Discover the art of strategic management and effective staffing in our collection of training video courses–dedicated to the unique needs of nonprofits and NGO’s. Dive into crucial facets of successful executive leadership, exploring everything from team building and volunteer coordination to performance management and conflict resolution. These array of lessons, from Top Nonprofit Sector Experts, illuminate the complexities of managing a nonprofit, offering you actionable insights and practical tactics to elevate your organization. You’ll find ways to assemble a passionate team, who shares your mission, with in-depth guidance on cultivating a positive work culture, fostering employee engagement, and keeping your staff motivated, regardless of the challenges that arise.
In this sparkling episode hosted by Jarrett Ransom, with special guest Meredith Terrian from the Fundraising Academy, a range of compelling questions from nonprofits are tackled with enthusiasm and expertise.
Meredith, an experienced trainer at Fundraising Academy, brought her wealth of knowledge to the table, addressing questions ranging from ethical dilemmas to marketing strategies.
The conversation kicks off with a sensitive question about potential misuse of funds by a nonprofit CEO, highlighting the importance of transparency and proper reporting procedures. Meredith emphasizes the necessity of whistleblower policies and suggests avenues for reporting such incidents while also urging caution to avoid making unfounded accusations.
Moving on, the discussion touches upon data security concerns when letting go of a development officer, underlining the significance of revoking access promptly and conducting exit interviews to reinforce confidentiality obligations.
The conversation shifts to the frequency of in-person meetings with donors, with both hosts concurring on the importance of face-to-face interactions for fostering relationships, especially with major donors and prospects. They stress the value of personalized communication alongside meetings.
The topic of brand consistency across digital and print marketing materials is then explored, with Meredith advocating for maintaining consistent color schemes to enhance brand recognition, professionalism, and message reinforcement. Jarrett adds a perspective on incorporating occasional variations to keep messaging fresh.
Lastly, the conversation wraps up with a discussion on board size and composition, highlighting the importance of skill diversity and strategic alignment when considering board expansion.
Watch this riveting conversation with Patty Russart, the CEO of Tool Bank USA. Amidst the backdrop of connecting innovation with leadership, Patty unveils the workings of Tool Banks, showcasing their profound utility for nonprofits!
Patty begins by describing how Tool Bank functions as a "business to business" entity, catering exclusively to nonprofits and charitable organizations. She details the seamless process wherein nonprofits can easily access a huge array of tools for their projects, by borrowing tools online and picking them up from the closest Tool Bank location at a fraction of the normal cost.
Throughout the interview, Patty focuses on the multifaceted nature of Tool Banks, dispelling the notion that they merely offer conventional tools like hammers and shovels. With over 900 different tool types in their inventory, including event equipment and sophisticated machinery like mulchers, Tool Bank USA transcends traditional limitations. As Patty says, "I think currently we have just over 900 different tool types in our inventory...it's not just your traditional hammer, wheelbarrow, ladder...we're starting to get more sophisticated tools...one of the biggest things is...we are getting a very large mulcher for our disaster services program."
A key aspect of Tool Bank's growth strategy involves fostering community engagement and collaboration, and Patty describes the role of local initiatives, such as Birmingham's Magic City Tool Bank, which secured funding through a city grant, showcasing the grassroots support essential for expansion.
Patty also shed light on Tool Bank's disaster services program, showcasing its pivotal role in providing essential tools and resources during crises.
The conversation also digs into the operational mechanics behind establishing Tool Bank affiliates in new communities. Patty outlined some of the criteria, including community need, warehouse space availability, and funding, emphasizing the organization's commitment to facilitating rapid expansion while maintaining sustainability.
Abby Wilkymacky, founder of MindFlower Studio, joins us to shed light on the role of professional facilitators in nonprofit organizations. As an advocate for mindful facilitation, Abby provides wise perspectives on the importance of bringing in external facilitators to guide key discussions and strategic processes.
Abby highlights the essence of facilitation, emphasizing its role in easing processes, fostering collaboration, and driving innovation within nonprofit settings. She describes her role as a graphic facilitator, utilizing visuals to aid understanding and navigate complex conversations, thereby enhancing problem-solving and strategic planning efforts.
One key insight Abby shares is regarding the neutrality of external facilitators. She emphasizes how their impartiality brings fresh perspectives and enables them to guide discussions without biases or preconceptions, ultimately fostering a more inclusive and productive environment.
Throughout the interview, Abby addresses various aspects of facilitation, from navigating diverse personalities within boards and staff to adapting to the evolving landscape of virtual meetings. She underscores the importance of setting a conducive culture for engagement, whether in-person or digital, and provides tips for maximizing participation and collaboration.
In discussing the financial aspect of hiring facilitators, Abby highlights the wide range of costs associated with facilitation services, emphasizing the need for customized solutions tailored to each organization's unique needs and goals, and shares words about the potential for funding support from foundations and other sources, making facilitation accessible to nonprofits of all sizes.
Abby's passion for empowering organizations through facilitation is evident throughout the interview, as she leaves with a compelling message: "Facilitation is not just about getting back to business; it's about how we do business." Abby's dedication to mindful facilitation serves as a beacon for nonprofits looking to navigate complexity, foster collaboration, and achieve their mission-driven goals. Learn more at mindflowerstudio.com
On The Nonprofit Show, it's Ask and Answer Day, and we've got viewers from all over the world sending in their questions. We have Muhi Khwaja, a trainer from Fundraising Academy and CFRE, here to help us answer those burning questions.
Our first question is about whether it's a good idea to use season tickets to major sports events for entertaining high net worth donors. Muhi begins with a definete ‘Yes’, sharing examples of how sports tickets can be a fantastic cultivation tool for donors who are fans of specific teams, illustrating the potential for connecting donors to the mission.
Host Julia Patrick and Muhi dive deeper into the topic, highlighting how professional sports organizations often have philanthropic arms and the importance of using such opportunities to move the donor closer to the organization's mission. They discuss the benefits of team-building activities and how it can contribute to staff retention, going beyond just "whining and dining."
Next up is a question from an attendee in Houston, wondering about taking time off during gala seasons. Muhi emphasizes that it's entirely reasonable to compensate for weekend and evening work by taking time off during the week. He suggests making it a corporate policy to ensure fairness and encourages open communication with supervisors.
Then, they explore the intricacies of balancing faith and politics, especially for faith-based nonprofits. Muhi shares insights into how philanthropy and government spending intersect and affect the sociopolitical climate.
The conversation shifts to evaluating banking relationships, with Roberto from Miami expressing concerns about their current bank's lack of commitment to sponsorships. Muhi advises exploring options with banks that have philanthropic initiatives and stressing the importance of clear communication about expectations.
Lastly, a viewer from Denver seeks advice on the best social media platform for nonprofit marketing in 2024. Muhi recommends considering the target audience's demographics and conducting surveys to determine the most effective platform for reaching donors.
Throughout the episode, Muhi Khwaja's expertise and insights shine brightly, offering valuable guidance to nonprofits navigating various challenges.
Learn more about Fundraising Academy.
Kishshana Palmer, the CEO of Managemint, Inc., brings her vibrant energy and thoughtful approach to leadership and work-life balance, highlighting this frothy discussion emphasizing the significance of self-care, fun, and personal growth in effective leadership. Her approach to addressing common challenges in the nonprofit sector and beyond offers a refreshing perspective on balancing work and life while achieving professional success.
Cohost Julia Patrick starts by praising Kishshana on how she navigates important conversations in a world that has undergone significant changes due to the global health crisis, civil unrest, economic shifts, and demographic changes. She posed the age-old question: "Is it possible to lead well and live well?"
Kishshana responds emphatically, stating, "It's the age-old question, and I'm going to have to give a resounding yes." She highlights the importance of self-care, drawing parallels between the feeling of well-being after self-indulgence (like a facial or deep cleaning) and the daily routines and rituals that can provide a sense of everyday luxury. She emphasized the need to prioritize oneself and treat oneself well to be an effective leader.
The cohosts add in that being busy doesn't equate to productivity. Kishshana offers advice on breaking away from the constant grind, distractions, and deadlines that often overwhelm us, and introduces the concept of business being a trauma response, explaining that being busy can serve as a way to avoid dealing with personal issues. She stressed that slowing down and focusing on self-care is essential for effective leadership.
The conversation then shifted towards creating a thriving team, pointing to the importance of modeling behavior and fostering a work environment that encourages both productivity and fun. Kishshana shares insights on how her company values fun, making laughter an integral part of their work culture, engaging managers to reward team members for bringing their personalities and interests into the workplace.
The discussion also toucheds on the challenges of balancing work and personal life in a remote work environment. Kishshana outlines infusing creativity, fun, and play into remote team interactions, mentioning activities like book clubs, podcasts, and virtual lunch and learns, and reminding us that people have different energy needs.
Rene Lovecraft, a professional Virtual Assistant operations strategist, discusses the value of virtual assistants for executives at nonprofits. She highlights the flexibility of working remotely and the various communication channels she uses, such as Zoom, email, and text messages, to provide personal and efficient support, and emphasizes the importance of creative problem-solving in her role, leveraging her diverse knowledge across different organizations to find solutions to clients' challenges.
She explains the cost-effectiveness of working with virtual assistants, offering various pricing models, including hourly rates, retainers, and subscription-based pricing. Rene also emphasizes the flexibility in scaling up or down based on clients' needs and budget.
The interview digs into the role of virtual assistants in research and data analytics, showcasing how they can assist in gathering and analyzing data, translating it into actionable insights, and creating reports or presentations for decision-makers. This data-driven approach can help nonprofits make informed strategic decisions.
Rene also discusses event coordination support, which can be a significant challenge for nonprofits, especially in the post-pandemic era. She highlights her role in marketing, volunteer management, and ensuring a seamless end-user experience during events. Her experience in handling various event-related tasks, even stepping in when volunteers are unavailable, contributes to the success of nonprofit events.
The conversation emphasizes the value of an outside perspective and fresh ideas brought by virtual assistants. Rene's expertise and adaptability in handling a wide range of tasks and challenges make her a valuable asset for nonprofit executives looking to streamline operations, leverage data effectively, and execute successful events, explaining, "I can take all these years of experience from so many different organizations and go, 'Okay, let's brainstorm because I've got some ideas right off the top that may be able to solve your problems.'"
Learn more at LovecraftVA.com
Jack Alotto, CFRE, a trainer from the Fundraising Academy, helps answer this week’s questions received from Show viewers, and offers scenarios related to nonprofit fundraising and management.
One of the key questions discussed is about a donor's request for information about the organization's history and potential changes to its management. Jack elaborates on the importance of handling such questions carefully and suggests asking clarifying questions to understand the donor's concerns better and adds how this coincides with the principles of Cause Selling.
Another question revolves around asking for a raise within a nonprofit organization. Jack advises the listener not to hesitate to discuss their financial concerns with their supervisor and suggests focusing on improving one's work to make a stronger case for a raise.
The topic of attending another nonprofit's gala event is also addressed. Jack highlights the importance of learning from other organizations and building collaborative relationships rather than viewing them as competitors. He emphasizes the ethical boundaries regarding donor information.
Lastly, the episode touches on increasing monthly donor contributions. Jack speaks strongly about the value of monthly donors and warns against arbitrarily increasing their donation amounts without proper justification, stating: "I wouldn't risk any of those things for a CEO or a development officer who says to me, 'Go out there and raise an additional average of $50 from your monthly donors. Don't do it.'"
Watch and enjoy learning from the real experiences of other nonprofits.
The CEO and founder of StaffingBoutique.org, Katie Warnock, discusses the world of hiring temporary labor within nonprofit organizations. Temporary staffing can be a strategic choice, especially in uncertain times, but organizations must consider their unique circumstances when deciding between short-term and long-term solutions.
Katie's years of expertise in staffing for nonprofits provides valuable insights. She begins by emphasizing the importance of understanding when to hire temporary labor and what types of positions are suitable for temporary roles. Predictable situations like maternity or family leave, where a temporary replacement can be planned for, are ideal for hiring temps. However, she also points out that unexpected departures, especially for critical roles like database administrators, often lead organizations to rely on temp staffing to prevent workflow disruptions.
When it comes to assessing the costs associated with temporary labor, Katie advises organizations to consider factors such as the number of hours required, and the specific skill set needed for the position. Temporary roles can range from part-time administrative work to highly specialized tasks like grant writing. Katie's agency takes care of all administrative aspects of temp employees, making the process seamless for clients.
The discussion also touched upon the management of temporary staff, where hiring managers play a crucial role in overseeing their performance and addressing any issues promptly. Looking at the long-term versus short-term benefits of temporary labor, Katie shares that in uncertain economic times, hiring temps can be a strategic choice. It allows organizations to get the work done without the commitment of offering benefits and long-term employment. However, she also points out that retaining talented temporary staff can be a challenge, as they may actively seek permanent positions with benefits elsewhere.
Katie offers thoughts on how her agency works closely with nonprofits at many levels, fostering their ability to gain insights into nonprofit organizations' inner workings. They work to engage in detailed conversations with clients, gaining a deep understanding of their challenges, from board dynamics to donor relations and recruitment. This unique perspective allows Staffing Boutique to offer tailored solutions to their clients, going beyond merely filling job openings.
The agency specializes exclusively in staffing for the nonprofit sector, handling everything from temporary positions to permanent recruitment. They cover a wide range of roles within nonprofits, from administrative assistants to executive directors, CFOs, substitute teachers, fundraisers, database support, events coordinators, and more.
Jarrett Ransom is joined by Muhi Khwaja, MPA, CFRM, and trainer at Fundraising Academy. They offer thoughtful, practical, and empathetic advice to nonprofit professionals facing challenging situations.
They jump right in to the first question from a viewer in Nevada, who asks about the value of earning a CFRE designation. Muhi shares his personal experience and emphasizes the importance of the certification for fundraisers, highlighting its credibility and professional benefits.
Next, they discuss the challenge of managing donor meetings when donors are not located in the same community. Muhi draws from his experience at the American Red Cross and offers strategies for effectively planning donor meetings during travel, both in-person and virtually. Jarrett adds insights about maximizing the opportunities during travel to build relationships.
The discussion then moves to a more complex topic brought up by a viewer, regarding adding an age limit for board members. Muhi and Jarrett both share their thoughts on the matter, expressing reservations about implementing such limits and suggesting alternative approaches to board composition and effectiveness.
Lastly, they tackle a sensitive question from an anonymous individual who suspects they might be terminated due to their nonprofit not meeting fundraising goals. Muhi advises focusing on personal growth and ethics and suggests considering other opportunities if necessary. Jarrett recommends keeping a success journal to document achievements and maintaining a positive perspective.
Throughout the lively back and forth, their enthusiasm for helping the nonprofit sector shines through, making this episode a valuable resource for those seeking guidance and inspiration in the nonprofit world.
Lacey Kempinski, the founder of BalancedGood.com, discusses the importance of parental leave coverage for nonprofit staff and talent, with a focus on how this can impact employee burnout and turnover, and she highlights the importance of creating policies that serve both employees and organizations, fostering a healthier and more inclusive work environment for everyone.
Lacey highlights the challenges faced by working parents in the nonprofit sector and the need for better support during the critical phase of parental leave and begins with a telling statement, "When we talk about working parents and working moms specifically, we can't ignore the fact that there are millions of women in the nonprofit sector who are working moms. Unsupported parental leave is a factor in the turnover problem."
The conversation also digs into the broader issue of how organizations can support working parents and create a more inclusive and flexible work environment. Lacey emphasizes the importance of autonomy, reduced working hours, and comprehensive benefits for all employees, not just parents.
The cohosts raise thought-provoking questions about how organizations can navigate the challenges of implementing parental leave policies and how to ensure that these policies benefit all team members, regardless of their parental status.
You’ll gain so much from this thought-provoking discussion focusing on the mission of the Hope Mental Health Foundation, which aims to bridge the gap in therapy costs, address mental health issues in society, and provide mental health support to those who cannot afford it.
The conversation begins with a chat about the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and the challenges faced by individuals seeking therapy. Jennifer Hilderbrand, CEO, shares her personal journey of overcoming trauma through therapy, highlighting how it saved her life and inspired her to become a part of the foundation, emphasizing the importance of authenticity and open conversations about mental health.
The foundation's unique origin story is discussed, emphasizing that it was founded by therapists who recognized the gap in affordable mental health services. Jennifer joined the board and worked on fundraising efforts to help the foundation fulfill its mission.
Show host Julia Patrick, and Jennifer, touch on the emotional connection donors have with the cause, as many are motivated by personal experiences or witnessing the struggles of loved ones, and they discuss the financial barriers to therapy and the foundation's role in sponsoring therapy sessions for those in need.
Jennifer expresses her dream for the future, hoping that every person who seeks help will receive it. She describes the foundation's five-year goals, which include establishing stability, expanding sponsorships, and helping individuals heal and thrive.
Jarrett Ransom welcomes LaShonda Williams to the nonprofit show, as they discussed various questions received related to fundraising and nonprofit work. LaShonda Williams, a trainer from the Fundraising Academy at National University, is the guest co-host, and her enthusiasm is contagious in this lively nonprofit question and answer session
The first question came from an anonymous listener in Boston who was dealing with self-doubt after a colleague suggested they could have secured a higher donation from a specific donor. LaShonda's response was compassionate and wise. She emphasized the importance of collaboration and not taking it personally, turning it into an opportunity for growth and learning.
Jarrett adds her perspective, suggesting open communication with the colleague whose comment hurt the listener's feelings, pointing out the value of discussing and resolving such situations to maintain a healthy work environment.
Next, a question from Ben in New York addressed the topic of rewarding the development team with bonuses in the nonprofit sector. LaShonda provides a special response, highlighting alternatives to financial bonuses, such as additional remote days, priority in choosing vacation days, or leveraging partnerships for complimentary tickets to events, and the possibility of merit pay tied to performance evaluations.
The third question came from a board member dealing with a proposed logo change, which they considered a waste of money. LaShonda advised focusing the conversation on the organization's mission, goals, and priorities. She makes a recommendation to engage constituents through focus groups to gather feedback on the logo change before making a decision. Jarrett echos the potential costs and complexities involved in rebranding and suggested forming a task force to thoroughly evaluate the situation.
The final question was from Samuel in Denver, Co, who inquired about the value of obtaining the CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) designation for career development and financial rewards. LaShonda enthusiastically endorses the CFRE, emphasizing its prestige, knowledge base, and the global community it connects professionals with. She shared her personal journey of obtaining the CFRE and how it has positively impacted her career, and sharing valuable information about the availability of scholarships and resources for people of color in the sector.
As LaShonda aptly puts it, "Invest in yourself because you are worth it."
Show host Julia Patrick discusses recent NPO questions with Tony Beall, the Senior Director for the Center of Development and Advancement at National University. The discussion revolves around key topics related to nonprofit management and leadership, emphasizing the importance of creativity, collaboration, and empathy in nonprofit leadership. The questions addressed on this fun fast paced episode include:
The practice of starting staff meetings with a "mission moment." Julia and Tony both agree on the importance of these moments, as they serve to center and refocus the team on their organization's mission. However, finding efficient ways to incorporate mission moments can be challenging. Tony suggests creative alternatives, such as regional mission moments or using digital platforms like Slido to capture the essence of mission moments and highlight them during all-hands meetings.
A professional who is considering serving on the board of another nonprofit organization that works in a similar field. The concern is whether this would be a conflict of interest. Tony emphasizes the value of collaboration and suggests exploring ways for the two organizations to work together rather than viewing it as a conflict of interest. Joint projects, tours, and sharing knowledge can foster cooperation and mutual benefit.
The issue of an elderly board member who is struggling with digital tools and technology. The dilemma is whether to ask the board member to step down and find a more tech-savvy replacement. Tony stresses the importance of inclusion and diversity within the board and advises against removing board members solely based on their digital comfort zone. He suggests providing support and education to help the board member adapt to technology, recognizing that digital literacy can be improved.
A CEO who has not received a job review for three years. The CEO is concerned about the board chair's reluctance to conduct the review. Tony emphasizes that the responsibility for conducting a CEO performance review falls on the entire board, not just the chair. He recommends using a self-assessment process as a proactive approach to initiate conversation about performance and provide the CEO with an opportunity to reflect on their role.
This new 2024 interview highlights the growing awareness of mental wellness issues in the nonprofit sector and the need for proactive self-care and community support to sustain the vital work carried out by nonprofit professionals. Host Julia Patrick discusses the importance of mental wellness for individuals serving in nonprofit organizations with featured guest Jarrett Ransom, CEO of The Rayvan Group as she offers insights and practical suggestions for a roadmap for individuals seeking a healthier work-life blend in the nonprofit world.
Jarrett begins with the significance of strategic self-care practices, comparing it to the oxygen mask principle on an airplane – you must take care of yourself before helping others. She uses the analogy of a marathon, where occasionally slowing down is necessary to maintain a sustainable pace. Together, they discuss the trend of loneliness in today's distributed workforce and the need for intimate communities.
Julia and Jarrett also explore the concept of retreat and reflection. Jarrett advises weaving self-care practices into everyday life and the conversation touches on coaching circles for growth, emphasizing the value of building communities where individuals can support, challenge, and nurture each other. They both stress the importance of these circles as a way to combat loneliness and promote mental wellness.
Ingrid Kirst, the CEO of Ingrid Kirst Consulting, brings a refreshing perspective on understanding change at nonprofit organizations. She highlights the importance of differentiating between change and transition, using the Bridges model developed by William Bridges. Ingrid begins with the point that change represents external events, such as leadership changes or relocations, while transition involves the internal process of how individuals perceive and adapt to those changes. "Just because something changed doesn't mean we were ready for it mentally." This quote encapsulates the central theme, highlighting the significance of managing the emotional and mental aspects of transitions within nonprofit organizations.
Ingrid elaborates on the three stages of the Bridges model:
Endings: Organizations need to acknowledge what is ending and give everyone the opportunity to process their feelings and concerns about the change.
Neutral Zone: This is the in-between phase where individuals begin to adapt to the new reality. It's a time for creativity, brainstorming, and preparing for the new beginnings.
New Beginnings: The final stage involves embracing the change, setting new goals, and involving everyone in shaping the future of the organization.
The fast-paced discussion covers the importance of effective communication throughout the change process, with Ingrid highlighting the need for consistency in conveying information. She stresses how over-communication can be beneficial, ensuring that staff and NPO stakeholders are well-informed about the ongoing changes and the organization's plans.
As the interview concludes, Ingrid makes a prediction for the nonprofit sector, stating that more organizations are becoming open to discussing and preparing for change and transition. She emphasizes that proactive planning and communication can ultimately lead to more resilient and stable nonprofit organizations.