Successful Nonprofits Podcast

By The Goldenburg Group, LLC

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 Nov 5, 2018


Successful Nonprofits Podcast brings you fresh ideas and featured conversations with nonprofit thought leaders.

Episode Date
How to Love Your Next CRM with Maureen Wallbeoff

Are you tired of how your nonprofit manages its data? Are you considering adopting a new, or perhaps your first, CRM? Then today’s episode is for you!

Maureen Wallbeoff is an expert in both nonprofits and the technologies that help them thrive. Today she shares tips to help you love your next CRM. When you listen in you will hear how to select a CRM, how to make the change successfully, and a few recommended CRMs that are affordable and effective for small and medium-sized nonprofits.

Jul 09, 2020
Good Old-Fashioned Fundamentals with Joan Garry

We don’t need to tell you that COVID-19 has created, well, a lot of challenges.  But today’s guest, Joan Garry, also points out that it has created a lot of opportunity in that it has given us the gift of time.  By using this time to creatively engage donors, volunteers, and other key stakeholders, she suggests you can come out stronger “on the other side.”  So listen in for tips and ideas on how to create high touch engagement while staying socially distant.

Jul 02, 2020
Reverse Podcast: Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership

“What’s a reverse podcast?” 


Earlier this year, Patton McDowell interviewed me for his podcast, Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership. He released the episode on his feed last week, and I’m releasing his episode on the Successful Nonprofits Podcast feed with Patton’s permission.


Patton interviews me about how to best engage your board members and build your organization in these challenging times.  We discuss board development, fundraising tactics you can incorporate into your development plan, and two things every nonprofit should invest in right now. 


We close our conversation with some great – and specific – productivity tips that I've developed during my years as a consultant and nonprofit CEO, as well as several online and book resources that you’ll definitely want to check out!

Jun 30, 2020
Raising Funds Like a Rock Star Politician with Perry Monastero

Looking to shake up your fundraising strategy?  Then get some inspiration from a political campaign! 

I know, I know.  You’re probably thinking that political and nonprofit fundraising are worlds apart.  And you are right, there is no doubt that they are very different. But there is also no doubt that we have much to learn from each other. 

Today’s guest, Perry Monastero, has successfully raised funds for both politicians and nonprofits.  So listen in for ideas to shake up your own nonprofit’s fundraising strategy.

Jun 25, 2020
For Your Good and Theirs: Adopting a Trauma-Informed Approach in Your Nonprofit with Kate Daugherty

Trauma is all around us, especially right now.  It doesn’t matter your age, income level, color, gender, political ideology, religion, or nationality.  Trauma affects everyone.  The very nature of nonprofit work assures that we regularly, if not daily, encounter colleagues and clients who have experienced trauma.  So what can you do to make sure that you and your organization respect and empower people who have faced, or are facing, trauma?

Here to answer that important question is Kate Daugherty, a leader when it comes to trauma-informed care.  Today, Kate teaches us how trauma and stress impact our brains and a few trauma-informed techniques that can not only bring back balance, but also improve your organization’s bottom-line.  So get ready to put your own amygdala aside, activate your prefrontal cortex, and take some radical steps toward a trauma-informed culture.

Jun 18, 2020
Amplify Black Voices

Instead of bringing our regularly scheduled episode on Trauma Informed organizations with Kate Dougherty, I am using the podcast to focus on the tragic killings that have thrust Black Lives Matter into the headlines and to amplify black voices.

Looking back on New Year's Eve, who among us thought that we would be where we find ourselves today? That a pandemic would sweep across the globe. That the pandemic would lay even more bare the disparities between people who are white and people who are black and brown? That our nation would finally erupt in protests and our elected President would encourage those protesters be dominated with troops, tear gas, bullets, and dogs.

As a person with privilege, I’ve added my presence at Black Lives Matter protests and added my voice among those calling for justice and equality. But over the past week, I am also reminded of the importance of making the space for black voices and our role in amplifying those voices.

Now is a time to amplify black voices, listen to those voices and make some personal decisions about what more each of us can do to stop the killing of black people. For this reason, I encourage you to read, watch, or listen to black voices during the 30-minutes you would normally spend listening to the podcast this week.

Dr. Martin Luther King eloquently said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” It is within our power to stop police violence, but it requires that we act.

I am confident that the nonprofit sector has an important role to play in building a more just world, and I am certain that we’ll be talking about just that in future episodes.

Jun 11, 2020
Virtual Galas in a Time of Social Distancing with Dean Crownover

Is your next annual gala at risk of being canceled due to COVID-19? Well then listen in before you do anything!  As today’s guest, Dean Crownover, points out, virtual fundraising events are working like gangbusters!  So join us to learn how virtual fundraising events are structured, what you can expect to spend, what you can expect to earn, and the best practices you can adopt to make your next fundraising event a virtual success.

Jun 04, 2020
Make a Career Change with Ellen McCarty

Are you considering a career change?  Looking for something with a little more purpose and passion? How about a career in the nonprofit sector!? Today’s guest, Ellen McCarty, discusses her process for helping professionals make the switch from the for-profit to the nonprofit sector.  Join us as we delve into the culture and common myths of working at a nonprofit and see if this career path might be right for you.

May 28, 2020
Generosity Post-Mortem: Legacy Giving with Lori Kranczer

Looking to boost your incoming donations?  Not sure how to do that given our uncertain economic climate?  Then check out today’s episode on legacy giving.  Join Lori Kranczer, lawyer and legacy giving expert, to hear her tips for creating and marketing an effective legacy giving campaign. 

May 21, 2020
The Perfect Money Pitch

Let’s talk money.  We all need more money.  We all want more money.  We all hate to ask for money. 

But making that ask is essential for every nonprofit’s day-to-day programming and long term sustainability.  Listen in on our conversation with Dr. Shantell Chambliss, a self-described “sustainability junkie,” for expert tips on how to support your team of solicitors as they prepare for and conduct the perfect ask. 

May 14, 2020
The Big Secret: Moving from Strategy to Results with Leslie MacKrell

Does your organization sometimes struggle to get results – despite having a talented, dedicated team and a phenomenal strategy?  Today’s guest, Leslie MacKrell, explains how your operating model, or lack of one, often stands in your way.  Join her as she asks tough questions and looks for honest answers about what you need, what you have, and how you can make up the difference.  So, put on your Operating Model Hat and tune in to learn how to start or enhance your own operating model.

May 07, 2020
Surviving an Economic Crisis

As  leaders and nonprofit organizations, we are facing uncertain and difficult times ahead. All organizations face periods of hardship, but an unprecedented number of nonprofits are wondering how they will survive.  And, beyond that, how can they possibly thrive again? 

If you are feeling alone, please know that you are not.  And know that there is hope.  To prove it, Toni Pergolin shares her experiences bringing a nonprofit back from the brink of bankruptcy and turning it into a healthy, vibrant, and thriving organization.  So please take a few minutes to join us for Toni’s key lessons for nonprofit, and personal, survival.

Apr 30, 2020
Our PPP Loan Wasn’t Funded – Now What?

As this episode is released, the US Congress is nearing a deal to reopen the Payroll Protection Program with an additional $300 billion of funding. This episode offers important strategies for accessing PPP funds, reducing expenses without harming staff and raising more funds quickly.


(7:23) Know your burn rate and cash flow projections

(10:00 ) Actionable ideas for cutting your expenses without harming staff

(18:00) Your staff might make more money from unemployment if you furloughed them now

(23:00) Generate cash and raise more money fast

(38:35) Prepare your organization to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program when it’s refunded

Apr 20, 2020
Save the World and Yourself:

If you’ve worked in the nonprofit sector, even for just a few years, then you have probably experienced burnout at least once.  Some people are able to push through it, but many eventually decide to leave their jobs, their fields, or nonprofit work altogether.  Therefore, it is imperative for everyone, from team members to team leaders, to take preventative measures. 

Today Diane Leonard joins us to share how her teams identify and maintain a sustainable work pace via the Scrum framework.  Listen in as Diane explains the steps she takes to keep her team productive and happy.

Apr 16, 2020
Putting the “People” Back in Volunteerism

Volunteers are the backbone of so many nonprofits.  While many nonprofits could not keep their doors open without them,  volunteers and volunteer programs are often overlooked. These volunteers come from all backgrounds and serve at all levels, from experienced professionals to four year olds, from board members to office assistants. 

On this episode, Rob Jackson shares just a few of his groundbreaking ideas to ramp up your organization’s volunteer program. Join us as we shake up the norms surrounding who makes a great volunteer manager and how to retain volunteers.




Apr 09, 2020

In these polarized times it is especially hard to contemplate, let alone actually sit down with those we see as the enemies of our cause.  But as our guest, Leah Garces, points out, it is exactly these people we need to work with to create change.  Join Leah as she challenges us to become comfortable with the uncomfortable, recognize the humanity of our so-called enemies, look for the win-win solution, and ultimately make effective and lasting change.

Apr 02, 2020
Nail the interview; get the job!

Whether you are a candidate or the hiring manager, understanding interview best practices is essential. Our guest Evan Piekara shares everything you need to know about job interview questions and answers. In this episode, we discuss case study interview questions, the “right” answers for common interview questions, and tons of good ideas for your next job interview.

Evan also shares how to position yourself as a leading candidate by preparing meaningful questions that reveal your pre-interview research, taking a genuine interest in those you interact with throughout the process and demonstrating your expertise. Most important, his advice is pertinent whether you are interviewing for a management position or an entry-level one. 

Mar 26, 2020
Trauma Informed Leadership with Matt Bennett

We started the year off with strong intentions to manage stress, take care of ourselves and be kind to our inner child. But those of us working in the nonprofit sector have significantly more pressure on us every day. And, with the year almost 25% over, now is the perfect time to share this conversation with Matt Bennett about trauma-informed leadership and self-care.  

This dynamic conversation with Matt Bennett leads us on a journey through nonprofit leadership, trauma informed care, self-care and more. In this podcast episode, listeners will get self-care ideas and tips, as well as practical leadership advice for building professional and personal resiliency throughout your nonprofit.

Mar 12, 2020
Preparing your nonprofit for a new executive director

“Here’s the keys, here is the restroom, here's your office – good luck!” That's a terrible orientation for any staff member, but this is the orientation that many nonprofit executive directors receive. It’s ironic because boards have taken great care in selecting the new chief executive, paid them the highest salary in the organization, and then don’t position them for success.

In this episode, we talk about six ways your board can prepare the organization for a successful new chief executive.  

Feb 28, 2020
Your nonprofit’s big bettable initiative with Sridhar Prasad

“Big bets give organizations the chance to think about what it looks like to go from serving to solving.”

That is always the goal isn’t it? As much as smaller contributions and fundraising campaigns appreciated and valued, the big donations we receive from philanthropists can not only determine but also expand our organization's achievements.

Sridhar Prasad, a partner with The Bridgespan Group, realized this long before he began researching “Big Bets” in philanthropy. Listen in to the show to learn how to better poise your nonprofit to become “big bettable”. 

Feb 11, 2020
5 Hacks for More Effective Board Recruitment

Recruiting the right board is the key to a strong, healthy and successful nonprofit organization. Yet too many charities view board recruitment as an afterthought and rush through a process that results in ineffective board members and weak boards.

Dolph Goldenburg shared techniques for recruiting the right board members at a live seminar at the CenterLink E-summit.  With CenterLink’s permission, we are sharing this seminar as a podcast mini-series.  

In this second half of the live presentation, we cover

  • The board candidate vetting process
  • Your board recruitment timeline
  • Orientation of new members
  • The 5 hacks for a better board recruitment process.


Feb 04, 2020
Unlock Your Power to Recruit Great Board Members (Centerslink E-Summit 2019)

Though my greatest mistakes and successes have been the people that I have chosen to hire, my 2nd greatest mistakes and successes have been those I have recruited for boards. Tune in to hear my best practices for recruiting committed, progressive, and overall great board members!

Jan 21, 2020
From Nonprofit Leader to Thought Leader: Global Credibility Expert, Mitchell Levy, shares his best practices to spread your AHA moments across the nonprofit sector

You may have a well-run nonprofit organization, a great strategic plan, and effective programs with great outcomes. But your constituents live in a world full of distractions screaming for their attention. So how do you ensure that your charity’s message is heard? Silicon Valley’s AHA Guy, Mitchell Levy, joins us on the podcast to share his answer: thought leadership.

Mitchell chats with us about how to apply the five best practices of thought leadership so that you and your nonprofit get the recognition you deserve.

Mitchell is a global credibility expert, entrepreneur,  and CEO of AHA-that, which helps accomplished professionals share their ideas with an amazon best-selling book.

Jan 14, 2020
Make Your Resolutions Your Reality

It’s the first week of January in America, which means we’re all creating resolutions that the vast majority of us will bail on by January 17th.  Dolph explores 11 tips, tricks and hacks for achieving your resolution.

Show notes:


(2:15) Resolutions are really goals

(2:55) How to create a plan that will achieve your goals

(12:20) Hack #2: Celebrate milestones appropriately

(24:00) Hack #7: Know what you'll do when the going gets tough.

(27:30) Hack #8: Don’t let failure derail you

(20:10) Hack #11: Make it a lifestyle

Want the other 7 tips and tricks for achieving your New Years resolution? Download and listen to the podcast!

Jan 02, 2020
It is Almost Always Someone You Trust - A Conversation with Tiffany Couch, Author of The Thief in Your Company

Nonprofit fraud is the topic of this conversation with Tiffany Couch, CEO of Acuity Forensics. Sharing true stories of fraud found in her book, The Thief in Your Company, Tiffany breaks down what fraud looks like, who is likely to do it, and how to prevent it from happening to your organization.

Dec 20, 2019
Results Based, Employee Centered: Wayne Sleight shares the unique company culture of 97th and a few traits you want to adopt for your own nonprofit.

Join Dolph and Wayne Sleight on this week’s episode of the Successful Nonprofits Podcast to talk about 97th Floor nationally recognized company culture! From the decision to never track vacation days to Wayne’s philosophical vendetta against ping-pong tables in the office, there is plenty to love and learn.

Dec 03, 2019
The Answer Is Not More Time and Money with Carol Hamilton

More time and money is not the answer to every nonprofit problem! Listen in to this week’s episode of the Successful Nonprofits Podcast where Carol Hamilton gives us a few techniques from her everyday consulting toolbox.

Nov 20, 2019
Mind Shifts to Transform your Hiring Process – Part II

Have you ever hired someone you thought would be great, but realized you made a huge mistake within the first few weeks or months?  You are not alone – lots of people have made this mistake. Which is why part two of this episode explores everything to do once you post the position. We’ll uncover some of the secrets to determining if a person can actually do the job and ways to make your next hiring process more inclusive.

Nov 08, 2019
Mind Shifts to Transform your Hiring Process

Most executives are often able to go back and say this, including myself: My biggest success and my greatest failures have all been about the people I have hired. The lessons I have experienced over my career have helped me develop  5 mind shifts that can help us change and improve the way we think about hiring.

Oct 23, 2019
The CFO Crash Course: Stepping up your nonprofit’s accounting game with Tosha Anderson

Nonprofit accounting expert, Tosha Anderson, shares lessons and advice for maximizing your nonprofit’s accounting efficiency. She offers insights on best practices for accounting staff, effective software solutions, and aligning your accounting function as your nonprofit grows.

Oct 10, 2019
Mailbag: You Asked, Dolph Answered

About six months ago, we asked folks to email in their pressing questions. Of course, we responded to each question in real-time, but we also saved the best questions to answer on the air. So in this very special solo podcast episode, we answer four questions that are as old as the nonprofit sector itself!

Oct 02, 2019
Broadcast With Your Own Podcast: Why Your Nonprofits next Project Should be to Start a Podcast with Mathew Passy

I believe that every nonprofit should launch its own podcast, and so does this episode’s guest. There simply could not be a more intimate way to connect with hundreds or even thousands of supporters, prospective volunteers and prospective donors every week.  Through a podcast, your organization can promote its mission, tell its story and significantly expand its base.  

Matthew Passey is widely known as The Podcast Consultant because he has helped clients generate over 20 million podcast downloads!

At a time when very few nonprofits have jumped on this podcasting bandwagon, now is the time for your organization to start one.

Sep 11, 2019
Charities Who Love Charts: How Data Sharing is Improving Chicago and Could do the Same for Your Nonprofit with Traci Stanley and Joshua Fulcher

Every nonprofit (and every nonprofit funder) wants to focus on collaboration opportunities.  Traci Stanley and Joshua Fulcher are on the forefront of nonprofit partnerships and are the driving forces behind the Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative. The collaborative is an alliance of seven education and human service agencies that collectively work with more than 12,000 low-income individuals throughout some of Chicago’s most underserved neighborhoods.

The collaborative developed a set of common outcomes and a technology blueprint to track and benchmark metrics. The collected data is used to design and implement strategies for measurably better outcomes. The CBC recently published a how-to guide to its methodology, Increasing Mission Impact Through Collaboration: Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative Processes and Toolkit.


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:30) The founding goal of the Chicago Benchmark Collaborative.

(5:10) Overcoming resistance to collect and share more data.

(6:10) Using this data to benchmark with peers.

(8:30) Working with partners that are underperforming against the benchmark.

(11:45) How the collaborative uses data sharing to create high need programs.

(13:15) How data collaboration helps participating organizations secure funding.

(15:20) Ways the collaborative uses data to learn from high performers and improve services.

(17:45) Lessons from the Collaborative’s early days that new collaboratives can learn from.

(20:45) Why a collaborative needs strong executive sponsorship (and what that looks like).

(24:45) How to handle CEO transitions that jeopardize the partnership.


Aug 27, 2019
The Doorway to Donors: Arlene Cogen’s Tips on Attracting Donor Advised Funds and Creating One Yourself

Arlene Cogen shares her guidance getting the largest contributions from donor-advised funds.

Arlene is a financial planner with more than 20 years of experience in the trust and investment services industry but also a considerable background in nonprofit fundraising and administration. She guided the nation’s 9th largest community foundation for over a decade and authored her book, Give to Live, Make a Charitable Gift that you Never Imagined.


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(1:55) Arlene explains how her daughters inspired her to leave Wall Street and transition to a career in the nonprofit sector.

(5:40) How people transition from a “gain as much money as I can” mentality to a philanthropic one.

(6:40) How donor-advised funds make philanthropy easier, more fun, and provide anonymity.

(10:10) The three ways to get access to donors advised funds without knowing who the donors are.

(13:10) The importance of connecting to your local community foundation’s donor relationship team and respecting boundaries.

(15:15) Out of the box ways to cultivate and approach donor-advised funds.

(16:30) Things you should NEVER do while approaching a donor-advised fund.

(20:05) Arlene explains who your board members should be introducing you to.

(22:20) How someone making a moderate income, maybe even working in the nonprofit sector, can create a fund that will live beyond them.

(25:00) The joy that comes with creating a donor-advised fund.


Aug 16, 2019
Courage, Culture and Collaboration: Lessons from Army Ranger and Serial Entrepreneur France Q Hoang

France Hoang has some pretty amazing credentials. France is a serial entrepreneur trading in everything from jets to law firms to coworking space to technology for nonprofits.

So you may be asking, “Why is this for-profit guy on a nonprofit podcast?” The answer is simple: This West Point grad, Army Ranger and serial entrepreneur understands how to build and strengthen organizational culture better than anyone else. He’s led teams in combat, on peace keeping missions, in the office and the board room.

Oh yeah, and he also founded a company called boodleAI to help nonprofit supporters data mine their own social media and fundraise better.

*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:58) France explains why he went directly from West Point to Ranger School

(3:35) The leadership skills France learned at West Point and Ranger School

(11:18) How to develop culture-building experiences for your nonprofit team members

(13:00) The importance of allowing team members to make mistakes

(17:26) How to “hire right” for culture fit and soft skills

(22:58) Why every hire is critically important for your small team

(23:55) Why candidates applying to join your staff should  speak with others on the team

(29:12) The founding story of BoodleAI

(29:45) Do you know what Boodle is? France explains this West Point term

(30:30) How France knows an applicant is a good fit to work at BoodleAI

(31:45) How BoodleAI resolves your fundraising pain points

Jul 30, 2019
Building Resilience, Practicing Forgiveness: Exploring Appreciative Inquiry with Jeanie Cockell and Joan McArthur-Blair

Appreciative inquiry is a strengths-based approach to facilitating positive change in human organizations. Dolph talks with two seasoned practitioners of this method, Jeanie Cockell and Joan McArthur-Blair, about the intersection of hope, despair, and forgiveness that leads to resilience. Lots of inspiration ahead!



Building Resilience with Appreciative Inquiry: A Leadership Journey through Hope, Despair, and Forgiveness

First Section of Book:

Nautilus Book Awards:

Joan and Jeanie’s Website:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:24) The hardest piece of resilience is forgiveness

(3:05) If you can’t forgive, forgive what you can

(9:40) Joan’s poem about forgiveness

(14:45) A (short) stop at despair

(16:02) Systemic despair

(20:49) Moving forward with hope, the bedrock of resilience

(24:14) A metaphorical car crash

(24:36) The intersection of hope, despair, and forgiveness

(25:45) Generative questions – easy yet profound

(29:19) The good thoughts notebook

(30:55) Joan’s poem about hope

(36:02) Keep your vision of the shore!

Jul 09, 2019
Maurya Couvares Shares the Code to Exponential Nonprofit Growth!

We take a deep dive into nonprofit growth with Maurya Couvares, founder of Code Nation, formerly known as ScriptEd. Having successfully grown ScriptEd from $0 to $3 million in under five years, Maurya gives us the scoop on what that phenomenal growth entailed. Spoiler alert: data collection and deep impact with fundraising are key!


ScriptEd’s site:

ScriptEd’s Twitter:

ScriptEd’s annual reports:

Maurya’s Twitter:

Maurya’s LinkedIn:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:14) Maurya’s expectations for ScriptEd’s Growth

(4:58) What ScriptEd does

(7:12) Three Ps: Passion, Partnerships, Program

(9:29) Mo levels, mo expenses

(10:19) Do the hustle! Maurya’s approach for funds

(12:34) Deep thinking, low-cost

(16:45) The theory of change and the metrics pyramid

(18:49) Talk about growth – less than 1% to 73%!

(19:47) Translate impact into $$$ – speak the language of the funders

(22:30) Automation of data collection

(25:16) The Road Ahead: Maurya shares what’s next for ScriptEd

(27:00) 400%?!?

(31:03) Dolph declines a dip in the Hudson Rive

Jul 02, 2019
The No Bricks, No Mortar, 100% Virtual Nonprofit: A Conversation with Barbara Van Dahlen, PhD, Founder of Give an Hour

9/11 and her daughter’s outrage were the inspiration for Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen to pick up a copy of Nonprofits for Dummies and launch Give an Hour, her Craigslist-style nonprofit that links volunteer mental health service providers with those who need them. Join Dolph and Barbara as they discuss the background and lessons learned in the creation of Give an Hour, as well as newly formed The Campaign to Change Direction, Barbara’s recent project.

*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:27) Give an Hour because Barbara felt the 9/11 tragedy was enough

(6:45) How Barbara used the Craigslist model to build her nonprofit

(12:40) How Give an Hour functions as a 100% virtual nonprofit 

(16:04) The transition into a virtual workplace

(19:10) Culture is important!

(20:33) A challenge with the virtual workplace model

(22:10) From ED to CEO/Founder – how Barbara owned her leadership role

(24:54) The Campaign to Change Direction, a collective impact initiative

(26:31) Inner Space: Barbara’s podcast

(29:02) And yes, Barbara practices what she preaches


Give an Hour:

Barbara’s podcast, Inner Space:

Vault of Barbara’s Huffington Post contributions:

The Campaign to Change Direction:

Barbara’s LinkedIn: 

Jun 25, 2019
The Government Does the Talking, Your Nonprofit Does the Walking, and Other Lessons from Evan Marwell, Founder of EducationSuperHighway

Dolph talks with Evan Marwell, successful serial entrepreneur, about his move into the nonprofit world with the creation of EducationSuperHighway. Evan compares and contrasts his experiences starting for-profit companies with the startup of a nonprofit organization.


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:20) The wifi problem that launched EducationSuperHighway

(4:30) F.E. #1 – Learning from Bold Endeavors by Felix Rohatyn

(6:00) F.E. #2 – Expanding a school’s bandwidth for technology

(7:45) F.E. #3 – Bringing the tech issue center stage (White House)

(9:35) America’s CTO lets Evan in on a government secret (shhh!)

(12:23) How Evan ran his nonprofit like a startup

(18:42) A project-oriented team is KEY!

(20:56) Gauging commitment to allocate tasks

(22:24) Working with a sense of urgency

(23:25) You MUST recruit the people that are invested in your mission

(25:39) A Big Bold & Finite Goal: Go out of business by 2020

(28:25) Preaching “planned obsolescence” to avoid mission creep

(35:15) Evan’s entrepreneurial advice

(38:49) “It’s better to be lucky than smart”



Bold Endeavors:

2019: State of the State Report:

Be in the know about bandwidth:


Jun 18, 2019
Cracking the Corporate Gifts Code: A Conversation with Former Director of Corporate Giving Joe Vella

Dolph talks with Joe Vella, former Director of Corporate Giving at Macy’s, to learn how nonprofits can position themselves for corporate gifts in an era of more restricted giving.

*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:10) A happy accident: How Joe began community engagement
(4:50) Massaging the numbers fairly, judiciously, and strategically
(9:36) Securing funds from a corporation by showing tangible results
(11:48) Cause marketing vs corporate giving
(13:32) Doing your homework BEFORE you approach a corporation for funding
(17:26) Tips to increase your chances of receiving funding
(18:36) Trust me, a tour can show a LOT
(21:35) Appreciating every single dollar of a contribution
(22:46) The icing on the cake to your ask – proposing an offer they can’t resist
(25:44) Storytelling for the win!
(26:53) What to do if you when a corporate funder declines
(27:56) Postcards, postcards, and more postcards!


Joe’s LinkedIn:

Macy’s website:

Jun 11, 2019
Set the Goals, Secure the Funding, Prepare for Lift-Off! Mini Program Planning Series, Part Two

In Part Two of his Mini Program Planning Series, Dolph outlines the steps to set goals, track program outputs vs outcomes, secure initial funding, and obtain sustaining funding. He also throws in a few out-of-the-box ideas to consider and shares a real-deal timeline for program planning.



Lean more about the MVP (Most Viable Product) in episode 106


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:41) Outputs vs. outcomes, and examples that help you remember the difference

(6:13) How will you measure outputs and outcomes?

(7:13) Where are you going to put your collected data?

(9:00) Look close to home for your first source of funding

(10:52) An approach for sustainable funding that sets you up for success

(11:47) Can you earn some income?

(13:51) The long game: planned giving

(15:16) O-O-B idea #1: MVP (minimum viable product)

(16:00) The merits of the MVP approach  

(17:14) O-O-B idea #2: test it first

(18:49) O-O-B idea #3: outsource first

(20:04) True expectations timeline

May 14, 2019
So You Want to Develop a Program, Here's Where You Start - Program Planning Series Part One

Flood waters of Biblical proportions have forced Dolph to go solo for a few podcast episodes! It’s all good, as Dolph kicks of a Mini Program Planning Series today. In part one, Dolph provides step-by-step check points of the crucial components involved in creating a successful program plan.


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:19) Dolph’s cautionary tale about program design 

(8:37) Back to the drawing board

(10:52) 1st step: figure out what need your program is going to address.

(11:30) Identifying data sources to establish need

(15:03) 2nd step: define the program or service are you going to provide.

(16:22) You’ll need a program planning group, and here’s why.

(19:04) 3rd step: figure out the logistics – including the who, where, when, and everything in between.

(20:15) 3a: outreach

(21:10) 3b: put partnerships on paper

(21:59) 3c: staying on the right side of the law

(23:12) 3d: put together a documentation plan

(23:55) 3e: hammer out auxiliary services – what they are, who will provide them, and what those relationships will look like

(24:12) And yes, your logistics will overlap!

(25:00) Next week: Setting goals, tracking goals, finding initial and sustained funding, and identifying out-of-the-box ideas!

May 09, 2019
Engage Your Board with Rob Acton

Board builder Rob Acton joins us to discuss specific strategies and tactics to optimize your board. He offers actionable tactics that you can implement today. Acton, founder of Cause Strategy Partners, discusses the three categories of tactics: making better use of board meeting, treating board members as individuals not “the board” and reshaping board culture.

****Timestamped Highlights*****

(10:00) Designing board meetings that are not snooze fests

(11:30) An alternative to simply reading the Executive Director’s report

(13:30) The “Plus, Delta, Question” exercise every executive director can use with their board

(17:00) The power of generative questions

(21:40) Building the strategic dashboard your board needs

(28:00) Uncovering the unique strengths of board candidates

(33:15) Rob’s advice for nonprofit board candidates to consider

(35:45) The amount of time a board candidate should expect to volunteer each month.



Cause Strategy Partners:
Robert’s Twitter:
Cause Strategy’s Twitter:

Apr 30, 2019
I've Seen Your Resume, Show Me YOU. Strategies to Get the Director-Level Job with Executive Search Consultant Kevin Chase

In part one of his episode, Kevin Chase shared the importance of honing your professional development to prepare for a director-level job. In part two, Kevin discusses how resume building, negotiation skills, and your personality can help you secure the executive-level position you’ve been after.  



Kevin’s Instagram:

Kevin’s LinkedIn:

Kevin’s Firm, Kevin Chase Executive Search Group:

See Kevin’s current searches:

Kevin’s Appearance on Season 1, Episode 2 of Nailedit! :


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:26) How to stand out from the crowd

(4:05) It’s all in the sauce

(5:21) Kevin shares the recipe for job burnout

(9:44) When Kevin knew he could not fix his fit

(13:15) Do’s and don’t’s of resume writing

(17:12) Pro tip: Start your resume with an executive summary

(18:57) Negotiation advice - be thorough but reasonable

(22:27) Take the offer for the job you want, not the one that might come

(25:06) Everyone should know a Kevin Chase!

(29:17) If not LA or NY, then where? Kevin answers Dolph’s hypothetical

Apr 23, 2019
The Makings of a CEO: Pursuing a Director-Level Job. A Conversation with Executive Search Consultant Kevin Chase

Guess who’s back… back again! Executive Search Consultant Kevin Chase returns to our podcast for a two-part episode. In part one, Kevin walks us through how to better position yourself for an executive-level job. A tip: Start by building your skills and investing in your professional (and personal) development.


Kevin’s Instagram:

Kevin’s LinkedIn:

Kevin’s Firm, Kevin Chase Executive Search Group:

See Kevin’s current searches:

Kevin’s Appearance on Season 1, Episode 2 of Nailedit! :


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:51) Gale Goodheart wants to save the world, but how, Kevin?

(6:21) There’s no such thing as a unicorn (exec), so stop hunting!

(8:51) How Kevin once got world class marketing support for an organization

(12:23) The 85/15 Rule – Balancing the Now and Next

(15:00) The resources you need to build your skills are closer than you think

(18:29) Aiming closer to home: The approach to a prospective mentor

Apr 16, 2019
It is Almost Always Someone You Trust - A Conversation with Tiffany Couch, Author of The Thief in Your Company

Nonprofit fraud is the topic of this conversation with Tiffany Couch, CEO of Acuity Forensics. Sharing true stories of fraud found in her book, The Thief in Your Company, Tiffany breaks down what fraud looks like, who is likely to do it, and how to prevent it from happening to your organization.


Tiffany’s Book: The Thief in Your Company

Tiffany’s firm:

Stop Nonprofit Fraud:

Link for discount code for Stop Nonprofit Fraud:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(4:18) The emotional costs of fraud

(5:23) The top 3 most-trusted individuals in the organization 

(6:38) Great! You have an employee you like that well, BUT…

(9:09) Ego problem or fraud?

(9:52) Skimming schemes and the priest who stole from the church

(15:12) How limited resources factor into fraud

(16:06) Pardon my French…but review the damn bank statement!

(21:58) Locking down the range with company credit cards

(24:27) Even if you know the answer, ask the question

(25:22) Expense reimbursement requests: the long-hanging fruit of fraud

(27:10) Setting the threshold of “that’s not okay”

(28:10) The BIG problem with the “$20 and under” rule

(29:23) Basic and effective internal controls 

(35:31) A tiara and a title

Apr 09, 2019
All Problems are People Problems, and How to Solve Yours: A Conversation with Brad Wolff, Author of People Problems? How to Create People Solutions for a Competitive Advantage

Brad Wolff, author of the bestseller, People Problems? How to Create People Solutions for a Competitive Edge, joins Dolph to deliver an important lesson: all problems are people problems. Walking us through his origin story, Brad shares the experiences and lessons that have helped him understand that solving any organizational problem starts with taking an honest look at your people – especially yourself!


To learn about Habit Technologies, email Brad:
Free ebook Maximize Your People, Productivity, and Profit:
Brad’s book People Problems? How to Create People Solutions for a Competitive Advantage


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(4:18) Somewhere between birth and walking…
(6:40) Doing it wrong > Doing it right: What Brad learned as a recruiter
(9:05) Guess what? The most successful leaders are open to getting better!
(10:53) Low turnover rates may not be a bragging point
(13:28) The notable difference between a producer and a manager
(14:34) Beware the Halo Effect and Horn Effect!
(16:18) The dark period when Brad’s business failed
(18:20) The cognitive dissonance bus runs right into Brad
(22:35) Dolph finally accepts the properties of velocity and mass
(25:22) Brad and Dolph share the process of being human
(31:22) Debunking the talent myth
(32:50) Creating a safe and open work culture
(34:19) From definition to application, Brad talks habits


Apr 02, 2019
Be a Standout Candidate, Nail Negotiations and MORE! – Career Advice from Mazarine Treyz, CEO of Wild Woman Fundraising

Mazarine Treyz of Wild Woman Fundraising joins Dolph for a session of career coaching. They share a lot of Amen! moments as they discuss strategies on everything from negotiating a great salary to making the world a better place for all of us.


Mazarine’s Book: Get the Job: Your Fundraising Career Empowerment Guide

Wild Social Media:

Wild Woman Fundraising:

Mazarine’s  Art:

Mazarine Treyz:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:43) Stand out:  Incorporate their cause with your personal story

(6:42) The game of reveal and conceal in your resume

(7:48) Navigating interview questions – tackling the expected and unexpected

(9:33) Tips for approaching (and deflecting) the salary question

(11:50) Mazarine shares resume writing tips

(13:14) Blind screening resumes – to help see the whole

(15:23) Start with your board

(17:59) Shareholder value is bullsh*t

(18:56) Staff love > donor love

(20:15) The effects of “intern pay” – the mindset of undercompensation 

(23:51) Use your A.R.M.S. – and no, not not your limbs

(26:58) What to consider when negotiating your salary

(30:13) Hedonic treadmill – more, more, MORE!

(32:58) Setting time aside to do what you love

(36:25) Dolph is a five of diamonds 

Mar 26, 2019
It’s All in the Power of Counting: A Conversation with Shelby Roberts of SSR Advisors

Evaluation consultant Shelby Roberts joins Dolph to discuss how to squeeze the most out of your data by tracking as you go along. Simply put, start counting! Shelby also explains how she helped implement the strategic plan of Intown Collaborative Ministries.



Shelby’s LinkedIn:

InTown Collaborative Ministries:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:30) When a project does not go your way

(6:16) Easy ways to measure output

(7:44) Step One: Count. Step Two: Store it.

(9:19) Excel: Shelby’s choice for data analysis

(10:30)  Focusing on short- and medium-term outcomes  

(11:36) Using a pre- and post-survey to track outcome measurements 

(14:32) The benefits of tracking output over time – paint a picture! 

(16:48) Communicating your plan for measuring outputs (and outcomes)

(18:26) The power in the Red, Yellow, and Green: Using scorecards to measure progress

(24:40) Shelby recalls her earlier role in Intown’s strategic planning  

(26:45) How Shelby helped implement Intown’s strategic planning process as board chair

(28:06) Intown’s staff roles vs. board roles

(28:50) Kate Hayes was onto something… having talent on your board brings benefits

 (30:53) Shelby’s Weekend Plans: More rigorous than yours

Mar 19, 2019
Top 5 Behaviors of High-Performing CEOs: A Conversation with Kim Powell, author of The CEO Next Door

Kim Powell is back and she’s changing the perspective about who can be a successful CEO! Podcast veteran Kim Powell returns to the podcast to discuss key takeaways from her latest book, The CEO Next Door. Kim explains the traits of successful executive directors and debunks CEO myths.



Kim’s website:

Buy the book: The CEO Next Door:

Kim’s debut, Episode 27:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(4:19) Myth #1: Successful CEOs have Ivy League degrees.

(5:07) Myth #2: Successful CEOs began pursuing the top seat early in their careers.

(6:16) Myth #3: The CEO is a superhero who saves the day.

(7:29) Myth #4: Successful CEOs are extroverts.

(8:05) Myth #5: Successful CEOs have swung from success to success throughout their careers.

(9:30) Career blowups are an opportunity to learn

(11:30) Step “broad”

(15:10) Kim discusses four behaviors that can propel someone to the CEO position

(15:44) Behavior 1: Being decisive

(18:20) Behavior 2: Delivering reliably

(20:56) Behavior 3: Engaging for impact

(21:43) Behavior 4: Adapting proactively

(25:01) Kim’s shares the most interesting interview conducted for her book

(28:55) Kim shares the most diplomatic ways interviewees turned down her interviews for her book

Mar 12, 2019
Purpose or Profit? Have Both with a B-corp! A Conversation with Rick Alexander

Dolph talks with Rick Alexander, author of Benefit Corporation Law and Governance: Pursuing Profit with Purpose. Rick schools us on the various Bs: B certified, B Lab, and B Corporation. He also outlines the similarities and differences between B corps and nonprofits, and shares instances where nonprofits spin off for-profit entities with B corp legitimacy.  



Rick’s Book, Benefit Corporation Law and Governance: Pursuing Profit with Purpose

Rick’s Website:

B-Lab’s website:

Measure your Nonprofit’s B-Corp Fit:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:51) What inspired Rick to get on board for B corps

(5:25) Cute and crunchy, but not something for serious corporate law

(9:44) A lot of Bs flying around

(12:30) Why become a B corp?

(15:30) Impact investors come in a variety of sizes

(20:45) Choosing between a nonprofit structure and B corp structure

(25:52) Rick explains his book’s dedication to the 1129 human beings lost in the Rana tragedy. 

(29:15) Win-win: Rick and his publisher get the titles they want.

Mar 05, 2019
From Recruitment to Recommitment, Building the Board You Need with Kate Hayes

Kate Hayes of Echoing Green,  a seed-funding and leadership development program for social entrepreneurs, joins Dolph for a lively discussion about the care and feeding of baby boards. Kate also shares her love of site visits to reignite board members’ passion for the organizational mission.



Kate’s firm:

Kate’s Article in SSIR: A Roadmap to Better Boards

Archive of Kate’s Articles in Forbes:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(4:08) Growing from the “friends and family plan”

(7:12) Why now? What do I want my board to look like? Who do I need? 

(10:34) The perks of cold-calling prospective members

(12:40) A critical piece of the puzzle: matching context and content

(17:06) Until Bernie Marcus knocks on your door, keep giving that homework

(19:32) Peer pressure for a healthy culture

(20:30) Bless and release 

(23:48) Recommitting board members by sparking their passion

Feb 26, 2019
Accommodate Your Millennial Workers – or Another Organization Will: A Conversation with Larry Velez of Sinu

We invite Larry Velez, founder and CTO of Sinu, to help us understand and accommodate millennials in the workplace. Top of the list: make sure your organization’s systems and tools are mobile-ready. 


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(6:58) The trend: Millennials love iPhones!

(9:23) Finding balance for seamless integration of devices, data and more

(12:45) Yahoo’s semi-cautionary tale

(15:47) Being remote but having an office for those who need it

(17:07) Trust Issues: Why the older generation fears the cloud

(22:35) Accommodating millennials by increasing usability of your tools

(24:40) The value of video

(28:30) The gift Banksy left on Larry’s office



Larry’s firm, Sinu:

Remote: Office Not Required:  

Banksy Rat Mural on Canal Street, Chinatown, New York City Courtesy of Carina DeVara:

Click here for the details on Banksy’s Famous Rat Mural on Canal Street

Feb 19, 2019
Trust Me: I’ve Worked with Hundreds of Nonprofit Finance Teams with Kelsey Vatsaas

Dolph and Kelsey Vatsaas, principal at CliftonLarsonAllen, discuss ways to streamline operations within the nonprofit finance department to improve efficiency, accuracy, and audit results. A good place to start? Step back and ask, “Do we actually use this information?” Learn what to track and what to let go.    




Kelsey’s Firm CliftonLarsonAllen:

Read Kelsey’s Blog: Signs of Finance Department Dysfunction and What to Do About It

Freemium: Contact Kelsey for a Free 30-minute Consultation


*****Timestamped Highlights*****


(5:08) A record breaker: The client with a whopping 1,800 ledger accounts

(9:48) Getting federal grants can be a good time for reflection

(12:28) Don’t be scared to ask for help

(14:35) A Gamechanger: Negotiate the Indirect Cost Rate  

(20:35) Show some flexibility with your audit timeline

(22:32) Approaching your auditor when things don’t make sense

(25:15) The management letter: a useful and under-utilized tool

(30:25) Kelsey’s Wedding: a dysfunctional function? Nah. 

Feb 12, 2019
Everyone Must Get On Board the Tech Train…or It’s Not Leaving the Station: A Conversation with Peter Gross of Build Consulting

Peter Gross of Build Consulting is a nonprofit technology expert. And he’s here to tell you that the real issue around technology in many nonprofits is not that they have the wrong system. Nope. It’s the failure of leadership to get behind the system and support its implementation and use across the organization. Peter never wants to hear another ED say, “Well, I’m not a tech guy…” again!


Build Consulting:

Build Consulting Newsletter:

*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(1:31) Strip it down

(7:20) The Cadillac   

(10:15) Never say that again

(13:32) It’s getting easier and easier

(21:10) Small nonprofits…spreadsheets and QuickBooks

(23:20) Vendor agnostic  

(27:52) Cows, otters, chicken, deer

Feb 05, 2019
Know the Donor, Be the Donor: Engagement Fundraising with Greg Warner, Part 2

Greg Warner, author of Engagement Fundraising: How to Raise More Money for Less in the 21st Century, returns, and once again, it’s a no-holds-barred conversation! In this episode, Dolph and Greg discuss what engagement fundraising really means, and why it’s a live-or-die proposition for nonprofits today.



Greg’s site:

Engagement Fundraising: How to Raise More Money for Less in the 21st Century:

Free fundraising report card:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(4:55) Everyone has his or her own cartoon                          

(7:05) Show ‘em that you know ‘em!

(8:45) 193 out of 30,000

(9:03) Stupid simple

(10:24) Ya gotta dance

(14:05) If I finally make it in business, I want to be with a company that has smart in the name.

(16:40) Look Mom!

(20:03) The post-sell

(24:25) Holy crap! Holy cow! (No bleeps needed this time.)

(30:33) The Milgram Experiment

(33:52) You know what they think? Screw you!


Jan 29, 2019
Branding is Bull: Engagement fundraising with Greg Warner

Join Dolph as he welcomes Greg Warner, author of Engagement Fundraising: How to Raise More Money for Less in the 21st Century, and founder of MarketSmart, a marketing software and services firm. Greg and Dolph approach the subject of engagement fundraising in part one of this two-part episode, but not before they take on some sacred cows of the nonprofit industry. Fun fact: This episode contains more bleeps than any Dolph has aired before!



Greg’s site:

Engagement Fundraising: How to Raise More Money for Less in the 21st Century:

Free fundraising report:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:00) I am thunderous, my friend

(5:00) They’re wasting my money, and you’re letting them

(8:49) Fundraising climate change

(9:20) GenX – we don’t trust ANYTHING!

(11:34) Buh bye, problem funder

(14:13) Charity Water: From nothing to a lot, and without direct mail

(16:20) These three predictors…   

(17:52) The pompous and problematic board member(s)

(20:15) Bro time!

(21:21) Ya gotta eat your own dog food

(28:45) Buy. Give. Same thing.

Jan 22, 2019
How to Address the Disengaged Board Member with Cindi Phallen of Create Possibility

We’re all familiar with that board member whose attitude, actions, and absences add up to disengagement. We’re faced with the questions: How can we reengage this person? Should we reengage this person?

Cindi Phallen, president of Create Possibility and author of The Impact Triangle: The 3 Essentials to Accelerate Your Nonprofit Enterprise, talks with Dolph about determining the best course of action when a board member is fading out. 


Board Engagement Checklist:

Cindi’s site:

The Impact Triangle:

*****Timestamped Highlights*****    

(3:17) Success starts with mindset

(4:00) Four tools for board engagement   

(7:07) Let’s see how I can be a really bad volunteer…

(9:06) This fundraising myth

(10:30) Three parts of storytelling

(13:10) Get out of your own way

(17:21) Is Charlie still on the board?

(21:33) Exit interview

(25:38) Cindi, the bicoastal sports fan

Jan 15, 2019
Bringing New Levels of Meaningful Organization into Your Life with Emily Parks

Just in time to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions, Emily Parks shares her extensive knowledge of organizational tools, along with how to analyze what works best for you. Check out this episode and get inspired to make some positive changes in your life this year.  



Emily’s site:




Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies Quiz:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:06) The prior lives of Emily Parks

(6:06) Dolph’s dirty little (organizing) confession…

(8:25) Bridges and bandaids

(9:38) Is one the lonliest number? Emily thinks not.

(11:25) Electronic person or paper person?

(15:20) John Smith vs Dolph Goldenburg

(18:09) The (3x5) Card Game

(21:49) Colorful projects

(26:10) National Clean Off Your Desk Day

(28:45) Don’t head back to Florida!

(34:43) Roots and wings

Jan 08, 2019
Holiday Replay! Executing Strategy Despite Obstacles, Setbacks, And Stalls with Patty Azzarello

Getting stuck in a rut happens to the best of us. Nonprofit teams often reach an impasse a few weeks or months after launching a new initiative or strategy. Consequently, staff revert to the tasks they’ve always done while board members focus on next year’s budget, the audit, recruiting new board members, and that upcoming special event.

This New Year, take the time to cure your organization's implementation blues by revisiting our phenomenal conversation with Patty Azzarello, founder of the Azzarello Group and best selling author of MOVE: How decisive leaders execute strategy despite obstacles, setbacks, and stalls.

The Azzarello Group
MOVE: How decisive leaders execute strategy despite obstacles, setbacks, and stalls.

*****Time Stamped Highlights*****
(6:52) Why organization’s get “stuck” when implementing strategy
(8:35) How to overcome inertia and resistance when implementing strategy.
(14:45) Using control points to better design, implement, and measure strategy
(18:29) The importance of finding the “limping cows” in your organization
(23:30) How to appropriately resource your strategy execution
(29:40) How to manage expectations when you receive 30% or the resources necessary to produce the desired outcome.
(31:40) How to build the right team to implement your strategy
(32:50) Develop your team’s “blank sheet org chart”
(36:48) How to keep your team from turning back during strategy implementation.
(41:00) The one piece of advice Patty would give to young professionals (and not-so-young professionals, too)



Jan 02, 2019
So You Want to Buy a Building? Tips for Navigating Real Estate for Nonprofits with Jon Denham and Paul Wolf

Leasing, buying, or renting the actual physical premises for your nonprofit can be daunting. Real estate transactions can go south by mismanaging development plans or failing to establish necessary relationships with regulatory bodies.

Jon Denham and Paul Wolf founded Denham Wolf Real Estate Services to help nonprofits assess financial viability and plan, acquire, and develop real estate. Today, Jon and Paul talk with Dolph about their philosophy on successfully navigating real estate issues for the nonprofit.  


Jon and Paul’s website:




The Rockaways:,_Queens

Red Hook:

Inwood and The Met Cloisters:,_Manhattan


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(4:12) A major presence in the Broadway box

(5:38) Government: a major player for sure, a major partner we hope

(10:40) Fanning the flames of life back into old firehouses

(22:53) A Costco for real estate

(26:47) Plan plan plan (ahead)

(30:05) Buffer time

(32:45) Reality check!

(35:00) Jon and Paul add to Dolph’s “Nerd Sunday List”

Dec 18, 2018
Part Two of Getting the Audience to Shut the F*** Up at Your Charity Auction, with Dean Crownover

In the second installment of this two-part series, Dolph and Dean Crownover, owner of My Benefit Auctioneer, continue their conversation about Getting the Audience to Shut the F*** Up at Your Charity Auction! Dean shares a real-life story to illustrate why warm bodies in a room do not equal charity auction success, and drives home the importance of reminding your guests why their support matters.


Dean’s website:

To take advantage of Dean’s free one-hour consultation, call him at 404-403-9090.


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(5:25) Warm bodies in the room do not equal success

(6:09) Dean is Data King

(7:15) We want you back

(9:30) The organization is the superstar

(10:50) Two men in a bathroom: advertise everywhere

(15:15) REPRESENT: persuade the sponsor to keep “Mailroom Mike” at home

(18:30) Bedazzled: Hire that guy with the glittery jacket!

(21:15) Coy Bowles, call me!


Dec 11, 2018
Getting the Audience to Shut the F*** Up at Your Charity Auction, with Dean Crownover

Auctions are all fun and games until your audience can’t settle down long enough to hear the auctioneer, let alone bid. Although it can be challenging, wrangling guests to produce the best outcomes, financially and socially, is a skill perfected by Dean Crownover, owner of My Benefit Auctioneer.

Dean brings 20 years of experience to his role as show runner/auctioneer for a wide variety of Atlanta-area nonprofit charity auctions. In part one of our conversation, Dean outlines the key elements of a great event, including the prescription for “golden time” and doing the fund-a-need first.



Dean’s website:

To take advantage of Dean’s free one-hour consultation, call him at 404-403-9090.


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(4:55) Chatlanta

(6:15) Get your wiggles out!

(8:00) What the Delta Museum and the College Football Hall of Fame have in common

(9:40) Barflys = deadbeats

(10:45) Money money money

(11:54) Sayonara emcees

(13:15) SHHH vs shhh

(15:57) Feed, then fund-a-need

(22:00) Dean wants a smooth ride

(25:45) I AM the Pry Bar

Dec 04, 2018
Lean Impact with Ann Mei Chang

Today Dolph talks about a different kind of MVP with Ann Mei Chang, author of Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good. Ann Mei draws upon the work of Eric Ries in defining and optimizing the Minimum Viable Product approach when tackling issues for the betterment of our world.



Lean Impact:

Ann Mei's book is available at Amazon and at brick-and-mortar bookstores


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:00) Dolph accidentally skips words when he reads(!)

(3:55) How California nonprofit Code for America used the MVP approach

(6:25) “The Amazon of Lower Africa”

(9:09) The Grand Master Plan – why it’s the best thing since sliced bread – or is it??

(10:33) How to fail small

(14:45) The Build—Measure—Learn Feedback Loop

(17:50) Orangutans – A Love Story

(22:19) 1200 words now, the beach later

(24:24) Catalog dreams dashed

Nov 27, 2018
The Donor Survey: Best Practices for Real Results with Rachel Clemens

"Research kills opinion” is the mantra of today’s guest, Rachel Clemens, Chief Marketing Officer of Mighty Citizen. Rachel develops and analyzes donor surveys that uncover the truth about what donors are thinking and feeling about an organization. Today she shares best practices about design, implementation, and follow-up.


Rachel’s agency:

Survey crafting tools:

Sign up for “all of Mighty Citizen’s thinking”:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(5:42) The nuts and bolts of a donor survey

(9:24) To ask or not to ask; that is the question

(11:35) Surprise, surprise!

(12:55) Always offer the “Other”

(14:20) #1 Boring #2 Dull

(17:09) Open-ended questions are great in personal communication, not so much in a donor survey

(19:39) Dolph resurrects the will to live 

(21:26) The beauty of the survey

(23:15) Transparency and timeliness

(24:13) The Good Will Jar

(26:45) Swap Your Shop!

Nov 13, 2018
The Family Office with Ranlyn Tilley Hill, J.D.

Today Dolph speaks with Ranlyn Tilley Hill, J.D., president of Benevolent Vision. Ranlyn takes us behind the scenes to explore the inner workings of family foundations and the family offices that serve as conduits to that world of benefactors.  


Ranlyn’s LinkedIn:

Ranlyn’s website:

Freemium: 30-minute thinking partner session

Foundation Center



*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:55) Giving you the basics: Ranlyn defines a family office 

(7:28) Narrowing your philanthropic purview down with data tools 

(9:26) Surveying an organization’s impact with a proper site visit

(13:13) One degree of separation (sorry, Kevin Bacon)

(17:00) Remember Stephen Covey? Still relevant.

(25:15) Four ways to leverage the relationship between the family office and nonprofit 

(29:13) Dunkirk (the event, not the movie): Ranlyn’s inspiration  



Nov 06, 2018
You Want Me to Do What? 10 Ways to Get Your Executive Director to Fundraise with You Getting the Credit! with June Kress and Chris Rutledge

Today’s conversation is with two presenters from this year’s Bridge Conference. June Kress of June Kress Consulting and Chris Rutledge, Chief Development Officer at Friendship Place in Washington, D.C., used a five-skit format to demonstrate ways to encourage executive directors to fundraise, while still getting credit as a development director! In truth, June and Chris are recommending collaboration rather than craftiness. Join us for a fun discussion.



June Kress Consulting:

Chris Rutledge:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:15) Why don’t we just throw a big gala?!? NO

(4:35) Setting them free four minutes early: exceeding the Benevon Model

(8:45) Hold on! Let’s follow up first.

(11:35) Dolph and Chris sing the praises of the trusty blue pen.

(14:12) 60:40

(15:45) Avoid jargonese

(16:20) Less data, more stories

(20:33) DDEDs (Difficult-to-Deal-with EDs)

(22:03) More of the “Come to Jesus” approach

(23:26) Dolph and June love the weekly meeting.

(24:14) “A vague disclaimer is no one’s friend.”

(25:10) When you’ve done it to death…

(27:30) Six months is a reasonable trial for a DD

(29:00) In a parallel universe…

Oct 30, 2018
Top Three Nonprofit Website Fails with Jesse Lane

How’s your organization’s website looking these days? Dolph is joined by Jesse Lane, Chief Marketing Officer of Pure Charity, to discuss the three most common nonprofit website fails and their (sort of) quick fixes.



Jesse's link to a free website review:

State of Good 2018:



*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:30) It took a year! Jesse shares a painful memory.

(5:51) The one thing we want people to do

(9:20) It’s a unique situation

(13:01) The footer, aka the “junk drawer” of your website

(18:05) No Jargon Zone

(21:00) Don’t be so abstract

(23:42) Teflon facts; they’re not sticky

(25:05) We know their names and we know their stories – no more stock photos

(28:11) Breakin’ the rules

Oct 23, 2018
A return to our conversation with Kathleen Janus, author of Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up, and Make a Difference.

This week, join us as we revisit the question, “What are best practices of those nonprofits that make the transition from small budget to large budget impact and growth?” Kathleen Janus, author of Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up, and Make a Difference, emphasizes:

  1. creating a culture of innovation;
  2. measuring impact for better scaling;
  3. finding an appropriate funding model; 
  4. embracing collective leadership;
  5. and utilizing storytelling for growth.
Oct 16, 2018
Storytelling and Nonprofit Fundraising with Tiffany Lawrence

Tiffany Lawrence shares examples from her work with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the United Way to describe how storytelling can drive fundraising.



Orion Strategies:

Danny’s story:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:12) The persuasion business 

(5:25) Give, advocate, or become a champion

(7:08) Six children and a grandma

(14:10) Ask strings

(15:04) How to go about the “ask”

(19:58) The Two Brothers from Different Worlds: A story of adventure and reconnection  

(23:57) If you watch it, you’re going to cry

(28:00) The daily good

(32:00) We want the organizations to be human

(33:13) Walking the line: Tiffany’s experiences on Appalachian trail

Oct 09, 2018
Using CRM to Raise Money and Get Home for Dinner with Melissa Wyers

As busy professionals, we are always looking for opportunities to maximize the return on our efforts. This sentiment remains true when it comes to improving fundraising tactics.

Today we speak with Melissa Wyers, Executive Director of EveryAction, a CRM tailored specifically for nonprofits. Melissa talks about how automation can be used to develop more robust communication with and cultivation of donors…and save time to boot!


Bonus Break 13: Thank Donors Like You Mean It

Melissa’s site: 


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(4:14) The makings of a move for automation

(5:10) Amazon is the standard

(6:15) The renewal series: trigger in and trigger out

(9:30) Ninety days or fewer to recapture series

(12:06) Engaged, but no gift

(13:20) The meaningful use of surveys

(15:59) Less a ladder, more a jungle gym

(18:50) Timing is everything: The transition from automation to personal messaging

(22:20) Dolph gets old fashioned

(23:42) The versatility of CRM automation: sustainers, cultivation, credit card reminders

(28:09) Asking board members to say thanks

(30:15) Correspondence documentation: a basic requirement in CRM

(33:26) A dream dinner with Matisse

Oct 02, 2018
“Wait…30% of Your File is Signing Up for Recurring Donations?” with Rachel Kottler

Rachel Kottler, Digital Account Manager with Lautman Maska Neill & Company, shares key takeaways from her recent Bridge Conference presentation: Wait…30% of Your File is Signing Up for Recurring Donations?.



Rachel’s firm:

Her presentation Wait…30% of Your File is Signing Up for Recurring Donations?:

Salon for Digital Change-Makers:

      - Eventbrite:



*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:10) You’ve Got Mail: HRC’s suprising subset of long-term donors

(2:59) Tuning into your demographics for locating retention potential

(3:58) Segment your ask

(4:48) The convenience ask, aka “Netflix style”

(6:20) 10, 20, 30

(7:50) Upgrade, within reason

(8:40) Two dollar Tuesday

(10:35) Online welcome series for new donors

(15:09) You got ‘em, now keep ‘em

(15:45) Recapture 50%

(16:37) EFT, not ESP

(19:55) Dolph and Rachel extol the virtues of the handwritten note

(21:58) Make a relationship, even if you have over 80k people in your book

(23:08) Triumphs in Human Rights: Donors’ stories behind their loyalty to HRC

(28:30) Criss cross applesauce: Rachel compares teaching first graders to promoting donor retention 


Sep 25, 2018
Best Practices for Auctioning Big-Ticket Travel with Adam Capes

Adam Capes, founder of Getaway2Give, shares best practices for auctioning off high-end vacations. Spoiler alert: you need someone like Sherry Truhlar (see episodes 91 & 92) to really bring in the cash. 





Adam’s companies:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:24) Adam’s transition from the for-profit world to the nonprofit world

(5:08) Vacation at the top

(6:25) The three keys for a successful auction

(10:35) 25k ringer

(12:00) Group love

(13:13) FOMO (fear of missing out)

(15:54) Yes all day long

(19:20) Crowd control

(24:19) We will not be silent!

(25:37) The best thank you

Sep 18, 2018
A Contrarian View of Fundraising with Jason Lewis

Jason Lewis, author of The War for Fundraising Talent and How Small Shops Can Win, talks about his belief that fundraising is in its “messy adolescence,” and offers his views on how it can mature.


Jason’s Site:

Jason’s Book: The War for Fundraising Talent and How Small Shops Can Win

*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:45) Messy adolescence

(5:36) Own the reality of the trivial gift

(8:22) Don’t assume too much from this.

(11:35) At least take me out for coffee…

(17:21) Rx for talent retention

(18:32) Jason delves into Goal Orientation Theory

(20:11) And now, the Dualistic Model of Passion

(23:50) I’m looking to develop a meaningful relationship…

(25:32) Jason’s Three Concurrent Lanes

(32:25) The York Revolution!

Sep 11, 2018
Holiday Replay- Engineering Equity into Your Organization with Daria Torres

This Labor Day, we provide a refresher course on what it looks like to move toward a culture of equity in an organization. Daria Torres, founder and managing partner of the Walls Torres Group, guides us through the methodology and use of the Equity Maturity Model.



Daria’s Website:

Equity Maturity Model:

Giving Cycle Nonprofit:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(4:24) Think of a growth chart

(6:00) A good grounding: inclusive culture, encompassing open mindset and courageous leadership

(7:45) Accessibility

(10:40) 12 Dimension, Six Meta-Categories

(11:35) Explicit commitment: shared language and evaluative discipline

(13:45) Who is the who? 

(16:20) Let the model inspire, not restrict 

(18:30) Equitable procurement: fair consideration and informed selection

(21:50) Stepping out of the consulting role for a minute to describe an organization in crisis

(23:30) Visible accountability: dedicated oversight and transparent orientation

(25:00) Dolph and Daria discuss Philly cheesesteak culture

Sep 03, 2018
Housing, Health, and Board Governance with Dr. Joynicole Martinez

Dr. Joynicole Martinez, founder and CEO of The Alchemist Agency, believes the health of any population is established at the intersection of its housing, healthcare, and educational systems. Today she and Dolph talk about building the best boards to support the nonprofits that bolster those systems.



The Alchemist Agency:




*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:30) It’s about the destination: Joynicole shares her inspiration

(4:00) Inextricably linked: healthcare and housing

(6:14) More than an obligation to report: board governance

(10:00) Securing the board members right for your nonprofit

(12:40) The good, the bad, and the ugly - the reality of filling a board vacancy

(16:00) A board member’s necessary ability to politely challenge and be challenged

(20:30) The disconnected staff member

(25:10) As told by Joynicole: the untouchable, mystical board and the frightened staff members

(27:01) Lift Every Voice: Joynicole’s first occupation as a promoter/manager of gospel singers

Aug 28, 2018
Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant, with Erica Waasdorp

Donor cultivation can be tricky. Erica Waasdorp, author of Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant, reminds us that the monthly small-gift donor tends to be extremely loyal and may be an underdeveloped segment of your giving program. 




Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant


Monthly donor road map:

Donor templates:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:55) Growing up in the Netherlands: the inspiration behind monthly giving 

(6:00) History lesson for all you young ‘uns

(8:45) Lamenting the loss of the land line

(9:30) Who converts to sustaining giving?

(11:57) Pioneers of monthly giving  

(14:16) Let them know you know who they are

(16:30) Yes, your parents were correct – call or write to say thanks!

(18:25) The unexpected WOW!

(26:00) Little bits add up

(26:37) Footloose: How Erica became a dancer

Aug 21, 2018
Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Mobile and Messaging (But Were Afraid to Ask) with Michael Sabat

We are all familiar with text messaging. Whether we use SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or something else , we text practically every day. Michael Sabat, founder of @mssg, helps us apply our text messaging savvy to communication, marketing, and fundraising in the nonprofit world.



The Chatbubble podcast:




*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:06) Optimizing Messenger: 1200 house parties and a march

(4:51) The 4+ options

(7:21) From you to me: Michael elaborates on one-to-one messaging

(10:20) What did we do with phone numbers before messaging???

(11:52) “Be the first to find out”

(14:00) The whole point of the vendor in messaging

(15:57) Lessons from Humane Society International

(17:27) Messenger: advancing from the desktop era

(19:12) A chatbot? Not so much

(21:51) Plan for overflow with broadcast messaging

(23:00) Not picking up the phone? No problem.

(24:24) Text is best

(27:01) The Fantasy Football King

Aug 14, 2018
Donation Form Drinking Game with Ira Horowitz

Have you ever tried to make a gift on a charity’s website, only to become frustrated by having to complete so many required fields that your attempt to donate timed out? Or how about getting through the form, only to hit the cancel button instead of the submit button because they were nearly identical? These are true events, and just a couple of examples of what to avoid when creating your organization’s online donation form.


Join us as we speak with Ira Horowitz, founder of Cornershop Creative. Ira describes how to make your nonprofit’s online donation form a thing of beauty – and revenue! Learn the do’s and don’ts of asking for gifts from your nonprofit’s website. 



Cornershop Creative:

Plugins available on Cornerstone Creative’s website:


Mentioned platforms:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:28) Ira explains the conception of the drinking game

(4:54) You’re asking too much!

(6:50) Give your donation form a test run before releasing it

(11:32) Bigger buttons are better

(12:12) Laser focus: removing distractions from your form

(16:31) Ira’s List: Ira recommends giving platforms

(19:54) A fast turnaround is key

(22:52) Hold the lettuce, hold the mayo: custom solutions

(24:15) Location, location, location

(26:13) Content contentment

(27:09) To pop or not to pop

(28:44) Shout out to The West Wing!

Aug 07, 2018
Event 180, Part Two: Flipping Small Fundraising Auctions on Their Heads for Better Revenue with Sherry Truhlar

In part two of this episode, we continue our conversation with Sherry Truhlar, benefit auctioneer at Red Apple Auctions. Sherry details methods for improving small auction events (simplify, simplify), teaches us bidder psychology, and drives home the importance of M.E.S.S.



Red Apple Auctions website:

Free auction item guide (published each January, available year-round):

Free newsletter:

Sherry’s book: The Essential Fundraising Handbook for Small Nonprofits

Link to Part One:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:00) Dolph coins a term: “The Three Cs of Auctions”

(3:29) Playing off the lull to increase bids

(5:10) Live auctions, silent auctions, games/raffles, and asking for pledges

(6:15) Tips for small auctions: simplify the bidding opportunities

(8:15) Bidder psychology

(12:15) Clean up the M.E.S.S.: M is for Mission

(17:08) E is for Experience: The story of a gala chair

(20:10) Dolph’s guest experience pet peeve

(25:11) S is for Simplify, S is for Sponsorship

(26:55) Sherry’s most challenging item to auction(!)

Jul 31, 2018
Executive Transition Planning Series Part 3: Pros and Cons of Executive Director Contracts

We are well underway on this bonus break series about succession planning, and this episode is about the often-discussed, hot topic of executive director contracts. We explore the pros and cons of offering the executive director an employment contract, specifically as they relate to transition planning.

Jul 23, 2018
Event 180: Flipping Small Fundraising Events on Their Heads for Better Revenues with Sherry Truhlar

In part one of this two-part episode, we speak with Sherry Truhlar, founder of Red Apple Auctions. Sherry tells us how she became an auctioneer and how organizations of all sizes can boost their fundraising revenue by fine tuning their techniques.

In part one, Sherry:

  1. discusses her path to her profession;
  2. demonstrates vocal techniques for auctioneering
  3. talks about best practices to improve auction revenue.



Red Apple Auctions website:

Free auction item guide (published each January, available year-round):

Free newsletter:

Sherry’s book: Essential fundraising handbook for small nonprofits


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:15) Sherry explains how she became an auctioneer

(5:36) The Chant: what Sherry learned in auctioneer school

(9:27) Don’t try this at home: the Betty Botter tongue twister

(11:05) Sherry tells Dolph the best items to include in an auction

(13:38) An example of a contribution by a beloved community member

(19:44) Creating the closer-to-home getaway to auction off

Jul 23, 2018
Executive Transition Planning Series Part 2: Four Types of Transitions

Some leadership transitions are straightforward – the executive director gives a month’s notice before their final day. These are often the simplest and easiest transitions to plan for, but the board needs to prepare for more abrupt and even temporary transitions.


In this bonus break, we will outline the four types of executive transitions your organization may experience and help you begin the succession planning process

Jul 19, 2018
$0 to $3 Million in Under Five Years with Maurya Couvares

Our guest today is Maurya Couvares, CEO of ScriptEd, a nonprofit that provides free coding instruction to students in under-resourced schools. Growing ScriptEd from 12 students in its first year to over 800 in year five is the wonderful success story Maurya shares with us. A major element of ScriptEd’s phenomenal growth is robust data collection combined with the savvy use of that data in fundraising efforts.



ScriptEd’s site:

ScriptEd’s Twitter:

ScriptEd’s annual reports:

Maurya’s Twitter:

Maurya’s LinkedIn:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:14) Maurya’s expectations for ScriptEd’s Growth

(4:58) What ScriptEd does

(7:12) Three Ps: Passion, Partnerships, Program

(9:29) Mo levels, mo expenses

(10:19) Do the hustle! How Maurya approached funders and corporations for money

(12:34) Deep thinking, low-cost

(13:30) Maurya shares how growth impacted her board  

(16:45) The theory of change and the metrics pyramid

(18:49) Talk about growth - less than 1% to 73%!

(19:47) Translate impact into $$$ - speak the language of the funders

(22:30) Automation of data collection 

(23:22) About ScriptEd’s custom Salesforce

(25:16) The Road Ahead: Maurya shares what’s next for ScriptEd

(27:00) 400%?!?

(31:03) Dolph declines a dip in the Hudson River

Jul 17, 2018
Executive Transition Planning Series part 1 - Why You Need a Plan

We received such strong feedback on the strategic planning bonus break series, that I’m now offering another series – this one on executive transition planning. In this seven-part series, we’ll discuss

  1. What is a transition plan? Why do you need one?
  2. The four types of transitions.
  3. Good time to think about contracts
  4. Developing your interim plan
  5. Write your ED playbook
  6. Reviewing and refreshing your plan
  7. Hire a consultant or do it yourself?

In this first Bonus Break of the succession planning series, we explain the importance of transition plans.

Jul 12, 2018
Conflict Can Be Good for Your Organization with Nate Regier, Ph.D.

There is tremendous energy in conflict. Harnessing that energy for good involves basic precepts outlined in Dr. Nate Regier's model of Compassionate Accountability.  Join us as Nate advocates for a fresher and more useful understanding of conflict, and encourages us to engage with openness, resourcefulness, and perseverance.


Next Element’s site:

Conflict without Casualties: A field guide for leading with Compassionate Accountability:

Compassionate Accountability Personal Development Kit:

Nate’s Training:


*****Timestamped Highlights****

(2:15) Growing up in Zaire as a son of Mennonites: the upbringing that inspired Nate’s career

(4:53) Nate’s journey into mind/body/spirit health and integrative behavioral medicine

(6:02) Nate explains myths about conflict

(8:13) The Drama Triangle featuring the persecutor, victim and rescuer

(10:53) Handling the organizational “bomb thrower”

(11:41) Compassionate Accountability – hold people accountable while preserving their dignity

(12:09) ORP – openness, resourcefulness, and persistence – in that order

(16:45) How recognition of human equality guides conflict energy 

(18:30) Compassionate accountability and failing forward: the art of optimizing a mistake

(23:42) If you do nothing else, start at open

(24:40) Asha and Dad use compassionate accountability to work out bedtime drama

(26:16) Turning back time: Nate imagines how his high school classmates would react to his career

Jul 10, 2018
Independence from Messy - A primer for nonprofit professionals with Cris Sgrott-Wheedelton (Holiday Replay)

For some of us, being a tad bit unorganized is part of our personality- a cluttered desk is calming and rummaging for a file or note becomes commonplace. However, repeatedly misplacing items is frustrating because you lose productive time  with every search for a lost item.

Regardless of your place on the organizational spectrum, you will benefit from this conversation with Cris Sgrott-Wheedleton,  founder of Organized Maniacs.



Cris' Company:

The planner pad that Cris uses can be found at

    The online scheduling app that Dolph uses is at

    Cris on Facebook:

    Cris on Twitter:

*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(7:19) How to encourage someone to get organized if they are generally resistant to change

(12:45) How to tame the paper tiger in your office

(13:26) How you can cut the paperwork on your desk in half

(19:20) Why time-blocking is important for your productivity

(24:28) Why you should have really descriptive terminology when saving a file

(26:15) The importance of creating a naming structure for your digital files

(32:40) How to keep those shared spaces organized (like office supply closets, storage rooms, and break rooms).

(35:20) The value of a label maker and organizing boxes

(40:20) How to help people emotionally let go of outdated printing materials cluttering your office

Jul 03, 2018
Media Relations with Antionette Kerr

When interacting with the media, a nonprofit is concerned not only with getting coverage, but with obtaining the best coverage for the organization. Today’s guest, Antionette Kerr, CEO of Bold & Bright Media and founder of The Write Folks, LLC, is here to help. Antionette offers us sage advice on how nonprofits can generate exposure and optimize outcomes by creating strong media relations.


Nonprofit Academy:

Bold & Bright Media:

Antionette’s book: Modern Media Relations for Nonprofits

Antionette’s LinkedIn:

*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:00) The boring press release: one of Antoinette’s biggest pet peeves

(6:55) There is space in the news world for nonprofits to be filling the gap for desperate reporters short on time and short on resources.

(8:00) Enhance your media releases by making them “G.R.E.A.T.” 

(11:03) How you can build a relationship with a reporter

(15:55) WTF?! How to act when the reporter gets it wrong

(19:58) Making sure donors see your media coverage

(21:20) The three types of media sources

(24:19) Antionette shares how she got a paid internship at a newspaper at age 16

Jun 26, 2018
Morning Routines of Very Successful Nonprofit Professionals

Previous guests share the morning rituals they use to jumpstart their days. 

Jun 19, 2018
Free Resources for Researching Foundations

The ability to research prospective funders and develop a highly targeted list of  possible foundations is a key skill that all grant writers must develop. Dolph shares how you can build a list of likely funders, narrow down the list, and create a great grant calendar.  




Jun 14, 2018
Three Questions to Ask Before You Submit that Grant!

Look before you leap by asking these three questions before you even start writing a grant proposal.

Jun 07, 2018
Offering Employee Benefits Your Team Will Love with Liz Frayer

You probably think a lot about employee benefits - whether you are an executive director, board member, or entry level professional. But when we think about employee benefits, we usually just focus on the “basic” benefits like health insurance, vacation time, and sick leave.

Today we speak with the CEO of Intrepid, Liz Frayer, who has built a career and a thriving business focused on helping employers provide quality benefits that employees truly value. Liz will share the secrets she has learned from over twenty years in the “benefits business.”


Intrepid’s site:

Intrepid’s Facebook:

*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:24) The benefits employees value most

(4:35) Liz explains Intrepid’s Employee Concierge Service

(8:03) More than You Bargained For: An anecdote about learning your health coverage

(9:35) Wellness benefits that nonprofits can offer to their employees

(12:00) Biggest myths about employee benefits

(15:06) Do employees need some Skin in the Game to truly value benefits

(16:46) Benefits your nonprofit should consider offering its employees

(22:31) Retirement plans and nonprofits

(24:15) What to know when reaching out to a benefits firm

(27:51) How Liz makes Intrepid built a business that is nationally recognized as “one of the best places in Atlanta to work”

Jun 05, 2018
Take a Vacation!

Taking time off work for self-care is essential. Sure, financial and work obligations are reasons to forgo vacation, but Dolph shares his tricks for making the time to take a trip - - - even when your budget won’t allow a vacation at the Ritz.  

Jun 01, 2018
Military Veterans In The Nonprofit Sector with Lora Tucker (replay in honor of Memorial Day)

The brave members of our armed services put their lives on the line every day, and many return home as veterans with a strong desire to continue contributing to their communities. In honor of Memorial Day, we’re bringing you this conversation with retired Colonel Lora Tucker about veterans in the nonprofit sector.

May 29, 2018
The Leadership Wakeup Call with Jeb Banner

Serial entrepreneur and CEO of Boardable Jeb Banner discusses the pending nonprofit leadership crisis, what your nonprofit can do to prepare for it, and how you as a professional can benefit from it.  


Jeb’s Site Boardable:




Boardable Blog: 

The Wakeup Call:

Boardable App:

Jeb’s Twitter:

5 Dysfunctions of the Team by Patrick Lencioni:

Jeb’s Nonprofit, Speak Easy:

Jeb’s Nonprofit, Musical Family Tree:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:04) “Slow-motion Train Wreck”: Senior leadership ageing out without replacements

(4:45) The reality of leadership moving on without a succession plan

(8:47) Training Your Rising Stars: Key methods for successful succession planning

(9:13) Pairing Off: The bonding of board members and next-gen

(12:15) The role of professional development

(15:00) Jeb explains “facilitation training”

(16:47) Jeb shares the work of Patrick Lencioni

(20:53) Four opportunities open for anyone during a leadership crises

(23:33) How an individual can approach leadership for betterment

(26:20) The Art of Dying: Jeb’s most valuable lesson learned from his four organizations  

May 22, 2018
Intellectual Property and the Piracy Police With Matthew Goings

Attorney Matthew Goings, discusses how we can protect ourselves and know our liabilities when managing our own and delving into another’s intellectual property.



Georgia Lawyers for the Arts:

Goings Legal:

Matthew’s Twitter:

Matthew’s Linkedin:

Matthew’s phone number: 478-951-0266

Websites for images with CC0 Licenses:,,

Logo design websites:,


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(4:10): Matthew defines intellectual property.

(5:00) Intellectual property as “A creation of the mind”

(6:07) Categories of intellectual property

(8:30) It’s all about the timing: When to register your copyright

 (10:20) The costs of certain copyrights

(13:08) Classes: the limits to trademark

(16:48) Gaining extended trademark protections

(20:06) When it is worth it to pursue a trademark

(21:16) Trademarks crossing state lines

(23:13) Should your nonprofit trademark its name?

(26:16) Three recommendations for trademarks

(31:00) The danger of using images you found online

(34:06) Matthew explains Nominative Fair Use

(34:50) Understanding commercial use

(37:36) Sites that do not require commercial licensing for use

(38:48) Matthew explains the CC0 License

 (41:12) Paying a creator for your logo

(44:20) The origin of Matthew’s firm’s logo

(47:20) Closing remarks on the tips for using another’s intellectual property

(48:57) Matthew’s perspective on stoicism as a way of life

May 15, 2018
14 Questions to Ask a Prospective Consultant

Dolph Goldenburg offers 14 interview questions that will help ensure you find a good consultant in your local market.

May 10, 2018
The Major Gifts Playbook with Doug Barker

Major gift fundraising is a team sport, and every strong team needs a playbook. Doug Barker is the nationally recognized designer of major gift playbooks for nonprofit teams, and he shares the purpose, components, and best practices of drafting and implementing your major gifts playbook.  



Doug's Site:

Doug's blog:

Doug's newsletter:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:45) Doug introduces the playbook

(4:42) Current trends in giving

(8:19) Components of a major gifts playbook

(10:16) The four key roles on your major gifts fundraising team

(13:27) Building relationships between the members of your major gifts fundraising team

(15:50) Make Your Impressions Count! Doug’s success story about stewardship

(18:06) The roles of communication and sharing in stewardship

(22:11) Commitment matters in major gift fundraising

(27:01) The implementation of the major gifts playbook

(31:01) Discussing pipeline management

(32:34) Microsoft Man: Doug talks about how he keeps his data organized in his personal life


May 08, 2018
An Empty Seat is Better Than a Bad Hire

When it comes time to hire a new member, there is a lot of pressure to settle for the candidate that seems sufficient but not stellar. Beware, settling for the short term actually causes more pain in the future.  

May 03, 2018
Starting Your Own Grant Writing Business with Susan Bacon

Since many nonprofit professionals dream of becoming a grant writing consultant, we recorded this session with Susan Bacon. Susan, who built and sold a successful grant writing business, shares the nuts and bolts of how to start a your own grant writing consulting practice.


The Mighty Eighth Media:

Sandler Sales Training course:

Atlanta roller derby girls:

Columns fundraising Grant Writing service:

Susan’s Linkedin:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:20) The decision to start a grant-writing business

(4:48) Susan’s first nonprofit clients   

(7:20) Let’s Make a Deal! Determining the right price for grant-writing services

(11:48) Recommended online tools and developers for your grant writing  

(14:05) Strategies for recruiting grant writers

(21:15) How Susan drove more sales to her business

(24:00) How to close the deal with a nonprofit

(25:15) Susan shares her affiliations with Roller derby  

May 01, 2018
Strategic Planning Part 10: Overcoming Objections to Strategic Planning

This is the tenth segment of our strategic planning blog series, and in this final segment, we will discuss overcoming the most common objections to strategic planning.

Apr 26, 2018
Identify and Optimize Nonprofit Earned Income: A Conversation with Alexandra Black-Paulick of Nonprofits for the Future

We speak with serial entrepreneur Alexandra Black-Paulick about earned-income strategies for nonprofits. Alexandra and Dolph discuss how to identify and maximize earned-income opportunities.


Nonprofits for the Future:

Positive Impact-Media:

Focus Point:

Friends for Youth:

Bikes Together:

Alexandra’s Positive Impact Media Twitter:

Alexandra’s Facebook:

Alexandra’s Linkedin:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:35) Alexandra provides a primer on nonprofit earned income

(4:25) The difference between related and unrelated income   

(6:00) Assessing your gaps and assets: Starting point for earned income strategies

(7:19) Alexandra and Focus Point

(12:00) Biggest mistakes made when pursuing earned income

(14:10) Tips for maintaining earned-income strategies

(15:00) Keeping your donors’ support while pursuing earned income opportunities

(19:25) Opportunities for earned income strategies

(24:15) Explore unintended consequences

(28:41) Boosting earned income strategies by renting out space

(29:50) Consider charging for a service you are already providing

(35:50) Alex and Dolph discuss the best luggage for international travel



Apr 24, 2018
Strategic Planning Part 9: The Role and Cost of a Strategic Planning Consultant

Dolph answers the most common question posed to strategic planning consultants: “How much will this cost?” and “What exactly will you do?”

Apr 19, 2018
Nonprofit Partnerships With Healthcare Systems with Nathan Fleming

Pediatrician and Founder of Pathways to Population Health Nathan Fleming joins us to share the keys to collaboration between nonprofits and healthcare systems.  

Nathan shares:

  1. Opportunities for nonprofits to seek funded partnerships with hospitals
  2. The philosophy that makes Pathways to Population health successful
  3. How to optimize data sharing for cross sector collaboration

The role of nonprofits, governments, and healthcare organization role in making a healthy community



Pathways to Population Health (the organization):

Learn how your local tax-exempt hospital uses its community benefit dollars:

Network for Public Health Law:

Nathan’s twitter:

Pathways to Population Health Book:


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:45) an intro to Pathways to Population Health

(5:30) The Milwaukee model for cross sector collaborations

(7:40) Setting up relationships between nonprofits and healthcare providers

(11:00) Tips for creating equitable collaborations between a large and small organization

(15:20) Data sharing’s role in collaboration

(18:50) P2P’ s culture of health

(21:40) What Nathan learned from Harvard Professor Paul Farmer

(26:42) Nathan’s greatest lesson learned from starting nonprofits.

Apr 17, 2018
Strategic Planning Part 8: Getting the Most from Your Strategic Plan

Learn how to maximize your strategic plan to enhance your public relations, support fundraising efforts, attract visitors to your website and build your social media base.

Apr 12, 2018
Community Engagement > Community Outreach with Doug Borwick

CEO of Arts Engaged and author of Engaged Now, Doug Borwick gives his expert perspective on community engagement and how it is more effective than outreach. In this episode, Doug:

  1. Distinguishes engagement from outreach
  2. Shares ingredients for effective community engagement
  3. Gives Examples of successful community engagement


Doug’s Site/Consulting firm:

Doug’s 8-fold path to community engagement:

Doug’s Twitter:

Doug’s Book, Engage Now: A Guide to Making the Arts Indispensable:

*****Timestamped Highlights*****

5:45) Moving beyond “artist centricity”

(7:50) Doug defines community outreach

(8:45) Rethinking outreach

(9:56) Inspiring examples of community engagement: Houston Grand Opera, Queens Bridge, and Early Music Ensemble in Seattle:

(13:36) Activities to avoid when doing community engagement

(15:10) Four ingredients to community engagement

(18:39) Community Engagement 101

(24:00) Do you need new money for community engagement?

 (26:58) Doug shares the most transformative piece of music he has experienced

Apr 10, 2018
Strategic Planning Part 7: Structure Your Strategic Plan like a snowman

We share how to structure your strategic plan, offer hacks for writing your plan, and discuss the ideal length.

Apr 05, 2018
Important Career Lessons

Previous podcast guests share the most important career lessons they learned.  This episode is a compilation of all new content from our recent guests. Visit our guest’s websites at:

Rachel’s website:

Kim Powell’s Firm:

Website of Crouch and Associates:

Otis’ Website:

Sandy’s website:

Apr 03, 2018
Please start another nonprofit: A counter perspective with Sandra Pfau England

This podcast loves healthy, civil discourse. So we immediately said “yes” when Sandy Pfau England, founder of MyRonesi, offered to share her counter perspective to our episode “Please Don’t Start Another Nonprofit” with Dahna Goldstein (episode 50)  

A successful attorney and founder of her own nonprofit, Parent Booster USA, Sandy walks us through:

  1. Nonprofit start up success stories
  2. Advice to maintain exemption and good standing with the IRS
  3. Guiding people with underdeveloped business plans


Sandy’s Firm:

Parent Boost USA:

Sandy’s website: 

Blog post, Please Do Start Another Nonprofit:

Episode 50 with Dahna Goldstein:

*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:42) Sandy discusses her counter-blog to Dahna Goldstein

(6:42) The biggest mistakes made when starting nonprofits  

(8:42) Join the party? Merging ideas with an existing nonprofit

(10:45) A common scenario where merging does not work

(15:50) Know the Signs: How to know if someone is ready to start a nonprofit

 (22:05) Sandy’s three problems with automatic revocation by the IRS

(26:37) Knowing the due dates and what’s due

(27:00) Handling the IRS

(29:00) Sandy shares what she wants to see less of

Mar 27, 2018
Strategic Planning Part 6: The Board Retreat

The board retreat is among the most important steps of your strategic planning process. This episode shares techniques to ensure your board retreat fully engages participants in the planning process.

Mar 22, 2018
The Dollar Dash with Otis Fulton

Otis Fulton, author of Dollar Dash, discusses the psychology behind Peer to Peer fundraising. 

He answers some of the burning P2P fundraising:

  • Should we offer even better swag to motivate volunteers
  • How do we create the next ice bucket challenge?
  • How do we make more money from this campaign?


The Dollar Dash:

Otis’ Website:

Otis’ Blog:

*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(2:25) Fulton incorporates behavioral economics

(5:25) The power of social media followers

(7:00) Meeting Face to Face: Otis’ P2P success story

(8:00) Roles of “Team Captains” in Fundraising

(10:00) Top 3 reasons donors stop giving

(14:00) Basic roles of team captains in P2P fundraising

(15:55) Using “SWAG” to motivate team captains

(17:11) Providing social relationships over marketing ones

(19:20) Rewarding Racing Regattas: A lesson from Otis

(21:21) Insufficient Justification: a tool for avoiding a transactional relationship

(23:00) What to do if you run out of SWAG for donors

 (24:55) The ALS Ice-bucket challenge: More than a P2P

(26:00) Relay for Life: A lesson on DIY fundraising

(28:25) Otis shares the greatest lesson learned from his D1 Basketball career 

Mar 20, 2018
Secrets to Raising More Money with Michael Strader

How do some fundraisers seem to get all the gifts? How do they convert that $50 donor to a $100,000 donor? Is it magic? Is it a secret formula?

Today we speak with Michael Strader about the OMG secrets to raising money. Michael has over three decades of fundraising experience – from the boy scouts, to schools, to a nature conservancy. 

During this time, he has honed his fundraising skills and uncovered the OMG fundraising secrets that propel organizations to success.


Website of Crouch and Associates:

The Daily Stoic:

Admiral William McRaven’s Make Your Bed:

Simon Sinek’s Start with Why:  


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:05) Michael introduces some secrets to fundraising

(4:57) The power of the pause

(6:00) How Crouch and associates evaluated top performers

(7:55) Becoming a top performer through self-awareness

(9:40) Reading for self-awareness and growth

(12:30) Facilitating accountability with 5x15 reports

(15:30) Facilitating accountability with 6x6 reports

(18:14) Make your bed: a requirement for a top performer

(20:00) Loving what you do: a requirement for a top performer

(24:00) How to cut cultivation time in half

(26:30) Michael explains the 66-question every fundraiser should know about their prospects

(30:34) Thanking, communicating, and personalization: methods for donor cultivation.

(35:00) Michael shares his favorite toy

Mar 13, 2018
Strategic Planning Part 5: Big Bold Goals

At this point in the planning process, the work group has spent two to three months to research and fully understand the organization’s history, constituencies, strengths, challenges, and opportunities.

So now it’s time to focus on strategic goal setting. Specifically, the work group needs to identify one or two strategic goals - you might call them big bold goals, big hairy audacious goals, or cathedral goals.

Mar 09, 2018
The CEO Next Door with Kim Powell

Some of us shy away from the pursuing a CEO position because we think we don’t have the personality, experience, or savvy to be a successful. We typically assume there is only one personality type for being a successful CEO, and this is misleading.

Today we speak with Kim Powell who shares insight from over 100 interviews with successful CEOs in her latest book, The CEO Next Door. This conversation:

  1. Debunks CEO Myths
  2. Explains how to achieve the CEO mindset
  3. Shares the importance of acting decisively and proactively  



Kim’s website:

Buy The CEO Next Door:

Episode 27: 


*****Time Stamped Highlights*****

(2:30) Myth busters: Successful CEOs have Ivy League degrees

(5:45) Myth #2: Successful CEOs began pursuing the top-seat early in their careers

(7:00) Myth #3: The CEO is a superhero who saves the day

(8:00) Myth #4: Successful CEOs are extroverts

(8:35) Myth #5: Successful CEOs have swung from success to success throughout their careers

(11:15) Career blowups are an opportunity to learn

(15:50) Kim discusses four behaviors that can propel someone to the CEO position

(17:00) Behavior 1: Being accurately decisive

(18:00) Behavior 2: Reliability

(20:25) Behavior 3: Engaging for impact

(21:23) Behavior 4: Adapting proactively

(24:45) Kim’s shares her most interesting interview conducted for her book

(28:15) Kim shares the most diplomatic ways interviewees turned down her interviews for her book

Mar 06, 2018
Strategic Planning Series Part 4: The Work Group

As noted in the first two parts of this series, there is a lot of work involved in the environmental scan and reviewing the mission. In this segment, we discuss the role of the strategic planning work group and how to recruit high performing people to volunteer for it.

Feb 22, 2018
Raise More Money: Steward Donors Like Your Favorite Brands with Rachel Muir

I bet your favorite brand makes you feel great every time you interact with them. Brands like Tiffany’s and the Ritz Carlton cater to our needs, but we don’t always treat our donors this way. In this episode, Rachel Muir shares stewardship techniques that will dramatically increase your individual donor loyalty and revenue.

Rachel Muir, author of Makeover my Board and founder of Girlstart, discusses how to enhance your donor cultivation by acknowledging all gifts, remembering donaversaries, making thank you calls, and getting to know donors as more than just a credit card or checkbook.  



Rachel’s website:

Rachel’s upcoming course, Makeover my Fundraising:

Rachel’s Guides:   

Handouts from Keynotes:

Rachael’s Blog:

Rachael’s Facebook:


*****Time-stamped Highlights*****

(5:45) Incentivize loyalty

(7:37) Amplify your donors’ experience using surveys

(10:00) Acknowledge donors’ gifts

(13:00) Inspire your donors to give again

(14:00) Send a message: how a thank you letter for a $3 gift encouraged a $100,000 donation

(15:45) The negative effects of “stewardship minimums”

(17:25) Thank you calls before board meetings

(19:30) For online gifts, use an email acknowledgement that sounds like a human wrote it

(20:45) Trees Atlanta goes above and beyond to thank Dolph for a small gift

(23:00) Everyone loved an Ontario nonprofit’s “thank you letter from a bird”

(26:00) How to approach your donors that “downgrade” their giving

(28:00) Low-hanging fruit: meaningful phone calls with donors

(31:25) Embody the core value of gratitude

(33:45) Dolph’s life lesson on responding to donors and supporters

(36:20) Rachel shares her experience on the being on thereceiving end of donor cultivation

Feb 20, 2018
Strategic Planning Part 3: Mission, Vision, Core Values

This bonus break is the third installment of a multi-part series about strategic planning. This episode focuses on developing a mission, vision, and core values that is both memorable and inspirational. 

Feb 15, 2018
Make Your Board an Engaged Fundraising Machine with Kim Horton and Greg Giles

Today’s guests Kim Horton and Greg Giles discuss how to build a board that is excited about fundraising, community engagement, and community outreach.

Kim Horton is Director of Marketing and Communications at The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library (The Friends), and Greg Giles us the organization’s Vice President of Development and Community together, this dynamic duo demonstrates that connecting communication, money, and mission is essential for building an engaged fundraising board.



The Righteous Mind:

History of Theatre in the Twin Cities:

The Friends of St. Paul:

Library Strategies Consulting:


*****Time Stamped Highlights*****

(4:30) Greg and Kim share how they built their team

(6:00) Getting your board and advocates on the same page.

(7:19) Kim explains the importance of sharing success stories in their board meetings.   

(9:45) A multi-part orientation: one of the keys to board introduction and engagement

(13:45) Kim and Greg’s 50-member board: overwhelmingly large, but still successful, proactive, and engaging

(14:52) Deadwood: board members that check the box and nothing more

(17:15) The cons of having all board contact running through one person

(19:00) Dinner date: the gathering of past and present board members for building engagement.

(22:45) Making board members comfortable: sharing messages and allowing board members to tailor them

(24:00) Involving past board members: hosting dinners, increasing access to leadership, and encouraging participation on committees

(26:29) Greg and Kim share which books from the library they have checked out the most and why

Feb 13, 2018
Strategic Planning: The Environmental Scan

This Bonus Break is the second installment of a multi-part series about strategic planning. This series is based on a lunch and learned that I presented last month, and I am breaking the lunchtime presentation into several Bonus Break podcasts.  The first part of the series was released last week, and it focused on determining if you need a new strategic plan and wheter your organization is ready to actually begin the planning process.

Once you are ready to roll up your sleeves and begin planning, it’s good idea to understand the stages of strategic planning.  There are four distinct stages of strategic planning that we will discuss over the next several segments in this series, and these stages are: The environmental scan, drafting the initial strategy, board feedback, and finalizing the plan.

This bonus break dives into the first stage of planning process: The Environmental Scan

Feb 09, 2018
Peer to Peer Fundraising with Mark Becker

We haven’t talked a lot about Peer to peer fundraising on this podcast; which is funny because that was the core method of fundraising until just the last 60 or so years.  Over the last several decades, Peer to Peer fundraising (or P2P as it is sometimes called) has taken a backseat to direct mail, targeted mail, and more recently crowdfunding.

 But just as technology has made recurring gifts and viral giving opportunities possible, it has also breathed new life into Peer to Peer fundraising. 

For this reason, we invited Mark Becker Founding Partner at Cathexis Partners to discuss Peer to Peer Fundraising. Mark’s particular specialty is using technology to generate even more money from Peer to Peer fundraising campaigns.


Free Nonprofit Guide to P2P fundraising:

Booklet on CRM implementation:

On-Demand Webinars:

Paper on more creative approaches to P2P:

Cathexis partners Twitter:

*****Time-stamped Highlights*****

(2:36) Mark defines P2P fundraising

(4:32) Examples of P2P Fundraising: 5k pledges, DIY fundraisers, destination events, virtual campaigns

(8:11) The Cutting Edge: the future of P2P

(10:05) Keep in Touch: Increasing retention rates with Donors

(12:00) What to keep in mind when designing your virtual campaign

(13:45) Mark and Dolph’s tales: Collaborating with schools to better market your P2P campaign

(21:00) Mark shares successful organizations’ P2P ventures

(24:00) Life List Challenge: a pancreatic cancer P2P fundraiser that spreads their mission

(28:08) Mark shares the most bizarre time he was confused for another Mark Becker

Feb 06, 2018
Everything You Wanted To Know About Strategic Planning But Were Afraid to Ask

As a consultant, I get a lot of questions about strategic planning:

  • What is a strategic plan?
  • Do we need a strategic plan?
  • How does an organization actually write a strategic plan?
  • How long will it take? If we start now can we have a strategic plan next week (next month, next year)?
  • If we want a consultant to manage the process, how do we find the money to hire that person. And what does this consultant actually do?
  • What components should be in a strategic plan
  • How can I overcome objections to strategic planning

Last month, I answered these questions at a presentation at The Commerce Club in Atlanta. I felt it would be worthwhile to turn this into a series of blog posts. These posts might anger some nonprofit consultants because the isn’t always “go ask a consultant”

Feb 01, 2018
A Culture on Purpose with McKenzie Wren

Culture develops organically, and it can be based on power, personality and politics if you aren’t paying attention to the culture you are building.

This episode focuses on building a culture that supports and nurtures the people in your organization. We speak with McKenzie Wren, the Chief Engagement Officer of Wren Consulting. She helps organizations build and manage teams by creating a culture on purpose. Today, McKenzie explains the importance of building a culture of understanding, mutualism, and positive energy.  Specifically, she:

  1. Defines a “culture on purpose”
  2. Clarifies the benefits of inclusion and diversity
  3. Shares tools and mantras that enable your healthy culture


McKenzie’s website:

McKenzie’s Facebook:

McKenzie’s “Seven Steps to Build Community Today”:

Episode 40 - Finding Pro Bono Legal Counsel with Rachel Spears 


*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:02) McKenzie defines a “culture on purpose”

(5:32) Authentic inclusion: an attempt to make an environment for yourself and organization

(6:15) A primer: the difference between diversity and inclusion

(9:28) Why culture on purpose is important for teams

(12:20) Discussing positions: McKenzie’s tactic for building culture

(14:00) Creating a culture on purpose while minding HR rules

(17:48)- Finding Professional Development: handling disciplinary issues

(19:18) Collaboration: a tool for inclusion

(21:00) Check-ins and agendas: tools for inclusion

(24:01) McKenzie explains Theory U and the Presencing You

(26:01) Rules of Engagement: agreements of how to talk and listen to one another for a better culture

(30:00) McKenzie shares tips for remaining calm and centered during the Trump Presidency

Jan 30, 2018
6 Tips for More Effective Meetings

Nothing kills enthusiasm like long, disorganized, unproductive meetings, and this goes for all meetings. Whether a staff meeting or one on ones, we must make sure that all of our interfaces are productive and worth our time.

Learn how a commitment to attendance, communication, shared agendas, inclusion, participation, and more will warrant more productive meetings for your nonprofit.

Jan 25, 2018
How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up and Make a Difference with Kathleen Janus

Typically, we are into starting something new. People are into starting new nonprofits instead of joining forces with a nonprofit with similar organizations. Moreover, we have some $200,000 nonprofits that are not growing, meeting their mission, or increasing their impact. Many forgo the steps for scaling and optimizing significance when jumping to start a nonprofit, and this is problematic.

To further our understanding, we bring in social entrepreneur, lecturer, and Co-Founder of Spark™, Kathleen Janus. Kathleen discusses her upcoming book Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up, and Make a Difference as the playbook of how to support and play your role in the nonprofit sector. She emphasizes:

  1. Creating a culture of innovation
  2. Measuring impact for better scaling
  3. Finding an appropriate funding model
  4. Embracing collective leadership
  5. Utilizing storytelling for growth



Kathleen’s website:

Kathleen’s link to purchase book and accessories:

Entrepreneurship Survey Report:

Social Start-up Success Evaluation Tool kit:



*****Timestamped Highlights****

(3:09) Kathleen shares her inspiration in writing her book

 (5:04) A common obstacle nonprofits face

(7:00) Getting over the hump: growing your budget from 500,000 to 2,000,000 with 5 steps

(7:30) Step 1: Create a culture of innovation- the importance of testing and improving as they grow.

(7:45) Step 2: Measuring impact to scale more quickly

(8:35) How to measure impact and scale with relatively little money in the bank

(10:03) Braven: an organization measuring impact by using specific data metrics

(11:48)- Advancing your metrics: Testing the Counterfactual:

(14:04) Step 3: Find your funding model

(15:05) Step 4: Build a culture of collective leadership for growth

(16:26) Number 5: Make storytelling a practice for growth

(22:00) Kathleen shares a dirty secret and honest truth

(23:20) A Success Story from Focusing on Resources: Last Mile Health Women’s Healthcare Clinic

(28:36) Problematic tendency: lack of incentive to acknowledge failure in the nonprofit sector.

(32:05) Kathleen shares how she knows when it is time to quit

Jan 23, 2018
Thank Donors like You Mean It

Are your gift acknowledgement letters connecting donors to your mission? Do you feel that donors cherish your thank you letters? Listen to this bonus break to learn some of the techniques necessary to craft and send sincere thank you letters that strengthen the relationship between you and your donor. 

Jan 18, 2018
Understanding Risk Management with Ted Bilich

To some, risk may not seem important until you receive a demand letter from your lawyer or a media inquiry about an alleged malicious act.

Risk is everywhere in the nonprofit sector, and nonprofit organizations need eliminate messy and unmanaged risks.  To help us better understand risk management, we discuss the issue with Ted Bilich, CEO of Risk Alternatives LLC and expert in board governance, civic engagement, and ethics. Ted defines risk, explains risk assessments, shares ideas on managing risk, and offers three freemiums for organizations to better assess risk management.   



Ted’s Website:

Nonprofit Risk Inventory Guide:

Funders Free Report:

Lean Risk Management for Nonprofits Articles:

Ted’s article in SSIR 2016:

*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:35) Ted defines Risk Management

(5:55) Managing the risk of sexual harassment or other serious workplace issues.

(9:28) Incorporating risk management into HR training

(12:35) Predicting how tax reform might affect fundraising and annual gifts

(15:26) Limitations of mitigating risk through insurance

(16:42) Sharing risks with similar organizations

(19:00) Playing Smart: Verifying the types of insurances your organization has

(21:35) Knowing your staff, executive director and board’s role in risk management

(26:36) Freemium #1: Articles about Lean Risk Management

(29:15) Freemium 2: Ted’s Risk Inventory Report

(32:45) Freemium 3: Ted’s Funder’s Report on Risk Inventory

(38:00) Ted shares the biggest risk he has ever taken

Jan 16, 2018
Send Thank You Letters to Your 2017 Donors

January is a great time to cultivate all the donors who gave to your organization in 2017. And one way to cultivate those who gave last year is by sending a thank you letter that shares the many accomplishments their 2017 gifts made possible. As an added benefit for your donors, this letter should also include a summary of all 2017 gifts that can be used for tax purposes.


Listen to this week’s bonus break to learn more about this best practice.

Jan 11, 2018
The Executive Director and Development Director Relationship with Emma Kieran

A strong relationship between the executive director and development director is vital to successful fundraising. In fact, these two staff must share mutual trust, open communication, and patience to achieve a charity’s fundraising goals.

We know the toll for a weak CEO-CDO relationship is significant:

  • Frequent fundraiser turnover
  • Frustrated donors
  • Failure to meet fundraising goals
  • Fumbled board fundraising

Every nonprofit professional agrees that a healthy CEO-CDO relationship enhances fundraising, but many non-profits suffer from a messy relationship between these key executives. For this reason, Emma Kieran, principal of PilotPeak consulting in Pittsburg, joins us to discuss ways a Chief Development Officer (CDO) and CEO can build a strong relationship.


Emma’s website: 

*****Time Stamped Highlghts*****

(3:00) Lack of synergy: the number one reason fundraisers, CDOs, and CEOs leave

(6:11) How and why turnovers affect your annual campaign and special events

(7:15) Knowing the different roles for your CDOs and CEOs

(8:20) How a CEO can build a strong relationship with the CDO

(9:00) Developing expectations and being patient

(9:53) Open, regular communication: the CDO’s main priority in building a better relationship with the CEO

(14:46) “Meeting summary”: a tool for reinforcing mutual accountability between the CDOs and CEOs

(15:50) Work plan: another tool for CDOs and CEOs to use

(18:53) The CEOs role in board fundraising efforts

(20:20) The CDOs role in board fundraising efforts

(21:42) Celebrating success and professional development

(23:31) Prioritizing creative space for CDOs

(25:40)- Spending money to make money: paying for the value of your CDO

(27:45) “Ironman”: Emma shares her favorite and least favorite part of a triathlon.

(31:40) Emma shares the inspiration behind the name “PilotPeak” 

Jan 08, 2018
An Annual Checklist for Your Organization

If you don’t believe checklists work, ask an airline pilot. Even the most tenured pilot has a checklist with detailed steps to start the engine, taxi, and take-off. And when the plane lands, they have a different set of checklists to get passengers safely to the terminal. 

In fact, checklists are one of the reasons why air travel is among the safest forms of transportation. Assuming you believe that your organization’s mission is important and provides essential programs or services, shouldn’t you use an annual checklist?

Jan 04, 2018
Our Guests Share their Resolutions and Prospects for the New Year
Jan 02, 2018
5 Things Every Fundrasier Should Do Before December 31

We offered tips on how to raise more money at the end of the year (and next year) by:


#1: Reminding board members of their annual financial commitments

#2: Calling board members who met their annual financial commitments to say “thank you”

#3: Calling your largest 10 donors and thanking them for supporting your organization

#4: Sending thank you letters for all gifts received in the past few weeks

#5: Soliciting 2016 donors who haven’t given yet this year

Dec 28, 2017
Empathic Management in the Nonprofit Sector with Carrie Ricex

Sometimes, we are so focused on the mission that we forget to build our organization’s sense of team, communication, and empathy. Consequently, it’s not surprising that so many of us burn out multiple times in a nonprofit career. 

To help us focus on empathetic leadership, we invite Carrie Rice, a nonprofit consultant based in San Francisco. Carrie specializes in using empathic techniques to build individual donor programs, board effectiveness and staff leadership training.  

We explore empathic practices to improve relationships among staff, stakeholders, and the community you serve.


Bryan Sabers’ Asking Matters Personality Assessment:

Carrie’s Site (social media and contact here):

*****Time Stamped Highlights*****

(2:30) The importance of empathy

(6:18) How your board members can assess their “asking styles”

(7:41) Carrie explains her experience with and the benefits from using a “mission controller”  

(9:41) Easy steps to successful empathic practices for staff and board leaders

(11:53) Using empathy when designing websites and donor pages

 (13:12) Pro or Con: Logins for donation pages and special event ticket sales

(13:51) Monthly Retention Program: an empathic solution to keeping donors

 (15:27) Making your donors feel as important as your mission

(17:50) Weekly staff meeting: The most familiar way to build empathy internally

 (19:30) The easiest way to use empathic practices for staff teams and structures

(20:00) Building empathy between supervisors and employees

(22:16) Increasing empathy be creating “technological wellness”

(25:01) Trickle-down Effect: Creating transparency between the executive director and development director that will spread empathy throughout

(27:00) Carrie shares her “Campsite Rule”

Dec 19, 2017
Sabbaticals for Everyone in Your Organization with Marvin Webb

Most of us dream of taking extended breaks or sabbaticals to balance work and personal life. While charities rarely offer sabbaticals to every staff member, sabbaticals for all might build the vim and vigor your staff and organization need.

We talk to Marvin Webb, Director of Finance and Administration at Funders for LGBTQ Issues in New York City. Marvin shares:

  1. How his organization came to offer sabbaticals for all staff
  2. How Funders for LGBTQ Issues structures sabbaticals
  3. How he used his sabbatical

As a bonus, Marvin also shares with us how to optimize strategic planning.


Marvin’s Side gig:

Funders for LGBTQ Issues: 

Photos from Remodeling

*****Time Stamped Highlights*****

(1:45) How Funders for LGBTQ came to offer sabbaticals for all staff members

(5:30) The frequency and conditions of using sabbaticals

(9:55) Why you must “champion” a good idea to get it approved

(11:20) How staff inclusion in sabbaticals and strategic planning improves your team’s ethic

(13:45) Remodeling: Marvin shares what he did on his sabbatical

(15:45) The Jersey Shore: Marvin shares where he went on his sabbatical

(17:00) Going with the Flow: the attitude you should embrace on your sabbatical

(20:15) Returning to work when the sabbatical ends

(22:15) How to keep in contact with your job while on sabbatical

(23:45) How sabbaticals enhance and support succession planning

(25:00) Marvin’s side gig: consulting nonprofits and startups on how to organize their offices

(28:15) How Marvin compartmentalizes his side gigs and jobs.

(30:15) Complications your nonprofit may have with executing verbal commitments and strategic planning

(32:15) Long-term goal and budget: determinants you should consider for your strategic plan

(34:45) Marvin shares his life as a “power commuter”

Photos of Marvin's Remodeled Kitchen:


Dec 12, 2017
Help Your Board Prepare for Change with Meredith Emmett and Heather Yandow

Change is hard. Change makes us uncomfortable. Change can feel like a loss of what we once knew.

But we also know that change is essential for a board and an organization to reach its full potential. As Maya Angelou once said, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

We invited Meredith Emmett and Heather Yandow to offer insights from their recent Board Leadership Forum presentation. These two leaders from Third Space Studio share how to create an environment that nurtures new idea, and our conversation included suggestions on  monitoring the “heat” of discussion, getting to know your board’s culture, establishing trust, and easing decision-making.


Meredith and Heather’s Firm’s website:

Link to Individual Donor Benchmark Project:

Follow them on Twitter:

Follow them on Facebook:

*****Time Stamped Highlights*****

(4:55) How you can help your board prepare for change

(5:45) “Holding environment”: The safe space your board needs to facilitate change

(8:00) Observing body language to see if your board is engaged

(9:00) Meredith gives an example of how disengagement and defensiveness resulted from a conversation that got “too hot”

(10:45) Knowing your board’s culture before you propose change

(14:46) Effective facilitation tools for small-group discussions

(18:00) Modifying your board’s meeting place to fit your board’s understanding of its purpose

(20:45) Discussing the nuts and bolts of a good meeting

(24:24) Whether to have alcohol and food at meetings

(24:59) Why and how to build trust amongst board members

(25:22) The pros and cons of having virtual meetings

(30:09) Tailoring your board’s decision making process

(38:00) Meredith and Heather share the big idea they will incorporate into their work

Dec 05, 2017
Crafting Your Nonprofit’s Language to Lead, Engage, and Advocate with Erica Mills.

Word selection is important when conveying your message. We have to make sure that our tone and word choice has an impact that reflects our missions.

To help us, we invite Erica Mills, Senior Lecturer at the University of Washington's Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, Author of Pitchfalls: Why Bad Pitches Happen to Good People, and founder of Claxon. Erica will share important insights about words, language, and building messages that resonate with your audience.


Pitchfalls: Why Bad Pitches Happen to Good People:

Elements of Style:

Erica’s Twitter: 

Claxon Online Training Course:

Claxon Marketing, Erica’s blog, and Wordifier:

Univ. of Washington Website:  

*****Time Stamped Highlights*****

(4:00) Erica: Word Nerd?

(6:00) Understanding that words are renewable resources (but make sure you do not wear them out)

(7:30) Fleshckin Aid: How to use understandable but interesting words (Don’t just write sentences and paragraphs, architect them. Become a builder of your message).  

(8:30) Your mission statement communicates the change you want to make in the to the world

(11:42) Reading Ease: The proofing tool you need for architecting your language

(16:00) Erica’s exercise of converting memos to tweets

(18:00) Learning from Erica’s work at Evan’s School of Public Policy and Governance as Senior Lecturer and Co-Director  

(21:53) Exploring programs, staff, services, and cohorts offered at Evan’s School of Public Policy and Governance

(23:54) The benefits of an MPA

(25:15) Balancing technological communication with face-to-face communication

(26:30) Erica and Dolph explore “Wordifier”, a cool tool to know whether your words are overused.

(33:00) Erica and Dolph discuss the  seminal book Elements of Style by Strunk and White.

Nov 28, 2017
Engineering Equity into Your Organization with Daria Torres

This week, we invited strategic advisor, facilitator, university professor, and Giving Cycle board chair, Daria Torres. Daria shares the Equity Maturity Model which helps nonprofit leaders institutionalize their commitment to the assurance of equity.

In this episode, we discuss:

  1. The Equity Maturity Model’s 12 dimensions
  2. The 4 Meta-Categories
  3. How to achieve the dimensions

The realties, expectations, and responsivities of pursuing equity



Daria’s Website:

Equity Maturity Model:

Giving Cycle Nonprofit:


*****Time Stamped Highlights*****

(4:30) Introducing the Equity Maturity Model

(6:00) 12 Dimensions and Meta-Category 1: Culture and subcategories, open mindset and leadership

(7:45) How to assess your progress in the 12 dimensions by defining your own criteria

(9:45) How and When you can use the Equity Maturity Model

(11:45) Meta-category 2: Explicit Commitment: shared language and evaluative commitment

(13:45) Who is responsible for the “safety check” when tackling underperformance in pursuing equity.  

(16:20) Letting the equity model inspire you, not restrict you  

(18:30) Meta-Category 3: Equitable procurement: fair consideration and informed selection

(19:15) Example of large-scale, globally- focused foundation that is thriving with the Equity Maturity Model   

 (22:10) Charlottesville: Example of Equity Maturity Model used in crisis.

(23:30) Meta-Category 4: Visible Accountability (with dimensions “dedicated oversight” and “transparent orientation”) 

(24:00) Dolph and Daria discuss Philly Cheesesteak culture

Nov 14, 2017
Interventions That Will Optimize Your Board with Rob Acton

Board builder Rob Acton joins us to discuss specific strategies and tactics to optimize your board. He offers actionable tactics that you can implement today. Acton, founder of Cause Strategy Partners, discusses the three categories of tactics:

  1. Making better use of board meetings
  2. Treating board members as individuals not “the board"
  3. Reshaping board culture


Cause Strategy Partners:

Twitter: @RobertActon

Twitter: @causestrategy

*****Time Stamped Highlights*****

(10:00) Designing board meetings that are not snooze fests

(11:30) An alternative to simply reading the Executive Director’s report

(13:30) The “Plus, Delta, Question” exercise every executive director can use with their board

(17:00) The power of generative questions

(21:40) Building the strategic dashboard your board needs

(28:00) Uncovering the unique strengths of board candidates

(33:15) Rob’s advice for nonprofit board candidates to consider

(35:45) The amount of time a board candidate should expect to volunteer each month.

Nov 07, 2017
Having Productive and Enjoyable Board Meetings with Emily Davis

Board members spend 5 to 6 hours in meetings each month, yet meetings are not always as productive or enjoyable as they would like. 

To rid ourselves of boring meetings, we invited activist, author, and consultant, Emily Davis.  Emily explains how rotating responsibilities, strategic conversations, and extracurricular activities will improve your board meetings.


Emily’s site:

Emily’s Instagram:

Link to Emily’s book, Fundraising and the Next Generation:

Link to Roberta’s Rules of Order:

As promised, here is a photo of the great ballroom we were recording in:

*****Time Stamped Highlights*****

(4:00) Why most board meetings are not engaging

(5:30) How your board can better compose and use “report outs”

(7:00) The importance of food to encourage attendance

(8:00) Thinking of a meeting as a theatre performance

(9:00) Why the pre- and post- meeting conversations are models for strategic discussion

(11:40) Before, during, and after: How to make the most of your board meetings

(12:15) Alice Cochran’s advice on “rotating responsibilities”

 (14:36) Your board members need to stop asking “what” and start asking “why”

(16:00) Breaking the myth of only having one minute taker for meeting minutes

(17:30) Making your board members comfortable assuming multiple roles

(19:50) Beginning your meetings with mission moments

(21:05) Having each member come to meetings with prepared, strategic questions

(24:00) Keeping your board structures simple

(28:00) The true role of the Governance Committee

(31:40) Emily and Dolph share the importance of a “spousal club”

(32:45) Emily and Dolph discuss three things to do in one-on-one meetings

Oct 31, 2017
Share Power to Strengthen Your Board with Mike Burns and Judy Friewirth

Mike Burns and Judy Friewirth explain the purpose and benefits of sharing tasks among board leaders. In this conversation, they:

  • Share ideas for assigning board duties
  • Offer models to increase power sharing
  • Outline training strategies for board leaders

Their insight will help you foster board teamwork and prepare for leadership changes.  



Nonprofit Solutions Associates:

BWB Solutions:  

Voices of Board Chairs Report:


*****Time Stamp Highlights*****

(3:10) Surprising survey results on board chair training methods

(5:00) Snowball technique for collecting data

(6:30) The role of board mentors

(9:00) The CEO and board chair relationship

(11:00) The role of a vice chair

(14:00) Accountability and power sharing

(15:05) Finding the power-sharing model that best suits your board

(15:45) Road blocks to smooth leadership transitions

(18:00) Governance’s role in power-sharing

(19:00) How your board leaders can begin to share power with constituents

(19:57) The story of “Sweet Briar”: Justifying the need for power sharing between a board and its community

(23:18) Obstacles to sharing resources with the community

(24:56) Why your board leaders need a mentor to facilitate their training  

Oct 24, 2017
Collaborative Grant- Seeking with Bess de Farber

True collaborations help nonprofit organizations compete for grant funding and better implement their funded programs. In order to develop strong collaborations, however, prospective partners must determine available assets, while building mutual trust and expectations.

To explain how nonprofits can better collaborate and build a grant-seeking culture, we spoke with the Grants Manager of University of Florida and Author of Collaborative Grant-Seeking: A Practical Guide for Librarians, Bess Gail De Farber.

Bess offers insight into writing successful grant proposals and explains how asset mapping/ diversity, checklist maintenance, facilitating difficult situations, and internal training will give your grant seeking efforts the edge they need!


Bess Gail De Farber’s

 *****Time Stamped highlights******

(5:11) How collaboration makes your grant proposals more fundable

(6:00) How internal and external collaboration helps build a healthy grant seeking culture

(8:10) The importance of starting all grant proposals by drafting a project timeline and budget

(10:30) Collaborating with strangers

(11:08) Conducting a community needs assessment vs. an inventory of assets in your community

(13:20) Case study: External collaboration among diverse populations develop a specific successful partnership

(16:35) Trust issues impacting collaborative efforts

(19:00) Strengthening your “collaboration muscle” by actively collaborating with partners and evaluating the partnership

(19:30) Preventing colleagues or partners from sabotaging your grant proposals

(23:30) Using an internal grant-making opportunity to build grant writing skills and a healthy grant culture  

(26:10) Why colleagues should ask grant writers about gaps or issues in their proposals

 (28:10) Bess de Farber explains where card catalogues are today.

Oct 17, 2017
New Ideas for Using the Board to Raise More Money at Your Next Fundraising Event with Abra Annes

Nonprofits all over the country are in the middle of a very busy special event season. In fact, many fundraisers and event planners are putting those final touches on their October and November events, and this is the perfect time to prepare your board to be enthusiastic ambassadors and fundraisers at the event.

To help make your board members effective ambassadors and fundraisers at your next event, we invited special event guru and auctioneer Abra Annes back on the podcast. She shared several fresh and innovative ideas for board involvement that will be fun for your board members, while also generating significantly more revenue for your organization.  



Generosity Auction’s Website:

Generosity Auction’s Instagram:

Generosity Auction’s YouTube Channel:


*****  Time Stamp Highlights:  ***** 

(8:20) Using board conversations at the event to find out more about your donors

(13:35) Encouraging your board members to meet new donors during the event

(14:59) Assigning your board members to meet specific prospective donors

(19:00) Asking board members to strategically fill their table with the right guests

(23:30) Reminding board members that they are in charge of their table at specific points of the event

(25:54) A great idea that will get 100% participation in your event’s fund-a-need solicitation

(31:00) Importance of following up with your guests after the event 

(35:00) Raising more money by using proxy bids for live auctions

(40:00) Using your most outgoing board member’s to increase social media attention during the event.

(42:00) Why both Abra and Dolph would ban golf tournaments as fundraising events


Oct 10, 2017
Ep 55 - Supercharge Your Nonprofit Social Media with Shantel Khleif

Shantel Khleif shares how she built a social media base with over 20,000 followers. She explains which platform is best for your nonprofit, ways to engage your followers, and whether you should be paying to boost posts and pages. 

Highlights (timestamps):

(3:37) How Shantel built a base of over 20,000 social media followers
(5:35) The ideal number of weekly social media posts
(7:09) The user demographics of various social network platforms
(9:41) Whether paid boosting of social media posts should be included in your marketing strategy
(10:42) Why the number of followers is less important than your followers’ engagement
(11:32) The social media platforms most appropriate for your nonprofit
(16:10) Specific ways to use social media in your fundraising and marketing efforts
(18:30) The importance of video content to tell your story
(22:00) The danger in not responding to your social media followers
(23:24) Using social media to increase transparency
(27:40) How to know the best time to post for your audience


Sep 29, 2017
Ep 54 - Exploring Nonprofit Fiscal Sponsorship Models with Andrew Schulman

On this episode, fiscal sponsorship expert Andrew Schulman discusses three fiscal sponsorship models, resources for finding fiscal sponsors, and insight into negotiating your fiscal sponsorship agreement.

Sep 20, 2017
Ep 53 - Use Email To Grow Your Nonprofit Impact With Carlos Scarpero

It seems like every nonprofit, business, and public personality has an email lists these days. Today we’ll learn how your nonprofit email list can better compete in this crowded arena – not just with similar nonprofits but also against your constituency’s grocery store, hair salon, house of worship, and civic group for that valuable in box attention. Our conversation today is with Mr. Leads himself, Carlos Scarpero and we touch on: (3:58) How to build a good list (4:55) The importance of getting permission to add people to your email list (7:22) An innovative new trend: “text to join our email list” (8:32) The problem with paper sign-up email list forms (9:59) The importance of segmenting your email list (13:30) The email list analytics you should pay attention to (14:06) Analyzing why people unsubscribe from your email list (15:30) How frequently you should email your list (19:06) Using auto-responder series to build your base (22:58) Best practices for nonprofit email lists (23:54) How to keep your mass email from being flagged as spam (26:05) The email practices that will poison your list (27:34) The number of staff hours necessary to begin an email marketing program

Sep 12, 2017
Ep 52 - Managing Your Nonpofit's Risk With Justine Cowan

The nonprofit sector is risky business. There are unique laws that apply just to us; we have our own sections of the tax code; and we also must follow employment law, building codes, licensing requirements, and more. Of course, the press loves to go after charities gone wild and personal injury attorneys salivate at the thought of chasing an organization’s assets on the balance sheet. This is why we asked Justine Cowan to chat with us today about mitigating and insuring against the risk that we face as nonprofit organizations, as board members, and as staff members. Our conversation included: (6:34) How to structure your nonprofit to mitigate risk (8:00) The importance of annual state and Federal filings (10:10) The single greatest area of liability and risk for most organizations (11:52) The importance of training managers to manage (14:25) The role of mitigating risk with insurance (17:35) Mitigating risk when working with volunteers (19:58) The confusion about overtime rules for employees, as well as failure to classify contractors as employees. (26:14) Reasons the IRS revokes an organization’s tax-exempt status (30:00) Ensuring you have a strong conflict of interest policy (34:21) Indemnification of board members as an added protection for your leadership volunteers (37:29) The possibility of disputes arising around contracts (and lack of contracts)

Sep 05, 2017
Ep 51 - The One Thing Necessary To Succeed (in your organization and your life) With Peter Chatel

Hard to admit, but it’s true: I sometimes lose focus on the one thing that I need to do to achieve my goals. And a day without focus can feel productive – I might still get a lot done; cross a lot of tasks off my list; but not be closer to meeting my ultimate goal. This episode’s guest facilitates The One Thing Workshop, which is based on Gary Keller and Jay Papasan’s book The One Thing. The book – and the workshop – help you focus in a world full of distractions. While his workshop is a full day training, I consider this a mini-workshop opportunity. So grab a cup of coffee and huddle up for this conversation about The One Thing. We discuss (time stamps): (7:10) The one focusing question our guest asks every day (14:00) How the inability to say “no” makes us less productive (15:13) The importance of getting comfortable with chaos (20:35) How to develop the willpower necessary to complete your most important task (26:21) How to build an organizational culture of focus (27:15) The four disciplines necessary to meet your goals (28:35) The importance of weekly accountability sessions (33:59) How to address a team member not meeting their goals (36:08) How to change a board culture if it only meets only once a month (at most)

Aug 29, 2017
Ep 50 - Please Do Not Start Another Nonprofit (A Conversation With Dahna Goldstein)

We invited Dahna Goldstein on the podcast after reading her blog post Don’t Do It: Don’t start a nonprofit. After reading her thought provoking blog post, we did a bit of research. A few highlights from our conversation include (timestamp): (9:00) Why you shouldn’t start a nonprofit (17:30) Why you should consider starting a for-profit company instead of a nonprofit organization (20:15) How to tell if your organization is among the walking dead (24:20) The tech issues that nonprofit executives and board memberships should be thinking about (it’s not what you think) (29:00) How to garner financial support for your organization’s technology (36:15) The value of failure in the nonprofit sector (39:00) The one bad habit common in the nonprofit sector that we should avoid

Aug 22, 2017
Ep 49 - Building A Website That Gets Attention With Adam J Walker Of Sideways Eight
This week we enjoyed a lively conversation with the technological renaissance man Adam J. Walker. Adam, a minister turned tech guru, who founded the for-profit website development company Sideways8. He also started a nonprofit 48in48, which recruits volunteer coders to build 48 nonprofit websites in 48 hours and launched the podcast Tech Talk Y’all.
Aug 15, 2017
Ep 48 - Military Veterans and the Nonprofit Sector with Lora Tucker
This episode has something for every nonprofit professional - whether you are a veteran, active duty, or never served in the military. Those who never served will enjoy a crash course in leadership and explore possible biases about veterans as employees (or bosses). Veterans and active duty listeners will gain valuable insight about transitioning into the nonprofit sector.
Aug 01, 2017
Ep 47 - Executing Strategy Despite Obstacles, Setbacks, And Stalls with Patty Azzarello
Patty Azzarello, author of the book MOVE and consultant to Fortune 500 companies, shares her expertise in implementing strategy despite reluctant staff, lukewarm boards, and competing priorities. This conversation will help you lead and implement your organization's strategic priorities.
Jun 26, 2017
Ep 46 - Organizing Messy Offices To Increase Productivity With Cris Sgrott - Wheedleton
When our offices are messy, our missions suffer. Every hour we spend looking a document, is an hour we aren’t writing a grant proposal, soliciting a donor, or recruiting a new board member. Every email or voicemail we don’t return in a timely manner, damages our organization’s reputation – as well as our own professional reputation. For some of us at nonprofits, losing an important document is just an occasional occurrence, while for others it happens every day. Whichever camp you fall into, this featured conversation with Cris Sgrott-Wheedleton will help you be more organized and more effective.
Jun 20, 2017
Ep 45 - Selecting The Right Consultant with Matt Hugg
In a world where many people use "consultant" as a euphemism for being unemployed or underemployed, how do you select a highly qualified consultant for your nonprofit? Matt Hugg, who helps train and coach consultants, offers advice about how to choose the right consultant for your organization.
Jun 13, 2017
Ep 44 - A Six - Word Exercise To Engage More Supporters With Sandy Rees
Learn how to develop the six words that will draw more supporters to your organization and make you more interesting at cocktail parties.
Jun 06, 2017
Ep 43 - Examining The Impact Of Billionaire Philanthropists With David Callahan
A small class of new super-rich billionaires are using their largess to shape every aspect of the society we live in: education, government, policy, public health, and social services. We discussed this issue with David Callahan, author of “The Givers”, which carefully documents this phenomenon and the impact this trend is having on our society.
May 30, 2017
BB9 - Succeed as a "No Time Fundraiser"
Despite having limited time to devote to fundraising, it’s not too late for the second half of the year to be a breakthrough period for your organization’s development efforts.
May 25, 2017
Ep 42 - Living Values, Building People, And Inspiring Communities With Dr Jeff Thompson
When others are afraid of the risk, the timing, or the possible failure, true leaders step forward to meet a need. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Jeff Thompson about his recently published book Lead True.
May 23, 2017
BB8 - Surviving A Cash Flow Crisis
Nearly every organization has a cash-flow cycle. If you ever wonder how to better manage the cash-crunch, listen to this bonus break over a cup of coffee. In less than 15 minutes, you'll learn: (1:30) The importance of staying calm throughout the process (2:00) The three initiatives in your "cash crunch survival plan" (2:30) Three realistic ways to generate more cash quickly (5:42) How to address the financial difficulties when speaking to donors (6:47) How to get a funder to give you a bridge loan (7:30) Getting a line of credit from a bank - even when you have no collateral (9:40) A warning about using credit that every nonprofit should consider (10:38) How to make the cash you do have last longer
May 18, 2017
Ep 41 - Dealing With The Schmuck In Your Nonprofit With Jody Foster And Michelle Joy
We’ve all encountered a schmuck at work, and I’d be willing to bet that we’ve all been the schmuck at least once or twice in our lives. Nonprofits can be messy workplaces with people like Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep’s character from The Devil Wears Prada). Of course, in the nonprofit sector, the schmuck might not be a staff member. The schmuck can also be a board member, a key volunteer, or an organizational partner. And a schmuck in any of these roles can dramatically derail your organization’s ability to meet its mission and suck the fun out of your relationship with the organizastion. In today’s episode, we’ll talk with psychiatrists Dr. Jody Foster and Dr. Michelle Joy about their new book “The Schmuck In My Office: How to deal effectively with difficult people at work”. During this episode, you’ll gain insight and ideas for dealing with the schmuck at your nonprofit.
May 15, 2017
BB7 - But former client board members CAN raise money
Each time a well-meaning person tells me that their board has former clients who CAN'T raise money, I always look them in the eye and say the following . . . .
May 11, 2017
Ep 40 - Finding Pro Bono Legal Counsel With Rachel Spears
This week we spoke with Rachel Spears, Executive Director of Pro Bono Partnership Atlanta. Our conversation highlights included: • The dangers of relying on your board member who is an attorney for advice on all your legal matters • The three greatest legal issues that nonprofits face today • Why organizations should secure legal counsel instead of navigating legal matters alone • How organizations outside of Georgia can find pro bono legal counsel • How to be a pro bono client that lawyers want to help
May 08, 2017
BB6 - Four Predictors Of Board Performance
How does your board measure up to the four predictors of board performance?
May 04, 2017
Ep 39 - Preparing For Your Capital Campaign With Andrea Kihlstedt
Featured Conversation with Andrea Kihlstedt, author of Capital Campaigns: Strategies That Work. We discuss getting your organization ready to conduct a capital campaign. Andrea is among the most respected capital campaign specialists in the country. In addition to authoring this book and several others, she has helped dozens of organizations conduct capital campaigns and co-developed the Capital Campaign course for the Fundraising school in Indiana.
May 01, 2017
Ep 38 - Planning For Fundraising Success With Heather Yandow
Everything you need to know about creating a simple fundraising plan.
Apr 24, 2017
Ep 37 - Smart Fundraising Strategies With Ellen Bristol
Get more return on our fundraising efforts! Ellen Bristol shares effective ways to identify, qualify, cultivate, and solicit donors.
Apr 17, 2017
Ep 36 - Good Advice for Your Board With Boyd And Lysakowski
Practical, no-nonsense advice for building and strengthening your board.
Apr 11, 2017
Ep 35 -Making Fundraising Events Fun and Profitable with Abra Annes
Imagine an event where your donors are excited to buy a ticket, tell all their friends they are going, post it on Facebook and get even more pleasure from bidding competitively at the auction and giving generously to the solicitation. Abra Annes tells us how to make this event a reality.
Apr 04, 2017
BB5 - 31 Fundraising Ideas for Board Members
31 proven fundraising ideas for your board members (in less than 13 minutes)!
Mar 31, 2017
Ep 34 - When a Nonprofit Buys a For Profit Company with Dave Shaffer
A real story about a nonprofit staffing firm serving homeless people that bought a for profit company. The purchase enabled them to grow from a $2 million nonprofit to a $20 million organization and dramatically expand their impact among homeless people in their city. Listen to the episode to find out how they financed the purchase, the due diligence they exercised in the purchase, and what they will do differently the next time.
Mar 27, 2017
Ep 33 - Analysis of Trump's Budget Blueprint with Dolph Goldenburg
Late last week the White House released Donald Trump’s “budget blueprint” that outlines his spending priorities and cuts for the upcoming fiscal year. Knowing that this budget blueprint could have broad implications for nonprofits across the nation, we read the 62 page document, researched the agencies to be impacted, and summarized changes that nonprofits should anticipate in this 27-minute podcast episode.
Mar 21, 2017
BB4 - Face Uncertainty With Confidence
A deeply personal story about learning to face uncertainty with confidence.
Mar 15, 2017
Ep 32 - Focusing and Achieving Greater Impact with Liana Downey
If you go to the Foundation Center Library, you will undoubtedly see a crowded bookshelf in the strategic planning and strategic prioritization section. But one recent book stands out as a resource for the busy nonprofit leader who needs guidance and practical advice to focus their work and increase their impact: Mission Control by Liana Downey. Our conversation this week with Liana Downey offered some highlights from her book. This included: • Why organizations need to focus • How goal setting can support your focus • Using an option tree framework to focus (this will change your planning process) • Identifying what strategies will actually impact your mission
Feb 22, 2017
Ep 31 - Nonprofit Content Marketing with Robert McGuire
From the moment we get up in the morning until our eyes close at night, we are bombarded with marketing messages. Today we get marketing messages through our phone’s apps, online, via email, on the radio, on tv, and through the old fashioned postal mail. Is it any wonder that traditional marketing messages aren’t working? After all, we have to cut through a very cluttered marketing environment in order to reach our nonprofit’s prospective volunteers, advocates, and donors. This is why many nonprofits are turning to a content marketing approach that creates and distributes content that is relevant and valuable to our target audience. To help explore content marketing for your nonprofit, we spoke with Robert McGuire.
Feb 14, 2017
Ep 30 - Engaging an Interim Executive Director with Lynne Molnar
According to a 2015 Stanford Business School study, 78% of nonprofits were not prepared to name a permanent successor immediately if their executive director entered the witness protection program tomorrow, and on average organizations thought it would take them 112 days to find the replacement. This is why we have the rare professional known as the “interim executive director”, and we spoke with Lynne Molnar who has spent much of her professional life coaching organizations through these difficult transitions, screening prospective interims, training prospective interims, and being an interim herself.
Feb 07, 2017
BB3 - Better Board Orientation = Better Results
Without a doubt, the best time to engage board members is when they first join the board, and orientation should play a critical role in the process. This Bonus Break will help you develop a more effective orientation process for your board.
Feb 02, 2017
Ep 29 - Impact Without Burnout with Beth Kanter
The nonprofit sector is known for long work hours, where our passion and excitement for the mission seem to be a sustaining source of energy. But eventually, failing to care of ourselves takes a toll on our passion and every other aspect of our lives. Imagine if it was possible to have an impact without burnout? On this episode of the Successful Nonprofits Podcast, we speak with Beth Kanter, co-author of The Happy Health Nonprofit about how organizations can actually achieve both impact and happy employees who balance work and personal lives.
Jan 31, 2017
BB2 - Contemplations on Compensation
Four contemplations on compensation to help you receive the highest possible salary for the contributions you make to your organization.
Jan 26, 2017
Ep 28 - Telling Stories That Matter with Vanessa Chase Locklin
I’ve been thinking a lot about stories lately after reading an incredible book titled: The Story Telling Nonprofit by Vanessa Chase Lockshin. This is a practical guide to telling stories that raise money and awareness, and the Amazon reviews for this book are incredible. I found the book useful, and felt strongly that the principles Vanessa lays out in the book can be used whether you are in the nonprofit, for-profit, and government sectors. Our conversation with Vanessa Chase Lockshin includes: ➢ How nonprofits can use stories ➢ Identifying your audience and why create a faux person ➢ Elements of a good story And more! Be certain to download this episode and start writing more compelling stories for your nonprofit!
Jan 23, 2017
Ep 27 - Creating a 100 Day Launch-Plan for Your New CEO with Kim Powell
All too often, a new executive director runs from their job screaming (or with the board screaming at them). In fact, I’ve actually been known to congratulate executive directors who reach their two year anniversary by saying, “In my experience, those E.D.’s who last two years often enjoy successful tenures of 5 – 10 years.” There are many reasons why some executive directors don’t succeed during their initial two years. And an unsuccessful executive director is never the fault of just the unfortunate person who takes a job only to leave it 15 months later. To help understand how organizations can ensure a successful executive transition, we spoke with Kim Powell. Kim, who is with ghSmart, is a consultant and career coach who has advised CEOs and senior managers of Fortune 500 companies seeing transformational change through their corporate strategies. A few of the highlights from our conversation include: ➢ The 5 behaviors that make up the genome of a successful CEO genome ➢ Preparing to move past an iconic or founding leader ➢ Creating a 100-day launch plan and setup your new CEO for a successful tenure ➢ Developing a strong relationship between the board chair and CEO
Jan 17, 2017
Ep 26 - New Years Resolutions
Five of our 2016 guests share their New Years resolutions, and our host shares tips for keeping your own resolutions.
Jan 10, 2017
Bonus Break 1- Finding work you love
5-minute episode with meditations on finding meaningful work and suggestions for enjoying the job search
Dec 30, 2016
Ep 25 - Our most popular career-building conversations
It's the week before Christmas and New Year, and this is our 25th episode. At this time of year we often get to enjoy some well-deserved "down time" after the presents are opened, the leftovers are stored, and all the candy has been eaten. Many people use this down time to determine their New Years resolutions, and many resolutions relate to finding or being better at the work we love. For this reason, we combined our two most popular conversations about career building into one great episode.
Dec 27, 2016
Ep 24 - Building a Social Enterprise with Paul Lamb
We bring you a featured conversation about social enterprise with Paul Lamb. As part of our conversation, we discussed: • Understanding the culture shift that may need to occur within a nonprofit • Developing a tolerance for risk and delayed return on investment • Recruiting the right professionals to manage and grow the social enterprise • Finding the capital necessary to start a social enterprise
Dec 20, 2016
Ep 23 - Building Strong CEO - Board Chair Relationships with John Fulwider
The relationship with the greatest impact on a nonprofit's success is typically the one between its executive director and board chair. While this important relationship determines the tone, direction, and long term success of an organization, cultivating it is often only an afterthought following a meltdown or disaster. That’s why we invited John Fulwider on the podcast to talk about his book “Better Together: How Top Nonprofit CEOs and Board Chairs Get Happy, Fall in Love, and Change their World”.
Dec 13, 2016
Ep 22 - Universal truths about individual donor fundraising with Heather Yandow
Wouldn’t you love to get data about individual donors at a broad range of other organizations? Would it be helpful to know the average percentage of individual donors who give online, or the average ratio between major donor and everyday donor? Would it be helpful if you could predict the return on investment in fundraising planning, development staff, or a CRM database? Back in 2010, Heather Yandow saw a need for this kind of data and used her math degree and decade of development experience to launch the Individual Donor Benchmark Project. The project consists of an annual survey of nonprofits to learn more about their individual donor strategies and achievements. Each year, her consulting firm Third Space Studio, produces a well-designed and easily understand Individual Donor Benchmark Report. This self-described data nerd has developed an incredibly useful body of data that you can use to evaluate your current fundraising program, inform your planning process, and advocate for additional resources with boards and funders. We explored some of the high points from the past five Individual Donor Benchmark Report, including: ➢ Universal truths about individual donor giving ➢ The one document that is the bedrock of all successful fundraising ➢ Why a 60% retention rate is probably good but an 80% retention rate may not be healthy for your organization ➢ The statistical ROI when paying for development staff ➢ How to take part in the 2017 IDBP
Dec 06, 2016
Ep 21 - Getting Media Coverage During the Holidays With Peter Panepento
Learn how to get media coverage for your nonprofit this holiday season (or anytime). Every year, board members and executive directors wonder “how can we get our good work in the New York Times, the Wiregrass Gazette, or the Portland Tribune?“ To help you solve this puzzle, we invited media strategist Peter Panepento to join us. Peter is the principal at Panepento Strategies, a full-service content, digital, and social-media strategy consultancy serving many prominent nonprofit clients: Guidestar, National Center for Family Philanthropy, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Nov 29, 2016
Ep 20 - What’s Wrong With Your Fundraising and How You Can Fix It with Ellen Bristol
We speak with author and fundraising consultant Ellen Bristol. Bristol’s effective fundraising counsel is the result of 4 decades of experience and data from over 1,000 nonprofits that completed the Leaky Bucket Assessment. This innovative online assessment measures nine key practices that contribute to or detract from your fundraising efforts, which are summarized in her book "The Leaky Bucket: What's wrong with your fundraising and how you can fix it".
Nov 15, 2016
Ep 19 - Preparing Nonprofits for a Trump Presidency with Janelle Kerlin
Our world has changed dramatically in the last 24 hours. The morning of election day, the New York Times indicated that Hillary Clinton had a 90% chance of winning, but last night Donald Trump won the Presidential election. Many of us woke up this morning to an unexpected outcome and wondered, “How will this impact my family, my city, and my state”. For those of us leading and advising nonprofit organizations, we undoubtedly also wondered “what will this mean for my organization”? For this reason, I reached out to my alma mater: the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, which is known for bringing the lenses of public policy, social work, criminology and economics into focus. Since they have the premiere public policy program in the region, I knew they could offer an expert to help us make sense of the new realities nonprofits might face. Within hours, the Dean had connected me with Associate Professor Janelle Kerlin. Her research focuses on the politics and policies related to nonprofit development and operation. Dr. Kerlin holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, a graduate social work degree from Columbia, and was a Research Associate at the Urban Institute. Our interview covers the following: Nonprofits are non-partisan but historically how are they been impacted by politics and the outcomes of elections? What impact will the Trump Administration likely have on government funding for nonprofits? Trump has said he is the only one who can fix the tax system. How might changes impact foundation giving or individual giving? How might Trump’s major campaign platforms on immigration, terrorism, and health care impact people who often use nonprofit-run social services? How will they impact international NGOs? Generally speaking, when will nonprofits begin to be impacted by these trends? How can nonprofits best prepare themselves to thrive over the next 4 to 8 years?
Nov 09, 2016
Ep 18 - Achieving Nonprofit Sustainability with Eleanor Boyd
We spoke with nonprofit consultant Eleanor Boyd this week about the first two stages of the nonprofit lifecycle: infancy and adolescence. We discussed not just the key characteristics of infant (or start-up) organizations, but also the strategic steps organizations can take to transform themselves into more stable adolescent organizations.
Nov 08, 2016
Ep 17 - Taking the Pulse Survey with Bill Lutz
When Executive Director Bill Lutz dramatically improved his organization's strategy, execution, and culture by creating a quarterly pulse survey. He tells us all about the survey in this episode.
Nov 01, 2016
Ep 16 - Creating Your Brand As A Nonprofit Professional with Kristin Battista-Frazee
Many of us (including this podcaster) start their career without thinking about their personal brand. But how we brand ourselves professionally shapes our career for years to come. In every stage of a nonprofit professional’s career offers opportunities to brand yourself based on your competencies, core values, and vision. To help us better understand how to brand ourselves, we spoke with Kristin Battista Frazee, who is truly a renaissance woman. Holding an MSW from Columbia University, she has been a geriatric social worker, legislative assistant at a Capitol Hill lobbying firm, published magazine and book author, marketing consultant, and personal branch coach for social and human service professionals. Our Featured Conversation included how to • Recover from low-points in a career • Make a positive lasting professional impression when leaving a job • Become comfortable with self promotion and personal branding • Build your brand online • Develop a classic elevator pitch in alignment with your core audience of potential employers • Find opportunities to promote yourself that is reflective of your values • Elevate your brand by writing for trade journals and presenting on your area of expertise
Oct 25, 2016
Ep 15 - Having Fun At Work With Terry Stone
Today’s Featured Conversation is with CenterLink CEO Terry Stone, who has fun almost every day at work while building his national organization. In just a few months, Terry will retire from a long and meaningful career as a nonprofit executive. He had an interesting path to the top job, and proved himself a skilled leader. Since his first executive director, Terry has been a CEO at several different organizations As tribute to a true nonprofit leader, I asked Terry if we could have a conversation about a career well spent that would include advice for building your own career with intentionality and meaning. He offered five specific tips for a successful and meaningful career: ➢ Surround yourself with people who know more than you ➢ You’re going to make mistakes ➢ Learn each other’s work and communication styles, as well as what you each need to make decisions ➢ Get rid of the words: “I’m too busy…” ➢ Have fun! Terry and I dive deep into each of these tips, but also discuss discerning whether an organization is the right fit for you, managing productive board relationships, building stronger boards, and getting things done.
Oct 19, 2016
Ep 14 - Women Led Philanthropy with Zenia Frendt
Today’s episode focuses on women-led philanthropy. For far too long, nonprofits and fundraisers neglected the power of women donors. According to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, female-headed households are more likely to give to charity and these women typically give more than their male counterparts. While many organizations are doing an abysmal job of cultivating women donors, some organizations are held up as shining examples. The United Way of Salt Lake is one such organization, which started a Women’s Leadership Circle and actively worked to cultivate female donors. This donor circle has grown tremendously and today boasts over 235 women each giving at least $1,500. To say the least, we wanted to learn more about how United Way Salt Lake cultivates and supports its female philanthropists and had the following conversation with Zenia Frendt, the staff person responsible for this important the Women’s Leadership Circle
Oct 11, 2016
Ep 13 - Your Case for $upport with Linda Lysakowski
The case for support isn’t just a tool for capital campaigns. As fundraising expert Linda Lysakowski notes, the case for support is an essential tool that ensures consistency among all fundraising and marketing efforts. Linda, who has trained over 30,000 fundraising professionals through her seminars and authored over a dozen books on the topic, shares her insight and expertise on developing and using the case for support. A few highlights of the conversation included: • Delegating just one author while including a variety of voices in the process • Using both emotion and reason in writing the case for support • Ensuring the case statement is written from a fundraising perspective (not just a marketing perspective) • Avoiding jargon and technical terms in the case statement • Helping all staff understand and communicate the case for support
Oct 04, 2016
Ep 12 - Career Advice from Search Consultant Kevin Chase
As an executive search and transition consultant specializing in C-level nonprofit executives, Kevin Chase gives us a unique view of the search process. When I first booked Kevin for the podcast, I thought the conversation would be a great resource for nonprofits that might be seeking an executive director or development director. Once our conversation unfolded, however, I realized that this conversation was essential listening for those seeking executive level positions and those who aspire to be an executive director one day. For the prospective candidate, Kevin shares incredible advice on interviewing, providing references, and being authentic throughout the process.
Sep 27, 2016
Ep 11 - F**kUp Nights, learning from failure with Jay Cranman and Tim Adkins
* * * This episode contains explicit content * * * From a very young age, we are taught to fear failure. We might watch the disappointment in our parents’ faces when bringing home a low grade on a test in elementary school; experience the scorn of our peers when missing a shot in a big game during high school; and feel a dire sense of dread when our first boss tells us about something we did wrong. As a result, we learn to hide our failures in hopes that the world will never know that we messed up. But loss and failure – those moments we “fuckup” – teach us so much more than success ever does. As the late Pat Conroy said in his book My Losing Season “Loss is a fiercer, more uncompromising teacher, coldhearted, but clear-eyed in its understand that life is more dilemma than game, and more trial than free pass. . . . Though I learned some things from the games we won that year, I learned much, much more from loss.” In this featured conversation, we discussed: • The origin of FuckUp Nights • Why they brought it to Atlanta • The importance of an environment supportive of failure • Why high-profile speakers choose to publicly share their mistakes and what benefit they get from it • Future FuckUp Nights planned for Atlanta
Sep 20, 2016
Ep 10 - Producing Big Money Events with Harry A. Freedman
Featured Conversation with Harry A. Freedman Harry Freedman has an extraordinary 40+ year career of producing and evaluating successful special events. During this time, Freedman was the driving force behind raising an estimated $20 million in the more than 250 big events he produced. There are few people on this planet with as much special event experience and expertise. Freedman, who is the author of the special events resource guide Black Tie Optional and the founder of Strategic Fundraising Initiatives, shared his insights for creating profitable and fun events. Our conversation included Tips for small organizations who want to produce a large events The three most important considerations for planning an event Common mistakes that organizations make with regard to budget, staffing/volunteers, and sponsors/underwriters Alternatives to doing a traditional special event. Links: Strategic Fundraising Initiatives: Black Tie Optional (book by Harry A. Freedman): Harry A. Freedman’s Contact Information Email: Phone: 215-837-3007 Event Checklist: Slide Presentation by Harry A. Freedman, Special Events During These Difficult Times: Article of the Week Denise Spivak For profit executive compensation can be controversial, but it’s significantly more controversial in the nonprofit sector. For this reason, we discussed Joan Garry’s article “Is It Okay for Nonprofit Leaders to Make Big Salaries”. We discussed “salary angst”, executive director contracts, compensation, and the “culture of can’t”, as well as ways that small nonprofits can address each of these. Links: Is It Okay For Nonprofit Leaders to Make Big Salaries by Joan Garry
Sep 13, 2016
Ep 9 - The Power of a Great Banker with Ashley Carson
The Power of a Good Banker with Ashley Carson (Episode 9) Featured Conversation with Ashley Carson A strong and productive banking relationship is as important to your nonprofit organization as its relationships with funders and community leaders. Your bank can help smooth cash-flow with a line of credit; open doors for you to prospective major donors, partners; provide forecasting tools; serve as a business advisor; and even so much more. This week’s Featured Conversation with Ashley Carson will help us learn how to build a strong banking relationship. Specifically, we discussed: The difference between having a bank and having a banker Signs that you have a strong relationship with your banker How to tap into your banker’s network Benefits of banking with local banks When you know it’s time to talk to other bankers Links: Atlantic Capital Bank: Ashley Carson’s Contact Information: 404-995-6214 Article of the Week Denise Spivak Denise Spivak of CenterLink joins us again for The Article of the Week. She’s sharing a great article by Pamela Barden titled Making It “All About Me” from the NonprofitPro website. The article is about being donor focused instead of treating our donors like human ATMs. Denise and I discuss the broader implications of being more donor focused. Links: Making It “All About Me” by Pamela Barden:
Sep 06, 2016
Ep 8 - Major Gifts with Chris Haley (Episode 8)
Featured Conversation with Chris Haley We had an amazing conversation with extraordinary development professional Chris Haley! Chris’ impressive fundraising bio includes significant major donor cultivation and solicitation in several large U.S. cities. In the 40-minute interview, Chris guides us through the major gift process of Identification Qualification Cultivation Solicitation Stewardship In explaining each of these steps of the major gift process, he also offers helpful hints and tips such as, The “Three A’s” of qualifying a prospective major donor The number of prospects you need for every major gift you receive The impact that Dunbar’s Number has on building relationships with donors Substitutional ways a major donor can give Want to know more? You’ll have to listen to our Featured Conversation with Chris Haley. Article of the Week Denise Spivak In her role as its Senior Director of Programs and Outreach with CenterLink, Denise Spivak is constantly on the lookout for ideas and resources for the more than 150 LGBT centers across the country that CenterLink serves. We were fortunate to have her share one of these articles with us: The Seven Tips to Create an Amazing Donor Cultivation Tour. Denise shared some of the ways their member organizations have used donor cultivation tours, and Dolph talked about an incredible donor cultivation tour he participated in while in Dehli, India (at an organization called Salaam Balaak Trust). Links: Gail Perry Article: The Seven Tips to Create an Amazing Donor Cultivation Tour: Information on the Salaam Baalak Trust tour:
Aug 30, 2016
Ep 7 - New Overtime Rules With Gary Wheeler
Many people would rather be doused by a bucket of ice water than talk about HR regulations, but there’s an upcoming change to the overtime rules that will impact many nonprofit organizations. This Episode Includes a Featured Conversation with Gary Wheeler, a nationally renowned HR expert. Gary shares information about upcoming changes to overtime rules and how they may impact nonprofits across the country. Links: • Virtual HR Director: o Web: • Gary Wheeler’s Contact Information: o Email: o Phone: 678-997-0017 Article of the Week The New Yorker magazine opinion piece titled “Philanthropic Fads” by James Surowiecki does a great job of assessing the long-term impact of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Do you remember when the ice bucket challenge went viral back in 2014? According to the ALS Association, over 17 million people uploaded their ice bucket challenge videos. You probably recall seeing new videos appear in your facebook feed every day. From your old high school friends, your organization’s CEO, and Hollywood’s biggest stars. You may have even taken the challenge yourself. In just a six-week period, that first challenge unexpectedly flooded the ALS Association with over $115 million in donations. At the time the organization’s annual budget was only about $20 million, so this was a huge boost. When the challenge went viral, many nonprofit leaders found fault with it. This great article addresses many of the criticisms by describing what actually happened in the two years since the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral. Links: • Philanthropic Fads in The New Yorker • ALS Ice Bucket Challenge infographic: • Dolph’s favorite ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with Patrick Stewart:
Aug 23, 2016
Ep 6 - Nonprofit Mergers and Partnerships with Erik Speakman
Nonprofit Mergers: A more perfect union For decades, the nonprofit sector has sought cost savings and a better continuum of care through the strategic merge of two or more organizations. Some well known mergers have been phenomenally successful, while others feel like Absolute blunders. Our featured conversation this week is with Erik Speakman, a partnership and merge specialist who has successfully led facilitated many successful mergers. In our conversation we discuss: • How to know whether two organizations might be good partners • What are the costs associated with merging (and who funds them) • Why mergers driven entirely by funders are often less successful • The importance of due diligence that goes beyond just programs and financials to include organizational values and culture • The danger of merging without first developing a true partnership • The importance of relationships throughout the process • Consolidating two CEOs, boards, staff, and locations • Other pitfalls that sabotage organizations with an interest in merging Links: • Speakman Consulting: o Web: o Phone: 404-936-1211 • Nonprofit Mergers by David La Piana: Article of the Week Denise Spivak, the Senior Director of Programs and Outreach with CenterLink, introduced us to the NonprofitPro website with this week’s Article of the Week: 6 Steps to Volunteer Happiness by Katrina VanHuss. Happy volunteers make great ambassadors and supporters for an organization, and this article helps us understand how to recruit, engage, and retain truly happy volunteers. Links: • 6 Steps to Volunteer Happiness: • Volunteer Management Practices and Retention by the Urban Institute: • CenterLInk:
Aug 16, 2016
Ep 5 - Protect your tax exempt status with Anthony Sampson
Revoked! Protect Your Tax-Exempt Status Atlanta area accountant Anthony Sampson joins us for today’s podcast to talk about automatic revocation of tax-exempt status. Earlier this year, I met with the board of a small nonprofit organization, and a board member indicated that they were “too small to have to file an IRS form 990 of any sort”. My warning antenna shot up, and I suggested they were probably required to file one. Of course, I was clear that I am not a CPA or qualified to provide tax advice, so I offered to connect them with a a local accounting firm that works with a number of nonprofits. After making the introduction, I did a little bit of research and was shocked at what I found out. In calendar year 2015, the IRS revoked the federal tax-exempt status of more than 41,500 nonprofit organizations that failed to file a Form 990 for three consecutive years. That’s just the tip of the iceberg: the IRS has revoked the tax-exempt status of over 635,000 nonprofit organizations since implementing this rule in 2010. With only about 1.8 million nonprofits in the nation, about a third of all nonprofits have been subject to revocation. Scanning the names and locations of those with revoked tax exempt status, the list represents a diverse group of nonprofits, including ministries, associations, fraternities, volunteer fire departments, sports clubs, social service providers, arts organizations, PTA’s, and more. After learning these jarring statistics, I knew it was essential that accountant Anthony Sampson join us for the featured conversation. Links: • IRS: • Anthony Sampson’s Contact Information: 770-900-0410 Article of the Week: Get Intersectional Leanne Rubenstein, Executive Director of Compassionate Atlanta, joined us for the Article of the Week by Kristin Moe: Get Intersectional: Why you can’t go it alone in Yes Magazine. This article on intersectionality applies to nearly every organization. Whether an art museum, a homeless shelter, an educational institution, or a civil rights organization, we can all get a little more intersectional. Links: • Yes Magazine: Get intersectional Why you can’t go it alone • Compassionate Atlanta:
Aug 09, 2016
Ep 4 - Get More Grants with Laurie Nichols
Getting More Grants with Laurie Nichols The featured conversation today is with Laurie Grant Nichols. As her middle name would suggest, she is indeed an expert on grants and shares insights into the foundation cultivation and grant writing process. Whether you are a newer nonprofit trying to get grant ready, or a larger organization that could fine tune its foundation cultivation, this may be the most valuable conversation you hear all week. You will learn about: • Getting your organization grant ready • Using online foundation directories • Cultivating foundations to get more grant proposals funded • Outsourcing your grant writing (pros and cons) • Following up after a foundation declines your request Links: • Capitol Results, LLC: • Grant Station: • The State of Grantseeking Report: Article of the Week Marvin Webb shared the article of the week: How to be Your Own Executive Assistant in Three Easy Steps from the Zen Habits website. The article is no longer available at that website, but channel a bit of Zen and check them out: Once upon a simpler time, you received mail once a day delivered inside little paper envelopes, you had only one work phone, a receptionist took messages and made excuses for you, and, if you were a senior manager, you had an assistant. If you rely on a watch to tell you the time, you remember that simpler era. Today, however, we get e-mail throughout the day, have multiple phone numbers, text and messenger apps, and, bizarre as it seems, we are surrounded by more paper than ever before. Isn’t it ironic that our work lives are more complicated than ever before but we don’t have a dedicated person to help us sort through the clutter. Links: • Bamboo HR: • Survey Monkey: • Doodle scheduling app: • Expensify app (Expense tracking): • Genius Scan (PDF Scanner for your phone):
Aug 02, 2016
Ep 3 - Measuring Outcomes with Khurram Hassan
Measuring Outcomes with Khurram Hassan Big data. Small data. Sometimes no data. For something so important, we often don’t know enough about how to collect and analyze our organization’s most important outcome measures. For this reason, I sat down with data guru Khurram Hassan who provides strategic planning, evaluation, and program design consulting to nonprofits, foundations, and governments. During this conversation we discussed: • Reasons for collecting and analyzing evaluation data • Determining the right information to collect • Collecting data without burdening staff • Logic models • Resources for nonprofits interested in evaluation design Links: Khurram Hassan’s consulting website: Kellogg Evaluation Handbook: University of Wisconsin publication “Enhancing Program Performance with Logic Models”: University of Wisconsin publication “Developing a Logic Model: Teaching and training guide”: Article of the Week I flew solo for the article of the week: Putting Your Major Donors to Work Can Help You Raise More Money by author Joe Garecth of The Fundraising Authority blog. With almost two decades of fundraising experience, I have learned first hand the importance of getting donors meaningfully involved. Garecht offers some excellent ideas for engaging major donors as volunteers, and I suggested using Story Corps as an additional opportunity to recognize and highlight your donors. Article of the week:
Jul 26, 2016
Ep 2 - Supporting Diversty and Inclusion with Clarence Patton

Featured Conversation with Clarence Patton Many nonprofits are seeking opportunities to create more inclusive and diverse boards and staff, and Clarence Patton is an expert in this area. He serves as the Director of the LGBT Pipeline Project and its Pipeline Consulting affiliate program. We discussed: The difference between being diverse and being inclusive. Signs that an organization is ready to begin the work of becoming more inclusive. Tools that organizations can use to begin a self-assessment. The process Pipeline Consulting and Pipeline Project use to help organizations become more welcoming and inclusive. Whether board give/get requirements are an impediment to creating diverse boards. ​​ You can find more information about Clarence Patton & LGBT Pipeline Project: ​ Article of the Week With Leanne Rubenstein Leanne Rubenstein, Executive Director of Compassionate Atlanta and a Consultant with The Goldenburg Group, presents the article of the week: A Day in the Life of an Executive Director by Joan Garry. We discussed how this article accurately depicted life as an executive director: starting your day early, ending it late, having lots of meetings, and experiencing both emotional highs and lows. The article also drives home the importance of self-care for executive directors, as well as a commitment to continued growth and change.

Jul 18, 2016
Ep 1 - Career Changers with Gary Hines
Featured Conversation With Gary Hines It seems many workers in the for profit sector spend their days dreaming about being a social worker, running a homeless shelter, or being the artistic director at a nonprofit theater. During my nearly 25 years in the nonprofit sector, hundreds of people have wistfully told me they would love to transition from the for profit sector to the nonprofit sector. Since so many people have shared this dream with me, this first episode includes a featured conversation with career coach Gary Hines. Gary will share deep insights for anyone thinking about a major career shift (even for those already working in the nonprofit sector). Gary discusses: Recognizing skill sets that transfer between sectors Managing common speed bumps in the transition Understanding the benefits of coaching for people in career transitions ​​ Gary Hines' contact information is below: 215-264-6847 Article of the Week With Marvin Webb Marvin Webb, Chief Operating Officer at Funders for LGBTQ Issues, presents the article of the week: An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization. We discuss how strengthening employees also strengthens your organization. We also learn about an innovative staff development practice at Marvin's organization that provides each employee with a self-directed personal development fund. Staff have used it to attend workshops, take up yoga, and even participate in a metal working class. Be sure to listen to this segment to find out how self-directed personal development works at his organization.
Jul 02, 2016