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Nonprofit Radio for May 8, 2023: Quiet Quitting & Email Accessibility


Delaney MullennixQuiet Quitting

Let’s start with what it is. Because it’s not quitting a job. From our coverage of #23NTC, Delaney Mullennix explains the increasing phenomenon, how we got here, and what to do to prevent it. She’s executive director of NonprofitHub.



Coralie Meade RodriguezEmail Accessibility

Our #23NTC coverage continues as Coralie Meade Rodriguez, from Firefly Partners, shares strategies that enable the 26% of Americans living with a disability, to fully access your email messages.



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[00:01:56.18] spk_0:
Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio, big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. I’m traveling this week so I don’t have my good studio quality mic. So I may not sound as good as usual. That just means you can look forward to better sound next week. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be hit with horrific elation if you gave me goose bumps because you missed this week’s show. Quiet, quitting. Let’s start with what it is because it’s not quitting a job from our coverage of 23 NTC Delaney Mullinix explains the increasing phenomenon, how we got here and what to do to prevent it. She’s executive director of nonprofit hub and email accessibility. Our 23 NTC coverage continues as Cora Lee Mead Rodriguez from Firefly Partners shares strategies that enable the 26% of Americans living with a disability to fully access your email messages Antonis take to it isn’t what it is. Redox were sponsored by donor box with intuitive fundraising software from donor box. Your donors give four times faster helping you help others. Donor box dot org. Here is quiet quitting.

[00:02:15.22] spk_1:
Welcome back to tony-martignetti, non profit radio coverage of 23 N T C 2023 nonprofit technology conference where we are sponsored by Heller consulting, technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. My guest now is Delaney Mullinix. She is executive director at nonprofit hub, Delaney. Welcome to nonprofit

[00:02:23.05] spk_2:
radio. Thank you so much. Just excited to be

[00:02:35.37] spk_1:
here. Pleasure to have you. I neglected to ask your pronouns. Did. is she the right pronoun for? Yes. Okay. I should have asked. I forgot to ask in advance, but I don’t want to perpetuate a mistake. All right. Your session topic is quiet. Quitting in the nonprofit sector. That’s correct. Alright. Let’s first make sure that everybody knows that quiet quitting does not mean quitting. Please define quiet quitting. So folks, my age and older know exactly what we’re talking about.

[00:02:54.46] spk_2:
That’s right. I’m impressed. How did you know that? Did you attend my session? Yes.

[00:02:57.82] spk_1:
Maybe, maybe it’s more pervasive. Oh, no, no, no. A lot of people think quite quitting is actually

[00:03:05.10] spk_2:

[00:03:06.46] spk_1:
It’s not only people my age, I’m a

[00:03:20.62] spk_2:
majority of the people did not know what it was. And I think that the assumption is that it is someone leaving a position like taking a leave from their, their organization or their job. But um

[00:03:21.76] spk_1:
in a way it’s taking a leave to leave, but you define it. I’m not trying to talk around

[00:03:27.65] spk_2:
it. No, that’s okay. That’s exactly right. And the words are misleading. Quiet, quitting. Like you, you can assume based on those words and how you know those words that it means someone’s leaving a position. It sounds

[00:03:37.58] spk_1:
like you just stop showing up for work.

[00:03:47.67] spk_2:
So if someone has heard the term quiet quitting and they see their employee like taking time off of work or they know they’re looking for other jobs or they think that they’re going to doctor’s appointment but they’re actually interview for another position. They say my employees quite quitting, but that’s actually not what it is. So it’s more of like the silent withdrawal, like taking an emotional and like engagement step back from your job and that could be for a lot of other reasons, like not doing more work than what you feel you’re getting paid for. It could just be like you’re placing a higher value on your time. Um It’s really meeting your job requirements and doing no more, no less

[00:04:14.73] spk_1:
bare minimum, volunteering for the organized the holiday party flying

[00:04:17.87] spk_2:
under the radar.

[00:04:18.69] spk_1:
You might not even show up at the holiday party. Right. Bare minimum. Exactly. Quiet. Quitting. Okay. Alright. I thought only older folks would not know what that everybody who attended your session didn’t know what they were.

[00:04:29.59] spk_2:
No, not very many know. How did the session go? Very good. Very good. Yeah, people had a lot of questions afterwards. I want to ask you

[00:04:42.24] spk_1:
some of the questions Yeah. Alright. So we’ll lead into the topic. Um, you believe that nonprofits have incubated? Quiet quitting. Yes.

[00:04:53.83] spk_2:
For decades. I don’t know that it’s just non profits but I think it has existed in the nonprofit sector, um, naturally for a lot of reasons. Um, so like nonprofit boards have been quiet quitting, you know, since before it was cool, since before it was a corporate buzzword, um, doing the bare minimum, doing the bare minimum and I wouldn’t even say they’re quiet quitting. I like struggle to say I struggle to see them even doing the bare minimum. Um but I need a new term

[00:05:12.10] spk_1:
but yes, we’re doing less than minimum but still showing up. Yes, maybe less than the bare minimum, like below par subpar performance but still a warm body. Some

[00:05:23.77] spk_2:
yes, medium volume quitting.

[00:05:26.63] spk_1:
Okay. Alright. Alright. So boards you want flesh that out a little bit.

[00:05:30.88] spk_2:
I mean, it might not be totally fair to compare a volunteer board member to like a paid staff member. But um I mean, we see this all the time like board members are just taking like that, that step back before their term is over E D s are sending emails into the abyss there having board meetings without quorum like board members aren’t showing up. I mean, this is all the definition of quitting.

[00:05:59.08] spk_1:
Okay. Are there examples of how nonprofits may have been? You said incubating, incubating this other examples? I

[00:06:03.09] spk_2:
think the other examples I can think of are just like a pretty mature leadership. Um And that, that is represented by a lot of different things. But, um for instance,

[00:06:25.63] spk_1:
it was just a very loud NTC noise, non profit radio perseveres. As long as the ceiling is not coming down. I don’t know, just listeners. I mean, we’re, you know, we’re on the exhibit floor at, at, at NTC. So there was just a loud noise in the

[00:06:26.64] spk_2:
background. Well, apparently there’s a red flag warning in Denver right now, which I didn’t know what that was and apparently it’s like high risk for high winds that start

[00:06:33.56] spk_1:
fires, high winds and not tornadoes. Fires.

[00:06:36.73] spk_2:
Yeah. Fires. It’s been hot. All

[00:06:38.66] spk_1:
right. Well, assuming we have smoke detectors throughout. Okay. Yeah, we’re trusting.

[00:06:43.68] spk_2:
I’m sure they’re prepared.

[00:06:44.77] spk_1:
This looks like a pretty fire. I don’t know about fireproof, but it looks like a pretty safe building. Okay. We’ll persevere, um, leadership.

[00:08:09.64] spk_2:
Yes. Yeah, I think that there happens to be a lot of premature leadership. And I think that’s because for a lot of reasons, but one people are typically not offering salaries to attract talent that is as skilled or as experienced as they need. Um, I’ve volunteered on a lot of committees and boards where they have an executive director stepped down and instead of doing a search, they kind of promote someone from either on the board or from a committee to step into that leadership position. But it’s not necessarily that they have experience leading teams. Um And so there’s a lack of um things that happened, like people aren’t getting reviews like executive directors go years without ever receiving a performance review. And that’s like, that’s kind of, that’s almost the norm and it shouldn’t be. Um but other things just like failing to know how to inspire your team. Um And I think that’s sad because we are the non profit sector. Um A big part of my presentation was based on Devon Sylvan Eos Talk at cause Camp, which is the conference at nonprofit hub puts on every year. And he was talking about finding someone’s purpose point. And so questions that employers should be asking now compared to in the past was um how am I helping you to fulfill your personal purpose? And then employees are asking, how am I fulfilling my personal purpose by volunteering my time to your organization? And that’s kind of missing, I think in leadership. Um And I think leaders still assume that people are looking for money or a flexible work environment. And yes, these things are needed. But I think if you really want to attract someone to your non profit, you need to be able to do those things.

[00:08:53.90] spk_1:
I was also and that kind of leads to something I was wondering about. If you have insight into this more than I do, you’re talking about quite quitting um accepting mediocre performance from your teams or from individuals as, as um as, as okay, you know, like maybe mediocre performance gets rated high because yeah, and well, you know, we have a lower salary range than you would get elsewhere. I don’t expect my expectations are lower for you, which none of which is acceptable. I’m not advocating this at all. But you think that’s out there to like accommodating mediocre performance?

[00:09:05.09] spk_2:
Wow. Like, like allowing mediocre performance because of the total compensation

[00:09:09.15] spk_1:
to perpetuate. Yeah, leadership’s expectations are lower.

[00:10:02.00] spk_2:
I’ve never thought about it that way, but I 100% could see that being true. Um Yeah. And I think sometimes I even like, I can’t say that I feel super proud about how much my staff are making. I would love if they were making more. And I think I’ve had that conscious thought, like, how much can I really ask of them? Like, if I was in their position, like I might not want to go above and beyond. Um And I’ve, I’ve been a quiet Twitter before. I worked at an organization where it was like you were up for raises, you were up for your performance review. They were like kind of hyping you up that you were going to take on a higher level of leadership and then you get like pennies, right for performance. Like I get like a 25 cent raise, but I’m taking on managing another person. I’m taking an additional job responsibilities my job title has changed and that’s just that’s when you start saying if, if my employer isn’t taking care of me and they’re not like stepping up to the plate, then I’m stepping back. What’s the point?

[00:10:08.07] spk_1:
So why should I bother? I’ll just do what it takes. Alright, interesting. Alright, so I may be something for you to think about that. Yeah, accommodating accepting mediocre performance as the norm.

[00:10:21.30] spk_2:
That’s a great point

[00:10:25.70] spk_1:
And I think we do that sometimes and it’s not right. You know, I’m here. I am preaching to an executive director, but you need to do what you can to get those salaries to where they, where you think your folks ought to be paid and that requires a revenue plan which may or may not be fundraising.

[00:10:45.01] spk_2:
But yeah. Yeah. Alright. Yeah. One of the questions that I think is interesting is when I laugh because prior to my presentation, I asked several people this question I said, is it okay to require your employees to go above and beyond and prior to coming here, everyone said, yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s totally fine. Like I would expect that. And then everyone in the room yesterday though said no and I said you guys are right, like, absolutely no, you can’t require your staff to go above and beyond their job expectations. But there are ways that you can maybe inspire them to do that.

[00:11:14.95] spk_1:
Right? And a lot of that I think is team building to, you know, maybe a lot of, I don’t know, maybe some quiet quitting comes from uh a poor team cultures, you know, not, not, not cohesive teams. You know, if you don’t, you don’t feel a part of something, why would you contribute more to it than you

[00:13:21.24] spk_2:
need to? Yeah. And that’s the whole thing like is my, does my job have a purpose here? Um Like, what am I really doing for this, this company? Um There’s also a lot of research on why quiet quitting has happened. And team culture is a big part of that, but there’s a lot of new research on matching personalities to the position. Um I guess 64% of Americans are poorly matched to their job based on their personality and um like, coincidentally like gallop to the poll on how many Americans are quite quitting. It’s 50%. Um And so there’s a lot of research right now based on um like using personality quizzes and like your interview process or even like your job application. And even if you don’t do that, what I like, encourage the audience to do is at least know the personality that you know, is going to succeed in this job. Like, even if you’re not figuring out the personality of the person, at least have that conscious, like I’m aware of what I’m looking for. Um Because I think that’s a big deal like we had, I had an experience one time where one of nonprofit helps core values is uh unabashedly ambitious. And that’s like one of my favorite ones and we had a staff member quit and I was doing her exit interview and we were trying to figure out why she did because it was kind of surprising to us. And she was like, Delaney, I love working with you. You’re a great manager. Like I have had so much fun. I learned so much underneath you guys. Leadership like nonprofit has a great mission. I absolutely adore it. Um But I see you and Katie, like the previous executive director, just go, go, go all day long, like so fast paced, like tackling all these new projects, like doing all of these new things all the time. You, you live rich lives out of work, like you are volunteering all the time, you’re constantly busy. Like it’s just she’s like, it’s not me. She’s like, I’m not thriving in this environment and that was a personality mismatch, I think.

[00:13:36.94] spk_1:
Huh? Why did she felt that she needed to be a high achiever like you and have that high energy that you and your predecessor had had? Yeah. Why? But why would she, I mean, if she, if she’s a contributing member of the team, you were surprised. It’s not like somebody you were looking to, you were not disappointed to have leave. Why did she feel that she needed to measure up to what you do,

[00:15:00.01] spk_2:
I don’t know that it’s, that she felt she needed to measure up. I think that she was maybe doing that or working at a pace that was burning her out. Um And I think that sometimes if you are even in an environment, like there’s an article from nonprofit hr that um describes five dysfunctional leaders and non profits. And one of them is like the workaholic and I think what her perception of Katie and I was maybe that we were workaholics because we were like putting in overtime. But, but like Katie and I just loved like our job. Um And yeah, like, maybe at times it wasn’t healthy, like we probably did burn ourselves out sometimes. Like, I’m not gonna lie and say that I’ve never burn out by working at this company. Um But I think for her when you’re in that environment, everything feels like a crisis. Um And you kind of like instill this sense of like panic if you’re working at that pace and it’s not natural for someone else. And to that point, like I’ve had like, I’m actually an introvert, but I can turn into an extrovert very easily. And I’ve learned how to do that very well. But like, I need my space. Like, for instance, like this morning, I just took my time and I didn’t come out and do any networking prior to this. And like, I might go back and take some intern and breaks but that’s because I know that in order to be an extrovert, I need to like refresh and renew. Thank you for doing

[00:15:05.81] spk_1:
that. And thank you also for being self aware. You needed to do that to like bring your best to nonprofit radio. So thank you. Thank you for that. Thank

[00:15:15.07] spk_2:
you. And I love that the staff member was self aware, like she knew that it wasn’t like working for her and eventually her performance probably would have dwindled right as she was continuing to put herself in this

[00:15:25.04] spk_1:
environment. But wouldn’t you have rather she had talked to you instead of just left because you could have reassured her that her performance is very good. You know, you don’t need to, you don’t need, you could have reassured her, she didn’t need to measure up to what, what you do. But, you know, the way she’s working now and maybe even just a little less would still have been a very good employee. You would rather, I think I’m putting words in your mouth, but would you rather have had a real heart to heart before she

[00:17:22.00] spk_2:
resigned? And at that point, we actually had told her several times that her, her level of calmness and the way that she was so intensely introverted, she actually added a ton of value into conversations because she was always seeing a different angle and what we had been seeing or she would ask questions that we might have not been going slow enough to address or like, you know, preemptively try to avoid problems in the future. Um And so she was great at that, like, we adored that aspect of her and it was really valuable to our team. Um But to another point, I think some people are ready to challenge themselves and some people aren’t. Um And an example that I can think of is when Katie left, um I had to take over hosting the nonprofit radio podcast and I did not want to, I did not ever want to present. I never wanted to host anything. Like I’m more of like a background person like the integrator, not like the visionary. Um And I can do it again, like I can turn myself on, but that, that level of energy and that type of activity is more draining to me so I can do it in smaller quantities. Um And you just have to be aware of that. And so I think when my whole point is that when someone ever approached me to be on stage or present or talk to someone that needed an interview for like media or anything like that, I my my whole body would immediately reject that, right? Like literally my physical body would instantly respond. No, I’m not going to do it. I’ll find someone else for you. I’ll be the coordinator. Like, who are you trying to talk to? Like I’m not the one you want to talk to, but I’ll figure it out. Right. Even though I’m, like, highly capable of doing that. Um, but, like, naturally my body rejects it and I think that some people can fight their body’s natural rejection of something and, but again, it’s requiring more energy of them and I think that’s a big part of burnout. Um, so if she’s constantly pushing herself, it’s not a natural part of how she operates, it’s going to lead to her burning out

[00:18:11.81] spk_1:
what ended up happening with nonprofit Hub podcast. It’s going great. It is. You’re doing it. Yes. Alright. So we’ve talked around it like half a dozen times. Why don’t you explain the work of nonprofit hub? Just full disclosure. I did a webinar for you. You said off my three months before you started, I did a planned giving webinar um for, for nonprofit but describe the work of nonprofit

[00:20:08.06] spk_2:
hub. Yeah, of course. So non profit is a five oh one C three. We consider ourselves an educational collective and a majority of that is, is digital and online um as well as being 100% free for nonprofit professionals. Um I actually had the pleasure to kind of revamp like our missionary vision and our values um when I started as executive director under six months ago. Um but our, our vision is to create a thriving nonprofit sector, founded on nonprofit excellence. And I don’t know if you’ve heard the term business excellence before. That’s like a much more common, I think um thing that businesses are striving for especially small businesses are like entrepreneurs and there’s like five pillars to business excellence. And so I kind of looked at that and I said, what are the five pillars of nonprofit excellence? Because they are a little bit different or at least you have to say them a little bit differently. Um And then we do that by creating a connected ecosystem of people, resources and learning. So we um we provide educational experiences in content almost every day of the week. Um Monday, we provide a downloadable guide, Tuesday. We do our newsletter Wednesday. We always do a live webinar which you are on with us. Um Thursday, we do a blog article on Friday, we published a podcast episode. Um And so we’re just constantly working with people in the sector. It’s not always what we know, like we’re not the thought leader here. Um But more again, that connected ecosystem and like, I can’t tell you like how many resources are available on nonprofit hub, if you have any type of non profit management, if there’s like a pain point that you’re dealing with, like you need to learn how to even the simplest things, right? Like in the whole point of nonprofit hub is that it’s so tactical and easily digestible that you’re supposed to be able to look at like an article and read the paragraph that you need and then move on with your day, right? Like I don’t want you to study, I don’t want you to be in a course for like five hours. Although we do have courses available for you. Like I know that as an executive director, like you’re searching something on Google every day. Um and like you just need to find the answer and move on, right? Like I need a template, I need a downloadable checklist. Like I need to know what I’m not missing and then you need to move on. So that that’s like kind of like our passion. Okay,

[00:20:19.16] spk_1:
profit profit dot org dot org.

[00:20:22.14] spk_2:
And how many staff we have five staff

[00:20:25.04] spk_1:
distributed over the country?

[00:20:36.95] spk_2:
Yes. Yes. So I’m from West Michigan. I have a team member in Ohio, Alabama, my Obama girl. Um and then I have a gentleman who kind of splits his time between New Jersey, Chicago and Atlanta. Alright. Five. Alright.

[00:20:41.27] spk_1:
Non profit hub dot org. For for the hub, the hub of

[00:21:47.90] spk_0:
resources. It’s time for a break. Stop the drop with donor box, the online donation platform. How many probable donors drop off before they finish making the donation on your website? You can stop the drop and break that cycle with donor boxes. Ultimate donation form added to your website in minutes. Literally when you stop the drop, probable donors become donors four times faster. Checkout easy payment processing, no setup fees, no mentally fees. No contract and you’ll be joining over 40,000 U S nonprofits and over 50,000 throughout the world and the whole earth 50,000 donor box helping you help others. Donor box dot org. Now back to Quiet Quitting with Delaney Mullinix, you coined something in

[00:21:48.92] spk_1:
your like learning objectives. Quiet firing. What is this?

[00:22:15.01] spk_2:
So if we were to define quiet firing in the same way that we define quiet quitting, it’s not the intentional act of trying to push someone out of their job or the organization. Quiet firing is again, kind of those consequences of premature leadership, I think, but also like a burnout leader or a leader who themselves are quiet quitting. Um So this is like a very passive management style. So not providing their reviews, not engaging with your staff members, not providing affirmation is so

[00:22:23.68] spk_1:
toxic. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Are you seeing a lot of quiet firing? You see you see examples or is it trending?

[00:23:01.29] spk_2:
I think what happens is that I think, I think I’ve seen more of like the intentional trying to push someone out than I have seen quiet firing. Um But I think when you see that when you see the behavior of quiet quitting at the board level, um the executive director is probably leaning towards like a quiet quitting behavior. Um If they’re not having a board that’s they have a board that’s quiet firing them. Um And then it just trickles trickles down

[00:23:04.38] spk_1:
from the board. Quiet firing to the CEO Quiet firing the employees, quiet

[00:23:11.39] spk_2:
quitting and you feel a lot less guilt, right? Like doing that when you see your leaders doing it. Yeah.

[00:23:17.95] spk_1:
Okay. Uh All right. So what should we be thinking about? What should we be conscious of, to what? Well, I think we’ve talked about what it looks like, identify the symptoms of quiet quitting. What does, what does the CEO executive director do in the face of this? Maybe it’s just one person, maybe it’s hopefully it’s not throughout your teams. You see a quiet quitter, you suspect quiet quitter. What does the CEO

[00:23:47.12] spk_2:
do? I think there are a couple of things and a lot of my recommendations um that

[00:23:51.30] spk_1:
other supervisors, sorry, I’m trying to think of all our listeners, supervisor of the person doesn’t have to be the

[00:25:23.86] spk_2:
CEO. Yeah, I, a lot of my recommendations I think try to prevent the quiet quitting from happening. Um But there’s also a lot of conversation around. Um and we can kind of tell that the quiet quitting phenomenon isn’t necessarily all negative. Um Like there’s a shift in the power dynamic between the employer, employee and employee and employer. Um like employees are now like valuing their time. There’s a healthier work life balance. Um People are actually intermittently quiet quitting to avoid burnout and wouldn’t the employer want you to do that? Um Like burnout is so toxic, especially when it’s in leadership. Um And So it’s not necessarily a good or bad thing like it’s going to exist, I think forever and it’s been happening in generations well before the workforce right now. Um And there’s lots of evidence on that as well. Like if you look at it, if you look at the U S employee engagement trend, um compared to the rapid shift and generations in the workforce, the engagement has been exactly the same, the same level of employees are engaged since 2000 as they are in 2022. In the same level of employees are actively disengaged in the two thousands as they are now in 2023. So that hasn’t changed at all regardless of how much millennials have now skyrocketed in 2022. They’ll be in less than two years will be 75% of the entire workforce and the second biggest generation is going to be Gen Z. Um But again that, that engagement isn’t actually changing. So like quite quitting wasn’t like a generational thing. Um It’s always been happening,

[00:25:31.76] spk_1:
we’ve identified it, we put a label on it. Alright, so, alright, so uh something of a silver lining, it’s not always

[00:26:10.96] spk_2:
100%. Yeah, this is like the silver lining is that like we’re going to right size jobs. Um People are gonna be in the right seat, there’s going to be a higher level of happiness and engagement like at the end of the day, if we, if we address it in the right way. Um And I think, yeah, again, like the things that I recommend are, I feel like almost basic like hr practices, but again, like leaders aren’t always equipped to have that skill set, like they don’t know, best practices of hr or how to lead and inspire team, like their premature leaders, like they need to learn these things. Um And like, I mean, all the way from like the on boarding experience of your employee to like your job description and your expectations. Um and again, like trying to match personality to the position. Like these are all things that you can do to try to make sure that the staff that you’re putting into a position is going to be engaged and happy. All you

[00:26:52.81] spk_1:
can do is minimize the likelihood. What about, what about going back to my original question? If you do think you see it, how do you engage the employee with the understanding that it’s not always negative, the person might be engaging in just some self care that they feel that they need? But as the person’s supervisor, you’re seeing less engagement, uh maybe poor performance for some. How do you as the supervisor engage with the

[00:27:34.77] spk_2:
employee? Yeah, I think when I see people kind of um like being asleep at the wheel, I guess if you will, like, you’re kind of starting to see more mistakes in their work. You’re like, what is going on? Like, why does this keep happening? Um, I think it is really important to just have like a very open conversation. Um, and I guess it depends on your comfort level doing that, but I typically will, will address it from like a very professional standpoint. Right? Like you’re not like you have to kind of sandwich it in a way that doesn’t sound like to, you don’t want to like, violate anyone’s privacy. You don’t want to make them feel bad in any way. That’s not the point. The point is to help them succeed. But from a factual basis, yes, but from a factual basis, I’ve seen

[00:27:45.84] spk_1:
your performance. Yes. Declining. Here’s two examples of what I’ve seen in the past six weeks.

[00:29:17.22] spk_2:
And I love how um someone once said to me, one of my, like first, one of the first people who like I loved as, as like a business professional. He said, if you’re addressing a problem with someone, you need to frame it as if you continue to do A B and C, then like, these are the consequences type of a thing. So you’re kind of saying like this is the facts, this is what I’m seeing. And actually I think he starts it as maybe I feel that something is going on because I see A B and C and these are the consequences if A B and C continue to happen and then that employee has to take ownership of saying, okay, I don’t want these consequences to happen. And like, let me address like how you’re feeling and what’s actually happening. And I think that actually works, like I’ve certainly tried it before. Um, and you’re taking a very unemotional approach to the situation. Um But it’s still kind of getting to the underlying root cause of that employee’s behavior and performance. Um And almost always the employees say, you know, this has been going on. Um I’ve had employees come out during performance improvement plans and say like this is what I’ve been dealing with for a while and I recognize the issues. Um And like this is valuable to, to have this performance improvement plan because this is something I can focus on. Like these are my goals to focus on. Um versus like everything else in their minds that’s probably like taking their brain space. That’s

[00:29:22.35] spk_1:
a great outcome from a, from a meeting or a couple of meetings

[00:29:44.25] spk_2:
around this. But I think some questions to that, that I’m not sure I am ready to ask my employees but um to the whole like the purpose point thing again, like the question is, how am I helping you fulfill your personal purpose? Um Literally is a question you could ask for beta. All right,

[00:29:45.72] spk_1:
let’s turn to your session. You said you had some interesting questions came out of the session. Like what, what stays with you?

[00:29:59.58] spk_2:
Um Some people were curious. Um, I had a woman who seemed like, pretty frustrated that it was neither a good or bad thing. I didn’t know what to tell her. It just is what it is, but you can mitigate the negative consequences.

[00:30:04.71] spk_1:
She thought it was good or bad. I

[00:30:06.58] spk_2:
don’t know. She asked me this question like five minutes into my presentation so I will get to the pros and

[00:30:12.54] spk_1:
cons. Okay. But you just defined it.

[00:30:16.20] spk_2:
She’s like, I’m confused and I was like, I know sometimes it seems a little weird,

[00:30:19.98] spk_1:
you reassured her that we’re going to talk about it. Yeah.

[00:30:25.51] spk_2:
One of the other really curious questions I had was um, is trying to match personalities, going to create an equity.

[00:30:34.41] spk_1:
Well, she’s right to be equity focused on not just hiring somebody who looks like you and spends their social time like you and you know, that’s valuable. She’s equity concern here. She equity with inequity lens. It’s valuable.

[00:31:51.61] spk_2:
Okay. But I think that’s actually, and I really like that question because I’ve been reading a book called Quiet. And it’s the um the power of introverts and it talks about kind of like the history of introverts and how they’ve been so influential to the workforce and like the values that they bring and like real, like stories of these people. Um and some of the most influential people that we know today, like we’re introverts and I love this book, but it also says that um there was a shift in America where like the best virtue used to be like integrity. And then it kind of had this crazy shift to your highest virtue is like your charisma and like your ability to like be social and it kind of became like the highest rate of currency. And so those people were the ones succeeding in the workforce because that became like the new best thing versus like your integrity, like your loyalty and like you’re like everything else. Um Super interesting. So like, I love that question because I’ve definitely read about that before. Um So like, yeah, if you are, but then the then the question is not every, is every job best fit for an extrovert, not necessarily. Um So yeah,

[00:32:04.31] spk_1:
there are a lot of jobs where extroverts will be frustrated. Alright. Anything else, anything else on the topic? Quite quitting? But we haven’t talked about, I don’t want you holding out on nonprofit radio listeners from your session yesterday? Anything we talked about yesterday that we didn’t talk about today? Um

[00:32:45.29] spk_2:
I guess like one thing that I think might be helpful is when you are doing um and again, these are all things that you kind of learn the hard way. But um I was always in positions where I was again not getting reviews or I felt my reviews were important to my manager. So my reviews either were never scheduled and I had to be like, when’s my review? I think it’s been a year. Am I going to get a review? Like once my review and you had to remind that person, remind that person, remind that person to schedule a review and they’re always like, yeah, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna do and they never do it, right. Um I can’t tell you how many people have this similar experience and then when you get to the interview or like when an interview, when the review is scheduled, maybe they postpone it, they have to keep our scheduling because they’re not prepared and then you get into your review and they’re like, oh, five amazing job.

[00:33:00.39] spk_1:
How could you have possibly thought that your review was not important to them? Yeah, crazy

[00:33:41.00] spk_2:
conclusion. So, and it bothers me because reviews are important to employees. Like I’ve been on both sides of the thing. And so now as a leader, I will, when any employee starts, I schedule every single one of the reviews, like literally for a lifetime, even if the employee is no longer with me in my schedule and I can take that out of my schedule. So I do a 30 day review, a 90 day review and an annual review. And I have those immediately went on the employee on boards and I think that’s super important and like, I try my very, very hardest to never reschedule those meetings. Um Like you have to look ahead and you have to prepare for that meeting. Um, and you

[00:33:51.11] spk_1:
know, what can I take a little digression from that? That is eminently doable. If you put something in your calendar, you can preserve it. You just tell other people that you’re not available

[00:34:00.00] spk_2:
at. Exactly. And it’s just as important as any other obligation that you have in your schedule. Unless a

[00:34:23.39] spk_1:
crisis, immediate crisis or, well, crisis, you know, anything personal, anything large personal could be a crisis. Just the point is if you put something in your calendar, it can be protected. It’s up to you to protect it boundaries and with very few exceptions, you say no, I’m sorry, that’s buying another time. So this, you know, the idea that I, I couldn’t keep the appointment. Well, you didn’t want to keep it for whatever reason, you know, I may not know. But yeah, I mean, it’s easy to preserve things, just set the boundaries and enforce them. Obviously, a

[00:35:41.20] spk_2:
of course, I love someone told me one time that you can’t put meeting blocks in your schedule. You have to put meeting locks in your schedule. And I love that you’re valuing your folks. Yes. But when you, when you say someone, when you clearly didn’t put any time into a review, like you think you’re not attention anyways and that makes it easy to fly under the radar. Like I’m not going to put in more effort if like you like whatever, like I’m doing great. Okay, good. I think the next time I come to my review, you’re gonna tell me I’m doing great too, but I’ve been doing like half of what I did before like um but we use something called a five by five by five template and it’s like one of Gino Wickman tools under the entrepreneur operating system. Gino Wickman, Gino Wickman. Yes, he is the creator of the entrepreneurial operating system. A lot of people just say E O s but we use a couple of his strategies, not all of it, some companies completely go into every part of us, but some things we have found to be beneficial and one of them is the review format. And so the first column is your core values and behaviors and actions that represent those core values. Um The second column is a rating. So you write this employee on a scale of 1 to 5. The third column is what’s working in the fourth column is what’s not working. And you can definitely have things in both of those columns at the same time for a particular

[00:36:04.39] spk_1:
core value.

[00:36:25.80] spk_2:
Yes, yes. Um And so there’s, there might be one core value, but there might be four actions or behaviors that exhibit that core value for that specific employees position. Um And then the fifth column is my favorite. It’s the comments column, but there’s a very important aspect of this column and it’s supposed to be what can you do? What can I do? And employee engagement and performance is a two way street. And if you’re managing this employee, there’s always going to be something that you can do and something that they can do to fix what’s not working. And that should always happen in that comment section on our

[00:36:53.20] spk_1:
review. Anything you want to leave us with around quiet quitting. I don’t think so. How about some inspiration? Just maybe just, well, I’ll say it’s a reminder that it’s not good or bad. It’s neither um but some inspiration around what, what, what folks can look out for and how they can help their teams.

[00:37:20.84] spk_2:
Yeah, I think maybe something inspirational and I really truly feel this is that um I think non profit, the nonprofit sector, even though they, everyone keeps saying that we’re losing like the most talent and like the most employees than anyone in the great resignation um that needs to be changed. But I think, I think that we have the biggest advantage out of any sector to change that because we are the purpose sector. Like we are not for profit, all for purpose. And so I think we have like a hand up here and so I think we can do better.

[00:37:52.02] spk_1:
Delaney Mullinix, executive director, non profit hub. You’ll find them at nonprofit hub dot org, an outstanding resource for nonprofits, Delaney. Thank you very much for sharing. Thank you so much. You have a lot of valuable advice. Thank you and thank you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 23 N T C 2023 nonprofit technology conference where we are sponsored by Heller consulting, technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. Thanks for being with us.

[00:40:15.79] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony’s take two. I need a redox on last week’s. It isn’t, it is what it is. I think I stressed the wrong thing when I made the point that it is what it is absolved blame. And rather we should be accepting blame or accepting responsibility, accountability, either accepting it for ourselves or assigning it. Okay. That was the point I made last week. That was my major point. And there’s something that I just mentioned, which really is the bigger point. So that’s why I need the redux. I just mentioned that if you a sign, it is what it is to something, then you’re accepting it and you’re not looking at possibilities for changing the thing, the situation, the problem, you’re just throwing up your hands and saying it is what it is. It can’t be changed. So really what I want to focus on is not not accepting that is there some way that the thing, the situation, the problem, the issue could be changed and to know if it could be changed, we need to figure out who’s responsible. So that’s really, that’s really the flow of my thinking. Don’t just throw your hands up with it is what it is and give up on a situation if it’s important enough, look for ways that you can change it. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got Boo koo but loads more time here is email accessibility. Hello and

[00:40:35.88] spk_1:
welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 23 N T C. It’s the 2023 nonprofit technology conference and this is our first interview of the conference where we are sponsored by Heller consulting, technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits with me to kick off our coverage is Coralie

[00:40:39.96] spk_0:

[00:40:40.58] spk_1:
Rodriguez. She is senior production specialist at Firefly Partners. Welcome Cora Lee.

[00:40:47.58] spk_3:
Thank you. I really appreciate the ability to be here and speak with you today.

[00:40:58.03] spk_1:
It’s my pleasure and I’m very much looking forward to the firefly pizza, dinner and beer celebration tomorrow night, right? I

[00:41:01.01] spk_3:
am as well. It should be a really good time.

[00:41:15.72] spk_1:
Okay, cool. So you’re there again? Alright. Your session topic here at 23 NTC is how to make your organization’s email messages accessible. Why did you think we need this topic? What are we not doing? Quite right?

[00:41:20.65] spk_3:
That’s a really good question. And it’s something that I myself have been learning a lot about over the past year and have determined that there’s all kinds of different things that we can do to make email accessible from the content that we are writing to the images that we use. The branding colors that we have and the design elements pulling everything together. It’s been a fascinating process to learn

[00:41:44.46] spk_1:
and there are a lot of people in the U S who have

[00:41:48.09] spk_3:
disabilities. Right. Very many. Yes. In all wide ranges of areas you wouldn’t even expect.

[00:41:54.53] spk_1:
I think, I think you cited in your description over 26% of U S population.

[00:42:00.20] spk_3:
Exactly. And it’s not only physical limitations but language barriers and temporary disabilities, all kinds of different things are covered.

[00:42:11.34] spk_1:
Okay. So let’s uh let’s jump in a bit. You have something called the W C A G email accessibility guidelines. Yes. What’s that? First? I have Dragon Jail on non profit radio. So you have to define W C A G

[00:42:31.71] spk_3:
I am very happy to these are the web content accessibility guidelines and they go for all digital assets out there. So not just email but web and Power Point presentations or anything else that is a digital asset.

[00:42:44.08] spk_1:
Okay. And so what can we learn from?

[00:43:06.04] spk_3:
These are international standards that are designed to create content that is accessible in all of these different areas. So what they do is they set the standards that we need to meet and there’s many different levels. Currently, there is the 2.1 level and that is the one where there’s both a double A and triple A level. Most folks especially in the nonprofit world are just learning about these. So they’re all brand new. So what we need to do is figure out what they are first and then how to apply them to our everyday work. Okay.

[00:43:27.81] spk_1:
The guidelines. So web content accessibility guidelines, W C A G. Okay. Um Just available online somewhere. I don’t know, where do we find them? First of

[00:43:31.70] spk_3:
all, they are part of the W three C consortium which is again part of the international standards around just web accessibility and everything out there. Basically, these are the folks who just find how Microsoft should be writing their code and how everybody else should be writing the code, setting the standards that they needed to meet. Okay,

[00:43:54.92] spk_1:
so, but do we as content producers, I mean, we need to know the W C A G guidelines because you said it filters down to like power points. So do we need to be, I mean, do we need to go and read the guidelines or is it just the guidelines are more higher level like Microsoft levels than, than, than our work?

[00:44:16.14] spk_3:
It’s a very good question. There are a lot of different criteria and really what you need to be aware of are the criteria that apply to your specific work. So me with email accessibility, there are about four or five that I need to pay attention to somebody’s doing Power Point presentations. There are other ones that they would need to meet, but these four are also a part of that.

[00:44:32.04] spk_1:
So first of all, the guidelines are online, we can find them. They are. Yes, web content

[00:44:37.57] spk_3:
accessibility guidelines. Thank you very much.

[00:44:39.67] spk_1:
Okay. Alright. So what specifically to email? So we’re talking about email accessibility. What do we need to learn from, from the guidelines?

[00:45:01.73] spk_3:
Yeah, what you need to learn around the guidelines is that there are four different criteria. The first one is around um having hyperlinks that are underlined in your messages. There is also one around color contrasts that you want to have a 4.5 to 1 ratio between the different colors that you use. And for example, if you think about the color of a background of one section of the message and then maybe a button on top of that, you want to make sure that the button color contrast ratio and that background color meat that 4.5 to 1 ratio. Okay.

[00:45:25.88] spk_1:
Okay. We’re gonna come back to that ratio. What are the other

[00:45:51.07] spk_3:
two? The other 21 of them is around the text that you use in the hyperlink that it needs to be descriptive. So I see very often in my work with clients that people are hyper linking and underlining. Read more or click more. Exactly. And that’s not descriptive for somebody who is using a screen reader or another accessibility device. They’re not going to know what they’re being taken to all they know is read more. And when the screen reader is reading an email message, it pulls all the links together in one spot. So it’s not necessarily as you’re reading through the content,

[00:46:07.36] spk_1:
that’s the key. It’s not in context with the sentence that the link is a part

[00:46:19.64] spk_3:
of correct. So they’ll see, read more, read, more, read, more, click here, read more and that’s not descriptive enough to know where they’re being taken basically

[00:46:22.55] spk_1:
worthless until you click every single thing to find. Okay. Okay. So uh alright. Yeah, I understand. All right. So the hyperlinked text itself and then what’s the final

[00:46:34.38] spk_3:
one? The final one is actually escaping me at the moment. I can’t.

[00:46:38.28] spk_1:
That’s okay. It’ll come back to you. I bet you let’s go back to color contrast. How do you know what your ratio is? There

[00:47:14.78] spk_3:
are luckily a lot of different color contrast checkers out there on the web. My favorite one is color contrast CC and that one is where you simply go in and you enter the hexi decimal values of your colors. And that’s one way of reading what the colors are and it will tell you in comparison like say a dark purple font on a light lavender background. You’ve got those two hexi decimal values, you can compare them in the tool and it’ll tell you exactly what that ratio is. So if it’s a 3.24 to 1, you know that you need to make your dark purple darker or your lavender lighter in order to increase that contrast ratio. Okay? Because you

[00:47:24.72] spk_1:
want to be where between four,

[00:47:26.88] spk_3:
4.5 to 1,

[00:47:32.71] spk_1:
4.5 to 1? Okay. 4.5 to 1. Okay. Okay. Alright. So that was color contrast CC Yes, just color contrast CC dot com.

[00:47:37.56] spk_3:
Yeah, if you look out there, just a simple search for color contrast that will give you a lot of different options out there. So that’s just my personal favorite. And your

[00:47:45.75] spk_1:
designer should know your hex decimal numbers exactly for the different colors you’re using. Okay. Um Is there anything more to say about the hyperlinks underline part? Is it just that they should be underlined?

[00:48:23.11] spk_3:
Really? Because we’ve switched away from making things so accessible over the last 10 or 20 years. Really, we want to make sure that you’re underlining those and that’s super important because it’s going to be consistent with other people’s email messages out there. That’s what folks are expecting to see. So if your color contrast number one, they’re not strong enough having that hype underneath it. The text decoration is really going to call it out so that it’s very clearly identified and able to be seen when somebody is scanning through a message quickly

[00:48:33.31] spk_1:
and underlining, underlining more valuable than just bold facing a hyperlink. Yes, specifically underlined,

[00:48:41.26] spk_3:
specifically underlined.

[00:48:44.21] spk_1:
The fourth one occur to you by any chance yet.

[00:48:47.13] spk_3:
No, it still hasn’t come to mind. We’re going to move

[00:48:52.43] spk_1:
on A D A, the American Disabilities Act, email Compliance. That’s another, this is another standard we need to be aware of it

[00:49:00.47] spk_3:
is and it’s taken into consideration with the wicked guidelines. So this web content accessibility guidelines. Pulley and all of those A D A requirements as a part of it.

[00:49:16.88] spk_1:
Oh okay. So we’re all right now we’re now we’re in like insider not W C like I was calling it I’m trainable. Okay. I’ll call it all right. So if you’re so in other words, if you’re hearing two week ag then you’re you’re hearing to A D A, you are, you are necessarily. Yes. Okay. Alright. So one set of guidelines covers us. It

[00:49:34.86] spk_3:
does the wicked guidelines really took all of those accessibility things into consideration around disabilities.

[00:49:45.47] spk_1:
Um Anything more you want to say about before we move to another topic?

[00:50:15.72] spk_3:
No, I I think it’s something that you really need to pay attention to and I’d say the only other thing I’d love to add is that there are changes that are due out at the end of May 2023. So what we’re setting us our standards right now may change. I don’t expect them to be dramatic, but there are dramatic changes coming in the future. I just don’t think that they’re quite going to be released at the end of May 2023 COVID gave us a little bit of a remission space where people are um putting out things a little bit slower than they used to in the past. So it’s

[00:50:44.95] spk_1:
coming, this, this will likely air, uh, in or after May of this year. So, so if we just keep, keep on top of week ag, well, we’ll have the most current whenever mean, either it’ll either be pre change or post change. But, so if you’re looking in May, you might want to look again in June, July to make sure because there’s changes coming.

[00:50:47.07] spk_3:
Yeah, that’s the point. Yeah, the May 2023 ones are some of the bigger ones, but there’s definitely another full version. Let’s do it after that right now. We’re at 2.1 and I think it’s supposed to be jumping up to 2.3. Okay.

[00:51:29.02] spk_1:
Okay. Uh In the background you’ll hear 23 NTC kicking off because because non profit radio is uh is more efficient than the conference overall. So we started about 10 minutes, Cora Cora Lee and I started about 10 minutes before the conference officially kicked off. But in the background, you may have heard that I don’t know if you could recognize the voice, but that was Amy Sample Ward, the CEO kicking off 23 N T C uh here on the exhibit floor. Alright. So let’s go to uh email accessibility, best practices for designers. There’s more, there’s more than just

[00:52:01.72] spk_3:
there is that you really need to think about those color contrast ratios and the color contrast checkers from a designer’s standpoint. In addition to that you want to make sure you have plenty of space around your call to action buttons. Remember over 50% of folks are reading email on their mobile devices and they need space to be able to click the buttons and be taken to that action without interfering with other texts or other links that may be on the page as well. Sometimes

[00:52:22.49] spk_1:
it feels like people don’t, don’t recognize that. What is it? 80% or 80 85% of people are, are using the web and, and looking at email on their phone, right. They are so some smaller device and yeah. Right. That’s it makes so much you go to push you have to enlarge the screen a lot of times to get to the button that you

[00:52:43.27] spk_3:
want. Exactly. And only that button. Okay. Font size is also a really big important part as well. Like you mentioned with the scrolling. Think about the footer of any of your messages where you’ve got your unsubscribe link or change your preferences in the majority of messages that I see my clients sending out there using a small font and it is accessible. But sometimes I’ve had to myself scroll on my mobile device in order to click that unsubscribe, you want to make that easily accessible so people can get off your list and make sure that your email delivery ability rates stay high.

[00:53:04.55] spk_1:
Yes. Right. Because if people are ignoring your emails that hurts your deliver ability, likelihood it

[00:53:13.82] spk_3:
does. They could be marking you with spam and that’s going to definitely affect your email deliver ability.

[00:53:16.95] spk_1:
We don’t, yeah, we don’t have anybody this year on an email deliver ability, but we have passed NTC. You, you and I are talking about accessibility but deliver abilities a whole nother topic. It is all right. And so one of the things is you want people who are engaging with your emails, not just ignoring them or letting them sit and spam

[00:53:38.19] spk_3:
you want folks to be engaged so that they’re actively participating in your organization and supporting you. They know what content you’re putting out there. They’re in full support of your mission or if not they’re unsubscribing and leaving and going on to something else that they’re more interested in.

[00:53:53.98] spk_1:
But even if they, even if they don’t unsubscribe, the email providers are smart enough to know how people are treating your emails.

[00:54:03.12] spk_3:
Right. They are, they can see that there’s no activity and that’s going to affect your deliver abilities.

[00:54:15.30] spk_1:
Exactly. Alright. Anything else? Best, best practices for designers? I mean, you don’t have to be a professional email designer to be paying attention to spacing and font size.

[00:54:40.97] spk_3:
Know exactly. You do not what other best practices you also want to make sure that you’re limiting your use of all caps when your messages. Because what’s really happening is the all caps text comes across as very square and it’s not easily identifiable to somebody who is looking at the message quickly. So we all have a normal pattern of looking at words and recognizing them by their shape. When you’re using all caps, you’re taking that away and making all of the words very rectangular. So it’s harder to process what you’re reading.

[00:54:54.16] spk_1:
Interesting. So all caps is harder to process

[00:54:58.02] spk_3:
it is. Yes, indeed. We think it stands out. It does stand out, but it’s still going to take folks one second longer to really process what they’re reading.

[00:55:07.17] spk_1:
Okay. Okay. Others, other best practices.

[00:55:10.49] spk_3:
Another one is not centering your text or if you’re going to center your text, use it with a very short headline. All of the other text of the main part of the message should be left aligned. And this again goes to the readability of the message that when you get to the end of the line, if everything is centered, it’s going to take folks a little bit longer to identify where the start of the next line is as they read down the message.

[00:55:36.87] spk_1:
Okay. So there are, there are studies about how people read, how long it takes them to read email on, on the mobile device.

[00:56:02.23] spk_3:
Yeah. Right now it takes about nine seconds for somebody to comprehend the content that they’re reading in a message or at least that’s the amount of time that they’re devoting on average to reading a message, especially if someone has cognitive disability, it’s going to take them a little bit longer to process, but their attention span is not going to be longer than those nine seconds. So, if you want to get your message across, you want to make sure that everything is really easy for them to read, identify and get the content out and understand what they’re reading.

[00:56:19.79] spk_1:
Nine seconds. That sounds like still just enough time for my mother to create guilt. Nine seconds doesn’t sound like much, but it’s eminently doable for her. Okay. Other best practices before

[00:56:32.78] spk_3:
we move on, you know, that’s really it for the design perspective. And again, like you mentioned, you don’t have to be a full designer to apply these to any message that you’re building. This is basic,

[00:56:49.29] spk_1:
I mean, just don’t use all caps or using very judiciously and don’t center only headlines, etcetera. Okay. Okay. I don’t see a reason for all caps. Is there, is there, is there justification for all caps anywhere?

[00:56:54.56] spk_3:
No, I think from the design perspective, it does make things stand out a little bit more. But if you think about processing time of somebody reading that that could be the negative for why not to use it,

[00:57:05.17] spk_1:
right? But it’s just it’s just taken as shouting too, right? I mean, I still perceive it that way. Is that, am I to 2002? Am I, am I still like a dinosaur when I see all caps? I still think people are shouting.

[00:57:18.28] spk_3:
Yeah, I think that is a generational thing because my daughter actually does not see it the same way. She doesn’t see it as shouting and she’s just 18, she’s 18.

[00:57:26.20] spk_1:
She does not. All right, Gen Z. Okay. Do you,

[00:57:30.21] spk_3:
what do you think? I think it’s all all shouting. Definitely.

[00:57:54.83] spk_1:
Alright. Thank you for representing you don’t have to be 61 like I am to think that it’s all shouting. All right. Um You’re another another sort of take away that you you promised is uh code html, emails with better accessibility. Now, now we’re talking about coding html. Is this higher level design type advice?

[00:57:55.82] spk_3:
You definitely have to have some understanding of what you’re looking for in the messages. And again, this definitely ties back to what email platform you’re using to send your messages. If they’re using a drag drop type of approach, you may not be able to get to the HTML. So this is something that you don’t need to pay attention to like a like a male chimp, like a male chimp or a constant contact dragging,

[00:58:24.28] spk_1:
dropping you highlight, you work, you enter what you want and and the provider puts it in the right place tonight format, et cetera, you just click a button to do what you want

[00:58:31.88] spk_3:
for you.

[00:58:32.25] spk_1:
Alright. Alright. So that’s this is higher level that the HTML part is for folks who are actually getting into the code.

[00:58:55.25] spk_3:
It is, but even along with us. There are definitely some things that you can look for such as adding all tax to your images. You want to make sure there is an alternative description for any images. We all know the outlook is not notorious for turning off an image. So the first thing you’re going to see is that alternative text, a screen reader is also going to see this the alternative text. So that’s how you get to explain exactly what the purpose of this image is. What is it containing? What’s the message you’re trying to get across?

[00:59:14.30] spk_1:
You know, a lot of this occurs to me is just, I don’t know, it’s kind of thoughtfulness if you just be thoughtful, like include all text, make your hyperlinks descriptive, you know, more than a word or two. I mean, some of this just seems like if you’re, if you’re conscious, you’ll be more thoughtful about accessibility.

[00:59:30.93] spk_3:
And that’s really what it is. One of the things I noticed that I was doing over the past five years was rushing through a message to get out the door. Somebody would give me the content of one hour and I had to send by five o’clock. And I know that that happens in a lot of nonprofits, you’ve got that deadline you have to meet. But if we stop and think about all these accessibility practices, it’s not that much more time that we’re adding on in order to get these messages able to be read by everybody out there.

[01:00:00.52] spk_1:
Um I’m interested in how you got into email. Message, accessibility. That’s pretty, seems like a pretty narrow niche.

[01:00:28.03] spk_3:
It is, but it definitely ties into everything else out there. I’ve been working an email for over 20 years, working in the male chimps. I’ve worked in illuminated online engaging networks, part of salesforce marketing cloud. You name it. There are very consistent things across all of those platforms and things that you have to do. You have to write the content, the message you have to have who it’s coming from the subject line, etcetera. So building upon that and diving into different things with different clients, I’ve learned about the email delivery ability. I’ve learned about now with within the last year, the accessibility and there’s always a new layer of something that you can learn tied into email that’s going to help nonprofits get their message out there and connect with the right people.

[01:00:54.30] spk_1:
You’ve spent 20 years working in email, you’re a dedicated email professional

[01:01:00.43] spk_3:
I am. And it’s a very unique place to be because it’s not like the web, the standards are not the same for how the email clients have to read the code that they’re getting in the messages. I

[01:01:12.49] spk_1:
say a little more about that.

[01:01:48.83] spk_3:
What do you mean? Well, think about Microsoft Outlook is one example and then you also have Gmail and you have Yahoo. There’s no consistency in how those email tools are built to read the messages and the code that they’re getting. So one will very happily accept centered buttons. Another one will not like outlook does not like rounded corners on buttons and there’s special coding that you have to use in order to enforce those background images behind messages. That’s one that’s really hard to do. And there’s a whole bunch of little nitty gritty details around the coding that you can force things to look one way or another. But you’re never going to get that perfect picture email to look the same on all of those different platforms. There’s approximately 15,000 different ways. Any one message could look when it’s sent out into the world.

[01:02:24.19] spk_1:
So how do you, I think what happens for a lot of us is we just were not email 20 year email professionals like you are. So we just say screw it. I’ll just, I’ll do something else. Uh Forget the rounded edges, forget the background image, you know, I’ll just, I’ll do something else but uh but as a 20 year email professional, so alright, 15,000 different platforms. We’re talking about different renderings, right? Rendering of email. How do you, so how do you satisfy a client who isn’t going to just say screw it?

[01:02:39.25] spk_3:
That’s a really good question. I

[01:02:41.14] spk_1:
want it this way for 99% of the people who get my email. And

[01:03:13.26] spk_3:
what do you do? What I do is I look at their data list and I see what email clients, their supporters are using. And from there, I see what the top percentages are. Is it. Outlook is a Gmail is a Yahoo and I make sure that the emails look good in those top 20%. And then when we get down to the very bottom of that $15,000 list, well, you really can decide, you know that. Okay, maybe um there’s an Apple device that folks are really not using very much. Maybe that’s only 1% of their audience. And that’s the one that we make sure it looks good, but it’s not going to match the others.

[01:03:25.25] spk_1:
Okay. That was, that was the hypothetical client who said, make it look right for 99%.

[01:03:31.12] spk_3:
And that is a real client. They do this.

[01:03:37.40] spk_1:
All right. Well, we won’t deal with the one who says it’s got to be 100%. Um All right. Very interesting. All right. Anything else you want to tell us about email message accessibility? We have, we have time together. If there’s anything we didn’t cover that you want to talk about?

[01:04:26.97] spk_3:
Yeah, one more point that I’d like to make is around the language that we’re using in our messages. There is a style of writing called plain language which uses simplified simple sentences and everyday language which really breaks down the barriers about the content that we’re sending out into the world most of the time you would think that writings that everybody could understand would be a best practice naturally. But in the way that we write in the news media through health information, and I do work with a lot of health focused nonprofit organizations. The language gets overly complex and it’s not necessarily underst by those who are receiving the messages. So if we use a plain language style of writing that is going to really help break down the words that are used and the intent of the message so that everybody can understand

[01:04:42.25] spk_1:
plain language. Does that just mean try to write more like the way we speak?

[01:04:47.68] spk_3:
Yes. So it’s less like what you learn in college as the professional, you know, this is the grammar style that you need to use. All

[01:05:06.30] spk_1:
of that contractions could be okay. Exactly. I can’t instead of I cannot, you know, alright, so more friendly, more, more, yeah, more friendly sounding tone. Yes. Is

[01:05:09.42] spk_3:
preferred. It’s going to be understood by a wider audience base.

[01:05:21.59] spk_1:
Okay. So forget what you learned in in uh your college English course because that was ready for academe journals, essays and theses, but we’re writing blog posts, emails sidebars. You know, we don’t, we don’t have the luxury of 15,000 words for, for, for a research journal. You know, we’re trying to get our point across in like 200

[01:05:39.65] spk_3:
words. Exactly with somebody who has a very short digital attention span,

[01:05:45.52] spk_1:
but still long enough for my mother to create guilt. Alright. Alright, Cora Lee, we’re gonna leave it there. Are you okay? Anything else?

[01:05:53.39] spk_3:
That’s all I’ve got today. I really appreciate this. Thank

[01:05:55.62] spk_1:
you. When you’re, when you’re doing your, are you doing your session?

[01:05:58.39] spk_3:
My presentation is this afternoon I think 2 45. All right, good luck. I hope

[01:06:11.71] spk_1:
it goes very well. Thank you. All right, my pleasure, Cora Lee Mead Rodriguez, senior production specialist at Firefly Partners. Looking forward to the party tomorrow night and thank you for being with our 23 NTC coverage where we are sponsored by Heller consulting, technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits.

[01:06:51.58] spk_0:
Next week, data, maturity and engagement and stewardship. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by Donor Box with intuitive fundraising software from Donor box. Your donors give four times faster helping you help others. Donor box dot org. Our creative producer

[01:06:52.72] spk_1:
is Claire Meyerhoff

[01:07:12.33] spk_0:
shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our rep guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.