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Nonprofits Are Messy: Lessons in Leadership | Fundraising | Board Development | Communications Cover
Nonprofits Are Messy: Lessons in Leadership | Fundraising | Board Development | Communications Profile

Nonprofits Are Messy: Lessons in Leadership | Fundraising | Board Development | Communications

English, Finance, 6 seasons, 203 episodes, 6 days, 2 hours, 18 minutes
Hosted by Joan Garry, the “Dear Abby” of the nonprofit world, Nonprofits Are Messy is a discussion of the most pressing issues faced by nonprofit leadership. Joan and her guests tackle topics like the overhead myth, the best way to run special events, how to make a big fundraising ask, board-staff relations, and so much more. At times hilarious, uplifting, and frustrating, the stories told in this podcast should feel very familiar to anybody working in a nonprofit today. Topics include fundraising, leadership development, building a great board, Executive Director / Board relations, communications and messaging, staff management, nonprofit career advice, crisis management, digital marketing, social media, and so much more. Listen to real stories of nonprofit leaders like you and how they handled the mess. Because the truth is, nonprofits ARE messy. There’s not enough money, too many cooks, and an abundance of passion. Leading nonprofits isn’t easy. This podcast will help.
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Ep 129: Finding the Right Leader For Your Org (with Melissa Madzel)

An org is most vulnerable when the CEO decides to move on. In this episode, we discuss the right way to conduct a search for a new leader.
3/6/202151 minutes, 32 seconds
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Ep 128: Making Beautiful Music With Community-Driven Partnerships (with Henry Donahue)

Learn how Save the Music Foundation creates long-term renewable relationships that lead to multi-year investments from philanthropic funders.
2/20/202156 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep 127: Building a Grassroots Movement From Scratch (with Donna Dees and Shikha Hamilton)

In the year 2000, Donna Dees rallied hundreds of thousands of people to march on Washington. How did she build such a large grassroots movement from scratch in only 9 months?
2/6/202152 minutes, 19 seconds
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Ep 126: Creating 5-Star Special Events in the Virtual Age (with Liz Page and Amanda Harless)

How do you create a truly successful virtual event? My guests share with us how intimate a virtual event can actually be!
1/23/202153 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ep 125: What Will You Carry Into 2021?

As we close out a most devastating year, I’d like to offer you my own reflections on the things I am carrying into 2021.
1/9/202119 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep 124: The 5 Giving Trends That Will Define Online Fundraising (with Scot Chisholm)

Where is online fundraising headed post-pandemic? Scot Chisholm, founder of fundraising software platform Classy, looks into his crystal ball and tells us what he sees.
1/2/202152 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep 123: The Single Best Sign of a Healthy Nonprofit (with Carlos de la Rosa and Rosanne Siino)

Do you know the single best indicator of the health of a nonprofit? There is one KEY ingredient for a healthy nonprofit. And it’s even more important during a crisis. In this episode I talk with Carlos de la Rosa and Rosanne Siino, Executive Director and Board Chair of the Lindsay Wildlife Preserve. Hint: Notice I invited an E.D. AND a board chair on the podcast… The “co-pilots” of the organization. Carlos and Rosanne tell me all about the Preserve and in particular about the process of hiring Carlos as executive director. They also tell the story of how they were affected by Covid 19. On Friday the 13th of March 2020, everything was shutting down; Lindsay was closing the doors to the 100,000 people who support their mission. What structure, buffers, reserves, or relationships were in place that could (and did) sustain them through the ensuing months? My guests discuss how they used the down time to create opportunities for a sustainable future and tell us what allowed Lindsay Wildlife Preserve to not only survive, but thrive. About Dr. Carlos de la Rosa Dr. Carlos de la Rosa is an Aquatic Ecologist by training and a Conservation Biologist by practice. He obtained his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Pittsburgh, PA, and has recently been Adjunct Professor and Senior Researcher at the University of Costa Rica and the National University of Costa Rica, biodiversity advisor to the Organization of American States, the US Agency for International Development, and other organizations in the US and in Central and South America. Carlos has worked extensively in environmental education programs, sustainability issues, and conservation of wildlife and wildlands. He has led wildlife protection and conservation programs in California, Florida, and Central America and is committed to communicating to the public the urgency for a better relationship with nature and wildlife. Previously he served as Director of the La Selva Biological Station for the Organization of Tropical Studies, in Costa Rica; Chief Conservation and Education Officer for the Catalina Island Conservancy, in California, USA; Program Director for The Nature Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve in Florida; Education Director for the Environmental Lands Division of Pinellas County, Florida; and Director of the Riverwoods Field Laboratory for the South Florida Water Management District, where he worked as a researcher in the Kissimmee River Restoration Project. Carlos is completing three new books exploring the natural history, ecology, restoration, and conservation of natural habitats within the cultural context in which they exist. His writings have been published in scientific journals as well as in popular media. His nature photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries in the US and in Costa Rica. “I am very excited to be part of this amazing organization. Developing a strong, positive, and nurturing relationship with nature and wildlife is one of the most important things that people can do to address many of our current environmental issues. And I can’t think of no better place to do this than at the Lindsay Wildlife Experience.” About Rosanne Siino Rosanne Siino was among the founders of Netscape in the 1990s. She brings to the Lindsay Board the same creativity, “think big” attitude and positive energy that launched the first commercially successful web browser. After a long career in high-tech marketing, Rosanne received a doctorate in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford, where she has been a lecturer/researcher since 2007. Rosanne teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in branding, leadership, and organizational dynamics, and consults with technology companies, startups, and nonprofits on effective teamwork, management and messaging. In addition to serving on the Board, Rosanne brought her love of animals and incredible teaching and communications skills to Lindsay as a volunteer wildlife educator for many years. ...
12/19/20201 hour, 2 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep 122: How to Use Artificial Intelligence to Improve Donor Retention (with Allison Fine and Beth Kanter)

This episode is about the role that AI is starting to play in transforming philanthropy by reducing rote tasks and fueling donor retention.
12/5/202055 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep 121: Creating a 5-Star Board Retreat (with Dolph Goldenburg)

We discuss why boards matter, when to have a board retreat, how retreats have gone virtual, and what it takes to make a retreat a home run.
11/21/202049 minutes, 7 seconds
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Bonus Episode: Turn Your Impatience to Your Heroic Pursuits

I would like to encourage you to turn your impatience toward your heroic pursuits. After all, there’s a reason you become a nonprofit superhero.
11/5/202012 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep 120: Raising the Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders (with Charlotte Alter)

Boomers are aging out of nonprofit leadership in droves. Many started organizations post Vietnam and there is a huge impending leadership void in the sector that needs to be filled. Nonprofit boards tend to skew old and are distrusting of youth and "inexperience". And so the cycle continues. So who will fill this void? How do we build a leadership pipeline? In May of 2017 Charlotte Alter, national correspondent at Time, heard President Trump’s speech on how the US was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement. She looked up each person who advised him to do so and began to feel that the decisions being made were examples of the old eating the young. This took her on a journey to write her book. Today she takes us through the people, events and forces that she believes have shaped the political thinking of the rising generation of leaders in America. We discuss how today’s leaders differ from yesterday’s and what we might do to nurture millennial leadership. About Charlotte Alter Charlotte Alter is a national correspondent at TIME covering the 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections, women in politics and youth social movements. Her first book The Ones We've Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America was released in February. Links The Ones We've Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America Greta Thuneberg article The School Shooting Generation has had Enough Joan Garry's Guide to Nonprofit Leadership Second Edition- Joan Garry Who Needs an Executive Coach? Joan Garry’s Instagram Explore the Nonprofit Leadership Lab Joan's Book: Joan Garry’s Guide to Nonprofit Leadership: Because Nonprofits Are Messy Music by Jukebox the Ghost Voiceover Work by Cindy Cap Solutions
10/24/20201 hour, 15 seconds
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Ep 119: Your First 90 Days as an Executive Director (with Michael Watkins)

There are steps can be taken to ensure success and begin the process of crafting your legacy as a leader, even BEFORE you take on a new role.
10/10/202053 minutes, 43 seconds
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Ep. 118: The Growing Charitable Movement That’s Raised a Billion Dollars (with Sara Lomelin)

Giving circles have raised well over a BILLION dollars over the past 20 years. Learn how your org can tap into this growing movement.
9/26/202049 minutes, 19 seconds
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Ep 117: The Hunt for Great Board Members (with Robert Acton and Lalita Badinehal)

If you’ve ever had trouble finding great board members, or getting them ready to serve your organizations at a high level, you’ll want to listen to this episode.
9/12/202055 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 116: The Most Important Piece of Diversity Work: Belonging (with Neha Sampat)

My journey through the world is highly enriched by the diversity of folks around me.
8/29/202056 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep 115: Taking Nonprofits From Good to Great – Part 2 (with Jim Collins)

In this episode, Jim Collins and I continue to explore the question of why some organizations thrive in uncertainty and chaos and others do not. Quite timely!
8/15/202041 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep 114: What If Fundraising De-Emphasized the Donor? (with Vu Le and Michelle Muri)

There are those who believe that the donor-centric fundraising model may be perpetuating the very inequity we seek to address in the nonprofit sector.
8/1/202052 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep 113: Taking Nonprofits From Good to Great – Part 1 (with Jim Collins)

My guest today, best selling author Jim Collins, literally wrote the book on how to navigate a path from good to great and I could not be more excited to have him on the podcast!
7/18/202032 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep 112: What Foundations Are Thinking Right Now (with Caryl M. Stern)

So many nonprofits are struggling. Facing crises that are existential. I wanted to know what funders, especially foundations, are thinking at this time.
7/4/202038 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep 111: Once Upon a Time There Was a Fundraiser Who… (with Dan Portnoy)

Just for a moment, imagine what it would mean for your organization if you could double your online fundraising next year.
6/20/202051 minutes, 43 seconds
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Ep 110: How to Have Difficult Conversations – Part 2 (with Sheila Heen)

Accepting criticism is an important leadership skill. But how might we exercise that skill when it feels off base, unfair, or poorly delivered?
6/6/202034 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep 109: How to Have Difficult Conversations – Part 1 (with Sheila Heen)

How do you build the muscle to make sure difficult conversations go well? What might you not be aware of that could change everything?
5/23/202039 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep 108: A New CEO Job Starts in the Heat of a Pandemic (with Ellen LaPointe)

Imagine you start a new CEO job at a wonderful nonprofit. And then a pandemic hits. Changes things just a bit, right? That's what happened to my guest.
5/9/202049 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ep 107: The Top 20 Attributes of an Outstanding Board

When you are looking to build an outstanding board think of it as a strategic casting call! Here are the top characteristics of an outstanding board and the ideal attributes of a board leader.
4/25/202040 minutes, 22 seconds
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Ep 106: Introducing Your Nonprofit Life (with Laura Zielke)

There is nothing like a good spinoff. Some of the best TV shows of all time found their origins in another show. And now there’s a spinoff of this podcast!
4/11/202028 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep 105: Leadership in the Time of COVID-19

Everyone contends with pervasive anxiety in different ways. I have five pieces of advice from me to all of you leaders and helpers out there. Stay safe!
3/28/202034 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep 104: Creating a Nonprofit Communications Engine (with Sarah Durham)

Your nonprofit can probably do a better job of communicating to build engagement and inspire action. Sarah Durham is THE expert on this.
3/14/202048 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep 103: Stronger Together: The Power of Cohort Learning (with Darlene Nipper)

The most valuable kind of leadership development happens in a cohort. And that’s what this episode is all about.
3/2/202049 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep 102: Is Abuse of Power Epidemic in the Nonprofit Sector? (with Sarah Beaulieu and Kim Jones)

I wrote an article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy on this topic and got a tremendous response. It seems abuse of power may be rampant.
2/15/202048 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ep 101: Managing the Tension of Change (with Michael DePass)

while change can lead to growth, sometimes leaders fail to manage the tensions that growth brings, and this can cripple an organization’s impact.
2/1/202049 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep 100: The Professional Interim Executive Director (with Margo Amgott)

When your Executive Director is actually the “Interim Executive Director,” it means something went wrong… right? Well, maybe not.
1/18/202046 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep 99: What Visionaries Do Best (with Paul Rice)

What kind of person does it take to build a movement? What are the strategies that take something seemingly small and turn it into a global game changer?
1/4/202053 minutes, 10 seconds
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Ep 98: Movements are Like Relay Races (with Frances Kunreuther)

I’m thrilled to give voice to a passionate change agent who knows how to build a movement, Frances Kunreuther, Co-Director of the Building Movement Project.
12/7/201945 minutes, 1 second
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Ep 97: The Telltale Signs of Founder Syndrome (Part 2) with Rachael Gibson

The founder of your organization is leaving and you’re coming in as the new leader. How do you follow a founder and be successful?
11/16/201932 minutes, 1 second
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Ep 96: The Telltale Signs of Founder Syndrome (Part 1) with Rachael Gibson

A fascinating discussion about the remarkable nature of founders, founder syndrome, and how do you get a founder to leave.
11/2/201937 minutes, 44 seconds
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Ep 95: How Do We Ignite Our Volunteers? (with Tobi Johnson)

Volunteerism is both noble and necessary in our polarized world. But how do you ignite them and keep them engaged over the long term?
10/19/201956 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep 94: Tales From the Trenches (with Darian Rodriguez Heyman)

From messes to remarkable victories, boards who step up to those missing in action; from bad days to the days you save someone’s life… we all have tales.
10/5/201947 minutes, 32 seconds
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Ep 93: Why Even a Good Executive Director Needs a Coach

Professional development for nonprofit leaders - luxury or necessity? In this podcast I talk about how maximizing impact requires an investment in support.
9/21/201922 minutes, 22 seconds
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Bonus Episode: Small But Mighty Nonprofits (with Laura Zielke)

Most folks are utterly clueless about the size and scope of the nonprofit sector. In fact it’s not really thought of as a sector.
9/14/201934 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep 92: The Lonely Nonprofit Leader (with Glennda Testone)

You’ve probably heard of “Imposter Syndrome”. But have you heard of “Loneliness Syndrome”?
9/7/201941 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ep 91: The Diversity Problem in Our Sector (with Diahann Billings-Burford)

Nonprofits have a diversity problem. Big time. And I believe this is one of the most important issues facing the sector today.
8/24/201954 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep 90: Why People Don’t Donate (and What You Can Do About It) (with Phil Buchanan)

There are so many people who want to make a difference and your nonprofit is a vehicle for them to do just that. So why can it be so hard to get people (or foundations) to open their checkbooks?
8/10/201947 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep 89: Nonprofit Partnerships, Mergers, and Acquisitions (with Wendy Foster)

Find out how partnerships can succeed and when they might fail and learn the origin story of the successful partnership between Uber and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
7/27/201948 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep 88: Everything You Wanted to Know About Planned Giving (with Judi O’Kelley)

Planned giving can be a fantastic way for nonprofits to raise significant funds and can greatly benefit both the organization and the donor.
7/13/201949 minutes, 20 seconds
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Bonus Episode: Nonprofit Workspaces (Joan Garry on the “Dear HBR” Podcast)

Does standard work advice not apply to you because you’re at a nonprofit? In this episode of HBR's advice podcast, Dear HBR:, cohosts Alison Beard and Dan McGinn answer your questions with the help of Joan Garry.
7/1/201932 minutes
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Ep 87: True Confessions of a Five Star Board Chair (with Daryl Messinger)

I have met many first rate board chairs and even had a few during my tenure as an Executive Director, but my guest today is the entire package.
6/15/201955 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep 86: An Artful Approach to Social Media (with Robin Cembalest)

Learn how Robin Cembalest has built an enormous social media following and take away lessons that any nonprofit can implement.
6/1/201948 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep 85: Managing Rapid Growth – the Story of charity: water (with Lauren Letta)

charity: water’s growth and impact has been nothing short of remarkable. Here’s the story of how they scaled their organization.
5/18/201944 minutes, 5 seconds
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Ep 84: Passion, Conflict, Diversity, and Leadership (with Parisa Parsa)

Are you read to develop the skills, and manage the conflict that accompanies passionate and diverse points of view? As a leader, this is critical!
5/4/201956 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep 83: You’re Doing Meetings All Wrong (with Priya Parker)

Learn from my guest Priya Parker how to create super effective meetings, resolve tough conflicts, and throw killer dinner parties.
4/20/201948 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ep 82: Helping the Helpers

I get to work with thousands of amazing nonprofit leaders inside the Nonprofit Leadership Lab. Allow me to introduce a few of them to you.
4/6/201922 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep 81: How to Grow a Movement and an “Army of the Engaged” (with Rashad Robinson)

In a polarized world, power to effect change comes from building an “army of the engaged”. Here's how my guest, Rashad Robinson, did just that.
3/23/201952 minutes, 41 seconds
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Ep 80: Why is Change So Hard? (with Lisa Lahey)

Nonprofits want to change the world in ways large and small. And yet, when it comes to bringing change into our own orgs, it’s really hard!
3/9/201951 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep 79: How a Film Festival Impacts Community Building (with Evelyn Colbert)

Learn more about the birth of a film festival and the superpower of this type of non profit in building community.
2/23/201951 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep 78: What Nonprofits Can Learn from Tech Start-ups (with Ann Mei)

Organizations of all kinds know they must innovate or die out. But this word causes nonprofit leaders to break out in cold sweats. Why?
2/9/201949 minutes, 17 seconds
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Ep 77: Navigating the Tension Between Development and Communications (with Steve Ralls)

Learn more about common tensions between Development and Communications and whether merging them under one umbrella works or muddies the water.
1/26/201942 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 76: The 4 Obstacles to a Diverse Board

I believe there are 4 primary obstacles to building a diverse board. In this episode, I explain what they are and I’ll tell you exactly how you can overcome them.
1/12/201929 minutes, 49 seconds
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Ep 75: What’s Your One Big 2019 Goal?

Name a big goal you have for the coming year. That’s what I asked more than a dozen nonprofit leaders. Here’s what they told me.
12/29/201820 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep 74: Good People, Hidden Biases, and Navigating Your Blind Spots (with Anthony Greenwald)

You’re a nonprofit person, so you probably want to change hearts and minds, but your blind spots may be getting in the way.
12/15/201845 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep 73: The Arc of a Successful Capital Campaign (with Eric Javier)

You need to make a huge leap in your nonprofit. And so you require a significant amount of money in a certain period of time. You may need a capital campaign.
12/1/201842 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep 72: Successful Year End Fundraising (with Gail Perry)

We’ve reached prime-time giving season, and I have some good news. It’s absolutely not too late to exceed your goals, no matter where you currently are in your process.
11/17/201844 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep 71: A Smart Nonprofit Budgeting Process (with Hilda Polanco)

Is your nonprofit budgeting process a royal pain or a living, breathing plan for your leaders to determine your organization’s priorities?
11/3/201848 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep 70: Unicorns, Superheroes and Nonprofit Leaders (With Vu Le)

It’s a bird, it’s a plane… no, it’s a nonprofit leader. The work you do matters more than you know and more than anyone will ever tell you.
10/20/201846 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep 69: New Power and the Building of Movements (with Henry Timms)

Giving Tuesday, #MeToo, the Ice Bucket Challenge, the out-of-nowhere victories of Obama and Trump… They all have something important in common – they were movements forged by “New Power”.
10/6/201852 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ep 68: No, You Can’t Do It All

How do you take care of yourself and still be responsible to your organization and the people you serve?
9/22/201823 minutes, 35 seconds
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Ep 67: Busting the Overhead Myth (with Dan Pallotta)

Donors won’t give to charities with “high overhead.” Right? But what structural problems does this cause? My guest, Dan Pallotta, busts the nonprofit overhead myth.
9/8/201839 minutes, 26 seconds
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Ep 66: When it’s Time to Leave Your Org (with Kate Kendell)

Why do Executive Directors sometimes overstay their roles? Inertia? Love of the job? A board that doesn’t want them to leave? How do you know when it’s time to go?
8/25/201847 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep 65: The Case of the Serial Nonprofit Founder (with Robin Steinberg)

Nonprofit founders are superheroes. Robin Steinberg is certainly one. In fact, she keeps on creating new nonprofits! And she has a wealth of knowledge to share.
8/11/201850 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep 64: Donors Who Know More, Give More (with Roxie Jerde)

How educated do you think most donors are about the organization they support and invest in? Not very. And this is a big problem we must solve.
7/28/201846 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep 63: How To Think About Mergers and Collaborations (with Nadya Shmavonian)

Mergers can help nonprofits increase reach and impact, but they can also become a disaster. Here’s how to decide if you should go for it.
7/14/201852 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep 62: Hiring the Perfect Executive Director (with Dara Klarfeld)

What is the secret sauce to finding and hiring the perfect ED for your organization? How can you become a “rockstar” candidate? Find out in today’s episode.
6/30/201842 minutes
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Ep 61: How to Build a Smart Communications Plan (with Ben Wyskida)

In this episode, Ben Wyskida, CEO of Fenton Communications explains what you must do to build a successful communications plan for your nonprofit.
6/16/201841 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep 60: Why Nonprofit Journalism Matters (with Christa Scharfenberg)

Nonprofit media fills an important gap. Local and regional newsrooms have been decimated and the expense of investigative journalism is very high. In this episode, Christa Scharfenberg, the acting CEO for the Center of Investigative Reporting, explains the specific challenges nonprofit journalism faces.
6/2/201840 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep 59: Scaling Up Your Nonprofit (with Kathleen Kelly Janus)

Your nonprofit has hit a wall and you want to scale up. But how? Why do some organizations grow and others do not? In this episode, Kathleen demystifies the process for “biggie-sizing” your nonprofit.
5/19/201845 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep 58: Is It Time to Leave Facebook? (with Julia Campbell)

Facebook has broken trust with the public. Should your nonprofit think about leaving the platform? Learn how Cambridge Analytics purchased data from people who did not explicitly give permission and how this affects your nonprofit.
5/5/201851 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep 57: You Can Do Hard Things

How can you run a nonprofit with so little staff? You want to make a difference with that budget? There is so much hard work to be done - surely you can’t do these hard things, can you? Guess what… you can. Here’s the proof.
4/14/201824 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep 56: Anatomy of a Crisis (with Emily Klehm)

When a major crisis hit – an employee had been mugged at gunpoint and a dog stolen – Emily Klehm stepped up big time as the leader of the South Suburban Humane Society. But she never could have guessed what would happen next.
4/7/201847 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ep 55: The Nonprofit Sector Has Serious Money Hangups (with Belinda Rosenblum)

Do you get anxious asking people for donations? How much salary should the leader of a nonprofit make? How do you feel about wealthy people? The answers to these questions all come down to your deeply rooted feelings about money. How can we recognize and understand these feelings so we can make them more productive?
3/31/201849 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep 54: The 15-Year-Old Nonprofit Superhero (with Kayla & Andrea Abramowitz)

Kayla Abramowitz is AMAZING. At 11 years old, she founded a nonprofit that helps sick kids feel a whole lot better. In this episode, Kayla and her CEO-mom share what they’ve learned over the last 4 years running their nonprofit, and provide some well-earned wisdom for every nonprofit founder out there.
3/17/201849 minutes
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Ep 53: Asking for Money Isn’t Sexy… But Philanthropy Is (with Claire Axelrad)

Neuroscientists confirm that when somebody gives a donation, it lights up the same part of the brain as having sex or eating chocolate. So why does fundraising give so many adults the creeps? And how to you build a culture of philanthropy where everyone understands how they can effectively contribute?
3/3/201843 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep 52: Personal Politics vs. Public Responsibilities (with Anne Wallestad)

Every person who joins a board comes with opinions and points of view. But what happens when your responsibility to your organization as a board member conflicts with your personal politics? Should you keep it to yourself?
2/17/201839 minutes
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Ep 51: A Symphony of Shared Leadership (with Jim Roe and Bernard Labadie)

At arts orgs, how should power be shared when, in addition to the Executive Director, there is also a creative director who is, perhaps, the most important leader of all? My guests explain how their very successful shared leadership model really works for them, and ultimately results in a beautiful symphony.
2/3/201844 minutes, 31 seconds
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Ep 50: Why Bartenders Make Great Leaders (with Helen Rothberg)

Based on lessons she learned working as a bartender while pursuing degrees in business and behavioral science, Dr. Helen Rothberg identifies leaders by a cocktail of choices they make; how to approach obstacles, managing conflict, facilitating groups and connections, adapting to current realities, and much more.
1/20/201849 minutes, 1 second
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Ep 49: How To Make 2018 a Whole Lot Better

This podcast is about resolving to bounce back. It’s about living in a world of unease while keeping your passion and desire to improve it -- alive and well. In this episode, I share 15 things worth a shot in 2018. These non-resolutions have three things in common. They are doable, universal, and meaningful.
1/6/201842 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep 48: Building a Culture of Gratitude

A strong leader builds an organizational culture of gratitude. It impacts your staff, board, volunteers, donors, and more. But how do you do it? And when?
12/16/201743 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep 47: How to Engage Millennials (with Abra Annes)

How do we engage millennials and get them to support causes we care about, and that we hope they care about too? That's the topic of today's podcast...
12/2/201756 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ep 46: Strategic Program Design (with Lindsay Hoffman)

Too often, nonprofits become distracted by the newest and shiniest programming. This can cause big opportunities to be missed. Lindsay Hoffman explains...
11/18/201741 minutes, 37 seconds
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Ep 45: The Final 60 Days of the Year (with Seth Rosen)

We're now in the critical year-end fundraising season. It's daunting. My guest, Seth Rosen, will help you sort it out and make the most of these 2 months…
11/4/201739 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep 44: The Executive Director With No Staff (with Sarah Audet)

With everything nonprofit leaders have to get done, imagine that you are the only staff person. What would that look like? I wanted to know...
10/14/201739 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep 43: Nonprofits, Storytelling, and ‘This American Life’ (with Alex Blumberg)

Alex Blumberg, executive producer of 'This American Life' discusses with me the power of storytelling to activate people to engage and help your nonprofit.
9/30/201739 minutes, 10 seconds
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Ep 42: What’s With All The Ribbons? (with Dan Osheyack)

In this episode, my guest Dan Osheyack and I will explore issues of awareness, action, and cause marketing at nonprofits.
9/16/201738 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ep 41: What Every New Board Member Needs to Understand

I’d love for this podcast to be played for new board members – maybe at an orientation or perhaps at a board retreat when you are setting expectations.
7/29/201739 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ep 40: Overcoming Fundraising Mistakes (with Jim Bennett)

Fundraising can be full of landmines. But is there a way to turn fundraising lemons into lemonade? Why yes, I do believe there is.
7/15/201740 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep 39: From Kitchen Volunteer to Board Chair (with Sylvia Vogelman)

Multiple studies show the positive benefits of volunteering (for the volunteer). Today's guest took that to the limit and ultimately became the board chair!
7/1/201741 minutes, 1 second
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Ep 38: What the Heck is Marketing Anyway? (with Sarah Durham)

Marketing, done right, is central to all aspects of a nonprofit organization, from raising money to attracting the best people to enabling programs...
6/17/201743 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep 37: The Partnership That Drives a Thriving Nonprofit (with Kim Freedman and Nick Purrington)

What is the single best indicator of a thriving nonprofit? A strong partnership between the board and staff leaders. So I spoke with both and asked them...
6/3/201745 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep 36: The Community Builder Who Became a Philanthropist (with Stu McLaren)

How does one of the foremost experts in building online communities end up working to help thousands of children in Africa get a daily education?
5/13/201738 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ep 35: Stop Asking Your Board to Fundraise! (With Gail Perry)

In this episode fundraising expert Gail Perry argues that pushing your board members to fundraise is a big mistake. She suggests a better approach...
4/29/201738 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep 34: Leading a Small (But Mighty) Nonprofit (With Joan Garry)

Small nonprofits need as much (or more) help than larger ones but usually don't have the same resources available. This episode focuses on their issues...
4/15/201736 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep 33: Successful Nonprofit Collaborations (With Geri Mannion)

It takes a village to run a nonprofit. Today’s guest tells us a thing or two about the success that comes with collaboration – and the potential hazards.
4/1/201743 minutes, 42 seconds
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Ep 32: Even Roger Federer Has a Coach (With Michael Bungay Stanier)

For business and nonprofit leaders, an executive coach can make all the difference. Here's my interview with the #2 executive coach in the world...
3/18/201738 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep 31: Givers and Takers at Nonprofits (With Adam Grant)

Once in awhile you read a book that really sticks with you and changes the way you think. For me, one of those was "Give and Take" by Adam Grant.
3/4/201741 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 30: Nonprofits Are Messy… So What? (with Tim Harford)

Some argue that when I call nonprofits “messy,” I’m doing them a disservice. Am I? My guest Tim Harford believes that we should all embrace the mess. But how?
2/18/201739 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep 29: Leadership Transitions: How to Avoid the Mess (with Don Tebbe)

Don Tebbe, an expert at planning successful leadership transitions, joined me to give us all some great advice on how to navigate the waters of change.
2/4/201733 minutes, 49 seconds
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Ep 28: Difficult Conversations in Uncertain Times (with Parisa Parsa)

Nonprofits are needed now more than ever. Strong leadership is needed more than ever. And we have to start doing a better job of listening to each other...
1/21/201735 minutes, 49 seconds
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Ep 27: Confessions of a Terrible Board Member (with Eileen Opatut)

What if a prospective board member looks great “on paper” but doesn’t pan out as the five-star board member you’d expected? Is it their fault? Yours?
1/7/201738 minutes, 1 second
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Ep 26: Building a Culture of Optimism (with Steve Gross)

Two brothers start a business selling t-shirts with just $78 in the bank. They live out of a van and eat PB and J for 5 years. They are selling optimism..
12/17/201632 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep 25: Year End In T-Minus 30… (with Seth Rosen)

Most nonprofits see 30% of their revenue come in the door in December. Have you planted sufficient seeds? Will you hit your numbers? Are you ready?
12/3/201635 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep 24: Corporate Support the Right Way (with Julie Hirshey)

In this episode you will learn about how sports teams -- and corporations in general -- have so much more to give than just money.
11/5/201637 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep 23: Unlocking the Mystery of Foundation Funding (with Molly de Aguiar)

If you are funded by a foundation or want to be, you'll want to listen to this episode where I interview foundation program officer Molly de Aguiar...
10/22/201633 minutes, 35 seconds
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Ep 22: The Art and Science of Asking for Money (with Brian Saber)

Why do so many people find it terrifying to ask for money, even for organizations they care deeply about? It's critical. Here's how to go about asking...
10/8/201633 minutes, 14 seconds
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Ep 21: The Happy Healthy Nonprofit (with Beth Kanter)

Working at a nonprofit can feel like an express train to Burnout-land. How do we avoid that stay mindful and healthy while doing such passionate work?
9/24/201638 minutes, 44 seconds
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Ep 20: Volunteer If You Want to Live Longer (with Pamela Hawley)

Harvard did a study that determined that volunteering helps people live longer and healthier lives with 38% fewer nights spent in the hospital.
9/10/201633 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep 19: How to Give a Great Speech (with Elaine Bennett)

How do you write and give a great speech that excites and inspires your audience about your organization? Elaine Bennett tells you how to do just that.
8/27/201629 minutes, 10 seconds
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Ep 18: Mission Control and Strategic Planning (with Liana Downey)

It seems like everyone views strategic planning with a sort of dread. But when you do it right, it's game changing. With special guest Liana Downey.
8/13/201630 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep 17: How One Founder Avoided ‘Founder Syndrome’ – with guest Kevin Jennings

Perhaps the question I am most commonly asked is this: How do I make the switch from corporate to nonprofit? Bill Abrams knows a lot about this subject...
7/30/201633 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep 16: Why I Moved From Corporate to Nonprofit – with guest Bill Abrams

Perhaps the question I am most commonly asked is this: How do I make the switch from corporate to nonprofit? Bill Abrams knows a lot about this subject...
7/16/201633 minutes, 10 seconds
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Ep 15: On Direct Response Fundraising – with guest Lisa Maska

I spoke with guest Lisa Maska about how marketing has changed in the digital age and why direct response fundraising still works better than anything else.
7/2/201638 minutes
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Ep 14: Building a Great Development Team – with guest Seth Rosen

Seth Rosen, my fundraising genius and associate, lays out the steps for building a happy and productive development team.
6/18/201633 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep 13: Extraordinary Nonprofit Communications – with guest Sean Gibbons

Sean Gibbons explains why organizations that do communications well are smarter, stronger, and vastly more effective than those that don’t.
6/4/201624 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ep 12: Turning Tragedy Into Legacy – with Guest Caroline Samponaro

This is the story of a community organizing itself in the wake of a tragedy in order to make positive change. With guest Caroline Samponaro.
5/21/201631 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep 11: Finding the Best People – with Guest Marilyn Machlowitz

Nothing is more important than your people. Nothing. But how do you find 5-star employees? Should you hire a recruitment firm to help?
5/7/201624 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep 10: Successful Fundraising at Small Nonprofits – With Pamela Grow [PODCAST]

So your nonprofit is too small to hire a development director, but you won’t get any bigger without a development director. What do you do?
4/24/201629 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep 9: Websites, Social Media and Online Movements – With Scott Paley [PODCAST]

This episode is packed with useful, practical advice on how to make people sit up and take notice of your organization and mobilize for your cause.
4/17/201625 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep 8: A Day in the Life of a Board Chair – With Joe Landau [PODCAST]

Board Chair is one of the most important roles at a nonprofit organization, but it isn’t the job for just anyone. Learn about what makes a good board chair.
4/10/201627 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ep 7: Corporate Sponsorships Ain’t What They Used to Be – With Guest Nancy Mahon of Estee Lauder [PODCAST]

Once upon a time a nonprofit would ask corporate partners to sponsor a table at your annual gala... Well, things have gotten a bit more complex.
4/3/201630 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep 6: It’s All About the Message – My Conversation With PR Guru Howard Bragman [PODCAST]

“At the end of the 7th day, God realized He needed a publicist. So He made a couple of calls, everyone recommended Howard Bragman, and the rest is history.”
3/27/201623 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ep 5: Special Events: It’s Not All About the Centerpieces [PODCAST]

Event planning can fray the calmest of nerves. For many nonprofits it's "make or break". Here's great advice from event guru Jason Burlingame.
3/20/201629 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep 4: Nonprofits Are Messy AND Funny: My Interview with Vu Le [PODCAST]

His blog is called Nonprofit With Balls. How can you not laugh? Here's my interview with the hysterical Vu Le.
3/7/201629 minutes, 31 seconds
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Ep 3: My Interview with Alexander Sanger of Planned Parenthood [PODCAST]

Interview with author, board chair, and former Planned Parenthood NY CEO Alexander Sanger. We discuss leadership, staff motivation, and board relations.
2/27/201622 minutes, 22 seconds
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Ep 2: A Day in the Life of an Executive Director [PODCAST]

Being the Executive Director of a nonprofit is a tough and demanding job. But what exactly does an Executive Director do all day? And how can Executive Directors manage their time to truly be effective?
2/26/201628 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep 1: The Fear of Asking for Money [PODCAST]

Asking for money can be intimidating. Fundraiser extraordinaire Seth Rosen and I discuss concrete ways to ask for money without panic and fear.
2/26/201623 minutes, 24 seconds