Tony Beall from helps answer viewer’s questions from the week, including: Creating a work-life balance culture | Advancing staff salaries | Firing the Board Chair | “Snappy” mission statements | Cultivate 2023 | Searching where to serve.   More about Fundraising Academy.

Watch the telecast:

 Full Transcript:

Welcome. Thank you for joining us. We are so glad to have you here for another amazing ask and answer episode of the nonprofit show. And as I just shared in the green room, chatter today is Fri. Yay. And I always know when Tony’s here that he will join me in the celebration of a Friday. So we do have. Tony Bell here. Cheers to that. Senior Director, relationship center at National University. So glad to have you, Tony. And always glad to have a representative from fundraising Academy within national universe. City I I love having conversations with the representatives over at fundraising Academy. The team is amazing. The the experience is like just. Stellar, so I really appreciate it as we move forward. Of course we want to send out gratitude to our amazing presenting sponsors so much. So I’ll start out by giving a shout out to our besties over at bloomerang American nonprofit Academy, again fundraising Academy at National University. Thanks Tony, being here today. Nonprofit thought leader, your part time controller staffing boutique nonprofit nerd and nonprofit. Like talk, please do us a favor yourself a favor. But our sponsors a favor. Check them out. They’re amazing. And I also like to remind all of you, their mission is your mission. They’re here to help you do more. So please do check them. Out and hey, we’ve produced almost 800 episodes. We I I feel like we have already. We might have already. But you can find all of our episodes on streaming for broadcast platform podcast for audio platform and the latest and greatest. And Tony, I kind of want to put you on the spot, my friend, but have you downloaded the app yet for the nonprofit show?

I haven’t and I will.

Yeah, I know. It’s so good. So just a few hours after today’s episode, once you download the podcast it or sorry the app, it will tell you that notification of hey, the latest episode of the show has been uploaded, so make sure you check that out. I love getting this notification so.

Of course you do.

Well, hey, Tony, before we jump into you and the conversation for today, which of course to ask and answer questions, I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about the conference that’s coming up cultivate 2023 in. June, will you? What about this?

Yeah, they’re really excited too. And and 1st I have to give a shout out and and you know, kudos to the fundraising Academy team at National University for all of the hard work that they put in to making this a really exceptional experience, not only for emerging leaders, but for board members, for executive level. Individuals for anyone that’s passionate around the nonprofit sector and even more specifically around relationship driven fundraising. Cultivate is definitely the place to go. So when? When I was promoting cultivate the other day on LinkedIn, you know I I said before you can plant it, water it, nurture it and watch it grow. You have to cultivate. The ground in which you want to harvest. And so that’s really what cultivate focuses on is is really the foundation of, of building great relationships and being successful in your role as a, as a professional fundraiser. So we’ll have, it’s a one day conference, a lot of exceptional speakers and educational tracks, a lot of good convening. It’s in person. So we’re super excited to bring a fully in person. Experience for folks and we have a dynamic keynote speaker and Ken Miller, so. You know, so folks can. And use the QR code here and get connected to the website and see all of the tracks. It’s an affordable $99.00, so it’s an A, you know it’s affordable for a really exceptional full day of learning and and community.

I am so looking forward to it. I will be there. I’m also bringing.

I can’t wait to see you. I will be there too.

The nonprofit show there. So we’ll be broadcasting live for. So for those of you watching, I do scan the QR code on this. It’ll take you straight to the registration page. So much good happening. And who doesn’t want to be in San Diego in June? So, so join us. Come join us.

Absolutely. Please join us.

Well, thank you, Tony and again for for all of your service into the sector and we’re going to jump right in.

Thank you.

It looks like Chicago is our first question from Joan today. You know how this works, but I’m gonna ask the question or or read the comment, we’ll just, you know, dive into sharing our expertise. So again from Joan. Is uh this statement and then question I have a board who feels free to call me on the weekends and times where I am off of. Work while I’m trying. While I’m always present for my nonprofit, I’m also trying to find more balance and time to recover. Ooh, I can feel that. How do I communicate this with the board without sounding like a slacker?

Well, one thing I would recommend for Joan from Chicago, Jared is to follow you on LinkedIn because you do such an exceptional job of really showing folks how to do this. And really showing individuals the importance and the value of of balance. Uh, But the first thing that I that I thought about when I read that is. The culture of the organization and and really looking at how do we lift the culture of the organization so that not just the senior level or executive director feels like they have work life balance but that we’re providing that and making sure that we are. That we’re providing, creating that culture for everyone within the organization. So I think about that and that’s that’s not a quick fix, right? That’s that’s a lot of really intentional, tough conversations in order to make that kind of of culture shift. But I think that, you know, aside from following you on LinkedIn, there’s, you know, there’s plenty of of data and and I say that just because I know and I’ve seen it, can I reference. One in particular right now, I can’t, but you probably can.

Yes, yes, yes.

But there’s plenty of data that would support why it’s really important, especially for someone at that executive director level or senior leadership level to find that balance and to understand the best ways and the most successful ways to define and communicate.

You know, I really appreciate the cultural component that you brought to this Tony. One of the things I’ve noticed and you know, one of the service lines ioffer, is that interim succession placement. So interim CEO interim, you know CDO. But one thing. I have noticed is a lot of the board members. Tend to send emails nights early mornings and weekends, and my belief right around that or the story that I’ve created is they’re often working their own standard hours. Just and then their volunteer opportunities and availability tend to open up on the nights, the early weekends and our early mornings and then the weekends. So you’re right. Like, how do we display and create a good cultural balance for this? But it’s also demonstrating, as you said, right to the rest of the team. The rest of the staff and the other thing I know to be true, so many nonprofit leaders are really burnt out and compassion fatigue. Because we’ve all been on go mode right for the last 3-4 years in crisis and really, you know, working through that. So I think more than ever it’s a great opportunity to really establish some maybe communication expectations. And I’ve started to see that. Also, Tony on on e-mail signature. Blocks right, like I’ll. I’ll see something that says. Here’s my working hours. Yours or if you get a message from me outside of your working hours, please. You know, please return this at your convenience.

And giving the recipient that you know that grace right to and and deeper understanding the other thing that I would I would say to Joan because there was that comment about concern around being perceived as a slacker and and what I would say to to Joan is that. You know. You are already. I’m going to assume you are already highly respected and regarded and that’s why you’re serving in this role and really think about all that you bring to the organization to kind of prevent yourself from from being your own worst enemy in. In this particular conversation. Don’t think of yourself as a slacker just because you you have recognized the need to create boundaries and you’ve recognized the need for balance.

That’s right.

That’s not the definition of a slacker.

Yeah, I I appreciate that. Thank you. Thank you for adding so much great insight there. So Joan, we hope we have helped you and I would love would always love to hear back. So, OK, let’s move over to Saint Louis. So Allen Wrightson, this may seem like an odd question, but when does a a nonprofit adjust their mission statement? Is this a legal issue or more of a marketing issue? We have a new board member who is in advertising and public relations who came up with a snappier phrasing. Of our work. Oh, I love this question, Tony. Take it away.

Well, everybody loves something. That’s snappy, right? So I don’t blame them. It’s like, oh, it’s. Snappy. Let’s take. A look at it. So when I was doing consulting work, I kind of would recommend not kind of. I recommended that organizations always you know look at their mission statement every three to five years. Again just to just to remind themselves. Of how how does it truly connect to the work that they’re doing? Is it still really representative of again of of the programs and services that they’re they’re providing to the community? And we’ve seen a lot of organizations as we talk about coming out of the pandemic and this kind of new landscape, many organizations made tremendous shifts, you know, around the services that they were providing, they expanded the services that they were providing reduced it. I mean, whatever that might have been. And so for a lot of them, it it is important that they revisit the mission. So that the mission is again totally representative of the work and the contributions that they’re making to the communities that they serve. And and so it’s a little bit PR. I mean that’s that’s let’s be real about that. I mean you you want a mission statement that’s going to instill something in someone that’s going to create a vision that’s going to encourage them to take action. You know, a lot of times. So, yeah, revisit it. Every three to five year. Others I’m not, you know, a CPA and accountant or an attorney. But I I know in in my experience that when I’ve worked with organizations and we did modify the mission statement, we made that modification in the annual filing of their corporate documents. So whatever state you’re registered in. Typically, every year you have to, you know, file your annual report and you would make the modification you can. You can make the modification of your mission statement during that process.

Great information. I love that. I love the recommendation every three to five years. The other thing I’ve seen, Tony, is language. Lexicon changes, right? So what was appropriate to say in the 70s, eighties, the 90s might not be appropriate to use even down to the base. Word, right? And so sometimes you need to change the wording in your mission and still maybe you’re you’re still getting to the same essence of that mission, but using a different. You know word choice. So all of that is fantastic. You know, snappier is good, but we want to make sure that we convey, you know, really, that essence of the mission. So Alan, I hope you embrace this. Wish you the best of luck. Lean into this board member who’s advertising PR. See what ** ***. Or they can. Can provide you know and support support you in this, so hey, good luck. Don’t forget to file it right.

Right, exactly.

File the chain.

Change. OK, well, you. Know our friend Julia loves name withheld.

She loves to be withheld. Yes, she does.

So I know she’s smiling on us right now from San Antonio. This question is, do you have any thoughts on advancing staff salaries? We have a valuable member of our team who is having a rough time and could use some help. While I want to have compassion, I am concerned that this is a problem for future issues that could arise. Now this is interesting. What what is your thoughts on this question?

So, so when when I see this question, two different things came come to mind, right? It’s when we think about advancing staff salaries. Initially, it was the conversation around pay equity and you know and and and you know and and and what are we doing to ensure that within the workplace the other? The other interpretation. Was we’ve got this team member that is in this scenario right now and so we are considering advancing their salary of paying them, maybe outside of what would be the normal pay schedule in order to help them overcome this particular you know moment. Time and and I I love that someone would even entertain that. You know, a leader that that has that level of compassion or empathy. First I would I would want to celebrate that they would even entertain that. The other thing that I would say is, you know when when we talk about equity. And inclusion that if if you’re going to offer this, then it needs to be something that is an employee benefit for everyone. So you would really need to consider how you could support this employee, but then you would need to memorialize this benefit. And it would need to be something that you would be willing to offer everyone. So if you’re going down that road, there probably is an HR specialist that you should connect with. There may you know HR benefits specialist, maybe even your your legal advisor. You know around some of this, but then consider a cap you wouldn’t want to leave it open-ended, so you might want to say that you would be willing to advance a percentage. Of the salary, or you might say we will advance $2000 and that’s kind of our benchmark for that or our CAP for that. So a lot to consider there, but I think that the first thing to really consider is can we do this for everyone?

Yeah, I I’m with you on that and to memorialize a new process, a new system. The other thing is you were sharing this, Tony that came to my mind is let’s also look at the reimbursements is this employee and overall employees are they asked to use their own money when it comes to certain. Items that maybe they’re purchasing that are work related, be it lunch, be IT office supplies, be it mileage and you know. Gas and and how quickly are we providing reimbursement? So to me I really see this as an overall financial assessment, right? And then I wholeheartedly believe in the equitable. So if we’re doing this for one person, we should. And and need. To consider it for all of our staff, I’ve also heard from our good friends at your part time. Controller right like you can. You can also look at weekly pay. You can look at daily pay like there’s new options that are are available. That’s well beyond, you know, my skill set I don’t need.

Mine too, but I’m so glad you brought that up.

Yeah, I don’t pretend to play a CPA, not even on the nonprofit show.

Me either.

But yeah, I I think there’s some opportunities. And then the one I did want to mention was the was the other interpretation of advancing staff salaries across the board, right in a competitive workplace workforce. How are we compensating our staff to retain our staff and it might be time. You know, if you’re having experience with this one employee struggling financially, you know there could be an opportunity to say, hey, are we paying an equitable pay amount at this time? Has it shifted? Has it, you know? Is this something that we need to consider? But then again, you could also look at maybe shifting your payroll from. You know, biweekly to weekly, to maybe even daily. So there’s some options there, but.

And those were great options to bring up Jared, absolutely.

So I say reach out to our friends over at.

One BTC.

They might have a little bit more. They might have a little. Bit more insight, but we do wish you well.

For sure.

Yeah, we do wish you well. Ooh, double double.

Ohh Julia, would Julia would go crazy over this.

We’ve doubled down name without city withheld. OK.

Our board will obviously, This is why it’s name and city withheld. Our board is trying to get the chair to resign. He is not engaged and he’s not showing up for our board meetings. We have dealt with this before and I could use some advice so that we take the emotion. Out and move towards moving the board whole and productive we also. Don’t want to. Our other board members or our larger funders. So what advice would you share Tony, to this name withheld? City withheld, board withheld agency and mission withheld organization that has a board chair that is really not serving to the fullest capacity?

So this this question alone gave me anxiety. Just because it’s it’s it’s challenging especially for any board member. I say all the time that you know, board members are reminding folks all the time. Board members are volunteers, but they’re volunteers with the highest level of accountability. To the organizer. But there’s still volunteers, right? So just we we need to be mindful, mindful of that. I think initially about a lot of housekeeping stuff. When I think of this question, and so I think about things like what is, how is the removal of a board member defined? And your bylaws and your bylaws should be very clear about how we transition a board member off of the board for any number of reasons. And all of those reasons should be defined in your bylaws as well. The other thing that I think about in terms of housekeeping are job descriptions and documented roles and responsibilities for your chair, for your Co chair, for your Secretary, Your Treasurer, your board member at large. All of these roles should have a documented and memorialized. Job description so that in these scenarios where someone is underperforming, you have something to refer to. So you can have a really real. Bust and an intentional conversation around the expectations as documented in this job description versus the performance of the individual. So it becomes very clear where at whatever level the board member is not meeting the requirements or expectations. As defined in the job description.

Yeah, well put and you know, we often refer back to those bylaws. And so that really is the Holy Grail, if you will. And if it’s not outlining this great opportunity to amend your bylaws, right.

Great opportunity.

And the other thing is you know really, Tony, what I see is the board chair should really be the one to set the tone. Of engagement and model, their leadership and. Yeah, model, that leadership, you know, to the, to the board and to their peers. And we really want to have that strong at the top. The other thing I want to add to this very quickly is you know, assume the best intent from everyone and and so when they. You know are are voted in as board chair treasurers in any position, right? Let’s make the assumption that the best intent was in place and every day the best intent is in place. So it might be you know. Time to have a a pretty good conversation with this board member. Are you OK? Have things changed in your life? Have priorities shifted right, and maybe in this case it comes from the Vice Chair or another executive position of the.

For sure.

But maybe not the CEO or executive director. So I think just a really good heart to heart. Conversation would be a great place to start. Remind them of what is documented in the bylaws. You know if it is and and go back to that. So it is.

And that’s.

Go ahead.

No, I’m sorry. And that’s not, you know, I wouldn’t pull out a copy of the bylaws in the first conversation, right? So the first conversation, you know, we’re we’re we’re leading with empathy, right. And we’re we’re we’re seeking understanding and we’re seeking resolution like you’re saying right that you know. Considering the best in in people and and the best intention so I’m.

Yes, absolutely, yeah.

Glad you brought all that up.

Thank you for that. So it’s sticky, but. We wish you the best. OK, Joseph in Milwaukee, I like this one here. I’ve been looking for some board service and I’m not sure how to go about it. I have my eye on a cultural group on our community, in our community, but could use some strategy in getting involved. While I have not served on a board before, I have a lot of skills and passion for. Share US share with us about this, Tony. What have you given for advice?

So so typically, I mean it depends on kind of the state of the organization, some organizations they’re like, we need board members. Or we need them bad. So you know, so they’re willing to, you know, to have those conversations and and onboard folks based on their resume and their skill sets and and where the board has a gap in talent and and reset. Aside from that, I always recommend that you volunteer for an organization first. A lot of organizations will have some type of succession plan in place for their board, and typically that succession planning starts at volunteerism. So they’ll look at individuals that are high performing. Volunteers that have demonstrated their level of commitment to the organization. You know, demonstrated the the skills and and the added value that they can bring. And so you know you you recognize those individuals and then you start kind of. Bringing them through, whatever that leadership track looks like to get them that seat on the board.

Yeah, great information. I love that. I’ve I’ve LED several board retreats lately, Tony, and that has certainly come up. You know is how do we get new board members, how do we get more engaged board? Members, how do we build our board so that we have more of them right and it it does tend to come up to say, hey, let’s really engage with the volunteers, let’s build our committees and let’s see, you know, who really shines and and also demonstrates additional interest in joining the board.


The other thing I will share. Joseph with you is you know I have reached out to organizations before to the Executive director or the CEO as well as the board chair. If I can find that information, let them know of my interest. You know, I have a really big interest in your mission. I would love to be of service. This curious if you have any board positions, open committee positions, volunteer opportunities. So I think also Joseph like being intentional with your outreach. I love LinkedIn, but also you can find a lot on the website. I would recommend attending the events introducing yourself, right? Like really making it known who you are and your interest that you bring. So commendable. We need board members. Right. I I wrote a a post long time ago. I cannot remember the date or the stats, Tony, but it was that there’s 1.8 million nonprofits registered in the. Us and the reality is every nonprofit is governed by a board. And let’s say on average there’s seven board members, which you and I know that there’s. There’s often very many more than that, right? So let’s do the math right. 7 * 1.8 million. I don’t know the math of that right now, but. That we, Joseph. What I’m saying is we. Need you right. Yes, is a place for you, and perhaps this organization isn’t looking at the moment. It could be six months, a year, two years down the road, but there’s still an opportunity for you to to become engaged in a in your community. So kudos, kudos, kudos, kudos.

For sure.

Yeah. So.

All right, my friend. Well, that wraps up our ask and answered. I know we had, I think 4 maybe 5 questions today.

Goes by so fast.

It goes by quickly, but you know what? Also is going to come quickly and go quickly is cultivate. So cultivate 2023, Thursday, June the 1st in San Diego. Tony will be there. I will be there all of the fundraising Academy representatives will be there. I think we’re even getting moochie back from his international travel for this.

I think you are absolutely correct.


So there will be, there will be a movie sighting at the.

Yeah, absolutely.


I’m looking forward to that and and so many others. So again, please scan the QR if you are. Uh, looking at this screen and we. Encourage you to do that. So a little hint, if you find my page on LinkedIn, I am a speaker and I shared my friends in a speaker code so you can get an even bigger discount, but it is extremely affordable, so hopefully and I’m going to advocate that your organizations pay for this.

Of course.

If through that personal development. So check that out, we would. So love to see you there. And Tony, it is always lovely to see you.

It’s it’s always just, it’s always such a highlight. I look forward to this so much. So thank you so much again for the opportunity to join you and and and share what’s on my mind as it relates to these awesome questions that that come in from viewers.

Will you bring so much insight? So thank you. And for those of you watching and listening, reminder Tony Bell. Here today, he serves as the senior Director, relationship Center and National University, so thrilled to have you and your years of SAGE advice. Just so, so very grateful. So again, also grateful to fundraising Academy National University being one of our presenting sponsors. So a shout out of gratitude to also to Boomerang American nonprofit Academy your part time controller nonprofit thought leader, fundraising Academy at National University Staffing boutique, nonprofit Nerd and nonprofit. Tech talk. These are the companies day in day out that join us and join you day in and day out to help you do more good in, around and throughout your community. So, Tony, always a pleasure, happy Friday, I hope.

Happy Friday.

Hope it’s a good one for all of you that joined us. Today, again, thank you. Enjoy your weekend. For those of you that are celebrating Mother’s Day, Happy Mother’s Day, and we hope we’ll see you back on Monday as we end every episode. We want to remind you all of you, ourselves included, to please. OK. Well see, you can do well. Thanks, Tony.

Thank you so. Much bye bye bye bye.