, 1st 1st virtual conference ever on forgiving event hosts. You know, if you want to run a giving day for your college, for your community, um, you know, we said, Hey, let’s start now, do it. But we had to shift the tone. You know, we had to shift some of the sessions, obviously. Ah, but what What’s actually encouraging is the data that we’re seeing is that we’re seeing massive spikes in people starting to pre pre donate or donate forgiving events. So the idea of giving vent think like giving Tuesday, right? Everybody goes to one site they donate to the community. We’re actually seeing a lot of this stuff go up very encouraging numbers when it comes to online donations popping up

[00:53:53.58] spk_0:
before before the actual day.

[00:53:55.61] spk_2:
Yes, yeah, so we’ve we’ve opened up the days Ah Teoh do early registration and stuff like that because And actually, what’s interesting is that Arizona gives, for instance, which is, I think, April 11th this year they had about 720 organizations log on and register for the platform there, almost 1000 at this point. So more and more non profits are saying you know what we want. We want to invest in and work with our community, and that’s it’s a rising tides situation. So giving events, if there’s one in your community join it doesn’t matter if it’s neon one or whatever, just do it because it’s gonna get a lot more attention this year

[00:54:33.60] spk_0:
and we gotta wrap up so I could stay on schedule. Let’s give a shout out to your what do you have coming up in April and where, where people go to find out about on April what 16th?

[00:54:41.44] spk_2:
Yes, April 16th and we have a ton of resource is that we’re rolling out over the course of the next few weeks, including Ah, you know, just go tony on one dot com and we’re gonna have a dedicated page just for all of some rapid response resource is to get funds into nonprofits hands quicker. That is what we need right now because then they can tell their story better. So that’s what we’re gonna be doing.

[00:55:08.39] spk_0:
I want to compliment you on being coordinated between your T shirt and that portrait on your say that is that portrait on the wall in red and black

[00:55:11.22] spk_2:
that is shaken Avara

[00:57:15.85] spk_0:
of our Congratulations on your coordination. Thank you. He’s Tim San Antonio director, Strategic partnerships at Neon one. Thank you very much, Tim. Thank you. And thank you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 NTC, as we mentioned. Sponsored at 20 NTC by Cougar Math and Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution? Thank you for that Thumbs up. All right. Made for non profits made for non profits. It’s great. Tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for 40 free 60 day trial. Thanks so much reading with us next week. Lawrence Paige No Ni returns with his new book, Fundraising 401 I wonder if he’s inspired by Fahrenheit 911 and I still wish you would pronounce his name Panyu. Tony, I have not forgotten that if you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you, find it on tony-martignetti dot com. I’m gonna challenge him with that Panyu tony. Maybe I don’t have done that before, but he can count on it again were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers. Wegner-C.P.As dot com by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund Is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turned to communications, PR and content for you non for non profits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot ceo Ah, creative producer is clear, Meyerhoff. I did the post production Sam Liebowitz managed extremely shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez Mark Silverman is our Web guy and this music is by Scots. They’re with me next week for non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% Go out and be great talking alternative radio 24 hours a day.

Nonprofit Radio for May 16, 2014: Choosing And Living With Your CRM & What Makes A Strong Proposal

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Lisa Rau & Tim Sarrantonio: Choosing And Living With Your CRM

Me with Tim Sarrantonio & Lisa Rau at 14NTC
Me with Tim Sarrantonio & Lisa Rau at 14NTC

From the Nonprofit Technology Network’s (NTEN) Nonprofit Technology Conference, Lisa Rau and Tim Sarrantonio advise how to choose the right CRM system. Should you RFP? Who to get involved in the decision and how do you come to consensus? What do you ask for in writing? And a lot more. df




Cindy Gibson: What Makes A Strong Proposal

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Cindy Gibson

Cindy Gibson is our grants fundraising contributor and principal of Cynthesis Consulting. She’s been on the funding side, and tells how to jack-up your odds of getting the grants you’re after. Including, what do program officers hate to see?




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Duitz hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host and i’m very glad you’re with me because i’d suffer the effects of sarcoidosis if i was forced to endure the knowledge that you had missed today’s show choosing and living with your c r m from the non-profit technology networks non-profit technology conference, lisa row and tim sarrantonio advise how to choose the right cr m system should you r f p who to get involved in the decision and how do you come to consensus? What do you ask for in writing and a lot more? Also, what makes a strong proposal? Cindy gibson is our grants fund-raising contributor and principle of synthesis consulting she’s been on the funding side and tells how to jack up your odds of getting the grants your after including what do program officers hate to see in proposals on tony’s take two my thank you. Here is my interview from non-profit technology conference around choosing the right cr m system. Welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of ntc twenty fourteen the my voice just cracked the non-profit technology conference. We’re at the marriott hotel boardman park in washington, d c we’re going to talk about in sickness and in health, choosing and living with your cr m with me. Teo, talk about that. Our lisa row she is ceo of confluence and tim sarrantonio tim is an account consultant with z two systems. Lisa. Tim, welcome. Thank you. Thank you. You’re cr m you’re a constituent relationship management software isan this just choosing a tool? It is. Yeah, but and go a little deeper than that. I thought i thought this was a pretty simple thing. You pick one and you and you pick one and you’ve done the hard part is, how do you think? How do you pick? Okay, there’s there’s a lot of choices out there. There certainly are. And you know what i like about the approach of this? Because my backgrounds ten years of fund-raising so on the side of the the chooser, basically, and what i like is that we’ve all pledged to be agnostic in our approach. This is not a vendor pitch session. You and andi, i think that’s that’s going to make it really, really exciting. Okay, so how ah lisa, you you clean it up for me. How how do you start that? Where the first steps of of making this very important could be very costly but doesn’t have to be a decision? Well, like a lot of things in our technology consulting practice, the answers are fairly straightforward in that it all depends on knowing what you want the system to dio, and you’d be very surprised at how many non-profits go to choose a piece of software without having actually thought about the specifics of what they wanted to do. Okay, well, we have about twenty five minutes together, so i’m not gonna let you off that easy. We’re not wrapping up now two minutes, and we’re coming up on ten seconds. Not that i’m counting, but i don’t have a choice it’s in front of me s o we’re not letting you have that easy. We’re gonna get considerably more detail. So how do we figure out i’ll stay with you? Lisa, how do we start figuring out what we want this system to do? Who should be in that conversation? How do we make that make those choices? Well, sierra constituent relationship management, everyone. In your non-profit really is interacting with constituents and so that’s a fundamental part of the decision making process is getting input from across the organization because the serum is really most effective if it is being used by everybody in the organization it’s an enterprise class piece of software. So you need to include really all of the all of the people in your organization, one form or another, which you agree with that i would definitely agree the most interesting thing that i found is that there is a disconnect between development and finance, sometimes where they don’t speak the same language, and so getting him in that conversation early is vitally important. You know, the correlation between accounts receivable and even something basic, like language fund-raising language like fund campaign? What does that mean when it comes to actual finance, reconciliation, accounting, things like that. So all the stakeholders? Absolutely, though, when it comes the program side volunteers, board members, please get them in there. Boardmember sze wai boardmember why boardmember is because they hold the keys to the castle. Basically, i’m on two boards, actually, yeah, and you’ll be just amazed at how disconnected some board members khun b but isn’t this ah, this something that’s going to be on a day to day basis that the organization’s going to use? Sure. And why should aboard be be spending time on such a thing? Because at the end of the day, at least in my opinion, your c r m is directly tied to your mission. It’s it’s about the people that you’re trying to help and it’s not just a tool, it’s something that’s going to help you reach your goals. And so, because it is something that overall helps dictate the direction you’re going and the success that you’ll have that’s why the board needs to be involved. Okay, lisa, you want to say anything more about the board? On my experience with board involvement? It’s mostly they need to approve the purchase. If it’s going to be over a certain amount that’s really the bulk of their involvement. They are also actually in the serum because their constituents so but that’s just data in the serum. Yeah, they don’t need to attend demos or things like that. It’s it’s. Ah, but they need to know what is going on. Okay. Well, tim, it sounded like you were suggesting that they should be involved a little soon earlier than its okay toe mean youtube from people you have differences of opinions. Fine, but it sounds like you were suggesting they be more involved than lisa was suggesting more. Just, like, sort of approving approving payment and towards the end, i yeah, i do think they should be okay for directly involved. So you’re not offended. Are you? It’s hard? You don’t. And you don’t look offended. Okay, well, now you set up a challenge. Okay? Thank you. Look, ok, but, tim, you’d like to see them involved involved throughout the process. Yeah, but maybe not to the detriment. You know, the whole too many cooks in the kitchen type of thing to you’ve got to balance it. But my approach, maybe it’s, because i’m on the board to where i don’t want to just be a rubber stamp. You know, i live in chicago. We have enough of that. So okay, you’d like to actually have legitimate oversight. Absolutely. And some transparency. Okay. Let’s, grow cloudgood. Um, lisa what’s, our what’s. Our. You host these meetings for clients. When? When these early conversations? Absolutely. Facilitate that. We’ll interact with the vendors and try to make sure that all the right questions are being asked and that they’re getting the information that they need. Now, earlier today, i re interviewed peter campbell, who was doing a session. You know, peter de beer, apartment and tcb ear. It was, is he was a twenty year, i think. He’s, one of the main guys that coordinates really okay. And tcb ear listeners is ah, it was a thursday was thursday night. Friday night? No, when when’s the overflow capacity when he was the one counting how many people they were taking that’s on how many people show up? I didn’t even know that he had that role. I would have asked him all about it. Okay, well, it was a wednesday night reception before the formal opening of of ntc on thursday morning on dh there was at a bar. Okay, so his topic is r f p c s o he said, does this does this requiring our f b i you know, i did talk to peter about that cause i give presentations on our peace and we’ve looked at me. Connecting people is amazing. No, i even tell you the universe. I feel like i i volunteered to come to be part of his talk. We we’re not big fans of our peace nowadays we’re much more fans of doing a lot of upfront research and finding a few really good candidates and then having in depth conversations with them because more and more with the technology it’s made to be customizable and so in the past, you have an rp where you’d check up check off. Yes, yes. No, no. And then the one with the most checks, winds and big requirements matrices and now, it’s, because the systems are made to be customizable it’s. Not a question of if they can do any particular thing. It’s a question of fit. Does it make sense for them to to be customized, to do any given requirement and that’s where you need to engage with the vendor and really have a conversation rather than an over the transom? R f p with a long bunch of requirements? Ok, tim is doing a lot of nodding. Yes. Yeah, our fees are very interesting from the vendor side it’s something that when i first started my job i never thought that i see as many and what’s what’s fascinating is they’re all different, but they all are at the core. The same thing that basically leaves it was just talking about in regards to just ask questions that that’s that’s really, at the end of the day, that’s all you need to do. I don’t have this big check list because when my approach personally is that i’m not just hitting. Yes, i’m actually linking to support guides for features and so that’s my personal approach. I know some vendors that they outright just say we’re not going to do any arm piece if we see in our p we’re not gonna answer it and ours is mawr case by case. Is it a good fit? It’s more consultation in terms of the approach, but every time i see it, i go. I’m going to be hitting wire and a bunch of times and make cell spreadsheet, and they’re all different and it could be easily covered in a half an hour conversation. Okay, you didn’t think that shooting getting dink, dink dink you’re listening to the talking alternative network to get you thinking. Nothing. Good, do you need a business plan that can guide your company’s growth seven and seven will help bring the changes you need. Wear small business consultants and we pay attention to the details. You may miss our culture and consultant services a guaranteed to lead toe right groat. For your business, call us at nine one seven eight three three four eight six zero foreign, no obligation free consultation. Check out our website of ww dot covenant seven dot com. Are you stuck in your business or career trying to take your business to the next level and it keeps hitting a wall? This is sam liebowitz, the conscious consultant. I will help you get to the root cause of your abundance issues and help move you forward in your life. Call me now and let’s create the future you dream of. Two, one, two, seven, two, one, eight, one, eight, three that’s to one to seven to one eight one eight three the conscious consultant helping conscious people be better business people. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Hyre oppcoll and i like conversations. I prefer conversation’s over over documents since and please describe, you know, in an email or something or or a proposal, i’d rather i’d rather talk myself. That’s metoo how about you, lisa? I’d like to talk sometimes, okay, not so much right now, you little but a mike in front of your eyes that’s why they’re still i’m still back on that. Some of the vendors don’t respond to our fees. I’d never understand that. I mean, if you’re in here to be bill business, you do have to respond to our peace and frankly, there’s important things that you need to ask vendors to write down and document project plans, pricing sometimes technical approach it’s important, you can’t just get rid of the requirement to write things down or respond to very specific things of interest, but i do think the over the transom approach doesn’t work well with serums because you’re really you should be able to really quickly xero in on three, two, six serums that are really good candidates, and you do that by triangulation is what i like to call it, which is a process of asking pierre’s doing your own internet research, accessing guides like idealware air’s kind of consumer lorts for software posting on listservs. So you get a variety of different sources of information and that triangulation will lead you pretty quickly to some really good options that you’re going to then go into more detailed and it’s just a better approach to choosing a cr m then than just sending an r f p that you probably don’t fully understand that you got off the internet somewhere to thirty different companies and wasting twenty seven of their time. It’s not a good process way could be considerate of the vendors. Exactly. I think we can extract. I’d like that. Yeah, person a czar’s metoo system representative you mentioned idealware lisa, which i have heard and i’ve read their survey, and i think i covered it on this show. They don’t, they do, and they do an annual survey of serums. Or maybe it was just a one time, two years every two years, every two years, and it was a very comprehensive short. It wasn’t a chart format of features, and i’m remembering correctly. Yeah, they have felt one of those nice bullet charts with you. Know yes, no kind of stuff, but they do all kinds of other cell for comparisons this well, but that that does have a really good place to start if you’re looking at serums, okay, because it’s free idealware dot com is that where we find that dahna work dot or god? Or ah non-profit i’d forgotten that it’s it’s, i think it’s dot org’s we google idealware idealware yeah it’s a a cz the lisa rolling your eyes, right where’s that for i’m not going to call you out for the working google. Can you form a good folk? Are alright? I actually did the demonstrations for the idealware report for work, okay? And i can attest, it is utterly comprehensive and agnostic it is it is probably the best starting point for someone who wants just a general overview of well, where do i start that go to that? Go to that report? Absolutely. And it’s unranked it’s just it’s just saying this is what it does, this is what it doesn’t d’oh, and and they basically that the process is very interesting. There’s there’s a syriza questions it’s, it’s almost like an rmp innocence that they ask you and then they follow-up with a demonstration a half an hour demonstration to get into the report, and then they follow-up with a full hour demonstration of the system itself to really drill down for each of the systems that every single system oh, i don’t remember everything every single one, the people who get into the top, like ten or something that there the duitz they’re the ones doing the long form demonstration, but every single potential isn’t at least doing a half an hour and that’s split between a relatively small staff way love idea where they’re absolutely fantastic people over there. And, you know, i love maine too, which is where they’re based on outstanding resource latto okay, all right, so what’s, our what’s, our next step on we’re tryingto do this chronologically, i think ueno everybody should be in the in the party and we of our triangulation research that we’re doing what’s our what’s, our next step, you need to get them in there for demonstrations and to kind of assess the fit because it’s not just about the product it’s about the company and there understanding of what you’re trying to do with the implementation and so you really need to engage in a personal level. I think it’s gives the best results block off a half day haven’t come in, do some demonstrations, have some conversations and assess again the fit. Not a half a day for each one the whole day. You know, half a day is about all most people can take before their brains are full. Right? That’s for all of our three to six now for each one i each one having so many hours? Yeah, you know, i think don’t try to talk you out of it. I know it takes that long because he’s serums most of the time they’re they have a lot of features and it’s very important. That staff e-giving come to see in the different areas whether it be development, event, management, project management or grants management so on and so forth. And they all need to see that their needs are being adequately represented in the product. I see. Okay, so there’s different time slots, i guess, for different constituents within the organization in tow. Let’s have the finance team for forty five minutes and let’s have development, et cetera. Okay. Yeah, okay. I’ve been in situations where there’s been. Excuse me. Twelve people on the call. And the one thing i would stress, though, is try to keep internal discussion like philosophical talking to a minimum. You know, we should already been passed that you’d be surprised where people like erupt into arguments about like, well, no, this is how we do membership. And it was like, what? Wait, i’m sorry. Do you need to know about if there’s an end date on this form? Because we have that but it’s so yeah, i would say a minimum an hour, the definite thing that you need to ask for his references arika hoos hoos are you using a current system? Do you have any clients that have converted from that? Can i talk to them? Converted from from your using like cr m a and you’re looking at sea rmb ask? Has anyone come from sierra? Okay. And if not that, you know that’s fine. Don’t concentrate so much on geographic area. A lot of people say, well, i would like something on, you know, in new york on dh that i get that to a certain extent. But i would mork concentrate? Kind of like what lisa was talking about in terms of the fit? Ah, what do i want to use this for? I want to talk to somebody similar size are you volunteer or based like my non-profit where it’s all volunteer? Or do you have staff? How many staff? How many constituents? So that that’s my general recommendation to now we’re starting, teo now the narrow the field. But if we started with three to six that you had suggested, lisa, we’ve had our product demos we’ve checked references actually checked the references right? Don’t actually call, but don’t ask for them. I guess that that’s an important second part of the reference process, is actually speaking to them. You’d be surprised how many non-profits i work with it? Never check references. I am shocked, actually, i i’ve i’ve heard that too. I mean, we’re not around siara, but even employment decisions, right? And they ask where or what you know, they ask for references for whatever purpose and then they don’t get checked. It’s a capacity in your capacity building issue? I agree, i think it’s good dismaying. Ok. Even a quick email, you know. You don’t have to outright call them. Just drop him a line if they don’t get back to you. It’s people are busy, but at least try. Okay? All right, we’re narrowing the process. What’s. So, what’s, our next step is we’re down down to a field of let’s say we’re down to a field of two, all right? From our three to six where we’ve got to, well, i like to go down to one. I mean, hopefully i think that’s our goal you talk teo gonna run two parallel exactly after the three to six you’ve had these sessions would be ideally, you really would have one that you’re feeling is the one that you want to pursue and that’s the one that you’re going to check the references for and do all the other due diligence, which is kind of the last stage of the process. You’re negotiating a contract, you’re finalized, pricing. You’re getting really detailed on schedule, we’ll we’ll get to those, but we’ve glossed over consensus. What if finance and development and program? Oh, and the ceo don’t come to a consensus, you know, i haven’t seen that much, and i i’ve done this. For a lot of organizations, help them tio come to consensus and usually it’s pretty pretty. Clich really that’s been my experience. Everybody seems to coalesce around one. I had one where where they did go back and forth. It was a very, very big ticket purchase. And the choice was between something conservative that was thie. Everyone else is using this system like no one gets fired for buying ibm versus a very, very high tech, relatively obviously more risky, high tech, newer thing where they would be leading the way. And that was really ah, a big decision for them. And they did have to involve a lot of board committee input to see which direction they wanted to go to in which one did they put him on the team? I was wondering the same thing. I was disappointed they actually went for the conservative approach, but the but they ended by saying, you know what? We’re coming from the dark ages, so this is just bringing us up for today. We’re going to implement this and live with it for a few years, and then maybe then we’ll be ready to to go to the high. Tech thing, so that was actually a very good philosophy. They weren’t seeing it as something they were goingto have forever. They were seeing. It is just a step up from where they were starting, which was excel spreadsheets and index cards or something like that. They had spaghetti custom code that had been developed twelve years ago that had just taken on a life of its. And they had long out out ground long ago. Alright, so usually tim, do you usually see a coalescing around around one? I do, um, it’s ah, you know typically it’s going to come down to one or two and a lot of people, and i’d actually don’t discourage this. Go with your gut. What instinct is that i think is important lots of things in life, but that’s a topic it’s just it’s just very interesting to see, because i also think corporate culture is important too. And i know that’s harder to quantify. But if you just get a feeling that like you’re being pitched all the time yeah, uh then that you’re going tohave that almost throughout the entire usage of your systems then support it’s going to go from sails all the way down, teo say support implementation so i think that it’s an important thing tio to kind of take into account, too, but obviously you’ve got to make sure you’ll like it and it’s going to work for your mission on an everyday basis. Okay? You know, from the data entry person all the way to the e d who needs the reports? Okay, we’ve made our choice. Now, lisa, you were said earlier with flesh. Just a little bit about what needs to be documented. Wave made our selection. What do we need to get in writing? Commitment’s, etcetera. What are we thinking about? Their yeah. It’s. Another area that i see non-profits habitually not doing as much as they should in the area of negotiations. I’m always so surprised when i send over our contracts and they come back without any markup. It all they just signed him. And i’m not even sure they read. Hm? Yeah, and this i they don’t necessarily understand that software is negotiable, that the price that is quoted is negotiable and there’s a lot of terms and conditions in those contracts that also should be negotiated. And so that’s something that a consultant actually can really help you with. But you want to make sure that you’re not paying for that your payment is tied to deliver balls, not just will work for ten hours, and you pay us for the hours independent of what we do and that there’s a schedule that there’s remedies if things go wrong, that they’ve really thought through the project plan, you also want to look at the personnel because you don’t want to get the most junior people on the team who they just hired, who doesn’t know the product themselves thatyou wantto, you know, review resumes and approve project interests, so on and so forth, there’s a lot of things that you can do to ensure or at least increase the chances that your project will be a success because these types of projects can go wrong many, many, many ways that’s a whole nother talk the hundred ways that you can screw up your serum implementation and at the contract time is where you really want to try toe put all those things, i think through all those things, and i have a contract that tries to prevent them from happening. You go ahead. I was just going to say the biggest stress, uh, that i’d love to piggyback on because that’s a fantastic point is data conversion. Well, we’re going to get there, ok? So we’re going to get there now. We’re now going to import or we’re gonna convert. We’re going to make our change. What do we need to be? Well, okay, anything more you want to add about being at the contract stage? Absolutely. And conversion. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Figure out what is in the terms specific to data conversion. Is the vendor going to help you have duplicate merging if everything in your spreadsheet is in all caps, are they going to help with that? Are they going, teo assist in any sort of, you know, clean up our, you know, reconciliation and things like that. And you know, how many hours is it going to take for them to do that? What do you specifically paying for? And if you’re opting for kind of a stripped down version like what help are you getting with that as well? Ah! Latto non-profits and i’ve seen vendors and this horrifies me that they just give this like blanket quote, and it doesn’t take into account. Oh, this is seven access databases that we need to convert and combined and just get a specific number that you’ve drilled down and understand off all the things. The absolute details on what data conversion actually includes. Okay, i thought, okay, now we’re into conversion. What kind of support you would be expected? Well, it’s, everything well, it’s, everything you just mentioned. What? What? Uh, i don’t know what else could go wrong and conversion. Mrs issue, this is a huge process tonight you’re going. The main thing is to have people doing the conversion. You have done it hundreds of times before. It’s not actually technically risky. It’s just can be a variable amount of effort on dh that’s. What? What messes up projects? Okay. All right. Let’s, move. Too bad mapping, by the way. Mapping watch. Jorgen joe, i know this show now have drug trail on this show. Youjust transgressed. Okay. Wow, i’ll roll it back. Role may be available. How does how does this field translate into the new systems field? Basically his first name equal to first name, you know? And then it gets progressively. Much work complicated it’s. Okay, that’s all how do we know when we’ve outgrown now? We’ve had our system for several years, and how do we know when its not working? What are signs that well, people are complaining what’s happening? How do we know? I don’t know if you don’t know, then you probably haven’t. It should be obvious, i think i mean, you can always do more and do better. I haven’t been in any non-profit where there weren’t opportunities to do more with their enterprise software that they were not exploiting, but that doesn’t mean they should ditch it and again, with all that non-profits have to focus on if there aren’t clear and obvious issues with their existing systems, i wouldn’t be focused on don’t mess with it. You probably have other things to work out. If it feels like you’re hurting cats with your data, then maybe it’s. Time to look. But if it’s not coming up on a day to day basis, then yeah, probably you’re fine because we could get training. Sure you revisit anything that the vendor might have released, you know, check their release schedule. Check the release notes, see what’s. New all right, maybe it’s covered and you just didn’t know it were going to leave it there. Lisa row is ceo of confluence. And tim sarrantonio is account consultant for z two systems. Thank you very much. Lisa. Tim, thanks for being the guests. Thank you. My pleasure. You’re listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of and t c the non-profit technology conference. Thanks so much for being with us. I am grateful to everybody at non-profit technology conference and and ten the non-profit technology network for setting us up at the at the conference. Got lots of great interviews, many more to come generosity, siri’s sponsors non-profit radio. And that makes it possible for me to travel to cool conferences like and to get amazing interviews to share with you generosity. Siri’s hosts multi charity peer-to-peer runs and walks. They do all the behind the scenes stuff that you’ve heard me mention, the licensing, the permits, the portable bathrooms. Ah, the emcees, the announcers, all the tech equipment for the timing. They take care of all that. 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I’m very grateful that you listened to the show week in week out if you’re getting email alerts from me, you welcome me to your inbox every thursday, it’s only once a week, but i’m grateful for that also we’ve been doing this show for very close to four years, the fourth anniversary is coming up in july. The two hundredth show will be in july. That’s that’s really something, um, and i’m grateful that the audience has built up to over nine thousand listeners, and i thank you very much for being part of that. Thank you for listening. Thanks for your support. You know i’m always interested in your feedback. You can get me on twitter through my site. Tony martignetti dot com through the facebook page always interested in your feedback and i’m glad you’re with me. Thank you that is tony’s take two for friday sixteenth of may twentieth show of the year with me now is cindy gibson. She is our practice temic she has a phd and over twenty six years of experience with non-profits, she has had leadership roles for several national foundations and non-profits she was a non-profit times top fifty power and influence, sir she’s principle of synthesis consulting, c y n th e s i s and you’ll find her on twitter as at caen gib si n g i b cindy gibson welcome back. Hi, tony. Sorry you can’t be in the studio all the time. It was nice to have you first, but you live in boston, but we’ll work at another time. Um, so we want to talk about what makes, uh, what makes a strong proposal you have? Ahh. You have some wisdom around this? Yeah, i think i’ve written about a thousand proposals, and i think i read about ten thousand of them. Oh, ok. Yeah. And it’s amazing how much the same issues keep coming up. So should we presume that your last five hundred that you wrote were stronger than your first five hundred ways there? You used to read them. And what? What? What’s what’s, one of the first things that comes up often, um, one of the first things that comes up there’s actually, three things that really stand out everybody knows i think pretty much the basic, you know, components of a proposal. But though there’s a couple things that i think that people don’t always get and the biggest one i think is it’s very, very often people won’t include a strong mark it analysis or sort of where they fit in the larger field or in an issue area. Um it’s sort of what’s your value proposition, if you will. How how? How is this organization? How is your organization unique? What is your value added? What makes you distinctive? In other words, why should we fund you and not some other organization that you work with? On the flip side of that is how do you compliment other organizations in the field that maybe doing similar work? So it’s both sides of that coin and i it’s very rare that you see that explicitly stated, ok, how do we define the market to prepare the our market analysis? Well, that’s a good that’s a good question, i think that it just depends. I mean, i don’t want, you know you don’t want to get to granular about it. I mean, certainly in the private sector, it’s a little bit clear what your market is, but for example, if i’m talking about i’ll talk about an area i know well, you’ve civic engagement. How do you get young people involved in civic life? It’s, a fairly defined field and people in that field? No, the other organizations, they all go to conferences together, they said the same tables and coalitions. It’s that kind of when i say market, i mean, that loosely defined it’s really looking at who are you working with? Who’s working on these issues and the field and indicating even that, you know, who’s working on these issues in the field, sometimes you’ll read proposals and it’s really amazing how people will come in with a proposal like it’s the first time she’s anybody’s ever thought about doing a particular strategy, and it just shows the program officer right off the bat that you’re not knowledgeable about the field in which you’re working or that you’re presuming the program officer doesn’t know and that you’re you’re what you’re purporting to be a unique idea has actually been seen lots of times from other other other organizations. Yeah, and there i have to say there’s nothing that makes program officers matter for more irritated as when grantmaker say, we are the only organization that does fill in the blank very rarely healthfully one organization that does anything those it’s really presumption list and it’s just it’s a red flag right away. Yeah, okay, well, i know you have a bunch of things that funders hate to see we’ll get we’ll get two more of those. So would you in your proposal, would you just caption this as as a market analysis? It depends. I mean, if sometimes you know as we know and as all grantmaker now this’s, what makes grand seekers annoyed is that every foundation many foundations tend to have very different proposal application guidelines. Some as we know, do come by who do come together and do what’s called a common application like particular states. Some foundations world say here you can fill out the same application for all of us but that’s still relatively rare. Unfortunately. So how you fit that value proposition is going to depend on you know what the thunders asking for, but somewhere in there should be some kind of intimation whether it’s, you know, usually there’s a there’s a section called you know, the qualifications of the organization are the capacity of the organization to carry this out. And, you know you might want to include it in there. You might want included in the summary about your project. I don’t think it takes five pages to say what your value at it is a lot of times. Ah! So really, is it really depends. Okay, all right. But you it belongs it because you said a lot of times this is not included. So this is, well advice to make your make you stand out. Yeah. I mean, i think otherwise see again. And this gets to another thing. People forget sometimes when they write proposals that the program officers usually not the only person that looks at this document and the proposed the program oster has to turn around and sell it to the either the board or the senior. You know, administrative staff for the president, who’s never making the final decision about what gets funded, which is often not the problem. Officer, um, that it’s very helpful for that person to be able to go into those meetings and say right off the bat. This is why this organization that’s really different. And this is why it’s really important that we supported on dh not you know again. But a lot of grand seekers will just not understand that it is a selling job for the program. Officer. Yeah, this goes tio what? You and i said, i think the first time you were on you’re you’re helping your job is to help the program officer sell your proposal and your program to the people you mentioned, whether it’s, the board or a senior program officer who makes but you’re helping them become your sort of sales team in the foundation right there, your advocate, and so give them out. But again, it’s important to remember that about where it stops sometimes, and that gets sort of backing into that jargon and proposals it’s always amazing to me because i’ve done a lot of reading of proposals in evaluating them out as a consultant for other organizations. I’m not particularly steeped in an issue sometimes, and i will get completely stymied by some proposals where there’s all kinds of acronyms that are not spelled out there’s it seems so basic, but it is so easy for organizations to get caught up in their own, um, work and their own spaces that they don’t think about somebody else reading this thing. This is something that i tell people all the time, and i i think it’s so important is that organizations give their proposals or their draft to somebody who knows nothing about their field, who does nothing about their work. You know, if you can find somebody your neighbour, i don’t care who it is, somebody to really eyeball. What you send in is really helpful, because that will tell you whether you’re what you’re writing is compelling on its own, and whether it’s going to sell on its own, regardless of who’s reading it. Ok, there is a bigger world out there, aside from your program and your work. Let’s, go back to something that you just you still touchdown was talking about. How you compliment similar organizations doing similar work. Right? Is that? Is that part of the market analysis? Yeah, i think it is. I think it shows that, you know, once you say, you know where this is, how we’re distinctive, this is, you know, why you need this organization to do this work when you say it also compliments a lot of other work going on the field, it actually sends a message that you’re collaborative because in the nonprofit sector, you know, most of the results that we get are going to come out of the collaborative and collective efforts of a number of organizations, not usually just one. And, you know, there is this ethos of collaboration in the sector is opposed to competition in the private sector, so the more you can say that we are collaborating with these other organizations and here’s how we’re complimenting their work. For example, a local non-profit or state non-profit or coalition might say, you know, we are regional or a local, so we’re able to bring the lessons were learning on the ground to the national groups that are working on this issue may be at the federal level on, and that gives them the national group. Some data, you know, about how things are working on the ground and what we’re seeing so it’s sort of conveys that you’re not only providing value to these other groups that ditch you’re actually intentional about it, okay? And you’re informed and you’re doing this collaborative work. Yeah, and you also have your eye on larger impact and it’s not, you know, we’re just going to keep doing this on our bubble in our little town or state, we’re actually doing something that has that’s that’s looking towards longer term impact, whether it’s policy change at the federal level, whether it’s regulations, whatever you’re doing okay, what else do you recommend to set proposals apart? Well, so another thing that i see a lot is that and every proposal guidelines will ask for this, um, they ask you usually for describe the need for the problem that you’re trying to dress on that your opportunity to say, you know what the problem is and to talk about the statistics in the data that support the need for, you know, for what’s going on, for example, you know, if you’re doing high school dropout trying to stave off dropout rates he would talk about you know, what the rates are and why it’s such an important issue. Um, and then they ask you, you know what you’re going to do about it, which is where you described your program or your project, and when i find sometimes is that a lot of times is that groups tend to fall in one of the categories of their either really good at talking about the issue, talking about the problem, why it’s so important? Um, and great analysis of the causes of it, um, but they’re not so great at saying what they’re going to do about it. On the flip of that is that some organizations will will launch sort of more into the what they’re doing and the work and they’re excellent describing all sort of the elements of their program or when they’re doing, but they don’t really say how it’s addressing the need it’s really important to make that connection and it sounds obvious, but this is where, again, having somebody look at your proposal and we’ll assess it and say, wait, i’m not understanding you just described a huge problem, but i’m not seeing how your program actually, is addressing this really important. Okay, we’re gonna take a take a break. And when we come back, cindy and i will continue talking about what makes your proposals strong. And also mohr, that program officers hate to see you stay with us. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Have you ever considered consulting a road map when you feel you need help getting to your destination when the normal path seems blocked? A little help can come in handy when choosing an alternate route. Your natal chart is a map of your potentials. It addresses relationships, finance, business, health and, above all, creativity. Current planetary cycles can either support or challenge your objectives. I’m montgomery taylor. If you would like to explore the help of a private astrological reading, please contact me at monte at monty taylor dot. Com let’s monte m o nt y at monty taylor dot com. Are you suffering from aches and pains? Has traditional medicine let you down? Are you tired of taking toxic medications, then come to the double diamond wellness center and learn how our natural methods can help you to hell? Call us now at to one to seven to one eight, one eight three that’s to one to seven to one eight one eight three or find us on the web at www dot double diamond wellness dot com. We look forward to serving you. Talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. I’m dana ostomel, ceo of deposit, a gift. And you’re listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. And welcome back, cindy, have we covered all the suggestions that you had for for making a proposal strong before we get teo that the don’ts? Well, i have a couple just a couple quick things, you know, a lot of this overlaps with don’t but that we’ve talked about, but i would say that a lot of proposal writers and grand seekers know that an inevitable question on any guideline application is how are you going to sustain this work, which is what is your fund-raising plan or your business plan and it’s really surprising how many people will say? Well, we’re going to approach corporations and foundations and individual donors, and then they don’t say it in more detail. What do you have a plan for that what’s your strategy? Are you going to focus on one segment more than others? And why is that that’s really important? Another thing that goes along with that is when i worked at a foundation, we actually had a separate section asking about what’s your communications plan. Um and again, ah lot of grant seekers will say, well, we’re going to do some op ends, we’re going todo, you know, we’re going to go on twitter and social media and say, you know what we did if they’re doing, for example, a research study or report that doesn’t really say anything, it doesn’t say what you and what you’re trying to do with the social media coverage is trying to tell people about it, and what impact is that gonna have is going to make any difference? Neither how will you know whether it’s made a difference? And this is the testament, i think all grantmaker zee hate is, you know, the evaluation. How do you know if you have achieved success and again, the answer to that is not well, we’re going to assess our work through ah survey, you know, or we’re going toe ask grant asked participants in our meetings for feedback, you know, all of that is great, but it’s not really telling the investor ah, what difference it made overall, just because people had a great experience at a meeting you put together about a particular issue doesn’t mean that you’ve really had an impact on the problem. Yeah, neither of the three of those whether it’s fund-raising communications or assessment is a plan the way you described it, it’s just it’s sort of aspirational. This is what we plan to do, but but is not a detailed plan. It’s not none of those were a plan. Really? Yeah, i think that’s a good point. And and i would say a plan and then the and the crowd is although that is plan for what, you know, sort of it’s always before what question or to what end? All right, so a couple of things that you said specifically that hyre people reading and program managers officers don’t want to see a cz jargon. And of course, on tony martignetti non-profit radio, we have jargon jail. So we’re very sympathetic with that, um, and also that you’re the only ones doing it. You’re unique. What else? What else did they do? These people hate to see. Ah, well, not answering the questions separately, but it was not a common. I just made that. You know the answers air vague or their elusive, or they ignore them all together. Um, one of the i just did a eh stepped in for a program director who had left a foundation. And so i did a number of proposal. Reviews on site visits and one of the questions that they have on their proposal guidelines, which they’ve just revamped, is what outcomes do you expect to see? Um and i know and i understand why and how non-profits are reluctant to distill what they do down to numbers, but that’s, what the thunder was asking and what i found was that people either talked around the question by describing vaguely what they were going to do their goals, um, or you know what their strategies were, but they weren’t telling me what’s going to come out of this? And can you be very specific about what you’re going to do? Are you going to serve four hundred people, then say that, um, that’s not particular, but that’s i understand that’s not impact, necessarily, but it is an output that can lead to an outcome which might be something like we start four hundred people and people were healthier, you know, that kind of thing, so but but the thunder asked for that specifically, and i was really surprised how many people were confused by that. On the other hand, i did go back to the thunder and say, you know you might wantto put on your website or in the application guidelines somewhere a clear definition of what you want and what’s that what? What you mean by outcome? So that would help grantspace occurs to give you more of what you want, so it works both ways, i think, is a very common that questions get ignored or talked around with explicit questions in applications. Oh, yeah, yeah on i have to say, i’ve been guilty of this myself when i wrote proposals because, you know, that was your first five hundred in the first five hundred days, you know? Well, you wouldn’t get argue that good marketing is sometimes, you know, the best market and goes a little around the truth, but, um, it is true that people i would say less ignore the questions than they do, um, sort of try to talk around them or compensate if they don’t really have an answer by the reiterating something or again talking about larger goals or strategies rather than impact on influence on results. And why you and really making a case for why you you should be invested in running through a lot of what we’re talking about is making these connections, whether it’s between the need and your work or the your work and the outcomes and the impacts. It’s making this yeah, making covering the full spectrum. Yeah. I mean, it’s strategy. It really comes down to are you being strategic? Um, and i know again people hate generally the whole logic model idea. Andi, i understand that, but it is, and it can be really helpful exercise for non-profits to work through because it really separates all these pieces, um, that we’re talking about that then puts them together in a cohesive model and frame. And so doing that exercise in my experience really helps organizations put together stronger. A more cohesive kate. Okay, we have to. We have to wrap up. But the logic model that that sounds like is that that sounds like something that we might talk about in another show. Teacher. The logic model. Yeah. There’s. Lots of resource. Is that out there about that? Go help. They’re still some of the fear that people have about it. Okay, well, we can use that. We can use that. Maybe for next time. Okay. Thanks very much, cindy. Thank you. My pleasure. You’ll find her on twitter at caen, gibbs si n g i b and her practices synthesis consulting, c y en th e s i s next week an archive show i will, i will pick a winner. I don’t know which one it will be, but i will. I will pick a winner and if you have one that you really want to hear again, let me know. You can email me from my sight. Tony martignetti dot com. You can always get me on facebook and twitter. Also, our creative producer is claire meyerhoff lorts our line producer. The show’s social media is by julia campbell of jake campbell. Social marketing and the remote producer of tony martignetti non-profit radio is john federico of the new rules. Our music is by scott stein came in a little loud, but that’s because we love scott be with me next week for non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent go out and be great e-giving didn’t think dick tooting getting thinking thing. You’re listening to the talking alternate network. Get in. Duitz e-giving cubine. Are you stuck in your business or career trying to take your business to the next level, and it keeps hitting a wall? This is sam liebowitz, the conscious consultant. 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M on talking alternative dot com duitz you’re listening to talking alternative network at www dot talking alternative dot com, now broadcasting twenty four hours a day. Have you ever considered consulting a road map when you feel you need help getting to your destination when the normal path seems blocked? A little help can come in handy when choosing an alternate route. Your natal chart is a map of your potentials. It addresses relationships, finance, business, health and, above all, creativity. Current planetary cycles can either support or challenge your objectives. I’m montgomery taylor. If you would like to explore the help of a private astrological reading, please contact me at monte at monty taylor dot. Com let’s, monte, m o nt y monty taylor. Dot com. Are you suffering from aches and pains? Has traditional medicine let you down? Are you tired of taking toxic medications, then come to the double diamond wellness center and learn how our natural methods can help you, too? He’ll call us now at to one to seven to one eight, one eight, three that’s two one two, seven to one eight, one eight, three or find us on the web at www dot double diamond wellness dot com. We look forward to serving you. Talking all calm. Hyre