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 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 https://www.scaleupcheckup.com 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...
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 HERE
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.
info_outline The 5 Top Secrets of Unstoppable Leaders with Rocio Perez 06/30/2019
The 5 Top Secrets of Unstoppable Leaders with Rocio Perez Rocio Perez is an executive leader with more than 20 years of experience providing relevant insight to leaders around the world. She has delivered hundreds of inspiring and life-changing leadership trainings, keynotes and presentations to people around the world. Rocío helps leaders gain confidence, presence and step into their personal power, pave their own way, discover and eliminate their blind spots, spark self-awareness and maximize their overall impact. More… Read the Interview Hugh Ballou: Greetings, this is Hugh Ballou and Russell Dennis. Welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. Russell, our guest today is somebody that you connected us with. How are you doing today, Russ? Russell Dennis: I’m fine. It’s beautiful out here in Denver, Colorado, where my guest is. She is just a remarkable woman who is a master around leadership. She has a very interesting journey that everybody should know about. Her book really describes her in general. She has a book called Unstoppable. That describes Rocio Perez, who will tell us about who she is. Welcome. It’s always good to see ya. Rocio: Russell, always a wonderful pleasure. Hugh, thank you for the invitation to be on your show today. I’m very excited. I’ll tell you a little bit about who I am, and then we’ll go back to what made me who I am. I am an international leadership expert and have worked with individuals all the way from Denver to Singapore and Korea. I love helping people create an extraordinary vision in their life. I love helping them get unstuck. All of us get stuck in one way or another in our careers. My goal is always to allow people to see how amazing they are so that they can have an extraordinary life. That has been one of the most exciting things I have done. I have been working with people since I was 17 years old. It’s been a long time. It’s been an extraordinary journey over 24 years watching people. By 19, I was guiding 160-200 people at a time and taking them from where they were at in their goals and their dreams to be educated in their careers to where they’re at today. I have seen remarkable things all over the world. That’s been very thrilling to watch people open up their businesses, thriving businesses, and lead their team members into extraordinary amounts of success. Yet it did not start there. That’s where my journey to Unstoppable comes through. I started off growing up in extreme circumstances as a child. By the time I was 12, given those circumstances, I looked at different things in life. I left home. I ran away from home at the age of 12. I’m sure there are a lot of people who wonder. I hear all the time, “How did you do that?” I had a vision. I had a dream. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to inspire people. I would run around with my uncle Sergio and say, “Some day, I’m going to grow up and become a teacher so I can inspire people.” Whether I was born with that or I picked it up somewhere, I don’t know. What I do know is that drew me closer and closer to him. By the time I was 14, I ran away. I was pregnant at 14 and a mom by 15. And at that age, I was also knocking on the university doors to let me in so I could fulfill that dream. With my 6th grade education, showing up there, they’re like, “Who are you? What are you doing here?” One of the things I can tell you is I was relentless at knowing I wanted to go to school. The only answer I could hear, I could accept was, “Yes, this is when you start.” That led me on an extraordinary journey at the age of 17 starting college. The track was difficult, guys. It was very difficult. It was an eight-hour track on a daily basis. Getting up at three o’clock in the morning so I could start my trek at four am to be at class by eight am was definitely something that unstoppable leaders are made of. I look back at that part of my life and think how amazing was that. I didn’t think about that. This is what needs to be done. That’s it. I’m happy to say that along the way from the age of 19 forward, I have led thousands and thousands of people. I became a serial entrepreneur. I did what seems to be impossible in the eyes of many individuals who were saying, “That’s not possible. How can a person with your background make it?” I have been in homes of very important global leaders, in front of ambassadors of countries, presented to members of Parliament. I have done extraordinary things. It was all based on the belief of what made me unstoppable and what made the people I have guided throughout the years unstoppable today. My son is 28 years old, which sometimes I can’t even believe. I have a four-year-old grandson named Emilio who continues to inspire me and helps me move forward as I continue to build businesses and help them get unstuck in greater levels of success and help them move forward in everything they’re doing, making an impact on this world. Hugh: What a story. What a story. Show us that book again. You just happen to have it handy. Rocio: I do. This book is all over the world. It made international bestseller in less than 12 hours from the moment that the book was launched. One of the things I can tell you, Hugh, is it’s been an answer to what a lot of people were asking: “Rocio, what can I do to help myself?” As I was getting off stages, whether it was Ph. Ds or MDs or 123s or ABCs, whatever it was. Whoever was getting off the stage wanted to get an answer. Besides coaching one on one or group coaching, here is another opportunity. This book has brought a lot of hope, a lot of transformation to people. It’s been exciting to hear people who have had up to 33 businesses saying, “Because of this book and what I got out of it, I am doing business differently moving forward.” That has been touching, humbling, inspirational. Hugh: Tell us how you came up with that title, Unstoppable. Rocio: It’s what I’ve always done. That’s my domain. I am unstoppable by nature, unstoppable by desire, unstoppable. I was sitting here as I was writing a memoir. The next version of my memoir, which will be released next year. What can I do? Besides answering the call. What is that message that we all have inside of all of us? In my experience, it was the fact that working with so many people all over the world, the one thing they sometimes couldn’t see, because I have been there and done that, I know what it’s like not to see my own greatness in front of others. Sometimes they couldn’t see it. They couldn’t see their unstoppable nature. They couldn’t see all of the amazing things they have done, how they have borrowed from the past. We were all meant to be unstoppable. Nine out of ten people are unstoppable and don’t know it. For me, it’s just to turn back that mirror and say, “Have you seen yourself?” The moment they see themselves, we go through a subtle process. When they see themselves fully, they become unstoppable. They own their unstoppable nature. Hugh: That is a compelling title. The rest of the title, and I found that on Facebook. What is the rest of the title? Rocio: Seven Steps to Becoming a More Intentional Leader. Hugh: I found it on Amazon, I meant. A more intentional leader. Do you want to highlight those seven steps? Rocio: Most definitely. I’ll talk about the first three steps that are really important. Let’s understand ourselves. Let’s understand how our mind works. That is the first and most important thing. Knowing that our subconscious mind is there to preserve and protect our life. I don’t have to speak about how many times our heart is going to beat. There is an intelligence inside all of us. When we understand that, and we understand that we are all meant for greatness, we are all destined for greatness, we can go ahead and hijack our own success, even in those moments we don’t think we’re unstoppable. The steps that are very important after knowing that is what is it that I must be aware of? Fostering that awareness and that capacity to change that we all have. We can all transform no matter where we start from. Knowing if this little girl who would run around barefoot thinking of only a dream would be possible, then it’s possible for all of us. It’s possible for one; it’s possible for all. I have proved it thousands and thousands of times over and over again. Having that incisive discovery and accelerating my insight. How do I work with the people who already know that I can continue to learn? Who I am today is not who I must be in order for me to have what I want to have or be where I want to be. The next step, which is the third step, is I must know where I am going. Just like I knew where I was going. I wanted to become that teacher. I held that road map. No matter who came along, whether Ann or Billy or Dave or whomever was there, I held my own map and said, “This is where I’m going.” Whoever didn’t pay attention, it didn’t matter. I just moved on to the next person and said, “This is where I’m going.” Sounds like you have a question right there, Hugh. Hugh: No, I’m just resonating- I was practicing my R. I’m Southern. This is fascinating. Go ahead. I am going to have Russell jump in on the next question. These are really important steps. What I was also thinking, there is a lot of resonance with what we teach at SynerVision. Rocio: Beautiful. In that, too, is speeding up my personal evolution. They all go hand in hand. How do I accelerate? How do I become more aware of what’s going on? Today, more than any other time in history, three things to me are super important. One is my auto leadership. How am I going to be leading myself? I hold the map. I take it wherever I go. Who is the most important person in our lives? We are. We know where we’re going. We are the ones who are going to make that commitment and move forward. Two is being that intentional leader. How do I get there? It’s about going through it over and over again, necessarily that I have to be intentional about everything I do. I have a level 10 goal. I can’t give it 9.99 because that doesn’t get me through the finish line. What is going to bring me to the finish line? Understanding sometimes that intention is being in positive places. Let me leave you with a picture here that was painted very vividly in my mind. You can get through the finish line of a marathon running with 100 people than with three people on your back. When you think about that intentionality, am I in a place that supported me? If I’m not, how do I create that for myself? Nothing happens to us; it only happens through us. Where do I go? How do I do this? How did that happen for me? The third step is being that aware leader. What am I aware of? What is happening in my life? How am I creating my reality? What is it I have created over and over again? We can think about a thought. The only thing that distinguishes us from a horse or a puppy or whatever that may be is the fact that we have the ability to be able to think and think very vividly and create that. Whatever it is we can think about, we can think and bring it to fruition. That is important to know because if our thoughts are positive, fantastic. High five. If our thoughts are negative, what is the impact of those negative thoughts on what will happen in our lives? We are thinking negative. We don’t know about negative. We are wondering why we are getting negative results. It’s about thinking about hey, we have anywhere from 55,000-75,000 thoughts a day. Whether those thoughts are negative or positive depends on what we are into that moment, that day. That very next step for me is creating that road map. I know where I’m going. Those three things are important. Now I know where I’m going. I can get there because I can look at that map and know what does it look like every step of the way, and being comfortable with adjusting that. Sometimes we get caught up in it has to be this way, yet it may not. Maybe somebody comes in and short-tracks your entire learning right there. It takes you from Point A to Point Z immediately. Yet if we were to be married to the way things are supposed to be, it’s not going to happen. It may be a long journey, or it may not even happen. If it does, you may not be happy with the process because we put so much effort into it. It’s fascinating to see that. I have seen it over and over again. For instance, when I work with clients, individuals come to me and say, “I want to make more money.” Before they came to me, they had already jumped out of their business, or they took a leap of faith and didn’t have a parachute. That is destructive to see. You must have something that you know whether you’re very centered or grounded. Whether it’s the finances that support you through the process, or it’s just the belief and the action that will take you to your success. The next one is taking that massive action. I have been relentless in taking action my entire life. Getting on a bus, waking up at three o’clock in the morning after I went to sleep at midnight, it’s not something that normal people do. As I hear it from my friends, I like to say that I’m fab-normal because I’m willing to do whatever it takes. That relentlessness and resourcefulness. Something came up right here. Even the word “resentful.” To understand the impact of the words in our world. When a person holds onto feelings, those feelings actually have an impact in our world. What does that impact in our world? That can be detrimental. If I’m holding onto resentment, it’s like drinking poison and expecting somebody else to get hurt in the process, which is one of the worst things that anybody could ever do. To me, it’s blessing that person. I hope that person has an extraordinary time. Yes, it may have cost me time, energy, resources, whatever it may be. I just bless that person and hope that person is in a better place. I truly do. I can move forward. The very last part of it is understanding I must come back and evaluate my process. What does that look like? Does it look like I am tweaking it? Am I testing, tracking what my progress is along the way and making adjustments? I have been caught up in certain parts of my life. Things are going rough, and things happen. We have a setback. What does that look like to be aware that that also has an impact in the way we are thinking and living life? Russell: All critical stuff for any leader who wants to move forward. These are a lot of things we discuss with people at SynerVision in moving forward. We all have challenges. There are a lot of challenges. You have overcome some great ones. Most people I talk to have overcome some great challenges and don’t always recognize the magnitude of what they have come through. That’s important. Nonprofit leaders are people with a big vision. They want to change the world. Some of them have a lot of these attributes, and the mindset is critical, as you have talked about. What are some of the ways that you have seen leaders you have worked with- If there were what you call three greatest hits for the ways that leaders get in their own way, what would those be? Rocio: I would say the mindset is probably one of the biggest things in that. That is one of the biggest things that inspired me about our previous conversations and this one as well is looking at how am I getting in the way? Sometimes we hear things we intake from other people. That’s why I shared earlier that we must be intentional about who we’re around. If people are not supporting my vision, then I must look for a group that supports my vision. No matter the way we think about it, we start intaking it. It’s like somebody coming in and throwing garbage on our bed. Would we like that? They throw it little by little by little. Sure enough in time, that bed will be filthy. We are not going to know where to start. Number one is to find a place that supports you in your vision. The other thing is to believe in the fact that there are good people in this world who are willing to help. Here you are, Russell and Hugh. The fact that you’re here to guide individuals, you know the way, you can lead the way, and short-track people’s success. You can go even faster. You can go the fast track or the slow track. What do you want? That’s what I ask my clients, too. What would you like to do? I can take you on any journey. What journey do you want to be on? Do you want to be on the jet that will give you immediate success, or do you want to be on the horse? That’s up to you. I will take you whatever way. I am here to be of service. Know to stay focused on the vision. What is the vision? The vision you came into this nonprofit organization with, the reason why you set it up, who you are going to help will help you to continue to get up every morning and to know that’s what you’re moving toward. Focus on the feeling of what it is you are looking to accomplish, whether that is an individual, a city, a country, the world, whatever it is that is important to you. Focus on the feeling of what it would be like. That is one of the things we don’t focus on enough. We are focused on things are going haywire as opposed to that will feel amazing, that will get me up every single morning. There are mornings I get up, “I am here to serve. I am here to serve the people who are ready to be served.” In that, that inspires me to get up, to get on the stage, to show up every single time whether there is one person in that audience who hears that message, or 100 people who hear it. It’s about showing up and having that belief that gives us the confidence that the more we do it, the easier it becomes. Russell: That’s what possibility engineering is about. That’s why I am one. There is always a way around something. We can find it with the right support. Becoming what Hugh calls a transformational leader is intentional. It’s deliberate. It’s no accident. Do all people have a capacity to be good leaders? Or is it something you have to be born with? Rocio: For me, we are all leaders. We are all meant to be leaders. We are leaders of our own life. Let’s be honest. The morning we wake up, we are the CEO of our own company, the financial officer. We are leading ourselves. All of a sudden, somebody put this title up here when in reality it’s there for all of us. We are all leaders in our own way in our own lives. Stepping into leadership to lead others is also when we take some of those fundamentals into life, let’s say that for leadership, I am a mom. Which I am. Looking at that, how do I guide a team? How would I guide them? Do I treat them with empathy and compassion? Do I listen and ask, “Hey Russell, is everything okay? I see the project is not completed on time. Is everything okay? Anything going on with you?” Whether I can help you fix that problem, it also gives you an opportunity to say, I don’t need to hide, because we hide. Whether we realize it or not, because we have been taught not to bring our home selves into work, which also has a huge impact. We can have many conversations. That piece alone, when we are siloing ourselves, here is who I am at work, here is who I am in real life. No, here is who I am as a complete and whole being. Yes, we are all capable of being those extraordinary leaders. Let’s bring some fundamentals. How would we treat our children? Do we want to treat them with empathy and compassion, love, connection? Are there any throwaway people? Not really. Are there any throwaway kids? No, no. In reality, have I found something that connects and inspires them to continue to move forward in the direction of their dreams and their vision? Russell: That sounds like some of the ways a nonprofit leader can lead with a vision. What are the three most important things that a leader can do, especially in the nonprofit sphere, to...
info_outline The Nonprofit Exchange Highlights with Russ and Hugh 06/23/2019
The Nonprofit Exchange Highlights with Russ and Hugh Highlights and Key Points from Recent Interviews of The Nonprofit Exchange [caption id="attachment_258" align="alignleft" width="150"]Hugh Ballou Hugh Ballouand Russell Dennis, co-hosts of The Nonprofit Exchange provide highlights from interviews over the past few months. Russell Dennis 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 6-months episodes of The Nonprofit Exchange.
info_outline Tips to Becoming an Exceptional Board Member w/Jeb Banner 06/16/2019
Tips to Becoming an Exceptional Board Member w/Jeb Banner Tips to Becoming an Exceptional Board Member with Jeb Banner As the CEO and a Founder of Boardable, Jeb Banner is passionate about community nonprofits, entrepreneurship, and more. He also founded SmallBox, a creative agency for mission-driven organizations, and is co-founder of The Speak Easy and founder of Musical Family Tree, both 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Interview Transcript Jeb Banner: More and more. I was running another business at the time, which worked mostly with nonprofits called SmallBox, a creative agency here in Indy. As we raised some money and as the business turned off, I shifted from SmallBox to Boardable in the course of 2017. I went full-time in 2018. My wife actually took over the agency and runs that now. We are all in the same building in Indianapolis here in the old library. We still get to work together, but different floors. Hugh Ballou: Awesome. Jeb, we write a plan, set some goals, and we give it to the board. It’s all a done deal. The board embraces it. What is your experience with boards? Jeb: Boards are busy. Boards are over-committed. Board members are often serving on multiple boards. They are spread thin. This is one of the challenges we want to solve in the product, eventually building out a talent marketplace on Boardable’s platform to give boards access to a wider pool of talent. This is a real challenge. These great people who serve on boards often get called to serve on other boards. When they show up, they’re often reading the material at the Stop sign, on the drive in, in the parking lot, during the meeting. They’re not always prepared. Board members, as much as they really want to give everything they can, they don’t really have the time to do it because they’re spread so thin. Nonprofits struggle to hold board members accountable because they don’t feel comfortable asking them to follow through in a way they should sometimes, or really do the role they need to do in the organization because they’re volunteers. It’s hard to make demands of a volunteer. A lot of what we’re trying to do is build into the product ways for those board members to be nudged toward the right behaviors. Hugh: Well, this is fascinating. Russell, you worked with a nonprofit Indian reservation for many years. Are you hearing some things jump out about boards that you’d like to probe? Russell Dennis: Communication is probably the biggest challenge that board leaders and boards have. We had the challenge up there where I was working of geography working against us. Our board members were scattered over an area that was about the size of Rhode Island and Connecticut combined in a county called Aroostook. Our council members, the government body, or board if you will, would travel from long distances, 60-65 miles some of them, to attend the meeting. We had bi-weekly meetings. In northern Maine, weather is an issue. Being able to communicate is pretty tough. There is more technology available for that. There is challenges in conducting board meetings and staying in touch. Yes, I agree that getting things done can be tough. It can be pretty tricky. A lot of times, when folks like you, entrepreneurs and consultants, people have problems that drive them bananas, that keep them awake. What were some of the key things that were driving you crazy that you thought you had to fix, that motivated you and inspired you to develop a platform to help board members operate an organization more smoothly? Jeb: I think the #1 thing is communication. What you just said there is true. Keeping up that communication between meetings. Doing it in a way that meets people where they are. Everybody has their own style. Some people like to text, some like to email, and some like phone calls. You have people at different technology levels, too. The boards I was running had less of that challenge. Boards I sit on now, that is one of the challenges they have. The #1 headache I experienced as a board chair was centralizing everything. So much was going into my inbox, like the bylaws would be attached to an email from two years ago. Where was the bylaws? There is no central repository. If somebody rolled off the board, their inbox rolled off the board with them. All that communication, all those documents they may have been working on just vanishes. That is a real problem with boards. There is no continuity if you are using those kinds of tools. They are not built for that. They are built for immediacy. That centralization was pain point #1. After that comes the communication pain point. Having a place where everything flows. If you start a discussion in Boardable, it goes into their inbox and phones. It responds, and it goes back in. It’s always back in the system. That is a real headache. The third thing we thought about was it has to be super easy to use. It has to be simple. If you give a board member a tool they can’t use, if they can’t log in, if they can’t make sense of it, it’s worthless. It can do all the things in the world, but it’s worthless. As we have gotten into it further, we think about it a lot more around engagement. We have different dimensions of engagement we think about as well. We can chat about that later. The initial problems were centralization, communication, and simplification. Hugh: Boardable.com. That’s quite an impressive site. We have a couple folks I want to shout out to. Don Ward, who is in Orlando, Florida. He is the president of the CEO clubs in central Florida. Has groups that talk about leadership, business development, and nonprofits. He said, “Board members need to be trained. They think their input and power is far more than it was ever supposed to be. What if…” How would you respond to that, Jeb? Jeb: I think setting and managing expectations with a board member, and that is part of that training, around what their role and responsibility is on the board. Different boards have different levels of responsibility to the organization. Some boards really do have a high level. Fiduciary responsibility in most cases. There are real consequences to their decisions. They often don’t understand that. They don’t understand they are playing with fire, if you will. This is not a practice. Other boards are more advisory, where they are just giving input. Defining that role, and saying to the board member, “Hey, this is what we expect of you. This is your lane.” And being clear about that up front through board training, onboarding, mentorship—giving them a mentor to work with on the board—is a missed opportunity. Based on our research, two thirds to three fourths fail to do any onboarding or training. Then you have a board member that doesn’t know what is expected of them, so they run wild. I agree with that comment. I think board members, not maliciously, they don’t just know their role, so they do what they think they need to do. Hugh: You’re so right. Without clear expectations, leaders are actually setting up conflict. People don’t know where to- They can’t color inside the lines because they don’t know where the lines are. Jeb: That’s right. I think a lot of times, leaders are timid about this. They are uncomfortable having that conversation. They are uncomfortable telling that powerful donor that has joined the board, “Don’t do this.” They have trouble giving them those lines because they are writing checks in some cases, or they are influential. They struggle with that accountability and that clarity. Hugh: That’s a big deal. I hear leaders say, “I can’t correct them because they are volunteers. They’re giving their time.” I served megachurches for 40 years. I had plenty of opportunities to fire volunteers. Sometimes they were happy about it. Most of the time, they were happy about it because they knew it wasn’t a good fit. Actually, I got to a place where we eliminated the word “volunteer” because a lot of the language, like “nonprofit,” which is a lie, and “volunteer,” which is dumbing down, some of the language we use actually contributes to the lower functioning. In the church, we created members of the ministry. It was a leadership position. In my symphony, I am the president of the symphony here, we are on the road to creating a servant leader model, where people have a track, and they lead in the model here. There is a whole lot of things that we set up that we unintentionally set up problems. Talk about this- There is a fear of conflict. People want to step away from it, which fosters it. Making course corrections doesn’t mean you have to tell people they are wrong. Talk about that interaction. That is a big deal, I think. Jeb: I often think- Are you familiar with Patrick Lencioni, the author? Hugh: Five Dysfunctions… Jeb: Five Dysfunctions of a Team. You look at that pyramid. You have to have that trust in order to have conflict, which gets into commitment, which leads to accountability to reinforce it, which outputs results. To have that alignment there, you have to start with trust. Making sure that board member is part- Trust is being part of a team, feeling like they are safe to step up. They can talk about their concerns. They feel they are in a safe space to speak their mind. It’s very hard to engender that without some of that teambuilding work that you need to do with boards. There is some socialization to that. I use a design thinking framework when I work with boards to do small group activities to push conversations and connections so that people feel like they know each other and there is a foundation of trust so they can start to move in that conflict. Conflict is critical. You need to have conflict on a board. Healthy, productive conflict. Not political drama-based conflict, but real conflict where people really care about things. Hugh: it’s a sign of energy, isn’t it? Jeb: It’s a sign of life. If you don’t have it, you have a problem. If everybody is sitting there going, “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” you have a dysfunctional board. It may not look like it, but it’s dysfunctional. Hugh: The only place I have seen where there is no conflict is a cemetery. Jeb: There is conflict in the earth between the body and the ground, I’ll tell you that much. Hugh: Oh man. Another watching on Facebook is Don Green, who is in Wise, Virginia. Don Green is the executive director of a nonprofit called The Napoleon Hill Foundation. Don is sending his thank you because this is useful information. Russell, do you want to weigh in on this leader making course corrections? I think this is a bigger topic than most people realize. Russell: Running a nonprofit or an organization is just like flying a plane. When you get into a plane, your pilot takes off, and they are flying along. They are off course the vast majority of the time. They spend the whole time course-correcting. You know where you’re leaving from, and you know where you’re going, but you make a lot of adjustments along the way. Running an organization is a lot like that. That is the thing. I had somebody say to me one time. I was attending a church many years ago back home. These guys are all nice. One of the deacons said, “If you like everybody you’ve met here, you haven’t been to enough services.” There is going to be that conflict from time to time. It’s important to be able to come back together at the end of that day and agree on the common goal. How you get there could be an interesting dynamic. If everybody was the same, people would get bored and walk away. That dynamic tension is what makes the work exciting. Jeb: Absolutely. Hugh: You don’t want a bunch of yes people, do you? Russell: No, it would be very dull. Hugh: Also, we create a culture that is the opposite, where people are afraid of standing out and saying their mind. The real meeting happens in the parking lot. “So yeah, I knew what was going on in there, but here is what I think.” Triangling going on. Jeb, let’s forecast. What does a really great board look like? We were talking about the exceptional board member. Either the board as a whole or a board member. Tell us what that looks like from your perspective. Jeb: I think there are a few dimensions to this. You have the composition of the board itself. The board should be somewhat reflective, not entirely one-to-one of the people it’s serving, but somewhat reflective so there is an empathetic connection to the service being provided. Then I think there should be diversity of age, race, gender. It needs to bring in different perspectives. I don’t have an exact formula for that, but a healthy board has a level of diversity there. Getting into the roles of the board. You look at that. We need someone who has a legal background, depending on the organization, a finance background, a marketing background. It’s important to have that composition as well. Then you look at the actual activity of the board. That’s where I think about engagement. I think about seven dimensions of engagement. Preparation for a board meeting. Are they preparing? Are they reading the materials? Are they showing up to the meetings? Are they following through on what they said they would do? Are they volunteering, getting involved in the organization so they feel the impact of the work? Are they advocating on behalf of the organization? Are they fundraising? Helping raise money. Are they donating? Writing the checks. Looking across those seven dimensions, and then looking at those other areas, I think that then you need leadership. That is the last ingredient. To make sure you have that foundation of safety and trust for conflict, which leads to a healthy dialogue and the ability of that board to really, truly govern the organization. Russell: Our friend Dr. David Gruder develops a lot of tools around that for people to talk to one another. There are some other resources out there like Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone and Bruce Patten. It’s important to be able to do that. What it boils down to is being genuine and authentic. You’re communicating in respectable ways. What are some of the tools you have provided to help board members do that in organizations you work with? Jeb: I’m familiar with Crucial Conversations. Is that a similar framework to what you’re talking about? Russell: Yes, they are different. Jeb: Crucial Conversations is wonderful training. I have done that a couple times. I think that’s great training. It’s a little extensive for a full board to go through. In my experience, I have a background in design thinking. It’s a framework that people-centered. It’s empathy-based. It’s all about starting with the problem. Trying to create a consensus around what the problem is, not what the solution is. There is a lot of different exercises that come from that, different ways that you can facilitate whole and small group exercises. You can do research. There is a whole toolkit that my previous company SmallBox used in our work with nonprofits and boards. For instance, organizational values, which is a part of what the board needs to do. They need to be a part of that values conversation. Mission, vision, those conversations as well. Then you get into strategic planning. There are tools around that from the design thinking background that are helpful for that. Working with the United Way board here in town, we recently redesigned their entire board governance approach. It started with working in small groups to bring in ideas and socialize ideas with the larger board to then refine those, and take those back to leadership, and put them into a plan. I follow that approach, which is more organic. I do think there is good tools out there. My background and training is more in that design thinking framework, which is more custom to the situation. Russell: Custom solution is different. Everyone is different. Everyone on the board is different. What are some challenges in making a board run efficiently that you’ve seen across various types of organizations, some of the universal ones? Jeb: Meetings. Time management. Managing the agenda, managing the conversations, making sure that people are staying on topic. You don’t have people grandstanding. Every board has someone who loves to hear themselves talk. There have been times where it’s been me. I love to hear myself talk. But having the chair or the executive director, it’s best when it’s the chair, be an active facilitator and have some facilitation training, so they learn how to bring in others, make sure everyone has that safe space to be heard. I think that’s critical in a productive board experience. Everything about the board is that meeting. Like you said, the parking lot conversations, that starts to happen a lot when the dysfunction of that meeting deepens. All of that stuff ripples out. You have phone calls and emails. It cascades when that meeting is ineffective. Hugh: I’m a conductor. Especially the better they are, every ensemble rehearses for every performance. We don’t rehearse. Some of the stuff you’re talking about is how we get better at what we do. In a sense, rehearsals, I’d like to share with you sometime later. Meetings are the #1 killer of teams. I have a whole piece that says the agenda is the killer of productivity. Agendas don’t use agendas for rehearsals; we use deliverables. We can accomplish. Goals for the session. We focus on outcomes. That is a reframing. I see everything as a rehearsal. I’m sorry. Jeb: Sure, I can relate to that. Hugh: There are so many things you’ve hit on that are big-deal things that we have to be selective here. I want to go back to this board governance. Russell, he threw a zinger in there that had fire in the name. Did you hear that? About governance and board members. Jeb: Playing with fire. Russell: Playing with fire, yeah. Hugh: Expand on that a little bit. Not having ONC insurance, DNC insurance, Arizona missions not having- Russell: Directors and offices liability insurance policies. It’s critical to protect yourself and to keep the structures separate. Compliance is a big deal when it comes to running these organizations. There is a lot of documentation that is required. Have you found that boards warm up to the challenge of keeping all of that in order? Jeb: Absolutely. I just recently joined a board. A week later, the board resigned, not because I joined the board, but because of issues in the organization. I was the last board member standing. This was an experience. Part of it was because the insurance had not been taken care of. There were other issues and lapse that were not being brought to the board’s attention. It was a two-way street. The leadership in the organization wasn’t doing its job, but neither was the board. The board needs to push to get clarity on those things. Part of why that happened is they did push. It was a bit of a mess. I found myself moving into a chair role when I expected to be a board member, and having to help the organization, and still now, get back up on its feet. It’s been a crash course in a lot of the things we’re talking about. When I’m talking about playing with fire, I am speaking from experience. That’s fire. You’re talking about vehicle insurance and transporting kids. You have to think about that stuff. The board is on the hook. The buck stops with the board. The board is the boss. I don’t think board members really get that when they sign up. I don’t think they really get that. I think they would take their jobs more seriously if they understood the consequences of not doing their jobs. I think that’s a real failure in leadership because they’re too timid about that conversation. Russell: That baptism by fire when I worked with the Micmac nation is the same baptism by fire you’re talking about. In terms of documentation, there are so many things that have to be kept in...
info_outline The 45 Minute Business Breakthrough 06/09/2019
The 45 Minute Business Breakthrough The 45 Minute Business Breakthrough Creating More Income with John Gies After more than two decades in corporate, John Gies heard a potential client say that $400,000 tax free was not worth his time. John knew then that he wanted to work where he could make a difference. Over the next several years he gained his Coach Certification, He has taught and coached organizations around the country and he now works with small business owners and non-profit organizations to help them create the income they need to thrive. John's personal live vision is a world where people are inspired to leverage their power and influence to contribute to a more sustainable and positive workplace. Read the Interview [Due to a video issue, the beginning of interview is lost. Transcript begins when video was restored.] John Gies: A communication coach, that transitioned from- I see your face. Was there a question there? Hugh Ballou: No, I love that story. Go ahead. I’m excited about that. John: When I left, what I wanted to do is I tried to look at other companies or other industries. The roads seemed to be closed. I said, What do I like doing? I love speaking in front of an audience. I love training and mentoring my teams. I love facilitating that conversation around the table where we’ve got different interests, maybe sales, operations, and technology trying to create a common vision, and trying to get to that with all those different points of view. I said, Why don’t I become a coach and a trainer? I went to work with a company. I got a chance to do some teaching and coaching across North America and Europe around sales, sales training, presentation skills, negotiation skills. Hugh, I hate to sound stereotypical, but stereotypes do exist. The Brits were almost on time, the Germans were early all the time, the French and the Italians showed up when they wanted to show up. It was an interesting experience. The Americans unfortunately were the ones who said, “We’re doing great. We don’t need any help.” It was an interesting experience for me. Hugh: That’s a stereotype, but it’s sad, isn’t it? John: It is. Yet it sounds something about us, right? Stereotypes are stereotypes in some cases. His name is going to escape me. Someone once said, “If you hear a cliché, look to the truth in the cliché. There is probably something in there that led to the cliché.” Hugh: Isn’t that why they are clichés? John: Right. While I was working with them, when they had lots of clients, I was busy. When they didn’t have clients, I wasn’t busy, so I decided to embark on my own. Today, I work with organizations with what I call a wholehearted approach to business. It’s not a name that you often think of when you think about business. But wholehearted is three pillars. There is the profit/revenue/money. I used to work with a nonprofit healthcare executive, who I will call Sister Mary. She said, “People come to me all the time and ask why we don’t provide this for free.” Her response was, “If there is no money, there’s no mission.” It’s really making sure that we have the money to fulfill our mission. Then there is leadership. Self leadership starts. If we can’t manage ourselves, we can’t manage other people. Hey, Russell. Russell Dennis: Greetings. John: Then it’s the impact we have. Same impact we have on our people, our clientele, our community, the environment, the whole thing. That’s three pillars. Hugh: Russell, there is some background noise, so I muted you. You will have to unmute yourself when you come on. He is putting on his headset. John, I want to get those three points. Those went by fast. Let’s capture those bullet points. John: There is profit. Whether we are in a nonprofit, a small business, or a big business, we can’t fulfill our mission without money. People rely upon us to be here in the long haul. It’s not just a dream to serve. We have to create the sustainability for our future. There is leadership. Leadership starts with self-leadership before we can lead others. I can share with you what I mean about that. When I think of one place that leadership is the weakest, it tends to be ourselves. The third pillar is impact. What impact are we having on our clients, customers, employees, communities, and stakeholders? I was really influenced by a book called Firms of Endearment. It’s a good-to-great comparison of stakeholder organizations versus shareholder organizations. Stakeholders are employees, vendors, the community, the environment, and shareholders. They outperform the S&P by 16X. They outperform the good-to-great companies by a factor of 10X. This lasted even through the Great Recession we just went through. For me, it’s how we take care of all the people in our organizations instead of just focusing on one limited subset of our stakeholders. Hugh: Absolutely. We teach those very same things. But it’s good to have you on here because people don’t listen to us. We’re so much in sync with that. John Maxwell in his 21 irrefutable laws of leadership has the law of the lid. You hit the ceiling of the lid, and your organization can’t progress any further than your ability to lead. That is true over and over. Our boards, our teams, our cultures are a reflection of our leadership. You may or may not know I am a musical conductor. What they see is what I get. What I practice in real life as a conductor works in the board room, works with the staff, works with the volunteers. It really doesn’t matter where we’re leading; the concepts are the same. Russell is coming in from a remote location. He was trying to find a connection last we spoke. Russell is the one who connected with you and suggested you be our guest today. I have looked over your website. It’s good stuff with some nice design. I am impressed with what you do. Thanks to Russell for finding you and finding the synergy. One thing you said was about the mindset. Thinking about the profit, leadership, and impact, and the stakeholders. [Audio issue] Clergy, people like that. Maybe even major donors. If you want to get money, you want to make sure you demonstrate impact. We want to see a difference. [Video freeze] Did I lose you? I’m here. Talk about that a minute, and where that fits into your thinking, how people misperceive profit, how people misperceive leadership. Can you hear me? I think he’s frozen. Maybe, we’re having a technical issue today, folks. So maybe we’ll get back together. John, he showed up over there. We seem to be having some technical issues. John, your video dropped out. There you are. Russell? Same neck of the woods as him. Is there an internet outage out there? Russell: I am downtown preparing for the GlobalMindED event. We have leaders here, global-minded. It’s a nonprofit that provides services to help first-generation college students connect with employers. Very big event coming up here. Starting tomorrow. It will be running through Friday. That’s where I’m at. Helping with that, looking to set up interviews with leaders and coverage of the event so we have things to talk about. Hopefully, John is back with us. He has done a lot of work. He started out with healthcare organizations and started seeing some leadership challenges around that. He has done a lot of work and worked with a lot of organizations here in the Denver area to deal with some of the bottlenecks you experience with leadership. When those bottlenecks are prevalent, you can run into issues with funding. He wrote a book about that. That is one thing I want to ask him about later and have folks get access to that. It’s a very good book. Hugh: We did a teaser about the book. We haven’t told anybody about it yet. John, before the technology devil came in here and ate up your feed, I was talking about the misconception of the word “profit” with nonprofits, and how boards have gotten into a negative groove. Do you want to talk about that a minute? Then I will hand it over to Russell, who is the one with the real tough questions. John: Great. Yeah. If I understand you, the question is profit versus nonprofit? It’s interesting. Russell did this for a long time. There really is no difference. If there is no money, there is no mission. We have to generate enough profit, retained earnings, income, whatever you want to call it, so we can redistribute it. I often encounter both in the corporate world from healthcare providers who were nonprofit, and nonprofits I have volunteered with over the years, that money is not the big thing. It’s all about service. It’s all about serving the customer, the patients, our clientele. If you can’t keep the lights on, you can’t deliver any service. I feel like I’m rambling a bit. This is where my wholeheartedness comes from. If you look at the way businesses are being structured today, more and more of them are being structured to deliver a different kind of value than just the bottom line. There are benefit corporations. There are LLCs that are for-profits embedded within nonprofits. There is a whole host of ways we can use our work, I have air quotes up there, to do good in the world. I think it was Kahlil Gibran who said, “Work is love made visible.” Regardless of what we’re doing, we should be able to bring love into the world, or wholeheartedness, even at a profit. Hugh: We generate income because we generate value. Russell has helpful observations and questions. I’m going to park for a minute and let him participate. Thank you, Russ for being here. I know it was a challenge getting on today. Russell: Thanks. It’s good to be here. I know John is an amazing person. I am glad I met you. One of the things that you and I talked about over coffee was the notion of value, and how that is being redefined today. Folks that are running businesses to make a profit often talk in terms of value. It seems to be a word that nonprofit leaders haven’t wrapped their arms around yet. Even if they do, some of the team may not be aware of what exactly is value. How do you ramp up those discussions when you are talking to nonprofit organizations in terms of speaking to value and what that means to the different audiences they serve? John: What a great question. Nonprofits deliver such value. Whether it’s providing a roof over our heads, food and shelter. They look and say, “That’s what we are giving to our clientele, people who need that value.” They’re also delivering value to the donors and people who are fundraisers. I met with a young man who moved here from D.C. His whole background is in philanthropy. If I’m a donor, the example I was thinking through on this is do you remember Sally Struthers and the Feed the Children campaign from years ago? She would come on TV and see all these images of hungry children. We would make a donation. We got a letter from that child. We are in relationship to that child. Now there is this warm, fuzzy feeling of, I, as a donor, am getting real value from that donation in my heart. What happens for a lot of us today is we don’t think about how we’re delivering value to all of our stakeholders, be they fundraisers, donors, clientele, you have different kinds of value to each one of them. For a donor, one of the big questions donors all have is, “If I give you money, will it go to the end user, or will it go to administrative costs?” There are a whole host of people who are doing valuations and rankings around that. How can I pluck John’s heartstring? How can I pluck Russell’s heartstrings? A friend of mine had a daughter who came into the world with a lot of physical challenges. In Children’s Hospital for years. Her mom was in and out. If I deliver a message to her that talks about children and supporting people while they are waiting for a child to come out of the hospital, that is delivering value to me because it sings and resonates with me. Does that make sense? Russell: That’s the trick. That’s the challenge a lot of for-purpose enterprises (as we prefer to call them, a term given to us by one of our guests). That is the challenge. You have multiple audiences. Value is not only something that has to be quantified in material terms. It’s different for every audience. The way that we relate to each other is through stories. People are discovering that. The big question is what is your story? Different people have different metrics, depending on their perspective. How important is it to have ways to measure what is valuable? How do you help nonprofits navigate that when they have these multiple audiences? How do you help them navigate figuring out what the message is for each audience? John: Really good question. When I share measurements, I think to my friend Annette, who is a good evaluator, who does research to quantify numbers and cents. When you think about a sentence or a paragraph or a story, how do you measure the ROI? What is the equation? Actually, there is a lady by the name of Nancy Duarte, who has mapped a really good storyteller. She took Martin Luther King’s “I Had a Dream” speech, and mapped the structure of the speech with its peaks and valleys to lead to the enrollment of the audience in his message. To answer your question, sometimes the impact is emotion. Even though we are driven by our spreadsheets in business, those are only to back up the emotional decisions we have already made. Working with a nonprofit, when we think about the donor, we have to think about what emotions we touch on. If I am talking to a philanthropist or a fund, like The Knight Foundation, what is the emotion or feeling I want them to feel about what they’re going to do for us? When I am trying to pull people off the streets as clients into my organization, how do I want them to feel? What I find most of us do is we run, run, run. And we don’t stop to think about the value. It’s not always what we think it is. What I counsel my clients on is it’s not putting food in someone’s hands. It’s answering a question about the concern of who is giving them the food. I’ll give you an example. Most painting contractors think they are hired to paint the house. They will tell the consumer, “We do great painting.” The reality is, the consumer is thinking, I’d like to have my house painted, but how do I know that painter will be on time, done on time, and won’t leave a mess? We have to answer the questions behind the question to call those, whether it’s a donor, a fundraiser, the clientele, or the public because the public can be very strong advocates for our for-purpose organizations. Great word choice by the way. I’m bouncing a bit, but that changes the whole framework of how you think about the organization. There is the nonprofit and the for-purpose. There is a withdrawal and an engagement. Good choice of words there. Russell: I’d like to go back to the statement of people looking at how you spend the money. I think we have seen some perception problems with the structure of an organization. A lot of people want to write checks for programs, but they don’t necessarily want to pay the nonprofit’s rent. You have to have a structure to deliver a program. But if you are running the organization delivering the programs, you have to be efficient. You have to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to you. Talk about some of the things you do when working with organizations of any stature to navigate that. John: When you say stewardship, are you talking about attracting money? Are you talking about managing expenses? Russell: Taking care of the money entrusted to you. Making the best use of it and maximizing value with it. Taking good care of it. John: A great question. Years and years ago, this will surprise you. I ran into a nonprofit collection agency. This was an organization embedded within another organization. Their money was to support the organization they were embedded in. For them, they could have really good expenses and really nice cars and really great lifestyles, but a lot of that wasn’t coming back to what was originally meant for. I contrast that with the man who I was telling you about earlier who sits on the board of a nonprofit. Someone came in and said, “We are getting ready to do our new benefits. We want to have a nine-month maternity leave. We want to have 35 days of PTO.” He said, “Wait a minute. How can we do that? That is stealing from our organization and our constituents.” The easy answer for you is the mindset. What are we really here to do? Are we here to serve, or are we here to take? My experience is the more we deliver into the world, the more we give, the more we receive in return without having to strive for that. The way I work with most of my customers is to help them attract the stakeholders they need. What prompted our conversation was this book, The 45 Minute Business Breakthrough. What that is about is to get leads. How do I get people who are interested in coming to my organization, whether it’s a client or a donor? We will often think, They will find us. It’s not who you know; it’s who knows you. We have to craft a message that resonates with those people. Hugh: John, hold that book up again. Remember my age and mental condition. Tell us about the book, John. John: It’s called The 45 Minute Business Breakthrough. It’s how to find revenue for your business in 45 minutes. Hugh: 45 minutes? John: Yes. Hugh: What takes so long? That’s pretty fast. That got my attention. John: It’s simple. Think about the real estate agent who tells you, “I sell real estate, commercial and residential, up and down the range.” Here in Denver, there are 20,000 real estate agents. Contrast that to the one who says, “I help millennials find the loft of their dreams in downtown Denver.” Even though I am not a millennial, I am far past the millennial stage, I will remember that message. When I hear someone say they are looking for a loft, I can make the hook. If you ask yourself, What would that do for my business? You can find money really fast. When you talk about how do I make an offer that is so compelling that I can come into relationship with you? Maybe it’s I sign up for your newsletter. I hear stories about the organization how you are changing lives. When it comes time to write a check, I am more likely to write a check. There is an organization I do some work with here called Goodwill to Work. I get to work with high school students as they are preparing to enter the work force: mock interviews, reviewing portfolios, reviewing resumes. It gives me great faith in the future of ourselves. When they come looking for money, I am more open to that because I am invested in that. It’s helping the business owner, to answer your question, look at the five areas that drive 80% of their growth. It’s leads, how to turn leads into customers, how to create an offer that gives more value so they are willing to spend more money with me, and quit discounting. You have to sell more of the product to get the same. Hugh: There is a correlation here. We talk about selling to churches. Churches say, “We don’t sell.” Then what is evangelism? I talk to generic nonprofits about business models. No, we are a nonprofit. People are supposed to give everything. That does not mean you can beat up your employees. That is why the burnout rate is about 50% with executive directors. You are moving into the mindset. It’s a social entrepreneurial mindset. You talked about businesses having a triple bottom line. I think nonprofits should have multiple bottom lines. One of them should be retained earnings. Russell, why don’t you weigh in on this? You used to work for an agency who had three letters. It’s about where the money goes. We need another number for profit, and we need another way to look at accounting so overhead...
info_outline Why horses are perfect PTSD co-therapists… 06/02/2019
Why horses are perfect PTSD co-therapists… Why horses are perfect PTSD co-therapists......Join together in advocating for effective trauma therapy with Michele Fisher Michele Fisher is a Univ. of Michigan educated ( early childhood development) and 16-year CASA volunteer advocating in court and in life for traumatized children in our foster care system. Ms. Fisher has made it her mission in life to connect changemakers with effective mental health offerings, to compromised populations. The impact of this groundbreaking work speaks to otherwise unattainable joy and functionality in the lives of traumatized Americans. The unconventional, yet proven effective, use of the horse as an active participant in the therapeutic process make this modality an unusual yet compelling area for exploration. Read the Interview Hugh Ballou: Hi, this is Hugh Ballou and Russell Dennis again for this edition of The Nonprofit Exchange. We have interviews with thought leaders every week. Russell, this is somebody you found today. How are you today, Russell? Russell Dennis: Greetings, salutations from sunny Aurora, Colorado, not far from Boulder, where our guest is today. My friend Michele Fisher, who runs a nonprofit that supports people through equine therapy. She is unique in that she raises money for herself, and she funds other projects. We’re going to find out a lot about her secrets and how she is able to juggle both hats and wear both hats and what she looks for, and to talk about how equine therapy is helping veterans and children all over Colorado. Hugh: Let’s jump into this. Michele, welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. Tell people a little bit about yourself. Michele Fisher: Thank you, Hugh. Thank you so much, Russ. I am a graduate of the University of Michigan, and my degree is in early childhood development. I am a teacher and have been a teacher and lover of education from the get-go. I decided at a very early age that I wanted to try to help children in a different way, not just through traditional education means by being a teacher. I became a CASA worker. It’s an acronym for Court Appointed Special Advocate. We are volunteers that are trained to work with foster children who have been abused and/or neglected. We help them in life. We actually become life coaches and advocates in court and in their family life for them. This showed me how there were many more opportunities to help not only one child at a time or one classroom at a time, but entire families and entire communities that were compromised or otherwise had survived some sort of trauma. When I lived in Lake Tahoe, I became certified in what was then called the NAHRA program, the North American Handicapped Riders’ Association. Today, it’s called PATH. It’s a particular version or modality of equine therapy that primarily addresses the needs of humans on the autism spectrum and also people who have cerebral palsy. As I married my two new loves, my equine therapy and my CASA work and education work with children, I realized that if there was enough money available for veterans that have PTSD and children who have been traumatized, we would be able to have a permanent impact upon the mental health in our society. As I became more and more involved in the mental health arena through my CASA work and also through the equine therapy work, I was struck and dumbfounded by how remarkably effective working with the horses was with people who were frankly quite emotionally ravaged and even physically ravaged in their lives. This became almost an obsession with me to find out why this connection was so different from other forms of traditional modalities and therapies when we are trying to help victims of trauma of all sorts try to live normal lives. I say “normal” knowing there is nothing normal. Joy-filled lives, trying to live lives with fulfillment and with absence of emotional and mental pain. I started to volunteer as a horse handler at various equine therapy barns around my area in Boulder, Longmont, Lafayette, Lewisville, Colorado. I learned there is an entire tribe of incredibly skilled, passionate, knowledgeable people who are doing this work, not only here in Colorado, which happens to be a hotbed of equine therapy, I’ve learned, but also all over the country and in eastern Europe as well. I started The Healing Hoof in order to raise money for people who couldn’t afford equine therapy in order to get the benefit of it. In that, I’ve also learned how to find the vibe of my tribe, which I think is a really important learning for executive directors and other individuals involved in nonprofit work. Whether you are awarding grants, receiving grants, or doing some mix of both, or whether you are not even involved in the grant world, but maybe you are accepting donations or sponsorships, no matter what means you are using to generate energy and create a new life for your nonprofit, I think it’s incredibly important to make sure that you find the right people. That is what I mean by find the vibe of your tribe. I’ll tell you a short story, an anecdote. I was a director of business development for a nonprofit in Lakewood for a while before I immersed myself fully into my own nonprofit. During that time, one of the very large mega oil producers in Weld County approached us and asked if they could partner with us in order to gain positive PR. Their philosophy was that because many folks in Colorado are opposed to fracking, and they work here and have to work with us—gee, did I just say something about my political opinions?—they have a hard time really getting community buy-in to what they’re doing. What they came to us for was to spend a lot of money in several communities on the I-25 corridor in the heart of Weld County, where the bulk of their operations exist, to build things like rec centers or community places where the community could come, and they would name it after themselves so that the community could see them as a more friendly player. At that company, we thought that was a great idea, and they were willing to pay us a great amount of money to do it. Fast forward to now marketing this nonprofit. I am speaking to all thought leaders in the nonprofit sector. As a marketer and a business development person, my mind went to, Wow, how many veterans and kids could I help with their checkbook? Maybe I should approach them to become a sponsor. I did my research, and I looked at the websites, and I dug deeper and deeper into their fiscal plans and all of the information I could garner from each of seven or eight of the larger to mid-size operators. What I found was that they are not my tribe. The reason they’re not my tribe is because of who they really are intrinsically and the way that they choose to present themselves to the community. I’m not saying this is true for all of the operators, but these large ones I did research on. What I found was deception. What I found was that they promised to show certain things or reveal certain things they really didn’t. Even though I probably could’ve gone down that path and gotten significant sponsorship dollars for my foundation, I decided not to because in the end, the only real support that we will get for our individual passions and for our work that we’re doing is from the people who are authentically attached to it passionately and in their hearts and souls, not just as a job each day. I tell that story because I think that as businesspeople and as responsible executive directors and volunteers and different kinds of people that work to make this world better on many different planes, sometimes we get lost in trying to raise money and making that the goal because it is paramount not only to our success but to our survival. Of course, we must keep our eye on that ball. But I ask for us today to open some space to consider being a little bit more selective and taking a long-term view in exchange for a shorter-term relationship that may end up working out for the short run, may get you some bad press or not. In the end, if it’s not really part of your vision and your mission and your heart, then I don’t believe it’s worth pursuing, even if it glitters a lot. Hugh: Michele, how long have you been doing The Healing Hoof foundation? Michele: We started in 2013. We have really just begun to become vibrant and active. Life got in the way a little bit with me between then and now, which prevented me from really going full force into this. Now, I am able to do that. We’re having our first event this summer, August 11 in Longmont. We are going to have a really fun event with a very well-known a capella rock band called Face Vocal Band, which will be our headline entertainment there. We are looking to make a splash into the Denver market with lots of great grant funding and lots of opportunity for veterans and kids and people who need to address issues relative to their trauma. Hugh: Russell, you’ve been carefully paying attention. I’m sure you have some questions for Michele. Russell: We met fairly recently, and we have been working together to move things forward. The ability to build relationships that help you raise money and fund projects takes a bit of juggling. What I wanted to ask Michele is what are three things that you look for in collaborative partners, whether you are getting them to write you a check or you are writing them a check? Michele: The first thing I look for is authenticity. Are they really who they purport to be? Are they really doing the work they say they’re doing? Are they passionate? Are they involved? Are they engaged? That is the most important thing: their dedication from inside to the work that they’re doing. Then I look for their wherewithal. Are they emotionally balanced? Are they able to carry forward this work? Are they able to do the work they set out to do and accomplish their goals? Are they well balanced and able to be a leader? The third thing would be for whom are they the sphere of influence? When I start to gather my tribe of those I want to help and those I would like to help me help them, I want to make sure that we have the same spirit of moving money. I’m dedicated to moving the money that I receive so that it can work. Whereas I appreciate people who make a lot of money and have a lot of resources. If they are not willing to move these resources and allow them to be a part of the commerce of healing and making our world better, then they are not a good partner for me. And they need to smile. Russell: You don’t smile very much. Michele: Not much. Russell: With that said, looking for these things in the collaborative partners, there are things that you do that make you successful. What would you say are the three key ingredients to your success, both before and after you started this project and this journey? Michele: #1, I am willing to say no. That is a difficult thing, especially for those of us in this world who have inherently large hearts and say yes too often around the table and then cry on the way home trying to figure out how to fulfill that promise. I think the ability to draw boundaries when it’s appropriate, to say no to the opportunities that are not good for everyone, and to recognize what is really a win-win for all of the people and animals involved. For example, one of our strong tenements is to fund barns and equine therapists who take excellent care of their horses, who don’t overuse the land, who try to use organic products and not a lot of chemicals. It’s not just the mental health of the child or the adult that we’re concerned about. We want to make sure that our horses are happy and healthy. They are co-therapists. They are important to us. They are sentient beings who we respect a great deal. That is part of what is very important to us, too. That does set us apart. There are some people who will do some equine therapy. Just come and pet my horse. Get on my horse and ride. There is a certain kind of therapy or equine experience associated with that, but we are pretty picky about who we fund. We fund therapists that are licensed and have experience. Depending on what you come to us with, what your maladies are, whether they’re physical, emotional, mental, or some combination will depend on which barns we might recommend for you or what type of equine therapy we suggest might be the most impactful for your particular issues you’re dealing with or way of life or concerns or experiences. Everything is individual. Russell: That is one of the hallmarks of effective collaboration when people come to you. Having that network of people and being willing to share the wealth so to speak. I know people who do certain types of therapies for certain types of people. We’re well aware of both strategy and collaboration here at SynerVision. One of the things that Beth Cantor, who is an expert at nonprofit social media, she wrote a book called The Healthy, Happy Nonprofit. She talks about the importance of taking care of yourself, which you emphasized here. How important is it for nonprofit leaders to take care of themselves in order to be effective at actually serving others? What would you say are the three most important things a nonprofit leader could do to take care of themselves so they are effective at helping other people? Michele: Russ, it’s not only important, it’s critical. One cannot be effective if they are not well cared for. There is a reason that the flight attendants tell us to put the oxygen masks on ourselves first. If we are not fully present, and our cup isn’t full, then we are not able to give to others fully, authentically, and give everything they truly need. I believe in two-hour massages. Not one-hour massages. After one hour, I’m just getting relaxed, and the Jello is just setting. Two-hour massages. Yes, it will cost a little more money, but it will go a lot further. Massages. Happiness. To do what really brings you joy, whether it’s dancing or singing or drinking a cup of coffee at six o’clock in the morning and watching the sun rise or climbing up on my horses at midnight when I can’t sleep or breathing or yoga or taking a walk or a bath or having a good argument or discussion or reading a book or knitting or sports. Whatever it is. Find out, like my good friend Cody Qualls from Face Vocal Band says, “What’s your jam?” Get your jam on. Your jam. I think that’s a really important thing to know about ourselves, and to give us permission to indulge in. If you have children, if you are involved in your work or extracurricular activities, or taking care of parents, we all need to fill ourselves up. There are some schools of thought that will have us believe that is a selfish act, or that it is not giving to take care of yourself first. We all have to negotiate that particular conversation and value amongst ourselves and the people we engage with. But there is nothing wrong with meeting your own needs. Eating healthy, great food. I have had people say to me, “I can’t afford to eat organic,” and they have the latest version of the newest iPhone. It depends on what you value. If you value your longevity, if you value what you have to give, you will be able to give it for a long time and to give much more quality in terms of your knowledge, wisdom, offering, service, or products if you take care of yourself. That is one thing. Get massages. Engage with people. Find your own personal tribe. Laugh with people. Cry with people. Engage. For me, this might not be for everyone, engage with animals. That to me is a big part of my own personal well-being. I know it’s not for everybody. But if you are a meow or a bark or a neigh, go do your neigh neigh. Find your neigh neigh. It might not be a horse. Russell: I can’t be of service to others unless I’m at my best. You are by trade a teacher from the University of Michigan. As a lifelong fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes, I never thought in a thousand years I would meet a Michigan Wolverine I like as much as I like you. We just connected and clicked on so many levels. You started your career. You have been working very closely for a long time with children. You chose to serve children. As a Court Appointed Special Advocate in three counties, you still are serving children at a high level. Talk a little bit about the therapy work that you’ve done with children and why horses are perfect for helping children through any challenges they have. Michele: Why children? Because children are our future. Children are our hope. Children represent the continuity of our very being and species. They are so magically delightful that when they honor me by allowing me to pick them up or care for them or laugh with them, it just touches my heart deeply. I find them to be so varied and open. They teach me so much. I learn so much from kids that adults are just kind of a little bit jaded or dead sometimes. It keeps me alive. It keeps me willing to be a little different and think of things in a different way. It also allows me to see the world literally from a different point of view. When you look at the world from a three-year-old’s view, and you are looking at mostly table legs or humans’ knees, it’s a very different way of looking at the world, and it gives me compassion for needing to work harder to look into people’s eyes and to be able to meet them on a deep level. Children allow me to do that and foster that for me. I think they bring life and honesty and joyfulness to most situations. That is what draws me to children. It makes me feel so great when I am still in touch with an 18-year-old child who I got as a CASA child when she was 18 months old out of a horrific situation, and today she is a pediatrician. Russell: That sense of possibility is impossible among children. They’re small. Talk a little bit about how being a Court Appointed Special Advocate played into you starting your own foundation. What we are talking about with PTSD is trauma at the highest level. Michele: So when I first became a CASA member, a lot of people would respond to the news by saying, “Oh my God, how could you do that work? I could never do that work. I love children so much, and I’m so sensitive to them.” I’m here to tell you that I can do the work because I love children so much. It hurts me to see what people do to children. Every single time, it breaks my heart. Even after 18 years—she’s not a pediatrician yet, she’s in school—after 18 years, I still cry. I still feel very deeply, but never in court, never in front of them. It gives me power, it empowers me because if a child can stand up and put one foot in front of the other after what they’ve experienced with so little resources and so little support, then who am I, this privileged white woman, to say that I can’t go out and raise money and help people and do what I know I can do? I find that strength in those cases. I find my wherewithal. I find that I can take on a tougher family. I can take on a gang member. I can work with these people. I’m not afraid anymore. What they have taught me is how to grit my teeth and get what I want. It was a message that my father taught me that they are reinforcing that has been valuable. Even when it looks like there is nothing, I don’t know if you know who David Pelzer is. A Boy Named It was the book he wrote; he was the spokesperson for CASA, as are Dr. Phil and his wife, Robin. But what they show us is how the human spirit knows no bounds and that if we will just reach out a little bit and give just a finger up, a hand up, an arm up, whatever we can afford to spread around, what blooms is so much greater than the small seed that we once planted. Now many of these children are leading productive, contributatory lives in society. I’m not going to say it; it would not be deserving to say just because of me. But I did play a role in their...
info_outline Sustainability - Will the Path You Are On Lead You There? 05/26/2019
Sustainability - Will the Path You Are On Lead You There? Sustainability - Will the Path You Are On Lead You There? Interview with John Sebesta John Sebestahas experience working in the government, private sector, and non-profits, which provides a diverse perspective with which John views and analyzes the world. The foundation of his career took place in the private sector, where he has extensive experience in financial and business strategy. He previously served as the business manager for international programs at Lockheed Martin, leading the proposal, negotiation and management of more than $500M in contracts. Seeking a change of pace, John and his wife Claire then moved to Guatemala to focus on using business as a tool for positive change, and transitioned to consulting with social entrepreneurs in Guatemala. This opened the door to an opportunity for John to serve as a co-founder and head of Business Development & Strategy for a social enterprise startup in Puerto Rico. Currently, as founder of Business Stewardship Partners, LLC, John provides business leadership to purpose-driven leaders of non-profits and social enterprises. He holds a Bachelor's of Finance from NMSU and an MBA from Southern Methodist University. This interview is about the following: How we steward the resources entrusted to us and our organizations will ultimately determine the impact that we are able to create. An unhealthy perspective toward money often hinders non-profits from achieving the very impact they aspire to. Recognizing the important role that money plays in enabling your success, and critically thinking through how to optimize the inflows and outflows to further the mission of your organization, will ultimately lead to a more effective and sustainable organization. We must ensure that the entire structure, from governance to funding sources to expenses, drives the organization to stay aligned to the mission, instead of slowly enabling mission creep. The world is changing rapidly around us, providing both threats and opportunities to innovate, improve relevancy and improve the sustainability of our organizations. Learn more about John and Stewardship Partners at https://stewardpartner.com
info_outline Marketing Laws of the Golden Triangle 05/19/2019
Marketing Laws of the Golden Triangle David Dunworth is a certified Magnetic Marketing Advisor serving Nonprofits, and Clinicians through attraction marketing and automation to grow capacity and sustainability to fulfill their mission. Nonprofits he’s worked with in the past are Michigan Cancer Foundation, Leukemia Society of America, Michigan Bach Festival, Detroit International Wine Auction benefiting the Institute of Music and Dance, and many others. Donors get inundated with appeals daily, yet only a few receive attention. Focusing your attention on existing marketing messages is more effective and less expensive than constantly chasing new ones.
info_outline How to Get Over the Problem of Asking for Donations (Archive) 05/07/2019
How to Get Over the Problem of Asking for Donations (Archive) We all need money to run the nonprofit that we lead, however many of us are timid when it comes to asking donors for funding. Clay will help to shift that paradigm in today's interview. He will teach the skills he shares with top business executives on closing sales so that we, as nonprofit leaders can approach donors with confidence. Clay Neves, is Owner of Personal Sales Dynamics, a consulting and coaching firm that empowers small business owners to attract, engage, convert and retain the variety of business relationships their businesses need to survive and thrive. He has over 33 years of sales management, VP of Sales, and Chamber of Commerce Executive experience, working with Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike, Clay has consistently multiplied sales results using the variety of prosperity relationships. In fact, he increased sales for one multi-million dollar post-secondary vocational training school by almost 900% in just 3.5 years, resulting in an Inc. 500 award for that company. He conducts monthly networking clinics for several Chambers of Commerce. He also serves as Club President for CEO Space International Utah Chapter. He is a master wordsmith in business and personal life, and is a student of language and words and an avid writer of prose and poetry. His book, A Wealth of Friends, 7 Essential Relationships Your Business Needs to Survive and Thrive is schedule for release the end of May. He lives in the Salt Lake City area with his wife of 32 years. More about Clay Neves at http://personalsalesdynamics.com Here's the Transcript for the Interview Hugh Ballou: Welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. We are going to talk about a delicate subject today. It’s money. I hear money come up a lot. People want to raise money for their enterprise but are bound up with the words or the fear of asking for money or the fear of rejection, or maybe we don’t think we should be asking for money because we positioned it wrong in our brains. Russell, we’re back together again. It’s Tuesday at 2, and we are broadcasting live. How are you? Russell Dennis: It’s a beautiful day out here in Denver. All is well. Yes, this is a great subject because the reality with money is that everybody has a relationship with it. Your personal relationship could impact your work, so we’ll talk about that today. Hugh: I met this gentleman recently. I watched his program on one of the learning platforms, and it’s a really well-done program. We had a chat just a couple weeks ago at CEO Space, and I got to know Clay. We spoke last week and learned more. I said, “Why don’t you come on and talk about this topic to nonprofit leaders?” We hit the wall when it comes to having the conversation about money. Let’s introduce Clay Neves. Clay is our guest today. Welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. Clay Neves: It’s good to be here. Hugh: Tell people a little bit about yourself and your background and why you’re doing this. Clay: I started out in sales at the ripe old age of 12. My mom bought me a suit, thought it might be good for me to learn how to sell. She bought me How to Win Friends and Influence People. I read it. She taught me four things on how to contact people. It’s probably the most important sales training I’ve had in my entire life. Basically, eye to eye contact, then smile, then shake, then, “Hello, my name is Clay. What’s yours?” then ask them a question. Keep asking them questions about themselves. People love to talk about themselves. Go forth and sell these greeting cards. And I did. I had various sales jobs. When I was about 27, because I was finishing up my college work a little older, I got a job as a business to business telemarketer selling long-distance calling plans. Only the old people remember that. Long-distance numbers, we had to dial in the number and then connect to it, and then we could dial the number we wanted to dial, and then we had to put in another code. It was ridiculous. Anyway, I was amazing at that. About a week in, because it was a big project and they had to hire about anybody who could breathe, they promoted me to supervisor. I had ten, anywhere from about 18-23-year-old, women, most had no sales experience whatsoever. They had a handset to. Call on, and I had a monitoring phone with a handset. This started naturally, but it became systematized that as I was listening to their call, they would miss these opportunities that they would think were objections. I’d go over and whisper in their ear what to say, and it would turn the conversation around. I’d only have to do that a few times before they got the feel for it themselves. The timing of answering an objection, what to say, how to say it, to use the analogy of a tennis game, to keep the tennis ball going back over the net. All you need to do is hit the ball one more time over the net than they do, and you get the sale, right? Anyway, we were the top team every week. I ended up managing that entire program including instituting a statistical quality control program where we could statistically score the presentations. As I listened to hundreds and thousands of these calls, I built up over time an instinct in terms of what keeps the conversation going and what shuts down the conversation. With each script accordingly, put it back on the floor, listen and test and measure statistically again. This is program after program. I opened a call center for the company. I ran that for the company. It wasn’t very much longer before I was managing these five outbound, mostly business to business call centers. I picked that up. I have done a lot of inside sales, but I have also done key account selling to major corporations like Citibank and AT&T. I had a great set of clients that I managed on the east coast as a business account executive for a national company, as well as experience as a chamber of commerce president. That gave me some insight into the nonprofit world. The way that they were selling memberships and donations was terrible. I think a lot of that will apply. We may talk about that and how it applies to a nonprofit. We focus on that word “nonprofit” to the exclusion of the word that follows it. Nonprofit business. Right? Sales is still a very important part of any nonprofit business, at least that’s what I see. Hugh: Oh, yes. Clay: I also was hired by a company to take their seminar marketing channel. We took that from about 300,000 to about 3.5 million in about three years. We also earned an Inc. 500 award along the way. That was an amazing experience. But these principles of sales growth I think are universal. 33 years of sales management experience, there is not a lot of sales situations I haven’t seen. There is not a lot of sales problems I haven’t coached salespeople through. There is not a lot of deals gone sideways. You see patterns. There is a handful of things that you can correct as you start to categorize them and understand what’s at the heart of the problem. That’s a little bit about my background. Been heavy into networking and building business by building these relationships and partnerships and leveraging relationships I already have to bring new sales relationships. Been doing that very well. Of course, as a chamber of commerce president, that was my stock and trade. That’s why I’m here. Hugh: Love it. Let me reframe what you just said. We, meaning Russ and I and those of us at SynerVision Leadership Foundation, spend a lot of effort working with people to understand why this so-called nonprofit (by the way, that is the only organization that I know of that constantly defines itself by what it’s not), we describe ourselves by what it’s not, but really, we are a tax-exempt business. There are strict rules about what happens with that money flow. We have hit on a crucial point. We need to install good, sound business principles into this charity we run. I think we all melt down when we are raising equity money or a business, trying to pitch a new product. It’s not our thing, we think. What’s the biggest challenge with people selling- We are selling an event we are doing, we are selling a sponsorship, we are selling donors or grant-makers on why they should fund an initiative. What do you find is the biggest hang-up with anybody, but most especially those running this tax-exempt charity we were talking about? Clay: The biggest thing I see in nonprofits is we are so utterly convinced that our donors, our sponsors are the ones that are doing us the favor, that the value is only flowing one way. In a sense, it’s not selling, it’s more begging. It feels like that sometimes, you know? But if you go from the assumption that doggone it, this sponsorship has value, you start to look at it from the aspect that what I have to offer solves a problem, not only for the people my charity serves, but for my sponsors. What is that problem that sponsors have that make them pay money for a sponsorship? Well, the best way to do that is ask your best sponsors. What are they getting out of this? Why do they spend the money? What problem does it solve for them? When I first took over the chamber of commerce, we had a sales guy that would go out and basically shame people into joining the chamber of commerce because the chamber of commerce did so much good in advocating business interests within this city. They should be part of that. You can see why membership was lacking. I turned it around and said, “Why would a business owner pay money to become a member of the chamber of commerce? What are we doing for them?” The question was turned around. Not why aren’t you a member of the chamber that does so much good for businesses in general, but the question then became: What are you trying to accomplish in the Murray City area? Tell me what you are trying to get to here. Who do you need to connect with? What do you need to put out there? What constituencies do you want to be more exposed to? What do you want to accomplish here? We talk about their business objectives. In that, we found several ways that chamber membership could help them meet their objectives, could solve problems. We had to begin the discussion in terms of what do they want their business to be, what are their goals and objectives? Once you speak to your biggest donors and sponsors, you will find the problems that you solve for them. Then as you approach potential sponsors and potential donors, the questions that you ask evolve around those potential problems. You can ask them in what I call “Have you ever” form. “Have you ever wanted to be more connected in the community? Have you ever thought that it’s not just about making money, but it’s about giving money away so that you can save money on taxes, too? Just talk about it from their interest rather than the interest of the nonprofit first. Now, that being said, what nonprofits offer is also a huge psychological and emotional value exchange. People want to give back. We want to talk about how they feel about that and what some of their objectives are. What criteria do they have in terms of giving and sponsoring? What availability do they have as far as time and money? These kinds of questions are coming in and exploring a little bit where they are. I spent two years on an LDS mission in Japan. Basically, what I was doing there was trying to persuade people about an anthropomorphic god to a culture that believes in a very mystical, pantheistic concept of God. I had to start from where they were. I had to start from their understanding of the word we used for God. A word that might not have had the same meaning to me that it had to them. I had to start with their meaning. We have to come at them from their interest, from their language, just like in any sales situation. But we should not be coming at it from the aspect that we have nothing to offer them, that there is nothing they get out of this sponsorship, and they are just doing it out of the kindness of their heart, and that’s it. We are doing as much of a favor for them as they are for us. That is why it is a value for value exchange. Does that make sense, or am I just rambling here? I never know. My wife says, “All right, Clay, we get it.” Hugh: I am going to go to Russell. Russell comes up with this topic often. Not only in raising money, he is an expert at creating value propositions and attracting money, but also in recruiting board members. Russ, talk a little bit about the conversation is like in finding out what they are looking for. Russell: I am glad there is people out there that embrace that dreaded “v” word. When you get in nonprofit circles, it’s a word that nobody utters. I went to an event put on by a chamber of commerce where they actually had nonprofits pitch what they were doing. At the first annual event we had zero out of 12 nonprofits mention the word “value.” Value is what you bring to the table. Values are what drives you, what is at the root of everything you do. It’s very important to look at values as well as value. That by the way, I have four steps to building a high-performance nonprofit. Step four is clearly communicating the value you bring. You have to do that in language that resonates with the person you are talking to. It could be a board member, a volunteer, an advisor, people getting your services. Value is in the ear of the beholder. You are talking to them about how you solve their problem, and everybody has a different thing they are interested in. It’s finding that. Part of that is being clear about who you are. Communicating that in terms that are meaningful to them so that they see you as somebody that can help them. You are offering a partnership. We are partnering and collaborating to solve this problem. It’s not a hat and hand process. Nobody gets any training on any of this. We are all selling. We are solving problems, but somehow this notion of selling makes us feel like used car salespeople, not that they are unethical. I know a couple of folks here. There is a young lady by the name of Lisa Malick, a good friend of mine, his wife. I know a young salesman here in the Denver area, a six-figure salesman, Aaron Cabot, my godson. He and Lisa could sell shoes to a man or woman with no feet. It all seems like it’s a mystical, magical skill, but it sounds like it’s something, too, that could be taught. I think our relationship with money has an impact on how we approach sales. What has been your experience with that kind of dynamic? How does that impact you? Clay: I said it a little differently, but it’s music to my ears when you said value is in the ear of the beholder. I teach that value only exists in one place, and that is behind the eyes and between the ears of the perspective relationship that you are trying to form. And only there is the value of what we’re offering found. It has nothing to do with the price of what we’re offering, other than the fact that the value had better be greater than the price or you’re going nowhere. How do you establish value? Are we conversant in the language of the donor or the sponsor who are often coming at it from a “business” decision? The good news is there is no such thing as a business decision. Every decision a businessperson makes is for personal reasons. They may couch it in a business decision, but if a decision is made, it’s for a personal reason. Either they think it will help their situation, help them look good, or help them look better to whomever it is they need to look better to. It may be something that’s important to them intrinsically, a value they have that this will really help and they have established a certain level of contribution or donorship that they either can or want to put toward that value to be seen as a good person, or to have exposure, whatever their motive. Their motive might not always be altruistic. It may be flat “I need a tax exemption, a tax deduction, and if I can make myself look good and get exposure in the community at the same time, well, heck, why not?” We need to know what that is. It comes down to asking the right questions in the right sequence so that it’s absolutely not a presentation, but a conversation. I try to teach my clients we don’t have sales presentations; we have sales conversations. We ask questions conversationally. We don’t get into survey mode. We don’t get into interrogation mode. It’s a conversation. There are conditioned responses that we have. As we get into conversations, questions are one of the strongest conditioned responses. We’re asked a question; we just have a conditioned response we need to answer. If we understand the question, if we know the answer to the question, and if the question is easy enough, we will answer it without thinking. In building questioning sequences, we make it so easy for them to answer the questions that they do it without really thinking. We can get to their true thinking that way. Does that make sense? Hugh: Can you give us an example of one of those sequences? Clay: Here is a typical sales question, and we may put it into multiple- We come into the office, and we sit down with the person, and we say something to this effect, “We are here to save the whales. We think whales are really, really important to our ecology and the health of the planet. We need your help, so how much would you like to give today?” That is our sales question. Either that, or we get into it, and it’s such a complex question. What do you think is the best reason to give for altruistic reasons or tax savings? What is it that you have done in the past? We ask about five or six questions before we let them answer it and they are so confused about what we want to know so they don’t answer. But if we go in with a more natural conversation, or even personal style, like if we would if we met somebody at a cocktail party or a birthday party for a cousin or a family reunion or a new cousin-in-law. What do we do? We introduce ourselves, and then we ask them something very easy about themselves, “What do you do, John?” “Oh, really, how long have you been there?” We build question on question on the answer they gave us. We go down that path a little way, asking subsequent questions that clarify the answers they gave us to the original question until we understand that. Then we can change the subject with another question. We might ask the first few questions about what they do. Then we might ask, “Where are you from?” Then we ask a couple of questions about their answer to that. “Oh, I’m from Boise, Idaho.” “Oh really, Boise? Were you born there then?” “No, I was born in Salt Lake City.” “How did you get to Boise?” We might ask a couple of questions that way. As we are doing this little dance of reflective questions and getting the responses, we are so accustomed to giving when we are first introduced to somebody. We are building a foundation of common ground, of trust. We can then escalate those questions incrementally until we can get into some really serious questions that they feel okay answering for us. For example, “John, have you ever been a donor before? Have you ever sponsored some charity before? How did that work out for you? Was it a good experience? If not, why? What went wrong, do you think? Do you have any value or intention of looking at sponsoring or donating to nonprofits in the future? If so, what criteria might you use? What causes are important to you? What ones do you tend to align yourself with or align themselves to your values? Which ones are you most interested in?” We start to build a profile of how he gives. “When you give, what was the reason beyond the fact that you wanted to contribute to a worthy cause? What else did you feel you got out of that? Or that you...
info_outline Wine and Community for Nonprofits with Ross Halleck 05/06/2019
Wine and Community for Nonprofits with Ross Halleck Wine and Community:How Wine Events Build Community and Income with Ross Halleck [caption id="attachment_2166" align="alignleft" width="313"]Ross Halleck, Founder of Halleck Vineyard[/caption] Ross Halleck, Principal and Founder of Halleck Vineyard is a man of many talents and a colorful history. After traveling halfway around the world with a backpack, in his early 20s, he settled in Western Kenya to teach secondary school in a small village on Lake Victoria. Returning to the US, he completed school at UC Santa Cruz in marketing communication and founded a branding agency in 1980 at the birth of Silicon Valley. In pursuit of mutual passions, Ross focused his creativity on both high technology and wine with offices in Silicon Valley and Sonoma County. In 1992, Ross planted a Pinot Noir vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. His first 2001 vintage was judged the #1 Pinot Noir in the US. This launched Halleck Vineyard, which focuses on four varietals: Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Gewurztraminer, and it’s newest, a Dry White Zinfandel.. Between 2016 -2018 alone, Halleck Vineyard earned over 50 medals in 10 national and international competitions. Most were Gold. Every wine earned a Gold Medal in multiple events. Halleck Vineyard wines have been featured in multiple wine publications, including the Wine Spectator. In 2019, Halleck Vineyard was judged #1 Pinot Noir in North America in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. This is the largest, oldest and most respected in the country. 7200 wines competed. Further, Halleck Vineyard was awarded not one, but two Best Of Class Awards, for two the two top price categories of Pinot Noir. They were also awarded a Double Gold and Silver in the same year. No other winery in the 40 year history of this competition has achieved this. The spirit behind Halleck Vineyard is “Building Community Through Wine.” They accomplish this by: Welcome people to their home for private tastings. Sharing experiences around the world. Supporting philanthropic endeavors that touch their hearts. In 2017, Ross Halleck began a partnership with Josh Groban and his Find Your Light Foundation to support education in the arts in the public schools in the United States. Their first vintage, a Halleck Vineyard 2014, Find Your Light, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir sold out in four months. The 2015 vintage was released at the Find Your Light Foundation Gala in May, 2018. To date, Halleck Vineyard has assisted in raising approximately $200K for the Find Your Light Foundation.
info_outline Google AdWords Grant Help with Hank Robinson 04/28/2019
Google AdWords Grant Help with Hank Robinson While attending college in Gainesville, Florida Hank Robinson created and internet marketing software solution. This software provided Environmental Consulting firms with a bidding platform for government proposals. The business grew to cover the entire Southeastern United States and later sold. While working for an Internet start-up in Tampa, he created tracking and reporting software for internet advertisers and Google Ads advertisers. This tracking software led to establishing – Internet Media Buyers in 2002. Internet Media Buyers is a digital ad firm that offers tracking software solutions for local and medium-sized businesses. Internet Media Buyers tracking and reporting software is especially useful when combined with Google AdWords and Google Analytics. Internet Media Buyers grew along with the success of the Google search engine. Internet Media Buyers became known as the tracking solution to maximize the results of Google Advertising with a client base of hundreds of monthly Google AdWords accounts. Recently sold Internet Media Buyers to focus more on non-profits. Sunray Marketing offers internet based marketing solutions to non-profits.
info_outline Developing Relationships For Winning Partnerships with Barbara Jaynes 04/21/2019
Developing Relationships For Winning Partnerships with Barbara Jaynes Developing Relationships For Winning Partnerships with Barbara Jaynes Barbara Jaynesis the founder of Positively-Funded. A Business Development firm focused on making nonprofits THRIVE. Barbara came to the nonprofit sector after having spent over fifteen years in large scale commercial real estate development. Bringing with her savvy negotiation skills and durable relationship development between the private and public sectors. Positively-Funded assists nonprofits with creating authentic community allies. Engaging for profit partners in nonprofit missions to increase their revenue, decrease employee turnover and create sustainable resilient communities. Barbara focuses on winning relationships for the long-term. More about Jayne http://www.positively-funded.com The Interview Transcript Hugh Ballou: Greetings, folks. It’s Hugh Ballou in central western Virginia, where today the flowers are coming out, the sun is shining, it’s absolutely a gorgeous day. These are the old mountains in the Appalachians. You got all the young, pointy mountains out there in Denver, Russell. Russell Dennis: We haven’t filed them down yet. We have a lot of them, too. Hugh: You have a lot of them. We have a good guest that you actually talked to and got her on board today. It’s an important topic people don’t talk about globally, or even around the corner in their own communities. There is a lot more we can do. Barbara Jaynes, welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. Barbara Jaynes: Hello, Hugh. Hello, Russ. Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here. Hugh: Tell our listeners a little bit about Barbara, your history, and why you’re doing what you’re doing now. Barbara: I’d love to, Hugh. Thank you. In 2006, my family and I moved to Superior, Colorado right outside Boulder. Before that, I lived in Cleveland and did inner city redevelopment. I worked in some of the toughest neighborhoods in the country and did urban renewal. I did some hospitals, large scale, ground up shopping centers and grocery stores. I loved what I did. It was my vocation. When I came to Denver, it wasn’t as old, and people weren’t as interested in my vocation and developing strong communities. So I decided to go to the nonprofit sector and take my vocation and business skills there. I went to one of the most well-known nonprofits in Denver. I would bring them these incredible partners. They didn’t know how to develop the relationships. They just wanted the check. You can’t do that. Target doesn’t want you to burn through a gallon of milk one time; they want you to do it 1,000 times. Nonprofits need to start thinking like businesses. I realized that. They needed to learn how to develop these relationships and know they are a value add. That’s how Positively Funded was founded. Hugh: Positively Funded. That’s your business and website? Barbara: It is. Positively-Funded.com. Hugh: What’s that about? Barbara: I wanted nonprofits to think of a positive way to fund themselves. What I do is beneficial to both parties. It’s not about give me, give me, give me. It’s about going out and developing relationships that work. In the business sector you find your community allies and ask, “What is it that you need? Are you having a hard time engaging millennials? Are you having a hard time keeping employees? Do you need a better market profile? Do you need sales increased?” You work with the nonprofit to benefit yourself to help your business grow and benefit the nonprofit at the same time. Hugh: Russell, did you hear that? There is a synergy between for-profit and for-purpose businesses. What did you hear in that, Russ? Russell: It’s all about collaboration. We had a great discussion on that. I have been wanting to get Barbara on the show for a while. We just started having discussions. There are people I am meeting all over the place right here in town that Barbara and I will be talking with soon. It never ceases to amaze me how when you are vibrating at a certain frequency, people start to turn up. I had a good friend who did therapy for veterans who is recently retired. Just ran into her this morning. We were having coffee. She said, “What can I do?” That is somebody Barbara needs to meet and other people around here need to meet. We can get a lot more done together. The traditional models of each thing don’t seem to fit. I am starting to see people who are creating hybrid businesses, socially responsible businesses. They are taking their for-purpose enterprises in new directions and looking at mission-based revenue. It’s all exciting. It starts with partnerships and being able to talk to each other. Barbara and I met for lunch one day. She is so easy to talk to. It could be that we are vibrating on the same frequency. It could be a mild form of group psychosis. Either way, the results will be the same if we collaborate. Barb’s masterful at putting these partnerships together. She is from my hometown. It’s not surprising. Hugh: It’s the thin air there that helps inspire you, I’m sure. Russ, we preach the song of working together, of collaborating. The town where I live, Lynchburg, the University of Lynchburg, is launching a center for nonprofit leadership around the theme of collaboration. We have lots of nonprofits that distribute food to hungry people, and some who provide meals in addition to that. There is no overarching umbrella of how they can work together. If somebody is hungry on a Friday night, none of them are available for food. If someone is bound at home and can’t use transportation, there is no way they can get to this food bank. We are putting together an umbrella organization for people to know that other ones exist, and where can we have a meaningful conversation? Barbara, let’s start from the beginning. We have these different entities. From where I sit, I’ve been in history longer than you guys, today it’s more important for the work of our nonprofits, whatever we call ourselves, our work is more important today because the world is so splintered and fragmented and toxic. We do the substantive work of doing good. But really, it works better if we work together. Where is the starting point? Suppose the scenario I have just outlined. There are a bunch of medical facilities that are free clinics. How do you start this conversation? How do you paint this paradigm of benefit? How do you take people who are interested and make them allies? Barbara: Hugh, the scenario that you put out is very common. One nonprofit does this, and another one does that. The nonprofits need to come together and collaborate as well. They need to look at where are the gaps that we need to fill in. We both do amazing things. No one nonprofit can be everything to the world. You might take a scenario and take those gaps and go out and find a community partner. Say, “We have this need. Here is what it is. We are not serving-” Take your example on a Friday night. While we both have food, we’re not available to serve them. We don’t have the infrastructure. We don’t have the bodies to do it ourselves. How could we work with you to help solve this problem? Ask for the mentorship from those companies. When you work with a company, it’s so important that you are working from bottom to top, top to bottom, hitting everyone. So go to their development people, their operations people, their finance people in the C-suite and say that you need mentorship in these areas. We have this problem. Help us solve it. Go to their new employees. Say, we could use some volunteers. The company you work for is amazing because they are helping to support the community and feed those who are hungry. We need your support as well. Talk about employee retention and the mental health benefits from volunteering. And engaging millennials. Millennials don’t just want what’s in the envelope at the end of the week. They want a purpose and a reason to be there. You the nonprofit can help give them that purpose. Hugh: Connecting those dots is essential. There is this fear factor where we have our group of volunteers, and we don’t want people to take them. We have our group of donors. Volunteers commonly work with several organizations, and donors donate to a bunch of organizations. Speak to this fear of having these conversations. How do we get people to the table to even explore the potential? Barbara: That is so true. When it comes down to donors and volunteers and corporate champions, suddenly everyone turns into 12-year-old mean girls. You have to stop that mindset. You cannot come from the mindset of scarcity. You have to come from the mindset of, I am a value added. Don’t you want volunteers and donors who are passionate about what you’re doing? If they’re not passionate about you, they’re not really your volunteers or donors. They might just be there for the day. Don’t you want someone for the long haul to create an authentic long-term relationship with them? Shouldn’t you find the right people for your mission that have the passion for it who are truly going to become your partners? Hugh: Russ is thinking on that one. He is bubbling up. Russell: You have to get the right people on the bus. That involves speaking to them in a way that resonates with them. It’s finding that spot where you connect, and they get that. One of the things we were thinking about is running an organization, when do you come to the realization that you need allies in the community? Barbara: I’ll tell you my life philosophy, which is how I raised my girls. The strongest trees have the most branches. I gave my girls a lot of branches. We don’t have family here in Colorado. We moved to the other coast away from everyone. I gave them branches at church. We have branches in the neighborhood. They have branches at school. They had branches at sports. They had a lot of strength because they had a lot of different people in their lives to help nurture them because it does take your village. You should look at your nonprofit the same way. Do you have enough branches? Are you a strong four-legged stool? Do you have grants? Do you have community allies? Do you have individual donors? Do you have a fundraising program? You can’t just rely on one leg to be a strong stool. You need a little bit of everything. If you think about how you diversify your personal financial portfolio, we’re all told to do that, do that with your nonprofit funding. Is your portfolio diversified? Do you have four strong legs to hold you up? Or are you one grant away from closing your door? If you don’t have those four strong legs, go out and make partners. Go out and find community allies. Bring the for-profit sector in to you and share your passion and your story. Russell: What does that process look like? People realize they need partners, but how do I start figuring out which ones I need and how to go about getting them? Barbara: That’s a great question. For a lot of people, that is a conversation stopper. They’re like, I know I need partners, but I don’t know what to do. Then someone comes to your door and needs help, and it ends right there. You have to take some time out to focus on yourself and care for yourself and nurture your own nonprofit before you go the way of blockbustering by the dinosaurs. Look at your board and tell them, “We have this winning partnership idea that we want to collaborate with the for-profit sector for. Can I look at your LinkedIn contacts and see there might be someone there who you could introduce me to?” I am making it perfectly clear that I am not calling that person to ask for a check. I am looking for a true, authentic business partnership where I can increase their brand and community power, and they can help support us.” That is one starter right there. Russell: That is going right through the table and doing something for them first. Where can we add value? That is what a partnership is all about. It’s not one-sided. It’s about people bringing value. A lot of nonprofits have trouble looking at things that way when they are speaking with donors or potential donors. It’s not a hat in hand kind of thing. We can together provide a value that is going to make a change in our community. If we can do that, then we will be able to make some impact. In terms of allies or partners, what qualities do we look for in a good ally, and what do we do to make ourselves good allies for people we want to partner with? Barbara: One of the things I always coach nonprofits on is look at the mission statement. Look at the values of the company. What they’re doing right now, before you approach them. We really seem to have similar thought processes here and similar value traits. That would be someone I can approach. Look at their press releases. What are they growing? What are they talking about? When you do reach out to them, you can say, I read that press release and heard this, and this. That really aligns with what we’re doing, too. Maybe we can help each other get where we want to be. Russell: You can do that. The difference isn’t necessarily- if you have two or three organizations, you multiply your resources exponentially instead of sequentially. Barbara: Absolutely. That’s important. When you go out and start this, my philosophy where I found, whether I was doing real estate development or nonprofit business development, is the 30/10/3 rule. I am going to call 30 people. 10 of them want to talk to me. 3 want to say yes, I like that, let’s talk some more. Hugh: That’s a great ratio. 30/10/3. Talk to 30. 10- Barbara: Call 30. 10 will want to talk to you. I hear about this. 3 of them want to bite into it and say, “This is a good idea. I can see where this is helpful to me and helpful to you. Let’s talk.” Hugh: That’s an important routine. Russell: Talk to ten for every one you want to secure. That works for any customer base: donors, volunteers, potential board members. I love the idea of making sure that you check that alignment. People like to talk with people who have done some homework and know a little bit about their organization or them as a person. You start asking questions about them. LinkedIn is a good platform. Everybody’s favorite subject is them. They’re their own favorite subject. It’s finding a way to lift them up, and not blowing smoke. People can tell if you’re just blowing smoke. If there is an authentic connection, leveraging that and talking about that. Hugh: This is what we call ROR, Return on Relationship. That 30/10/3 rule is ongoing. I hear people say, “I talked to an organization about it, and it didn’t work.” I talked to an organization. I say, “I tried working out one day last year, and it didn’t work either.” Underneath what I’m hearing you say, there is a continuity. You have to stick with it. There is persistence. Speak to that. We think we’re bothering people. No, we’re not. We’re giving them an opportunity. Help reverse that paradigm, would you? Barbara: You need to have tenacity, just like a business would. I want this. I know I’m making a difference. I know my product is helping the community. You need to have the tenacity, the passion to go out with that and know you’re not bothering people. You don’t know what problems that business has. You have something to offer to help them with those problems. Do people know your brand? Do you need brand recognition? Do you need a new platform? Are you struggling in the hiring process? You can put a letter from us in your New Hire packet so when people interview with you, you’re right there to talk about it. In your follow-up emails, we are right there to say how amazing you are in a video. We’re your partnership in everything from sales to hiring. We don’t know who we know who might want your products in their stores. Truly embed yourself in that culture. Make it a give-give. Hugh: Russell, do you have your head around what Barbara Jaynes does? Can you explain it for people who are listening to her for the first time? Russell: What she does is bring people together from multiple sectors to solve social problems and put good systems in place and help people have conversations. The conversation that we rarely have, when you’re talking with people in nonprofits, is about value, the dreaded V word. That’s what we’re all bringing to the table. It’s helping people understand that they bring value, and to quantify that in terms that makes sense to other people. She helps in bringing business systems. Thinking of your organization as a business, as a producer of value, and approaching it from that place so that you’re out there offering everybody you come in contact with something of value, whether they are donors, providing pro bono work, a socially responsible business looking to support a cause, or a nonprofit looking to get support. It boils down to a couple of things: money and people. If you are short on either, at some point, you’re going to fold. Hugh: Barbara, how did he do? Barbara: He did great. He is true. I am called the connector. That’s important because I connect for winning relationships. He is right about the value add. I like to play the game, “Bigger and Better” in business. Did you ever play the game as a kid where you start off with a paper clip and go door to door? I have a paper clip – what will you trade me that is bigger and better? Then you go to the next door with what they give you and trade for something else. I do the same thing, with my nonprofits and business partnerships. I had a nonprofit I was meeting with and said, “A church came and built our fence a couple weeks ago.” “How did you thank them? How did you follow up?” We are going to send them a letter. “No, no, no. They have parishioners. You go and ask their pastor, ‘We want to thank your congregation in person. Could we have five minutes to stand up after your announcements and personally thank them and let them know what building this fence meant to us and talk about your charity?’” You have a captive audience of 300 or more people. Don’t walk away from that. That’s not a thank-you letter. Go get them. Hugh: Whoa. Did you hear that? Maybe we should do that. Russell: We have to work on this. When we do get you here to town, we will take you to McDonalds. Then we will swap that from Morton’s or something like that. That is too far. The idea is now firmly planted. It’s like toothpaste. It’s not going back in once it comes out. Hugh: You know who your friends are, don’t you? Russell, I heard her talk about installing or teaching business principles to nonprofits. I’m not sure that all businesses have those skills either. They think they do. They have some cash flow that masks their ignorance. That’s what Russ and I spend our life doing: helping nonprofit organizations think in terms of cash flow and budgeting and marketing and all the things businesses need. I find sometimes that even businesses that donate or buy sponsorships for nonprofits don’t know how to get the benefit of that sponsorship. They donate, but they don’t know how to say, “What’s this money going to create? What difference will it make?” They don’t know how to ask that. When they make a business decision to use marketing money to sponsor an event, they don’t know how to get a return on that investment. Is that part of what you help both sides explore? Barbara: It absolutely is, Hugh. It’s so important because I teach this to both sides. You need to say, for every $10 we bring in, we provide a box of groceries to a family that will feed them for a week. What nonprofits do with money is magical. For every $20 we can take care of 10 new dogs in our shelter. When you quantify it like that, it lets the business know, Oh, I am donating $5,000. It translates to 500 dogs. This...
info_outline How Fundraising Really Works:How to Secure the Best Talent 04/07/2019
How Fundraising Really Works:How to Secure the Best Talent How Fundraising Really Works: How to Secure the Best Talent Interview With Jason Lewis Jason Lewisis a CFRE & AFP Master Trainer who provides the sector with an often needed contrarian voice, willing to question deeply ingrained beliefs and assumptions of how effective fundraising really works. Whether writing or speaking, Jason challenges the prevailing wisdom about effective fundraising practices, hiring decisions, and donor behavior. Jason’s first book, The War for Fundraising Talent, is an honest yet hopeful critique of professional fundraising, intended especially for small shops that find it difficult to consistently achieve their fundraising goals. Jason is the host of The Fundraising Talent Podcast. Every week, Jason and his guest have an honest conversation about what it means to be a fundraising professional. The podcast provides listeners with a better understanding of what it means to be in one of the sector’s critically important yet least understood roles. Jason is the creator of The Fundraising Toolbox, introduced in the conclusion ofThe War for Fundraising Talent, which consists of four planning models designed to ensure that nonprofit organizations can align their board, professional staff and volunteers around a shared understanding of how effective fundraising really works.
info_outline The Challenges of Leading a Nonprofit Association: Panel of Experts 03/31/2019
The Challenges of Leading a Nonprofit Association: Panel of Experts The Challenges of Leading a Nonprofit Association: David Bone, FUMMWA Jim Rindelaub, ALCM Kelly Abraham, PAM FUMMWA David L. Bone has served since 1991 as the Executive Director of The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts. In this position, he manages the program and financial affairs of The Fellowship. David is also the co-author of “The United Methodist Music and Worship Planner” and “Prepare! A Weekly Worship Planbook.” David was on the worship planning teams for the 2012 and 2016 General Conferences of The UMC. David holds Master of Music degrees in Sacred Music and Choral Conducting from Southern Methodist University. David is a regular clinician at local and national events in the areas of music, worship, and choral conducting. The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Artsexists to assist worship leaders in creating meaningful worship experiences that bring people into deeper relationships with God and each other. Founded in 1955 as the National Fellowship of Methodist Musicians, The Fellowship has grown to include worship artists, clergy, and laity involved in all aspects of worship from a variety of denominations and experiences. ACLM Jim Rindelaubis a lifelong Lutheran with church music degrees from St. Olaf College and Westminster Choir College. He has served as the organist/music director at Saint Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jacksonville, FL, Grace Lutheran Church in Phillipsburg, NJ, Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, IL, First United Lutheran Church in Dallas, TX and currently Ascension Lutheran Church in Indian Harbour Beach, FL. He was the founding director of Jacksonville's Community Bach Vespers Chorus and Chamber Orchestra. Jim has served on the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians National Board as Region II president and was the organization's 2003 National Conference Chair held in San Diego. He has served in various offices for local American Guild of Organists and Choristers Guild Chapters. As a deacon in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Jim chaired synodical worship committees in Florida and Illinois. Jim served as the Choristers Guild executive director from 2004 - 2017. The Association of Lutheran Church Musicians: Music is a vital expression of Lutheran worship. The church’s song takes many forms and is expressed in many ways. By sharing the knowledge, experience and passion that honor our heritage and inspire our future, ALCM nurtures and equips those who lead music in worship. ALCM offers practical education programs and diverse resources through conferences, publications and fellowship to serve musicians of all types – from paid professionals to volunteers. By connecting servant leaders to one another and by cultivating their musical gifts, ALCM supports worshipping communities in the proclamation of the gospel. PAM Kelly Abraham serves the Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM) from its headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. Before joining PAM, she was the Director of Youth & Families at First Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky. And a lifetime before that, she spent her days in fiscal administration at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is a graduate of University of Puget Sound (accounting & business) and University of Missouri - Columbia (MBA). She loves youth, music, collaborative worship planning, strong liturgy and the synergy that comes with working with people not like her. She is married to Kirk and the mother of two teenage girls. The Presbyterian Association of Musiciansprovides resources, conferences, publications and a vast network of members who are engaged in worship, music, and the arts worldwide. Becoming a member of PAM gives you instant access to these valuable benefits which will improve your worship planning for any size church in any location with information addressing new and old issues facing all denominations. Choir directors, worship musicians, organists, Christian educators, artists, clergy, and lay people will find PAM to be a valuable resource for creative worship planning. PAM is not just for Presbyterians. Other denominations find our resources, conferences, and publications helpful in their service to God.
info_outline Getting the Most Value from Interns with Marc Propst 03/24/2019
Getting the Most Value from Interns with Marc Propst How to Get Maximum Value with Intern Engagements Marc Propst is a Senior at the University of Lynchburg (Lynchburg, VA), graduating with a Bachelor’s in Political Science. In the short time frame that Marc has been a college student, he has had many different internship experiences with Non-Profits from different industries. Marc is currently the project management intern at the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance, a 5-star accredited Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Center. Marc is also the Deputy Executive Director and Executive Council Member of the Non-Profit, Spectrum Arts Society. Marc is also a co-founder of the Office of Equity & Inclusion at the University of Lynchburg. The Office is aimed at providing Diversity & Inclusion efforts for the University. Creating this office helps to foster community and an inclusive environment allows for all members of the University, from students to alumni & friends. A life goal that Marc has is to be President of the United States, to help even more people. College students are the future of the workforce, whether it will be in the For-Profit area or Non-Profit area. These students could be in charge of your organization. Help them to connect with others in the community, bring them to events, expose them to amazing opportunities that the world has to offer. You can help shape our future to become better leaders, thinkers, and advocates. Take the time to invest in the future because you were one of us too.
info_outline How Evaluation Helps Nonprofits Thrive with Dr. Annette Shtivelband 03/17/2019
How Evaluation Helps Nonprofits Thrive with Dr. Annette Shtivelband Dr. Annette Shtivelband is Founder and Principal Consultant of Research Evaluation Consulting. For more than a decade, Dr. Shtivelband has worked with dozens of organizations as a researcher, evaluator, and consultant. She works with her clients to systematically, strategically, and thoroughly measure their impact. She excels in program evaluation, scale development and validation, training, and strategies that promote positive organizational change. Evaluation is a powerful tool for nonprofit organizations. In fact, I believe that evaluation is the “secret sauce” that differentiates organizations that thrive versus those that only survive. Nonprofits that are able to utilize and leverage evaluation will have more successful and sustainable organizations.
info_outline Top 3 Branding Mistakes Your Profit Needs to Stop Making Now 03/10/2019
Top 3 Branding Mistakes Your Profit Needs to Stop Making Now How to Put a "Twist" in Your Brand with Julie Cottineau Julie Cottineauis 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 TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands(Panoma Press 2016), Founder & CEO of BrandTwistwill 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. Julie’s Website http://brandtwist.com Get her book Twist