The Nonprofit Exchange: Leadership Tools & Strategies
Every week, the SynerVision Leadership team sits down with thought leaders across the nonprofit world to bring you leadership tools and strategies that can bring direct impact to your organization.
info_outline Traits and Habits of Great Leaders w/Scott S Smith 02/23/2020
Traits and Habits of Great Leaders w/Scott S Smith Traits and Habits of Great Leaders: How the best leaders throughout history and across industries differ from the ordinary Interview with Scott S. Smith Scott Smith has had 1,800 articles and interviews published in 190 media, including Investor’s Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Success, Chief Executive, American Airlines’ American Way, United Airlines’ Hemispheres, and Los Angeles Magazine. His focus has been on the practices that distinguish great leaders from the rest and he has interviewed dozens of top CEOs, including Bill Gates, Meg Whitman, Mark Cuban, Larry Ellison, Howard Schultz, Lee Iacocca, Marilyn Carlson Nelson of the Carlson Companies, Whole Foods founder John Mackey, and Richard Branson. He has also talked with a wide variety of other high-achievers, including Stan Lee, Kathy Ireland, Bob Newhart, Dean Koontz, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, civil rights pioneer James Meredith, Kirk Douglas, Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran, former president of Mexico Vicente Fox, and leadership expert Frances Hesselbein. Based on his own experience as the manager of a dozen small companies and wide reading in history, he wrote Extraordinary People: Real Life Lessons on What It Takes to Achieve Success, which included in-depth analysis of the careers of people like Catherine the Great, Ray Charles Anne Rice, Jim Henson, and Simon Bolivar.
info_outline How to Use Support for Non-Profits to Build a Commercial Brand 02/16/2020
How to Use Support for Non-Profits to Build a Commercial Brand How to Use Support for Non-Profits to Build a Commercial Brand The Story of Barefoot Wine with Founders Bonnie Harvey and Michael Houlihan Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey are the founders of Barefoot, America’s #1 wine brand, and co-authors of the New York Times bestseller, The Barefoot Spirit. They started with virtually no money or wine industry experience and pioneered ‘Worthy Cause Marketing’. They now share their innovative approach to businesses as consultants, authors, workshop leaders, speakers, and are sought-after thought leaders in entrepreneurship in both print and broadcast media. They co-author weekly blogs at & Audio Book (this is a free chapter for your listeners)
info_outline The Nonprofit Exchange Reviews of 2019 02/09/2020
The Nonprofit Exchange Reviews of 2019 Highlights and Key Points from Recent Interviews of The Nonprofit Exchange Part 1 2020 Hugh Ballou d Russell Dennis, co-hosts of The Nonprofit Exchange provide highlights from interviews over the past few months. Russ and Hugh distill some of the key points and sound bites from these wonderful interviews with people making a difference in nonprofit leadership. Co-Hosts, Hugh Ballou and Russell Dennis share highlights from the past six months of episodes of The Nonprofit Exchange.
info_outline Maxing Out the Mission with Robert Day 02/02/2020
Maxing Out the Mission with Robert Day Maxing Out the Mission: Leading a Cause Based Local Charity with Robert Day Robert Day's childhood of poverty and abuse included more than 35 homes before his unlikely graduation from high school. Today, through God’s grace, and with two Master’s Degrees in hand, Robert’s life work is dedicated to keeping children safe and families strong. Robert’s inspiring testimony, together with his unique and timely perspective, has made him a sought-after speaker for conferences, churches, civic audiences, and beyond. Robert is the author of two books, Worst of Mothers…Best of Moms, and Desperately Healed… My Journey to Wholeness. These tell his story of a tumultuous childhood, and the arduous process of healing as an adult. Born to a teenage mother, who was herself a ward of the state, Robert survived abject poverty, neglect, and abuse; but in the end, this is a story of God’s infinite grace and mercy, and how He uses our pasts for His purpose. In addition to his testimony, Robert loves to speak on issues of Child Welfare (particularly the history of the orphanage movement), Overcoming Poverty, and the process of Social and Organizational Change.
info_outline How to Raise Major Gifts for Annual and Capital Campaigns w/Amy Eisenstein 01/26/2020
How to Raise Major Gifts for Annual and Capital Campaigns w/Amy Eisenstein How to Raise Major Gifts for Annual and Capital Campaigns w/Amy Eisenstein Amy Eisenstein, ACFRE is the CEO and Co-Founder of the Capital Campaign Toolkit. She is also a consultant, speaker, author, and trainer with Amy Eisenstein, LLC. Her published books include: Major Gift Fundraising for Small Shops, and 50 A$ks in 50 Weeks. Amy served as president of the AFP-NJ Chapter in 2014 and 2015 and received the AFP New Jersey Consultant of the Year award in 2019. She became a CFRE in 2004 and received the ACFRE in 2013. She blogs at and . All donors do not give equal amounts of money. Focusing on top donors will enable you to raise more money efficiently and effectively. In order to raise more money every year, leverage tools and techniques used in capital campaigns to raise major gifts for your annual fund.
info_outline Nonprofits Partnering With the Community w/Bishop Kirkland 01/19/2020
Nonprofits Partnering With the Community w/Bishop Kirkland Nonprofits Partnering With the Community Interview with Bishop Ebony Kirkland Despite her success in the business arena, Dr. Ebony Kirkland felt drawn into the Ministry. She often cited a need to serve God in a more profound way, sharing her talents and expertise in expanding and working on behalf of “The Kingdom”. In 2003, she became founder and senior pastor of the Living God Ministries Worldwide. In the second year of her ministry she expanded an international ministry which she was able to adopt and minister to churches in Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Egypt and Africa. Her innate bilingual language ability affords her to reach out and minister to Spanish communities spreading the gospel. She also uses her business skills to motivate and inspire individuals to maximize their God given talent and to work on building God’s Kingdom on Earth. Dr. Kirkland most recently has collaborated with other ministers of faith to form the Universal Clergy Coalition (UNCC) in which she serves as the current Vice President. The mission of UNCC is to collaborate and to bring forth peace and understanding among the various interfaith denominations. In addition, Bishop Kirkland has formed a Worldwide Association of Small Churches. The main goal of the association is to provide mentorship and training for small church pastors. In addition Dr. Kirkland has formed the Christian Chamber of Commerce, the Health Chamber of Commerce and Youth Chamber of Commerce. She was consecrated into the office of the Bishop by the College of Bishop of the Council of International Charismatic Bishops (CICB) to serve as the Presiding Bishop of the Church of the Living God Ministries Worldwide in November of 2009.
info_outline Making Your Organization Attractive for Cause Marketing Collaborations 01/12/2020
Making Your Organization Attractive for Cause Marketing Collaborations Making Your Organization Attractive for Cause Marketing Collaborations Sheryl Green is a writer, speaker, and animal rescuer. She is the author of four books including her most recent, Do Good to Do Better: The Small Business Guide to Growing your Business by Helping Nonprofits. Sheryl also serves as the Director of Communications and Cuddling for Hearts Alive Village Animal Rescue in Las Vegas. There's a way to position yourself so that businesses want to work with you and help you raise money. Read the Interview Transcript Hugh Ballou: Happy first of the year! It’s 2020 when we’re recording this. Russell is in Denver. I’m in central western Virginia, the commonwealth of Virginia. Sheryl is in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada. Sheryl, welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. Tell people a little about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Sheryl Green: Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited. The why I’m doing it I think is the most important to start with. In 2008, I went through a very difficult divorce and moved out to Las Vegas for a fresh start. Went through horrible divorce, horrible bankruptcy. Did not know anybody here besides my parents. Ended up in a pretty serious depression. At that point, my step-mom dragged me off the bathroom floor, where I was curled up hysterically crying, and she said, “Go do something for someone else.” And it was the best personal advice, and it turned out to be the best business advice that I’d ever gotten. I found my way to animal rescue. I started out doing small adoption events, and eventually I worked my way up to creating 5,000-person events. I put on a festival and started as the director of communications (and cuddling) for Hearts Alive Village Las Vegas. Even though this has been a volunteer role pretty much the entire time, and I’ve been on the board, but it started to dawn on me just how difficult the nonprofit world is. Anybody that has spent any time in there, you have spent half of your life with your hand out, begging for money and begging for help. It took a while to put that together. I started my own business with speaking and writing and things like that and realized that if a nonprofit could actually connect with a business, and even more importantly in my world, a small nonprofit could connect with a small business, we could make some real differences in our communities. That is what got me on this path. Hugh: Whoa. What a novel concept. I have worked with nonprofit leaders for 32 years. Russell has a whole history in various forms of working in nonprofits. It spans more years than that. I am in the saddle as the president of the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra. Doing stuff inside of an organization is different. I developed my methodology working inside of organizations. I have been working outside for so many years. It’s good to go back inside and see both sides of this. I’m pleased that all the systems we created actually work. There is a funny relationship that organizations have with businesses. Businesses don’t understand basically why it’s good for business to be active and to support nonprofits. When you first have a conversation, do you start with a nonprofit or a business? Sheryl: It depends on the situation. I was going to say that I start with the nonprofit, but you know what? Now I am starting to work closely with small businesses, showing them, going beyond the obvious “Yes, you should help, and we should change the world together,” going beyond that and showing them the benefits to their business of helping, getting in front of a new audience, attracting those who believe in the same things as you and really branding yourself as someone who cares about more than just money. Hugh: Triple bottom line. Sheryl: Yes. Hugh: People, the planet, and the profit. Sheryl: I like that. Hugh: It is. There is books behind you. Are any of those books created by you? Sheryl: Those books are all by me. I’ve been writing. I started out with fiction back in 2009. I have a degree in forensic psychology. I never actually got to hunt down serial killers, which is what I wanted to do. Instead, I decided to write about them. Those books have not yet seen the light of day, but they will. I moved into writing nonfiction probably about four years ago now. And started out with a personal development book about my own experiences. Then moved onto how can I help businesses and nonprofits improve their organizations. Hugh: Wow. I’m sure we can find those on Amazon. I will put them on the interview. SherylGreenSpeaks.com is your main website. I believe it’s on the page we set up for this interview. A little more. How does the book connect you in the world? Does the book have a functional reason? Is it just you telling your story? Sheryl: That’s a longer story. My journey in speaking has been circuitous. I started out not knowing what I was an expert in because in the speaking world, you’re not a speaker, you’re an expert who speaks. I realized after my divorce and the hard knocks I’ve taken that I was really good at getting kicked and getting back up stronger and being that resilient, learning how to teach resilience. I started out on that path. It took a little while to realize that wasn’t necessarily where my heart was. I moved into realizing I’d been writing content for businesses and nonprofits for a couple of years at that point, and I realized that I’m a storyteller. It started out when I wrote fiction and moved onto when I was actually writing for businesses. I realized I could teach businesses and nonprofits how to communicate what they do and how to share that story so that they can really better serve their clients and donors. One of the stories I wish I could tell you exactly where I came across the term “cause marketing.” I don’t remember. I suspect there were angels in a bright light. When I realized that there was actually something in place for nonprofits and businesses to work together, that became one of the stories that I recommend we tell. You’ve got your why story, which most people talk about their origin. You have success stories, and that you’re actually doing what you say you do. The cause marketing story goes beyond that for me. I like to call it selling warm fuzzies instead of widgets because for the business, it becomes less about what they actually do and what they sell and more about who they are and what they stand for. It evolved from there. I started studying cause marketing and learned more about it. I realized it could make a huge impact in how nonprofits and businesses operate and in the cesspool of disaster that our country is in. I’m sorry. That wasn’t positive, was it? Hugh: It’s realistic. You didn’t blame anybody. Sheryl: No, no. It’s just a mess. We won’t go into that. Hugh: Fascinated by going back to ancient stuff. Going back to the Bible, in Ecclesiastes, he says, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Back when they wrote those books, they are dealing with the same kind of stuff we have right now. It seems like in all these years, we could have progressed civilization. Sheryl: Just a lot less social media back then, so it wasn’t as painful. Hugh: People had a way of getting things out. There are several points of connection that come to my mind. One of our guests gave us a different word, for-profit and for-purpose. Nonprofit is a dumb word because you have to make a profit, but it does identify the segment. The business can be a donor to the nonprofit, which is philanthropy. The business can be a sponsor, which is their marketing money. The business can provide in-kind support. It could be printing, volunteers. People in the company might want to be of service. If it’s a food bank or a free clinic, they could go down and serve on a regular occasion. We have donors, sponsors, in-kind contributions. Those are very different. And then there’s making space available. Sometimes companies have meeting rooms or event spaces and planning and implementing skills. There are those kinds of connections. Are there others? Do you want to talk about those and how they benefit both sides? Sheryl: While I use the term “cause marketing,” I want to give this brief statement that it’s not just cause marketing. That term has been pigeonholed for the buy one/get one, the pin-ups in stores, where it’s transaction-based. While that is wonderful and definitely one of the approaches that you can take, I think there is a lot more that we can do, from the small business standpoint, in terms of standing for a cause. So that it’s not just if you buy this, I will donate, which is great, and you should do it. But there is also spreading awareness, sharing your audience with that nonprofit. Creating awareness around the cause. A lot of people don’t even know what issues are out there. I don’t know how this is even the case, but I was at a fundraising workshop a few months ago, and she said that some people don’t donate because they’re not asked. Hugh: That’s right. Sheryl: They’re clearly not on my Facebook page because I am asking for donations all the time for the rescue. Creating that collaboration, and I will not say partnership, gives you the ability to bring your customers into that world, into that cause, and gives them an easy way to support it. The reason I say that is because there are so many different things. You touched on a bunch of them. The easiest way to look at that is time, talent, and treasure. You can donate some of your time or your employees if there is a specific job that needs to be done, and treasure, your money, your in-kind services. You mentioned real estate, giving space. The large organizations, the large businesses, they know this. They have got this down. A lot of my examples will be from the animal rescue. PetSmart donates space all the time for local rescue groups to come in. It’s no skin off their back because they have the space anyway. They are getting more people into the store. They have a higher footprint in there. If you get a dog or cat in PetSmart, chances are you will buy some supplies in there. You won’t turn around and go to Petco. Again, they get that benefit, the halo effect of we’re just not about making money, we want to find those pets homes. We know that our audience, our customers care about that cause. It’s something that the larger businesses have known for years. I think the larger nonprofits have known for years. But when it comes to the small businesses and the small nonprofits, who I think get left out of the conversation because they don’t have that staff. It’s just a bunch of dedicated people who are giving up their weekends and spare bedroom to work for a cause. Hugh: There’s another channel, which I did leave out, which is board members. People in the company can serve as board members. I’m thinking as you talk about cause marketing, it’s because marketing. It’s because it provides value to humankind. Because it’s good for business. Because, because, because. Sheryl: That was almost the title of the book. Hugh: Was it? I want to toss the interview to Russell, who has some thoughtful questions. This is very helpful, Sheryl. Thank you for sharing today. Russell, what are you thinking? Russell Dennis: I’m thinking I love her approach. When you get a good idea, write a book. That way people know about it. It creates accountability for yourself because you publicly went out and said things. Large organizations do have a little bit more bandwidth on the marketing front. You have businesses of all sizes. Some of the larger ones may have in-depth plans. Talk a little bit about ways that small nonprofits can get on the business’s radar screen. On the flip side, talk about some ways businesses can identify some of these smaller organizations that are doing work that is In line with their corporate social responsibility programs. Sheryl: I think first, from the nonprofit standpoint, even the small ones, you are building a business. The small ones that survive and eventually grow larger, they understand this. The ones that are just a bunch of gung-ho people who have huge hearts and really want to change the world, they’re wonderful and amazing, but they’re going to burn out. If you don’t look at it as a business and creating a sustainable organization, you will fall flat. One of the biggest things that I’ve seen—of course there is the whole debate on overhead—a nonprofit that turns around and waves a flag proudly, saying, “We don’t pay anybody. Everything goes into our programs 100%,” it’s fantastic for the first three to six months. After that, it’s not sustainable. Thinking about it as a business is that first step. The second one is building that brand. Realizing just like a business, you need to be raising awareness constantly. You need to be building your social media footprint and your email list and making yourself attractive so that somebody would want to come and say, “Yeah, I want to work with you. You have 10,000 followers. You have an email list of a couple thousand people I would love to get in front of.” From the nonprofit standpoint, it’s being able to communicate what you do very clearly. What is the benefit you bring to the marketplace? Even though it’s for purpose, you’re still in a marketplace. Communicating that and raising that awareness constantly. For lack of a better term, keeping your nose clean. Keeping that reputation up. News travels fast. It really does. There are great quotes out there, none of which are coming to mind right now. A reputation can be destroyed in one Facebook post, one conversation, one argument that you have, or one bad-mouthing of another organization. Making yourself attractive is about you have to look good before you can attract someone. That sounds so bad. Building up your group, your brand. Being easy to work with. I talked about this in my book. We had an e-cig company that reached out to us and wanted to do some fundraising for us. I asked her what she needed. How can we help? Logos, promotion. What can we do? She said, “No, you’re fine. We’ll tell you when we have the check.” They brought the comically large check, and we did the photos and everything. She thanked me for being easy to work with. And it blew my mind because they want to give you money. Why are you making it difficult? If it’s a good match, do what you can, and I understand. We’re understaffed. Some are not staffed at all. Find that person who is willing to be that point of contact. Sometimes they don’t want to do what the rescue or the organization does. I don’t go into the shelters. I don’t pull animals out. I can’t do it. It hurts my heart. But I can do this. Find those people. Find the people who want to be the go-between, the media, the connection. Did that help? Russell: When you’re talking about getting people involved, I love time, talent, and treasure, that’s what I talk about, it’s hard to confuse it. People who give you one will generally give you the others if you ask. It’s astounding how many people don’t ask. There is something about asking, which speaks to a concept of value, I think. Value is a word that gets a different angle placed upon it by a business. What you’re doing when you’re trying to create or grow something, you’re actually providing value. When it comes to looking at a nonprofit, and you talked a little about overhead, people don’t think of the value of those types of things when it comes to a nonprofit. Businesses are rewarded by higher-end marketing geniuses coming up with campaigns and investing in making their people better so they can provide better service. There is some sort of resistance when it comes to charity work to the idea of having a nonprofit invest in these things. How do you flip that conversation around in the minds of people who write a check? As far as having the infrastructure to actually deliver value. Sheryl: The first thing that I do, I’m a huge fan of Dan Pallotta. His TED Talks should be mandatory watching material for every human being. In my book, and I took a smart-ass approach to it because that’s how I am, I invited business owners, and I did about three pages on this. I said, “Hey, I have this great opportunity for you. I would love for you to come work seven days a week, ten hours a day, and I’m not going to pay you. I want you to bring all of your employees with you. We’re not going to have a roof over our head. It will be cold while we’re working. But it will be okay because you will have that inner feeling that you’re changing the world. Don’t worry when your bills come, when your mortgage arrives in the mail. You just write, ‘I’m changing the world’ on it, and they will zero out your balance.” I went for about three pages. One of my beta readers stopped in the middle and didn’t like it. She got to the end and was like, “Nope, you needed every single bit of this.” It was about changing the mindset from both the business’s point of view and the nonprofit point of view. My founder actually waited to file the paperwork for the nonprofit because she didn’t want to spend that money on paperwork and business when she could be saving a life with it. We all have that attitude going in. You have to realize that it’s not self-sustaining. You’re not going to get far ahead. As Dan Pallotta talks about putting a marketing flyer on the laundromat wall for a bake sale, and you bring in $200, and everyone is doing a Snoopy dance, but when you actually put money into this intelligently and properly and not just throwing money around like many businesses probably do, but you actually invest in improving and in growing and in spreading that awareness. I think it’s just a mindset shift that businesses need to make, but nonprofits need to make first so they can help them. Russell: It definitely is when you start talking about value. If you get someone who is working for a human services agency, they can talk a great deal about how they sit in front of people and how it’s important to move people from where they are to a better place, which is what an organization is set up for. When it comes to talking about value, that is something I think that nonprofit leaders need to have- That’s the other mind shift. They have to be able to talk about that and couch that in terms that are valuable to their supporters. It’s about finding out the right language to use. There is a process for each of them to get connected with one another. It’s a little different. Talk a little bit about the process the business goes to find a good project. Same thing for the nonprofit, and where you see the most common disconnects for each one of them when trying to get connected to the right people. Sheryl: I want to speak about value for a second. Then I will jump to that. There is that value that you need to communicate to the community, what we do for the community. There is also the value you inherently have as an organization to communicate to the business. We have these people following us. We have this space. When it comes to finding that partner, the best thing I have seen is once you’ve identified what you care about, there is a couple different ways that businesses can go about this. This is what I care about as the founder or CEO because I have this history with it. There is let me find out what my employees care about. There is also what makes sense for my business, my industry. If you are a restaurant, you might want to work with a food bank. If you’re a home builder, you might want to work with someone who provides housing for less fortunate people. There is always that match-up. That can go horribly wrong. Choose wisely. But then when it comes to choosing the actual nonprofit, this is why...
info_outline How to Find Your Major Donors of the Future with Jay Frost 12/22/2019
How to Find Your Major Donors of the Future with Jay Frost Jay Frost brings together people, ideas, and resources to fuel positive change in the world. He has worked with hundreds of organizations to identify and pursue billions in fundraising opportunities around the world. He has been recognized as one of America's Top 10 Fundraising Experts by Philanthropy Media, one of the Top Eight Fundraising Influencers by Elevation Media, one of the Top Thirteen Excellent Fundraising Consultants by Double the Donation, and one of the Top 100 Charity Influencers by Onalytica. A successful fundraising program is within the reach of any charitable organization. But it often takes a shift of perspective and One of the greatest challenges for every nonprofit is attracting individuals with the capacity to give a major gift. In "Power Prospecting,"Jay explores how to find the top wealth holders within your constituency, throughout your community, across the country and around the world. Whether you are embarking on a capital campaign or just trying to expand your private philanthropic support, this workshop will prepare you to identify people who can make your mission possible. More about Jay Frost at
info_outline Developing a Winning Brand for Your Nonprofit with Jawansa Hall 12/22/2019
Developing a Winning Brand for Your Nonprofit with Jawansa Hall Jawansa Hall is the owner and Creative Director of Blackwater Branding in Lynchburg, Virginia. Blackwater Branding is an award-winning visual branding agency that designs for print, web and social mediaplatforms. We work closely with each client to create a digital experience that not only drives communication andinteraction, but also commerce and brand awareness.
info_outline A Spotlight on SynerVision Leadership Foundation's Online Community for Community Builders 12/08/2019
A Spotlight on SynerVision Leadership Foundation's Online Community for Community Builders A Spotlight on SynerVision Leadership Foundation's Online Community for Community Builders About Today's Episode: Today's episode is a little different. Rather than interview a nonprofit expert, founder and president of SynerVision Leadership Foundation, and host of The Nonprofit Exchange, Hugh Ballou shares some details about the online community for community builders. He discusses the details about all the resources and added value that nonprofit leaders get by joining this community. Read the Transcript Hugh Ballou: Welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. This is Hugh Ballou, founder and president of SynerVision Leadership Foundation. People don’t really know the word “SynerVision” because I made it up. I’m a musician. I’m a conductor. Conductors create community. We call this “ensemble,” whether it’s instrumental or vocal, it’s a choir or orchestra. It becomes an ensemble because we function together at a higher level. In our boards and our staff and our committees in the nonprofit world, which includes churches and synagogues, we create this higher functioning. It’s the synergy we create with a common vision. The synergy we create with a common vision is defined by SynerVision. As leaders, we are catalysts, we’re visionaries, we lead, we influence people, and we make things happen. For 32 years, I’ve been working with nonprofit leaders all over the place, on at least four continents and multiple countries. A lot of work in America. A lot of work with cause-based charities. People wanting to impact other people’s lives. I spent 40 years serving an organized church from 120-12,000-member churches. I’ve seen it from different perspectives and different sized organizations. I have worked exterior to multiple types of nonprofit organizations. Membership organizations, cause-based charities, and many others. We have a million and a half 501(c)3s in this country. What I do know, statistics show that half of the new nonprofits that are formed every year will close, some with money in the bank. They will close because they are not able to fulfill their mission. There are many reasons for this. More often than not, it’s one person with a cause, with a passion, with a fire; however, that person is unable to let that fire spread and build a sustainable legacy under that vision. We want to make sure that we’ve fully thought out the process, built a strategy, and built a team; therefore, we can be fundable and sustainable. You can create your legacy that can continue. SynerVision is the legacy I am creating that will continue the work after I’m gone. I want to share about the work of SynerVision. It’s for nonprofit leaders and clergy. Those of you making a difference leading an organization, one you founded, one you didn’t found, it doesn’t matter. You’re the person in charge of implementing the vision. You’re the person influencing others to make things happen. You’re the person that builds and maintains relationships so that you can lead, you can fund, and you have a communication system based on, yes, relationships. SynerVision is designed to provide high-quality resources for you working in the trenches, things that are going to help you get unblocked. Maybe you’re not blocked, but you’re not really hitting your stride. Maybe you have some money and have a staff, but if you got more funding, more staff, more focus, you can impact more people’s lives. It’s not about the money. The money is necessary to provide for people who do the work. It’s sort of like building a car. Once we build the car, we have to get the gas to make the car go. Therefore, money is an important commodity that we must have a replenishable supply because we do run out of gas. We have to refuel. In order to make that happen, there are lots of moving parts. My job is to equip, empower, and train nonprofit leaders to build boards, to build strategies, to build systems, to create funding, and to impact people’s lives more fully. To fully achieve the mission of the organization. Let me do a few terms, define a few terms at this point. In my world, as a strategist, I am a transformational leadership strategist. Transformational leadership is the culture of high performance. The leader leads the culture, sort of like a conductor leads the orchestra or a choir. We don’t play the notes. We enable other people to perform. We lead. We guide. We influence. The leader is the leader. In terms of strategy, we must know who we are, what we’re doing, what we stand for, who we serve. Our vision is that short statement that creates this mental picture of what we’re doing. SynerVision Leadership Foundation transforms organizations to impact people’s lives, building legacies. You doing okay, you say? Okay. Could you do better? Could you impact more people? Leaders at the top of their game impact more people. Leaders saying, “I’ve got it all. Don’t need any” are pretty dangerous. We need to stay out of people’s ways because we never learn it all. At 73, I am continuing to grow my skillset, my abilities every day. I encourage you to think about building the skillset. Define the terms of engagement. The vision is the concept. What are we? What defines what we do? Rise Against hunger, feeding people. Their vision is ending hunger in our lifetime. They didn’t limit it. Powerful vision. The mission statement is application. SynerVision does transform organizations and leaders, empowers them and engages them, equips leaders for service through leadership training, strategy, board development, funds resourcing. There are a lot of tools of the trade. Fundamentally, we guide you in creating your vision, your mission, your objectives, your funding strategy, your budget, and all the people parts of working an organization. We can have this piece of paper, a strategy, but without the people, it’s a piece of paper. Think of a conductor stepping on a podium, and they have this piece of paper in front of them with all these dots. We call that music. It’s a conductor’s score. Everything that happens is written in that piece of music. When you sit in front of your board, your staff, your committees, you have your road map. That is your strategic plan. SynerVision, we have created what we call a solution map. Where do you want to be? How are you going to get there? It’s not a business plan. People can extract a business plan from this. That’s a simpler document. It’s a financial document that you give a major funder or your banker. The strategic plan, the solution map is a plan of operation. It’s an implementation document. Do this first. Do this next. Do this concurrently. Who does what and when, and how it all leads you toward manageable, quantifiable objectives. I’m talking about SynerVision Leadership Foundation. It’s a resource bank, specifically for those of us leading social benefit organizations, charities, religious institutions under the umbrella of nonprofit. IRS calls us a tax-exempt organization. It’s a for-purpose organization, not necessarily a for-profit organization. The flow of money is important. There are many regulations guiding how we utilize those funds, but we do have a pathway for good. We want to impact people’s lives. That’s why we exist. I’ve created this online resource. We’ve called it the community for community builders. If you are doing work of a charity, it’s governed, and financial guidelines are set by the board of directors. You may have founded it, but you don’t run it. The board of directors is in charge of the organization, not the day-to-day operations, but the governance. How you set policies, what do you approve, do you approve contracts, do you approve the budget. The board sets that strategy. The implementation is done by staff. That’s a clear delineation. Now having said that, I’ve worked within organizations that are in transition. If the board didn’t work, nothing would happen. The board must be engaged, must be active, must be donors, must be on committees, must be doing the work of the charity, guided by staff. The staff reports to the board. It’s a very good system. The executive director and the development/funding strategist are employed by the board. They serve at the pleasure of the board. They fulfill the strategy using the marketing plan, funding plan, strategic plan. They do the work of the organization and report through the president, the board chair to the board of directors. There is a clear definition of how this all works. We don’t have all this knowledge in our heads. We know what we know. We’re an expert at what we do. We have a passion. We have a vision for excellence. We are impacting nonprofits, empowering, engaging, raising their capacity for performance. We are connecting the dots from strategy to performance. Sounds like a conductor. We conduct the performer. We can do all the planning we need to create results because people are depending on us. We are called to a higher cause. This is the labor of our passion along with all those people who serve us as volunteers, staff, board members, committee chairs, committee members. The leader rallies that. This is all under the umbrella of how we build communities. We are building communities: your board, staff, volunteers, the people you serve. You are building communities of action. We turn apathy into excitement. We turn passive into active. We as leaders transform ideas into reality. We transform people’s lives by the work we do. We need support. It’s lonely work. We’re overworked. We’re underpaid. We have a lot of stress. There is a pathway forward for that. It depends on the leader constantly building their capacity to lead. Actually, the leader does less. Other people do more. I hear from folks who are burned out. “I have been willing to do what I ask other people to do.” Yes, that’s right. The key word is “willing.” You know how. You’re willing. However, there is somebody sitting around that board table who is very capable. If you do it, you’re robbing them of an opportunity to use their passion for good. That’s why they’re there. We must get out of the way. We create the system. We manage the system. We lead people. We don’t manage. We lead people. We inspire. We influence. That’s hard work. I don’t care what anybody says. It’s very difficult work. Actually, it’s more difficult in the nonprofit community than in the business community. It’s important work, and that’s our calling. I’ve created a private space to get people out of the toxic environment of today’s social media. It’s really bad. We get distracted. We find all kinds of harsh things happening there. We see things that we’re not proud of on social media. I’ve created our own community. It’s just for people like you. Just for people like you. it’s an online community for those of us building communities. In the South, we say none of us is as smart as all of us. That’s an important statement. We are the sum total of the people we hang around the most. Now, what happens if we hang around broke people? What if we hang around people who have failed at everything they do and have no initiative to learn from those experiences? How does that shape us? Sometimes, I’ve met people who want to hang around others that they perceive to be less qualified than themselves because it elevates them in other people’s eyes. Oh, you’re more important. You’re more successful. Turn that around. You want to be with people much more successful than yourself. In the community, you have the chance to do that. It’s a private community for those of us leading for-purpose work. It’s the SynerVision Leadership Community, a community for community builders. You can find it at nonprofitcommunity.org. NonprofitCommunity.org. Remember that? It’s pretty easy. NonprofitCommunity.org. It takes you to SynerVision. Blue button, “Join.” $40 a month will buy you a lot of stuff. Peace of mind. Stress reduction. It’s a network of people doing the work that can help you. You get a whole lot of goods. You can try it out for a dollar for the first month. If you like it, you can keep on. When you join the community for community builders, I give you a program that I sell for $97. You’re selling $100 almost. It’s the five pillars to success. It’s the five pillars in building a successful recurring income organization. We need to have all the pieces in place. You need all five of these. You can’t skip one. It cuts your ability by half if you just eliminate one. It’s the five pillars. Video, action guides. It’s a short course. It won’t take you a long time. You can do it all in one morning if you want. Download the program. Once you join, it’s free. That’s my gift to you as a joining bonus. There is also a report on building a profitable, sustainable nonprofit. It’s a read-only report. It’s not a video. Those two things will give you value. Plus you get a 50% discount—remember, you paid a dollar to get in here. You will get a 50% discount. One buckaroo to try this out for a month. Then it will go to the $40. You could go save $200-$500 on programs. Self-study programs that will make a difference. How about if somebody can help you find your blind spots? Those things that keep you hitting the wall. Those things that throw you off a cliff. Those things that get you stuck in the mud. You didn’t see them. They are making you stuck. Maybe you think you’re making progress. Your board and staff might think differently. You have no clue as to what’s missing. Those are blind spots. What do we know? What do we not know? What is it that we don’t know we don’t know? I don’t know it all. I hang around smart people. That’s the guide. Hang around people smarter than you. We have turned the consulting model around. It’s WayFinders. We guide the way. You know more about your work than we do. We have systems. We help you learn the systems that you can apply your knowledge to learning to running your organization that is so important to you, the world, and the people around you. Take off the stuff on your forehead that says, “I know all this.” No. No. We don’t know everything. We know some things. The more I learn, the less I realize that I actually know. There is so much. The best leaders I work with are constantly working on building their skills. That’s what I’ve learned. If you want to learn, make some mistakes. Those are learning opportunities. If you want to grow, hang around successful people. If you want to be the best, continue learning. We’re providing this community from SynerVision for you. You join. There are 400 articles about leadership. There is five years’ worth of magazines you can read: The Nonprofit Performance 360 Magazine. Articles by wonderful people on many topics. When you join, you can get that magazine in your mailbox four times a year. You have curriculum. There is a forum on topics. As you’re in there, you’ll get to weigh in on what topics are important to you. 24/7, you have access to all of this. One day a week, it’s office hours. I show up. Hugh and people who are influencer members for Q&As. What about this? What about that? It’s guided through the curriculum of the online program, Unbound Leader, which you get at a 50% discount. Topic-based conversations guiding your learning, helping you figure out how to apply the knowledge. Getting contacts all over the country from others who are in this learning covenant along with you. Once a week, once a month, whenever you like, you can chime in. It’s video. We see you, and you see us. Or you can just listen to others. Many times, we learn more just by listening to others ask questions that we may not have ever thought about asking. So the online community for community builders has lots of great value. I am encouraging you to try it out. You’re risking a dollar. There is no refund option. It’s a dollar. You will get a whole lot more value the first 30 seconds you’re there, and you continue receiving value. The more we build critical mass, the more good people who are there, the more content we share, the more we learn, the more we grow, the more we network, learning how to collaborate with others who could benefit us. This is The Nonprofit Exchange. It’s one of the programs we have offered for four and a half years now in the community for community builders. You will have access to interviews with wonderful leaders, with wonderful knowledge, with great ideas. Every interview has a transcript. You get to read the transcript. You get to listen. You get to watch the video. Choose the topics, find the ones you like the most. Grab it. It’s yours. There are those kinds of assets in there. And the forums and live Q&As. When you talk to others in the trenches. The Meyer Foundation discovered that 45% of nonprofit leaders were leaving because of burnout. The #1 problem. The #2 problem: low revenue. #3: low functioning board. Those are the high ones. But the Meyer Foundation did that discovery that 45% of nonprofit leaders were leaving, done, were burned out because we don’t know how to delegate, we don’t know how to say no, we don’t know how to sequence our work so that it’s actually doable. It’s not as easy as falling off a log. There is some work to getting it there. There is hope. There is a pathway. There is a process. We have assets. You don’t need to copy everything, but there is a template. Here are ideas. Here is how it’s normally done. Take the ideas, and make it your own system. Remember, I’m not a consultant who tells you what to do. I’m a WayFinder who guides you on the pathway of learning your own processes, building your skills, and creating your own outcomes. There is a huge difference in self-sufficiency. That is the title of that report that you get is Self-Sufficiency. You can get the free program, mini course, five pillars of success. You have to build those pillars. A self-sustainability report on thinking through how you are going to be self-sustainable so that you’re not waking up every day trying to think of where money is coming from today. You should have two years of salary in the bank. You should have operational money in the bank. You should have money in a foundation, endowment fund that pays interest that is part of your revenue generation. Earned interest on money you have in your bank that has been donated. Those resources are in the community for community builders. NonprofitCommunity.org will take you there. Click on the blue button, “Join.” It’s time to quit wasting time. It’s time to make a decision. Good leaders make a decision. Some people listening to this will not make a decision. 97/100 people will not make a decision. They’ll say, “That’s interesting. I will figure it out myself.” You probably will. We can help you shorten that timeline, go way more directly toward the targets, the success, and the results that you want to see. It’s investing in the future. You can certainly figure it out. We are here to help you do it in a shorter time frame and with more sustainable large results. I’m inviting you to go to NonprofitCommunity.org. Hit the Join button for a dollar. Boom, you’re in. Look around. There is a place to register for the Thursdays at 3 Eastern. We will expand that to when can you meet. Is there a better time than that? Let’s get started. Time’s a-wastin’. Opportunity is whizzing by our faces because we need to learn more to be able to seize those opportunities. I will tell you. Standing here, speaking to you today, I have made all of the mistakes conceivable. I have learned from those mistakes, and I have created programs because of those mistakes and because of the problems I see others encountering. I have gone backwards from the...
info_outline Top 3 Branding Mistakes Your Profit Needs to Stop Making Now 11/25/2019
Top 3 Branding Mistakes Your Profit Needs to Stop Making Now How to Put a "Twist" in Your Brand with Julie Cottineau (Archive) Julie Cottineau is the Founder and CEO of BrandTwist, a brand consultancy group that helps entrepreneurs and corporations build stronger, more profitable brands. Prior to launching her own business, she was the VP of Brand at Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, overseeing branding strategy for new and established Virgin companies in North America. About the Interview: Ever wonder how Richard Branson manages to shake things up every time, in so many different industries? Julie Cottineau, spent 5 years as the VP of Brand for Virgin in North America helping to grow this iconic brand. Now the best-selling author of (Panoma Press 2016), Founder & CEO of will show you how TWIST your non profit's brand for maximum impact. Fresh ideas come from looking at old problems from new perspectives. In this podcast, Julie will teach you how to: Go beyond “me-too” marketing, and get stand out Make the most of every brand touch-point – large and small Connect with target more deeply to create loyal brand ambassadors Walk away with tangible new ideas for your organization Why nonprofits should care about brand A unique, compelling brand can make or break even the strongest, most worthy enterprise. Once you understand the true nature of your brand, you achieve clarity and focus. You are in a much better position to serve the cause and the people you’re really passionate about. Literally, it can change a life. Your charity, church or synagogue needs a strong brand – one with a TWIST. The TWIST is your unique story that will help you stand out, get the attention your good work deserves and build a loyal community of followers, donors, and volunteers. Read the Interview Transcript Hugh Ballou: Welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. It’s Hugh Ballou and Russell David Dennis. Russell, how are you out there in Denver, mile high Colorado? Russell Dennis: The sun is shining, but you step outside and it’s very cold. I’m having Northern Maine flashbacks with these single digit temperatures here. Hugh: We are recording in the wintertime. People listen at all places. It might be warm in the other hemisphere, and it might be summer in the northern hemisphere when you listen to it. But the message is that we give you the techniques and strategies and information. It doesn’t have a season. It’s stuff you can use any time. This is a real important topic today, like all of them, but we tend to skip over this thing of branding. We tend to think it’s a picture, a logo. We got a brand, we got a logo. We are going to explore the different facets of branding and give you a top level view of what it looks like and what it is. One of the best people I know has this great book out called Twist. Julie Cottineau. Did I say it right, Julie? Julie Cottineau: Close enough. Hugh: I have a good memory, but it’s short. Thank you for being our guest today. Tell the people listening a little bit about you and a little bit about brand twist. Julie: I think I have been branding since I was eight years old. When I was a little girl growing up in Massachusetts, my parents wouldn’t let me have a pet because my brother was allergic. I went out in my garden and took a rock and put it in a Cool Whip container. I poked holes in it so it would be able to breathe. I invented the pet rock. Two years later, some guy named Gary Dahl in San Francisco invented the official pet rock because he was also fed up with regular pets. He was in a bar after work, he worked in advertising, and all his friends were leaving to feed their cats and walk their dogs. He said there has to be a pet with no hassle, so he created the official pet rock for no hassle. I created the non-allergic pet rock. Ever since then, I have been creating solutions with a twist from a different angle. Hugh: Twist. How did that name come about? Julie: That’s another story. I was working as a branding consultant for Interbrand, a large branding agency. I was traveling all over the country. I was at Newark Airport one day. I looked out of the window and saw this 747 with these golden arches on the tailspin. I stopped in my tracks and thought, That would be a really interesting airline. It would be different than all these other airlines that had the same color seats and stewardesses and the same experience. A McDonalds airline, maybe I could buy a regular economy seat and supersize it to a premium seat. I looked up again and realized that it was a mirage. It was actually the reflection of the food court sign on the window, and there happened to be a plane. You following me? It was a hallucination. But it started me thinking, if you are in the airline business and want to break through, stop worrying about your other airline competitors and twist with other brands. Find brands that you admire that are doing cool things outside of your category, and twist those lessons with your brand. That started it all. Hugh: We put a snazzy title for this. The top mistakes. What are some of the things that people do that you wish they wouldn’t do? Julie: We put the top three mistakes; it was hard to keep it to three. Hugh: I’ll bet. Julie: You can grow to four. These were mistakes nonprofits are making. The first one is what we were just talking about: not really understanding what a brand is. In fact, confusing your branding with your marketing. That is a big mistake. Your marketing is how you get your message out there, but your branding is your fundamental story. What are you about? Why should people care? All great stories, if we think about our favorite movies and books, they have a twist. They have something unexpected in the plot. The number one mistake is stop saying if I only had ten times the marketing budget, I could build my nonprofit. Well, I could throw 20 times the marketing budget at you, but if your brand isn’t in shape, your fundamental story of who you are, who you serve, and what’s different about you, then it’s a waste of money. Hugh: It’s a waste of money. What happens when- I guess one of the fundamental branding issues with a nonprofit is the word “nonprofit.” It really puts us in a negative twist of scarcity thinking and nonprofit, we gotta have profit to be able to run this church or synagogue or community charity. How do we start out on this journey of creating our brand? Talk about brand image, brand promise, brand identity. There is a lot of facets to this besides the logo. Julie: Your brand is not your logo. Your brand is fundamentally your story, and your logo and name should help reflect that. I think a very unique challenge of nonprofits is the second mistake. They really try to welcome everybody. People who work in the nonprofit world are attracted to it because there is this inclusive instinct. Branding is actually about choices. If you have a page of your website that tries to tell everybody about everything that you do, you will connect with no one. It’s like the twist on AT&T: reach out and touch someone. It’s like reach out and touch no one. What I say the most important thing about branding is be clear on who you want to serve and the issues you want to promote. Be very choiceful. Narrow them down. Most nonprofit websites look like someone threw spaghetti up on the website and wanted to see what sticks. Branding is like an onion. Just tell me a little bit for me to get to know you, and then I will keep peeling the layers back to continue to get to know you. Less is more. Particularly in nonprofit branding. Hugh: Russell, we see lots of funky things, don’t we? Russell: Yeah, it gets really interesting. If your target is everyone, you’re marketing to no one. What it’s about is really having people understand what it is that you do. A confused mind always says no. From a perspective of nonprofit, what is it precisely that a brand should do for a nonprofit? What is that main benefit that they get? I don’t think people always understand the benefit in taking time to actually build a brand. What is that main benefit, and how does that really empower nonprofits? Julie: The main benefit is your brand promise. Getting clear on your brand promise. Getting specific on your brand promise. It’s not we want to help people, or we want to make everyone feel included, or we want to make life better. Those brand promises are not gonna stick because not that they’re not valid, but they’re just so overused. It’s like when Charlie Brown hears the teacher talk, and all he hears is “wah wah wah.” When I work with nonprofit clients, what problem are we trying to solve? Can we get really specific on that problem? Not that we want to give people shelter or help homeless people, but keep digging deeper. We want to help people feel at home. We want to help people feel that they can realize who they are in their minds versus how other people are seeing them. We keep digging. We get to one brand promise. The main thing we do with that brand promise is we don’t validate it by looking at all the other nonprofits in our space, and we don’t create it by committee, which is hard for nonprofits. Nonprofits love committees. What we try to do is say if there is a leader of the nonprofit, whether it’s the president of the board or head of marketing, they need to own the brand. Everybody else can contribute their ideas, but at some point, someone needs to make a decision and get everybody on board. Versus we need a direction that everybody can live with, but no one hates. That is the definition of weak branding, when you go to the lowest common denominator. Hugh: She has good sound bites here, doesn’t she, Russ? Russell: Brilliant. It’s quite a field. I have done some marketing myself. I started out working in market research and sold some advertising on television and in print. But that doesn’t really speak to brand. I was just fascinated by why people do some things. Describe to us what attracted you to the career of helping others build brands. How did that particular piece of marketing expertise jump out at you? Julie: I’ve always liked storytelling. I studied communications and creative writing. When I was little, my rockstar was Judy Bloom. I won a contest at the library to go hear her speak. To me, that was winning the Super Bowl. I was so excited by it. I’ve always been interested in storytelling. Branding is a very unique way to tell your story. I am in my office. I like to use all the different tools that I have. My brand is purple because it’s the twist of red and blue. I tell my story not just in words, but also in images. You will never see me on stage without some purple on. The walls of the office are purple. The cover on my book is a twist of pink and purple. Nonprofits, one of the mistakes I see them making is they use stock photography because it’s cheap, and I understand that. But they build websites. Don’t invest a lot of money in them, but build them with a lot of images. The minute they set up their nonprofit, they are saying we’re just like everybody else. There are inexpensive ways to take stock photography but frame it differently, treat it with a different color. We learn those lessons by looking at brands like Tiffany’s. Tiffany’s is a great brand to twist with. If someone gives you a blue Tiffany’s box, I say to my husband, it almost doesn’t matter what’s in the box. The blue is their brand. Tiffany’s robin egg blue. It sets up this expectation of an experience. I think that nonprofits should look at things like that, like owning a color. As soon as you see the red Target ad, you know right away, even if you don’t hear the name and only see a slice of the logo, you know right away it’s a Target ad. Hugh: It’s funny you bring that up. They are changing their colors in Lynchburg to white. I don’t know where I am. I was so into the red. The doors are still red, and people still wear the red and khaki. You were vice president of Richard Branson’s Virgin. What are some of the important things you learned from that experience? That’s powerful. Julie: It was an amazing experience. I think the biggest thing that I learned from Richard is not to be afraid to fail. He has an expression, “Fail harder.” Another one he has that is hopefully ok for this podcast, and is the title of one of his books is, “Screw it, let’s do it.” If you have a good idea, and it feels like it’s going to make an impact, don’t test it to death, don’t run it through 10 different committees, just try it. It might be successful, and it might not be. We know that we learn the most from the things that go wrong. It really opened me up to being more adventurous. I came home from my corporate job. I had been there five years, and I was having a great time. I said to my husband, “Screw it, let’s do it. I am going to start my own company.” He said, “I don’t think that’s what that means. We have two children to put through college.” I said, “No, that’s exactly what that means. I have an idea to create a branding consultancy and a book and a learning program, and I’m going to do it. If it’s successful, great. If it’s not, I am going to learn a lot.” That’s what I did seven years ago actually. Hugh: Wow, you’re still there doing it. Your book is called Twist: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands. I remember you kindly sent me a copy to preview it. I think I did a respectable interview a couple years ago on the Orchestrating Success podcast for business leaders. This is a wholly different focus today. Really it’s not. Good branding, good leadership, good marketing is probably the same. We do have a lot of hang-ups when we are working for a nonprofit that we shouldn’t have. Where can people get your book? Julie: You can get it on Amazon. The easiest place. Hugh: And the color makes it stand out. I was amazed, Russell, that she finds a way to twist that word “twist” into pretty much every page of that book. It’s phenomenal how this plays out. Before Russ goes into another question, I want to ask you. You do board retreats. There is a tension between different perspectives and an apparent contrast. When you have this side and this side, when you start looking at the intersection, there is some real finite truth or wisdom. We have a different outcome, but we also have ownership at some level. When you do a board retreat, I would assume it’s a branding retreat, talk about the dynamics of how the board plays into the decision and how it goes from the retreat to the final decision. That is where a lot of us get stuck. Julie: Board retreats are interesting dynamics. The first thing I do is get everybody out of whatever the location is, whether it’s the church or synagogue, into a relaxed atmosphere where they can think differently, to use the apple. I also get them to start thinking about other brands. We don’t think about our organization as a brand, as a story, as something unique. We get bogged down into that won’t work, we tried that, I’m not sure about that. We have to remember that the people we are trying to engage, whether it’s members, donors, or volunteers, they don’t live in this box with only our brand. They live in the wider world with a wider brandscape. I ask the board members ahead of time, “What brands do you admire, and why?” If you admire Starbucks because it customizes your order or Nike because it motivates you or Uber because it helps you get around when you are on a business trip, why wouldn’t you bring some of those qualities to your organization? Why wouldn’t you twist some of those things? Why shouldn’t our church or synagogue or nonprofit also be customized and seamless to use and have clever impactful messaging? When I get them to think beyond their nonprofit to his larger brandscape and twist those ideas, then it breaks through. We come up in a short amount of time with solutions we hadn’t had for months and months of board meetings. The second part of your question is the trickier part, which is how do you move it forward? That is where I would say it shouldn’t be a democracy. The president of the board or the head of the nonprofit should get the input of everybody. If they are in a position of leadership, they have to take the leadership and say, “I have listened to everybody. This is what we’re going to do. You don’t have to agree with it 100%, but you have to understand why we’re doing it and help us tell the story to a larger group.” Russell: That’s an interesting perspective. There is a tricky balance to strike as far as getting by it. Obviously, you want your people to go with that. Who exactly is brand twisting for? With nonprofits, you have multiple audiences. You have multiple constituencies. You have your board, volunteers, donors, other people who fund your work, staff. How do you make that marriage work for all of those different audiences? Who is twisting specifically for? How do you do that? Julie: I like to work in brand development committees. I just rebranded a school system. We created a brand development committee that had the superintendent as the leader. Ultimately, she is the leader of that brand. She had to buy into it. We had two members of the board represented, not all 12, just two. We had a few practitioners represented, so some principals and teachers. We had some staff, the people, if we were going to change the website, on a daily basis, who are going to have to program it, and things like that. We had a committee of about 8 or 10 people. We worked in that committee and got through surveys and other strategic planning input from the community, parents and students. You can pull in input as data points, but don’t make your committee 30 people sitting around a table. You’re not going to get anything done. The 8-10 people worked on the branding solutions. We led them through the process. We committed as a group with the superintendent’s opinion counting the most to the one recommendation we were going to go back to the school board and make, with a lot of great rationale of how we got through the journey. It worked because we had a process. We had representation. Ultimately, we went with a recommendation and a clear rationale on that recommendation. Russell: When it comes to communication, eight people is about the span of control. Once you get beyond eight, the wheels start to come off the wagon. Julie: What we did was when we rebranded, we didn’t ask everybody, “Do you like this?” Branding is like naming your kids. You never tell anybody your intended names until the birth announcement comes out because all those opinions won’t be helpful. It’s your opinion as the parent that really counts. We named the new logo and gave it a story. We created a video that explained the change. We launched internally first so all the teachers beyond the committee got the preview first. Then we went out to the larger group. It wasn’t like the brand launch was overnight. It wasn’t just throwing up a logo and saying, “What do you think?” It was a really carefully crafted story that we told over and over for about a year until everybody understood it and got it and got behind it. Russell: One of the things that you mentioned in the book is that people have blinders on around branding. What is it that you mean by blinders? How do we work around these? Julie: It’s like a horse, if you’re trying to lead a racehorse out and put the blinders on so they can’t see anything beyond them, it keeps them going forward. But the downside of that in branding is we work in nonprofit that has to do with cancer. We spend all our time looking at nonprofits that have to do with cancer and we worry about being seen as legitimate. Because we worry about being seen as legitimate, we end up being...
info_outline Leadership Challenges in Managing a Land Conservancy Nonprofit with David Perry 11/24/2019
Leadership Challenges in Managing a Land Conservancy Nonprofit with David Perry Leadership Challenges in Managing a Land Conservancy Nonprofit with David Perry DAVID PERRY, Executive Director is a Blacksburg native, has been with the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy since 2006, when he was hired as the land trust’s project manager. He became assistant director in 2011 and executive director in 2012. Dave is chairman of the City of Roanoke’s Mill Mountain Advisory Board and a member of the Roanoke Kiwanis Club. Dave has a master’s degree in park and resource management from Slippery Rock University and a bachelor’s degree in geography from James Madison University. Prior to coming to the land trust, he was employed with the Wicomico County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism in Salisbury, MD and as a district executive with the East Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America in Kinston, NC. He, his wife and two sons live in southwest Roanoke
info_outline Networking with Local Nonprofits in Central Virginia 11/19/2019
Networking with Local Nonprofits in Central Virginia Networking with Local Nonprofits in Central Virginia Read the Transcript Hugh Ballou: This is a special edition today of The Nonprofit Exchange. I am attending a nonprofit trade show and networking event, Central Virginia Business Coalition. I’m here with Heather Alto. Heather, what’s your vision for this event today? Heather Alto: Basically, our vision for this event, we decided to put about a community event focused on nonprofit organizations because they don’t really have the avenue to get out and do bigger business expos due to the cost. We wanted to have a one-stop shop where people could come in and learn about the nonprofits in our area. A lot of this is about awareness, but also it’s a place where people could bring donations today, whether it’s food or coats or household items. Anything like that. This is the place to do it. A one-stop area where you can learn, volunteer, and donate. Hugh: We’ve just gotten acquainted. I’m going to go around and visit with some of the nonprofits here. Thank you, Heather. Heather: Thank you. Hugh: I’m going to let them tell a little bit about what they do and why they’re doing it. Here’s Tracy. Tell them who you are and what this organization is that you represent. Tracye Dixon: I’m Tracey Dixon. I’m executive director at Lynchburg Daily Bread. Hugh is my friend from the rotary club. My real job is a soup kitchen in downtown Lynchburg. We are looking for canned sweet potatoes, green beans, and gravy for our Thanksgiving meal. If anybody would like to help with that, we would love and appreciate it. Hugh: Tracey is a legend here. She’s very active. We happen to be in the city that’s got some of the highest poverty in the commonwealth of Virginia. Tracey: It’s true. Hugh: We have a lot of hungry people. She and her team and a whole lot of volunteers are very active all the time. Tracey: Every day. We are open every day of the year. We’ll be open on Christmas because people need to eat on Christmas, too. Grateful for your support, Hugh. Thanks for being here. Hugh: Blessings. We have people watching from all over, wondering what’s going on here. So we’re going to go to another one. Hope for today. Help and Hope. Tell us who you are and what your organization is. This is our first time we’ve met. What is this organization, and who are you? Sam: This is World Hope. I’m Sam. Sarah Johnson: I’m Sarah. Sam: And we are a humanitarian organization raising money to sponsor kids, get them education, clean water, clothing. We help build churches and schools, bring clean water to villages. Sarah: Our biggest thing that we do is child sponsorship. People can rescue a child out of poverty and get them education, clean food, and water for $35 a month. We have children in over 20 countries. 11,000 children right now. Hugh: How many? Sarah: I think it’s between 10 and 11,000 children in our programs around the world. Hugh: Around the world? Sarah: Yes. Hugh: We’re in central Virginia. This is Lynchburg. We are reaching out to the world. SynerVision Leadership Foundation supports charities all over the world. We support with the infrastructure of leadership development, board development, funding. I’m going around the trade show and giving you some exposure. This is a show we do every week called The Nonprofit Exchange. Thanks for sharing your ideas. Somebody somewhere will know somebody in one of your areas. Where do they find you? what’s the URL? Sarah: WorldHelp.net Hugh: WorldHelp.net. Thank you for sharing. Let’s see who else is here and what they’re doing. I talked to you all before. These couple charming ladies. Tell me about this charity. It’s really special. Claire Parker Foundation. Bethany Egland: I’m Bethany, and I’m the director of programs and family services at the Claire Parker Foundation. We support families that have children with cancer and have partnered hospitals all across the region. We’re in 15 different ones from Tennessee to Texas, which is pretty incredible. We have different programs that we provide from the beginning of the diagnosis to the end. A bunch of different programs to keep kids occupied in the hospital and to support families through the journey financially, emotionally, and even to the end, if they end up losing a child, we have support in that areas as well. Hugh: We have wonderful gift kits here for the children and families. Bethany: This is their care box they get right after diagnosis. This is our birthday box to celebrate birthdays. They get a banner, a birthday pillowcase, and a gift card to Amazon. Hugh: Where can they find Claire Parker on the Internet? Bethany: ClaireParkerFoundation.org. We’re on Facebook and Instagram. Hugh: I just captured somebody you may know also. Jessica Arrington. What’s the organization that you work with? What do you do there? Jessica Arrington: Patrick Henry Family Services. I am the volunteer coordinator. I help with all our program ministries to make sure we have the support we need and our mission and vision stay going. Hugh: What do you do? Who do you do it for? Jessica: Volunteer coordinator for Patrick Henry Family Services. I work with all the volunteers, with every program ministry. Hugh: Tell us about Patrick Henry. Jessica: We have several program ministries such as Save Family for Children, expanded families, Vision 30, that makes sure every child is in a safe home, in a safe environment wrapped around by the community by 2030. We believe that can happen with your help, partners, agencies, churches, and families. We also have our Hat Creek Camp and our counseling services and so much more. Hugh: Jessica is also a friend from the local rotary. She’s been on our show before with the program Power of We. Jessica: Power of We Lynchburg. Hugh: Let’s go look at your banner for Patrick Henry. Who’s this person? Jessica: This is Nicolette. Nicolette: Nice to meet you, Facebook. Jessica: She works with our girls’ and boys’ homes. We have Lisa. Hugh: What does Lisa do? Lisa: I’m the case manager for residential care. Hugh: And this is Patrick Henry Family Services. They can find you online at PatrickHenry.org. Thank you. Here’s Billy. Billy was on The Nonprofit Exchange recently. Billy told the story about the sports outreach. They know your story. Thank you. Here is Humankind. Do you want to share? Tell us who you are and what Humankind is. Tiffany Rodriguez: I am Tiffany Rodriguez. I am in the treatment foster care. Humankind has over 20 different programs. We are community outreach. Our main office is here in Lynchburg, but we also service other areas throughout Virginia. We have anywhere from counseling, treatment, foster care, community outreach. We work with kids who have autism. There is also a daycare. This is one of our new treatment foster care case workers. This is Ashley, and we are very happy to add her to our team. We are excited to be part of this opportunity as well. Thanks so much for having us. Hugh: Where can people find Humankind online? Tiffany: If they go to Humankind.org, then you’ll be able to see all of our resources that we have. If you have any specific questions, you can always email us. Hugh: It’s a worthy work place. Thank you for sharing with us. Why don’t you tell people who you are and what is this organization that you represent? Sandra Bermudez: I’m Sandra Bermudez. I am representing Braley & Thompson Foster Care in central Virginia. We have over nine offices in the state of Virginia. My office is in Lynchburg. We have been in business for over 30 years in Virginia for children and families. We work with children 0-17 and provide foster families. If you are interested in becoming a foster family, you can visit us at BraleyThompson.com. Hugh: Love it. Thank you for being here today. Here’s one called Well of Grace. Who is this back here? Susan. What is this organization, and what does it do? Susan: Well of Grace helps ladies who have had breast surgery. We help with items their insurance may not pay or does not totally cover. That could be a lymphedema sleeve, whatever they need. We help them get those items. Hugh: This is a lot of good people doing good work here. Where can they find Well of Grace online? Susan: They can find it at WellofGrace.org. They can also go through Absolute Perfection, who are the people who support our nonprofit. Hugh: WellofGrace.org. Thank you, Susan. Amazement Square. I’ve been to your organization with grandchildren. Tell them who you are. Jamie Shetley: Sure. I’m Jamie Shetley. I am the manager of donor and member relations of Amazement Square. We are here today talking about the 50% of work that we do that people don’t know about, which is outside of the museum. We are talking about sponsorships for school programs. We are talking about our new initiative, Amazing Children Smart Beginnings, which is sponsored with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. We are talking about our new education center. All sorts of things going on. Hugh: Amazement Square is in what used to be a old warehouse. One time, Lynchburg was the second wealthiest city in the country. We had a lot of tobacco and leather warehouses in town, which are now dormant. Now, there’s a bunch of new things. One of them is quite amazing. I have been there twice at least with grandchildren, which was an excuse for me to play. It’s quite an amazing thing. Sometime, Lynchburg Symphony will do something musical with you. Jamie: Our new education center is open now. It has a huge exhibit space. It can seat over 350 people. We have the space for it. We just want people to know this space is available. Hugh: Where can people find you online? Jamie: AmazementSquare.org. Hugh: Tell us who you are and what do you represent? Susan Campbell: I’m Susan Campbell, the executive director of the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center. This is Julia and Julie. They’re both on staff at BRPC. We are a crisis pregnancy center. We help the woman who is in crisis and in need for options and counseling for unplanned pregnancy. Hugh: A lot of important work. Where can people find you online? Susan: BRPCFriends.org. We are located right next to Lynchburg General Hospital, one street over on Thompson Drive. Hugh: Thank you. There is quite a few amazing people doing amazing stuff. This is Elise. tell them who you are and what the organization is about. Elise Spontarelli: Elise Spontarelli with Vector Space. We are a community maker space. We have 12,000 square feet of tools: woodworking, blacksmithing, metalworking, 3D printers, laser cutters, sewing, all the tools. We do membership for adults so you can use those tools. We do safety training, and then we set you free on the tools. We do workshops to teach the tools. We do STEM education with high schoolers. Some cool projects. Hugh: I only found out recently about maker spaces. Describe what a maker space is. It’s quite amazing. Elise: Thank you. It’s a space for people to collaborate. A lot of folks have maybe a woodshop at home or some welding equipment or a 3D printer on their desk, but nobody has all of the tools together. Our members are everyone from engineers to fine artists. We have teachers and entrepreneurs and all sorts of folks with different backgrounds and different skills, coming together and learning together and teaching each other. A big part of our membership is member meet-ups and peer learning. Folks are teaching the skills they know and learning from other people new skills. We bring those together in cool ways. And teaching kids how to use these tools, too. Hugh: They’re super cool. It’s part craft, part art. Where can people find Vector Space online? Elise: Vector-Space.org. We’re also on Facebook and Instagram. If they want to come out and see us, the first Friday of every month, we do an open house from 5-8pm. Hugh: We’re in Lynchburg, Virginia. Every first Friday, it’s a happening place downtown with art galleries and the craft space and maker space is beyond that. Thank you for sharing. Elise: Thanks, Hugh. Hugh: That’s quite an amazing entity. Let’s find somebody who’s free. Hey, there. I’ve seen you before. But I forgot. Can you stand up and talk? She has healthy options. Everyone has sugar-loaded candy. Tell people who you are and what is it you’re doing here? What is this organization? Jane Massey: I am Jane Massey with the Alzheimer’s Association in Central and Western Virginia. This is Ginny Simmons. Ginny serves on our walk planning committee. The Alzheimer’s Association is a nonprofit that is trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. That is basically our vision: a world without Alzheimer’s Disease. Hugh: Say your vision. Jane: A world without Alzheimer’s Disease. Hugh: I was just working on vision statements for my nonprofit. It’s really hard. That is a picture: a world without Alzheimer’s. Here’s a lesson right here. A vision is a picture of what it looks like. You can say that without reading it. Jane: Yes, I can. It’s a really important vision statement. The Alzheimer’s Association, we are the largest nonprofit organization in the world providing research. We are only #3 behind the Chinese government and the U.S. government in funding research. Our goal is to fight a cure, sustainable ways to live with the disease by 2025. We have an aggressive format going on. Our goal is to do it. We currently provide international research as well as local programs and services. One of our biggest events to raise awareness and funds is our walk to end Alzheimer’s. That’s where Ginny comes in. Ginny is our logistics chair. Want to share your experience about being on the committee? Ginny Simpson: Sure. I have been on the committee now with the Alzheimer’s Association for probably 15+ years or so. I’ve been very involved. I don’t have a personal connection, but I professionally work with those affected with dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s been a joy and a pleasure working and serving the community trying to find a cure for this terrible disease. Hugh: There are probably walks all over the country. Ginny: Yes, there are. Hugh: Where can people find out more about Alzheimer’s Association? Jane: Alz.org. One of the things I do want to share that a lot of people don’t realize is that the Alzheimer’s Association not only covers and manages Alzheimer’s, which is the most common form of dementia, but we cover all dementias. We have an award-winning website where you can find information about vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease because those are forms of dementia. Hugh: If people don’t know if they have something, can they or their family go and find out? Jane: Yes, they can go to the website. One of the things, if somebody is concerned about having some forgetfulness that is affecting your daily life, the first thing we recommend is seeing a doctor. Sometimes, it’s not Alzheimer’s. It can be something as easy as an infection, or it might be some drug interactions that are not working properly. That can cause memory issues. It’s really important to get that checked out. Hugh: Great, thank you. Go to Alz.org. Easy. Thank you for your good work. Who are you? Here is their banner. Tell us who you are. What is this organization about? Andy Cohen: I’m Andy Cohen. I’m the executive director of Harmony Day Support. We have services for adults with disabilities all throughout the day so they can live as autonomously as we do every single day. We’re excited about the opportunity to help them grow socially, academically, athletically, spiritually, all over. We have about 9,600 individuals we serve here locally. We are in the process of implementing and adding new services daily. Hugh: Is this a local organization? Andy: Local. Hugh: We’re in central Virginia. You might know somebody here. It’s HarmonyDaySupport.org. Thank you. Tell us who you are. What is this organization? Why does it exist? Adam Pavao: My name is Adam Pavao. I am the executive director of foster care services at Impact Living Services. We exist to serve youth aging out of foster care and youth in foster care. We’re a relatively young nonprofit. Started in 2012 just in Lynchburg, Virginia to work with those kids aging out. Youth aging out of foster care have really bad outcomes. One in four are incarcerated before 21. One in five are homeless within a year. 71% of girls get pregnant before the age of 21. Less than 4% graduate from college. We have apartments and town homes we place them in. We get connected to employment and education and teach them how to be adults. We also have a foster care program where we work with teens in foster care. That population has a hard time getting placed with families. We believe kids should be with families and kids should have connections. We work with those families to train them, to provide support to them to make sure those kids and teens are in the home. We have offices in Lynchburg, Roanoke, Harrisonburg, and Richmond. Hugh: Those are Virginia cities. This is a nice banner they have. A little bit about what they do here. What is the URL for your website? Adam: It is ImpactLivingServices.org. Hugh: Thank you, sir. Allison Zuba: These are some of the best nonprofit leaders in Lynchburg. Hugh: Who are you? Allison: I’m Allison Zuba. Hugh: Who are you? Linda Bright: I’m Linda Bright, the program manager for Bedford Ride. Vicky Craig: I’m Vicky Craig, the public relations coordinator for the Central Virginia Alliance for Community Living, your area agency on aging. Hugh: Whoa, my peer group. Allison: I’m Allison Zuba. I’m the executive director at the Adult Care Center, the best place to spend your day in Lynchburg. Hugh: Adult Care Center. Do you all work together? Or I just happened to catch you together. Allison: We don’t get to work together a lot, but we certainly support each other’s organizations. Hugh: Tell us about Adult Care Center. Tell us about CVACL. Allison: The Adult Care Center has folks who need a little extra help and still want to live at home, but have a great place to be during the day. Folks come to us Monday through Friday, play games, have great food, and enjoy themselves immensely. Laughter is the key to the day here. Hugh: My wife might be calling you. Tell us about this organization. Linda: Bedford Ride, we are a program of the Central Virginia Alliance for Community Living. We do non-emergency medical training and transportation for Bedford residents who are unable to drive. All of our drivers are carefully vetted volunteers. We have over 90 volunteers, 20 wheelchair accessible vans, and five cars. Hugh: We are in central Virginia. Bedford is the next town over. Look at this. Be a Santa to a Senior. Vicky: Right now, at the Central Virginia Alliance for Community Living, we are doing a Be a Santa to a Senior program. That is when we provide Christmas presents for our clients and others throughout the area. We do need people to come and take our tags. This is how we provide Christmas to seniors who otherwise wouldn’t have Christmas. Hugh: Where can they find you online? Vicky: CVACL.org. Hugh: And where can they find Adult Care Center? Allison: AdultCareCenter.org. Linda: And Bedford Ride is BedfordRide-CVACL.org. Hugh: Those are places you can find these ladies. Do you want to talk about Meals on Wheels? People have heard of Meals on Wheels but may not know much about it. Tell people who you are and what you’re representing here. Janet Lomax: I’m Janet Lomax. I am representing on Meals on Wheels of greater Lynchburg. Hugh: People may have heard about it, but they don’t know what Meals on Wheels is about. Janet: Meals on Wheels delivers hot meals every day, Monday through Friday, to home-bound individuals who cannot prepare a nutritious meal for themselves or who do not have...
info_outline Learning the Value of Human Alignment / Collaboration 11/05/2019
Learning the Value of Human Alignment / Collaboration Powerful Collaborations with Stewart Levine Hugh Ballou: Welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. Russell, here we are again. Week after week, we have amazing people. Yet today, this is a friend from years ago. I sent out an email asking people if they wanted to contribute to the magazine or be on the show. Immediately, Stewart Levine responded. How are things in Denver today, Russell? Russell Dennis: It’s a little cloudy, a little bit cooler than it has been. But we are in the fall season. All is well otherwise. Welcome, Stewart. Thank you for coming. Stewart Levine: My pleasure to be with you guys today. I will be landing in Denver early tomorrow morning and then driving up to Vail for some American Bar Association meetings. Interesting, because I have a new book called Becoming the Best Lawyer You Can Be: How to Maintain Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, and Mental Health. The American Bar Association, 27 authors, I curated it and edited it. I’m actually very excited about it. Hugh: Look at that. Let’s back up. I’m sure there is people watching who want to know who this guy is anyway. Why don’t you tell them, Stewart? Stewart: Thank you, Hugh. Here’s the short synopsis. I practiced law for about 10 years in a reasonably traditional number of contexts, starting off in the New Jersey Attorney General’s office. Then I got tired of fighting with people. And it was before the whole ADR, Alternative Dispute Resolution, movement came on board. So I decided to do a little career change. I spent six years inside of AT&T as they were going through huge organizational change and transformation with major law firms as my clients, not in a legal sense, but in an account representative sense. On a parallel track, I started divorce meditation because I wanted to use the skills I had developed as a lawyer. I learned a lot about communication, about collaboration, about conflict resolution working with couples getting divorced because no one is in worse shape than that. Over time, I moved that work over into working with organizations, teens, organizational transformational cultural change work, individual coaching. For the last 30 years, that essentially is what I have been doing. The last 10 years, I have learned a ton of teaching programs and all the soft skills, relationship skills on behalf of the American Management Association. I have done a number of collaborations over time with various other individuals, all in the organizational space. That is the short synopsis, except I have also written a couple of best-selling books. The first one is called Getting to Resolution: Turning Conflict into Collaboration. It was endorsed by Stephen Covey. It was named one of the best business books of 1998, second edition came out in 2008. A follow-up called The Book of Agreement: 10 Essential Elements for Getting the Results You Want. That was endorsed by a number of notable people. That’s the short answer. You and I met in the context of both being on the faculty of an organization called CEO Space. It’s a pleasure to see your face again, Hugh. Hugh: It’s a pleasure. Thank you for stepping up when I sent out that probing email. Actually, we were standing in those groups out in the lobby, and someone was addressing the group. I whipped out my draft of my workbook, Dealing with High Performance Teams, and I said, “Would you do me a favor and review this? Tell me what it’s missing.” You sent me an email saying there was nothing about agreements in here. So I asked if I could quote your book of the 10EssentialElementsofAgreementsso I could give you attribution. I refer to those all the time. I send people to Amazon to get that book. It’s really a treasure. We are speaking to people who are in the social benefit/for-purpose sector. They are clergy running a church or synagogue. They are executive directors running a for-purpose community-based organization. They are running a membership organization. I see a lot of conflict because people haven’t been really good in creating this agreement. They don’t write it down. They haven’t decided how we are going to define expectations. I would guess, we’re talking about collaboration and alignment today. I would think one tenet of alignment is to be able to have your expectations written down. Where do you start with alignment? What is the starting point? Stewart: Sure. Just to frame this, what I always say to people is you can pay me now or pay me later. If you pay me now, you’ll pay me a lot less. Essentially what that means is spend a little time on the front end, making sure you have alignment, making sure you have shared expectations. Otherwise, the root of conflict is when people have different understandings of what they are doing together, and they have a different sense of metrics in terms of how we are going to measure whether or not we were successful. Critical piece is spending time on the front end. TheBookofAgreementcontains about 30 models of agreements for getting to a place of alignment. Those ten elements are actually so good I put them on the back of my business card. It’s not like I’m trying to keep any secrets. I am happy to give them away. You start off by having a conversation. What is our intent and vision? In other words, what are we doing together? What’s our intent and vision? By the way, as a little aside, most legal agreements are something that I refer to as agreements for protection. What if this goes wrong, and what if that goes wrong? There is not a huge amount of time spent on what we are trying to achieve here. That was the perspective that I took. What is our intent and vision? What is the role that each one of us is going to play? In other words, what is each party or person responsible for? What are the specific promises that each person makes? In other words, what is each person going to do to bring that vision into reality? How are they going to contribute? What is the value that each person receives? Why? Because if people don’t receive, if they are not getting value out of any form of collaboration, they will stop contributing. They will stop performing. Metrics. How will you measure whether or not you were successful? Get it to a place of objectivity. Concerns and fears. People often have concerns and fears that they don’t want to talk about. They are shy. What I like to do is put this in the model. No, this is something you have to talk about. Renegotiation. The idea that when we begin, we know what we know, but we don’t know what we don’t know. As we work together, moving down the road, we discover things, and we constantly need to be mindful of renegotiating that agreement to make sure we are back in a place of alignment. Consequences or benefits. What’s at stake here? What’s really at stake in this collaboration for the individuals involved, for the organization, for the community that is being served in the world of nonprofit and benefit organizations? Conflict resolution. We know that things happen. How are we going to resolve the conflicts and differences when they come up? After you have talked about those nine things, you look at the other person or the group and go, Yes or no. This is a project that I am engaged with. What I like to say is if you got good alignment, you don’t have to worry about loose panels flapping off the rocket ship that you are trying to get to take off. I’m not sure where that came from. A little feedback from the universe. That’s okay. The last element, number ten, is agreement and trust. Are we aligned? This is what is essential to do at the front end. People who start to use this and discover it think it’s like sliced bread. It’s just amazing, the simple ten element model, what it can create and what it can save you in the long run. Hugh: Absolutely. I call it paying the upfront price. You quoted the oil filter pay me now or pay me later. That’s a great commercial. It’s so true. It’s the price upfront is far cheaper. That’s a brilliant model. What happens when you get to #10 is you really know that you have an agreement. Stewart: You know you have an agreement, or you know you don’t, which is of equal value. You know that Okay, this is, we’re not in alignment. I don’t think we can get to alignment. This is not a good project to work on together. Hugh: I don’t know if you know I do lots of group board meetings and staff meetings. I am fundamentally a music connector who helps build ensembles, which is synergy in group interaction. In the South, y’all can tell I’m in the South, we say none of us is as smart as all of us. How do you get the best collective thinking without going into groupthink? My answer to that is we teach people how to build consensus. I find most people confuse consensus and compromise when they are the exact opposite. A consensus is a win-win, and compromise is lose-lose. What dawns on me as you are describing that model which I have read so many times is that prompts people to talk in a different way, discover new things, and come to some sort of consensus that whether we can work together or we can’t. Is consensus part of alignment? Stewart: Absolutely. Consensus is essentially alignment. I’m glad you mentioned the word “compromise.” You said it exactly correctly, Hugh. Compromise means to lose-lose. People giving up what’s important to them. Consensus is we are all in agreement, we are all in alignment, we are all moving forward toward the same things with the same end result in mind. Hugh: It’s very misunderstood. What setting it is. A corporate setting, a boardroom, or anything like that. I think it’s really misunderstood. It’s important that we can build that synergy if we are going to work together as teams. Why is alignment essential in today’s world? Why don’t you go to D.C. and teach them? You can skip that second part. Stewart: I want to go back a second, and I will come to your question. I want to punctuate this point, Hugh. What also happens in the process of having this conversation is you start to develop a real deeper relationship. I don’t mean an intimate personal relationship; I mean a working relationship. And as we all know, when you have relationship with people you are working with, it’s much easier to resolve differences, which will inherently come up. The only reason people end up in lawsuits is when relationships break down. That’s the only time they resort to those 100-page agreements that attorneys prepare, when the relationship breaks down. Otherwise, they work it out; they want to keep working together. Having said that, why is this more important in today’s world? I think it’s more important in today’s world because we have a lot less face-to-face interaction. So much of what we’re doing transactionally is virtual. In those kinds of situations, it’s easier to be a jerk. And people don’t consciously spend time to build relationships. This is a way to do it. That’s one piece. The second piece is it’s too costly when things break down. When you end up in conflict and any kind of lawsuits or legal process, you can’t afford it. You can’t afford to waste that time removing so quick. Three is if you look out at the world, it seems that there is a movement toward a much more values-based business and organizational culture. Much more. Because people realize what goes around comes around. You can’t treat transactions as a one-shot deal. We have to be more relational and values-based. Even the millennial generation coming up, for them, it’s real important to be part of a mission-driven organization, whatever that mission happens to be. To frame for-profit missions as having a “missionary” value. Business organizations in some sense are becoming a place where people get in culture. Business, nonprofits, in that context, it’s where we spend so much time. Bringing values and alignment into that are critical. Probably more than you wanted to hear. To go back to that other question about Washington D.C., about 10 years ago, I was actually doing a two-day program for the Federal Executive Institute, which is run out of the Treasury Department. I had about 75 people for two days. At the end of the program, a bunch of Navy officers came up to me in white uniforms and said, “You need to go down the block and teach those guys in Congress.” Bottom line is, I don’t know if you remember those old jokes, “How many blanks does it take to change a light bulb?” How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but it’s got to want to change. The guys in D.C., I use guys generically, they don’t seem to want to change. They are sitting in some old cultural model, and that’s why the rating in D.C. of the folks that we elect as representatives and our employees, the ratings are so incredibly low. Hugh: They are. We are shaped by the culture that we have experienced and the culture we have been injected into. We don’t have to accept that. I can’t imagine what it’s like on the inside. Some of the large companies and some of the large churches I have served have a culture. You refer to this topic of conflict. Before we leave the alignment and agreement piece, what I have experienced when people have those kinds of conversations. By the way, another piece Russell and I present and attend is the Business Acceleration Summit with your cheerleader Shannon Gronich, who studied your program with you. She uses it quite well. In going through that process, there is a transformation that happens with people’s perspective, even those who want to change. There is a substantive transformation that happens. Give us the story. Am I right? Does that happen with people exploring those options? If so, is there an example without giving away names of the kind of transformation that happens when people can have a different kind of conversation? Stewart: It creates connection. Connectivity. To me, human connectivity is the key to productivity. That sounds like a rhyme. Connectivity is the key to productivity. It is. If you think about high performance teams, what was it about the teams that made them great? The human relationships. The high levels of trust. When you create alignment, that is naturally going to happen. For religious organizations, go back to the words of Christ. Wherever two or more of you are gathered, there is one. When you create alignment and connection, you create a different kind of energy. It’s there. It’s there. One other thing I wanted to say about this, Hugh. You mentioned the word “culture.” I do cultural transformation work. People often ask for that. It’s a very amorphous concept. When you think about what is culture in an organization, culture is actually held in relationships. Relationships are a function of agreements, implicit and explicit. I say if we can make our agreements explicit, we can change the culture. By having agreements with how we will be with each other, how we will treat each other. I have done this in many organizations over time. It always comes up value-based because people use their highest aspirations when they are creating these kinds of agreements. Culture. Huge piece. Hugh: Let’s focus in a minute. As a conductor, I create high performance cultures in choirs and orchestras. If you are familiar, the person at the front influences others. I have a lot of leaders say, “I want other people to change.” I point out, “That ain’t gonna happen unless you change.” I don’t know if you’re familiar with the work of Murray Bowen, the psychiatrist who has a whole leadership methodology. Bowen’s wisdom is if you want to change people on your team, you change yourself, and they reflect that. What you are talking about is the vulnerability of the leader willing to open their brains to something new. Stewart: Jim Kouzes, favorite leadership consultant, and his partner Barry Posner. Talk about as one of the key elements of leadership modeling the way. That is a validation of what you just said. Modeling the way. Change yourself. Show others how you want them to be. Critical piece. Hugh: Amen. Stewart: Amen. It’s interesting. I did a project for a state government agency a few years ago. You asked for an example. They were implementing a new fiscal system to the entire state. It was coming out of the controller’s office. You can imagine the political, the legacy systems. It was a group of professional accountants who were charged with the pilot program. I got a call from someone who had seen me present about 10 years ago for the Project Management Institutes in the Greater Bay Area of San Francisco, which is where I am. I got in there and used the models that we’re talking about to get to the bottom of what conflicts were between the various units and to create an agreement about how it was that these folks were going to move forward with the level of human alignment to get this first pilot off the ground and in the implementation off the ground. It’s amazing what these ten elements of agreement can do. It’s a systematic way of creating an activity, alignment, a shift in culture, how to get humans hooked up and connected. Hugh: I’m coming back. We are champions of transformational leadership. That is a transformational mindset here of people being aware. I think what happens when I have seen leaders go through steps like which you are proposing, there is a transformation of their knowledge and their being. They see the world differently when they start having conversations. Stewart: I call that mindset “resolutionary thinking.” Resolutionary thinking. Mindset is certainly something that I talk about. As a matter of fact, in my first book, when Stephen Covey endorsed it, he actually said, “The mindset and the skillset are just terrific.” Hugh: Love it. I have been hogging all the time here. I want to give Russell a chance. He listens. Russell, I notice Stewart doesn’t miss a lick. He comes back to my questions even though I forgot I asked them. Real clarity of thought here. Russell, what are you hearing? Before we switch over to talking about conflict, do you have any observations or questions on this powerful part Stewart is bringing to us? Russell: Thinking about alignment, it starts with ourselves. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that’s why you wrote this book: to talk about internal alignment. We all have that. When we recognize that need to align ourselves internally, then we get along better with others. What is critical to this alignment and approaching this process in this manner it stops any problems before they start. People don’t do business with entities; people do business with people. If we are not aligned or on the same page, it won’t work very well. I really appreciate all of the things that I see. This is a book I keep for myself. I have used it to put agreements together that I put together for people I do business with so that we can create a good set of expectations. We don’t want to have problems later. Although this book has been around for a while, people don’t seem to be as proactive as they could be. You look at your typical agreement, and it’s written in legalese. We don’t want to duck for cover. We want to work together and solve some problems. I love your approach in that way. Stewart: It’s interesting, Russell. Having practiced law for ten years, I saw all these legal books that their lawyers put their names in. In some ways, when I wrote The Book of Agreement, it was my antidote to that kind of agreement. The legal agreements I call agreements of protection. My agreements I call agreements for results. They help you get to that place you want to. Thank you. Thank you. To validate your point, this whole notion of being aligned internally, having some level of clarity, having some level of emotional...
info_outline New Sports Commission Launches a Fresh Approach to Sports Marketing 11/03/2019
New Sports Commission Launches a Fresh Approach to Sports Marketing Billy Russo serves as Executive Director of the Central Virginia Sports Commission (CVSC). Russo is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations & financial performance of the organization while developing & recruiting new business opportunities. Russo manages the marketing plan, goals, & the mission and vision of the CVSC. He is the main liaison for the CVSC Board of Directors. Russo utilizes years of event management experience to develop and create world class sporting events. Russo utilizes his network of contacts and relationships in recruiting sporting events to the region. The Mission of central Virginia Sports: To promote the sports industry image in central Virginia; to engage public and private resources to foster economic development through sports; to build an understanding in the community of the importance of sports and the impact on quality of life; to recruit and create sports events through creative partnerships that have a positive impact on the community; and to do so with world class service while meeting all industry professional standards. More at
info_outline The Basics Of Starting A Nonprofit with Christian LeFer 10/27/2019
The Basics Of Starting A Nonprofit with Christian LeFer Managing a nonprofit is a very noble move, but materializing it can be a daunting process even when you have billions of cash waiting to be used for a wonderful cause. In this episode, we learn from the knowledge bank of who is the CEO and Founder of as he walks us through the steps of starting a nonprofit, including dealing with the IRS and lawyers. He also presents how he and his team can help anyone aiming to start a foundation or charity and presents them their 501(c)(3) package.
info_outline The Nonprofit Exchange Highlights with Hosts Russ & Hugh 10/13/2019
The Nonprofit Exchange Highlights with Hosts Russ & Hugh Highlights and Key Points from Recent Interviews of The Nonprofit Exchange Part 2 2019 provide highlights from interviews over the past few months. Russ and Hugh distill some of the key points and sound bites from these wonderful interviews with people making a difference in nonprofit leadership. Co-Hosts, Hugh Ballou and Russell Dennis share highlights from the past six months of episodes of The Nonprofit Exchange.
info_outline Why Every Nonprofit Needs to Incorporate Business Structures NOW 10/06/2019
Why Every Nonprofit Needs to Incorporate Business Structures NOW Why Every Nonprofit Needs to Incorporate Business Structures NOW with Joseph Imbriano Joseph Imbriano is the founder and CEO of OmniKai, a transformational coaching agency that helps leaders around the world overcome crises, build sustainable organizations that shape a better tomorrow.. OmniKai helps social impact companies, non profit organization, small businesses and startups, simplify, systemize, hire the right teams, and communicate their vision so that they can turn their vision into real sustainable impact. Joseph has been helping leaders in crisis since 2003, working all over the work, in China, Africa, Australia, Latin America, and here in the USA.
info_outline Community Options: a Nonprofit Like No Other, with Robert Stack 09/29/2019
Community Options: a Nonprofit Like No Other, with Robert Stack Community Options: a Nonprofit Like No Other, with Robert Stack Robert Stack is the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Options. According to the New Jersey Business Journal’s Book of Lists for 2018, Community Options is ranked as the 3rd largest non-profit in New Jersey. He has an M.B.A. and is a graduate of the University of Dayton. Robert also attended the University in Friborg, Switzerland, University of Rome and the University of London. He also taught at Kent State University where he received the Graduate Student Teaching Award. He is an Adjunct Professor for the graduate school at Kean University. He is the author of two books: I Matter-So Does Your Cause – Starting a Nonprofit and Meaningful Day: Day Program Services Curriculum and Staff Guidebook. Robert has extensive international experience in entrepreneurial business development and non-profit management. He has spoken throughout the world on employment for persons with disabilities using a social entrepreneurial model. He was a keynote at the Yale Goldman-Sachs School of Management and has given the plenary session at the National Council of Negro Women USAID conference in Cairo, Egypt, and at Perspectiva in Moscow, Russia on entrepreneurial management, business development and advocacy. In 2015, Stack was the keynote speaker at the University of Oxford
info_outline The Emotional Rollercoaster that is Nonprofit Work 09/22/2019
The Emotional Rollercoaster that is Nonprofit Work The Emotional Rollercoaster that is Nonprofit WorkInterview with Rivly Breus As a philanthropist, Rivel Breushas devoted her career to improving the human condition. As an advocate in healthcare she has worked alongside major developments toward the prevention and treatment of disease, and addressing poverty and inequity. She credits activism in her early adolescence as a turning point. She said,“One of the most difficult aspects of being an outlier is knowing you have a vision but not being able to effectively communicate your goals, in actuality I just wanted to do my part and make a contribution”. Today, as one of the founders of Erzule Paul Foundation, she leads the organization’s vision for Haitian and Dominican migrant families to have the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. Drawing on my diverse experience in both nonprofits and community driven initiatives, and creates an environment for disenfranchised individuals to access basic necessities. As her primary focus is orphaned children, she facilitated the building blocks for their success as they transition into adulthood and independence. As a public health servant with an anthropology background, and focus on epidemiology, she has targeted numerous communities that are low-income or homeless. She has employed a strategic approach to getting the right intervention methods that would closely align with that particular communities needs all while being cognizant of individual goals and obstacles. As a recipient of select honors, she has a hand in various communities and organizations working towards the mental and literal emancipation from disenfranchisement as well as advocacy of once marginalized groups. Her message: There are going to be several sleepless and emotional nights. These kinds of nights can be fueled by anything from a grant denial, a missed flight, supplies not being able to reach their intended destination in time and so much more. One day you’ll feel like you haven’t done enough and that you need to save the world, other days you want to give up and say I can’t be responsible for all these individuals. I say all this to illustrate the point that human nature is very complex. The core of who you are as it pertains to the work you do, defines who you are. It doesn’t matter how many sad or unsuccessful days that you have. Those things might leave you unmotivated for weeks on end. I’m here to say that that’s normal and it’s a part of going through the motions. The whole term blood, sweat, and tears is derived from that emotional roller coaster that you experience when you are trying to get something off the ground. I don’t advocate for doing something that completely wipes you out, I only support doing something you are confident will be worthwhile and fulfill you in the end.
info_outline Supercharge Your Funding Program with Smartphones 09/15/2019
Supercharge Your Funding Program with Smartphones Supercharge Your Funding Program with Smartphones Interview with Dr. Greg Sanders and Adam Bricker form EZCard Note: EZCard.com is a sponsor of SynerVision Leadership Foundation SynerVision is using a new web based tool called EZCard and it's the best thing we've ever seen for connecting early with our tribe! We asked Adam and Greg to come on the show to show you a new way of promoting your nonprofit to supporters. Use this tool to raise funds, promote events, provide information to supporters about the work of the organization, and more. EZcard's mission is to elevate and empower all people and communities with affordable, digital technology, including tools for automation. This enhances the bottom line of any business, school, or non-profit organization, and strengthens communities. That's what we're all about! Here are the presenters: Dr. Greg Sandersis the Founder & CEO of EZcard, a simple but powerful, cutting-edge technology for smart phones. Dr. Sanders taught sociology at the university level for 30 years and is, from one perspective, a very unlikely CEO of a software company. He is not a programmer, and while he speaks 8 languages and plays 27 instruments, he doesn’t speak “geek.” However, six years ago he had a clear vision of how to put the power of the smart phone into the hands of ordinary people, and EZcard was born. Adam Brickeris a forward-thinking and innovative Fitness Philosopher. His ability to see what others miss allows for the creation of plans and strategies specifically designed to overcome obstacles that have previously prevented his clients from successfully attaining their goals. When a person fails to achieve successful results multiple times in multiple programs, its almost always an alignment issue between their beliefs and their desired outcomes. The biggest barricade to their success can be removed, usually very easily, once it is identified. The process to identify these hidden self-image beliefs is what Adam has brought to the fitness industry and what makes Bricker worth talking to.
info_outline Improving Donor Relations with Wordsprint CEO Bill Gilmer 09/10/2019
Improving Donor Relations with Wordsprint CEO Bill Gilmer Improving Donor Relations: Getting The Right Message To The Right People With The Right RhythmInterview with Wordsprint CEO Bill Gilmer Read the Interview Hugh Ballou: Hey, folks, it’s Hugh Ballou. Another chapter of The Nonprofit Exchange. Russell David Dennis, last week you and I were in Florida. It’s a good thing we’re not there this week. Russell Dennis: Yes, it’s a bit windy down there now. I’m hoping everyone is okay. It’s looking like the storm is turning off and it’s not going as far inland as they initially thought. Hopefully all of our friends and the wonderful people down at Kaiser who made us feel so welcome are okay. Hugh: It’s called a hurricane, but it’s really a slowcane. It’s going slowly through there. Welcome folks to this episode. We have a special guest today, Bill Gilmer. He has been on the ride with us ever since we started the magazine. I think over five years ago. Bill Gilmer, welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. Bill Gilmer: Thanks. Glad to be here. Unlike Russell, I am in chillier Blacksburg, Virginia. No hurricane on my horizon, I don’t think. Hugh: Yeah, we just are down the road in Lynchburg. Bill, we ask our guests to say a little bit about themselves. Some background. Why is it you’re doing this important work you’re doing today? Bill: My background, I used to be a printer. I used to run a printing company. Over the years, we discovered that most of the work we were doing was for nonprofits. Over the years, we started tracking response rates on donor relation campaigns. We have put together a system of marketing to donors, and that’s what we do every day. Help folks build relationships with their donor base. Hugh: You’ve been working with SynerVision five or six years ago. Let’s declare up front that Wordsprint, Bill’s company, is a sponsor of Nonprofit Performance Magazine and SynerVision’s work in general. We talk about you often on these podcasts. It’s a pleasure to have you here live and in person. This is not an infomercial for Wordsprint, but we know the value of your work. We talk about the 30/30/30. That’s the secret for success. Just to be clear, people can do this on their own. They don’t need you. But if they want to do it the very best way possible, you know how to do that. I want to be clear on that. Explain what this 30/30/30/10 is all about. Bill: What we discovered, and this is lots of data, we started tracking this back in the early 2000s. I think we’re up to 20 million touches, 15,000 campaigns. What we discovered is that there are three things that matter. It’s our three-bit marketing system. There are three things that matter when it comes to donor relations. The first is having the right message. The second is getting that right message to the right people. The third is getting the right message to the right people with the right rhythm. We help clients focus their message, stay consistent with their message, stay on message. We help them with the right people by helping with database cleansing, database acquisition, all kinds of demographics and predictive analytics. But most importantly, we have developed a system for staying consistent and rhythmic with your donor touches. We’ve observed through all our data that is where many nonprofits fail. It’s the rhythm and consistency. The right message to the right people with the right rhythm. That’s the 30/30/30. Hugh: What do you say to people who say, “I’ve tried mailing. It didn’t work. We tried sending out a mailing at the end of the year, and we got a little bit of money, but it doesn’t work, Bill.” Bill: I tell them that I tried dieting once last year, and it didn’t work either. Hugh: I tried working out once, and it didn’t work either. Bill: I tried to exercise once, and it didn’t work. It really is like diet or exercise or physical therapy. These are things that work if you implement them rhythmically. It’s not a quick fix. Rhythm doesn’t become rhythm right away. It needs a few cycles. In fact, on average, for most of our clients, it’s really in the third year of repeated rhythmic touches that the donations start to snowball, that it really begins to build. This is not a showhorse thing. This is drip marketing, if you will. But it works. Hugh: It works. I’ve seen it work. Dig a little deeper into the right person and the right message. I want to know more about how I can do this. Bill: The right message, the first pillar, is your brand. It’s who you are. It’s why you go to work every day. It’s your mission. It’s your elevator speech. What we found that nonprofits who stay on message, who stay true to themselves about who they are, are the ones more successful over time as opposed to those who try to be all things to all people or try to repackage it or try to rebrand every year. I’m not saying you can’t rebrand, but you need to do so carefully. The right message is mainly a matter of consistency and articulating it clearly. Having the right taglines, having the right logo, having the right paragraphs. The right people gets more complicated. It is all about relationships. We find that the nonprofits who succeed are those who create a database culture, where they take those relationships and get them into the database that everyone in the organization is empowered to update. Your best donors are the people you know. People donate to people. People donate to you because they trust you to fulfill your mission. It’s the people you know, the people you run into, the people who come to your open house. These are the best potential donors. The organizations who know how to capture that and bring them into their database so they get rhythmic touches and notifications are the ones who succeed. You can also acquire data. We do a lot of this. Using some fancy predictive analytics, we can acquire names of people who are more likely to donate to your cause than others. That is almost a whole topic in itself. Hugh: Talk a little bit about that. We constantly run across people who say, “I don’t know anybody.” If we do have people who are in nonprofits that maybe they get donations, but they don’t have a donor management program per se, or they work with a number of early stage. Talk a bit about how you acquire names legally. Is there a magic database program that I can use to connect them with? Bill: It’s all legal. There are about six or seven big players in this game called compilers. These are companies who do nothing but purchase, massage, and resell databases. You’ve heard of some of them. Dunne & Bradstreet does this mostly with businesses. Experian. Equifax, the one that had the big data breach. InfoUSA. There are others. There are literally thousands of brokers and people who take the information from these larger players and resell it to folks like us and you. Demographics are available. We as a society click a lot. We are on our computers and are clicking. We go to Amazon. We read the paragraph. We look at another book. We order this. We fill out a warranty card. We subscribe to a magazine. We join a club. All of those are data transactions that are public and can be sold and resold. The hard demographics have always been there, things like the value of your home, the car you drive. That’s public information. But these compilers gather so many data points on all of us as consumers that they are able with artificial intelligence help to see patterns and build logorhythms. They know if you’ve done this and this and this, then you are more likely to support a nonprofit that focuses on children and especially disabled children. That is how detailed it can get. Or you are more likely to support a local nonprofit that works in the music arts, like an orchestra or a symphony. We call this predictive analytics. This is data that indicates the likelihood of someone supporting your cause. This has gotten way better than it even was six months ago. What we usually do—and Hugh, you have had some recent experience with this with one of your organizations—when we do a database acquisition like this, we then compare it to the organization’s existing donor database. If the predictive analytics have been accurate, there will be considerable overlap. Your organization had 3,000 names. We bought another 700-800. Three years ago, you’d expect 10-12 of those to be an overlap. We had a 250-name overlap in that case. Those analytics were extremely accurate. These are folks not just demographically speaking but in terms of propensity are more likely to support your cause. You still have to touch them and touch them rhythmically. That is where the rhythm thing comes in. That is where you need to establish a system of cadent touches over the course of several cycles. At the end of the second or the beginning of the third year, that is where you will start to see donations come in, and it will start to snowball over time. Hugh: When you are talking about clicking, we’re talking about mail in the U.S. We are not talking about email with our computer. Bill: I don’t think I caught the last part of your question. In terms of what we advise for donor relations, it’s a combination of mailing and emailing. Russell: It’s so systematic to your approach to keeping and maintaining donors. Especially small nonprofits will be overwhelmed when they start thinking about all this data, and maybe a little confused as to what a touchpoint is. Lots of folks like me get lots of mail and email from a lot of the same folks. Maybe they think, “Oh, I don’t want to be this person who is bombarding something with emails a day.” When you talk in terms of touches, there are certain things you are accomplishing with each touch. Let’s take a generic year or quarter and talk about what touchpoints there are and the methods behind them. Bill: Let me give you a common example of a mid-sized local nonprofit. Let’s say they have 10-12 staff. On average, our clients would have several touches. They would probably have one event every year. In the spring, they will do a luncheon where they talk about their cause and ask people for money while they are there. They might have a monthly blog. The first Monday of every month, they put something out on social media. They might have a fall appeal mailing. Here is where they write a letter. “Dear Dr. Smith, Here is what we do. Please give us money.” If they are smart, they will have that appeal mailing coupled with an auto trigger email, where the day after Dr. Smith gets the letter, he gets an automatic email that says, “Hey Dr. Smith, did you get our letter yesterday? I bet you trashed it, didn’t ya? You can still click here to support our cause.” Once in the winter and once in the summer, they will do an e-newsletter. They are sending out information two or three times a year. Information only. They are asking for money in a hard ask twice a year. In the example I gave, once with a mailer/email and once with an event. Something like that. We have some clients who do mailers and ask for money every month. We have others who do it once a year with a hard mailing. What we don’t have is much success with straight email solicitation. People do like the convenience of donating online, but they don’t trust it unless it has something based in the physical world, whether that’s a letter they got and threw away, then they get the mail. They will trust it a lot more because they have the mail piece. They go to an open house, and they then trust the email because they associate it with the real-life physical experience they had. That would be typical. A hard ask twice a year, information only two or three times, and maybe something monthly on social media. What we find does not work is the single big blast. So many people want to put all their eggs into one basket. We will have this big shindig and send out 200,000 invitations. It doesn’t do that well. It is better to touch 200 people rhythmically than 200,000 in a blast. Is that helpful? Russell: The key is to spread these over with ask, non-ask. Give them information about the programs they were talking about in the newsletter. How the dollars are impacting, how many people were served, what the shift is. Bill: Impact is huge. Russell: If we’re talking about contacting 200 people at a time, this probably means for a medium-sized nonprofit they are sending stuff out weekly to different donors. Bill: Most of our clients, an average database for our clients is in the range of 2,000-10,000 donors. We often do mailings of 3,000. Sometimes we do 100,000. On average, let’s say 5,000. Most of our clients would do one or two mailings a year. A fall appeal and a spring appeal. In lieu of the spring appeal, sometimes they would do a spring event. The other touches, the social media and the e-newsletter when they are not asking are information only. That would be a balanced mix. Let me get to another key point. This is the magic right here. Rhythm is important. Understanding the rhythm that your clients respond to. Most of you know this. Most nonprofit organizations have a pretty good understanding of how often their donors and potential donors want to be asked. Once a year, twice a year, once a month sometimes. The organization usually knows what the rhythm should be. Rhythm is so important that you sustain it over the years that our biggest piece of advice is adjust the scale to match your budget so that you can sustain the rhythm. We actually help clients with spreadsheets so it says we want to mail to 20,000 people twice a year. The postage alone exceeds your budget. You can’t do that. “Let’s try it one time.” Don’t do it. Adjust that scale. If you can’t afford the postage of 20,000 appeal letters, can you do 10,000? No. 5,000? You play with that spreadsheet and settle on we can sustain 2,500 twice a year. That’s the amount you go with. You have this pool of 10,000. How do you target down to the 2,500? That’s how you do predictive analytics. Mail to the 2,500 who are most likely to donate to your cause. It’s a budget thing. You adjust your scale to match your budget so you can sustain that rhythm because if you sustain the rhythm through several cycles, it works. This is based on data of what actually works, not what makes you feel or look good, but did the donations come rolling in. Russell: What is the best path to help a new organization or client when they come to you? They may have some stuff they kept on Excel, but they don’t necessarily have a donor database or CRM. They looked at these things and thought they were hard to use. They know they need to get better information. Talk about that process where you help them look at the most important factors and how to organize that data and how you guide them to build that so they get effective data from what they are collecting. Bill: There are lots of databases out there as you know. We deal with lots of them. People are constantly asking us which one is the best. All I can honestly say is the best one is the one that someone in your organization is willing to dive into. The right operator, any of these databases can sing. They really can. Some of our biggest clients use Salesforce for their nonprofit data. There is a whole spectrum. It’s not so much which CRM system you use. It’s do you have someone and a back-up or two who know how to use it? If you have no money and can’t do anything, use Excel. It’s not so much what you use as how you use it. We can assist. We understand a lot of the databases. We love working with Excel in terms of immediate back-and-forth with our clients. They will export their database to a CSV or Excel file, and we will update the addresses and run through a deceased person’s filter. Make sure that list is scrubbed and clean. But we do all that from Excel. Russell: It’s a robust program. Microsoft itself. What trips people up more than anything else is understanding what are the most important pieces for me to collect, and then once I collect all of these, what is the best way to categorize or shift my people around or look at now I have it, how do I use it? Bill: This leads into something new we have been doing within the last couple of years. Let’s say you inherit a nonprofit. You come in as the new executive director. There has been some staff turnover, and you have three or four huge Excel files with all your donors. You don’t really know your donors. You have some record of who gave when, but you don’t know why the other people are in there. Are they good prospects? We can actually take that database, those Excel files, do all the usual stuff, combine, de-dupe, update the addresses, make sure they aren’t deceased. Then we do something called data append. We send that file—let’s say you have 3,000 names but you only know who 50 are—confidentially to some of these national compilers. They can run it versus their data banks and come back with demographic data filled in where you get age, education level, the value of the home, household income, gender, political persuasion, all sorts of things you can add back to that list. That can be a target. You can say, “Listen, these 300 people don’t match the profile of our donors. I don’t see why we’re mailing to them. They haven’t given to us in five years. Let’s drop them. But these 400 look really good. They match the profile. They are active in the community. Let’s keep them on our list.” We call it scoring data or modeling data. There are all kinds of things like that. Russell: There are so many nuances to relating to donors. They come from different backgrounds, education levels, parts of the country. They are in different age groups. When people look at this and say, “I have a lot of different people,” what is the best way for me to organize these groups? What are their touchpoints that are more effective for some groups than others? How do we go about looking at that? Bill: One thing I haven’t talked about yet is what channel you use. Is this a demographic that will respond to a Facebook post or a physical newsletter or an e-newsletter? You can ask them. That’s a good question. “Would you prefer to receive this?” Make some age and generation assumptions. Millennials actually like direct mail more than you think. Some older folks don’t like it as much as you think. The one thing we do advise people to do is do what we call a scattergraph. That’s where you sit around the table brainstorming and make a graph of your best donors in terms of age, income level, value of home, education level, geography. As you start graphing this, you will have people all over that graph. You will have young kids who donate to your cause. You have great-grandfathers. You have uneducated and educated. But there will be, the more you plot those dots on your graph, a cluster in the middle. That is your sweet spot. If you want to go after and acquire more donors, acquire more who match those demographics. Add those predictive analytics. It’s good to have a profile of who is our sweet spot donor, and how many. Russell: Very helpful. When you start working with an organization, what type of organization are you most effective at helping? What are some of the things that the organization can do that will help you get them results a little faster? Bill: That’s a great question, Russell. We find that most nonprofits are pretty good at the first 30%, the message. Nonprofits know most well why they do what they do. It’s their passion. It’s why they go to work. They usually have that part nailed down. They have that elevator speech. You can’t shut them up. They got the message. We find that we can help a lot with the rhythm. We can build these Excel sheets. We can send reminder notifications. “Make sure your blog is written. It’s due...
info_outline What are the Secrets to Scaling Your Nonprofit with Lauren Cohen 08/27/2019
What are the Secrets to Scaling Your Nonprofit with Lauren Cohen What are the Secrets to Scaling Your Nonprofit with Lauren Cohen (archive) Global entrepreneur and #1 bestselling author Lauren A. Cohenis an attorney licensed in both the U.S. and Canada. Lauren is an expert concierge immigration and business legal advisor boasting a stellar track record of success. Lauren has first-hand knowledge of the visa process, having herself immigrated from Canada in 2001, and later becoming an American citizen in 2012. In 2008, Lauren started e-Council Inc. an internationally-acclaimed company focused on providing concierge strategic full-service solutions for businesses seeking capital and foreign entrepreneurs seeking access to the U.S. market. In 2017, Lauren established Find My Silver Lining, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping struggling single moms - and parents in general - to find their silver lining in a crowded world. Continuing in the tradition of sound strategic solutions, ScaleUPCheckUP is Lauren’s newest initiative - an online risk assessment checkup tool for growing businesses in ScaleUP mode with the overriding mission of anticipating challenges before they happen. Designed in response to the challenges faced by so many entrepreneurs that simply do not understand the critical importance of proper professional guidance, and/or are afraid that the costs of protection are too high, ScaleUPCheckUP is poised to revolutionize the professional services industry and the way in which collaborative professional services are delivered. For more information go to Interview Transcript NPE Lauren Cohen Hugh Ballou: Welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. This is Hugh Ballou. My guest today has a fascinating background and a real passion for helping leaders in any kind of organization. We are going to be specific about scale-up check-up and how it is of value to those of us leading charitable organizations. We like to say a “for-purpose” organization. We have for-profit and for-purpose. If you would kindly tell us who is Lauren Cohen, a bit about your background and what led you to doing this particular initiative today. Welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange, Lauren. Lauren Cohen: Thank you. I will speak as loudly as I appropriately can without screaming. Hugh, it’s a pleasure to be on your show and to know you. I am excited about our opportunities together. I am originally from Canada. I moved here in 2001 and became a citizen in 2012. I was doing immigration law outside the corporate transactional work internationally for seven years. I kept seeing these recurring themes among businesses who were seeking to raise capital and for entrepreneurs and businesses who were looking to come into the country. The recurring theme was they were really focused on sales and marketing and getting coaching and moving up the ladder and making money, but they weren’t so focused on getting a strong foundation in place. The reality is that you can’t really scale your business or often even stay in business if you don’t scale up your business. In response to this recurring theme, I developed this online risk assessment tool which helps companies find their missing pieces, their gaps, and fill the gaps so they can scale up successfully. It is applicable to nonprofits because nonprofits need to scale as much as for-profits. At the end of the day, we’re all about making money. It’s about where the money goes that is the main difference between a for-profit and a nonprofit. As a social entrepreneur with a social consciousness, I am very focused on helping businesses be able to scale up successfully without hitting all these roadblocks along the way. Not to say that they won’t hit any roadblocks, but the roadblocks are going to be a lot more manageable, and they will be able to respond to them more effectively because they will have the right professional team and structure in place to be able to do that. Hugh: Russell, this is Russell Dennis who has jumped on the call. You can tell the difference between us because I have more hair. That’s it. Lauren: That’s the only difference I see. Hugh: Russell, you guys got snow out there in Colorado, didn’t you? Russell Dennis: A little bit. We got a little bit out here. It wasn’t a great deal, more in the mountains, about an inch or two here in Aurora. Hugh: Lauren is jealous. She is in the Fort Lauderdale area, and she didn’t get any snow. Lauren: I think I mentioned I’m originally from Canada. I grew up in Toronto, and I definitely know snow. I have a lot of good friends living in Colorado, including in the cannabis industry and outside of the cannabis industry. Hugh: Lauren, tell us a little bit about- You are trained as an attorney. What kind of attorney? Lauren: I am. I have been a corporate and immigration concierge attorney doing international law and handling international people through advisory services for longer than I care to acknowledge. I am licensed both in Canada and the U.S. I have been working with local entrepreneurs all over the world. You name it, I have been there. Europe, Israel, South America, and Canada, and the U.S. even. Mexico. It’s been an interesting ride. I have always felt a calling to the entrepreneurial side of my psyche. As much as I love being a lawyer and that training was great, I don’t love sitting behind a desk. I love being with people and helping people and making deals happen. The M&A lawyers who are on Wall Street, I am that type of mindset, but with my own clients and having a much more hands-on approach to working with clients and making sure all their moving parts are moving in the right direction. At the end of the day, there are so many different things that entrepreneurs and small business owners have to deal with in nonprofit and for-profit. They just don’t know who to trust and who not to trust. I became this trusted advisor on an ongoing basis and decided to turn it into a larger-scale opportunity to help these businesses scale and grow successfully. It’s a nice system. I am happy to share all of the steps with you. It’s a nice system that helps you get your structure in place as a blueprint to success. It’s like a business plan. Hugh: Great. Do you have a volume control on your computer? Lauren: I do, and I have it all the way up. Hugh: That won’t help. I will bring you up when I do the edit of this. Let’s talk about the word “assessment.” Everybody uses it. I’m not sure any of us have a definitive paragraph or sentence that we can say to describe it. What is an assessment? Why is it important? why is it important especially for nonprofit leaders? Lauren: Our assessment is quite different than a traditional assessment because we are assessing various foundational issues. Do you have your corporate minutes in place? Have you set up your structure properly? Do you perhaps have trademarks? A lot of these nonprofits are sitting on potential trademark or licensing opportunities that they may be overlooking. Did you put a business plan in place? Do you have an exit strategy in place? For nonprofits, an exit strategy is much different because you have to have an exit strategy for an IRS requirement. It’s a matter of looking at all the various components of getting your structure in place and making sure your structure is sound so you can scale and grow. What happens, you will agree with me I’m sure, is I find all too often these small business owners, these accidental entrepreneurs, came up with this idea and suddenly grew. They didn’t pay any attention. It’s like building your dream home on a sinkhole. Suddenly, the sinkhole collapses, and your whole home collapses with it. I am here to make sure that doesn’t happen. I am there to help you get your business on a solid foundation and make sure you are not building on a sinkhole before you start spending all this time, money, and effort to scale your business. At the end of the day, you can only scale so far, and it will come crashing down if you don’t have that foundation. That could be assessed. We are assessing your foundational infrastructure. We have a customized score report that we provide, and we have an analysis of what that score means and how you can improve your score so your foundation is stronger. We also have a quiz that I’ll share with everybody on the call. It’s a freebie, a free online quiz that helps you to see initially how committed you are and how committed your business is. Our mindset might be 100%, but our business may not be ready to match our mindset. Russell: A lot of people mistake assessment and evaluation. They look at it as, It’s something I have to do to get somebody off my back. It could be the government or a donor. We are doing this because we have to. They talk about some aspects of their work when you ask them how they know you’re effective, “Oh, you can’t measure this.” How much of that do you see, and how do you address that when people come at you? Hugh: Lauren: If you can tell me the answer to that, I will have the idea that will get me on the front cover of Entrepreneur Magazine, which is where I’m going. It’s challenging. What I’m dealing with, and when I go on stage, I am making broccoli great again. It’s about that. when I am building the broccoli of your business, it’s not the ice cream, it’s not the fun stuff, it’s not the dollar dollar dollar, but at the end of the day, it really is. Even for a nonprofit, helping you get your structure in place will allow you to get more donor dollars, allow you to have a stronger valuation, allow you to potentially grow your business successfully, and this adds zero’s to your bank account. My new messaging is all about show me the money. If you have a strong foundation in place, you will be able to see more money, if it comes from donors, buyers, or both. Certainly a nonprofit can offer for-profit products and services and make money. It’s about what happens to that money that separates it from a for-profit business. Hugh: You have a nonprofit yourself? Lauren: I do. Hugh: What’s it called? Lauren: It’s called Find My Silver Lining. I established it in 2017. Hugh: You used this assessment yourself? Lauren: I did. Hugh: When you talk about this, there is a strong element of enthusiasm and passion. Was part of the inspiration seeing so many people get stuck in the mud or walk in the wall or fall off a cliff? Lauren: I want to say around February of last year, I have been a part of this coaching program. I offered to review some client agreements at no charge as a gift. In doing so, I realized that there were many business owners in that program that didn’t have their ducks in a row. Many had been in business for many years. I’m not saying that that’s not possible; it’s very possible. But once you hit a certain threshold, you’re not a mom and pop anymore, so you could be a target, not just for the IRS, but for litigation, potentially bankruptcy. People see opportunities. People want to challenge you. If you have a disgruntled employee, whatever the case is. As soon as you are starting to scale, your target becomes bigger. I kept seeing this. Oh my goodness, these amazing business owners are exposing themselves to risk. There has to be a way to address that risk and provide a solution. Ultimately what I am building is a home advisor for profits and nonprofit business owners to provide a resource of certified, vetted professionals like you guys who can provide a range of services: strategic services like legal, financial, accounting, insurance, business planning, exit strategies, all high-level B2B services that they are just finding on the Internet. Finding these resources on the Internet is like going in the Yellow Pages. We all used them. AAA, so they would get to the front of that section. It’s the same as Google Ads. The more you pay, the higher you rank. That is where they will get the most traction. It doesn’t mean they’re the best. Does it mean they have been vetted? No. Because they are at the highest ranking, you are going to call them first. I am trying to be the antithesis of that. We won’t talk about the companies out there who are especially providing legal services that you have no idea what you’re getting. I have a client now who applied for a patent in June. They didn’t even know what a patent was. There is no guidance. There is nobody holding their hand. What I have been doing for so long—I wrote a book called Finding Your Silver Lining in the Business Immigration Process. Everything is about finding the silver lining. Part of the reason is because to find a silver lining through adversity, my nonprofit is for single moms and single parents to help them find their way through the clouds. It’s all about that. In everything you do, if you have somebody to count on, a support system, entrepreneurs and small business owners are often running on empty. We are running on our own. We are isolated. We are trying to have an impact. It’s very hard to have an impact without the support and trusted advisors around you, so that is what I am building. Hugh: You’re an attorney. You look at things differently than an ordinary person. You look at it as part of a risk assessment. Lauren: That’s a good way of characterizing it, yes. Hugh: You’ve seen people get in trouble unnecessarily. Lauren: Absolutely. Hugh: You’re looking at the holes. We’re looking at the donut; you’re looking at the hole. You see the silver lining, but you realize there are some holes. You’re talking about a corporation, be it for-profit or nonprofit, and that corporation is a liability shield. Without the right documents in place, people can sue you and come for you personally if they can pierce that corporate veil. Lauren: Very big deal. People don’t realize that. They think if they have a company, they’re protected, and they’re not because people can come for you personally. That is another dimension of the problem. Hugh: The compliance piece- recording your contracts, putting them in the corporate record book. Any agreements or expenditures. It’s about liability protection. It’s also about, you mentioned empower donors. Russell, it would occur to me we don’t always protect ourselves from audits, but it would make us audit-worthy if you had your records filed. What are you hearing here, Russ? Russell: For me, the first step to building a high-performance nonprofit is having that solid foundation. There are a lot of things that go in there. If you don’t have the right legal protection or the right structure, moving forward, you have to have the right structure. For nonprofits, succession planning is critical, too. Lauren: Big deal. Russell: Moreso maybe than exit planning. Everybody plans to operate in perpetuity. That doesn’t always happen. But to have a succession plan so that you know how things are going to flow, no matter who is in the building at any given time, that structure sets a nonprofit up for success. Mitigating risks. I don’t think a lot of nonprofits think about risks, but risk is there. You have natural risks. You have legal risks just like any other entity. The thing that came to mind was a question because you deal with this so much on the structural side. We talk about it in terms of strategy, but we defer to legal experts, accounting experts, experts who have that critical knowledge in their field that will keep us in compliance and keep us operating correctly. When it comes to scaling, I know a lot of times growth comes out of nowhere. You catch fire. You go viral. All of a sudden, you have all of this money and donors and people approaching you. When it comes to being prepared in this, what would you say is the biggest gap that you see nonprofits have? What is the most common mistake they make when they are that point in time? Hugh: Lauren: It’s common for both nonprofits and for-profits although nonprofits are more guilty of this. Nonprofits think that because they have this designation, they are immune from challenge, or they are litigation-proof, or something along those lines. That just isn’t true. Nobody will come after us; we are a charitable organization; we have a 501(c)3 designation. Whatever the case is. Why would they come after us? We don’t have deep pockets. Really? A lot of them have deeper pockets because of the fact that they can distribute the income to their shareholders or the dividends or whatever. As a result, there is a lot of nonprofits out there that are extraordinarily successful. United Way, Red Cross, Jewish Federation. There is a huge amount of donors, very large businesses. There is a colleague of mine in this coaching program who runs a nonprofit. He came to the coaching program, and he was looking to raise $2 million. That was his goal for the year. He ended up raising $20 million because he created this licensing program and sold it to other nonprofits, which is amazing. That is where there is an opportunity. It’s not just about assessing legal risk or legal vulnerability. It’s also about the opportunity that this presents to you. I was talking about trademarks, and a lot of nonprofits have access to trademarks but don’t know about them. In my report, I talk not only about risk, but also about hidden fortune. There is a lot of possible fortunes that these businessowners or executive directors might be sitting on that they could be making a great deal of money giving back to the community and making an even broader impact. I think that is where that missing link is. They don’t think about a nonprofit as a business. They think about it as a charity. A lot of lawyers are guilty of this, too. Lawyers and service providers. Lawyers run their business as fee for service. I have developed this professional resource success plan, which outlines all the professionals that are needed to fill all the gaps in your armor and to potentially help you to scale and grow. We talk about mindset and coaching and opportunity and where do you want to go and your exit or your business succession plan. You’re right. Every business needs a succession plan, whether it’s an exit or a legacy. No matter what, in order to be successful, in order for a for-profit business to be successful at due diligence or a nonprofit to be successful in their succession planning, they need that structure in place. they are just not paying attention it. They are coasting along, thinking about how much donor money they can get this year, and are they meeting your budget, and are their donors happy. This is all great stuff. But think about the potential of greater impact if you are able to get those pieces in place and make that difference. It’s like night and day. For both of you, once we have the opportunity to work through this with some of your client base, you can see how much of a difference it makes. They are coming out exposed, and then they are going back in and getting their hair done and makeup. Now they are ready to show themselves to the public. You are not getting too much hair done over there, Russell. It is a completely different mindset. I hear a lot of entrepreneurs work in their pajamas. I can barely work sweatpants even if I am working from home because that is not the mindset I want. I want to be in work mode no matter where I am. It’s important. I think it’s the same for for-profit business owners who are running a sole proprietor. They are not looking at it as a business; they are looking at it as a hobby. Until you make that transition, and look at it as a business, you’re going to stay at a certain plateau. You may scale; you may make money. But at a certain point, you’re eventually going to collapse. Russell: As you talk about that, one of the things that comes to mind when you talk about opportunities and other things businesses have access to, a business revenue comes to mind....
info_outline Nonprofit Money, You Don’t Manage it Alone with Chyla Graham 08/11/2019
Nonprofit Money, You Don’t Manage it Alone with Chyla Graham Nonprofit Money, You Don’t Manage it Alone with Chyla Graham Remembering the Enron and Worldcom scandals, Chyla Graham never wants to see a nonprofit in their place. She’s adamant that financial transparency is vital to a healthy organizations and serves nonprofits so they understand what’s happening with their money, feel more confidently speaking about money, and can ask for the support they need. Managing the finances isn’t just the job of the finance team. It’s a team effort from the board to the staff and volunteers. How successful it is starts at the top. With an engaged treasurer who sees the mission and is willing and able to go the distance and push your organization to do better, your organization is stronger and communicates more effectively with your donors. For More Information go
info_outline Sharing Your Story can Change the World 08/04/2019
Sharing Your Story can Change the World Sharing Your Story can Change the World: How to tell your np story that will open pocketbooksInterview with Erin Loman Jeck Erin Loman Jeck is CEO of Transformational Speakers Agency, Executive Speaking Coach, TEDx Speaking Coach, and the Creator of Speakers Success Summit. This highly sought after business coach, transitioned to opening her own Speakers Agency and she is the leading authority on assisting thriving purpose-driven entrepreneurs in how to monetize their message, make an impact, influence change, and inspire action in others. Erin’s approach to speaking is unique and powerful, she utilizes the Psychology of Connection to illustrate how you can unlock any audience’s trust and rapport, which leaves them feeling better about themselves and are challenged to adopt your new idea or perspective. Leaders seek her out to learn how to be more powerful in their influence, especially in the C-Suite of organizations. If you are looking for a proven professional who is an impactful and influential trainer to lead your team, organization, executives to learn her techniques- look no further. Erin’s clients rave about the powerful impact she has made on them and her ability to help then find the subtle nuances that can take your influence and speaking to the next level. Audiences have left feeling refreshed, energized and eager to get started with their newfound strategies in their compelling communication. I teach NP leaders how to communicate the needs and the stories of the success in a way that is compelling and has donors opening their wallets and giving more. I teach them how to speak in the language of the donors so they really get conversions from their events, conversations, and publicity. I have sat on 5 NP boards over the past 10 years, and speak business and NP, I have been a translator many times at the board table, because I have worked as a social worker and board member- I understand both sides. Most of the time they are saying the same things, but using different language, so they think the other side doesn’t understand what they are talking about.
info_outline The Tug of War with Time: How to Gain Control Of Your Life (Archive) 07/23/2019
The Tug of War with Time: How to Gain Control Of Your Life (Archive) NPC Interview with Penny Zenker Hugh Ballou: Welcome to the Nonprofit Chat tonight. We have a really, really, really good topic tonight. My co-host on these has been Russell David Dennis. I’m Hugh McPherson Ballou. We have a good time on these, and we introduce great things to the world by introducing great people who have great products and services. We have a long time friend of ours tonight, Penny Zenker. Russ is carrying the heavy weight tonight. I am waiting in an airport to board a plane, so I will be a passive participant in this. We are recording on the cloud. This is going to be part of our Nonprofit Exchange podcast, Penny. This nonprofit chat is something we broadcast out to folks every Tuesday at 7. Russell, would you cue up the introduction and let Penny talk a little bit about herself as well? Russell Dennis: Thank you, Hugh, and welcome, Penny. It’s always a pleasure to see you. It’s been a good while. Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, we have Penny Zenker. Penny is a strategic business coach and trainer. She coaches business leaders and entrepreneurs. She is the author of the best-selling book The Productivity Zone: Stop the Tug of War with Time. Penny leverages her personal experiences building up and later selling a multi-million-dollar business, as a senior executive at one of the world’s largest market research companies, and working with business leaders all over the world as a Tony Robbins business coach. Penny’s proven and practical approaches to help people get results quickly. Time is something that is just difficult to get more of. It’s the one thing we can’t get more of. Penny, tell everybody about yourself today. Good to see ya. Penny Zenker: Good to see you, too, Russell and Hugh. Always good to be here with you guys. Thank you for having me here. As you cued it up, where some of my experience and background is, Hugh earlier said, “How are you qualified? What makes you the time management expert or productivity expert?” Maybe it’s because I have more challenges than most people, I don’t know. No. As you heard in the introduction, I started my own technology business back when I was 25. Nobody knows better about time management challenges than an entrepreneur starting off in their business, wearing all the different hats and playing all the different roles. I have seen it from an entrepreneur’s perspective. Then I went to work for a big company, organized very differently. At the same time, when I left my company and I sold it, I thought, Now I am going to go work 9-5. It’s going to be so easy. I am going to take over this role. That’s not what it was at all. Instead of being the CTO of the organization, I took my boss’s job in a reorganization, and then I was responsible for multiple countries, speaking a foreign language, and reorganizing the organization. I have never experienced such a challenge, which isn’t time. At that moment, I thought it was a time management challenge. How can I do all this? What I’d love to briefly share is a story that shifted the way I thought about time management forever. And hopefully some of our discussion will really be around that. When I took over this position at the market research company, and I was overwhelmed and I was questioning myself if I even had the skills and what was needed to do this job because it was so much different and bigger than what I had ever had before. It’s when we get overwhelmed, we think we get overloaded, but we are really just overwhelmed. There is a difference between that. One has to do with mental capacity, where the other one is more of a time capacity issue or a physical capacity issue. I went into my boss’s office and said, “Peter, I can’t do this. I don’t think I am the right person for this position.” I shared with him what my challenges were. He sat there patiently, like a cool leader, listening. Then he said, “Listen. I hired you to make decisions. What you do with the rest of your time is up to you.” Think about that. Hugh: That is profound. Penny: My reaction was at first, “Easy for you to say.” But then I thought about that, and it was so simple. As you said, Hugh, it is so profound. It really made me rethink the way that I looked at everything because it’s true. It shifted my mindset from that point forward to being much more of a strategic thinker than a tactical thinker. When we are in time management, then we are tactically thinking. We need to pull ourselves away and be more strategic. Go ahead, Hugh. Hugh: People in leadership positions have tremendous impact. What that person said to you, “I pay you to make decisions,” that is amazing. Penny was talking about her journey of being able to think strategically. Penny, that was profound. Talk about it a bit more, and then we will get into some of the substance we want to talk about tonight. Penny: As I said, that was the base of me shifting my thinking around time. As I got further into that organization, I was able to work with people in various divisions of that organization. Then I went to work with Tony Robbins as a strategic business coach for his organization, and I worked with people all over the world. I really helped them to—I think you said it earlier, Russ—get out of your own way. I helped them to get out of their own way. If cash flow is the number one reason why businesses go out of business… *technical difficulties* As I started to work with Tony Robbins as a strategic business coach there, the goal was to help companies grow their businesses, double their business and to grow exponentially. They say that the number one reason businesses go out of business is cash flow. The number two reason has to be because of their time management. They would have the cash flow if they managed their time and thought more strategically about what they need to do. It doesn’t matter what culture or what country. I found myself working on the same set of skills first and foremost with people all over the world to help them to manage the way that they think around time management and where they focus and how they prioritize, to get them to think more strategically about what they are doing as opposed to tactically. Then we could implement the strategies and things like that. But it’s really about shifting the perspective around time and being more of a strategic thinker around that than a tactical thinker. Hugh: What is your book about? Stop the Tug of War with Time. We used that in our teaser that we sent everybody earlier. Penny: I saw that. I think it’s the common struggle that people feel is, “I wish I just had more time.” It’s that tug of war with time. What I did was all the people I have worked with around the world, I thought, How can I bring this to a larger number of people than just those few people I have been able to work with one on one? I really want to make a much bigger impact. The way to do that is either through written word, or a video series that I do. I also have a piece of software that goes with this. It really describes what I call the productivity zone. When you are in the zone, you are focused on ten core drivers that help you to think and act more strategically, like I said about the decision-making aspect. What are the aspects that go into having us be more strategic about how we show up for our time? There is a framework for the productivity zone. What is in the zone is these ten drivers. What is out of the zone is perfectionism and procrastination. We were talking earlier, Russ, before the show started, about how that is where resistance is. We create resistance through procrastination because mentally we are not interested, we are not clear on what we want to do, we are not motivated, and we are afraid of what is on the other side. We have all this resistance that sits outside, and that is where the stress is. Hugh: Stress? Stress? We don’t have stress. So, Penny, Russ has written books, I have written books. My first book, I outlined it. I started on the chapter “Getting Things Done.” It was about what you are talking about, planning, that whole space. Once I wrote it, it really helped me do the rest of the book, and it gave me this sense of accountability. Okay, well you said it, now you gotta do it. Writing the book and thinking about being productive, you have to plan it and make use of the time available. Was there a learning experience for you in going through that writing the book process? Penny: There were a lot of learning experiences as I’m sure you guys have had, too. Some of the things that helped me were principles I explained in the book. For instance, the number one principle is to understand how to motivate yourself and to be in the right space of motivation. When you are really motivated, everything else disappears, and you get things done. One of the things I did first was create the cover of my book, like way before it was even started. I had the cover, so I was motivated to see that it was already done; it was just filling in the pages. That really motivated me and inspired me as I saw it up on my desk and know that it was just about filling it in. Mine came pretty easily structured. Once you have an outline, and because I am talking about the ten drivers, it was pretty easy because each driver was then a chapter. As soon as I had that, it was clear. And how I wanted to format it. I wanted to have a few callouts. I wanted to have a summary at the end so people could have the top three takeaways of each chapter. And I wanted to have a personal story at the beginning of each chapter. Once I defined the outline and that format, it was really easy to put things in. Easier than people think, especially today with the whole dictate thing. I love that function. Hugh: I love Siri. I think I sleep with her. She understands me and makes my Southern into real language. You talked about your ten. I am asking some questions because Russ will do the heavy lifting after I go through security here at the airport. What are those ten? Can you outline those? Russ knows you and has done some research, and he has some profound questions to lay on you. We also have some questions that you and I devised a while back that are launching out there on Facebook and Twitter for people to respond to, and we will talk about those in the interview, too. What are those ten? PZ. Those are your initials. Penny: I know, isn’t that funny? I realized that afterwards. Productivity Zone and Penny Zenker, PZ. Russ: Unconscious titling going on. Hugh: What are those ten? Penny: I will go through them real quickly. Obviously there is meat below it. The key is understanding how to twist them and make them work for you in the moment. Number one is motivation. Number two is self-talk. Number three is focus. Number four is physiology or self-care. I am going to do them in blocks. Those four together make up what I call Championship Psychcology. It’s where we manage our energy. That is really the determination of what you get done in that time; it’s because how you show up for that time. Those are the four initial drivers: about how we manage our energy and psychology. Then we go into Winning Strategies. That is the planning, getting that outline together. It’s the process, creating systems, automating things. And then prioritization, knowing what comes first, what’s important. Then we get into what makes it sustainable. Now we have our psychology and approach. What do we need to do to keep this going? That would be progress. That’s the next one. Understanding measurement, what it is that we are measuring. Then lastly is being proactive in staying ahead of the curve. I know that is a total quick run-through, and maybe we will touch on a few more in detail. Obviously there is another resource if people want it. There is a chapter for each one of those in the book and software that goes along with that. Hugh: I muted myself because there was background noise. We have people joining us on Facebook and the webcast. Too bad about the technical problems before. I watched Frank Kern do a webcast for thousands of people, and they had a few snafus today. It happens. We are talking to Penny Zenker, author of The Productivity Zone: Stop the Tug of War with Time. I love it when people say they are going to manage time. You can’t manage time; it’s going to go by anyway. What are we managing? Penny: We are managing those three elements. We are managing our energy, which is what I say mostly. It’s how to show up for the time. Let’s face it: Most people know what to do, but they just don’t do it. That’s why I get into the procrastination and perfectionism; there is that resistance because there is something else going on there, and it’s all up here. That’s the biggest thing. Hugh: Oh my word, it’s the mental trap. Penny: It is. Hugh: We have David Gruder next week. He is going to talk more about our mind. We had a chat with him a couple months ago about the shadow inside. There is a lot of synergy to what you are talking about, and what several of our presenters are talking about. What you are presenting is a really good system, wow. We don’t sell things on this show, but if people wanted the book, where would they find it? Penny: It’s available on Amazon. They can get it on Amazon. Look up The Productivity Zone or Penny Zenker, and they can find it there. There is a link I can put up if anybody is interested in taking the assessment, which enables them to get a piece of software that helps them actually to rate themselves and do some self-coaching, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and set some actions around these ten core drivers, too. Hugh: If you will send that to us, we will put that in the notes for the Nonprofit Chat and the podcast. We’re pushing 15,000 listeners on the podcast, so somebody likes what we’re doing. We want to make sure they have access to whatever you mention, so if you mention any links, make sure we have them. Russell, I know you’re itching to get in here. I am going to go through security as you guys are doing the next bit, and I will see you on the other side. Russ: Outstanding. I am looking through this. I am now the owner of your book. Penny: Thank you. Russ: Technology is good for consuming things, not necessarily good for the checking account. The impulse. I love the idea of the issue of time. They look at it as the enemy. I have heard this saying that time is a gift, not the enemy. Penny: Right, that’s a good statement. Russ: Yes, we can get into some of the questions that we have for the week. Our first question is: What is the biggest time vampire of your life? Penny: Right. I want everybody to think about this question and answer it for themselves. Hopefully, for those who are joining us on Facebook, post what it is. Get really clear on what the biggest time vampire is. For me, my biggest time vampire is my kids. I love them, and of course I want to be flexible to be there. But they miss the bus, and then I have to drive them to school. Whatever I have planned is out the door. Or I have to pick them up from school because they missed the bus, or they have soccer practice. I do a lot of organization to get them to where they need to go and things like that. Things pop up all the time. Somebody is sick. I will include the dog in that. The dog has a problem, and I have to take care of that. We all have time vampires. What that means to me is something that we can or can’t control. There are things outside of our control that happen that take our time up. But we also have to think about which part is within our control. There is a piece of it that we can anticipate what kinds of things could come up, and we can set things in place, be proactive, so we don’t have that. In the morning, if I could make sure to wake my kids an extra 15 minutes early, then I can avoid most of the challenges of them being late, unless it is a real exception. I want people to take ownership of the time vampires. It’s like that person that calls and you know every time that person calls they want to talk to you for an hour. You can allow that person to be that time vampire because you don’t have an hour to give them. Or you can say, “Hey, what’s up? I only have ten minutes.” If you qualify yourself in the beginning, not in a rude way, but in a good way, “Love to talk to you. That’s why I picked up. But I only have a couple minutes.” When you do things like that, then you can help to mitigate those time vampires. Russ: I think that can create conflicts for people because they say, “What if something happens that is out of my control?” It’s in here. It’s part of the process; we’re talking about planning. That involves contingencies. You have to have a contingency plan. Entrepreneurs, we are eternal optimists. Everything usually takes two to three times more money, time, and effort than we planned for because we plan for everything to go well. I think that’s a pretty common trap. Penny: What is your vampire, Russ? Russ: My vampire- I suffer from what I call S to the third power. Shiny Stuff Syndrome. I have to be very careful. I do a lot of communicating online, and I find myself in social media a whole lot because I am writing, posting, responding to people. Sometimes I have writing and other projects to do, so I need to back out of that so I can prepare for my meetings with clients and other things. That can be a real vampire, whether it’s social media or email. There are apps out there you can get that will squawk at you or tell you to get out of there so you don’t get stuck in social media or other things. It’s really easy to get stuck in activities that don’t produce revenue or results. With the coaching, for you, I know you work with a lot of different people. What are some of the more common vampires that the people you work with talk about? Penny: One of them you just mentioned: social media is a big one. Different types of office distractions are what people talk about. These open office environments that they are in. Now the studies have just come out to show they really are killing our productivity. That is why people prefer to work at home because they get stuff done at home. Often, when I go in and do workshops in organizations, they won’t talk about this with each other, but in a safe space around these drivers, they are able to talk about the distractions of, “Hey, you know, my desk is closer to the kitchen area, so everybody stops to talk to me at my desk.” They don’t get stuff done. There are those common things. There is the telephone ringing. They pick up their phone because it might be a client. They are constantly binging with their emails and things like that that are interrupting them. Depending on the office environment, there are a ton of different ways that our times can be taken. Russ: There are times I turn the telephone off or let voicemail pick up. My phone won’t explode at my desk if I don’t pick it up. For the most critical things, I think it’s important to focus on those. Productivity zone, everybody’s productivity zone, is that a moving target? Is that different for everybody? Penny: It is. We’re not machines. We’re not going to be calculating how productive we are by widgets. It’s not like we produce ten widgets and have a productive day. We need to be able to feel in control. When we feel stressed, then you’re not in the zone. You need to have some semblance of feeling like you’re in control. I don’t like the word “balance” because what does that mean? It’s like a plane that is 90% of the time correcting all the time. It’s never really on path. Maybe it’s being in harmony. Being able to feel good about what you have accomplished and knowing you are moving forward on those things that are most important. The key thing about...
info_outline Nonprofit Leadership Book Reviews by Hugh and Russ 07/21/2019
Nonprofit Leadership Book Reviews by Hugh and Russ The Nonprofit Exchange Book Reviews Watch the Episode [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Kcnaut1Sb4[/embed] Read the Episode Hugh Ballou: Greetings, we’re back with The Nonprofit Exchange. This time, Russell and I have been wrestling with this for a while. We have had so many great guests that it’s hard for us to find a spot to do this. We wanted to, at least once or twice a year, highlight some great books. Some are from our guests, and some are not. We have six books for you today. The top five, and a bonus book. Greetings, Russell. I will say hi first. Russell Dennis: Greetings. Welcome, all of our friends out there on Facebook and everywhere. Thank you for joining us. It’s a great day. I am just moved by all the birthday messages that have come in for me today. Hugh: Today? Russell: Today is the day. I wanted to give a shout-out to all the people—business associates, family, friends. Thank you very much. It’s been a great journey, but it’s better because of you. And all the people who join us every week to support The Nonprofit Exchange. Hugh: Congratulations. We’ll try not to embarrass you today. So you have three books, and I have three books. We will share a bit about each book in a brief synopsis. It’s not meant to be a thorough book review. It’s Hugh and Russ lifting out reasons why you should read this book. While we are queuing up, we are talking about leaders reading. Do you want to say more about that? Russell: That is part of a growing organization and transformational leaders always evolve. They set the table so that people who are in the organizations can evolve. Personal development is one of the reasons that people might volunteer with you or serve on your board because you’re either growing or going backward. Some would go as far as to say you’re either growing or dying. It’s important to increase that knowledge base. What I’ve discovered as I grow is that I don’t know more every day, but that’s perfectly all right. We want to bring you these resources. We’d like to make it a regular segment. Many of our guests have come on with books. We want to talk to them. Oprah Winfrey did it well with her book club. Maybe some of these people we can bring back to talk about their books because there is so much fascinating literature out there. We have six pretty good picks to talk about today, don’t we, Hugh? Hugh: We do. The other part about leaders read is I listen to a lot of podcasts. Our friend Ken Courtright has one called Grow Your Business Today. He says he reads a book with a highlighter. When he goes back and reads it again, he uses a different color highlighter. He highlights different things because he is ready to learn the next thing. I find that to be so very true. There are a lot of challenges. We will highlight six. Maybe in a few months, depending on comments from our listeners, we will highlight a few more. Let’s list the books to get our listeners’ interests up. What are your three? Then I will share my three. Russell: I have three great ones. The first one is Asking Rights by Tom Ralser. He wrote a book before that called Return on Investment for Nonprofits. The second book is The Guide to Proposal Writing from The Foundation Center. It is a classic. It is a staple. It is the book on writing grants. There are a lot out there, but this one is pretty powerful. And because everyone loves numbers so much, I have a wonderful book by Mark Mullen called The Nonprofit Budget Builder Toolkit. Everyone just loves those numbers so much. Hugh: That is awesome. Mine are more generic. We teach nonprofit leaders to install really good business practices in their organization. The first one is Twist by Julie Cottineau, who we had as a guest a while back. That’s about who we are, our identity, and our promise to people. It’s good for nonprofits to think about that. I don’t guess many do that I have ever known. The second one is a good book by my leadership coach who has been our guest, Roberta Gilbert. The whole leadership methodology by psychiatrist Murray Bowen, M.D. It’s called Extraordinary Relationships. It’s the anchor for us knowing ourselves. The third one, and I live in Virginia, and up the road from me is where Napoleon Hill grew up. The Napoleon Hill Foundation. A couple years ago, we had Don Green, who is the executive director of the Napoleon Hill Foundation. I don’t know about you Russell, but I find over and over again that nonprofit leaders have not heard of the work of Napoleon Hill, who interviewed 500 of the top leaders in the world and created this methodology. Those are the three. Which one do you want to start with? Pick one of those awesome books. Russell: I am going to jump right into Asking Rights by Tom Ralsin. One of the questions that people should answer in that: Why should I give you money? It was posed to him early in his career. It’s that view of how do you view the people that fund you? Tom’s premise is that what you really have are investors. I know a lot of people think of donors. Donors are investors. They are partnering with you to make an impact. When you look at monies that people contribute to you, or talent—there is time, talent, and treasure—when people contribute one of these three things or a combination of them, they are making an investment in you and betting on your team. What can you do? You have different groups of investors. Donors are just one type of investor. You have different funders. It could be pure investors or people funding you through grants or sponsors or memberships. Those are people who invest in you. When it comes to funding a nonprofit, what matters is not what the nonprofit themselves thinks. It’s what it is that people are getting. What do the people who are writing the checks think about what it is that you’re doing? They’re investing in you. What are people who are getting the services think? It’s not about us. We always have to have an eye toward whether we are making a profit. I know profit sounds like a dirty word, but Tom talks of it as a return on investment. That’s what people who are banking on us are looking at. They are looking at the return. They contribute to help us keep our doors open as nonprofits. This book is about more how to successfully fund a nonprofit. He is talking about a lot of different areas. He is talking about sustainable funding. It’s important to capture the ideas of what value means to the different audiences that you have. From this perspective, it’s about the people who invest in you. How do you sustain that? What are different funding pathways? What are you open to in terms of learning, in terms of growing, and thinking about what’s important to the people who are writing these checks? Look at the view from the other side of the desk. It doesn’t matter if it’s a corporation or a foundation. Everyone has their motivations. It’s looking at that to figure out what’s important. He spent a lot of time doing this. When he wrote ROI for Nonprofits, he looked at a lot of these areas. But from the point he wrote that book to the point he wrote this one, he made some other discoveries along the way in terms of what makes people fundraising-ready. He had criteria. He is a nonprofit consultant who helps people raise more money. He has a 20-question list of criteria he uses to determine if an organization is ready. If they can’t check off on all 20 areas, he won’t take their money. He will talk about which areas need to be shored up and go back to doing that. This book talks about those 20 areas, which are important to fundraisers and establishing that value that you bring. This is a very good book to read. I think when we sit down, we look at the value that we give people who are constituents of ours as a nonprofit. You have the people who directly get the benefits; you have those who write the checks to pay for them. That could be corporations, foundations, government entities, social entrepreneurs, donors. Each of these different groups have a different set of values or perspectives on what’s important. What he is talking about here is understanding that and not changing who you are, but explaining in your own language how you are bringing value and incorporating what matters to them. It’s not necessarily about us if we are doing services for people. This is a very good book. Take a few hours to read. This is one you get the highlighter for. There are lots of things to think about and consider. And periodically go back to it and look at some of these things to remind yourself what are some of the questions we should be asking. Are we going to the people that make sense? If someone says, “What gives you the right to ask us for money?” if you have the building blocks in place, it will be pretty clear. This book gives you loads of building blocks. Hugh: Russell is the funding guru. He asks the questions that other people don’t ask. Some of what your methodology is is coming out through what you have picked out of this book. What do potential funders want to see? You take it to the board. What do board members want to get out of this? That is important. Share with us some of your disciplines for reading books. You have an extensive library. When I talk to you, you often quote books, even in these interviews. What is your discipline? Do you read every day, or a certain time a week? Russell: I don’t know if you remember back when our auto industry started having hiccups. They were talking about the concept of just-in-time learning. I found all sorts of fascinating stuff on interest areas. I get a number of services. I’m always looking at books because it’s really important to be open to learning on the fly. Increasing my knowledge base on nonprofits has always been important. New developments take place. Thinking shifts. I continue to collect books. I have library cards in two counties. Public libraries are the best investment running for our tax dollars. I am always on the lookout for new articles, new information, new books. A cross-pollination of ideas across different publications and books. I have run across great TED Talks. There is so much out there. The world is our oyster now thanks to technology, which is aggravating when it doesn’t work, but a thing of beauty when it does. I am constantly learning. Readers lead, and I have my nose in a book. I can highlight on a computer. I read with pens and highlighters. A lot of notes in the margins of my hard copies. Some of them are a little dog-eared. I like to read a lot of books on learning. Those are some I can highlight, too. As we go along and we are building a resource area, we’d love to hear about what some of you folks out there who tune in are reading. All of you in the community, what are you reading? What do you want to know more about? We’re always open to that, and finding new resources. That is what the community is all about. Sharing that knowledge base and all those wonderful resources that are all out there. Now there is so much information flying at us from all directions. Where do we start? People don’t need new information. They need somebody to help us carve out the most important pieces and assemble it in a way that will help them get to where they need to go. That is one thing I pride myself on being able to do: a possibility engineer. Hugh: The possibility engineer. The podcast is supported by sponsors. The sponsor today is SynerVision’s online community for community builders. *Sponsor message* We have interviewed Julie Cottineau. Her book is Twist. She is a branding specialist. She was in charge of North American branding for Virgin Airlines and a number of other big deals. Now she does her own brand. Her book is available on Amazon. The full name is Twist: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands. She has this color theme that goes throughout it. Twist is mentioned on about every page of her book. Lots of color throughout. I asked her what are the top three branding mistakes that people make? She said it’s hard to keep it to three. She said the mistakes that nonprofits are making. We talked about not really understanding what a brand is. Confusing your brand with your marketing. That’s a big mistake. Your marketing is how you get your message out there, and your branding is your fundamental story. What are you about? Why should people care? If we think about our favorite movies and books, they have a twist. She develops this concept in the book. I couldn’t put it down when I got it. You could build my nonprofit twist. That’s what you want to do. If I only had 10 times the budget, people say. That’s a big mistake. Stop saying that. I could throw 20 times the marketing budget at you, but if your brand isn’t in shape, your fundamental story of who you are, who you serve, and what is different about you, then it’s a waste of money. She goes on to say that your brand is not your logo. Your brand is your fundamental story. So many nonprofits will show me this logo as their brand. That is a representation of your brand. Your brand is represented by your logo. That is one way. But most importantly, your brand is your brand promise. Julie has what she calls Brand School. People go through her school, which is a live event, where you do the nuts and bolts of branding. On her website, BrandTwist.com, she has the Nike logo. It’s not about sneakers. It’s about their story. On the interview on the podcast, we talk about her points about branding. It’s really a course on branding. When you go to her website, she offers you an evaluation of her brand. It’s called BrandTwist.com. She will do an evaluation. But the book, it helped me understand all that stuff I was doing wrong, Russell. I have a good logo, but that’s not my brand. The other part of brand we work with is the culture and leadership. Everyone on your board, everyone in your organization, represents your brand. We have heard of airlines dragging people off seats. That one event by one person did enormous brand damage, as our guest David Corbin said. That was brand slaughter. Next time, we will review his book. It’s out there, makes you think about it seriously. Brand slaughter is when people misbehave or act out of brand promise. They have damaged your brand. I recommend Twist. Russell, back to you. Russell: She said that twist is your most important tool. There is a lot in there. The questionnaire is brilliant. That is a great book to look at. The second book I was looking at was The Foundation Center’s Guide to Proposal Writing. It’s a staple for anybody that writes grants. They wrote the book on that. They are probably the best source bar none for information on foundations and corporate programs that are out there and what they are doing. They talk you through some strategies for working on your proposal and some activities outside of the proposal itself, things that you need to consider while you are putting these proposals together. The meat and potatoes of what they offer, and there are loads of examples of successful proposals that have been submitted, where they show you these particular areas of the proposal they are talking about. For grants, you want to make sure you have all of the parts. You want to have your credible programs. There are elements to show you are ready for funding that they address. You have the correct structures in place; you are clear on your mission, vision, and values. They roll into the various parts of the proposal, one being the executive summary. The executive summary is the highlight reel for your proposal. It’s the piece that you would want to write last because it really drills down into what it is that you’re doing, so you want to be clear on that. But it has different pieces in it. What you are looking at in the executive summary, you want to highlight the whole enchilada. What is the problem you are solving? Then describe your solution. How much you need, your organization’s key assets and people. You write this last. That is the first piece. The statement of need comes next. It should be short and persuasive. As short and persuasive as you can make it without taking anything away from what you are trying to do. You provide information that supports your cause, your business case, any relevant information like business stats. You collect the best sources of information in that statement of need. What will help you make that case? What information are you gathering? Are you focused on numerical and quantitative stuff, or are you focused on qualitative? For building that need statement, find the most authoritative and recent sources of information you can find so that it adds strength to your proposal. The project description will be the longest piece of it. It is your approach to what you are going to do. What you keep in the project description is your objectives. What are the measurable targets you are trying to reach? What are the methods you are going to use to get there? What do you need in terms of staffing and administration? The next piece is evaluation. How do you know what you’re doing is successful? Are you getting the work done? Finally, you address the sustainability piece. Is this going to be an ongoing project, or how are we going to be able to keep this project rolling after the funding piece is gone? The next piece is the evaluation. That really gets an area all to itself because this is where measures are important. The view that a lot of people take on the evaluation piece of the puzzle is that we have to check these boxes just to make the funder happy. It’s a necessary evil. But the proper view in my estimation is to think of it as a way to figure out what is working, what is not working, how we can get better at what we do, what’s going on out there, what have we learned based on research that has been done, and can we create our own measures? If you don’t create your own, other people will create them for you. In being unique and doing something unique, the measures that you have in mind may not fit exactly. The other thing to keep in mind is can my people use them? Can we employ them in the field? Will they be useful in the field for people who are delivering services? That is a good place to collect information, if it makes sense. The key is it all depends on the funder. When you read a request for a proposal—this is the funding agency’s description of what they want to accomplish with their investments—they set some standards and criteria. You want to see if it’s in alignment with what you do. You determine a level and type of valuation that is needed. You determine whether the evaluation is on the project you create. Maybe you create a product or program that moves people to a different place. Or maybe it’s a process. You have to decide if you are evaluating a program, process ,or both. Then there is quantitative data, numerical-based data. We have qualitative data that may be based on people through third-party evaluations or questionnaires. There should be linear when you talk about evaluation from start of the project to end of the project. The evaluation should take place all the way through. When you start off, you should have a vision for where you want people to go. The professional term is the theory of change. What is going to happen when people take advantage of this program we are offering? Where is it going to move them to? It’s a question of funder preferences. You can do this evaluation in-house, or maybe you bring a third party on. A lot of things make sense. They also talk about the budget. Of course, your budget ought to be aligned with your objectives. It should be reasonable based on the work you do. There are a lot of expenses. You want to measure those expenses, whether they are new costs or ongoing costs, whether they are...
info_outline Community Groups Can Be Accountable w/Suzanne Smith 07/14/2019
Community Groups Can Be Accountable w/Suzanne Smith Community Groups Can Be Accountable Why community organizations struggle with accounting and what we can do about it Interview with Suzanne Smith Suzanne Smith has lived and worked abroad for over 20 years. Her focus is on training and capacity building. She began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger, working at a rural clinic and focusing on child survival. She went on to work in Bangladesh and then Mozambique, where she managed a microcredit program. She then turned her focus to working with community groups, village health workers and nurses, to strengthen outreach and organizational capacity in the midst of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Suzanne has worked in Afghanistan, where she helped design and then implemented a life and work skills training for female high school teachers as part of USAID’s PROMOTE. She likes to distill complicated processes to their essence and create systems that are simple and easy to understand. Her trainings are accessible, fun, engaging, and most importantly she makes sure people leave feeling good about themselves and confident in their ability to learn new things Suzanne founded Accountable Partners to make sure community based organizations have the systems, skills and support they need to account for donor funds accurately and transparently, to the last dollar spent. Oftentimes small partners simply do not know how to fulfill a donor’s accounting requirements. More and more, International Donors and NGOs are partnering with small community organizations to achieve their development goals. While programs are being funded and progress is being made, too often these small partners fail to satisfy their donor’s accounting requirements – requirements that are necessary to a fulfill donor’s fiduciary responsibility. Without clear and accurate financial reports from their partners, donors hesitate to disburse the larger funds necessary to scale up activities, and sometimes small partners may lose their funding entirely. Accountable Partners developed a simplified accounting system specifically for small community organizations. We then created The Accountable Partners Academy so we could teach it. The Academy provides NGO/donor field staff with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to train their small partners in simplified accounting. We know that simple is transparent, simple is accessible and simple is sustainable. The result of our Academy is accurate and transparent financial reports from small partners to their donors.
info_outline The Less You Work the More You Make with Jarrod Haning 07/07/2019
The Less You Work the More You Make with Jarrod Haning The Less You Work the More You Make with Jarrod Haning As an award-winning speaker, Jarrod Haningtrains companies in the psychology of music. When you know how music creates inspiration in you, then you know how to create inspiration in other people. By revealing the subconscious mechanism that drives our emotional response to music and language, Jarrod is able to give his audiences some very unique tools for increasing their income and influence. My clients normally double their income in the first year by PURPOSELY working less hours. I know that sounds like snake oil, but we use a Nobel Nominated map to make it happen. Using a to-do list reduces your productivity. Being focused on getting things done reduces your income (or in the case of non-profit, dramatically reduces your fund raising power) It's crucial that you understand why it's true that the less you do the more you make. If you care about your mission, if you want to reach more people and make a bigger difference then we HAVE to get you in the mindset of highly effective leaders.