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Using the Whole Whale - A Nonprofit Podcast Cover
Using the Whole Whale - A Nonprofit Podcast Profile

Using the Whole Whale - A Nonprofit Podcast

English, Marketing, 1 season, 371 episodes, 10 hours, 34 minutes
We interview leading experts working in the field of technology and marketing that are working on using tech for social impact. the podcast explores what tech is working to create impact, and how data is being used effectively within elite organizations. Past guests have included Google Analytics Chief Evangelist Avinash Kaushik, and digital experts from, Kiva, The Environmental Defense Fund, The Michael J. Fox Foundation, Donor's Choose and many others.
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AI Transparency, Environmental Impact, and Ethical Tech Shifts (news)

Nonprofit News Feed: AI Transparency, Environmental Impact, and Ethical Tech Shifts Hosted by George Weiner and Nick Azulay of Whole Whale Main Topics: Adobe's AI Controversy: Adobe faces backlash over changes to its terms of service, sparking fears that user data might be used to train its generative AI models without consent. Adobe clarified it does not train its AI models on customer content and committed to updating its terms by the end of June. The Department of Justice has filed a suit against Adobe for its opaque subscription models, adding to the company's woes. Transparency Issues with OpenAI-Backed Nonprofits: Nonprofits backed by OpenAI, like Open Research and UBI Charitable, have stopped disclosing financial statements and internal policies, breaking previous transparency pledges. George emphasizes the importance of transparency in research, especially in universal basic income (UBI) studies to maintain credibility and trust. Environmental Impact of AI: AI's significant compute power demands are leading to increased carbon emissions and higher operational costs. Google's new AI search feature, rolling out to a billion users, is estimated to use 30 times more energy than traditional search methods. The conversation touches on the broader implications of AI's energy consumption and the potential for more efficient models in the future. Ethical Concerns in Tech Infrastructure: The discussion extends to the physical infrastructure required for AI, including the ethical implications of mining precious metals. George notes the importance of monitoring the human rights impacts of resource extraction and the need for innovative solutions to mitigate these effects. Feel-Good Story: ProtonMail's Shift to Nonprofit Foundation: Proton, known for its secure email service, is transitioning to a nonprofit foundation model, prioritizing mission over profit. This move echoes Patagonia's shift and reinforces trust in nonprofit tech companies' commitment to user privacy and data security. Critical Insights: Transparency and ethical considerations in AI and tech are paramount to maintaining user trust and ensuring sustainable practices. The shift of tech companies to nonprofit models can offer a more trustworthy alternative, free from shareholder pressures. Call to Action: Stay informed about changes in terms of service from tech providers and advocate for transparency and ethical practices. Consider supporting and using tech services that prioritize privacy and nonprofit values. Closing Thought: The nonprofit sector continues to lead by example in prioritizing ethical practices and transparency, underscoring the importance of mission-driven work in tech and beyond.
6/18/202417 minutes, 35 seconds
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Are These Organizations Really Nonprofits? (news)

Are These Organizations Still Nonprofits? A Deep Dive into Nonprofit Status and the Blurring Lines Overview This week on the Nonprofit Newsfeed, George Weiner, Chief Whaler of Whole Whale, and Nick Azulay, Senior Manager of Digital Strategy at Whole Whale, delve into the complex and evolving landscape of nonprofit status. They question whether certain large organizations still meet the true spirit of what it means to be a nonprofit. Key Topics and Highlights NCAA's Historic Settlement: The NCAA, a nonprofit with nearly $1 billion in revenue, recently settled to pay college athletes $2.7 billion. This raises questions about whether the organization still aligns with its original nonprofit mission of fostering amateur sports. PGA Tour and Saudi Investment: The PGA Tour, another nonprofit, announced a merger with the Saudi Public Investment Fund's LiveGolf. This billion-dollar deal casts doubt on whether taxpayer dollars should support such ventures. OpenAI's Nonprofit Status: OpenAI, which started as a nonprofit, now controls a highly profitable LLC valued at $80 billion. This shift has led to legal scrutiny and questions about whether it still adheres to its nonprofit mission. The Linux Foundation: With $177 million in revenue and high executive salaries, the Linux Foundation faces scrutiny about its contribution to the public good and whether it still qualifies as a nonprofit. Critical Insights and Quotes George Weiner: "When you cross that line toward profiting off the community you're trying to protect, it's time to review that." Nick Azoulay: "Should your tax dollars be subsidizing the Saudi investment into American golf influence? That's a hard pill to swallow." Calls to Action For Nonprofits: Reflect on whether your organization still aligns with its original mission and the broader public good. For Donors and Volunteers: Scrutinize the nonprofits you support to ensure they adhere to their stated missions and use funds responsibly. Closing Thought The conversation highlights the need for a national discussion about what truly constitutes a nonprofit. As organizations grow and evolve, it's crucial to revisit their missions and ensure they continue to serve the public good. Additional Stories Universal Analytics Data Deletion: A reminder for organizations to download their data from Universal Analytics before it is permanently deleted. Robin Hood AI Poverty Challenge: An exciting opportunity offering up to $1 million for innovative projects addressing poverty in New York City. National Foundation for Transplant Closure: The closure of this organization leaves many organ transplant patients without critical funds. Feel-Good Story: The Growhaus nonprofit in Denver is planting vegetable gardens in food deserts, providing fresh produce and empowering families.
6/11/202418 minutes, 12 seconds
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AI in the Nonprofit Sector: Revolutionizing Social Change (news)

Hosts: George Weiner (Chief Whaler, Whole Whale), Nick Azualy (Senior Manager Strategy, Whole Whale) This week's episode of the Nonprofit Newsfeed dives deep into the growing influence of AI in the nonprofit sector. George Weiner and Nick discuss the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities, highlighting key stories and developments. Main Topics AI in Nonprofits: Featured Article: Chronicle of Philanthropy’s June cover story on AI nonprofits. Key Organizations: Uses AI to provide interactive exercises and personalized feedback in classrooms. Khan Academy: Partnered with OpenAI to create generative AI tools for personalized student learning. Justice Lab: Developed AI-powered chatbots and translation tools to assist immigrants with legal processes. FairBio: Uses AI for antibiotic research. The Contingent: Employs AI in foster parent recruitment. Ethical Considerations and Risks: The importance of ethical AI deployment to avoid potential harms, such as the misuse of deepfakes by students. The balance between leveraging AI for educational benefits and addressing the digital divide. OpenAI’s Nonprofit Pricing Tier: OpenAI introduces a new pricing tier for nonprofits at $20 per seat per month. Encouragement for nonprofits to adopt paid, trusted AI tools to avoid data leaks and ensure security. Google Search Overview Controversy: Google’s new AI feature generates bizarre and inaccurate responses, raising concerns about the safety and reliability of AI in search. The discussion on the implications of these errors and Google's response to public backlash. Critical Insights AI in Education: AI can revolutionize education by providing personalized learning experiences, but it must be implemented ethically to avoid widening the educational gap. Nonprofit AI Adoption: Nonprofits are encouraged to adopt AI tools cautiously, ensuring data security and ethical use. Google’s AI Challenges: The rollout of Google’s AI search feature highlights the need for careful oversight and accurate information dissemination in AI applications. Quotes George Weiner: "AI allows students to learn at their own pace in a way I don't really think has ever quite been possible like now." Nick: "With any new technology, there's tremendous upside, but there are also tremendous risks." Calls to Action Nonprofits interested in AI tools should explore OpenAI’s nonprofit pricing tier and consider the ethical implications of AI use. Listeners are encouraged to stay informed about AI developments and advocate for responsible AI implementation in their organizations. Closing Thought The episode underscores the transformative potential of AI in the nonprofit sector, while also emphasizing the need for ethical considerations and responsible implementation. As AI continues to evolve, nonprofit professionals must navigate these changes thoughtfully to maximize positive social impact.
6/4/202415 minutes, 41 seconds
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Roundup for charity on the rise & Slack AI Policy Fail (news)

Would you like to round-up for charity?   Point-of-sale donations, especially "round-up" campaigns, have seen a significant surge in recent years, raising millions of dollars for various charitable causes. In 2022, these campaigns brought in $749 million, a 24% increase from 2020. A recent survey conducted by Binghamton University faculty revealed that 53% of Americans give impulsively to charities at the checkout, with certain demographics being more likely to donate. Women, Black respondents, and middle-class individuals under 50 who have not attended college were found to be the top-giving demographics, contrasting with traditional donors who are usually older, higher-earning college graduates.   The success of round-up donations can be attributed to several factors, including the perceived lower "pain" of donating spare change, the human preference for round numbers, and the subtle guilt induced by declining a low-cost request. Taco Bell Foundation, for example, doubled its annual fundraising by switching from asking for $1 donations to a round-up strategy. Similarly, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals raised $138 million in 2022 through point-of-sale campaigns, accounting for a third of its total fundraising.   However, the ubiquity of these requests may lead to donor fatigue, and some consumers express concerns about the transparency of where their donations are going. Despite these potential drawbacks, the success of round-up campaigns is undeniable, and they have become a significant source of funding for many nonprofits, raising the profile of local organizations doing fantastic work in customers' own communities.   Melinda French Gates says she's donating $1B to women's rights | NBC News   Melinda French Gates is committing $1 billion over the next two years to support women's rights, including reproductive rights, through her organization Pivotal Ventures. This decision comes amid growing political violence against women and maternal health issues, with Gates highlighting that only a small fraction of charitable giving supports women-focused organizations. Her initiative aims to improve mental and physical health for women and girls and includes a $250 million grant for grassroots groups. How might this significant funding shift the landscape for women's rights globally?     Slack users horrified to discover messages used for AI training | Ars Technica Slack users were shocked to find out their messages were being used to train AI models, sparking a backlash that has the company scrambling to clarify its policies. Despite reassurances from Slack engineers that customer data isn't used for training large language models, the existing policy's ambiguity has left users uneasy. Salesforce, Slack’s parent company, promised to update privacy principles to better explain data usage, but the lack of an easy opt-out mechanism adds to users' frustrations.   Current Policy: Privacy principles: search, learning and artificial intelligence | Legal | Slack Updated AI statement:  How Slack protects your data when using machine learning and AI How to opt-out Contact slack to opt out. If you want to exclude your Customer Data from Slack global models, you can opt out. To opt out, please have your org, workspace owners or primary owner contact our Customer Experience team at [email protected] with your workspace/org URL and the subject line ‘Slack global model opt-out request’. We will process your request and respond once the opt-out has been completed.
5/30/202421 minutes, 4 seconds
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Seth Godin on Unlocking Positive Auctions for Fundraising with

This episode is also available as  video on our channel  In this episode of the Whole Whale Podcast, host George Weiner sits down with Seth Godin, bestselling author, entrepreneur, and founder of, to discuss how nonprofits can innovate their fundraising strategies and engage donors more effectively. Seth introduces the concept of positive auctions, a new approach to fundraising where every bid is a non-refundable donation, creating a gap between the winning bid and the total amount raised for the charity., Seth's latest venture, is a platform that facilitates these positive auctions, incorporating game dynamics to encourage participation and virality. Throughout the conversation, Seth emphasizes the importance of empathy in marketing and the need for nonprofits to offer donors a sense of belonging and satisfaction. He suggests that nonprofits should focus on creating tension and providing unique, desirable auction items that generate excitement and conversation to attract new audiences. Seth also shares his insights on collaborating with influencers and involving them in the brainstorming process to create more successful fundraising campaigns. He stresses the significance of nonprofits stepping out of their comfort zones and taking risks to solve interesting problems and make a lasting impact. The episode concludes with a discussion on the impact of AI on various industries and the importance of embracing it as a teammate rather than a competitor. Seth encourages nonprofits to use AI tools to enhance their work and stay ahead of the curve. This thought-provoking episode is a must-listen for anyone in the nonprofit sector looking to revolutionize their fundraising strategies and make a genuine difference in their communities. Key points: Nonprofits face challenges in engaging donors and raising funds, often resorting to ineffective methods like galas or traditional charity auctions. GoodBids introduces the concept of positive auctions, where every bid is a non-refundable donation, creating a gap between the winning bid and the total amount raised for the charity. The platform incorporates game dynamics, such as free bids for early bidders and referrals, to encourage participation and virality. Seth emphasizes the importance of empathy in marketing and the need for nonprofits to offer donors a sense of belonging and satisfaction. To attract new audiences, nonprofits should focus on creating tension and providing unique, desirable auction items that generate excitement and conversation. Collaborating with influencers and involving them in the brainstorming process can lead to more successful fundraising campaigns. Seth discusses the impact of AI on various industries and the importance of embracing it as a teammate rather than a competitor.    
5/22/202445 minutes, 17 seconds
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Exploring AI in Nonprofits: Insights from Seth Godin & Latest Tech Updates (news)

📌 This week on the Nonprofit News Feed: Join George Weiner, Chief Whaler at Whole Whale, and Nick Azulay, Digital Strategist, as they dive into the latest developments affecting the nonprofit sector. 🔹 Special Guest: Get insights from Seth Godin on raising over $70,000 through positive auctions with 🔹 AI Advancements: Discover the implications of OpenAI's GPT-4.0 and Google's new AI-driven search overviews for nonprofits. 🔹 Fundraising & Tech: Learn about Whole Whale's latest rollout of GPT-4.0 for Omni and Gemini image generation with DALL-E 3. 🔹 Google Ad Grant Cohort: Hear about the clever foundation that secured 10 seats for their grantees and the upcoming hands-on learning session. 🔹 Policy Alert: Understand the potential impacts of House Republicans attempting to cut funding for LGBTQ nonprofits. 🔹 Fraud Prevention: Minnesota Attorney General shuts down 17 sham nonprofits defrauding the federal child nutrition program. 🔹 Feel-Good Story: Celebrate the success of Habitat for Humanity's Veterans Build in Charlotte, NC, providing a home for veterans George and Karen. Transcript: This week on the nonprofit news feed. Well, my name is George Weiner. I'm the chief whaler of Whole Whale. And we have Nick Azulay, the digital strategist at Whole Whale. We're excited. You know, we bring you nonprofit news, of course, but we also want to start talking a little bit about what's going on at Whole Whale. I'm excited because this week we are also dropping our interview with Seth Godin and His work with good bids. org and how they just in their pilot raised over 70, 000 with positive auctions, all of that to come on this feed on our YouTube channel. Also had a busy week last week because we rolled out GPT 4 0 0 for Omni across all cause writer customers. And also rolled out the Gemini image generation alongside DALI three. So we're always pushing the newest and best models to give access to the folks in our cause writer AI. Also, it was pretty funny. There was somebody who reached out for our Google ad grant cohort, a very clever foundation that bought up 10 seats of the ad grant cohort for their grantees and, you know, snapped up all of the early birds. Very, very smart play by them for our Google ad grant cohort hands on learning coming in July. We have seven seats available as of this recording and you know, they are certainly valuable and going quick and hopefully we can help everyone interested in joining that hands on Google ad grant cohort. All right, Nick. About Whole Whale, what about the news? George, this is a big one. And I think that, you know, we're not on just a, any tech podcast, right? We care about nonprofits and tech and digital, but I think last week's announcement, announcements are too important not to talk about because they will have major implications for nonprofits. So last week, both. Open AI and Google and then later Microsoft made various announcements about AI offerings. So open AI released its new GPT 4. 0 model. That was the big announcement from them. The big announcement from Google, at least from our perspective is the rollout of search overviews. You heard us mentioning just last week on the podcast that SGE was coming, search generated experience. Lo and behold, 48 hours later, it was here. So users across the continent of the United States are now seeing AI generated results on their search engine result pages, or SERPs, for a multitude of searches. We write, as we talk about now we don't yet know whether this is reflected in Google search console. We don't know really what the implications will be or have dedicated data to prove how this is impacting search at large. But of course there are pretty major implications, NGOs that rely on organic traffic to drive their mission. So those are the two big announcements. George, there's so much to unpack here, and I think we should I think listeners would really enjoy hearing our thoughts about OpenAI and Google's announcement in particular. But what were your takeaways from this week of just like crazy AI updates from Big Tech? I think I am always of the mindset of like paying attention to like what happened on like page five. Like there's always the front news. There's always the like, hey everybody look over here. Yet the most groundbreaking things, the things that will have The biggest impacts are like happening deeper in the paper. And you have to look a little deeper. And that AI overview is not to be underestimated. We've been talking about it for over a year. We have been preparing our clients and preparing mitigation strategies at a high level. It's not just the nonprofit sector, but everyone in media, they understand what this means. Immediately that they are being disintermediated from the flow of information from this discovery process that we have, frankly, given to Google. We gave them our data and information in exchange for attention measured in clicks. And now those clicks are going to go away. However, I think there's enough, you know, fear, uncertainty and doubt floating about I'm beginning to position our team, our strategy and our clients around a new idea, which is a larger digital footprint. And that footprint goes beyond our website. It goes beyond the four walls of our tiny little postage stamp on the internet. And rather, what is our larger footprint as it relates to measurable attention across platforms. That attention also, I am like every day refreshing the Google search console. The Bing search console, right? I'm refreshing these things so that I can see when they give us access to information about where and how we show up in that AI search overview, understanding how we then influence this LLM. A new vector of LLM optimization, right? Where we say, I get what we used to write and how we used to write, how do we shift toward that I think is part of our new diet in addition to that. Our text, which you've traditionally written those next 10 articles about the information about an apple tree, about a primate, about whatever that topic is, is going to be commoditized by.   A GPT that can write the same thing that can answer the same question in that world. I think you have to change how you compete by producing. And providing more intellectual property,   more original research things that a GPT doesn't have access to. And that's, you know, can come in the form of surveys can come in the form of original research. You can begin to get more creative though. And so I think I'm excited in that sense of, like, it's going to open up. Creativity rather than treating us all like little dictionary writers of like, I need the dictionary page for this. Like, frankly, that was always inevitably going to become commoditized if you really looked at it with a large enough lens. So I you know, we're watching it and that's just top of the top of the mountain what I'm thinking right now. Yeah, no, totally George. Subscribe to my sub stack. No, I'm kidding, but I think you bring up some really good points. Right. And, and back to the search overview piece, we've been talking about this before. We have links in the nonprofit newsfeed newsletter, which you should all be subscribed to. But even in the GPT 4 0 model. That is now like available to plus users on chat GPT. It is pinging the internet in real time. We were talking about this yesterday. You used to have to use a plugin and it would kind of like go through Bing and it didn't really work. If you ask it right now, what is the. The news over the past four hours, it will know and it will tell you, right? So that brings up real major implications for the dissemination of news, the dissemination of information misinformation, disinformation, like that, that whole nexus, that whole environment. We knew we were going to get there. I don't quite knew I did. I don't think anyone quite realized we were going to get there last week. So that is, I, for me. From a kind of like an anthropological standpoint, right? Like how are, how is this tech interacting with people? That's among the most major updates we've had is you now have these tools that are interacting with news stories in real time, both with search overview on Google's side and native internet access within GPT 4. 0 which is now being rolled out. So I think just to continue that. That conversation and you know, there's so many ways we can talk about this. We can talk about, okay, what's Microsoft copilot doing? What's the whole Scarlett Johansson thing? Like there's so many different angles here. And I think a lot of people have a lot of questions. What's important, though, is, and something that we've been talking about a lot with our clients, right, is, if you're listening to this podcast, you work at a non profit and if you haven't already realized this already, you can't avoid these conversations, you can't avoid this technology. It is coming, have those conversations with staff, have the conversation about what ethical use of these tools look like within your workflow and your processes. Talk about the risks, talk about the amazing opportunities, but like have that conversation. And we have some great resources on how to have those conversations, how to draft AI use policies what type of things to think about when it comes to transparency and, and data privacy. The benefits of the API versus when you're using the free tools, you know, if You're not paying for the product. You are the product kind of thing. So a lot to think about. But again, go to our website. Cause George, George is really passionate. I will say about this, go to cause writer. ai go to whole whale. com. There's tons of free resources. There's paid resources, but we're really just trying to work hard. So that nonprofits don't get caught lagging behind everybody else. And I think that that's really important. So, stay tuned, dig into it, and we'll take it from there. More rants, more rants to come, don't worry. This is true. All right, George, I'll take us to our next one. This one comes from Independent Sector, a outlet that we love. And they talk about the value of volunteer time. So in collaboration with the do good Institute independent center announced that the value of a volunteer hour has risen to 33 49 an hour, marking a 5. 3 percent increase in the previous year. And this figure is based on 2023 data, and it underscores really the, the contributions that volunteers are making to nonprofits. So, essentially, this is applying a, a, an hourly wage assessment to the value of volunteers as they contribute within the nonprofit kind of ecosystem. And That's a high number. And George, we talked about this. I don't think the non profit sector fully recovered from the pandemic still, and the value of non profit volunteers is increasing, probably in concert with a decrease in supply. Yeah, that's a say, you know, like this is the positive framing of it and the value there, but also hopefully what you can do is use this as a narrative for why invest in volunteers because it unlocks it. But to be clear, volunteer management is work. It's not like people showing up for free. I think it is one of the, you know, it's on my top 10 list of major misnomers, things under misunderstood about the nonprofit sector. Why don't you just, you know, get volunteers to do it is because it takes staff time. It takes staff planning. Takes organization to properly execute a volunteer program. And so I'm happy to see this value go up because I think it makes that case internally to be like, when we do it right, we can unlock true value of, of time for for a cause. And what's more, a volunteer is 10 times more likely to donate to your organization than a non volunteer. Those are data from. volunteer match over a decade ago, but I will repeat it as many times as I possibly can because it is directionally true. Once someone has become invested with their time, the dollars are easy. Yeah, George, I think that that's a great point. It'll be interesting to see whether this trend continues going forward. We shall see. I'll take us to our next story. This one comes from MSNBC, and it's that House Republicans are trying to quietly gut funding for LGBTQ nonprofits. So, House GOP leaders are attempting to block funding for LGBTQ nonprofits through the budget process. They were targeting community centers and services had limited success because Democrats controlled the Senate. However, new rules set by the House Appropriations Committee chair aim to make all nonprofits ineligible for certain federal funds which could broadly impact social services. So, George, I think that the key here is that So many nonprofits that provide vital services to communities homeless outreach communities for migrants and immigrants and that kind of thing may very well also provide services to LGBTQ folks particularly LGBTQ, like, youth or homeless folks, et cetera, et cetera. And it's disconcerting to see that coming under attack from Congress. I would have hoped at this point, it was a bipartisan agreement that LGBTQ youth are deserving of federal funding, nonprofits supporting this group. I just wish it was moved into the window of, all right, we can both support this. We can both support the troops. We can both support. So many fundamental basic human rights at that level. So, it's a little dark to, to see that. And also I hope that alarm bells are raised that like, this is maybe on the list of consequences for regime changes out there to, to motivate anyone who has family, friends, connections, interactions with Yeah, I think that's entirely true. Listen, everybody. Get out and vote. That's all I'm going to say. Vote, because God only knows we need you. All right, this one comes from redlakenationnews. com, but Minnesota Attorney General Ellison has shut down 17 sham nonprofits that were accused allegedly of defrauding the federal child nutrition program following a court order by a judge. So these nonprofits were created or revived to, to misuse funds meant for feeding children. When they were just. It's a, you know, a fraud scheme while providing no legitimate activities and failing to comply with investigators. And you can see the names of some of these sham non profits. But George, I think the takeaway here is our long running theme on this show 501c3 status doesn't mean you are doing good work. Two, if you are a legitimate non profit doing good work, it's really important for you to communicate that through all sorts of transparency, have clear mission vision statements, have your Form 990s up there use those annual reports, instill zoner confidence because every time something like this happens, people get a little bit more skeptical, so, you know. Don't know what more to say than that other than I guess they caught them. It seems like nonprofit fraud often goes under investigated. So I guess this is good. Yeah. The federal child nutrition program actually was was a target of a disproportionate amount of fraud from the way it was distributed and the speed it needed to be done. So there's sort of a natural gravity, unfortunately, to people taking advantage of the system. I added the list of names here, not to name and shame, but just to frankly, but more to draw awareness to names that sound like other names, right? Names that may be close to your organization's name. More and more, I think it's important about defending as much as possible. And understanding your digital footprint and your brand footprint of your name. And so, frankly, if your name is the, you know, Academy for Youth Excellence, that was one of the names used here. How do you potentially understand how that's showing up in Google search and then also AI overview of your organization saying if somebody's looking for Your organization asking questions about it. Are they going to find this type of fraud history or are they going to find your reputable work? There's a whole new level of brand reputation that is going to need to take place. And that kind of circles back to the LLM optimization that I think is a different way of playing the game, but it's going to be very important because if your name is similar to the Academy for Youth Excellence. Well, you were one of 17 nonprofit defendants that were dissolved by court order in the great state of Minnesota, or were you, or were you associated? Yeah, George, I think that's fair. You can always take the easy way out and name, name your organization whole whale and forever be associated with the largest mammal ever to roll in the air, no, I kid. But no, I think it's a great point, George. Some of these organizations, right, and this is what they do. This is what the fraudsters do. You know, the American Heart Academy, right? That sounds a lot like other things, but, you know, not real. The Youth Higher Educational Achievement. That sounds legit. Who doesn't want to give to youth higher education? So, be on the lookout. All right, George, how about a feel good story? What do you have? This one comes from Habitat of Humanity of the Charlotte region. Habitat Charlotte. Veterans George and Karen were lifelong residents of Charlotte, North Carolina. Carolina. But because of unabordable housing and limited stock, they faced barriers to entry in buying a home. And thanks to Habitat's Humanity Veterans Build, which engages military personnel to construct homes for fellow veterans, they're now building a peaceful, spacious home in Statesville to enjoy with their 22 grandchildren. Congratulations. George, if you don't know the Habitat for Humanity model, They got it figured out. It's a very sustainable model. They have stores that sell goods. The Restore, that goes back into profits for the organization. It goes into, to paying folks who work there, finding employment. They hire people to build homes. It's, it's it's, it's the best. I think of what nonprofits can be in a very holistic and kind of sustainable approach to social impact. So take a look at what the folks down at Habitat Charlotte are doing. Also, interestingly enough to note Habitat is kind of like Uh, like a franchise, right? There's a national habitat, but 99 percent of the builds you see, et cetera, et cetera in the United States are actually run by regional habitat organizations that fall under the national umbrella. So a lot of them are kind of, financially interindependent. So, see which one is near you and considering getting involved. Great volunteer opportunities too. So many like different and great volunteer opportunities. Go volunteer for a day, volunteer at the store. Just so many fantastic ways to get involved. And they really, really make an impact. Yeah. And full disclosure, we have done work with some of these habitat networks and we have loved every minute of it. All right, Nick. I have a question for you. How how did the nonprofit get injured by what they wrote? Oh, gosh, I don't know. They got scraped by Google. Oh, man, scraped. That's really good. That's really good. George. That's that goes on a t shirt. 📍 Yeah. All right, Nick. Thanks for helping us understand the news. Thanks George. Thanks.
5/21/202421 minutes, 20 seconds
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Navigating Google Core Updates for Nonprofits (news)

Episode Summary: Navigating Google's Core Update and Nonprofit Impacts In this episode of the Nonprofit News Feed, George Weiner, Chief Whaler of Whole Whale, and Nick Azoulay, Digital Strategist at Whole Whale, delve into the recent Google core update and its implications for nonprofits. They also cover other significant news, including personnel changes at the Gates Foundation and new grant opportunities from Amazon Web Services. Main Topics: Google's March 2024 Core Update: Impact on Nonprofits: George and Nick discuss how the recent Google core update has led to a substantial decline in organic traffic for many nonprofits, including a 40% drop in some cases at Whole Whale. This update prioritizes content quality and credibility over links, which could disadvantage smaller nonprofits. Search Generated Experience (SGE): The anticipated rollout of Google's SGE will prioritize AI-generated answers over traditional search results, potentially reducing visibility and engagement for nonprofit websites. Melinda French Gates Resigns from Gates Foundation: Transition: Melinda French Gates steps down from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to focus on her personal philanthropic efforts, particularly around women and families. The foundation will now be chaired solely by Bill Gates and renamed the Gates Foundation. Implications: This significant change could impact the foundation's strategic direction and funding priorities. Amazon Web Services Imagine Grants for Nonprofits: Grant Details: AWS is offering grants to nonprofits to leverage cloud technology for mission-critical projects. Categories include Pathfinder Generative AI Award and Go Further, Faster, with awards ranging from $50,000 to $200,000. Application Window: Open from May 3rd to June 3rd, these grants provide financial support, promotional credits, and implementation guidance. Black Lives Matter vs. Tides Foundation: Lawsuit: The BLM Global Network is suing the Tides Foundation for allegedly diverting $33 million meant for them. The case raises questions about fiscal sponsorship and fund allocation. Fiscal Sponsorship: George explains the benefits and potential pitfalls of fiscal sponsorship for nonprofit organizations. Feel-Good Story: Arizona Champions of Change: Awards: Arizona Big Media announces finalists for the Champions of Change awards, highlighting visionary nonprofit leaders in the state. This initiative underscores the importance of recognizing local heroes in the nonprofit sector. Critical Insights: Google's Update: Nonprofits must closely monitor their organic traffic and adapt their SEO strategies to maintain visibility. Regular traffic reports and proactive adjustments are essential. Philanthropic Shifts: Changes in leadership at major foundations like the Gates Foundation can have wide-reaching effects on funding and strategic priorities. Grant Opportunities: Nonprofits should explore tech-centric grants like AWS Imagine Grants to innovate and modernize their operations. Call to Action: Nonprofits should review their organic traffic metrics and SEO strategies in light of Google's core update. Explore grant opportunities and consider applying for AWS Imagine Grants to boost tech infrastructure. Recognize and celebrate local nonprofit leaders through community awards and initiatives.
5/14/202418 minutes, 17 seconds
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Seasons of Growth: A Gardener's Approach to Nonprofit Expansion

**Embracing the Seasons of Change: A Fresh Perspective on Nonprofit Growth with Michael Randall** In an enlightening episode of our nonprofit-focused podcast, we had the pleasure of speaking with Michael Randall, the visionary founder and director of Randall Consulting Associates. Michael, a distinguished member of the nonprofit ISD network, shared his innovative framework known as the "Seasons of Change," offering a fresh lens through which nonprofits can view growth and development.  **Seasons of Growth: A Gardener's Approach to Nonprofit Expansion** Michael introduced a compelling metaphor likening nonprofit growth to the cyclical process of gardening. This approach breaks down into three key phases: Preparing, Cultivating, and Harvesting. Each stage demands specific actions and considerations, mirroring the thoughtful stewardship of a gardener tending to their land with an eye towards both present vitality and future sustainability.  **Preparing Phase: Setting the Stage for Growth** In the preparing phase, organizations are encouraged to assess their current resources and readiness for expansion, much like a gardener evaluates their land before planting. This involves identifying and addressing potential obstacles and ensuring the necessary infrastructure and support systems are in place. **Cultivating Phase: Nurturing Development** During cultivation, the focus shifts to actively supporting and nurturing growth. This means not only expanding services and outreach but also strengthening internal processes, staff capabilities, and organizational culture to sustain increased scale and complexity. **Harvesting Phase: Reaping and Reflecting on Success** The final phase emphasizes consolidating gains and integrating new developments into the organization's ongoing operations. It's a time for reflection, celebration of achievements, and strategic planning for the next cycle of growth. **Challenges and Insights: Beyond Quick Fixes in Fundraising** Michael critically addressed the common pitfalls of rapid expansion, particularly the dangers of scaling up too quickly in response to sudden influxes of funding, such as those from generous donors like Mackenzie Scott. He stressed the importance of holistic growth that enhances the quality and comprehensiveness of services, rather than merely expanding for expansion's sake. **A Call to Action: Embracing a Holistic View of Growth** The conversation with Michael Randall serves as a call to action for nonprofit leaders to adopt a more nuanced and strategic approach to growth. By embracing the "Seasons of Change" framework, organizations can ensure they are not only expanding their reach but also deepening their impact and securing their sustainability for the future. **Conclusion: Nurturing Sustainable Growth in the Nonprofit Sector** Michael Randall's insights into the "Seasons of Change" offer invaluable guidance for nonprofits navigating the complexities of growth and development. By adopting a gardener's mindset, organizations can cultivate a thriving future that honors their mission and serves their communities effectively.  
5/12/202441 minutes, 30 seconds
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Deepfake AI & Nonprofits (news)

🌟 Episode Highlight: Adapting to Google's Algorithm Updates and the Power of AI in Nonprofit Marketing In the most recent episode of Whole Whale's nonprofit news feed, George Weiner, Chief Whaler, alongside digital strategist Nick Pazerle, embarked on a comprehensive discussion beginning with the pressing challenges presented by Google's recent core updates. These updates, particularly those in October 2023 and March 2024, have significantly impacted organic traffic, leading to a 40% drop for Whole Whale. The key takeaway? Google's shift towards prioritizing content that offers genuine value, pushing nonprofits to rethink content creation strategies in the AI era. 🔍 Deep Dive into Deepfakes: A Call for Nonprofit Vigilance The conversation took a critical turn towards the alarming rise of deepfake technology. A highlighted incident involved a Maryland high school principal falsely accused through deepfake audio, illustrating the urgent need for nonprofits to educate and protect their communities against the misuse of AI. This segment underscores the importance of media literacy and the role of nonprofits in fostering a discerning and informed public. 🐎 Highlighting Horse Racing's Dark Side: A Nonprofit's Crusade The episode also shone a light on Horse Racing Wrongs, a nonprofit advocating against the cruel realities of horse racing. With a focus on the protest at the 150th Kentucky Derby, the discussion emphasized the ethical considerations and the push for more humane practices within the sport, reflecting on the broader implications for animal rights and welfare. 💡 Google's Bold Move: Addressing Homelessness with Direct Financial Support An innovative approach to tackling homelessness and poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area was also a topic of discussion, courtesy of's All Ads Up program. This initiative, which provides up to $1,000 a month to homeless families, is a part of a larger $4.5 billion commitment to improve housing availability. The program's potential to offer a fresh perspective on universal basic income and its impact on housing stability, income, and mental health was highlighted. 🏃 A Feel-Good Finale: The Office-Themed 5K Race for Community Improvement The episode wrapped up on a lighter note with the story of an Office-themed 5K race in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Organized by the nonprofit Valley in Motion, the event not only celebrated the beloved TV show but also brought together over 1,500 participants globally to support local community improvements, showcasing the power of creativity and community in nonprofit initiatives.
5/7/202420 minutes, 28 seconds
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Digital Frontiers and Legal Battles over Homelessness (news)

**Whole Whale Podcast Episode: Innovations, Advocacy, and the Future of Nonprofit Strategy** In this enlightening episode of the Whole Whale Podcast, George Weiner, alongside digital strategist Nick Azoulay, unravels a series of compelling updates and discussions that span the gamut of nonprofit innovation, legal advocacy, and strategic insights aimed at navigating the dynamic landscape of the nonprofit sector. **Whole Whale's Google Ad Grant Cohort Announcement** George Weiner kicks off the episode with exciting news about Whole Whale's Google Ad Grant Cohort. Despite initial hesitance due to a busy schedule, the overwhelming interest from nonprofits has led to the program's return this summer, starting July 17th. Limited to 25 organizations, with priority given to internal clients, this initiative has been pivotal in advancing nonprofits' capabilities in managing the $10,000 a month Google Ad Grant. The cohort is designed to significantly boost participants' proficiency in digital advertising, akin to training them as members of the Whole Whale ads team. **Supreme Court's Examination of Homelessness Criminalization** The conversation shifts to a critical legal development as the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) scrutinizes the criminalization of homelessness, spotlighting a contentious case from Grants Pass, Oregon. This case challenges anti-camping laws under the Eighth Amendment, questioning the constitutionality of penalizing the unsheltered when no adequate shelter options are available. Activists and major advocacy organizations argue that such laws exacerbate the homelessness crisis, urging for more humane and inclusive solutions. This discussion underscores the complex, systemic issues surrounding homelessness, with George and Nick expressing deep concerns over the punitive approach and its implications. **FCC Restores Net Neutrality** The episode then delves into the FCC's landmark decision to restore net neutrality, a move that has sparked debate across political and business spectrums. This reinstatement ensures that broadband providers are classified as common carriers, promoting a free and open internet. While some critics fear it may hinder innovation and increase regulatory burdens, George and Nick highlight the broad support for net neutrality among nonprofits and advocacy groups, emphasizing its importance for equitable access to information and digital rights. **M&R Benchmarks for 2024** George and Nick analyze the latest M&R Benchmarks report, revealing trends in nonprofit marketing and fundraising. Key findings include a slight decline in online revenue, a significant increase in monthly giving, and the continued dominance of desktop devices for larger donations despite the prevalence of mobile traffic. The data presents a mixed bag of challenges and opportunities, with a notable shift towards increased advertising investments, particularly in radio spending. This segment offers valuable insights for nonprofits looking to refine their marketing and fundraising strategies. **The Pitch: A Philanthropic Spin on Shark Tank** Ending on a high note, the episode highlights "The Pitch," an innovative event hosted by the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas in North Texas. This philanthropic twist on Shark Tank sees five local nonprofit startups competing for $275,000 in funding, presenting their solutions to community issues before celebrity judges and a live audience. George and Nick applaud this creative approach to fundraising and awareness, recognizing its potential to foster community engagement and spotlight the impactful work of nonprofits. In closing, the episode not only informs but also inspires, urging nonprofits to embrace innovation, advocate for justice, and strategically navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead. With a blend of humor and heartfelt discussion, George and Nick provide a comprehensive overview of the latest developments affecting the nonprofit sector.
4/30/202417 minutes, 26 seconds
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Wow AI Music: Party of Bloom vs Party of Doom

  📍  📍 So I want to play something for you, but first want to call out that in 1905, John Philip Sousa predicted that recordings like the   📍 phonograph would lead to like the demise, the ruining.  Of music. So I'm going to play this real quick.   📍  📍  📍  📍  I've been writing till my thoughts expired Found soul in the tunes I've spun  Lost it to the code and data  There's no telling where my songs have been  Been wondering about the muse that's flown  Hoping notes still flutter better  All the  cold that replaces The  end Inspiration  from those faces of musicians  long ago.      📍 That was created.  By a program called UDIO a U D I, which is absolutely crushing it right now in terms of being able to generate music. Generate music from a just single series of prompts and basic editing inside of an AI driven creation. That is not a human, that is not a musician in the background.    📍 That is not. Lifting are stealing direct tracks, though. It clearly has been trained on a massive Corpus of artistic creation.  And it's disturbingly. Good. And I don't know how I feel about that. And I think there's two classical mindsets here.   📍 Ah, there's the party of doom or the sort of party of bloom.    📍 More, more is better. More is abundance and I can wear both hats, but going back to that   📍  📍  📍 1905, John Philip Sousa, who was an American composer and conductor. In that late romantic era, he was the primarily known for, I guess, the American military marches. The March king, as he was known.   📍 And his concern encapsulated in the following   📍 quote.      📍  📍 The time is coming when no one will be ready to submit. Himself to the enabling discipline of learning music. Everyone will have their ready-made or ready pirated music in their cupboards. The Nightingale song is delightful because the Nightingale herself gives it forth.    I think there is an element of truth in that, and, you know, Every single technical advance has always had that party of doom Sayer in it. And.  I'll also note that this is somebody who is coming from a significant amount of privilege in a generation where the,   📍 for example, music of Beethoven could only be appreciated. By those who could afford the entry to the concert halls.  Not saying other communities didn't have access to music, but it would be music that they were creating. And so.   📍 I think. This is one of those moments where we're going to see people on both sides, but artists especially saying. You know, this has been stolen or trained or lifted. This is going to be, you know, taking our livelihoods.  And I think there's a case to be made on that side for sure. It it's amazingly good. And clearly, you know, there is probably. A folk songwriters singer out there.    📍 Who's like, that is basically my voice, but not my voice. Though it is an amalgam of AI generated information.  That was created on it.  However, I also want to say on the party of bloom side, right?   📍 The opportunities that this may grow, the pie, turn more people into musicians, create music for one. How might this may, you know, may even help people may be suffering from certain pain or loss. Or just letting them create something that is just for them and speaks to their experience and helps them.    📍 And I think there's maybe some amazing things that can be done if we explore it that way. But.  I don't know what party I'm in right now for this, but I just thought I would, I would bring it.  To.  The nonprofit audience and. I'm just curious about how other folks begin to use this. I encourage you to play with it. And just understand what it can do.  And that's U D I And I'm curious about.  Probably more so how you bring this to community stakeholders that it could help potentially unlock more creativity.  And personalization for a purpose.  📍  📍    I also have to bring up that we love bringing you tools. AI built custom solutions for nonprofits with cause that builds on your data, your brand and your purpose, and then says, what are the 5, 6, 7 types of specific things you want created? In your way with your voice, with data that you own and can grow over time.     
4/26/20245 minutes, 38 seconds
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This Week's Nonprofit News Roundup: Navigating New Legislation and Transforming Climate Anxiety into Action (news)   Legislation Impacting Nonprofits: A Mixed Bag of Pros and Cons This week's focus begins with a dive into the Kids Online Safety Act (COSA), legislation aimed at enhancing online protections for minors. Despite its bipartisan support and backing by over 200 organizations, COSA has sparked controversy among nonprofits, with debates centering around free speech concerns and the subjective nature of "harmful content." Critics, including ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, fear the act could lead to censorship, especially of LGBTQ+ content, under the guise of protecting minors. The conversation underscores the delicate balance between safeguarding youth online and maintaining freedom of expression. From Climate Anxiety to Action: The Lumisphere Project In a refreshing shift from policy to action, the Lumisphere project emerges as a beacon of hope in addressing climate anxiety. As part of Visions 2030, this initiative leverages AI and technology to inspire communities towards sustainable futures. By focusing on positive, high-energy engagement, the Lumisphere experience represents a critical pivot in environmental advocacy, moving from despair to actionable solutions. This approach not only motivates current generations but also paves the way for future activists to envision a thriving planet. Nonprofits Face Legislative Challenges: A Call to Action The Chronicle of Philanthropy highlights the increasing challenges nonprofits face due to inconsistent regulations and crackdowns on civil liberties. With organizations in the realms of immigration, racial justice, and environmental causes feeling the brunt of state-led restrictions, the need for legal support and strategic board composition has never been more apparent. Nonprofits are encouraged to bolster their defenses by seeking pro bono legal assistance and diversifying board expertise to navigate these turbulent legislative waters effectively. The TikTok Ban Debate: Navigating Digital and Political Landscapes As the House votes on a potential TikTok ban, nonprofits and users alike are urged to consider the implications of such sweeping legislation. While concerns about data privacy and foreign influence are valid, the broad powers granted by the ban raise significant free speech and policy issues. Nonprofits relying on TikTok for outreach and engagement should heed the call for diversification, preparing for a future where digital platforms may face increased scrutiny and regulation. Feel-Good Finale: Kevin Bacon Joins Utah Students for Charity Event In a light-hearted conclusion to the roundup, Kevin Bacon's visit to Pace and High School in Utah underscores the power of celebrity influence for charitable causes. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of "Footloose," Bacon's participation in packing resource kits for local nonprofits demonstrates the positive impact of blending nostalgia with philanthropy. This event not only brought joy to the community but also provided valuable resources to those in need, proving that sometimes, bringing the bacon back can make all the difference.
4/23/202422 minutes, 40 seconds
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Is it time to take Crypto Donations Seriously? | 2024 Trends From The Giving Block

The Giving Block makes accepting Bitcoin donations easy with the #1 crypto solution for nonprofits, charities, universities, and faith-based organizations. We make fundraising cryptocurrency easy for nonprofits. Discover why cryptocurrency is the fastest-growing donation method for Millennial and Gen-Z donors.   This podcast discusses the current state and future potential of cryptocurrency philanthropy, featuring Pat Duffy from The Giving Block. The main topics covered include: Crypto market recovery and its impact on philanthropy Despite the recent crypto bear market, the user base and total investments in cryptocurrency remain significant, with 1.4 trillion USD invested in the US and 1.3 trillion USD internationally. As the market recovers, nonprofits that continued to engage with crypto donors during the downturn are better positioned to benefit from the resurgence in giving. Adoption of crypto donations by top US charities 56% of the top 100 US charities now accept crypto donations, driven by increased institutional adoption, regulatory clarity, and the emergence of cryptocurrency ETFs. This mainstream acceptance has led more nonprofits to recognize the importance of engaging with the growing crypto donor base. Crypto donor demographics and giving behavior Crypto donors span multiple generations, with Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X being the most active. On average, crypto users have higher incomes and are more likely to give larger donations compared to traditional donors. The average crypto gift size is 30 to 80 times larger than the average online gift. Strategies for nonprofits to engage with crypto donors Nonprofits should make it easy for donors to give cryptocurrency by providing clear donation options on their websites and in fundraising communications. Engaging with crypto donors throughout the year, not just during market highs, is crucial for building relationships and maximizing the potential of crypto philanthropy. Tax benefits of donating appreciated crypto assets Donating appreciated cryptocurrency directly to nonprofits allows donors to avoid capital gains taxes while still receiving a tax deduction. Educating donors about these tax benefits can encourage larger gifts and help nonprofits tap into the growing crypto wealth. Overlap between crypto, stock, and donor-advised fund (DAF) giving Donors who give through appreciated assets like crypto, stocks, or DAFs tend to be higher net worth individuals who are aware of tax optimization strategies. Nonprofits should actively promote and solicit these giving methods to maximize fundraising potential. The future of crypto philanthropy and the great wealth transfer With a significant portion of the $83 trillion expected to be passed down to younger generations (who are more likely to invest in crypto) through the great wealth transfer, nonprofits that engage with crypto donors now will be well-positioned to benefit from this shift in wealth and giving preferences. The podcast emphasizes the importance of nonprofits embracing cryptocurrency as a giving method, making it easily accessible to donors, and actively engaging with the crypto community to maximize fundraising potential in the coming years.
4/16/202443 minutes, 58 seconds
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Debunking Tax Deduction Myths & Navigating New Philanthropy Trends (news)  **This Week's Highlights: Tax Deductions and Corporate Philanthropy Shifts** Welcome back to the Nonprofit News Feed with your hosts, George Weiner, Chief Whaler of Whole Whale, and Digital Strategist Nick Azulay. This week, we dive into the misconceptions surrounding charitable donations and tax deductions, and explore the evolving landscape of corporate philanthropy. **Myth-Busting Tax Deductions in Charitable Giving** Despite popular belief, the majority of donors do not make charitable contributions solely for tax benefits. With most people opting for the standard deduction over itemizing their taxes, the tax incentive for charitable giving is not as significant as presumed. Research indicates that charitable giving is more influenced by economic growth and personal income levels rather than tax deductions. This revelation prompts a reevaluation of how nonprofits emphasize tax benefits in their fundraising appeals, suggesting a pivot towards showcasing impact and building donor trust instead. **Corporate Philanthropy Undergoes Transformation** In a notable shift, major Minnesota companies like 3M, General Mills, and Thrivent are moving their philanthropic efforts in-house, away from separate charitable foundations. This transition raises concerns among nonprofit leaders about potential declines in funding and reduced transparency, as internal company-controlled organizations are not obligated to disclose as much information as traditional foundations. Despite assurances from these corporations about their ongoing commitment to community support, the move signals a broader trend in corporate social responsibility focusing on sustainability, diversity, and employee volunteerism. **Insights and Implications** These discussions underscore the importance of transparency and the true motivators behind charitable giving. For nonprofits, the emphasis should be on the tangible impact of donations rather than tax benefits. Meanwhile, the corporate sector's pivot towards in-house philanthropy invites a closer examination of how these changes will affect the future of nonprofit funding and accountability. **Final Thoughts** As we navigate these evolving narratives in the nonprofit sector, it's crucial to stay informed and adaptable. Whether debunking myths about tax deductions or understanding the implications of new corporate philanthropy models, the goal remains to foster a more transparent, impactful, and responsive nonprofit ecosystem.  
4/15/202411 minutes, 52 seconds
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AI's Impact on Nonprofit Sector: Language Translation, Education, and Philanthropy Trends (news) Headline: AI's Impact on Nonprofit Sector: Language Translation, Education, and Philanthropy Trends This week on Nonprofit News Feed, George Weiner and Nick Azoulay of Whole Whale discuss the potential implications of AI-powered language translation for the nonprofit sector, survey data on AI adoption in nonprofits, and optimistic predictions for philanthropic giving in the coming years. The conversation kicks off with reflections on an article from The Atlantic pondering the future of foreign language education in light of AI advancements. The Whole Whale team acknowledges the incredible potential AI has for bridging language barriers, particularly in the context of nonprofits that serve communities with English as a second language. They explore the possibilities of using AI to increase accessibility to services and information, while also considering the cultural nuances and emotional aspects that AI may not fully capture. George and Nick transition to discussing a Google survey revealing that while nonprofits recognize AI's transformative potential for marketing, many lack familiarity and in-house education on the technology. Despite the challenges, they underscore the importance of AI in increasing nonprofit employee productivity and the need for further education in the sector. In a positive turn, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University forecasts a rise in nonprofit giving over the next two years, attributing this growth to factors such as personal income, net worth, and stock market performance. George and Nick express cautious optimism, emphasizing the importance of such forecasts in boosting sector morale. The duo also touches on Canada's nonprofit sector, which contributes a significant 8.2 percent to the country's GDP, highlighting the sector's role in the economy and society. They note the high percentage of women on nonprofit boards and the reliance on individual donations, comparing sector contributions between Canada and the U.S. The episode concludes with a feel-good story about a local nonprofit in Milwaukee delivering 4,500 meals to seniors during Easter, showcasing the spirit of volunteerism and community support in the nonprofit world. George and Nick's discussion paints a picture of a sector that is both excited and cautious about the rapid advancements in AI, aware of the potential benefits and the need for education and cultural sensitivity. As technology continues to evolve, nonprofits are encouraged to embrace AI tools while staying true to their missions and the communities they serve.  
4/2/202418 minutes, 15 seconds
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Mackenzie Scott's Millions, Catholic Charities Under Fire, and the Battle for DEI (news)

Transcript of summary by   ### Nonprofit News Roundup: Mackenzie Scott's Millions, Catholic Charities Under Fire, and the Battle for DEI 🎙️ **Mackenzie Scott's Philanthropic Impact and the Nonprofit Lottery** In this episode of the nonprofit newsfeed, your hosts George and Nick from Whole Whale dive into Mackenzie Scott's latest philanthropic move, where she donated a staggering $640 million to 361 nonprofit organizations, chosen from 6,353 applicants. This round of giving emphasizes supporting grassroots organizations tackling systemic challenges. The donations are "no strings attached," which, while beneficial, also present pressure for the organizations to use the funds wisely without the guarantee of ongoing support. The hosts explore the significance of Scott's approach to giving, which contrasts the traditional methods of philanthropy and her commitment to immediate impact. 🎙️ **Catholic Charities Facing Harassment Amid Political Tensions** The conversation shifts to a troubling trend highlighted in America Magazine: Catholic Charities staff are experiencing increased harassment, accused of aiding illegal immigration. Despite the challenges, Catholic Charities remains steadfast in their humanitarian mission to serve those in need. The hosts discuss the broader implications of such threats, not just for Catholic Charities but also for nonprofits working in politically sensitive areas. 🎙️ **The Legal Battle Over Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives** The episode also touches on a critical issue reported by Nonprofit Quarterly – the rising tide of anti-DEI lawsuits that threaten to reshape the nonprofit sector. Legal experts caution that affirmative action and race-conscious practices are under scrutiny, and nonprofits must navigate these challenges while staying true to their social justice missions. The hosts advise organizations to consult with legal experts to ensure they have diverse processes rather than rigid quota systems that could lead to litigation. 🎙️ **Elon Musk's Lawsuit Against Nonprofit Dismissed** In another segment, George and Nick discuss a dismissed lawsuit by Elon Musk against the Center for Countering Digital Hate. The judge's decision underscores the protection of free speech and the importance of nonprofits in standing up to bullies and misinformation. This victory for free speech reaffirms the rights of organizations to conduct research and make findings without fear of retaliation. 🎙️ **Feel-Good Story: Rescued Horses Helping Veterans** To end on a high note, the hosts share a heartwarming story from Redding, California, where the Caring Heroes Ranch is making a difference by pairing rescued horses with veterans coping with PTSD and high-stress jobs. This intersection of animal welfare and community service exemplifies the unique ways nonprofits can create positive change. 🎙️ **Final Thoughts and Dad Jokes** The episode wraps up with a bit of humor, including a punny joke about "prime mates" in light of Mackenzie Scott's donations, which originate from her Amazon wealth. The hosts also mention, a tool for creating nonprofit-themed jokes, showcasing the lighter side of the nonprofit world. **Engage with the Conversation** Listeners are encouraged to reflect on the implications of these stories for the nonprofit sector and to consider how their organizations might respond to similar challenges. For more insights and to keep up with the latest nonprofit news, make sure to subscribe to the nonprofit newsfeed email. ****
3/26/202416 minutes, 30 seconds
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ACLU: Time is TickTocking on Rights (news)

Inside the Movement to Ban Lab-Grown Meat | Mother Jones   Nonprofits like the Good Food Institute are stepping into the fray, advocating against bans on cell-cultured meats and pushing for progress in alternative proteins, arguing that stifling this nascent industry could hinder innovation and fails to advance health or safety. These organizations emphasize the potential environmental benefits of lab-grown meats, considering the significant methane emissions from livestock, and seek to safeguard the freedom of consumers and businesses in the food system. Their involvement underscores the critical role nonprofits play in shaping food policy and promoting sustainable solutions in the face of legislative challenges that could impact the future of food and the environment.       Tax exemption on catered fundraiser meals for nonprofits   Michigan House Bill 5596 is on the legislative menu, and it's serving up potential savings for your next big event. This bill is all about dishing out a tax exemption for catered meals at nonprofit fundraisers, which could slice a nice piece off the costs of hosting those grand soirees. If this bill gets the legislative thumbs-up, nonprofits could find themselves plating extra cash towards their mission-critical programs instead of forking it over in taxes. It's a fiscal move that could have nonprofits saying "Bon Appétit" to more effective budgeting and amplified community impact.
3/19/202415 minutes, 25 seconds
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Nonprofit Sector Reaches for the Stars: First Nonprofit-Backed Satellite (news) George Weiner and Nick Azulay of Whole Whale discuss various topics including a milestone for Whole Whale's YouTube account, the first nonprofit-backed satellite launched into space, election concerns for nonprofits, and a nonprofit initiative to eliminate medical debt. The Environmental Defense Fund's MethaneSAT, the first nonprofit satellite, aims to map methane emissions globally. Nonprofits are preparing for the upcoming election season and its impact on communications and fundraising. Legal challenges faced by the Annunciation House, a nonprofit supporting migrants, highlight the political pressures on nonprofits. RIP Medical Debt's partnership to alleviate $700 million in medical debt in Wayne County is celebrated. Critical Insights, Statistics, and Quotes: MethaneSAT is a game-changer, providing high-resolution data on methane emissions to the public, which could hold industries and governments accountable for climate change mitigation. Methane, though less discussed than CO2, is a potent greenhouse gas responsible for 20% of global warming from human activities. Nonprofits are both concerned and optimistic about the upcoming election; they must navigate a political climate that could overshadow their messaging. Legal battles such as the one faced by Annunciation House underscore the intersection of nonprofit work and political agendas. The collaboration between nonprofits and municipalities, as seen in the partnership with RIP Medical Debt, showcases innovative approaches to solving pressing social issues. Calls to Action: Nonprofit professionals should consider how their messaging may align or conflict with political narratives in the upcoming election season. Organizations might explore partnerships similar to RIP Medical Debt to amplify their impact. Closing Thought: The nonprofit sector continues to innovate and push boundaries, from space missions to social justice, demonstrating the power of focused efforts and strategic partnerships on Earth and beyond. Let's celebrate these milestones and brace for the challenges ahead, always remembering the core mission of serving communities and the planet.
3/12/202414 minutes, 13 seconds
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Nonprofit Donation Loophole, NYPD 'Kettling' and Anti-DEI Map (news)

The episode covers the Open AI lawsuit filed by Elon Musk, the NYPD mandated to change protest response tactics, the rise of anti-DEI bills in several states, the history of Women's History Month, and ends with a lighthearted dad joke. The hosts also discuss the behind-the-scenes tactics of editing and adapting content for YouTube and share their thoughts and insights on various nonprofit-related topics. The Clash Over Nonprofit Promises and Silicon Valley Profits (Musk vs. OpenAI)   Elon Musk is suing OpenAI, alleging it has strayed from its nonprofit roots to chase profits, according to reporting from Axios and others. The heart of the dispute lies in Musk's claim that OpenAI, which he helped found, reneged on a commitment to operate as an open-source entity under its original 501(c)3 nonprofit status.   The lawsuit accuses OpenAI of becoming a secretive, profit-driven organization under Microsoft's influence (with the initial ability to leverage tax-deductible donations). The lawsuit alleges this is an egregious shift from OpenAI’s original mission, and highlights how the 501(c)3 could serve as a vehicle to abuse by commercial businesses. (See also how IKEA is owned by a nonprofit!)   "If this business model were valid, it would radically redefine how venture capitalism is practiced in California and beyond,” says Musk. He adds that “competing against an entity employing the new OpenAI business model would be like playing a game of basketball where the other team's baskets are worth twice as many points,” in reference to the pre-tax benefits of OpenAI’s initial funding model.   Though, it is worth noting is that Musk might also be interested in slowing down OpenAI so his Grok competitor can catch up…
3/5/202415 minutes, 46 seconds
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IVF, NRA, and Deforestation: Nonprofit (News) Title: Nonprofit News Highlights: IVF Information, NRA Verdict, and Deforestation Crisis In this week's edition of Nonprofit News Feed, we dive into three major stories that are making headlines in the nonprofit sector. From the legal implications of IVF to the NRA's guilty verdict, and the alarming increase in deforestation, these stories highlight the ongoing challenges and opportunities for nonprofits in our society. Join us as we explore the key details and implications of each story. IVF Information: A Legal Debate with Nonprofit Ramifications In Alabama, a recent ruling by the Supreme Court has put multiple IVF clinics on edge. The court's decision defines frozen embryos as legally "unborn children," raising concerns and potential criminal repercussions for clinics offering IVF treatments. This ruling has sparked a heated debate, with house Republicans and other political figures coming out against it. Beyond the political debates, non-profit organizations like Planned Parenthood are advocating against the ruling, fearing its consequences on abortion rights and personhood laws. Planned Parenthood highlights the potential ripple effect of such rulings across the country, emphasizing the need for continued advocacy and support for reproductive rights. The NRA Verdict: Implications for Gun Rights Advocacy In a high-profile civil corruption trial led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, the NRA and its executives, including Wayne LaPierre, have been found guilty of violating their duties and causing monetary harm to the organization. The verdict could potentially result in permanent barring from charity board service for the defendants, signaling a new era of oversight in the NRA's financial affairs. While the NRA remains a powerful lobbying group for gun rights, with significant policy implications, the verdict raises questions about its future impact. The long-term consequences of the barring from charity board service in New York remain uncertain, with potential repercussions on the organization's ability to operate and mobilize resources. Deforestation Crisis: A Global Challenge for Climate Change The world's efforts to curb deforestation have hit a snag, with a 4% increase in global deforestation in 2022. This alarming trend surpasses the annual target set to eliminate deforestation by 2030 by 21%. The majority of deforestation occurs in tropical regions, posing significant challenges in the battle against climate change. The political and economic challenges faced by these countries make it difficult to protect the environment while addressing other pressing issues. Adequate funding for forest conservation falls short of requirements, hindering progress in eradicating deforestation. The need to balance economic development and environmental preservation necessitates a nuanced approach to find sustainable solutions. Khan Academy's AI Integration: Transforming Education In a feel-good story, Khan Academy, the renowned education platform, has leveraged AI to create an innovative tool called Con Amigo. This AI tutor integrates with Khan Academy's educational resources, offering personalized learning experiences and meeting students where they are in their educational journey. Con Amigo addresses the challenge of differentiation in the classroom, providing specialized attention to individual students' needs. With proper guardrails and a commitment to responsible AI integration, Khan Academy's Con Amigo has the potential to transform how students learn and improve access to quality education. In conclusion, these four stories represent crucial developments in the nonprofit world. The IVF ruling raises critical questions about reproductive rights and the implications of personhood laws. The NRA verdict highlights the consequences of mismanagement within nonprofit organizations and its impact on advocacy efforts. The deforestation crisis demands urgent action to address climate change and protect biodiversity. Finally, Khan Academy's AI integration showcases the potential of technology to enhance educational experiences and promote equity in education. Stay tuned for more updates and insights in the evolving landscape of the nonprofit sector. Together, we can create a positive impact in our communities and address the pressing challenges of our time.
2/28/202415 minutes, 31 seconds
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Honoring Jimmy Carter, ESG & B Corps Scrutiny (news)

**Nonprofit News Digest: Honoring Jimmy Carter, ESG & B Corps Scrutiny, and a Homeless Advocacy Victory** This week's episode of the Nonprofit News Feed, hosted by George Weiner, Chief Whaler of Whole Whale, and Digital Strategist Nick Azulay, celebrates President's Day with a tribute to former President Jimmy Carter's legacy in the nonprofit sector. The conversation also delves into current challenges facing ESG frameworks and B Corps, and highlights a legal victory for a homeless advocacy organization in Houston. **Jimmy Carter's Enduring Nonprofit Legacy** - Jimmy Carter, now 99, has made significant contributions to the nonprofit world through his involvement with Habitat for Humanity and his own Carter Center, focusing on peace, democracy, and development. - The Carters' hands-on work in building homes showcases their commitment to affordable housing. - Reflecting on Carter's life reminds us of the importance of political figures in the nonprofit sector, especially in times of division. **ESG and B Corps Under Fire** - ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and B Corps face backlash, with financial firms like JP Morgan and State Street Global Advisors withdrawing support from climate initiatives. - Greenwashing, the use of environmental certifications to improve public reputation without meaningful change, is a growing concern. - Scrutiny of ESG and B Corps certification processes calls for a reevaluation of how businesses are held accountable for sustainable and ethical practices. - The discussion emphasizes the importance of setting norms and improving transparency in corporate behavior. **Food Not Bombs Wins Legal Fight in Houston** - The organization Food Not Bombs achieved a legal win when a federal judge ordered the city of Houston to stop ticketing members for feeding the homeless. - The case raises first and fourteenth amendment rights issues, balancing the organization's free speech rights against the city's public health and safety concerns. - The ruling is a positive step, but it also highlights the problematic criminalization of aid to the homeless. The episode closes with a light-hearted joke about SpaceX's matching donation program, bringing a bit of humor to the discussion of giving atmospheres.   This episode of the Nonprofit News Feed underscores the significant impact individuals and organizations can have in the nonprofit sector, while also reminding us that accountability and integrity are crucial in upholding the values of social responsibility and advocacy for those in need.  
2/20/202415 minutes, 23 seconds
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Nonprofit Gets Their Feet Wet With $17m Jesus-Themed Super Bowl Spots (news)

Nonprofit Gets Their Feet Wet With Jesus-Themed Super Bowl Spots A 60-second ad spot and an additional 15-second spot for the ad campaign “He Gets Us” made a stir for being among the largest ad buys for a registered charity. The ads featured images of people washing the feet of others within diverse circumstances and environments and closed with an acknowledgment of Jesus’ non-discriminatory feet washing.   The nonprofit behind the campaign is named “Come Near,” an organization formerly named “Servant Foundation,” which has rebranded under new leadership. The organization previously ran spots in 2023 but continued this year with a campaign that the marketing agency director said aimed to " show people demonstrating what it looks like to love your neighbor”.   Ad spots for the Super Bowl this year cost approximately $7 million for 30-seconds of airtime. The organization has loose ties with religious right Hobby Lobby founder David Green, though the campaign states on its website that “Jesus loves gay people and Jesus loves trans people.”   Additionally, the foot-washing theme seems to have confused and creeped out some audiences causing many follow-up jokes this week.     As DEI policies come under legal attack, philanthropic donors consider how to adapt AP News   Philanthropic donors are gearing up for a legal tussle as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives come under fire, with lawsuits challenging programs like grants for Black women entrepreneurs. Foundations are responding by providing legal support, while some are subtly changing their language to avoid controversy. Despite the challenges, major players like the MacArthur Foundation remain committed to supporting DEI efforts, viewing philanthropy as the last stand for independent action in society.   Meet the woman running Sam Altman’s universal basic income study to find out how cash payments can mitigate AI-related jobs losses Yahoo Finance   Elizabeth Rhodes is the trailblazing research director behind OpenResearch (formerly YC Research), spearheading a significant universal basic income (UBI) study initiated by Sam Altman, the AI visionary and OpenAI CEO. The study, which concluded its cash transfers to 3,000 participants in two states, aimed to explore UBI as a solution to potential job losses due to AI advancements, with findings set to be released later this year. Rhodes, with her social work acumen, led the project with a meticulous approach, and the forthcoming results are poised to shed light on UBI's impact on various aspects of life, from health to social attitudes, in one of the largest privately funded studies in the U.S. 🌟 Will these insights pave the way for a cash-rich future in an AI-driven world? Stay tuned!        
2/13/202417 minutes, 51 seconds
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How The Nonprofit Sector Lost Out On $17 Billion (news)

How The Nonprofit Sector Lost Out On $17 Billion In The Soon-To-Lapse Charitable Deduction Act In a giving season when many smaller and medium-sized nonprofit organizations wonder about how to retain and expand their small-dollar donors in relation to stagnant donations, perhaps one of the more salient solutions is about to expire. House Resolution (H.R.) 3435, better known as the “Charitable Act,” (see also S. 556) is soon to meet its demise via legislative purgatory. The Charitable Act, which organizations such as Independent Sector cites as a valuable opportunity to spur increases in giving, will soon expire with a less than 1% chance of passing, according to GovTrack. The bill would have increased the standard deduction for tax filers that do not itemize taxes to approximately $4,000, giving the 85% of U.S. taxpayers who do not itemize their tax returns access to the same benefits of donating to charity that wealthy donors employ. For now though, the standard deduction remains at $300/$600 as the standard deduction for charitable giving.   Let’s put this another way, when Warren Buffett donated $51 billion last year, and because he has access to expensive tax experts who could itemize his return, he got the full deduction in his taxes for charitable giving. But Buffy (not a real person but a heck of a vampire slayer) who donated $1,000 and didn’t itemize their return (just like the overwhelming majority of Americans), only got $300 of the donation taken off their tax bill. In a tax system that intentionally perpetuates complexity, this inequitable access to deductions is particularly painful for a nonprofit sector desperately trying to maintain their grassroots donors.     This Bay Area school district spent $250,000 on Woke Kindergarten | San Francisco Chronicle   In a bid to tackle systemic racism and improve student engagement, Glassbrook Elementary in Hayward splurged $250,000 on Woke Kindergarten, a program designed to empower teachers to disrupt racism and oppression. Despite the hefty investment, funded by a federal grant aimed at aiding underperforming schools, Glassbrook's test scores in English and math have seen a worrying drop, with less than 4% of students proficient in math and under 12% at grade level in English.   Hayward Superintendent Jason Reimann noted a subsequent improvement in student attendance, with 44% of students considered chronically absent last year, down from 61% the year prior. Though, the Chronicle pointed out that a similar improvement  was seen districtwide, suggesting this improvement was due to a larger trend.   Additionally, anti-semitic concerns have been raised by other news outlets pointing out that that Woke Kindergarten states on their site that:  “One place that people are demanding a permanent ceasefire for is in Palestine because they are being occupied, or controlled, by a made-up place called Israel that has settlers called Zionist who are harming and killing the Palestinian people who have always live on the land.”   While many champion the need for confronting historical biases in education, critics argue that such programs divert attention and funds from proven academic interventions, as seen in the success of targeted math programs elsewhere. Sadly, this one narrative is now racing around right leaning news outlets as an example of why not to teach about the history of racism all together, rather than a balanced ‘in addition to, not instead of’ approach.     OpenAI partners with Common Sense Media to collaborate on AI guidelines | TechCrunch   OpenAI has partnered with Common Sense Media, a nonprofit ratings organization, to develop AI guidelines aimed at kids and families. The collaboration will focus on creating AI guidelines and education materials for parents, educators, and young adults, as well as curating "family-friendly" GPTs based on Common Sense's rating and evaluation standards. The partnership aims to ensure that families and teens can use AI tools with confidence and help them harness the potential of artificial intelligence safely.  
2/6/202418 minutes, 42 seconds
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: GoFundMe's Charitable Gap, Ocean Cleanup Concerns, and AI's Role in Preserving Indigenous Languages (news)

Nonprofit Newsfeed Highlights: GoFundMe's Charitable Gap, Ocean Cleanup Concerns, and AI's Role in Preserving Indigenous Languages GoFundMe's Charitable Chasm Exposed In this episode, George Weiner delves into the disparities in GoFundMe's distribution of disaster funds. A New York Times analysis revealed that households with incomes over $150,000 received 28% more aid than those under $75,000 after the 2021 Marshall fire. This gap highlights a broader issue of equity in crowdsourced fundraising, where the wealthier benefit from stronger, more affluent networks. The Dark Side of Ocean Cleanup The podcast also touches on the potential negatives of ocean cleanup efforts. An article from Slate magazine suggests these initiatives might harm marine life and destroy habitats that have formed within the plastic debris. While there's a valid concern for micro-ecosystems, George argues that removing plastic remains crucial as it ultimately enters our food chain, with Americans consuming the equivalent of a credit card's worth of microplastics weekly. Christian Rock Dominance on Radio Another interesting point discussed is the Educational Media Foundation's (EMF) success in using a network of radio stations to spread Christian rock. Their strategy has effectively amplified uplifting music and messages, serving as a potential model for other nonprofits seeking to broaden their impact through radio. Student Loan Forgiveness for Nonprofit Workers In a win for nonprofit employees, over 793,000 borrowers are set to receive student loan forgiveness, with public sector workers benefiting significantly. This comes as part of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, emphasizing the value of nonprofit and government jobs. AI's Promise for Indigenous Languages Finally, the podcast highlights an inspiring use of AI in preserving native languages. The Lakota AI code camp is a three-week program aimed at teaching indigenous youth coding skills to help protect and steward their culture, including endangered languages. This innovative application of technology offers hope for the preservation of these vital cultural touchstones. As always, you can stay updated with the latest nonprofit news by subscribing to the free weekly email at And if you're enjoying the content on YouTube, don't forget to like and subscribe to support the channel as it approaches the 10,000 subscriber milestone.
1/30/20246 minutes, 14 seconds
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Billionaire Philanthropy Shifts & EU Greenwashing Crackdown (news)

Free weekly news summary: Billionaire Philanthropy Shifts and EU Greenwashing Crackdown: Nonprofit News Feed Insights In this episode of the Nonprofit News Feed, George Weiner, Chief Whaler, alongside Nick Azulay, delves into the philanthropic strategy shifts at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) and the broader influence of high-net-worth individuals in the nonprofit sector. Amidst CZI's pivot towards science and technology initiatives, there's a debate on whether this is a strategic move or a case of chasing shiny objects. The discussion also touches on the Open Society Foundations' internal changes and the implications for NGOs relying on their support. Key insights emerge from the European Union's crackdown on greenwashing, with new directives banning misleading environmental claims based on carbon offsetting. This legislative move aims to empower consumers with accurate information, promoting genuine sustainability efforts. The conversation also highlights a groundbreaking partnership between New York City and RIP Medical Debt, aiming to abolish $2 billion in medical debt for 500,000 New Yorkers. This innovative approach showcases the power of cross-sector collaboration in addressing systemic issues within the healthcare system. Finally, a feel-good story from Michigan features a nonprofit providing 'snuggle sacks' to the homeless, offering essential items during the harsh winter months. This initiative reflects the ongoing commitment within the sector to support the most vulnerable populations. The episode wraps up with a glimpse into the Nonprofitist's consultant outlook for 2024, hinting at potential price increases among nonprofit consultants, and ends on a lighter note with a playful discussion on the challenges of crafting nonprofit elevator pitches. Calls to Action: Reflect on the potential impacts of billionaire-led philanthropy shifts within your organization. Consider how EU's anti-greenwashing measures could influence your nonprofit's environmental claims and practices. Explore innovative ways to mitigate systemic challenges, inspired by NYC's collaboration with RIP Medical Debt. Support or initiate programs that provide direct aid to vulnerable populations within your community. Closing Thought: As the nonprofit sector navigates the complexities of influential donors, legislative changes, and societal needs, it's crucial to remain adaptable while staying true to the core mission. This episode underscores the importance of strategic focus, transparency, and compassion in driving positive change.
1/23/202415 minutes, 25 seconds
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Aid or Obstacle? Debating USAID's Food Program (news)   Nonprofit Sector Confronts International Aid Challenges and Navigates Donor Dynamics In this week's episode of the Nonprofit News Feed by Whole Whale, hosts George and Nick delve into pressing issues within the nonprofit world, including the complexities of the USAID food program, philanthropic trends in New York City, and the unpredictable nature of billionaire-backed philanthropy. USAID Food Aid Under Scrutiny The episode kicks off with a critical look at the U.S. international food aid program. An NPR investigation revealed that Catholic Relief Services discovered rotting grain intended for Haiti, spotlighting inefficiencies in non-emergency food aid delivery. Current legislation requires non-emergency aid from USAID to be sourced from U.S. suppliers, but experts argue for more regional and direct cash assistance approaches. The Biden administration is pushing for reforms in the upcoming farm bill to address these stringent restrictions, highlighting the tension between international development professionals and American farmers. Wealthy Donors Pulling Back in NYC The conversation shifts to New York City, where wealthy donors are reportedly hesitating to contribute to the city's escalating problems, including homelessness and the migrant crisis. Mayor Eric Adams' emphasis on the severity of these issues without federal aid is speculated to be discouraging donors, underscoring the need for hopeful messaging to inspire philanthropic investment. The hosts reflect on the importance of nonprofits in the city and the potential impact of donor withdrawal on their operations. Schmidt Futures: A Cautionary Tale of Philanthropic Instability The episode also examines the case of Schmidt Futures, the philanthropic arm of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, as reported by Forbes. The organization's sudden program shifts and leadership changes exemplify the volatility that can arise when nonprofits rely heavily on individual billionaire donors. The hosts discuss the broader implications for the sector and the necessity of recognizing these dependencies as potential risks. GLAAD's Emmy Recognition for LGBTQ+ Advocacy Ending on a positive note, the hosts celebrate GLAAD's recognition at the Emmys for its advocacy work in the LGBTQ+ community. Amidst challenging times for trans rights, the Academy's accolade highlights the influence of media representation and GLAAD's critical role in shaping narratives. Closing Thought: The Power of Nonprofits in Shaping Narratives The episode concludes with a reflection on the power of nonprofits, not only in addressing immediate needs but also in influencing societal perspectives through storytelling and media consultation. The joke shared between the hosts adds a light-hearted touch, reinforcing the community spirit that underpins the nonprofit sector. In Summary: This episode underscores the complex relationship between policy, philanthropy, and nonprofit impact, offering a nuanced perspective on current challenges and the evolving landscape of aid and donor engagement.
1/16/202418 minutes, 44 seconds
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2024 Must Know for Nonprofit Marketing & Fundraising (news)

### Nonprofit Digital Marketing: What to Watch for in 2024 **Nonprofit Newsfeed & Whole Whale Podcast Episode Summary** **Episode Title:** Navigating Nonprofit Digital Marketing Trends for 2024 In this insightful episode, hosts George Weiner and Nick Azulay of Whole Whale discuss essential digital marketing trends that nonprofit professionals should be aware of in 2024. The episode is a treasure trove of predictions, strategies, and updates crucial for nonprofits navigating the ever-evolving digital landscape. **Key Digital Trends and Strategies:** - **Google Analytics Transition:** Universal Analytics was deprecated in July 2023, and historical data will be deleted after July 1, 2024. Nonprofits should archive their data before this deadline. - **Google Chrome Cookie Deprecation:** The removal of third-party cookies will impact ad targeting and analytics, emphasizing privacy over hyper-targeted ads. - **Consent Mode and Predictive Analytics:** As users opt out of cookies, Google's consent mode and GA4 will fill in the gaps, leading to more cookie-less consent options. - **Crypto Giving:** A predicted resurgence in cryptocurrency could lead to an increase in crypto donations. Nonprofits are encouraged to develop a crypto giving strategy. - **Email Marketing Compliance:** Google is imposing strict penalties for spam, particularly for list buying. Nonprofits should nurture authentic relationships instead of relying on purchased lists. - **Trust in Nonprofits:** Maintaining and increasing donor confidence is crucial. Transparency, financial disclosures, and demonstrating impact are key to fostering trust. - **SMS Marketing:** SMS text message marketing is expected to rise, with platforms like MailChimp integrating it into campaign strategies. - **Search Generated Experiences (SGE):** AI will change how search queries are answered, potentially reducing clicks to websites. Nonprofits should adapt their content strategies accordingly. - **AI and Ethical Content Creation:** Nonprofits should develop policies for ethical AI usage, including content creation and public disclosure. **Global and Political Context:** - 2024 is set to be a chaotic year with significant global events and national elections worldwide, leading to heightened engagement in political advocacy and human rights. - Nonprofits must find ways to cut through the increased noise and remain relevant. **Emerging Communication Trends:** - **Video-First Communication:** Short-form video content is being prioritized across social platforms. Nonprofits should incorporate this into their communication strategies. - **Alternative Social Platforms:** With the instability of platforms like Twitter, nonprofits should explore emerging social platforms and localized community tools like Telegram and WhatsApp. **Closing Thoughts:** The hosts emphasize the importance of adapting to these trends and adjusting strategies to stay ahead in the nonprofit sector. They encourage listeners to embrace these changes and prepare for a busy and transformative year. **Final Joke:** George leaves us with a light-hearted joke about colds being "easy to catch," adding a touch of humor to the episode's conclusion. ****
1/10/202424 minutes, 16 seconds
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+Half of Teenagers on Social “Almost Constantly” & Stop planting trees? (news)

Conversation Summary: Teen Social Media Usage: Pew Research Center study highlights that nearly half of US teens are online almost constantly, a steep rise from 24% in 2014-2015. Smartphone Access: 95% of teens have or can access a smartphone. TikTok Usage: 58% of teens use TikTok daily; 17% nearly constantly. Role of Nonprofits: Organizations like The JET Foundation address the risks and benefits of social media use among teens. Nonprofit Digital Strategy Insights: Social Media in Teens' Lives: Essential for youth engagement, education, and sports. YouTube's Dominance: Used by 93% of teens, making it a critical platform for nonprofits. Content Strategy: Emphasis on short-form videos and visual content across major platforms. Role of AI in Content Creation: Importance of human elements in digital communication. Crypto Donations: The Giving Block Report: Notable growth in crypto donations. Crypto Market Trends: Predicted increase in donations aligned with market trends. Advice for Nonprofits: Prepare for potential crypto donation surges. Reassessment of Tree Planting Initiatives: Thomas Crowther's Shift: From advocating massive tree planting to halting it. Concerns: Biodiversity, misuse by businesses to offset emissions. Nonprofit Response: Need to explore diverse, effective climate solutions. CO2 Emissions Data Visualization: Our World in Data: Shows per capita CO2 emissions trends. US Emissions: Decrease in per capita emissions since the 1960s. Hopeful Outlook: Progress in emissions reduction indicates potential for further improvement. Social Enterprise Spotlight: Greensland Bakery: Founded by Carolyn Johnson to help women recover from trauma. Earned Revenue Model: Combines business operations with social change. Key Takeaways: Digital Engagement: Nonprofits must adapt to the digital habits of younger generations. Video Content Priority: Shift towards video content, especially on platforms like YouTube and TikTok. Crypto Philanthropy: Potential for growth in crypto donations requires preparedness by nonprofits. Complexity in Climate Solutions: Reevaluation of strategies like tree planting, exploring diverse approaches. Data-Driven Decisions: Using data visualizations for informed strategies. Social Enterprises: Combining business models with social impact. Resources Mentioned: Pew Research Center (Teen Social Media Usage Study) The JET Foundation (Mental Health) The Giving Block (Crypto Donations Report) Our World in Data (CO2 Emissions Visualization) Nonprofit Quarterly (Greensland Bakery Story)
12/19/202318 minutes, 15 seconds
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Buffett Vs Mackenzie Comparing Giving & ACLU backing NRA (news)

    Meet the Faces of Crypto Philanthropy | The Giving Block Based on the "Faces of Crypto Philanthropy" article by The Giving Block, the most generous donor appears to be Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum. He has donated cryptocurrencies valued at over $1 billion to various causes, including COVID-19 relief, medical research, and Ukraine humanitarian aid. This level of giving places him at the forefront in terms of the scale of crypto philanthropy. For more detailed information about Vitalik Buterin's and others' contributions, please visit The Giving Block's article.   The ACLU will legally represent the NRA. Its NY affiliate isn’t happy about it. | Gothamist The ACLU's decision to represent the NRA in a Supreme Court case over alleged free-speech violations by New York state has led to a rift with its New York affiliate, the NYCLU. NYCLU's Executive Director Donna Lieberman contends that the ACLU's role as counsel is unnecessary, given the NRA's significant legal resources and differing principles. The case centers on whether New York's actions against financial institutions working with the NRA constitute state censorship, a situation the ACLU argues could set a dangerous precedent for silencing advocacy groups.     A Tale of Two Billionaires: Scott Versus Buffet Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott outlined the details of the almost $2.1 billion she donated in the last year, bringing the total amount of donations up to almost $16 billion since 2019. In a blog update, Scott outlines the nonprofits that have directly benefited from her gifts. This contrasts with the announcement of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who committed donations  in the form of shares, with a release from his Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate detailing that 1.5 million shares are going to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, as reported by CNN. The contrast between Scott’s direct donations and Buffets donations (via shares) to a family foundation is particularly underscored by potential generation changes in giving.   Is a gift always a gift? We asked the audience about whether giving to your own family foundation really counts.   Read more >> 2024 is the biggest election year in history | The Economist   In 2024, a pivotal year for global democracy, 76 countries are set to hold elections, yet the quality and fairness of these elections vary significantly. Major democracies like Brazil, India, Indonesia, and the United States, labeled as "flawed democracies," face significant elections, with America's political culture scoring lowest in democratic aspects. Europe and Africa present contrasting democratic landscapes, with Europe scoring high in the Democracy Index and Africa facing challenges, while the scheduled Ukrainian election stands as a potential act of defiance amid ongoing conflict.
12/12/202318 minutes, 59 seconds
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Stop Hiring ”Development Officers” & Other Secrets to Scaling Altruism | Author Donald Summers

Guest Details Donald Summers Founder and CEO of Altruist Partners Author of "Scaling Altruism" Founder of Altruist Accelerator ( Conversation Summary Altruist Partners' Mission: For 17 years, they've helped social enterprises and nonprofits worldwide to scale their revenue and impact. They established a nonprofit to maximize the dissemination of their methodology. The Book "Scaling Altruism": Serves as a curriculum for the accelerator and open sources Donald's comprehensive solution for running high-performing nonprofits. Changing Nonprofit Landscape: Donald emphasizes the ongoing need for improvement in nonprofit performance, focusing on translating entrepreneurial tools for nonprofits. He addresses barriers like knowledge gaps, cultural differences, and misconceptions about business methodologies in the social sector. Impact and Growth Methodology: The book and accelerator aim to translate business tools into nonprofit contexts, focusing on practical, low-cost strategies for small to midsize organizations. Altruism in Business: Donald discusses the need for altruism in our capitalist system, advocating for its integration to address societal and environmental challenges. He stresses the importance of evolving beyond tribal, self-interested behaviors for global sustainability. Effective Altruism: While supportive of the movement's goals, Donald critiques its academic, theoretical approach. He advocates for a more practical application of altruistic principles in management and execution. Case Study - Treehouse: Discusses transitioning from event-based fundraising to more sustainable, relationship-focused strategies. Advice for Nonprofits and Future Leaders: Encourages adoption of business methodologies and skills like finance and marketing for social impact. He advises future leaders to gain private sector experience before entering the social sector. Key Takeaways Blending Business and Altruism: Effective nonprofit management involves incorporating business principles without losing the essence of altruism. Methodology for Nonprofits: Donald’s methodology focuses on practical, executable strategies tailored for nonprofits, moving beyond theoretical models. Cultural Integration: Emphasizes the importance of understanding and integrating different cultural perspectives within the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Empowerment through Knowledge: Advocates for equipping future social sector leaders with business acumen and practical skills. Scaling Impact: Aims to broaden the reach and effectiveness of altruistic initiatives by leveraging proven business strategies and tools. Resources Mentioned Altruist Accelerator: Book: "Scaling Altruism" Altruist Partners:
12/7/202357 minutes, 23 seconds
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Giving Tuesday Misses the Mark with $3.1B - what happened? (news)

Today's podcast delves into several significant topics in the non-profit sector. The U.S. has pledged $3 billion to the Climate Action Fund at COP28, highlighting efforts to help nations most affected by climate change, like island nations at existential risk. The discussion acknowledges the importance of this funding, even as it's debated whether it's sufficient. The Inflation Reduction Act is also mentioned as a major clean energy initiative by the Biden-Harris administration. Next, the podcast discusses GivingTuesday, noting a marginal increase in donations but a concerning 10% drop in donor engagement. This decline is attributed to various factors, including economic trends and political disengagement. Despite the setback, there's hope that future events, especially during election years, might boost participation. Another important topic covered is the report from the Washington Area Women's Foundation on Black women in leadership roles. The study reveals significant strains on these women, including health impacts and limited career progression, indicating a need for systemic changes in workplaces. Lastly, the podcast touches on a study by and the Better Business Bureau, showing a shift in public trust among different charity categories. Religious organizations have notably lost trust, while veterans and nonprofit hospitals are now viewed more favorably. This shift suggests changing public perceptions and priorities in charitable giving.  The podcast concludes with a feel-good story about Apopo, an international charity using African giant pouched rats to detect landmines and tuberculosis. This innovative approach has made significant impacts in mine-ridden areas like Laos and Cambodia, exemplifying creative solutions in the non-profit sector.
12/6/202322 minutes, 54 seconds
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#GivingTuesday (News) & What happens when Nonprofit boards fail?

The Associated Press reports on the increasing importance of GivingTuesday for nonprofits, especially amid concerns of declining donations. GivingTuesday, which began as a hashtag in 2012, has grown into a significant fundraising event where many nonprofits leverage matching campaigns to maximize donations. The end of the year traditionally sees a surge in charitable giving. The AP notes that organizations like Fidelity Charitable are optimistic about end-of-year donations, contrasting with the National Council of Nonprofits' concerns over falling support and a general decline in the number of Americans donating. Whole Whale, the publisher of this newsletter, predicts approximately $3.45 Billion in predicted donation revenue for nonprofits this Giving Tuesday, based on an analysis of historical trends and movements in search volume. In addition to traditional fundraising vehicles, observers are acutely paying attention to trends in alternate forms of giving, especially crypto donations, like those fueled by platforms such as Whole Whale partner The Giving Block.   Warren Buffett donates $870 million to charities ahead of Thanksgiving | CNN Billionaire Warren Buffett has donated approximately $870 million in Berkshire Hathaway shares to four family-run foundations, continuing his annual philanthropic tradition. The donation, echoing last year's gesture, is part of his long-standing commitment against dynastic wealth and in support of societal benefits through capitalism. Despite being 93, Buffett remains at the helm of his company, which is thriving with robust earnings and a record cash reserve.     Who Are the New OpenAI Board Members and What's Changed? OpenAI recently underwent significant changes in its board composition following a tumultuous period marked by the firing and subsequent rehiring of CEO Sam Altman. This upheaval led to the dismissal of three board members: Ilya Sutskever, Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner, with the latter two being the only women on the board. Their departure was a consequence of a failed board coup against Altman. In their place, Bret Taylor and Larry Summers have been appointed​​. This shift represents a notable change in the board's gender diversity and reflects the broader dynamics at play within the company and its controlling interests.     One Love Foundation: Major donor sues citing founder's opposition to minority, LGBTQ outreach The Baltimore Banner A major donor is suing the One Love Foundation, claiming that the Baltimore-based nonprofit, which has educated 2 million young people about relationship violence, has breached an agreement and is in “disarray” due to the actions of one of its founders. The lawsuit asserts that Sharon Love, who created One Love after her daughter, University of Virginia senior Yeardley Love, was killed by an ex-boyfriend in 2010, fought against One Love’s “outreach to LGBTQ and minority communities” and threatened to fire board members who disagreed with her, prompting nearly all board members and the organization’s CEO to resign earlier this year.      
11/28/202325 minutes, 57 seconds
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Nonprofit Board Fires OpenAI CEO (news)

Nonprofit Board Fires Sam Altman At OpenAI In High-Stakes Drama   So, what happens when a nonprofit board meets with a Silicon Valley CEO?   The two factions of OpenAI clashed like the resistance fighting the empire in a scene from Star Wars but with fewer special effects. Here’s what we think is happening based on reports…   OpenAI, initially a non-profit dedicated to beneficial AI development, has undergone a significant transformation via high-speed drama this weekend. After former CEO Sam Altman was ousted, executive Greg Brockman decided to quit OpenAI, with Twitch's ex-CEO Emmett Shear stepping in. Microsoft's Satya Nadella announced Altman and Brockman, along with others, would join Microsoft. This move represents a substantial gain for Microsoft, which already holds a perpetual license to OpenAI's intellectual property, and now acquires key talent without financial or antitrust risks. This shift signals a loss for OpenAI, heavily reliant on Microsoft for funding and resources. OpenAI's flagship product, ChatGPT may face uncertainties given these developments. Some observers critique the evolution of OpenAI's non-profit model, originally aimed at advancing AI for humanity's benefit without financial constraints. However, financial pressures led to the creation of OpenAI Global, LLC, with Microsoft as a minority owner, altering OpenAI's commitment to openness and non-profit principles. The release of ChatGPT, while a massive success, exacerbated internal ideological rifts within OpenAI that contributed to Altman's ouster. Microsoft, heavily invested in OpenAI technology, finds itself in a more advantageous position, now directly acquiring the talent and technology it was partnered with. Analysts suggest this to mean a consolidation of AI advancements under large, well-funded corporations, with OpenAI's original non-profit vision and structure becoming increasingly untenable.   So for this episode the score is: nonprofit ethos 1, Silicon Valley CEO 0 - but this is definitely not the end of this saga, expect many sequels and prequels.     Billionaires including Eric Schmidt plow $300 million into a non-profit that is France's latest push to catch up in AI  | Fortune The new French AI research lab Kyutai, backed by a budget of nearly €300 million (around $330 million), is set to make significant strides in artificial intelligence. Spearheaded by French billionaire Xavier Niel and supported by figures like Rodolphe Saadé and Eric Schmidt, Kyutai aims to be a nonprofit hub for artificial general intelligence research, collaborating with researchers and PhD students on open-source projects. The lab boasts considerable compute power, including a thousand Nvidia H100 GPUs, and is led by a team of seasoned AI experts. It distinguishes itself by encouraging researchers to publish their work, a practice increasingly rare in big tech firms. This initiative aligns with France's broader strategy on AI, as articulated by President Emmanuel Macron, focusing on open source development as a national asset and advocating for regulations that ensure safety and innovation in AI applications​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.     Rosalynn Carter, mental health activist, humanitarian and former first lady, dies at 96 | CNN Rosalynn Carter, who passed away at 96, was a trailblazing First Lady, redefining the role by actively championing mental health reform and advocating for human rights. Her tireless work set a new precedent for presidential spouses, emphasizing social impact and public service. Rosalynn's enduring legacy is highlighted by her efforts to destigmatize mental health issues and her pivotal role in The Carter Center's humanitarian initiatives. Her commitment to these causes and her influence as First Lady have left a lasting mark on social advocacy and the evolving role of presidential spouses in public service.     Donor-Advised Fund Report: Grants to Charities Increase 9%, Hitting a New Record High | nonprofit The 2023 Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) Report reveals a robust increase in DAF philanthropy in the United States, with grants to charities growing by 9% to a record $52.16 billion. Despite challenges in the broader economy, donors consistently increased their DAF contributions for the 13th consecutive year. The report notes a shift to what might be a 'new normal' in DAF growth rates, post-COVID-19. Key findings include a 9% increase in contributions to DAF accounts, totaling $85.53 billion, and a 2.9% rise in the number of DAF accounts to 1,948,545. The average DAF account size decreased slightly, and the grant payout rate dipped to 22.5%. Eileen Heisman, CEO of National Philanthropic Trust, highlights the growing variety of giving tools and the critical role DAFs play in easy, streamlined philanthropy, expecting this trend to continue benefiting charities globally
11/21/202317 minutes, 21 seconds
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5 Biggest Mistakes Made in Strategic Planning |

Part of the nonprofit podcast network.    We interviewed Carol Hamilton from about how nonprofit strategic planning could be improved. Not involving enough people. Often only senior leadership and the board do the planning, thinking they alone have the vision. But all levels of staff should participate to gain buy-in. Surprisingly, there is often 80% agreement on goals across roles. Failing to operationalize the plan. A common mistake is creating an overly complex, long plan that gathers dust. The plan should be simple, focused, and integrated into existing processes. Define who will do what by when for the first year. Crafting an unrealistic plan. While visionary, the plan must connect to current organizational capacity. If the goals are too aspirational without a path to achieve them, they won't be implemented. Having too many goals. Limit the plan to 3-5 key goals maximum. No organization can successfully focus on more than that at once. Not designating responsibilities and timelines. For each goal, define concrete action steps and who will complete them by when. Don't worry about years 2-5. Just focus on year one.
11/15/202337 minutes, 32 seconds
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70% of People Distrust this... (news)

Pew Research Center Finds Broad Data Privacy Concerns & Distrust The Pew Research Center's study on American perspectives towards data privacy highlights growing concerns and confusion about personal data usage. Most Americans are uneasy about how their information is handled by companies and the government, with a significant 67% admitting they understand little about what is done with their personal data. This concern extends to social media, where 77% of Americans distrust social media CEOs to responsibly manage user privacy.   70% of Americans also distrust companies to make responsible use of AI in their products. The study underscores the national relevance of data privacy, influenced by ongoing debates over regulating AI and protecting online data, emphasizing its impact on everyday life through choices in passwords, privacy policies, and personal data security measures.   Read more ➝       Regulator vows crackdown on ‘squeamish’ charities rejecting donations | the Guardian Orlando Fraser, head of England's Charity Commission, criticizes charities for rejecting donations on moral grounds, urging them to consider the impact on service provision to beneficiaries. He emphasizes that decisions to refuse funds should not be based on trustees' personal biases but on substantial justifications, amidst growing concerns about accepting unethical donations. This stance has sparked debate about the balance between ethical funding and operational needs, with the Commission updating guidelines on lawful and reputational considerations in donation acceptance.   The Ukraine Airbnb initiative and the weaknesses of ‘disintermediated’ giving | Blog - Alliance magazine The Ukraine Airbnb initiative, a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, highlights the complexities of modern philanthropy. As an alternative to traditional donations to nonprofits, which raised £420 million through the Disasters Emergency Committee, this initiative involved booking but not occupying Airbnb rooms in Ukraine. This approach directed £15 million directly to property owners in just one week. Celebrated as a democratization of philanthropy, it allowed donors to bypass charities, though it faced criticism for potentially excluding the most needy and exacerbating economic issues like inflation. This form of *disintermediated giving raises important questions about efficiency, direct impact, and the ethical complexities of modern charitable efforts.   Announcing Kiva’s Bold New Impact Strategy: The Nonprofit Microfinance Pioneer Shares its Refined Approach — And Unveils the Process Behind its Development | NextBillion  Kiva, a pioneer in nonprofit microfinance, has announced a new impact strategy, marking a significant evolution in its approach. Since its inception in 2005 as one of the world's first crowdfunding platforms, Kiva has enabled over 2.2 million lenders to fund over $2 billion in loans to more than 5 million entrepreneurs globally. Key to its strategy is the formation of deep, values-aligned partnerships with nearly 600 organizations in 95 countries, allowing for a significant local impact on a global scale. Innovations such as social-underwriting in the U.S., partnerships with community organizations, and the establishment of Kiva Capital for larger loans have been instrumental in extending support to underserved entrepreneurs, including refugees.
11/15/202330 minutes, 20 seconds
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$2B FINE for #rollingcoal & Mr. Beast Builds Wells (news)   DOJ Going After Ebay For “Coal Rolling” Devices The Department of Justice has filed a complaint against Ebay alleging that the company let over 343,000 after-market “coal rolling” devices be purchased on the platform, according DOJ paperwork filed in Brooklyn federal court. CBS News reports that Ebay claims the complaint by the DOJ “unprecedented” and that the ecommerce giant regularly works with law enforcement to remove millions of illegal products. The DOJ’s action comes with environmental concerns about the environmental impacts of “coal rolling” and other devices (which allow the bypass of vehicles’ exhaust systems to spew smoke) shows a willingness to address environmental concerns at the source — including pursuing large companies with meaningfully large fines.   Read more ➝   Summary MrBeast: American YouTuber builds 100 wells in Africa, attracting praise – and some criticism  | CNN Philanthropist and YouTuber MrBeast has garnered both acclaim and criticism for his initiative to build 100 wells in Africa, aiming to provide clean drinking water to half a million people. His acts have highlighted the inaction of local governments, especially in Kenya, drawing contrasting sentiments from activists who praise the aid while others criticize the perpetuation of stereotypes. Beyond water, MrBeast extended his generosity by donating school supplies, building infrastructure, and enhancing education and healthcare access in African communities. While some accuse him of exploiting his philanthropic work for views, MrBeast remains committed to using his platform for social good and dedication to humanitarian efforts.     NYC’s “Right to Shelter” Under Threat Amid Migrant Influx | Non Profit News  New York City's decades-old "Right to Shelter" policy, which provides temporary shelter to anyone without housing, is under threat as Mayor Eric Adams seeks to modify it to address migrant influx. Advocates fiercely defend the unique policy as a moral stance against homeless encampments and say needs of migrants and the homeless shouldn't be pitted against each other. The outcome of this conflict over Right to Shelter in NYC has national implications as a bellwether for progressive homeless policies.     Engage For Good Acquired by Corporate Social Impact Expert Muneer Panjwani |  Expert in corporate-nonprofit partnerships Muneer Panjwani has acquired Engage for Good, a leading company that empowers corporate and nonprofit professionals to create mutually beneficial social impact partnerships, with support from Berkshire Bank. Panjwani plans to build on Engage for Good's 22 years of bringing together corporations and nonprofits, expand its educational offerings and events, and provide more strategic guidance on social impact campaigns. The acquisition comes as businesses and nonprofits are the most trusted institutions and consumers increasingly support brands that demonstrate social commitment. Founder David Hessekiel will stay on as an advisor through May 2024 and continue to own the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum.
11/7/202322 minutes, 57 seconds
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Only 15% of Nonprofit Employees Took Advantage of this (news)

    PSLF Program Eliminated $51 Billion In Student Debt For Public & NPO   As reported by, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, initiated in 2007, was designed to alleviate student debts for those dedicating a decade to nonprofits or government roles. However, the program was largely unknown and challenging to secure until recent rule changes and promotion. The Biden administration's reforms in October 2021 breathed new life into the program, erasing an astounding $51 billion in student debt for over 700,000 public service workers. Yet, only about 15% of the 9 million eligible workers have applied. Despite earlier bureaucratic challenges and a high rejection rate, recent changes like loan consolidation and credit for past payments have transformed the lives of many by freeing them from significant student debt. As the cost of higher education skyrockets, nonprofit organizations should be actively promoting this program both to its employees as well as future employees.     Read more ➝   Summary Nonprofit Funded by Crypto Billionaire McCaleb Buys $500 Million in Nvidia Chips for AI Computing | Reuters A new nonprofit called Voltage Park, funded by cryptocurrency billionaire Jed McCaleb, has purchased $500 million worth of advanced AI chips from Nvidia. Voltage Park plans to set up AI computing clusters in multiple data centers and lease capacity to companies for artificial intelligence projects. This comes as demand for AI hardware has surged following the release of chatbot ChatGPT, with chip shortages plaguing businesses. By providing low-cost access to powerful Nvidia H100 chips, Voltage Park aims to make AI computing more accessible. The tax-exempt nonprofit is a subsidiary of McCaleb's Navigation Fund, meaning any profits will be donated to the philanthropic fund.   St. Louis nonprofit director stole millions from child nutrition program, feds say | The former head of a St. Louis nonprofit has been charged with fraudulently spending $20 million in federal child nutrition funds on luxury homes and goods. Connie Bobo of New Heights Community Resource Center allegedly falsified records to net $11 million in bogus meal reimbursements. If convicted on the wire fraud, identity theft and obstruction charges, Bobo faces up to 22 years in prison and forfeiture of illicit purchases. The indictment follows reporting on questionable practices by Missouri nonprofits administering pandemic aid, as authorities crack down on abuse of the loosened oversight.     Nature Conservancy Bets on Startups to Boost Climate Mission and Returns |FastCompany The Nature Conservancy is now investing part of its $3 billion endowment directly into climate tech startups, leveraging its scientific expertise to support companies like Overstory and Yard Stick. The nonprofit sees an opportunity to back high-impact startups aligned with its conservation mission that also have potential for strong financial returns. Direct investing represents a shift beyond TNC's past practice of relying on outside managers and index funds for its endowment. The approach shows how nonprofits with sizable endowments could strategically deploy capital to advance their mission as well as financial goals.  
10/31/202314 minutes, 12 seconds
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(news) Can a 100-year-old NGO Go Digital & What is Dickipedia?   Goodwill is trying to grow its online sales in order to generate more revenue to fund its job training and employment assistance programs. The nonprofit is facing increasing competition from for-profit resale sites like ThredUp and Poshmark. Goodwill recently launched GoodwillFinds, an ecommerce site where 14 Goodwill locations sell donated items, but it has challenges in competing with other sites. Successfully growing online sales is crucial for Goodwill to continue its charitable mission of helping provide jobs for those in need. Read more ➝ 👋 Did someone share this email with you? Consider subscribing for weekly updates. The News Feed is also a podcast: Subscribe on iTunes | Spotify  ✅ Quick Summaries... Quick summaries written by - custom-build AI tools for nonprofits. Blackbaud Pays $49.5M Over 2020 Data Breach | AP News The software company Blackbaud will pay $49.5 million to settle a data breach case brought by 49 states, in which sensitive donor information was exposed in 2020. The breach contained health data, Social Security numbers, and financial information from Blackbaud's nonprofit, university, and hospital clients. Blackbaud previously settled separate charges with the SEC for misleading investors about the breach. The large settlement demonstrates the serious legal risks nonprofits face regarding donor data security and notification procedures. Sham Nonprofits Ripped Off Kids' Meal Funds in Shocking Pandemic Scheme | Twin Cities Business Minnesota's top attorney dropped a bombshell this week, filing 23 lawsuits against fraudulent nonprofits accused of stealing from a federal program meant to feed needy children during the pandemic. An explosive investigation found these shady groups falsely claimed to open locations serving meals, when in reality, they had zero legitimate nonprofit activities. The attorney general is seeking to permanently dissolve the fake nonprofits in the wake of the jaw-dropping $250 million child nutrition fraud scandal involving a different Minnesota charity last year. This stunning development proves oversight of nonprofit pandemic aid remains critical to protect taxpayers and vulnerable youth. Elon Does Childish Elon Thing | The Hill Billionaire Elon Musk offered Wikipedia $1 billion to change its name to "Dickipedia" for one year minimum, posting the proposal after criticizing the free online encyclopedia's fundraising appeals. Musk's offer came with the condition that Wikipedia cannot change the name back for at least a year, adding he is "not a fool." Claiming the site does nothing - Wikipedia responded that it handles “over 25B page views per month and over 44M page edits a month, requiring substantial operating costs.”
10/24/202314 minutes, 6 seconds
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Why Fiscal Sponsorships are the smartest way to start a nopnrofit

Interview with Andrew Schulman of Schulman Consulting. Here are some key points about fiscal sponsorships from the conversation: - A fiscal sponsorship allows a new project or group to operate under the legal and tax-exempt status of an existing 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. This avoids having to incorporate separately and apply for 501(c)(3) status. - The fiscal sponsor provides back office services like accounting, HR, legal compliance, and manages fundraising so the sponsored group can focus on programs. - Sponsors typically charge an admin fee of 8-12% of funds raised. Some charge a % of expenses instead. This covers their management costs. - Good for getting started quickly, building a track record, and testing an idea before launching a standalone nonprofit. Provides credibility. - Downsides are less autonomy, fewer funding sources, can’t get some nonprofit discounts, and sponsors add rules/oversight. - Suggested to use a fiscal sponsor if raising over $50k in first year or don’t have nonprofit management experience.  - Most sponsors want to help projects succeed and transition to independence. Process takes 3-6 months after getting 501(c)(3) status. - Fiscal sponsorships should be the default first step before creating a new 501(c)(3) since it simplifies startup. In summary, fiscal sponsorships allow faster startup in exchange for some autonomy but are a great way to incubate and test a new social impact idea.
10/20/202345 minutes, 59 seconds
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Why Gov Shutdowns Hurt Nonprofits (news)

Ouster of GOP Speaker Hampers Ability of Congress To Function Amid Looming Shutdown The ouster of House GOP Speaker Kevin McCarthy nearly two weeks ago continues to hamper the ability of the legislative branch to advance policy, even as the spectre of a government shutdown continues to loom large. Nonprofits like the National Low Income Housing Coalition say that the shutdown (which would go into effect on November 17th) as well as the current political standstill and dysfunction threaten what they percieve as must-pass legislation related to HUD and housing assistance, which advocates say need to increase every year as the cost of living goes up. The volatility of the status of the government (a shutdown would pause non-essential government services) has put nonprofits on edge. Food banks can expect increased demand as hundreds of thousands of government workers and contractors go without pay, and programs like WIC and SNAP are at operational risk in long shutdowns. The Chronicle of Philanthropy also cites domestic violence shelters as also vulnerable to shutdowns because many rely heavily on government grants.
10/17/202320 minutes, 20 seconds
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How GPT Ruins the RFP Process & How to Solve

Nonprofit RFPs vs RFCs   [00:00:00] . Following on with our favorite guest of the moment right now, Heather Yandow, of course, founder of, nonprofit ist, and consultant at third Space. We are talking about whether or not, because this has been coming up a lot, will G p t destroy RFPs? And I know you are the, like captain of the team, of folks that think RFCs request for conversations are superior and many ways to RFPs request for proposals. [00:00:54] So we're gonna throw a lot of acronyms out here. Where and how do you think our conversation since the last time we had it with regard to R F P? Versus R F C is in the landscape now of G P T. So I think it's just gotten more complicated, more muddy, and I lean even more towards requests for conversations now. [00:01:17] You know, one of the things that I have already started seeing is chat, G P t AI generated cover letters. So I just hired for a position. Hmm. And one of the cover letters was clearly generated by ai. It used exactly the same language, and it didn't mention that the person who was applying had a personal connection to me. [00:01:39] So to those, those were red flags. Didn't even have to use any tool, just read it and thought, this is not right. So we're already starting to see it. I suspect that if I was a nonprofit putting out a, a request for proposals, I would've already gotten some that were AI generated. So it's becoming, RFPs in my opinion, are becoming increasingly useless, increasingly challenging when the goal is to actually find the right consultant to help you with your challenge. [00:02:10] For sure. I think, you know, we're using G P T synonymously with any generative AI tool that will create an output based on an input. I think there are ways of designing this, but I think there are tiers, right? Mm-hmm. I think, frankly, legally speaking, if you have government funded projects you have to solicit for, and with RFPs, request for proposals is just part of the game. [00:02:35] You need three competitive bids. And that's just how the government cookie crumbles. Yep. There's a lot of white space below that though, however, where, you know, I see small projects, we'll call them projects under 60 K or even under 30 K, where if you put out an R F P, like is disturbingly easy to generate a proposal? [00:02:56] Like I have a proposal generator for for whole whale. I don't use it because it's just not how we go about it. But let's say I was a do anything now shop. Literally, I could just go through, copy a proposal, put it in, see if I get it, and then go forward. And I think there's real risk of having massive you know, signal to noise issues in that process. [00:03:20] Does, how does that land for you? Yeah, I absolutely think so. I mean, you know, putting together proposals. Is super time consuming especially for small shops. You know, there are two and a half of us, so to muster the resources it takes to put together a really good proposal is a heavy lift, and I can absolutely see why using chat G P T or something else, like it would be really attractive, right? [00:03:48] It's certainly going to reduce the amount of time I'm gonna have to spend writing. It can be a, a good jumping off point. I think that what we're likely to see is that those. Organizations who can take advantage of it. So particularly those organizations, those nonprofit consulting firms who have people who write proposals are gonna probably take advantage of it. [00:04:11] And George, they might be, you know, doing it with all of the respect and within the bounds of good AI usage, which I know you think and talk a lot. But I do think it's gonna create more proposals and not necessarily more useful proposals for nonprofits to review. [00:04:28] Yeah, I think all roads lead to conversations, though. They do. I think at some point, you know, you'll vet, you'll go through, there's just a lot more processing that ends up happening on the nonprofit side, albeit ironically, you could also use AI for synthesizing that. And we end up back full circle to just have the conversation front. [00:04:47] Have, have the, you're gonna have to have it anyway. So being like our, you know, like our request for information or intent could lead to a conversation round and. That would maybe filter out a lot of this because the number of proposals you are going to get is simply gonna increase over this threshold because it's so easy. [00:05:06] Literally. Yeah. If you are saying like, oh, he's talking about some advanced technical thing. Here's what I want you to do. If you're a consultant right now or if you're a nonprofit, I just want you to understand how simple this is. You just go on ideally to check GT four or Anthropic. If you have an account there, what you're gonna do is prime the conversation with who you are, what you do, and the role of that ai. [00:05:27] The next thing you're gonna do is here is a sample of the structure of my proposals. Here's a couple case studies now. That you're clear, please write a and respond to the following context of this new proposal. And you're gonna toss that in and you're gonna end up with something that's disturbingly good as a first draft. [00:05:47] And frankly, if you're lazy, just send it as mm-hmm. Whatever your first, your, your final draft. Uh, I do, as you mentioned, talk a lot about keeping human in the loop as soon as you send it out to the world, if it's. If it is all within your control, please, please make it a first not final draft policy of using AI and keep humans in the loop for now when exposing LLMs publicly to individuals especially if you are in I'd say crisis or trauma adjacent conversation. [00:06:19] For, for folks, what is L L M? Large language model. I feel like this is just alphabet soup. Uhhuh, you're a generative AI thingy. It like there's nuance, there's fine. It's what we're talking about. So going back to that, what you're gonna do is create that. Now, if you're on the nonprofit side, here's how you go about it. [00:06:37] You say you are a selection criteria. AI that evaluates proposals for our organization. Here is the proposal we created. Now, evaluate this and break out based on price, competency likelihood to deliver on time elements, and shove it into the spreadsheet for me. And ta-da. You're just gonna go back to having. [00:07:00] A conversation. A conversation. Absolutely. Absolutely. 'cause it's, it's not buying the best digital camera, right? It's not a spreadsheet able thing. Finding a consultant, most of the time you actually wanna know if you're gonna be able to work with this person. You wanna have an understanding of who they are, of what their personality is, of what their style is, and. [00:07:19] Certainly we talk about that in proposals but it comes back to having a conversation and really seeing where that conversation goes. And that's something AI at least currently can't actually do for you. No. And the truth is, you're gonna be working with a person, not an ai. That's right. Uh, one of the things I do and have always loved about non-profit is, is that you can just go shopping for folks and just say, Hey, I wanna have a quick conversation. [00:07:44] One click sends them a message so that you're like, all right, look. I have this fundraising campaign. I could put it on our feet. Lemme just talk to a few folks and see That's right. What they think about the project. What am I missing in here and how do I go about that? Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And that's, that's, we designed it that way on purpose, right? [00:08:02] It's people's pictures there, not their logos. We know that you're connecting with a person and we wanna make that as frictionless as possible. Call 'em, email 'em, send 'em a message through the site, any way you wanna get in touch with them. And then yeah, have that conversation. What does this look like? [00:08:20] What do you think? What are the questions you have for me? What would the timeline be for this? Yeah. And I, I do think there's some risk as well, which is why I want more foundations to do this. I'm to, to pay attention and to communicate to grantees about the, the risks here, because when you go out there with. [00:08:40] An R F P, you can get a lot of inbound and potentially unethical inbound where folks can just sort of fake it till they make it, but they're using language borrowed mm-hmm. Stolen from other groups or agencies, and they can mimic that style and confidence. And suddenly, you know, you're, you're selecting a an inferior option or someone who has no clue what they're doing, but the jargon lines up just fine. [00:09:04] So you're like, oh yeah. And. Oh, they're half the price isn't that nice? Like Uhhuh. Uhhuh as many times as you need to. You get what you pay for. Yeah. You'll learn that it's an immutable truth. It is. And you know, obviously having conversations is gonna help break through that. And then always checking references. [00:09:22] Who else have you done similar work with? Can I talk to them? Let's have a conversation with those folks about what the experience was like working with these people. Yeah. I don't know if there's any other points in here. I have already just broken the entire system by literally explaining how to build a R F P generator and then R F P proposal evaluator, so that you just have this little disturbing, dystopian mm-hmm. [00:09:47] Cyclical behavior. But you know, to come back on, you know, where this sort of started requests for proposals, RFPs are so anachronistic like they date back because in the industry of the 1880s, they needed to put this stuff in papers. So they needed to put it in a paper to be like, here you go. All come, come find my, you know, my road construction project or train my railroad construction project, Uhhuh. [00:10:13] And it wasn't until the 1960s, thereabouts, where the government really adopted this as a standard practice for large purchasing projects. Yes. Government size stuff. Yes. Not. Tens of thousands of dollars, right? Yes. You're like, oh, it's so much money. It's not, it was created when the government's about to spend, you know, you know, X millions, hundreds of millions of dollars. [00:10:37] That's what it was designed for. The government, as you remind, like I I said, is like, is requirement when you give to a nonprofit and use government dollars, like, oh, no, no, you gotta do that. R F P process. Mm-hmm. But understand that's where that comes from. That's where that comes from. And there's, there's a belief that that's the right way to do it. [00:10:57] That's the professional way to do it. That's the equitable way to do it. And I would argue for all of those, that's, that is not necessarily true. It is not always the best way. It is always not always the most professional way, and it's certainly not the most equitable way to find someone to work with. [00:11:15] Yeah. I don't know. Maybe to play the other, other side here potentially. One of the things that, when you use the word equitable, in my mind it, it means you have to have the capacity and resources and capability to go about the very lengthy process of creating a proposal. Yeah. And that process. And there's many folks in the nonprofits network that like definitely bristle. [00:11:38] They don't even like go after. Yeah. They're like, no, no, no. I won't even bother. Which means you've already precluded a lot of qualified candidates from applying. That said, I just explained how you could create a proposal builder so that you could get to the conversation. May, maybe the, maybe there's a bright side there. [00:12:01] Maybe there's a bright side there. I, you know, I'm one of those folks who I, I, I don't do cold proposals. And that doesn't mean necessarily that I have worked with a nonprofit before, but I need to at least be able to have a conversation. Very rarely. Does a two or four page R f P have all the information I need to know even what to pitch as a first option for how I might be able to support this organization. [00:12:26] I often have lots of questions. I wanna know a little bit more about the history. I wanna know about why now. I want, you know, I wanna understand why the budget is where it is and what the board's buy-in is things that people don't often write down in their request for proposals. So even that first conversation again, Warming it up a little bit, having a sense of who's really there, what the real challenges are is, is super helpful. [00:12:52] I will say for Whole Whale that we do respond to RFPs, but only if there was a conversation first. Yep. There you go. Like everything starts with a conversation just to make sure we're aligned. Yeah. Are we in the ballpark? Is our type of service, meet your type of need and. We do churn out a lot of proposals. [00:13:10] However, they're much more like project plans, like mm-hmm. We literally take that we and move that into a contract parts of it and say, this is what we're gonna execute on. 'cause that's what we talked about. And you know exactly what you get. So you're already doing pragmatic work now? Yes. We, uh, we do lose a number of proposals. [00:13:29] But that's, you know, that's part of the game. Yeah. And I think of them less as proposals, maybe more as like project plans to make it. More tangible. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense. We often put together proposals that are those project plans, and then the very, if we get the work, the very first piece of that is let's actually dig into this project plan and figure out if it makes sense. [00:13:51] We were basing this on an R f P in a 20 minute conversation. Right. Like, we don't, we, we need some more information. Well, I'm excited to put this out there. I think the more we talk about it, it's just like, it's like this quiet secret and you're like, oh. Mm-hmm. Like nobody knows that a hundred million plus people are using G P T tools to like write all manner of thing. [00:14:11] Like we know Yes. We just aren't talking about it. Yes, yes. You know, it's like if the, if the teacher in the classroom accidentally left the entire answer key on the chalkboard while you took the test and everyone was like, Is anyone gonna tell the teacher that it's there? Like, can we just start having this conversation? [00:14:29] We know it's happening, we know it's going on. And by the way, if you're doing it lazily, if you're doing it in a poor way if you're ever curious, you can go to tools like G P T Zero. Put in that text and you're gonna get a what's called perplexity and burness score, which is, uh, was this probably created by, uh, an AI or not a generative ai or not. [00:14:52] Uh, and so if you are bad at prompting, if you're doing this in a lazy way, uh, it's very much detectable. Mm-hmm. But you don't realize that. But people that know, know, mm-hmm. And I, I, you know, The plus side is there's lots of ways that these tools can help us as nonprofit consultants. You're actually doing a webinar on that very soon. [00:15:12] There's lots of ways that these tools can help nonprofit leaders. So there is a positive side. Just, yeah, be careful with the RFPs. Agree to agree. All right, Heather, all, thanks again. Thank you. And folks can find you at nonprofit, do IST nonprofits. That's correct. And thanks for the community you're building. [00:15:30] Thanks, George.
10/13/202316 minutes, 21 seconds
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(news) War Breaks Out In Irsael & GivingTuesday Predictions

War Breaks Out In Irsael & Gaza, & What It Means For Nonprofits A horrific terrorist attack by Hamas into Israel ignited the region into chaos and war, making the prospect of peace seem ever more distant. The ground invasion by Hamas (the de facto government of Gaza) shocked Israel and the world. As of writing, more than 700 Israelis, largely citizens, had been confirmed killed, and more still taken hostage. Hundreds of Gazans have also been killed in both the fighting and subsequent air strikes. At a time of great uncertainty, upheaval, and violence, communities with relations to the region at conflict will be especially burdened by grief, worry, and mourning. Jewish communities in America, already feeling increased antisemitism, are further reeling from the psychological impact of among the deadliest days in recent Jewish history. Civilians and their diaspora communities of all those with ties to the region — Israelis, Jews, and Palestinians alike — will need increased support from communities and nonprofits especially as the region moves from fragile peace to likely war. The next couple of weeks and months will also result in heightened engagement, calls to action, and other activities that come with a region slipping into war, with the possibility that year-end giving could be shaped by the conflict, particularly for organizations with ties to communities affected.   Read more ➝   GivingTuesday Predictions: $3.45 Billion Whole Whale, the publisher of this newsletter, has released its annual GivingTuesday predictions. Based on an analysis that incorporates an adjusted linear regression, trends in Google Search terms around “GivingTuesday,” and national giving trends, Whole Whale predicts that $3.45 billion will be raised on GivingTuesday 2023. Approximately $3.1 billion was raised in 2022 from 37 million participants. Whole Whale’s prediction represents a forecasted 11% increase in donations year over year. Whole Whale cites negative indicators stimying growth as continued inflation concerns, macro giving trends, and a decrease in net search interest. Positive indicators in favor of a strong giving cycle include low unemployment, strong consumer confidence despite inflation, and new untraditional vehicles for donation like cryptocurrency. Global: ‘Predator Files’ spyware scandal reveals brazen targeting of civil society, politicians and officials | Amnesty International Security Lab  Men Overran a Job Fair for Women in Tech | WIRED   
10/11/202318 minutes, 32 seconds
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NYC Floods Underscore Lack of Climate Resilience In America’s Biggest City (news)

NYC Floods Underscore Lack of Climate Resilience In America’s Biggest City Floods last week left New Yorkers bewildered, as typically dry streets became overrun with water as documented in videos and pictures. The floods, which particularly impact Brooklyn & Queens, renewed calls from New Yorkers to double down on climate resiliency in America’s most densely populated city. At one point on Friday, virtually *all* New York City subway lines were fully or partially suspended, grinding the city to a halt. Migrants who had exhausted their legal right to shelter were unceremoniously dumped into the rain before the city reversed course. As New Yorkers figured out how to get home, many wondered aloud how their city would work to build resilience as storms like this become the norm in the face of climate change. The city already began investing heavily after Hurricane Sandy decimated lower Manhattan, resulting in long-term efforts to reinforce the island’s lower shoreline and coastal resiliency. Read more about the multi-billion dollar efforts to make lower Manhattan, FiDi, South Street, The Battery, and other immediate neighborhoods more resilient.   Video: See Flooding in Some of the Hardest-Hit Areas of New York Medical Debt Has Always Been Part of Nonprofit Hospitals | TIME  A nonprofit wants sharpshooters in helicopters to kill over 2,000 invasive deer living on California's Catalina Island | Yahoo News  
10/3/202321 minutes, 23 seconds
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Lithium Reserves Pit Climate Resilience Against Indigenous Calls To Protect Land (news)

Lithium Reserves Pit Climate Resilience Against Indigenous Calls To Protect Land Lithium reserves discovered in 2020 have recently renewed excitement over the United States’ ability to be self-sufficient when it comes to mining lithium, according to reporting from Insider and others. Newly-released findings suggest that the volume of lithium is among the most concentrated of known deposits, and could make the site a strategic goldmine for the United States from an environmental, economic, and national security standpoint. However, indigenous groups counter that the deposits are on land vital to indigenous use. “There's burial sites there. There's medicines and roots there, there's ecosystems – there is still life back there," Gary McKinney of the Shoshone-Paiute tribe told Al Jazeera. Construction has already started at the site to prepare it for mining — with federal courts dismissing activists and conservationists legal challenges to cease the project.     
9/26/202326 minutes, 5 seconds
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Climate Protests, Ashton Kutcher resigns, and FB Fundraising updates (news)

UN General Assembly Marked By Climate Protests Both In U.S. And Abroad On September 16, 2023, thousands of climate change protesters, predominately youth activists, poured into the streets of Lower Manhattan as part of a global week of demonstrations leading up to the UN General Assembly, according to The New York Times. The New York protests specifically targeted Wall Street, with activists blocking traffic, staging sit-ins, and demanding governments and corporations take bolder action on climate change. Speakers accused Wall Street of financing fossil fuel projects that contribute to the climate crisis and called for divestment. The demonstrations remained largely peaceful despite arrests, capping a week of worldwide youth climate strikes and protests aimed at urgently pressuring leaders to address the climate emergency. Climate activists, especially “Just Stop Oil” members in Europe, have made headlines for seemingly aggressive tactics that critics say undermine their cause.     Read more ➝   Berlin's Brandenburg Gate spray-painted by climate activists | Reuters Ashton Kutcher resigns from anti-child sex abuse nonprofit after Danny Masterson support letter backlash | Fox News Facebook Fundraisers No Longer Provide Free Processing | Whole Whale
9/18/202321 minutes, 16 seconds
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Day of Service for 9/11 & Pay Gap at Nonprofits (news)

Opening of New Performing Arts Center Coincides With Commemoration of The Events of September 11th Every year, the week of September 11th is a week of commemoration. New York is filled with stories of this day — stories of loss, of bravery, of sacrifice, of reunion. But perhaps most visible, the physical World Trade Center, yes a place of reflection and commemoration, is also piece by piece becoming a place that has been rebuilt in the spirit of American persistence.   The WTC, operated by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, has announced the opening of its new performing arts center, as reported by AP. “The memorial is here for people to come and grieve and pay their respects. The museum is for people to learn, be aware and never forget,” says Khady Kamara, PAC NYC’s executive director. “And the Performing Arts Center is here for people to celebrate life and really celebrate the resilience of New Yorkers and of the country.”   The opening comes at a time when arts have struggled in the City, and could provide a meaningful jolt to the creative ingenuity that in many ways defines what makes New York great.   Other efforts to turn tragedy into action and resilience are highlighted by the work of nonprofits like 9/11 Day, which encourages folks do good deeds each year. It has become the largest day of service in the United States.   Read more ➝ Summary   Candid's 2023 Nonprofit Compensation Report finds female CEOs make 73 cents for each dollar male CEOs make  | Benzinga Renee Bach Documentary ‘Savior Complex’ Previewed in First Full Trailer – Rolling Stone  |  Rolling Stone How to donate to Morocco earthquake victims | The Washington Post   
9/12/202319 minutes, 57 seconds
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Elon Musk blames Anti-Defamation League For... (news)

Nonprofit Brings NARCAN over-the-counter A lifesaving medication that reverses opioid overdoses will soon become more accessible, thanks to an innovative nonprofit company. Harm Reduction Therapeutics has received FDA approval for RiVive, the first over-the-counter naloxone nasal spray created by a nonprofit.   Available in early 2024, RiVive aims to save lives by providing broad, low-cost access to this critical drug. Unlike big pharma, Harm Reduction Therapeutics is focused on equipping hardest-hit communities – not profits. At least 200,000 doses will be distributed free of charge where they are needed most.   This creative approach could be a game-changer in expanding access to naloxone, a medication that can mean the difference between life and death for those experiencing an opioid overdose. Harm Reduction Therapeutics exemplifies the power of nonprofits to drive real change.   Read more ➝   Elon Musk blames Anti-Defamation League for ad sales slump, threatens lawsuit  | Axios  More schools that forced American Indian children to assimilate revealed  |  Washington Post Worker defrauds Massachusetts nonprofit out of $100,000 worth of Apple laptops, officials say  | WCVB Boston
9/5/202317 minutes, 1 second
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From Dark Money to Digital Petitions: Reclaiming Government With Tech |

Daniel Newman, president and co-founder of MapLight, joins to discuss how their technology improves government transparency and direct democracy. MapLight builds software for state and local governments to provide easy public access to campaign finance data, e-signatures for petitions, and other services. Their goal is to counter the undue influence of money in politics by empowering citizens and journalists to hold officials accountable. Newman argues digital petitions could enable more grassroots, people-powered ballot initiatives. However, institutional resistance and polarization often block reforms, even those that would help voters across the political spectrum. Newman wrote the book Un-Rigged to explain major democracy reform issues in an accessible, solutions-oriented way.   Links: Un-Rigged Book Daniel on LinkedIn
8/31/202332 minutes, 50 seconds
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60 Years after a Dream (news)

60 Years after a Dream August 28th marks sixty years from Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington in 1963. To remember the event, tens of thousands gathered again at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday to declare that King's dream of racial equality was still unfulfilled.   Speakers like Rev. Al Sharpton called for an end to systemic racism, hate crimes, police brutality, gun violence, voter suppression, and other civil rights abuses that they said have persisted or worsened in recent years.    Although the crowd was smaller than the original 250,000, attendees carried "Black Lives Matter" signs and wore "I Have a Dream" shirts to continue the push for justice and progress that King began decades ago. Many voiced disappointment at how much work remains to fully achieve King's vision of liberty and justice for all.   Sadly the weekend also saw a racially motivated shooting in Jacksonville that left 3 people dead. The attacker orginally tried to target a historically black college before getting noticed by campus officers. The Florida Governor has pledged $1m to increase security at HBCUs in the state. This moves the U.S. past the 470th mass shooting attack this year.    Read more ➝   Nonprofit Health System Says It Is Ending Policy That Denied Care to Indebted Patients | Morning Report: A Nonprofit that Doesn't Exist Is Raking in Major ... | Voice of San Diego         
8/29/202317 minutes, 32 seconds
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Who are YOUR people? What is THEIR journey? | The Open Lines Marketing Framework

Interview with Lindsay Dayton LaShell, Marketing Activist at Open Lines Marketing.    Discussion covers social trends on LinkedIn and the Marketing Framework Lindsay has developed: Adopting the Framework is an eight-step process 1 Who else is on your playing field? Call it competitive or landscape research if you want, but understanding who else your audience is finding when they should be finding you is an essential first step to understanding your unique opportunity. 2 Who are your people? You have probably done some amount of audience research already. Maybe you’ve been in business a while so you know your customers well, but this exercise will open your eyes to new ways of understanding them and their needs. 3 What is their journey? This unique exercise will introduce deep empathy into the buyer's journey that your customers experience. We use their words, their objections, and their understanding of their situation to get new levels of understanding of our own opportunity to reach them. 4 What are you offering? Having a great product or service doesn’t guarantee sales. In this step, we look deeply at your brand messages to understand who you are in order to ensure that your content resonates with the people it’s created for. 5 Where does their journey take them? Like literally, where? Do they look for answers in their email inbox? Do they look on Facebook? Do they look to their friends and family? Wherever they are looking for answers, we will craft a channel strategy to meet them there. 6 Where is your best time spent? Making your to-do list shorter is one of the promises of the Framework. To do this, we’ll get super strategic in identifying the most powerful opportunities and prioritizing them for greatest impact. 7 What does success look like? What will your business be one year after you start implementing the Framework? Asking this question allows us to begin seeing the difference between the urgent and the important in the day-to-day work of the business. 8 What will it take to get there? We know that great marketing requires consistent execution of well-informed tactics. We also know that we prioritize things we think are important. The last step is to literally schedule the work that needs to be done, so that you feel confident that you have the information and the time you need to DO IT.  
8/24/202347 minutes, 51 seconds
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Telemarketing Scam Costs Charities $22m (news)

Telemarketing Scheme Indictments Surface Warnings On Safe Donation Practices On Thursday, federal officials arrested Richard Zeitlin and Robert Piaro for allegedly defrauding donors of tens of millions of dollars that were meant for political nonprofit groups supporting causes like aid to military veterans and breast cancer research, according to reporting from The New York Times. Zeitlin, who ran telemarketing call centers, is charged with fraud, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy. Piaro, who served as the treasurer of several political nonprofit groups, is charged with wire fraud and mail fraud. Both individuals could face significant prison sentences if convicted.   The indictment says that Zeitlin instructed employees at his call centers to mislead donors. It also says that Piaro made fraudulent claims about how donations would be spent.   About $22 million of the $28 million raised went to companies providing telemarketing services. Piaro paid himself about $526,000 from the money raised.     Investigations into Zeitlin and Piaro revealed that a significant portion of the money they raised for groups was kept by their companies or spent on fundraising vendors. This story underscores the necessity for transparency, accountability, and vigilance in nonprofit fundraising and management.
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Why Don’t Governments Want Direct Democracy Online Petitions?

We interviewed Evan Ravitz, Guide, Photographer, Writer, Editor. He is the Founder, Strengthen Direct Democracy. They won the 1st ONLINE petitioning for direct democracy (and only).   Evan's Summary of the Issue "There is one country in the world that for centuries has enjoyed more government by the people than all others put together, with people now voting four times a year on citizen initiatives anyone can get on the ballot -and voting a fifth time for candidates.   That country is Switzerland, with one of the world's lowest poverty rates, the highest median net worth and the highest newspaper readership -because people can do something about what they read! Their high speed trains run on time and the country avoids wars.   Half the US states also  have direct democracy, but there is a simple reason it hasn't made us nearly as successful as Switzerland: It is much easier to get initiatives on the ballot in Switzerland than in any US state, for two reasons:   1. Less signatures are required proportional to population in Switzerland than in any US state, about half as many as Colorado.   2. The Swiss can leave petitions unattended in stores and offices, but here, each person's signature must be witnessed and notarized. In Colorado, that now costs about $2 million!   Boulder's first in the country online petitioning solves the same problem, but with much better security, since people and politicians here couldn't be trusted with leaving petitions unattended as in Switzerland. Look at all the stolen yard signs before every election.   Here, citizens are infantilized, not empowered, by  deceitful and manipulative governments. The result is Trump and contempt for government. In 2018 oil and gas hired petitioner harassers, paid petition companies to stop petitioning, and hijacked petitions, to try to stop drilling setback Initiative 112 in Colorado. Online petitioning solves all these problems and dozens more.   In systems theory the ability of natural and artificial systems to detect and fix errors is paramount to survival. Voters have every incentive to fix our errors, since we have to live with them, whereas politicians have an incentive to cover up errors, to protect donors and careers that also enable them to escape the consequences of their actions. (Examples on request.)   Of course we need both representative and direct democracy, as in Switzerland. There are studies (available on request) that show that representative government works better in conjunction with direct democracy. A good example is that the first nine states to legalize cannabis did it by initiative and by now there are about 21 states with legal recreational cannabis, with about 7 getting it by legislation. When the people lead, the leaders will follow, If only for the tax money."       Resources Maplight's free offer of custom open-source online petitioning software is available to ANY city or state that has ballot initiatives:
8/10/202330 minutes, 54 seconds
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NYC Asylum Seekers in the Street & Milk Money Story (news)

Asylum Seekers Left Stranded Outside Hotel Draws National Attention To NYC’s Migrant Crisis New York City has seen an unprecedented influx of migrants in need of assistance over the past couple of years, with that trend culminating in a high-profile debacle outside the Roosevelt Hotel, where migrants were left stranded on the sidewalk. Throughout last week, images of over 150 migrants sleeping outside the sidewalk of the apparently full midtown hotel (which had been converted to an emergency shelter) sparked national media attention as NYC Mayor Eric Adams’ office declared the city’s beds full. The migrants unceremoniously were moved on Wednesday night according to reporting from Gothamist and other outlets, apparently housed with the assistance of faith-based nonprofits and advocacy groups. More than 56,000 migrants are currently housed in the city’s shelter system in widely reported poor conditions. An additional emergency shelter appears to be coming online in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, which will be added to the more than 200 locations serving migrants. Exacerbating the crisis is that the influx of migrants (many of whom may legally qualify for asylum) comes as the Governor of New York estimates a housing shortage of approximately 800,000 units. Read more ➝   Harry and Meghan Announce the Winners of $2 Million in Grants For Responsible Tech |  Vanity Fair Deep-pocketed dairy industry continues war on plant-based milk as FDA hears comments on new draft guidance  | OpenSecrets  Niger: NGOs warn further instability and sanctions could exacerbate humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable including women and children  |  The IRC   Sponsor Curious how much makes sense to pay or charge in nonprofit consulting world? Wonder what influences rates? has survey data from over 300 experts to help you better understand the market. At, we understand the pain of finding the right expert to help with your specific needs. Endless searching and sifting through irrelevant information can be frustrating and time-consuming. This is why for 5 years we have built up experts across a breadth of areas for the sector:  Accounting & Finance Human Resources Board Development Leadership Development Coaching Legal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Marketing and Communications Evaluation and Learning Organizational Assessment Executive Transition Strategic Planning Fundraising Technology Web Design Ad Grants
8/8/202321 minutes, 21 seconds
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Humanitarians Sound Alarm On Conflict & Atrocities In Sudan While Donors Fall Short (news)

Humanitarians Sound Alarm On Conflict & Atrocities In Sudan While Donors Fall Short Aid groups and international organizations are increasingly sounding the alarm on the humanitarian cost of conflict as Sudan’s civil war rages on. On April 15th, 2023, fighting broke out between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary organization. These two entities were united as part of an anti-democracy regime that came to power during the 2021 coup—but ruptures have emerged—with civil war, violence, and ethnic cleansing threatening humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan. International donors have fallen short, pledging just half of the $3 billion the United Nations estimates is needed in aid. International NGOs have warned about severe obstacles to providing aid including safety concerns, lack of bureaucratic cooperation, and severely limited humanitarian entry points. Analysts call for international NGOs to instead refocus efforts on providing localized aid to community-based organizations. While the Save Darfur Coalition’s highly publicized campaign in the mid-2000s generated significant and sustained international awareness, Google Trends highlights how digital engagement with news of the current conflict returned to its baseline almost immediately after news of the fighting in April—despite the ongoing increase in need. Read more ➝     Summary Alix Dorsainvil: What we know about the American nurse kidnapped with her child in Haiti | CNN  Bernie Sanders endorses plan to create nonprofit electric utility in Maine | Maine Public  Twitter threatens to sue nonprofit that documented rise in hateful tweets; founder decries 'unprecedented escalation' | WVEC
8/1/202329 minutes, 3 seconds
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Green Tax Credits for Nonprofits (news)

Religious Congregations Taking Advantage of Green Tax Credits The U.S. government is offering billions of dollars in tax credits and grants to nonprofits and churches to help them become more energy efficient, courtesy of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act, as reported by Religion News Service. This funding, managed by the Office of State and Community Energy Programs in the Department of Energy, is intended to help nonprofits reduce their carbon footprints and become climate leaders in their communities. Nonprofits, including houses of worship as highlighted by this article, may qualify for cash payments and credits for energy efficiency investments. The Department of Energy is also awarding grants via a special "Renew America" program to nonprofits interested in coordinating a number of energy efficiency projects. Other initiatives focus on fostering energy and climate justice by supporting innovation in historically underserved communities and developing partnerships to address local energy and sustainability challenges. The intention is not only to empower organizations to become more energy efficient but also to facilitate them in helping their communities to reduce energy costs.Read more ➝   The Giving Block Negates the Carbon Footprint of Cryptocurrency Donations | NonProfit PRO FTX to clawback $71.5 million from Bankman-Fried's NGO | Inside Tony Bennett’s charitable efforts as big-hearted star created NYC performing arts public school and non-profit | The US Sun
7/24/202317 minutes, 7 seconds
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Risk of Global Famine is Real (news)   Russia Pulls Out Of Black Sea Initiative Risking Global Grain Price & Supply Shock The Black Sea grain export deal, which has facilitated the safe export of grain from Ukraine for the past year and played a significant role in easing a global food crisis, is set to expire after Russia announced it would suspend its participation, as reported by Reuters and other outlets. The United Nations-brokered deal has enabled Ukraine to export approximately 32 million metric tons of corn, wheat, and other grains amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the blockade of Ukraine's Black Sea ports. The end of this deal could have considerable ramifications for global grain prices, which had soared due to Russia's invasion in February 2022. A key Russian demand has been to reconnect the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT international payments system, which the EU had severed in June 2022 due to Russia's invasion. The Black Sea Grain Initiative, run by the Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul, has seen over 32 million tonnes of food commodities exported from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports to 45 countries across three continents in the last year, significantly helping to reverse global food prices that had hit record highs shortly before the agreement's inception. Ukraine is a key supplier of grain on international markets and is relied on heavily by humanitarian organizations and NGOs, which had previously warned of dire consequences of a grain shortage for their operations.Read more ➝   Summary NYC nonprofits struggle to help existing clients, migrants | New York 1 UK charity foundation to abolish itself and give away £130m  | the Guardian New York’s Public Theater Lays Off 19 Percent of Staff, Citing Reduced Audiences and Rising Costs | The Hollywood Reporter by Caitlin Huston   
7/18/202329 minutes, 30 seconds
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How much should nonprofit consultants charge for... ?

2022 Survey of Nonprofit Consultants Rates   Heather Yandow, founder of shares some topline findings from this survey.   Rough Transcipt [00:00:00] This week on the Holywell Podcast, we're trying to answer a simple question, but it gets really tough. How much should you pay? How much should you charge for a nonprofit consultant? And who better than our friend? Uh, Heather Yau, the founder of nonprofit, is nonprofit ist and consultant. Nonprofit consultant, I'll say at Third Space Studio to join us again, friend of the pod and friend of the organization. [00:00:51] How's it going, Heather? It's going great. I'm glad to be here. Well, I think we have been quietly in the, the back room planning this for a little bit and you know, clearly whole whale and nonprofit is, have formed a formal partnership and we have enjoyed sending a lot of folks into that platform to go find quality nonprofit consultants. [00:01:13] But as we go through, you have partnered and created in partnership with other folks, and maybe you can explain a nonprofit consultant survey. Asking a very sensitive question, which I'm surprised what we have 300 people answer how much they're charging and a bunch of info, huh? Yeah. Yeah. So more than 350 consultants shared with us. [00:01:33] Wow. All of their details. And this was a survey that was, Started a few years ago by Rebecca and Ska. And I attended a webinar about it early this year and just thought, this is fabulous data and I wanna figure out how to get more data and get more curious about what that data is telling us. So the survey we are, we're crunching it right now. [00:01:55] We're gonna do a, a webinar about it for nonprofits members on August 2nd, which will be fabulous. And then the full report will roll out later this year. Great. So we can tease folks with some numbers getting right into it. What was the biggest wow to you? And you're like, I did not think that was gonna happen. [00:02:14] That's counterintuitive. So one of the things I'm still trying to make sense of is we ask people, what's your hourly rate and how much do you bill a year? Trying to get a sense, because we have, as consultants often have control over both of those things, how much we wanna charge for our per hour how much we wanna work, and so therefore how much we can bill every year. [00:02:37] So, One of the things that's really curious to me, and I haven't quite made sense of it, is it seems like the data is telling us that if you get advanced education, so if you have a bachelor's, master's, doctorate, you tend to charge more and earn more. But that's not necessarily true about some of these. [00:02:59] Licenses or certificates that are related to consulting work like CREs or MPAs. And so that's one of those head scratchers is that, seems like that would, that would align with. More schooling, more experience, and therefore lead to greater being able to charge more and earn more. But it's not necessarily true. [00:03:18] So that's one of the surprises in the data. Yeah, I think what we found from what I'm looking at is there's a higher correlation to how long you've been a consultant, and that seems to be the biggest determining factor aside from. The type of thing you're consulting on and, and sorting by. All right. Are you doing strategic planning versus accounting versus something else for, for nonprofits? [00:03:45] Maybe you can talk to us a little bit about that. Yeah. What we see is a direct relationship between how long people have been in the consulting world and how much they're able to charge per hour. So if you've been consulting less than a year, you tend to charge around a hundred bucks. If you've been consulting 20 plus years. [00:04:05] You tend to charge around 200 bucks. The interesting thing is when we then look at how much you bill annually, what you're, what you're bringing in we see that that rises by amount of time consulting until you get after 20 years. And then it drops a little bit. And my estimation is that's because people are starting to pull back. [00:04:27] That's because maybe people are starting to Go into retirement a little bit or, or ease off of the consulting. Oh, interesting. Right. You're like, I don't need to bill as much. The goal is not that. You know, I'm, I've done this enough. You really do see it. And just looking inside of here with 16 to 20 years and then it drops off, you're like, wait a minute. [00:04:46] You were going up. What happened? Yeah. Yeah. And, and my guess is that folks are just not wanting to work as much. Once they've been doing this for 20 years, they've, they've kind of figured out their sweet spot. They can make, you know, a hundred and average about $140,000 a year. That's fine. They might be really slowing down. [00:05:04] They might have other sources of income, so that was an interesting piece of the data. But you can definitely see, you know, the longer you work, the more you're able to charge. And it's funny, the, the line for the amount. Your rate per hour mm-hmm. Begins to get closer and closer to that 200 number amount on average. [00:05:23] Mm-hmm. And that continues to increase for the 20 plus, but it seems like you're like, at a certain point they start just charging more and just doing less work, so That's right. That's right. I don't know if there's a cheat code in here being like, what if you just skip the line at a certain point? [00:05:36] Because you know, there's a jump between that six to 10 years and 11 to 15 years. Which is interesting mm-hmm. In the rate per hour. Mm-hmm. Where, you know, you clip over that 150, but that's the biggest, you know, single, you know, five year, couple year gap on it. Mm-hmm. Although you're, we're gapping it slightly differently. [00:05:55] Yeah. Yeah, I, I think that's really true. I mean, we see that in other places in the data where, where specific groups of people have really high rates, but maybe lower overall billing. And I think that's true. I mean, the, the, the interesting piece about this particular set data set around salary is consultants can figure out how much they wanna charge. [00:06:20] And how much they wanna work. And so we're kind of figuring we're, we're, we're thinking about both of those things. Obviously there's external factors, how much the market will bear in terms of how much we can charge, but a lot of this is, you know, as our confidence increases, we're able to charge more as we are talking more with other people as we're learning about what it takes to have a sustainable business, we wanna charge more. [00:06:44] And so some of that you're seeing reflected in that data as well. And then just, I know we're teasing some of these I don't wanna show too much of what we have planned for folks as I dance through these, uh, slides I'm watching on YouTube. I love, I love the, the more you charge, the more you make. [00:07:03] But we have a, a really smart chart, uh, with a margin of error. R squared 0.27. Yeah, great. I, I wanted to check this, right, because like, that would make sense. The more you charge, the more you make. But as I was you know, playing with Excel, it's actually exponential. The exponential curve fits better than the linear curve. [00:07:23] So it's not just a straight line, one-to-one, it really is. As you're able to get into that 200, 2 50, you're starting to see the exponential growth of your annual billing. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Obviously it's, uh, it would, it would ideally asymptote at some point. I, I worry about a blind exponential assumption. Yes, yes. [00:07:44] There's an as tote there. There is, there is because yeah. Consulting with nonprofits is, um, you know, uh, it does have a ceiling and I can tell you that firsthand having run whole whale for 13 years, I suppose it is now what? Else, do you think, let's, like approaching it from a nonprofit perspective. [00:08:05] Mm-hmm. Um, and you can get access, I'll say to this survey and you can kind of parse through to find your own insights at nonprofit is slash consultant survey and you give us your email and you get access to this. Yeah. How do you imagine looking at this dashboard, and maybe I'll, I'll pull it up for us. [00:08:24] What is a useful approach? Let's just start from the nonprofit perspective, understanding like, This is what consultants are charging. Yeah. So I think this would be really useful if you are starting to think about, um, we wanna hire a grant writer, we wanna hire a fundraising consultant, we wanna hire a strategic planning consultant. [00:08:42] We have no idea what that will cost us. And so I, as a consultant who's been in this world for 12, 13 years, often answer those phone calls, right? Like, well, let's talk through what you're looking for and what that might cost. But this is a great tool just to start to give you some sense of what the range is. [00:09:00] So George is gonna show this. So if you were really curious, what are you pulling up here, George? I am trying to show what it looks like if I just go only on that. Yep. Great, great. And then we go and then we get a distribution. Cuz if I'm looking for, you know, fundraising grant writers that we're looking at an average hourly rate. [00:09:21] So basically, you know, we have one record count here. We have the belly of the curve here, small sample size, albeit, but. You're getting something in the range, I'd expect to pay 76 to a hundred dollars an hour. That, yep. Might be a sweet spot I'd be looking for, for that fundraising grant writer. Yep, absolutely. [00:09:37] I could get something cheaper. I could get. You could. And I think that makes sense. So grant writers tend to. Charge a little bit less per hour. They tend to be able to work a, a higher percentage of their hours. So, like I, as a, a strategic planning and facilitation consultant can only charge for about 50% of my hours. [00:09:57] Grant writers can charge for, for a higher percentage of their hours often. So they're, they're eight. Their overall rate tends to be a little lower. I'm gonna take this question. Hold on. What else did you have to say on that point? Oh, no, no, that's great. I also pull up grant writing because I think, you know, this is a snapshot, a moment of time, what we'll say is, A pre-post generative AI availability? [00:10:21] Uhhuh. I am actually just honestly kind of nervous about the hourly first billing approach. Mm-hmm. How do you think that may shift, because we did have, did different people in terms of how they bill, like we have other layers of data that aren't fully revealed, obviously go to the webinar for that. [00:10:40] How do you think something, even like grant writing may shift, will hourly rate, for instance, Drastically increased because it's like actually more about outcomes and we end up in this weird zone. So what we found in the data is that people prefer a project rate or a retainer rate more than hourly. [00:11:02] When we ask people, what's your preference, project rate was number one. So that is you and I talk about the work we wanna do. I figure out what it's gonna cost. Often that's based on some kind of hourly calculation. But also on value to the client. And then I say, okay, for that whole thing, it's $10,000. [00:11:19] Retainer, a monthly kind of contract. I am committed to so many hours per month up to so many hours per month, and you just pay me every month. Hourly is really challenging for a lot of consultants, and so, I'm, I'm not surprised that people don't prefer it. It is often it, one, it, it causes for me the clients. [00:11:41] To kind of have a pause before they call, before they ask for help, before they send an email. They don't wanna be charged for that, like your every five minute time block of a lawyer, right? Like, I'm not interested in that kind of relationship. I wanna help you get where you're going. And it also doesn't pay for the accumulated wisdom. [00:11:58] So if I can do something in a half an hour, but it takes you two hours. And I can do it in a half an hour because I've done it a hundred times before. There is still value in that. So getting paid for that, that accumulated experience. So when we're thinking about AI and grant writing, you know, I think that equation might really change. [00:12:17] And it may be the case that people are getting paid for their experience in writing great prompts. Or in editing what comes out of the AI or in really interviewing staff members to come up with, what's that fodder for the grants? Yeah, so I, I'm, I'm curious too about what's gonna happen a year from now and two years from now. [00:12:38] Yeah. Just send me a note if you know, we have, we're, we are post covid, we're almost post post covid because you know, i r l events are back. We're getting into some flows of normalcy we have and can see it seems like data over the years, did you have some additional views on some of those work changes and client changes that you saw in, in the, in the numbers or takeaways from that? [00:13:06] Yeah, so I think what, what we are seeing is that people are relying, you know, more on word of mouth and more on those kind of connections with people. I think that's coming back into the world as we're getting back together and as we're. You know, have gotten really good at online networking. And I think there are still fewer in-person opportunities. [00:13:30] That's what we saw in the data, that even though in-person is back in a lot of ways for some organizations, for some venues, it just doesn't make sense to get together in person. So we're still seeing a lot of online. Mm-hmm. I mean, I also happen to know personally, you seem to be doing a lot more in person workshops. [00:13:50] Like you're flying around, you're, you're going places again, which I think is a huge advantage for agencies and consultants that are operating at like five and under size wise. Mm. To be like, no, no, no. Like you're getting personalized attention and by the way, we don't have to worry about Covid anymore. [00:14:10] Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. I think I think what we're seeing in the data is that people are, did not see a huge decrease in their work volume during Covid. In fact, we had a lot of people who started businesses during Covid. They actually began their consulting career during Covid. Most people are conducting the majority of their work virtually. [00:14:35] I think like myself, I am in person when I need to be, when I'm facilitating big meetings. But all the prep work for those meetings has happened. Virt has happening virtually. I have not been even out for a coffee locally with folks and, and as much as before. So we're definitely seeing that in the data as well. [00:14:55] Mm-hmm. And you can stop me if you feel like we're giving away too much for the, the upcoming moment. We'll have a lot more insights for the consultants that are members of the nonprofit network and that much deeper dive. I thought it was maybe also interesting in terms of services by spending. That's like a little secret query we can run because we have access to the full data set. [00:15:20] I was super surprised by this, and maybe it's obvious, obviously, like not inclusive of people doing large website red devs. Mm-hmm. I'll say that, right. But of the industries that were looking at, strategic planning, fundraising, fundraising, grant writing, meeting facilitation, monitoring, evaluation, people management and communications. [00:15:40] You are actually of the sample set, which we mentioned is 350 folks. Able to break it out by the amount that folks are spending on it. So we asked what they're spending money on. I, I think that's my, yeah, that's interesting. Yeah. Yeah. I think slide eight. [00:15:57] I don't. I don't know why else while I was there. We'll talk about that later today. Don't put that in YouTube. Um, I, I, we're definitely leaving all it in with a curiosity gap. Tune in later to find out why. But yes, I think that this is is really interesting is, is where people are spending their money as consultants. [00:16:18] So technology, software that makes sense, right? All of the things that make our lives easy and moving everything from. Canva to make things pretty to, you know, Riverside, which we're recording this on all the way through. Taxes and fees and all of those. All those things. Professional development, again, makes a lot of sense, right? [00:16:38] Like we are responsible for our own professional development. We're going to conferences, we're taking classes, we're doing webinars. We're part of nonprofit, right? That's a professional development. I recall Uhhuh subcontractors. That's interesting. And when we actually break it out by types of business, you'll see that that subcontractor line item really gets a lot bigger for those who are obviously owning businesses have subcontractors. [00:17:02] But overall in the dataset for our largest expenses, that was the largest expense for about 14% of people. Yeah. And clearly, You know, pay yourself first. That's not represented. Like salary payrolls, like aside from that, let's look at the other Yes, yes pieces. I was like, wait a minute. Do they pay themselves? [00:17:21] Yes, yes, yes. Clearly they do. I think there's really more nuance and insight here actually in this like professional development area. I was very impressed to see that. Being higher than something like business development and marketing. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. You're like, I am investing in me. And that's actually, yeah. [00:17:39] Like something folks are, are in there. And I wonder if, uh, like coaches are way at the bottom, but I wonder if professional development and coaches aren't like maybe a little over overlap beyond that. Yeah. Um, I agree. I agree. And yeah, I think there, there certainly is some over overlap there, but I, yeah, I was happy to see professional development so high as well. [00:17:56] I am not a tax professional, but I bet there are some tax professionals being like, I wonder why taxes and state fees are so high. I wonder if there aren't some advantages that you might be able to find inside of that. Yeah, yeah, I don't, absolutely. Absolutely. And you know, for, depending on the type of consulting you do as a. [00:18:17] As a fundraising consultant, you have to have a solicitation license in North Carolina, and if you're fundraising in multiple fees can get you, yeah, the fees can get you, so, yeah. Mm-hmm. But there may, there may be tax savings there too. I know. Offered. I think that, yeah. The other thing that's represented in this data set is, you know, it's a lot of solopreneurs. [00:18:37] It's a lot of people who are on their own. And so for that, you know, your taxes might be one of your big expenses. Um, if you don't have a lot of other expenses, if you're not a, in investing in office space, for example, I just remember when I got started, cuz I was a shop of one when, you know, In 2010 we got going and there was, so I've screwed up my taxes so many times. [00:19:01] It, you know, it makes me cry thinking about it. So I don't wanna weep on camera here. The amount of sort of learning that you kind of go through because you start, because you're an expert in X. Yes. Strategic planning, fundraising, doing facilitations. Not because you know, the tax code for a pass through L l C fund, like started in Delaware, run out of New York. [00:19:22] Like that's not where your domain of expertise is. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. So there's just so much. I think that, you know, again, being part of a community of practice, you have like a space to be like, how are you all doing this? So that I can just sort of like hear how many times you screwed up and like, what did you arrive at can be so much more valuable than a like cold Google search how to taxes. [00:19:43] And then you end up with. Absolutely. I mean, how to pay money. Yes. How to pay money. We, you know, I saw this really clearly. During the pandemic, uh, we at, when the pandemic hit and everything shut down, we started doing weekly phone calls with the nonprofits network and, Early on, the conversations obviously were around ourselves and our concerns and how this was impacting our clients. [00:20:10] But one of the early conversations was about p p p and if and how to apply for it. And so that space of people saying, yeah, I've done it, and here's how. As a, as a solopreneur, as a single, uh, as a small shop, was really, really helpful. Well, I don't wanna give you too much. Again, if you're a member of nonprofit, uh, we're gonna be demoing even more insights and dives on that. [00:20:37] Uh, Heather, any final thoughts or words as we wrap up here? I'll just say thanks to everyone who shared your data, uh, who shared all of your insights. We really appreciated it, and there's so much more to come on this, um, and I can't wait to do it again next year. Brilliant. All right. Sounds like you have a, a small dog requiring attention. [00:20:56] So we'll, we'll end on that. Thanks, Heather. [00:21:00]
7/12/202321 minutes, 42 seconds
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Global Warn(m)ing for Social Justice Nonprofits (news)

Earth Repeatedly Sets Record For Hottest Day Ever Recorded, Underpinning Urgency of Protecting Vulnerable Communities Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Maine show that the period of July 3, 2023 through July 6, 2023 are the four hottest days ever recorded on Earth. Thursday, July 6, set the newest record when the global average temperature climbed to an unprecedented 17.23°C (63.02°F), 1.02°C (1.8°F) above the average for the date, according to NOAA data reported by Axios. Among higher temperatures, increased climate-related disasters, and other extreme weather phenomena, rights organizations note the disparate effect of such emergencies on people with disabilities and the elderly. While urban centers like New York City operate cooling centers, community environmental organizations criticize them as inadequate. The World Health Organization estimates that extreme heat in Europe is estimated to have killed over 15,000 people in Europe last summer. The Coalition for the Homeless provides a guide on helping vulnerable neighbors stay safe during extreme heat. Climate change has also exacerbated climate-related emergencies like drought and famine in humanitarian contexts around the world. Read more ➝
7/11/202325 minutes, 50 seconds
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Supreme Court Cancels Affirmative Action (news)

Supreme Court Delivers Landmark Rulings On Affirmative Action & Student Loans The Supreme Court recently made two significant rulings, one striking down affirmative action in college admissions and the other rejecting President Biden's plan to discharge federal student loan debt. The affirmative action decision mandates that colleges and universities seek alternate means to achieve diversity within student bodies, overturning a precedent of 45 years. This landmark 6-3 ruling, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, was criticized by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who argued that the decision "rolls back decades of precedent and momentous progress." The ruling indicated that while students may write about how race has impacted their lives, institutions may not apply a regime that establishes a race-based preference for admissions, a verdict that has prompted institutions to reassess their commitment to diversity. In a separate ruling, the court struck down President Biden's plan to forgive some or all federal student loan debt, arguing that the administration exceeded its authority under a 2003 law. This 6-3 decision means that the HEROES Act does not grant the Secretary of Education the ability to forgive $430 billion of student loan debt. These rulings have deep implications for higher education and financial policies while reflecting the increasing conservatism of the Supreme Court. Read more ➝   Summary Open Society Foundation announces cuts  |  Alliance magazine  Nonprofit files civil rights complaint challenging legacy admissions at Harvard | PBS NewsHour The Supreme Court’s Decision on Affirmative Action Will Harm Youth Mental Health | The Jed Foundation Nonprofit Consultant Survey - How much should you pay? |
7/6/202321 minutes, 37 seconds
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LIV Golf Becoming Nonprofit? (news)

PGA Tour’s Nonprofit Status Complicated By LIV Merger Concerns have been raised regarding the future of the nonprofit PGA Tour following its proposed merger with for-profit LIV Golf, supported by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, as reported by The Nonprofit Times and The Washington Post. Despite its intentions to maintain its nonprofit status, this proposed merger has led to an inquiry from the U.S. Senate into potential indirect benefits for a foreign government from U.S. tax provisions designed for nonprofits. H.R. 3908, or the No Corporate Tax Exemption for Professional Sports Act, was introduced by Rep. John Garamendi (D-California) to exclude such organizations from tax-exempt status in the future, as reported by The Nonprofit Times. The PGA Tour, a 501(c)(6) organization, primarily serves its member's benefits, generating a revenue of $1.6 billion in 2021 against liabilities of $3.3 billion, with a notable share going toward player payouts and charity. The proposed merger aims to "unify the game of golf" globally by creating a new commercial entity encompassing the golf-related businesses of both the PGA Tour and the PIF, including LIV. However, the precise impact on the nonprofit's operations remains uncertain, particularly given the substantial investment promised by the PIF, even though the PGA Tour is set to appoint the majority of the new entity's board, with its current commissioner, Jay Monahan, expected to become the CEO. Overarching concerns about the merger raise serious questions about the susceptibility of American and other international sports leagues to sport-swashing efforts by countries with poor human rights records.   Summary Shootings on Juneteenth weekend leave at least 12 dead, more than 100 injured | IRS Chief Counsel Memorandum Places Nonprofit NIL Collectives at risk...| Lexology DOE Sets Aside $45 Million in Grants For Nonprofit Building Energy ... |The NonProfit Times
6/20/202316 minutes, 17 seconds
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Rebalancing Literacy in the US - What Nonprofits Need to Do Now... (news)   Fight Over Phonics Forces Curricula Revisions In Number Of U.S. Schools Lucy Calkins, an education professor and creator of the popular “Units of Study” curriculum used by a quarter of U.S. elementary schools, has significantly revised her approach to early reading instruction, as reported by The New York Times. In response to mounting criticism from parents and educators who promote the “science of reading” and an increased focus on phonics, Calkins has overhauled her curriculum to include daily structured phonics lessons and more rigorous texts, swapping out light reading assignments. The revised curriculum, due for release this summer, also includes a 20-page guide summarizing 50 years of cognitive research on reading. Calkins has traditionally championed “balanced literacy,” which emphasizes thematic exploration and personal choice in reading, over phonics-focused approaches. Her shift reflects a growing consensus on the importance of phonics in early reading education, with brain science and educational policies increasingly favoring this method. Critics of Calkins suggest that her previous approaches have contributed to a literacy crisis in America and critique her singular influence on literacy education, although assessments of her methods' effectiveness have been mixed. Read more ➝   Summary Turned Away and Left at Sea  | ProPublica Adds More Than a Million New Records to Nonprofit Explorer For the First Time Ever, Human Rights Campaign Officially Declares ‘State of Emergency’ for LGBTQ+ Americans; Issues National Warning and Guidebook to Ensure Safety for LGBTQ+ Residents and Travelers  |  Human Rights Campaign   Sponsor:  Request for Conversations (RFCs) can save a TON of time in figuring out the type of project you need done and experts at love to have those conversations. is trusted by over 4k nonprofits and is a network designed specifically for nonprofits like you. At, we understand the pain of finding the right expert to help with your specific needs. Endless searching and sifting through irrelevant information can be frustrating and time-consuming. This is why for 5 years we have built up experts across a breadth of areas for the sector:  Accounting & Finance Human Resources Board Development Leadership Development Coaching Legal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Marketing and Communications Evaluation and Learning Organizational Assessment Executive Transition Strategic Planning Fundraising Technology Web Design Ad Grants    
6/13/202325 minutes, 49 seconds
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SWAT Raid On Cop City Bail Fund Organizers (news)

SWAT Raid On Cop City Bail Fund Organizers Criticized By Activists The Atlanta Solidarity Fund, a nonprofit that offers bail and legal support to activists, has seen three of its board members arrested on charges of "money laundering" and "charity fraud," according to reporting by The Intercept and others. The arrests were carried out by the Atlanta Police Department SWAT and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The fund, part of the registered nonprofit Network for Strong Communities, also provides grants for anti-repression work in Atlanta. This incident marks the first time bail funds and legal support groups, traditionally important in social justice movements, have been targeted in this manner. The impact of these arrests on the operation of the fund and the larger legal ramifications for similar organizations remain uncertain, but the arrests, which involved armored vehicles and a helicopter, were seen as an attempt at intimidation by activists. Read more ➝ AI chatbot for National Eating Disorder Association taken offline  | Fortune Well Churchill Downs, Home Of The Kentucky Derby, Shutting Down In Wake Of Horse Deaths – Deadline Big companies from PepsiCo to GM still backing Pride  |  Fortune       
6/8/202324 minutes, 6 seconds
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Debt Ceiling Compromise Means Cuts to Assistance (news)

  Debt Ceiling Compromise Means Cuts to Assistance The recent debt ceiling deal in the US Congress includes a significant shift in the funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The program's funding will move from a contingency fund to the regular budget, potentially providing more stability. However, some advocates worry that this change could make it easier for Congress to cut SNAP funding in the future. The deal also alters the way SNAP benefits are calculated, which may lead to some households receiving less assistance. Additionally, the agreement will gradually increase age limits for work requirements, reaching a maximum age of 54 by 2025, but this provision will expire in 2030. The article highlights the importance of the SNAP program shift as a result of the debt ceiling deal. Read more ➝   Summary Democratic Inputs to AI |  Microsoft Reveals New AI Capabilities For Nonprofits | Nonprofit Technology News US charges two over China-backed plot against Falun Gong | l Jazeera      
5/30/202324 minutes, 10 seconds
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New Bill Could Increase Nonprofit Charitable Donations (news)

New Bill Could Increase Nonprofit Charitable Donations "The Charitable Act," a new bill in Congress, was introduced on January 24, 2023, by Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Chris Coons (D-DE). As reported by The Nonprofit Times explains that the bill would allow anyone who donates to a charity to benefit from both the standard deduction and the charitable deduction. This would be a significant change from the current tax code, which only allows taxpayers who itemize their deductions to claim a charitable deduction. The bill has the support of a number of nonprofit organizations, including the National Council of Nonprofits and the Charitable Giving Coalition. If the bill is passed, it could lead to increased charitable giving, which would benefit all nonprofits. The bill is currently being considered by the Senate Finance Committee. If the bill is passed by the Senate, it will then go to the House of Representatives for consideration. The bill has a good chance of passing both chambers of Congress and being signed into law by President Biden. The passage of "The Charitable Act" would be a major victory for nonprofits and would help them to continue their important work in communities across the country. Read more ➝     Summary Adidas to sell Yeezy shoes and donate proceeds months after Kanye West split | AP NEWS Nonprofits, GlobalGiving Strike A Crypto Deal | The NonProfit Times  Former Urban League president files lawsuit against nonprofit alleging retaliation | 
5/23/202318 minutes, 17 seconds
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”I Can’t Save You” Author Interview: Anthony Chin-Quee

Our interview with Anthony Chin-Quee covers episodes from the book, his experience after publishing and insight into his experience with imposter syndrome. There are also many lessons for leaders in how they prepare the next generation.  Buy the book   Brief Summary Anthony Chin-Quee's 'I Can't Save You' tells the struggles of a Black physician Anthony Chin-Quee captures the space between medicine's all-consuming demands and its practitioners' fallibility in a cautionary tale of his own mental and physical struggles as a Black physician.   Anthony Chin-Quee, M.D., is a board-certified otolaryngologist with degrees from Harvard University and Emory University School of Medicine. An award-winning storyteller with The Moth, he has been on the writing staff of FOX’s The Resident and a medical adviser for ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Google Books Books: I Can't Save You: A Memoir   Anthony on social:    Rough Transcript: [00:00:00] just tease this first time , the pager goes off. Yes. And you're sitting there like, oh, I'm going in coach. And you're like, I'm going to your likeube. I was like, are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? It is not, it is not a joke. So just to set the scene, , it's the begin, the first couple of days in July and new. [00:00:20] Doctors straight outta med school, start in the hospitals July 1st. They're just a couple weeks outta med school and they know absolutely nothing. Okay. But we're supposed to start taking care of So I have been reading this book nonstop at night, and I, frankly, I am, I'm like, I skate to one song only and it's non-fiction. This is, I think, firmly the most exciting non-fiction book that I have picked up in a very long time, written by an old friend of mine. I can't save you. Is the book and we have Anthony Chin-Quee here. [00:01:18] I know him by Tony. How's it going, Tony? It's going great man. It's so good to see you. It's been a while. Yeah. Yeah, it's been a while. We went to high school together and so part of this book I was there for and it's been really incredible to hear how you've become a board certified auto laryngologists with degrees from Harvard university, Emory university school of medicine. And by the way, an award-winning storyteller with the moth and writing staff of foxes, the resident, and a medical advisor for ABC's Grey's anatomy. [00:01:50] Just just awesome. And building all of those parts into this. Memoir. [00:01:56] I mean, quite a journey. And so maybe I can start with a cliche. A book really isn't therapy cheaper. We could have gone that route. Right? Well, I mean, I. I mean, I feel like I've always, I've always been a storyteller. I mean, you know, I was in all the plays and stuff like growing up and I loved playing music and singing, dancing, all that sort of thing. [00:02:20] And so, telling stories is my favorite way of trying to express myself. And, you know, it's something that I thought I'd lost in the, in the journey, imposterthrough medicine and, you know, luckily found it partway through and realized, you know, telling the story of, of how I went through it. Thought I thought that might resonate with some folks. [00:02:42] And I just did my best to do that journey justice and kind of give voice to some thoughts and experiences that we may be uncomfortable saying out loud a lot of the time. And see if I could start some, you know, reflection and conversation with, with folks who are, are reading it. I mean, the story combines so many narratives in a poetic, in a fun, in a painful, in a like, frankly page turning way. [00:03:10] You know, we have elements of racism. We have elements of the, violation of the Hippocratic Oath, right? Like what it means to be a doctor in this country through like, you know, we just went through a little thing, the pandemic and, and then also, frankly, very intimate. Relationships that begin with your parents, with your father as a, as a figure throughout this and then mm-hmm. [00:03:31] Trickle into your relationship with women. Mm-hmm. imposterthat frankly just make for a good read. Yeah. But also you're just , wow. He said that. What has been some of the more interesting feedback? You know, I was reading just on like npr, no big deal, like NPR doing a little summary. What has been some of the most interesting feedback you've gotten here? [00:03:56] Yeah, I think the most interesting feedback has come from people who I've known throughout the journey who've, imposterchimed in to, to kind of share how it made them feel. And this is people from, folks I grew up with and back in Brooklyn to, folks who I was in training with in med school with, um, have met afterwards. [00:04:18] It's been interesting seeing the feedback from physicians. Especially kind of marginalized physicians, like female physicians and physicians of color. And they've just been so, it's been so gratifying that, you know, me sharing some of my experiences have kind of given voice to experiences they've gone through and experiences they've tried to. [00:04:40] Tell themselves, weren't as crazy as, as they thought they were. And it just, seeing that, some of these stories really validated people's experiences has been really wonderful. And, some of the folks who show up in the book, Actually reached out to me. And I, I mean, there's plenty of folks I, I don't expect to hear from. [00:04:59] impostercause not, not everybody I think I know where like the one star rating, like I was looking at the ratings. I was like, I think I know who that is. But yeah, some of those I don't expect earned You earned it. Yeah. But I mean, some of, some of the folks you know, even who I've had complicated relationships with, reached out to really kind of. [00:05:20] Show appreciation and, and kind of, mend some, mend some bridges sometimes, which is, which is always really, really wonderful. That's not, that wasn't my intention, but it's been, it's been really nice to kind of, get close to some folks that I thought I'd lost, forever. So it's been really a wonderful reception so far and I've been so, so happy about it. [00:05:42] Have you. Have you thought about charging for absolving white people of guilt? That seems to be a theme. Is it? Like, what's the fee? Can I Venmo you? , yeah. So talk to me about this as a business. I think that, imposterthere are probably some people who might take you up on that. I'm not that guy, but I think that, it's, you know, I talk about. [00:06:12] A lot of stuff in this, in this book, especially, you know, my relationships with, with white folks as I've, I've, as I've gone through different and more elite circles with my professional development. And as you do that, the, the diversity gets a lot scarr. And I've just learned how to navigate in those, in those circles. [00:06:33] But, there's, there's so much that I've learned that, white allies should be doing or can do, but just choose not to because it's the path of least resistance. , white people don't have to think about racism if they don't feel like it. You know what I mean? Um, which is different from how I experience the world where I have to think about it and experience it every day. [00:06:57] And so, I would like for, for lots of white folks to, to do the work and be, be a little more courageous, imposterwith their position of privilege. But I'm not gonna be the one to teach you how to do that. I think there's a, a world full of books that can set you on the right path. And then if you've done the work and the research and, and the put in the time, then I'm happy to chat, um, and, if, if it's for a low, low fee of, there it's 20 bucks a minute on the phone like that, you know. That's fine. I'll, I'll, I'll take that. But, you know, we'll, we'll work out the model and I'll, I'll of course credit George with, with the, with the idea. Um, that's white guy over here came up with it. [00:07:38] Oh, God. Yeah. Just like there's a, there's a white guy behind all this that'll go Well, the fyi. Cut that. Cut that. Cut that. [00:07:51] I, yeah. Look I think the, black Lives matter of movement of George Floyd. We, we've, we've lived through this and I think in the nonprofit sector especially, there is a danger of that, allyship leading to like, oh, Great. Every, let's say black employee, black or brown employee I have is now the, the expert is my teacher is my, mm-hmm. How do I get my white guilt absolved? And you really drive a truck right at this again. Mm-hmm. And again, in the book, you know, we have a lot of social impact leaders that have, I will say, their hearts firmly and. The right place, but execution is lacking. Mm-hmm. Um, not so much advice, but I think this book and reading it with that perspective, just, it, it puts you just in your head, frankly, which is a weird place. [00:08:42] Mm-hmm. Yeah. There, it's a very strange, very strange place to be. But I think that, I mean, that can be, if that's my gift, To, imposterto the movement, then, then that's great. Because I just, like in the, in your sector, in, in, in medicine, you know, we ha we do have a lot of well-meaning white people there who are trying their best to You know, be allies. [00:09:07] But, ultimately it ends up just, just like it does in your sectors with, diversity, equity, and inclusion leaders who are the, one black person on your staff who gets this responsibility to educate everybody on how to deal with their, the racism that they've just lived with and embraced without really knowing it a lot of the time. [00:09:29] And then it's our responsibility once again. And most of those positions are not positions that get you more salary. They just get you more work, which is, awesome because we're kind of, we're kind of propping up some systems there that need breaking. But, I think that there's so much. [00:09:54] Work that white people can do with their position and their privilege if only they were energized and motivated to do so. You don't need a black person to teach you that you've been messing up or that you, I mean, or that you walk through the world with blinders on. I mean, there's so many resources for you to understand that on your own. [00:10:17] And then, Once you've done the work of understanding that, then, then we could talk, and like, you know, I'll let you into my head and, and help with, impostersome of the vocabulary that might be lacking. I mean, I've done this with, there's a, there's a character in the book who I went through medical training with who is just, we were the two guys in our year. [00:10:39] He was a white guy. I was a black guy, and I, He, there were so many spaces in which he could have stood up for me or done the right thing, or, or, or, or made a difference. And he chose not to cuz he was nervous, he was scared. And we actually, after training, and this is post book, became really good friends because he finally, we sat down one day and he actually told me about all those moments that people were talking trash about me at work and he just thought, you know, the best thing for me would be to protect me from that. [00:11:15] And so he didn't say anything but just didn't tell me. Mm-hmm. And meanwhile, I'm thinking I'm a lunatic. That I'm completely nuts because I think people are talking about me and I think this is going on behind closed doors, but there's no way I can prove it and it's making me lose my mind. And. You know, only several years after did I learn the truth and was validated in realizing like, oh, I wasn't crazy. [00:11:39] This was really happening and it's really shitty. And so, he, I think he felt a lot of guilt about that, and I think he was looking for me to help absolve that, and I didn't, and I just told him $20 a minute. Yeah. I mean, I wasn't getting the check, so I was like, listen, listen man, like here's the work. [00:12:01] That I expect of you now that you're, you're finally awake, , this is the work I expect of you. This is the work I expect you to do with your children, that you're, you're raising white men in America. That's a massive responsibility if you're gonna make the world a better place like you would like to. [00:12:21] And so, you know, we had those conversations and we still do. But It took, it took a long time for him to awaken to the dangers of like silent allyship. Yeah, I think that's, that, that phrase, silent allyship. It's sort of the first word, betrays the second part. I feel like a, a, a touch. Yeah, it does. [00:12:46] And that's, that's like silent applause. Like if I'm getting silent applause. Am I getting applause? Exactly. What is the sound of one hand clapping Tony? That's e That's exactly what it is. I mean, you know, are you an ally? If I can't see it or if I can't feel it, you gotta figure that out. So we dip into, okay, we dip into that stuff in the book, which is super fun. [00:13:12] This book, you mean? Right here? That book, that book that everybody that can be purchased on Amazon as I speak. imposterthere are some ridiculously intense medical moments. And if you're watching this on your likeube, I want you to know if you simply search for how to like fix a finger and adjust, that could be considered medical training. [00:13:34] I don't know if you could just tease this like the first time you were like, the pager goes off. Yes. And you're sitting there like, oh, I'm going in coach. And you're like, I'm going to your likeube. I was like, are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? It is not, it is not a joke. Like so just to set the scene, set the scene scene, you know, it's the begin, the first couple of days in July and new. [00:13:57] Doctors straight outta med school, start in the hospitals July 1st. They're just a couple weeks outta med school and they know absolutely nothing. Okay. But we're supposed to start taking care of patients, right? And so I had my first day on call, which means I was the only representative for my service in the entire hospital for 12 hours. [00:14:20] Um, and I'd been a doctor officially for like 72 hours. So I totally knew. You know, everything. Right. And then I, I got a call from the er to, to help fix a dislocated finger. And I was the expert on call in the hospital. I was the expert, right? And so had to weigh some things, you know, what are the chances I could really do permanent damage to this finger? [00:14:45] Oh God. imposterif I just try, you know, um, You know, and, and other people had tried, maybe I should just try or maybe I should call and ask for help. So I decided to try which is a position lots of young doctors understand, and I went on your likeube and just looked up some stuff on how to do it and then, you know, to find out how that worked out. [00:15:10] You can buy the book. [00:15:15] Yeah. Spoil alert, you're no longer a doctor. But actually, imposterI'll, I'll say through 75% of the book I was like, Anybody who's gonna become or is thinking about becoming a doctor should not read this book. And then I got to, I think it's the fatherhood chapter. Mm-hmm. And it, it was just fascinating because it is clear that you had gone through this sort of absolute valley of darkness and come out and suddenly were watching this next generation rise in. [00:15:44] And knowing that I'm like, if. There are doctors like that, that are reading it. I was like, oh God, that is how to do your job because you saw how not to do your job. I don't know if there's anything that, you know, you can talk to about, like, all right, you're about to go into this industry, especially if you were a black or brown person that, you know, this book can bring them. [00:16:04] Yeah. And I, I, you know, thanks for, thanks for saying that because I, I, I don't mean. With this story to discourage people from going into medicine. I don't, I, I don't want less doctors. I want more doctors who are taking care of themselves and, um, are taken care of by the system. And so when I think about the doctors like coming up behind me you know, all, and even in residency and training All I wanted was for them, not just to not go through what I went through, but to feel at just maybe a little more empowered with their, with their lives and their position, with their identity. [00:16:43] Because it's, it's imperative that. Black and brown faces, women, folks of all genders, coming into medicine and really any of these high powered you know, industries where you are the other by a significant margin, it's imperative that, you know, going in, that that world that you're entering was not built for you. [00:17:07] It wasn't built to be hospitable for you. And, In many cases, it's kind of built to be hostile towards you. And so how do you navigate that? And how do you maintain your own identity in the process? Where are there opportunities to change that culture and where are you going to take losses in the fight that. [00:17:30] You know, are gonna hurt. You know, like there's just, you know, there's so many peaks and valleys to the journey, but, um, I felt so strongly about empowering the next generation to understand that stuff upfront so that they could decide how they wanted to fight a theme in here. Also, I think that probably disproportionately affects. [00:17:54] Brown and black people is the imposter syndrome element. Mm-hmm. This imposter syndrome, like you were, I mean you were, I did a terrible job on the intro. Maybe I'll try again. Maybe not. But Harvard, I've heard of it. Mm-hmm Medical school pretty good. And it just seems like there is an imposter monster following you around constantly. [00:18:15] And I, I think that also exists a lot for, you know, many nonprofit leaders that are asked to take on. Incredibly difficult and dynamic problems without necessarily the like, mountain of training. Mm-hmm. And saying like, like, why do I deserve to be in this room? Why do, why can I apply for this, X hundred thousand dollars grant? [00:18:35] Why do I deserve X? Like, I don't know. Can you unpack your relationship with imposter syndrome a little bit? Yeah. I mean, I think it was, it was really kind of, A deep theme throughout the book and really throughout my life. But I think the deal with imposter syndrome and just, and just kind of taking the medical journey for example, is that I reali like, I felt like an imposter because I wanted to be doing the best I could at my job, but I knew I didn't have the tools to do it. [00:19:13] And nobody around me. Was making me feel like they were having the same doubts. We're all, we are all conditioned, especially in medicine to. Show each other how bulletproof we are and how, I mean, I'm sure I looked to other people like I was fine. You know what I mean? Just like they, they appeared to me. [00:19:37] And so, you know, even though we're struggling and we want to be better, we just don't quite know how to do it. And then once you get that in your head, then you feel like you don't belong there. And then, you know, anytime you make any mistake, you're just like, well, this is evidence that I, I shouldn't have this position. [00:19:52] You know, that's very real. And so how do we navigate through that esp. Like for people in any industry, I know anybody worth their salt who is running a company or in any position, any leadership position has those feelings. You have those feelings when you care about what you're trying to do. And so getting through that, I think. [00:20:16] A great, a great first start is, is communicating it and talking with people about it. You don't, you don't have to be an island in any of these positions, and you should be able to share these feelings because they betray just how passionate you are about what you do and how well you want to do it. [00:20:33] And I think that eventually, the more time you put in You know, the more expertise and experience you gain, you know that that pit of insecurity that initially was imposter syndrome can evolve. And you stop asking, you start asking yourself different questions. So instead of asking yourself like, am I supposed to be here? [00:20:53] Once you gain the experience, you're, you're asking yourself, okay now why am I here? Am I do, and do I still love what I'm doing? Am I doing this to the best of my ability? Is am I making the impact that I want to make in order to be great in this position? And I think that stems from the same place as imposter syndrome. [00:21:13] It's just, you know, you're 20 years down the line and you kind of know what some of what you're doing. But I think ultimately, It's something that we shouldn't run away from. It's something we should embrace, we should discuss and communicate about. Um, and I think it ultimately makes people better at, at leadership. [00:21:31] There were incredible moments of vulnerability shown in this book, and as you grow into your position as a doctor and it's clear that, there are moments where you're just not scoring what you need to. The incredible pressures of hit this number or you're done like, All that investment done like off a cliff. [00:21:50] Yeah. And you have this inner monologue going that is also, by the way, dealing with a dormant racism that just sort of pops up like a little a-hole throughout the book. And you're like, oh, that thing, ah, we're already doing this other stuff. But this imposter motrum, imposterit also seems like when you walked into like just really intense parts of this book of. [00:22:13] Like life or death. I think a lot of people use the life or death. You, you can not figuratively, literally say that you know, you're performing, you know, tracheotomy type work. Mm-hmm. And actually that, you know, moment, you're like, where did that imposter go? Like, you come in like a boss and you're like, if I show doubt, if I don't assess this situation, if the people on this team right now. [00:22:34] Don't have faith and can't follow in. Like, it was amazing to watch that sort of like snap moment. I was like, oh shit, that's a doctor. Mm-hmm. That's not the scared college kid. Can you tell me what that, you know, was like, is that sort of what that looks like? You know, moments of leadership, moments of vulnerability? [00:22:50] There's time for both. Yeah. I think there's, I think there's absolutely time for both. I think that in those moments, kind of those high pressure moments even though I wasn't always a hundred percent sure what to do or, or how exactly to do it I knew that dis no matter how loud the room is, no matter how many alarms are going and people yelling, you know, there's always time. [00:23:17] To slow yourself down. There's always time to take a breath and just be like, okay, I'm not gonna get caught up in the panic of all this because it is panic that's going on around you. And if I can just slow myself down and don't join in the fray of yelling and screaming and rushing and dropping things then the people around me will slow down too. [00:23:38] And they'll, they'll, they'll see that, We have this under control. There will be a plan. imposterwe can, that, we can try and, on the inside, of course, I'm just freaking out. But I know, you know, I've seen enough stuff in my life to know that if you show people you're freaking out, then they're gonna freak out. [00:23:56] And then it's just gonna all go, go to hell. So, even in those early days when just the crunch was on and I was definitely in over my head I knew the value of. Of calm in a storm. And I tried to fake it until I believed it. [00:24:14] Part of me hates fake it till you make it. Mm-hmm. It just, it rhymes so humans say it, but it was more than that. You know, there's, it's like, it's like courage until you make it is what I saw in your book. It wasn't faking it, it was showing up responsibly, being like, my pager went off. I'm the person doing this. [00:24:37] And actually one of the more, there's a lot of powerful points, but one of the more impressive points was when actually you were standing in the back of the room having previously coached. Somebody reporting to you. Mm-hmm. I'm using layman language, obviously. Yeah. Yeah. It's perfect. Yeah. You're doing great. [00:24:55] I don't write for Grey's Anatomy. Sorry. I think doctors should always have a stethoscope around their neck, because that's how, you know they're doctors, Tony. Mm-hmm. But the, the, there's this beautiful point as you're, you're moving and you have coached somebody, and I wonder if you can talk to, Leaders that are trying to get that next generation, that a player to show up in the room, and you just, you stood back and you just watched it unfold, and you're like, she's nailing it. [00:25:22] She's nailing it, and you got her head in the right place. And I was just like that. If I could just bottle the, that I would pay $20 a minute for that shit. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I, it's really, it's really about Building, building folks confident, build, just building them up. Because so much of training is being torn down and being told what you don't know and that your answers are wrong and all that sort of stuff. [00:25:49] But you need opportunities to shine and show what you can without, without knowing how much of a safety net you have behind you. I think. In an educational scenario, you should always have a safety net. And that's what I was trying to be for the folks who I watched from the other side of the room. [00:26:09] Like I knew the extent of their abilities. Like I knew when it would get too much for them. Mm-hmm. But I needed them to get up to that point. And so, in a life or death situation, like to be able to get to the point where you can watch it unfold and you can know that, okay, they're nailing everything that they're supposed to do, but also know like if this patient is a lost cause and they're gonna die anyway. [00:26:39] You know the outcome. And, and I think, you know, in one of the, in the story you're talking about, like I knew what was gonna happen, what had already happened. But I needed, oh God, that's devastating the next generation to have that experience to both know that they were doing the right thing and know that sometimes that's just not gonna be enough and know and then learn how to process. [00:27:04] Those moments because we're not taught how to do that either. I think that's just part, I mean, I love teaching. I love education. I was a teacher at some point in my journey, um, and I take that stuff really seriously. And, those, those moments, I'm not just, you know, making Guinea pigs out of, out of my junior residence. [00:27:22] It's just, they're doing their job. They're doing their best. They're doing a great job, and it's my job to be there to support them, protect them when necessary. And, be, be a counselor, afterwards when it's time to decompress, [00:27:37] you know, as a leader. I think at the top of my list is never put somebody in a no win situation. My job is always to put somebody in a position to win, put the team in a position to win. Mm-hmm. And to think of it in the inverse of like, if there is a scenario where it is no win, cuz we're dealing in the real world. [00:27:57] Mm-hmm. I think a lot can be learned, but it's tough. It's, it's really tough. And that's like I had to. You know, in those scenarios where, I knew the outcome for the patient was gonna be poor. I was thinking, okay, but how, how is this gonna be formative? How, how do, where's the, how, how does this mean something? [00:28:18] Yeah. Going to happen? How does this, we gotta understand that there is a win in, in having had this experience, and how do we get to the core of that afterwards and not just have you walk around with the trauma of losing It's a tough, it's, it's a, it's a tough question. I think it's something that, we as leaders should be asking ourselves. [00:28:37] I don't think there's a sing, maybe one medical scene that might make it into Grey's Anatomy, but I was like, well, that wouldn't make the cut. That wouldn't make the cut. There's like, I'll just look, here's the disclosure. Like, don't read this directly before bedtime. Some part's fine, but Oh gosh. Mm-hmm. No, George had, George had bad dreams. [00:28:58] Cause it's, imposterthere's not, there's a little bit of nightmare fuel in it. Like, that's that's absolutely true. Yeah. But, you know, we've talked about, so if you're, you're looking in the medical profession, it's just interesting. It's there, right? If you're, be a leader, if you're moving into a, a world that your work impacts. [00:29:15] Others in the social impact sector, like there were elements for you. And then the other big one for me as, as a parent, and now I know that you are a parent after, and, you know, writing this book, I wouldn't mind have seen an extra epilogue on, on that, but I'm sure the, the ink was dry by that point. But, you know, your final line, and this is not a spoiler, but is is a bit of a forgive or an understand for your father. [00:29:38] And now as you are a father. I wonder as you look at this book, As a dad how does, how does that change at all the, the narrative that your father plays throughout this? Hmm. I think that, [00:29:54] I mean, I. [00:29:56] I think my father you know, he's a, he is a big figure in this book. And I think that his, my experience with him who he is, how he affected me, it, it looms large in, in, in every decision I make and thought I have, you know, as regards my family and, impostermy child. And, you know, I spent, you know, a lifetime. [00:30:19] Getting to the point where I can understand that his mistakes didn't have to be my mistakes. And the fact that I think so hard and, and work so hard to be. Someone who others can depend on and can express love in a very clear and, and nont transactional and non-toxic way. The fact that I a, am constantly asking my myself those questions, I think means that I'm on the road to, to, to doing it, doing it well. [00:30:54] Even though I didn't have that, that example Throughout my life. And so, you know, getting to that point where I could just appreciate my experience, my experience with my father for what it was and how formative it was for me in the end. It took a, a long, a long time to get to the point where I wasn't just angry all the time. [00:31:19] Well, it took the entire book. It was like it took the, yeah, it took the entire book and the book spanned some time, but like, yeah, you know, it's just, just to, to let go of anger and let go of the desire that, that he'd, he'd suddenly someday act the way I always wanted him to and put myself. imposterin the driver's seat of that relationship for the first time, you know, instead of just reacting to what he does and doesn't do, you know, you realize the power that you have yourself to define your experience and define that that, that sort of to define that relationship as well. [00:31:53] So. You know, I, I don't think like the ghost of my dad has ever gone, it's kind of with me a lot, but it's on my terms now. And, and it's in a way that I think makes me a lot more powerful and a lot more positive and a lot more effective in my own family. And I think, reading this also as a, a. [00:32:16] Parent or any parent has high expectations for your child, and you, you sort of map those out. You're like, yeah, no, I, it was clear that my family expected we go either go become a, a doctor or a lawyer, or a, you know mm-hmm. Fill in the achievement blank. And that's like, you're like, why did you become a doctor? [00:32:34] You're like, I could give you many answers. Like, yeah, well, let's be clear why I became a doctor here. Yeah. Yeah. That The pipeline, especially when, it's, it's West Indian immigrants. But, imposterfor a lot of first gen kids of immigrant parents you know, it's so funny, like they, like I said in the, in the book, your pa you have these parents who. [00:32:54] We're risk takers who went, took the biggest risk, took the biggest adventure of their lives to leave their home and come someplace else and carve out something new. And they did all that in hopes that you would never have to take risks like that. And so, you know, if you can achieve, they're gonna kind of funnel you into these, these occupations that are, you know, prestigious but safe ultimately. [00:33:19] But the thing is, We're a parent's children and that adventure gene doesn't go away. You know, they gotta know it's gonna come out at some point. Remember how, how we got here? You remember that part? Yeah, exactly. So, you know, I don't think they should be super surprised when we kind of have our own ideas about the adventures that we want to go on. [00:33:38] So I thought that was a realization I came to, as it was Ryan, that I thought was, that I thought was pretty fun. The other thing that was definitely put in, in the back of my mind, as you can see, like we've touched on so many different topics, because this book just, and it goes and you're like, suddenly like, oh, I'm reading spoken word poetry. [00:33:57] Oh, I'm reading like I. A modern day Grey's Anatomy. Oh, I'm reading. Like, it just, it was just so interesting. I was like, well, what are we getting tonight? Um, kind of for me going through it though, from what I remember in high school, like you, you were, it was like, just sort of like the idea of perfection. [00:34:18] I was like, well, that's perfection. I'm glad I can see that. It was just, everything was so buttoned up, perfect execution of, head of the play, super athletic perfect grades. It was just, I think the, the wind was always at your back somehow. I was like, well, that's delightful. [00:34:34] And it was amazing that you're like, your inner monologue is like, it has to be perfect. It has to be tight. It has to like, because of that echo of your father in the background. But, you know, I, I just sort of now put in the back of my mind, wow. It'll be a bit of a note, I think when I see people that are putting that. [00:34:52] Version of themselves on nonstop that, like, I may, it's worth having a second conversation. And then I don't know if you could roll back the clock and have a coaching session with yourself, if anything would change, or if you're just like, no, I, I survived and that's what I had to do. I had to put on that version of me. [00:35:08] Mm-hmm. I think if I had this talk with myself you know, back then, I wouldn't have listened. And I would, I would, I would get it, you know, I don't think it's healthy to, to live that way. But I understand why folks do it and I understand why I did it. It's how I understood the world to be at the time that, failure on my part wasn't. [00:35:33] Wasn't an option because I could just, you know, everything could just go away. I was just on a tightrope is how I felt all the time. I was just nervous all the time, and, yeah, you can manage to achieve, in that way. But holy cow, when you. You take a minute to stop and, and, and allow yourself all the, all the feelings that you've been hiding away. [00:36:00] You know, there's so much pain there, there's so much fear. You're so scared all the time. And I would encourage myself, I think, to try to feel those things. Just to, just so that you have some sort of balance. The world may not be fair, and if you feel like this is the face you have to put on, I hate that the world makes you feel this way, but I understand. [00:36:22] But please take care of yourself. And that is, that's a lesson that a lot of us, I think. Would do well to learn. And it's hard to listen to. It's hard to believe that, that, that taking care of ourselves in that vulnerable way is, is one of our most important jobs. But it, it really is. It was a real gift to get to read this. [00:36:45] And I feel like I, um, at the end I was like, I kept turning the pages. I was like, all right, next, where's the next chapter? Where's the next part? Although something tells that the next chapter of fatherhood will be different, but more interesting. I you know, I'm sad we're coming to an end here. [00:36:58] I'm, I'm curious, how do people find you? How do people help you? Give us the, give us the rundown. Where can we get this book? Mm-hmm. How can people contact you for what you're doing? Yeah, absolutely. So once again, books called, I Can't Save You. I'm Anthony Chinwe, and it's available anywhere you get books. [00:37:17] If you do it on Amazon, Barnes Noble, or you know, imposteror, imposteryour local independent bookstore, which I say always try to support. You can get it anywhere. You can also get it as an audiobook. If you'd like to hear me narrating it. Oh, I, oh, I'm excited. I, I got the first copy of I'm gonna have to have that happen. [00:37:38] Yeah. I, I've heard, I mean, I can't listen to, I can't listen to myself talking for 11 hours, but I've, I've heard from folks that it's, that it's a good experience. So, definitely do that. If that's your vibe. You can find me on. On Twitter, you can search for my name or I'm at, imposterCQ underscore underscore md, and I'm also on Instagram. [00:37:57] imposteryou just type in, you know, Anthony Chin-Quee, you'll find me. And feel free to chime in, tell me how you like it, share with, with other folks everything you can. Well, there's a lot of conversations that come from it. Thank you for taking the time with us and, and talking through the, the points. imposterwhat a gift. [00:38:17] Thank you, Tony. Thank you.    
5/18/202322 seconds
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5/16/202328 minutes, 49 seconds
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PETA Calls Out Kentucky Derby (news)

PETA Issues Strong Statement Re: Kentucky Derby Horse Deaths Animal rights activist group PETA offered a strong statement as the news of now 7 horse deaths leading up to the Kentucky Derby made waves. PETA’s Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo issued the following statement: “Churchill Downs is a killing field. Freezing Point is the latest casualty. He’s the second horse to die today at the track, making it an appalling seven deaths in advance of the Kentucky Derby.” Bleacher Report says that two horses were euthanized on Saturday, adding to the five that were put down earlier in the week. While PETA is often criticized for aggressive marketing stunts and extreme points of view, the conditions that lead to the deaths have been roundly criticized in the mainstream sports world.   Summary Blackbaud agrees to pay $3m to settle SEC ransomware probe | The Register Learning nonprofit Khan Academy thinks AI has a big place in ...| Fast Company  What Chat-First Search Means for Organic & Ad Grant Traffic for Nonprofits? | Whole Whale Ben & Jerry’s Cofounder Gets Fully Baked With New Nonprofit Cannabis Company | Forbes    
5/9/202325 minutes, 37 seconds
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Pantheon Heroes Depart as Platform Hosts Hate (news)

Pantheon Heroes Depart as Platform Faces Backlash for Hosting Hateful Websites In recent weeks, controversy has erupted over website operations platform Pantheon hosting websites for influential anti-LGBTQ and anti-immigration organizations including Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), as reported by ARS Technica. The backlash began on LinkedIn, where several developers and Pantheon supporters voiced their concerns, including customers seeking alternative hosting services and developers known as "Pantheon Heroes" who announced they would stop assisting Pantheon's open source projects and leave the program. Pantheon co-founder Josh Koenig confirmed that the platform would continue hosting the controversial websites, citing their commitment to being an open platform. Despite Pantheon's terms of service prohibiting abusive or offensive content, the company's position on content states that they generally refrain from moderating customer content. Pantheon Heroes, a program launched in 2019, brought together some of the best open-source developers in the world to empower open web development. However, following Pantheon's decision to continue hosting the websites, several developers have quit the Pantheon Heroes program, expressing disappointment and feeling conflicted about supporting the platform. Read more ➝     Summary News for the powerful and privileged: how misrepresentation and underrepresentation of disadvantaged communities undermine their trust in news | Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism Nonprofit group looks to buy most newspapers in Maine | House bill would give FTC authority over nonprofit hospitals | Becker's Hospital Review Encouraging Animal Sentience laws around the world  | WAP           
5/2/202326 minutes, 16 seconds
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End of Affirmative Action - Impact on Nonprofits ⚖️🏛️❌🎓(NEWS)   Nonprofit Suit Before Supreme Court Could Upend Affirmative Action In Higher Education The nonprofit organization Students for Fair Admissions’ case against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, currently before the Supreme Court of the United States, may end the ability for institutions of higher education to engage in race-conscious admissions decisions. However, the motives and outcomes of this suit are wide-reaching. ProPublica and the Yale Daily News report that Students for Fair Admissions received money from many different conservative dark-money nonprofit vehicles, including DonorsTrust, Searle Freedom Trust, and the Sarah Scaife Foundation. Foundations, DAFs, and other money-maneuvering operations also have direct ties to Leonard Leo and The Federalist Society. Six of the nine sitting Supreme Court Justices are current or former members of the Society, according to the Yale Daily News. Among recent reporting alleging Clarence Thomas’s potentially unethical acceptance of expensive trips from conservative donor Harlan Crow, include photographs of Thomas enjoying cigars with current Federalist Society co-chairman Leonard Leo. Read more ➝     👋 Did someone share this email with you? Consider subscribing for weekly updates. The News Feed is also a podcast: Subscribe on iTunes | Spotify    ✅ The Summary... Having trouble reading these articles with popups? Use the Feedly Boards linked at the bottom to quickly go through curated articles. Supreme Court protects access to abortion pill | CNN Politics | CNN  California Volunteerism Plummets, Leaving Nonprofits Scrambling ...| The San Francisco Standard  Independent Sector Releases New Value of Volunteer Time of $31.80 Per Hour | Independent Sector  ‘Appalling’ Earth Day greenwashing must not detract from message, says protest founder | the Guardian 
4/25/202324 minutes, 30 seconds
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Unbelievable Nonprofit Bet on Biomarker Pays off for Parkinson’s 💰🎯🧠 (news)

A Decade+ Investment Pays off with Parkinson’s Biomarker Discovery In 2010, the Michael J. Fox Foundation made a BIG bet on investing in researching a biomarker for Parkinson’s Disease (PPMI project). On April 12th it was announced that the bet paid off.  Researchers announced that with the α-synuclein seeding amplification assay (αSyn-SAA), they now have a tool capable of detecting abnormal alpha-synuclein, a key pathology in Parkinson's disease (PD). The breakthrough marks a significant shift in understanding, diagnosing, and treating PD. The assay was validated with 93% accuracy and promises to enable earlier diagnoses, targeted treatments, and more efficient drug development. Efforts are underway to develop αSyn-SAA for the widespread use and optimize it to measure the amount of alpha-synuclein present, potentially through blood draws or nasal swabs. This development holds tremendous potential for transforming research and care for those living with Parkinson's disease.  Read more ➝   Summary Nonprofit praises automatic expungement program that aims to help millions | FOX 17  Donations Decline for the First Time Since 2012, Fundraising Effectiveness Project Data Shows | NonProfit PRO  These startups and nonprofits are keeping the abortion pill accessible | Fast Company    Sponsored: Looking for trusted nonprofit consultants in New York - or California? has you covered.  
4/18/202326 minutes, 58 seconds
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50% Increase in Youth Gun Violence (news)

Activists & Nonprofits Mobilize In Response To Shooting & Increase In Child Gun Deaths In Nashville, Tennessee, student activists from March For Our Lives and Students Demand Action (associated with Everytown for Gun Safety) have been protesting for gun reform and school safety, following a school shooting on March 27 that killed three children and three adults, as reported by Mashable. Their protests have intensified after the state's Republican majority voted to expel two young representatives of color, Reps. Jones and Pearson. This comes amidst a recent Pew Research Center analysis of CDC data, which found that gun deaths among children and teens in the U.S. increased by 50% from 1,732 in 2019 to 2,590 in 2021. The gun death rate for minors also rose by 46%, reaching its highest point since 1999, according to reporting from Pew Research Center. Read more ➝   Summary   Lauders give $200M to ADDF, the nonprofit's largest gift ever  | Fierce Biotech  Americans know very little about charities, new poll finds | WTOP Clarence Thomas Secretly Accepted Luxury Trips From Major GOP Donor  | ProPublica
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Open Letter to Pause AI work by Nonprofit (news)

"Please Pause AI" Open-letter from Future of Life Institute  The Future of Life Institute has come out with a letter about AI systems with human-competitive intelligence that may pose risks to society and humanity calling for a pause on the training of such systems more powerful than GPT-4 for at least six months. During this time, AI labs want independent experts to collaborate to create shared safety protocols for advanced AI development, which should be rigorously audited and overseen by independent outside experts. They also call for policymakers to develop robust AI governance systems that include regulatory authorities dedicated to AI, oversight and tracking of highly capable AI systems, a robust auditing and certification ecosystem, liability for AI-caused harm, and well-resourced institutions for coping with the dramatic economic and political disruptions caused by AI. The purpose of this pause is to ensure that AI is developed in a way that is safe and beneficial for everyone.   Summary   Government Hasn't Justified a TikTok Ban | Electronic Frontier Foundation 2023 Best Nonprofit Winners Found A Way To Connect | The NonProfit Times  Alberto Ibargüen to retire as president of Knight Foundation | Miami Herald  The Jed Foundation (JED) Announces New Neon Nights Mental Health Event | The Jed Foundation  
4/4/202324 minutes, 18 seconds
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$250M Open Grants from MacKenzie Scott go live (news)

Scott Announces “Open Call” For No-Strings Grants MacKenzie Scott is launching a $250 million open call for community-focused nonprofits through her organization, Yield Giving, as reported by the Associated Press and others. The initiative aims to provide unrestricted $1 million donations to 250 selected nonprofits with operating budgets between $1 million and $5 million. This marks the first time nonprofits can directly apply for funding from Scott, who has previously donated over $14 billion to 1,600 organizations. In partnership with the nonprofit Lever for Change, the open call process seeks to empower and strengthen communities often overlooked and reduce disparities in health, education, and economic outcomes. Applicants need to register by May 5 and submit their applications by June 12. After peer review, up to 1,000 finalists will be chosen, and a publicly named panel will select the 250 winners, who will be announced in early 2024.   Summary A Nonprofit Wants Your DNA Data to Solve Crimes | WIRED  Nonprofit delivers coolers to Mississippi tornado victims | WJTV The New Humanitarian | Four ways ChatGPT could help level the humanitarian playing field | The New Humanitarian
3/28/202329 minutes, 2 seconds
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Building Nonprofit Fundraising Through Grants |

We interview Libby Hikind, CEO and founder of and about what nonprofits need to know about applying for grants.   About Libby Hikind Find on LinkedIn Libby Hikind is the Founder and CEO of, the leading grant funding search engine for nonprofits, businesses, and individuals. Libby holds a post master’s degree in Educational Administration and Supervision and is a wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.    Libby is often referred to as the "Queen of Grants." Libby opened GrantWatch in 2010 after retiring from her 29+ years as a teacher with the New York City Department of Education. While teaching, Libby wrote grants for her special education classroom, mainstream education and business careers, computers, and entrepreneurship classroom. For two years, Libby worked as a grant writer for an NYC Dept of Ed Brooklyn school district raising $11 million.   After which time, Libby returned to teaching and opened her own grant writing agency in 1994. Libby Hikind is a national grants expert. From 1999 to 2001, Libby created NYCGrantWatch, a faxed grant newsletter publication for her nonprofit client organizations. Libby took a sabbatical to run for city council and is well known for her successful primary election campaign for New York’s City Council (2001) for which she received an endorsement from The New York Times. Following September 11th, Libby volunteered at Ground Zero, where she gained recognition as a FEMA Project Liberty Crisis Counselor and Team Leader. Libby is credited for more than 46,000 children receiving health insurance, as a result of her coalition building of nonprofits and writing the first Staten Island Child Health Plus proposal.                Rough Transcript: [00:00:00] Well, this week on the podcast we have Libby hn, the C e o and Founder at Grant Watch and grant writer team. So Grant watch and grant writer team, and I came across them because frankly, , you have to, if you are looking in and around the grant world, you run into, uh, these organizations. And Libby, thank you for taking the time to sit down with us and just talk to us about all things grant writing, grant trends, because even though it says nonprofits at the head of everyone's organization, we care a lot about profits when it comes to making money. [00:01:02] And grants are a big funding source. Thank you for joining. Thank you for inviting me. Appreciate it. Well, maybe in your own words, can you explain what Grant Watch does? Well, grant Watch is a grant search engine that lists the grants that are available for non-profits, municipalities, businesses, and individuals. [00:01:30] We have over 60 categories of grant. That the way we categorize grants on, on the right side of the website, you can use a keyword search and find them as well. And we add new grants every week and we archive the grants as they come do. So really Grant watch is all about currently available grants and that's great. [00:01:53] And you, um, looks like founded it in 2010. So you have . Successfully survived over a decade of operation, which is rare air and certainly has my respect for anyone who can, uh, build for that long. Thank you. We've been through many economies. [00:02:11] I think that's important too, because I think if you have a short timeframe, you're like, oh, times have only been good. And then you have covid and you're like, times have only been bad, and you're like, times are gonna do what times do. I'm curious though, you're, you're mentioning, you know, what's going on in the economy. [00:02:26] How do you see that impacting the grant market in general? Well, I think more and more people are gonna be looking for grants. Uh, they're gonna be looking for funding. And with what happened over the weekend with the, the banks, uh, I got a lot of notices that some good funders had their money in that bank in, well, s s uh, Silicon Valley, right? [00:02:53] And yeah, svb, right? So that's, you know, that would've affected a lot. And now it seems like, uh, everything's gonna be paid. Let's just hope it doesn't happen, you know, to many more. . Yeah. Well, you know, something like that is pretty terrifying. Haven't seen that since 2008, where you've got actual depositors losing their funds. [00:03:13] But more importantly, like you said, that has a direct impact on funders, grant makers. Right? They, that's, if that's where their funding is, then they're not gonna be able to be give, they're not gonna be able to give it out. So that's, that's a big issue at a larger level. I wonder if you see when markets kind of get scared. [00:03:34] You see something like, oh, the Dow is down, whatever that actually means. Does that, as far as you see impact folks that are writing checks, or is that money already sort of allocated into the, the grants at least that, that you all list and find for nonprofits? Well, first of all, the government grants, once they're announced, the money's. [00:03:57] So that's there. Mm-hmm. , uh, what happens is when we see new bills being passed and then there's new initiatives, so then there's new funding from the government, and then you have from state and local as well. The same thing when it comes to the foundations that can affect it, of course, if their money's tied up somewhere else. [00:04:17] But once they've announced the grant, they generally come. . So I don't, I don't see that impact. We may see less grants being announced from foundations if something like that happens, but you have to understand that a foundation has to spend a certain, they have to give out a certain amount of their money over, uh, certain period of years. [00:04:40] That's how that money goes into the foundation. So it, it doesn't impact it as much. What we did find over covid. That as soon as money was announced, it got used up very quickly. [00:04:54] Yeah. And maybe, I guess, do you get data, uh, year over year? So right now we're, we're sitting here and we're in the spring of 2023. Do you ever look at saying like, oh, we are, you know, up 10% for a number of grants being issued, or, Amount of of dollars being put out or is it does not work that way? ? Well, I could tell you that as far as grant watch goes, in 2019, I remember having a, a meeting and we had 3,500 grants on the website, and now we have hit 8,500 at different times. [00:05:32] Uh, right now we're about, I think 7,300 and we will be moving upward every time we do a new initiative on grant. , it takes the staff's energy and puts it into the new initiative. And so we slow down a little bit. It's like, you know, the bunny hop one step forward, two steps back, , you know, we're always juggling like that. [00:05:53] Uh, but we believe that we will, uh, be back up to 8,500 and the goal is 9,000, uh, in a short time. , and I know you have a lot of different types of grants. You know what percent, roughly speaking are government versus private foundations say, oh, well, that we keep right there on the front on the homepage of the website. [00:06:18] Uh, so how many are, so we know that we. , four nonprofit organizations. We have right now, 5,700 for individuals. We have close to 1900. Mm-hmm. and for small businesses, 1100. And that it, these numbers change every single day, and sometimes a grant is available for all three of these. Now as far as where the grants come from, you know, what percent or foundation grants, I mean, that's also something that changes, but, uh, at this moment, 5,000 of our grants happen to be foundation grants. [00:06:56] And that is Oh, that's interesting. Currently available. Yeah. Well, I mean, you can on, on the navigation bar, on grant watch, all the way to the right it says grants by type. And you can click that and then there's a total number that lets you know, and that's, you know, it's super helpful to see, I wanna come back in and, you know, it's actually nice to see that you haven't, haven't seen a, oh my gosh, we're at like, half the amount of grants have stopped. [00:07:24] You know, cuz I think we are, like you said, coming down off of a very high period. grant making in the aftermath of Covid and that money. I think, you know, when we were talking about private foundations, the fact that they have that, as you mentioned, 5% mandatory must be distributed in a 12 month timeframe. [00:07:43] Uh, it can be tough when maybe your overall endowment or, you know, frankly, holdings have decreased because the overall market's going down. But it doesn't seem like that, at least from grant watches standpoint. Uh, Affected the number of grants available to organizations, which, good thing, yeah, we, goodness, we don't see that we, we see us chasing it all the time. [00:08:06] I mean, we can't keep up with it. Some days it's just coming in nonstop. Mm-hmm. , I wanna pivot a little bit because I know you also have the grant writer team. Service, which has, you know, it pretty, pretty clear in the url saying like, Hey, do you need some help writing an actual grant? I have, I guess like a, maybe a, a personal assumption based on my own experience writing grants, that if I'm writing a grant but I have not talked to the issuing organization or somebody on that team there, my chances of winning that grant are, you know, kind of like snowball's chance on a beach situ. [00:08:47] Well, so this, remember I just mentioned we have a new initiative. So on grant watch right now, when you look at a grant, if you're a paid subscriber, you'll see, uh, if it's a foundation grant, most of them, uh, because we're getting the data, constantly getting new data have a, a button that says C view nine 90 report. [00:09:10] Now, when you click that, you get to. The nine 90 report that they filed with the IRS and all the data. So if we have an XML of it, uh, which is like an ex, it's like all coding, right? And we've taken that and we've put it into pie charts and graphs and bar graphs, uh, tables to give you that information. [00:09:35] And we let you know the website where the. , the funder is, and their phone number , you know, so you can really get in touch with the funding source. You can take a look who did they fund before we give you a list of the grants they gave money to. How much did they give? What states did they fu, you know, put the money into? [00:09:54] So now you look at it and you go, Hmm, I'm looking, I'm, I wanna apply for this grant. And it says it's for general support of non. But I'm looking, and all their money really went into preschools, and I'm looking to run an afterschool program for high school youth. Now, it may be a long shot for me because I see every single grant went to preschools. [00:10:21] So even though they're saying this, that's where their money is, that's their focus. So you get to look at that and through grant watch and what if you need a hundred thousand dollars? But you see that every grant they gave, they gave a lot of grants, but they were all 3000, 5,000, 10,000. It's nowhere near what you need. [00:10:40] So now are you gonna take your old, you know, when you write a grant, if you're a nonprofit, your entire organization is involved because there are parts to the grant that have questions and somebody's gotta answer those questions. , it's constant back and forth. There's all this interactive work that goes on when you're writing a grant. [00:11:00] Do you wanna spend your resources on a grant that's, first of all, isn't gonna give you enough money. It's not going to give you, uh, it doesn't, it doesn't seem likely that they're going to fund you. So why are you gonna go there? I mean, let's say your organization is politically conservative and it's well known that it's politically conservative and. [00:11:22] Foundation funds more left and or vice versa. You don't wanna go there. So, or your, um, your organiz nonprofit is a certain religion and they say that this money is for faith-based organizations, but they have never funded your religion. They've always funded a different religion. You don't wanna go there. [00:11:43] So, like you said, if you haven't spoken to anyone, you don't even wanna make that phone call. If you see that you're really, this is not for. But what if you see it is you have so much information you, you understand there's in the xml we are pulling and we're displaying what was the purpose of the grant that they gave the money for. [00:12:04] Like we have lots of grants for climate change and some grants are so specific of that O Oceanic grants, right? So you know where you're going when, when you're looking at the nine 90. So we've worked on this and we're still working. and we're still refining it. Uh, it's ready, uh, press release is gonna go out about it and people are able to use it already, and I can see that they're using it and that makes me very happy. [00:12:32] But that, you know, we do this, we slow down there, but we're catching up. I think it's. Really helpful to understand like where you can go to get more information. And frankly, the, the nine 90 is publicly available. It could be hard to parse though, I'll say, you know, going through, but the, the points you're making are excellent. [00:12:49] Saying like, what is the average grant size? What is the average organization look like? And frankly, if you don't look like those organizations, you know, take a pause and ask yourself, is this the, the grant for me? Maybe a, a different way of asking this question is, You are playing the grant writing game. [00:13:07] Would you ever submit a grant to a foundation if you had not talked to talk to them in some respect? , like zero personal connection and you're, you're firing off a blind grant. Right? So there's two different ways to work with the foundations. One is if you're going to just con, you're gonna write these, um, generic grant applications, a letter of inquiry, and you're gonna send them out to all these foundations. [00:13:33] So there's a certain percentage that people will say won't land in the garbage can, right? Hmm. It's kind of like a fundraising letter. You get a. And you send it out. And there's a few people that I don't know, the kid was in the hospital recently. They wanna give charity. They, uh, they believe that it, you know, giving charity will help them. [00:13:54] And so you'll get a check, right? And, and that they'll give charity, you know, the, it's like the, the, um, the boomerang effect. You know, you, the, you throw things out to the universe and thing. Good things come back to you. And so that's how those fundraising letters work. Somebody has pulled your hearts. And it happens to me many times I get it letter and I never thought of this organization before, and I, it's just that time that I really feel, I wanna say thank you to the universe, to God, and so I'm giving something to somebody else. [00:14:29] That's, that's basically what your letter of inquiry to these foundations that have never said that they're giving money does. If you wanna do. , it's a waste of time, uh, for the effort. But people do it if you wanna do the phone calls. The communication, that's the other way. People used to apply to foundations. [00:14:52] They would go to sit in the foundation center building, you know, for a full day and sit there and make lists and lists and lists and photocopies and come home with a list and then they'd start making phone calls. I would. I was guilty of it also, I'd look in who's who in America for that name. I'd see if I have any connection whatsoever to that person or some family member of mine. [00:15:13] Uh, were they in the same high school? Did they graduate the same year? Did they, did we have, uh, a hobby in common? How can I approach them? I tried that. That's why we built Grant Watch . We deal with currently available grants, and so you don't need to make that phone. You need to apply. You need to follow the directions in their grant application. [00:15:36] That's the difference of Grant watch and just going through foundations. Now we're offering it now. If you want, it's there. Right? But we are taking it a different way. You found a grant on Grant watch that is being offered from by a foundation and now you can see all the nine 90 information. You wanna make that phone call. [00:15:57] You can, sometimes it may give you an. Sometimes it may get the person upset with you. They put out an application, can't you follow directions? You know, you know, you have to know what's going on. And so we take it from a different point of view. [00:16:12] Yeah. I do remember, I actually, uh, I, I know the foundation center. I grew up in New York and I have, uh, I have been in the, in the office and gone through that cold approach and it definitely felt like a massive waste of. And from the sort of like smile and dial, but like for what? And it seems like you actually have a decent amount of faith that when you have a grant that you find and you follow the directions that, you know, while it may seem like a black hole, it is actually the a, a fair enough process to, as long as you're matching the, the size of the grant, the type of the organization that you, you will hear back from them. [00:16:51] Is that your feeling? But Right. But. The first thing if you ask me for a tip is check the eligibility. Do you meet that eligibility? They're gonna say in the grant application, who they wanna fund. And oftentimes they'll say what they will not fund. And if you don't meet all the criteria, if you can't check off all the boxes, don't apply. [00:17:16] If you say, well, maybe, you know, they said if you have to be in business, uh, the nonprofit has to be up for at least five years. Well, we're at three and a half. Maybe they'll let it slide. Don't apply. They made the rules. , you know, this is it. And so somebody at the foundation is receiving everything and she has, or he has the list of rules. [00:17:39] What's the eligibility? And then there is a stack that is passed onto the board members. The ones that don't meet eligibility criteria never get there. So why bother? . Yeah. Maybe you just really like paperwork . Right? You're like, I, I Real hall. Gotta take those shots. Yeah. I don't believe in that and especially with a government grant, you really better match. [00:18:07] Yeah. What is the big difference you see between government grants and foundation grants? Well, government grants are generally much larger. mm-hmm. than a foundation grant. Uh, most often they're multiple years. They have, uh, an evaluation criteria that you need to put in, uh, much more strict in what they're asking. [00:18:32] A federal grant can take you 60 hours of work that they tell you it will take you when it might take you 120. It's just much more strict. , it's generally a lot more objective, whereas a foundation has people sitting on the board. They may have somebody that they know is applying, that they're waiting for that particular application. [00:18:55] Everybody might have their favorite kind of situation. But when I went to, uh, DC to score grants for the federal government, I was a peer reviewer. We sat in a. , they took, uh, they take apart a hotel and they take the beds out of the room and they put tables and you're there with, uh, three other people and we get 10 grants and they're quite thick. [00:19:21] Uh, they're about a hundred, 150 pages. And you sit there and you read and you score according to all the criteria. And then if we are too far apart, we discuss it. If we are all on the same mark, then that's the. and there's usually somebody else that is there to break the tie. And that's even that as objective as that is, because if I know one of those organizations, I'm not gonna allowed to score it and have to sign that I don't. [00:19:48] But even with all that, if there's chocolate on the table, I might be in a better mood. Eating my Hershey's kisses, uh, then the, the room next door. So my, our, our scores might get a little higher than the other room. And then, so that batch of 10 could be a little bit lower than ours and hours might fly above. [00:20:09] You know, it's just we're not computers where human beings and things happen. Yeah, we, uh, I, I had experience as well, sort of scoring grants as part of the nonprofit coordinating committee. And there's, you know, it, it can be frustrating looking at like, I wish all systems were perfect, but the truth is that yeah, if you're hungry, you're gonna get a longer prison sentence. [00:20:32] Uh, from a judge, right? And those, uh, those reports, those research is, is out there. So I think the lesson that everyone should take away is obviously send chocolate with your grant submission, shov it into the machine and just right over the fence. , I mean, I think you point to another facet of this, which is that there is, uh, human on the other side and. [00:20:55] you know, how you present your numbers is one thing, but how you present your story seems like another, because you end up needing an internal champion. Know when it comes down to it because you, you are having subjective scores, but then conversations. So there is somebody who you are trying to pull onto your side as you do this grant. [00:21:15] No, it could be, you can try to make that call. You can try to reach out. Sometimes you get there and sometimes they don't wanna hear from. , you know, so it, it is, it is a tactic. Uh, but you can't do that with the federal government. You're really not allowed to. Uh, and the people that you might talk to on the phone will not be the ones that are scoring the grants. [00:21:39] Mm-hmm. . So, yeah. How do you, yeah, that makes sense. That's what I'd hope from the government. But you know, what I used, used to do, my last set of grants that I wrote, . I used to make the organization charts very colorful. I'd actually put a little picture on the side, a cartoon that represented what we were trying to do. [00:21:59] Uh, I just wanted to make them smile. I would add some bar graphs and pie charts and in color now, depends how it was copied, if it was copied on black and white or color. Now everything's copied in color anyway, so it's not a. , but understand that if you're reading 10 pages of one section in a federal grant and there's nothing in between all these paragraphs, somebody's gonna be really bored. [00:22:25] But if you can squeeze a chart or a table in, it looks a lot better. [00:22:29] the, the sort of, the, the craft of trying to break up. You know, the, the daunting layers of text that, that are involved here, right, is, um, is a real art. Mm-hmm. , um, I like shorter paragraphs. The, however, sometimes you have a grant that says the page limit is five pages. The paragraph, uh, each section has a character count. [00:22:57] That's it. You have to follow that, and those are the hard ones because you really have a lot to say and you have to. very concisely. Yeah. Well, I actually kind of respect the, the word count limit when they're giving you an idea of like what it is that they're actually after. Mm-hmm. . Um, it's actually kind of nice. [00:23:16] Uh, I would say I'm curious about seasonality. Is there, you know, a standard fiscal year that you see? Does it change? Uh, what is your, well, you know, you have nonprofits of January. , you know, their fiscal year could be January to December and it could be um, June to July, right? Or July to June. Uh, so it really depends on the, the foundations. [00:23:45] Uh, we see that deadlines often happen either mid month or end of month for grants. And that's really, that's a very interesting thing. You know, if you miss a deadline, that's it. You can, you can have the most wonderful grant, but you miss the deadline. You, you need to hold it for the next, you know, the next application. [00:24:07] And so Grant, we are working on our grant calendar. That's the next thing where we, when we, when I feel like I've done enough with the nine 90 s, even though we have a grant calendar, I'm working, I have ideas to make it even. . That's, that's great. And I know of other things you're working on. You mentioned before I pressed record here that you're working on a book Yes. [00:24:29] Which is exciting. Can you, can you share anything about that? Well, it's titled the Queen of Grants from teacher to CEO to grant writer to CEO, . It's about my journey, uh, from starting out as a teacher all the way into grant watch and what I'm doing now. [00:24:48] I want to leave a legacy so people can realize that the decisions, every decision we make in life and every fork in the road we take, leads us back, leads us somewhere either back to where we started with something we wanted to do or beyond. And you know, just things happen. And that's. , so I'm hoping. [00:25:13] Well, it sounds, you know, like still something that will be hyper relevant to, to organizations as long here. Here's the thing, as as long as super wealthy organizations and governments need nonprofits to fill the gap of service to each other, there is going to be a process. That process is gonna involve grants. [00:25:32] And you're gonna have to write them. So, uh, I, I'd say, you know, at least the topic is, is fairly future-proofed. Well, I wanna take, I wanna take them through my journey. I wanna take people through my journey, but I also want to show them how to write a grant. I want to give them my knowledge. I wanna pass it, pass it on so that people learn what I've learned throughout the. [00:25:57] I was going through your, your bio here, and I was just sort of curious on your, your, your total amount of, of grants won. And by my rough math, it looks like while you were a grant writer at NYC Department of Education, uh, in Brooklyn which is actually also where I'm from in good old Brooklyn, uh, you raised 11 million. [00:26:17] And then on top of that, your awarded grant history seems to total up to about 6.5 million. So, I mean, , you're coming in at a close 20 million in terms of, uh, total, if I'm getting these numbers right, for winning grants, that's, and I retired. It's strong, and I retired from grant writing and people were throwing money at me. [00:26:36] Libby, please write this grant, please. This grant. And I said, I just couldn't do it anymore. I opened the business and it was just too much. You either running a, running a company, or now it's companies or you're a grant. and we built grant writer team because the realization is that if you have to go out there and look for jobs, you can't write grants. [00:27:02] So you need to have the, the projects flowing into you, not you going out and searching. So we built it and it's, it's working. There are always grant writers looking for work. They come to us and they, they're fed constant. . Yeah. No, it's, it's uniquely different too, in terms of, oh, I need someone to write this, you know, you know, blog post or resource article, this generic, go find a writer versus like, we need our story told in the right way, in the right word count based on this grant, you know? [00:27:36] Mm-hmm. , I, I think it is uniquely different, isn't it? Yeah. And you also need your story told with your passion. So if, if you are, if you hire a grant writer, And they have no connection whatsoever to what you wanna do. You sh that's the wrong person for you. I always tell my grant writers if there's a job out there, and hypothetically, let's just take a Alzheimer's, and that's what it's for, what the grant is for. [00:28:06] If you have an uncle, and hopefully not, but if you have an uncle who has it and suffered from it, or a best friend and you. Then you should write that grant because you can speak in the same passion as the nonprofit you're representing, but if you've never seen it, if you have no connection to what it is, that's not your job. [00:28:29] And that's how we want the grant writers to apply. We want them to look at the look at what the nonprofit is saying and see if you have any background whatsoever in that, because otherwise you can't speak to that passion. . That makes sense. I'm curious, I think I know what your answer will be, but let me just map out something. [00:28:49] I, I'm not sure if you've seen the many articles that have been coming out about AI tools that can write, like people, uh, tools like, uh, chat, G B T and others. I'm, I'm curious because one of the concerns I see is, is that with the proliferation of just general writing, Computers. I am afraid that it's gonna be creating a lot more things like grant submissions and has this, you know, one unintended consequence maybe of saturating certain foundations and application processes with just tons of generically written grant submissions, which could make it harder for folks playing by standard rules. [00:29:38] I, I don't know if you. . So a hot take on this or not, my take is that we use what's available, right? I mean, I wrote my first grant on, uh, Commodore 64, right? I had one of those Dynamite Machine. . Okay. So what, what's available we use, however, the chat bot is a language. a good English language writer. So if you want to answer a question to that's posed in the grant application and you write your answer now, you can give it to chatbot and say, edit this, and then paste your paragraphs in and they'll spit it back out to you with all of your information. [00:30:28] And now you have better English language. Right? But you, you wrote. , it's just being edited. So you may have saved the editor, but if you say, Hmm, I, uh, chatbot, I need, um, a paragraph on the statistics of car steps in KSI, right. , that's not good. You didn't do any of the research and you shouldn't use it that way. [00:30:58] First of all, because you don't know what it's looking at. You don't know what the primary or secondary source was. You have no idea. It's not quoting anything. And the one that's out there is based on 2021. That was the last time it was updated. So anybody using that for that kind of research is making a big mistake. [00:31:17] And a lot of it can be. from somebody else's article or whatever. But if you are giving the information, you already wrote it and all this chatbot is doing is rearranging your paragraph a little bit, a little better. I don't see the problem with that. It's, uh, it's interesting. I, I think absolutely, it's, uh, it's an addition to nu instead of, and frankly, not ignoring it might. [00:31:43] At your own peril because I think it can accelerate and improve when used correctly. I'm not sure how many people actually understand the nuance that it's going to, uh, lie about facts, but actually be decent about what it's supposed to do, which is predict the next word that should come in the sentence and follow directions, uh mm-hmm. [00:32:03] So what I hope is super important note, right? But I hope it's not taking my information and giving it to somebody. Am I teaching the chatbot? Yes, you are. Okay. So I might be causing myself some competition if I'm a grant writer. You are. It's, uh, it's so hard because it is unfortunately, like, you know, this catch 22 where certainly you could hold back, but you know, the, the fact that you're writing a book and. [00:32:34] You know, pieces that you have done writing on in terms of your approach and strategy like that. You know, has been hoovered up by the trillions of data points that this thing has been trained on, and I'm, you know, curious and, and how that impacts the, the ecosystem of grant writing. And also, like, I, I mean it from the foundation side, I'm, uh, I'm worried about humans trying to keep up with robots on one side of it because you need a human to evaluate it. [00:33:02] You can't fake that. Can you have a lazy grant written by, uh, chat G P t? Yeah, you can. Yeah. But you have, you still have to have a plan, a grant, there's a program. I need money. What do I need the money for? Yeah. Well, I need the money for I always go back to preschool. I love that or, you know, raising reading scores and I'm going to teach, uh, reading through the arts. [00:33:29] That's my program. And because of that, I need this much money in supplies and, and th these are the supplies I wanna buy. I don't see chat. Um, doing that, I see chat, taking my opening paragraph and making it, and beefing it up and giving me some alternatives to what I wanna say. I write three sentences and I don't think it's really punchy enough. [00:33:52] And I say to Chad, you know, edit this, make it more exciting. And they give me three different version. and it's all my words, and now I have it and it sounds a little better. That's how I see it. You can't, you can't. Chad's not making me a budget for my proposal. Not a good one, . No. I mean, no, it's not right. [00:34:10] It'll guess that I need to know the salaries of the people that I wanna hire. I need to know what, uh, percentage of the, their full-time equivalent is going to be used for this program. I mean, if I have a supervisor in a. And that supervisor is going to supervise the afterschool program, but they also supervise the adult education program. [00:34:31] There's a percentage of their time that's allotted for my program. Chad's not doing that, so I think that those, those grants are gonna be spotted right away. . Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Uh, I have one more question before we go to, to rapid fire cuz I'm just kind of curious about, uh, another pitfall I'd say of frankly what happens when a nonprofit that you know, helps preschool, but then also sees a tempting grant, but would have to extend their programs to go get it. [00:35:07] Such as, let's just say like gardens in schools and they're like, well, I guess we could create a whole gardening program because we see this grant, this, you know, tail wagging the dog sort of thing. How, how do you view it given your history with the relationship of the grant making process and when we're trying to fit our new program together, we get money. [00:35:30] Well, if that garden is going to enhance their preschool program, that's great. They just never thought of it before, are they? But you know, how are they going to use it? And now they really have to show how. The children may be learning to identify plants, how they're going to learn the colors because of the garden. [00:35:51] If they're going to take all of that and include it in the gardening and they're really committed to doing it, that's great. If they're not committed to doing it, you know, a foundation can say, Hey, we wanna come visit. because they wanna do some press and they never even started the garden. They're gonna have to give all that money down. [00:36:07] Show me some carrots. Yeah. Now those carrots take a while to grow . Right? Right. And some foundations wanna get pictures because they wanna put it up on their website. So you know, you can write a great grant, but if you don't really plan to implement it, you're gonna have to give the money back. Yeah. I'd say other cautionary tales include sort of when you see, hey, we. [00:36:31] A program developed in a city where you aren't and you're like, oh, we can, you know, create a footprint here and develop, develop our services. And the problem is when that grant runs out, you still have an obligation to that community, employees and a foot footprint. And I have seen that happen. And that's, uh, that's disastrous actually. [00:36:49] Right? Well, the, a good organization gets a grant and immediately starts applying for. . You don't get one grant and say, oh, we're done. We don't have to do this anymore. That's what happened in, uh, community School District 18. We had to constantly write grants. It wasn't, you get one pat on the back and that's great. [00:37:12] You just keep writing and writing [00:37:14] Oh gosh. It sounds, sounds like a lot of fun. Um, yeah. Well, I learned it was a great learning. . All right. Let's jump into the rapid fire questions and hopefully, uh, give you a quick response to, to some of these. Uh, let's just kick it off. What, uh, tech tool or website, uh, have you started using in the last year? [00:37:39] Well, we used SIM Rush, and that is very helpful. A lot of people in the organization use it for different things. The developers use it to look at. links that are not, that are giving 4 0 4 errors. It identifies that the marketing people use it for seo. So it's very versatile. What tech issues are you currently battling with inner joining tables? [00:38:06] That, that is something I'm, I'm battling with because I wanna inter joinin three tables for the nine 90 reports, and that's giving me a little trouble. But hopefully we'll get through it every time we, we want to do something, we find a way. Uh, what is coming in the next year that has you the most excited? [00:38:25] Well, I'm really excited about the nine 90 report. The next is the calendar to make it much more interac. And at the same time, my book finishing it up. Can you talk about a mistake that you made earlier in your career that shapes the way you do things today? Well, early in my career we, in my career in Grant watch, you can, you can choose, so you can say earlier in grant watch, or you can go back [00:38:59] Okay. In Grant watch. I knew we could build a website, but I didn't know anything at all about code. So we had hired somebody and he was right out of school and he was like leading us, but we knew what, we knew what we wanted Grant watch to do, and it was then called NYC Grants watch to show you how my dream was so small that it was just NY. [00:39:27] and then it went to New York State and then it went to all the states around it, and then it went throughout the United States. Then it became International Israel, Canada, and kept growing. Now, you know, when you build, you build small. You keep having to do things and add, and add and add. You know, since then we've now we changed our, our server just. [00:39:48] In November and we went from a small ser, you know, a smaller server to a very large humongous server. So I think the mistake was not seeing all that. It could be how great it could be. I was just focused on NYC and it just kept going. So I, I think that's pretty much it. And I, if we say a mistake, I should have gone back to school and learned to code. [00:40:12] Do you believe nonprofits can successfully go out of business, can go out of business successfully? I How do you successfully go out of business? I mean, go out of business, you close your doors because you, you can't provide services anymore. So how do you successfully go out of. Well, hypothetically in the case where you were tasked to solve a social problem and you solve it such as, you know, we did it polio solved, we can close the door successfully would be one example. [00:40:47] Okay. I guess they could, um, , but if I, if I was that same nonprofit, I would say, Hey, let's take on another disease and let's go further. We, we have the recipe. for success. So why, why close the doors [00:41:03] if I were to put you in a hot tub time machine? And I think I'm, I know what you're gonna say, but we'll go through it anyway. A hot tub time machine. Back to the beginning of your work with Grant watch, what advice would you give yourself? Well, I said I probably learned to code. What advice would I give myself? [00:41:20] I think I would, my biggest problem. Today is finding my successor. That's, that's my problem. Within my family, I have you know, people in the business, but because the business has grown so much, we each take a different leadership role and there's nobody to take my leadership role at this point. And so that's my greatest. [00:41:48] And if anybody's out there listening and you think you can be me, let me know. [00:41:53] That's that. I think that is a first for our podcast. Well, there you go. We'll see who gets back to you. What, what is something you think that you should stop doing? Well, I have been in development from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Every day since Grant watch began, and that's, it's time to move that over to somebody else. [00:42:18] Um, I've worked hand, you know, right, with the developers many times just on shared screen, directing every single color, every single letter and word on the website. And that's something that I need to be able to pass over to someone else. If I were to give you a magic wand to wave across the social impact sector, or maybe we can say the philanthropic sector, what would it do? [00:42:46] Uh, I would tell them to not react to everything going on in the, in the chaos and follow your gut. The nonprofits just keep reinventing, reinventing what their focus is because of what's going on in the world. And I think that we know who we need to provide services for and why and how, and we should stay the course. [00:43:22] What advice would you give college graduates looking to enter the social impact sector? I would tell them to take a grant writing. And go and volunteer at a nonprofit and write grants for them. And even if you don't win immediately, you will because you'll be persistent and you will have a career. [00:43:47] What advice did your parents give you that you either followed or did not follow? Well, I was supposed to go to. , I got accepted to Pratt. I had a portfolio and my parents did not want me in an art school during the time of the hippies. Uh, so I didn't go. I went to Brooklyn College, minored in fine arts and, uh, majored in education. [00:44:13] So I did follow. My parents were active in the community wherever they lived, so, and I learned that. You know, the impact that people could have on social organizations. So I think I followed everything. I, I was always a good kid, . All right. Final question. How do people find you? How do people help you? Well, grant [00:44:42] G R A N T W A T C H. Our phone number, uh, our contact information is there. We have a chat, uh, that's open during office hours. If you leave us a mess, a message on the chat, we'll get back to you. We return phone calls, uh, we're right there and we, we answer the phones. [00:45:05] Well, I appreciate the resource you've created for the sector and for sharing, uh, for sharing some strategies with us today. Uh, thank you so much. Thank you. It was fun going down memory lane with you, .
3/23/202346 minutes, 11 seconds
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Nonprofit Insulin Maker Wins in CA (news)

State of California Partners With Nonprofit Drugmaker To Produce Affordable Insulin   California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced a $50 million, 10-year contract with nonprofit drugmaker Civica Rx to produce the state's own line of affordable insulin, CalRx, according to reporting from NPR and other sources. Upon FDA approval, these insulins, which are expected to be interchangeable with popular brand-name insulins, will be priced at no more than $30 per 10ml vial and $55 for a box of five pre-filled pen cartridges, potentially saving out-of-pocket patients up to $4,000 per year. The move is part of California's broader CalRx initiative to manufacture generic drugs under the state's label and disrupt the pharmaceutical industry, with plans to produce generic naloxone next.   Summary Factbox: What is the Willow project in Alaska, and why do green activists oppose it? | Reuters  People Are Dragging MrBeast For His Shoe Donation Video | BuzzFeed  New NPT Salary & Benefits Report Shows 6% Salary Hikes | The NonProfit Times    
3/21/202324 minutes, 42 seconds
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NGOs Call On U.N. To Advocate For Reproductive Rights In U.S. (news)

NGOs Call On U.N. To Advocate For Reproductive Rights In United States Nearly 200 human rights organizations, including major international NGOs like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have sent an "urgent appeal" to the United Nations (UN), calling for the international body to intervene and ensure that the United States protects reproductive rights, as reported by The Washington Post. The appeal follows the Supreme Court ruling in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, which overturned the constitutional right to an abortion. At least a dozen states have since moved to ban or heavily restrict abortions. The organizations argue that the US is violating its obligations under international human rights law, and they are calling on UN mandate holders to take action, including communicating with the US, requesting a visit to the country, and calling for private companies to protect reproductive rights. Read more ➝   Summary   Silicon Valley Bank Collapse Puts New Affordable Housing in Limbo | The San Francisco Standard New Kentucky tax laws impacting local nonprofits | | WPSD Local 6  Peabody EDI Office responds to MSU shooting with email written using ChatGPT | The Vanderbilt Hustler AI Resources Purpose-built AI tool for nonprofits
3/14/202328 minutes, 32 seconds
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Rise of Nonprofit AI - response to OpenAI shift (news) EleutherAI Seeks To Make Open-Source AI Research a Nonprofit Enterprise As reported by TechCrunch, The EleutherAI community research group is starting a nonprofit research institute, the EleutherAI Institute, which could have significant implications for safe and ethical AI development. The institute will be funded by donations and grants from various sources, including AI startups and former tech CEOs, allowing the organization to engage in longer and more involved projects than previously possible. By formalizing as a nonprofit, EleutherAI will be able to build a full-time staff and focus on large language models similar to ChatGPT, as well as devote more resources to ethics, interpretability, and alignment work. Importantly, the foundation aims to remain independent despite donations from commercial entities, demonstrating the potential for nonprofits to contribute to AI development while avoiding conflicts of interest. This announcement is particularly significant given the mixed results of previous nonprofit initiatives in AI research, highlighting the need for continued efforts to ensure the responsible development of AI. Read more ➝   Summary OpenAI prices leaked, no longer a nonprofit | TechHQ ESG Investment Returns Getting Questioned | The NonProfit Times White House Declares March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month | Fight Colorectal Cancer | Fight Colorectal Cancer Most innovative companies not for profit 2023 | Fast Company How 12-year-old's night light nonprofit helps foster kids: Good news | USA TODAY      
3/8/202327 minutes, 35 seconds
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Train Derailment & Environmental Fallout (news)

Train Derailment & Environmental Fallout In East Palestine Leads To Political & Legal Frenzy The train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio has led to a frenzy of political activity, criticisms, lawsuits, investigations, advocacy demands, and conspiracy theories as the fallout from the derailment continues to maintain prominence in the national conversation. The derailment has prompted criticism of both the Biden and former Trump administrations, ensnarled politicians like Gov. WeWine and Secretary Buttigieg, and has led to numerous lawsuits, criticism of the EPA, and many other activities. One nonprofit law firm We The Patriots USA (WTP USA), a nonprofit public interest law firm, “will host a press conference in Akron to discuss litigation against the Environmental Protection Agency” according to local reporting from WKYC. Americans are increasingly sensitive to environmental disasters and this incident could refocus public scrutiny on environmental regulation, and potentially spur increasing attention toward nonprofit environmental advocacy and intervention efforts. Read more ➝     Summary Many Ukrainian refugees in US are sponsored by ordinary Americans | USA TODAY IRS working with nonprofit New America to deliver online direct file tax system study | FedScoop The nonprofits accelerating Sam Altman's AI vision | TechCrunch  Together We Rise becomes Foster Love  
2/28/202323 minutes, 59 seconds
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  Project Veritas CEO Ousted By Board Of Directors   James O’Keefe, founder and CEO of the conservative organization Project Veritas has been ousted by the group’s board of directors, according to reporting from The Washington Post and other outlets. O’Keefe was ousted on concerns that his antics threatened the organization's IRS 501(c)3 tax-deductible status, according to a memo released by the board. O’Keefe alleges that he was unfairly ousted in what, according to reports, might be a power struggle within the organization. Regardless, O’Keefe has been called “cruel” by some former employees and has been alleged to spend money in lavish ways that threaten the organization's longevity. Project Veritas is known for its aggressive “sting operation” videos against targets—usually progressive, liberal, or otherwise mainstream organizations, campaigns, or media outlets. The organization’s 501(c)3 status prohibits political operations or the use of operational expenses for private benefit. Project Veritas raised $21 million in donations according to its most recent filing. O’Keefe allegedly spent $14,000 on a private chartered flight and upwards of $150,000 for private drivers over the previous 18 months in a letter released by the board.     Mormon church, affiliated nonprofit to pay $5 million to settle SEC charges alleging disclosure failures | CNBC Former FTX Executive’s Charity Generated Profits From Employee Token Prices | WSJ A Christian Ministry Promised An Obamacare Alternative. The FBI Says Its Leaders Pocketed $4 Million And Left ...| Forbes How Sean Penn’s Charity CORE Became a Money Mess | 
2/21/202320 minutes, 56 seconds
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Earthquake Devastation In Turkey & Syria (news)

Devastation In Turkey & Syria As Earthquake Exacerbates Ongoing Crises In Region A devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Turkey and Syria last Wednesday, in a region already at the center of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises. As of writing, the Associated Press reports a death toll surpassing 33,000. The New Humanitarian reports that the region has already been torn apart by war, conflict, economic crises, and a refugee crisis as the Syrian civil war has left much of Northwest Syria without a functioning government, instead controlled by militias, rebel factions, and other groups including Turkish and Kurdish forces. The on-the-ground reality has made moving aid and emergency response resources across the border extremely difficult. Yet, in some areas, NGOs and aid groups are the only form of search and rescue and disaster response resources available. Freezing temperatures and already haphazard infrastructure for those in Syria have made already dire situations worse. Across the border in Turkey, the government’s response has been seen as lackluster as the death toll rises. Experts warn the region will need substantial, long-term, ongoing aid and resources beyond that of typical natural disasters. Consider supporting relief efforts through organizations like Americares. Read more ➝     Summary Jesus Super Bowl Commercial Connected to Anti-LGBTQ, Anti-Abortion Group  | Newsweek  Why The Pat Tillman Super Bowl Segment Made People Angry | BuzzFeed News S.F. nonprofit scandal: Lawsuit alleges head of troubled homeless provider spent funds on lavish lifestyle | San Francisco Chronicle 
2/14/202326 minutes, 22 seconds
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How to Personalize for Purpose on Your Website | Optimonk

We discuss different ways to increase leads on your site through personalization with the Head of Partnerships from Optimonk, Eric Melchor.   Website Personalization is the human-centric approach to CRO that focuses on the customers' needs first. It is about creating more relevant customer journeys that are unique, remarkable, and meaningful on a personal level. A journey that starts with a personalized welcome message, which is improved by relevant product messaging, and ends with an irresistible offer, tailored to each customer. In our Personalization Bootcamp, I’ll give you a deep dive into the art and science of website personalization. I’ll show you how to use website personalization to grow your subscriber list, get more leads, and boost the ROI of all your marketing activities – all at the same time!   Transcript   [00:00:00] Track 3: Welcome to the using the Whole Whale podcast, where we learn from leaders about new ideas and digital strategies making a difference in the social impact world. This podcast is a proud production of Whole Whale a B Corp digital Agency. Thank you for joining us. Now let's go learn something. [00:00:27] Track 1: This week on the podcast we have Eric Melcor from OptiMonk. And as I understand, OptiMonk helps brands sort of personalize create, custom experiences on this site so that they can, uh, make more relevant content. And he is the partnerships and personalization ambassador. Beyond that, uh, Eric, uh, is big in, uh, European startups as a podcast host. [00:00:57] He is a self-proclaimed mediocre tennis player and also, uh, passed founded fly Uh, a nonprofit focused on, uh, I guess youth health and, and tracking them. And this was based in Texas. So Erica, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for. [00:01:16] eric_melchor: Hey, George. Pleasure to be here. Thanks for having. [00:01:20] Yeah. And I will say it was, uh, you know, it's interesting how various guests find their way here, and in this case, I have to hand it to you. Uh, you wore me down on email. [00:01:29] email. [00:01:29] honestly, and the way I'll say this, the way you did it was very clever because, you know, after a number of these, I'll just be honest, they get a lot of random, Hey, look at our software. [00:01:39] George: Look at our software. , you actually did the homework. Listen to a podcast and then ask me, uh, the following [00:01:45] eric_melchor: following [00:01:45] George: how does [00:01:46] eric_melchor: does [00:01:47] George: moon cut his hair? To which I had to see the answer and it was, he eclipses it. Um, perfect. I mean, it's just per, I was like, damn it. He has my attention now. Ah, and clearly that's your job, getting people's attention and then moving that toward a goal, a conversion. [00:02:07] Track 1: Can you tell me a little bit. Your work and your approach. [00:02:13] eric_melchor: Yeah. Well, George, I, I guess a question for you. Have you ever gotten a handwritten letter before? [00:02:19] George: I have gotten a handwritten letter before from not [00:02:22] eric_melchor: not [00:02:22] George: mom, but I have gotten handwritten runs from my mom as well. [00:02:26] eric_melchor: And it pro, you probably felt delighted, right? You probably, it gave you a sense of importance. Right, that feeling. And so with Opti Monk, uh, we try to give marketers the tools that they need to give that feeling of delightfulness and importance to their website visitors in real time. like you mentioned, we are a website personalization platform, uh, that allows you to create different messages for different segments, and those segments can be. like your v i P donors, maybe they are new visitors to your website who, uh, you know nothing about. Maybe they're visitors from a specific channel, maybe like a, a volunteer website or maybe somebody who just made a donation. And so what we do is, uh, give marketers the opportunity and the tools. Very easy to do. By the way, it's mostly a drag and drop interface, and you don't need to have any coding experience, but to just take a step back and, and, and ask yourself, okay, if I was in this visitor's shoes and if I was a person that didn't know about my ngo, what is a good experience for that person? Or if I just made a donation, what would be a. experience for a post donation. and once you have the answers to those questions, then we give you the, uh, the ability to craft that experience, uh, in real time for your website, for those, for your audience, for those visitors. [00:03:50] Track 1: and I'm curious. We'll be shifting our, our conversation to how, how we get those conversions and different tactics, uh, for, for doing that. I'm curious though, how, how that's achieved, given the clamp down on third party cookies and the ability to like, understand who someone is, right? When someone shows up to the site, like, I go there, you don't know that I am George, you know that I am maybe coming from California because of my IP address. [00:04:15] What are the ways that I am beginning to customize somebody? Who they are versus what. [00:04:23] eric_melchor: Yeah. It's all dependent on the type of browser they use. Um, so it's, it's really based on cookies. If they're using Safari, we will recognize that data for. Unfortunately for maybe just seven days, but if they're using Google Chrome, then we can actually know who they are and recognize 'em for up to about a year. so it's dependent on the browser that, the browser that's somebody using, and it's all based on cookies. [00:04:48] Track 1: Gotcha. are, I mean, do you have concerns? We actually just released an episode of how the, you know, cookie apocalypse as we're joking and how cookies are just gonna get mowed over by updates. You know, obviously we've already seen it in Apple and the land of Apple, uh, but they could be coming for browsers like Chrome, you know? [00:05:10] eric_melchor: How [00:05:10] How. [00:05:11] do you view that as, you know, a shift in the landscape of personal. [00:05:16] landscape, uh, we kind of welcome it because we are investing a lot in zero party data and it's, it's really actually, and lemme just take a step back. What is zero party data? Zero party data is the data that's actually based on directly from your visitor. And so if, if you have somebody that comes to your website, you know nothing about them, maybe you just have like a, a nice message for them that just says, Hey, we wanna make this experience as pleasurable as possible for you, can you just let us know? [00:05:47] Are you somebody interested in volunteering? Are you an individual donor? Are you maybe a corporate donor or something else? And once they, they make an answer, then you already know a little bit about that person. and you could probably take 'em to the part of the website that's most valuable to them. But you can also, once they made that answer, you kind of tag them and then put them into a segment that can also be carried over to your email marketing programs and initiatives as well. And so a lot of our, the brands who use Opti Monk really take advantage of our, um, what we call conversational message. And you know this, like I mentioned there, there's different ways to start that conversation, but one of the most popular ways is just have a message that appears, uh, when somebody goes on your website, and again, it's asking. What are you interested in? You know, can you tell us who you are? You know, it's, it's, it's basically like a welcome and, and really trying to hold that person's hand and just take 'em to the part of the website that makes sense for them. And so we're not relying too much on. level data because a lot of this shift has been over towards how do you start that conversation? How do you get that engagement? How do you start those micro engagements so where you can start letting the person know that you're there to educate them, provide value, and ho their hand? [00:07:06] And that's where we're seeing a shift toward a lot of the top e-commerce brands. Start doing that at the very beginning, [00:07:13] Track 1: Gotcha. So it's a chat interface or it's a popup, or it's a form somewhere that says, what are you up to? [00:07:21] eric_melchor: Yeah. Yeah. And I think there's a big opportunity for NGOs because NGOs, in my opinion, most of them are focused on that. Do donate now button. think 99% of NGOs you go to, that's the main call to action. It's donate now and you really have to look for, uh, where to sign up for the newsletter. I, I mean, I was doing a little bit of research this morning, for example, world Wildlife Dot. Had a hard time finding out where to subscribe to. The newsletters. You gotta go at the very bottom and there's like a little text link that says subscribe. Same thing with charity and another, uh, NGO called st Right? It's like they're hiding it. For some reason, they're hiding that, that part of what could be a really good experience because not everybody just like in the, in the for-profit. everybody is purchase ready. And when it comes to NGOs, not everybody is ready to make a donation right there and then. so I think they're missing out on the opportunity to collect or basically try to get somebody's email so you can continue that conversation, tell them your story, tell them more about you, so when they are ready to make a donation, they can go back to your website and do just that. [00:08:32] So it it. there's very easy things that NGOs can do now to actually grow their subscriber list. Uh, and I could share a few of those, you know, with you during our conversation. [00:08:43] Track 1: Well, that's great. I think we are on the same team when it comes to believing that the, the, the smartest ask the lowest friction, highest yield play for social impact organizations. is around getting that email, that permission to communicate, to borrow from Seth Code. And that permission to communicate list is that first and most important asset because again, not just for the purposes of donation, but for awareness, identity alignment, for social change, you need that communication bridge. [00:09:19] And it's one that you own, you know, as, uh, as far as it goes. You don't own that Twitter. , you don't own that LinkedIn, like you don't own anything built on somebody else's. [00:09:35] eric_melchor: Yeah. Do you know how powerful that email is? And so years ago, God, it's been almost 10 years, but I created an NGO back in Houston, uh, and I ran it for five years. Ended it in 2018, and, um, when I ended it, I stopped sending out emails or updates about the initiative. I, I went back into MailChimp and I looked at my list and I, I was doing something that was related to, to that NGO years ago, and I thought it'd be great to just kind of let people know what I was doing. I sent in a campaign out, literally four weeks ago to that list that I have not communicated with in over five years, and my open rate was above 30. And so it is so powerful where just like you said, it's like those people, they're not necessarily following you on Instagram or maybe Twitter or TikTok, or maybe they are, but whatever you own that, that is like an asset that even if you don't use it, you know, on a consistent basis, you should. [00:10:36] You definitely should, over time you could actually send out a campaign with a thoughtful headline, you know, good educational, valuable content, and you're, you're still gonna get eyeballs. So it's very important. It's the, it's the most important thing you can do, as you said. [00:10:54] All right, So [00:10:55] let's jump into it. Uh, and maybe we can go [00:10:58] can [00:10:58] back and forth with ideas. Cause I really wanted to, to generate a little bit of value for the folks listening in terms of what they should be doing. And I love talking about this in q1, where you should be building your list, you know? Planting, planting the seeds before the tree, digging the well before you're thirsty. [00:11:16] Track 1: Insert metaphor here for here. Give me one of your more clever ideas for acquiring emails as a social impact organization. What do you got? [00:11:28] eric_melchor: Yeah, I mean, this one, this one to me is a no-brainer, and it's called, we call it sort of an exit intent popup. so e-commerce brands use this. If somebody's trying to leave the website and maybe they had something in their cart and it's like a little popup message that reminds them, Hey, you know, these, these are the items that are in your shopping cart, or, Hey, before you leave, you know, here's like a 10, 10% off coupon or something. But if you're a, a nonprofit, can use the same tactic. I mean, anybody. When they leave your website or they hit the uh, uh, the back button on the brows button, uh, just have like a little popup message that just says, Hey, do you wanna stay in the know and get our emails? And just have that little message there, appear when they are trying to leave your website. [00:12:13] And we see on average that that will give you email subscribers anywhere in the range of eight to 12%, which is actually much higher than trying to get somebody's email at the very. When you really don't know anything about them and they haven't even started browsing your website or clicking around. Um, so that's like one thing that I would highly recommend that NGOs start testing or experimenting with. [00:12:38] Track 1: and I love the fact that you put the caveat exit intent. Uh, I get very nervous when I see nonprofits throwing a popup in the, uh, time to first screen and interrupting the content, uh, layout and risking content layout shifts of the site load, which is a fancy way of saying it. Don't. Piss off Google with your pop-ups cuz you'll be hurting more than you are helping. [00:13:03] So yeah, I'm, uh, I'm on board with the exit 10. [00:13:06] eric_melchor: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Um, another idea, [00:13:11] Track 1: Go. Oh yeah. What I. [00:13:12] eric_melchor: Okay, another idea. And I'm on, I'm, I'm on the same page with you. I do not wanna show any popups during this entire experience what, what we have in this, in, in, in, in this platform. And I'm sure other platforms have the same thing as, as what we call a teaser. And a teaser is just like a little message that can fit like in the lower left-hand corner of your website. [00:13:33] And it's like a little message that just says, Hey, get our emails to stay in the know, you know? And it. It doesn't, it doesn't really stand out, but it does catch attention. Um, and if somebody wants to, if somebody's curious and they wanna click on that to see more information than they can, and once it's clicked on, then obviously, uh, like a pop-up would appear and it says, you know, you know, get our newsletters to stay in the know. [00:13:59] Please enter your name and email address right there. So that's probably the second thing that I would recommend. After the x and intent popup message, [00:14:08] George: I like it. Uh, well, I think I like it. I want to, I wanna see it, see it in [00:14:12] eric_melchor: For [00:14:12] George: know, it, I feel like there can be a bit of a, , um, malaise that sits in with layout based email asks, right? They're like, oh, just stick it in your foot or stick it in your head or stick it in the sidebar. You know, that that sort of basic block and tackle of like, are, is it around there? [00:14:28] And then like, eventually the, the person that's amazing, they can just sort of have screen blindness to these things. Uh, and so, you know, I feel like some things can get lost. [00:14:36] eric_melchor: screen. [00:14:37] George: Um one I really like that I kind of go to is, uh, uh, various ideas framed around a content locker being. Here is a bit of information for free, but here is the entire list of 101 dma, and if you want the entire list of 101 DMA, hand over your email and we will give it to you right here. [00:14:57] eric_melchor: email. Yeah, I, I mean if that works, then great. You can probably, you know, continue using that. I didn't think of that, of that one for NGOs. Um, but what's important though, I think no matter what is that you have the right message for the right target, right? And so if you have specific landing pages and you know that, hey, on these landing pages, uh, it's probably a good opportunity to try and capture somebody's email address for somebody who is not yet ready to make a donation. but we don't wanna lose them. Um, and so on those specific pages, then you. know, present some sort of content, that could be very appealing, such as, hey, if you wanna get the a hundred list of 101 dalmatians, you know, sign up here and we'll, we'll get it to you. [00:15:41] So I think there's key landing pages that maybe are appropriate for that. [00:15:45] Track 1: All right. What else? [00:15:47] eric_melchor: Um, well, I mean, to be honest, I mean, those are the two tactics that I would try. First obviously donate. Now is, is the main call to action for NGOs, but the exit intent, the teaser pop up, and then the right message will be the other thing that I think is very, very, uh, important and the right message. If an NGO is doing any sort of like paid me to advertising maybe on Facebook ads, and so you have traffic come into your website and you. these people never heard of you and they didn't come in through, you know, organically, but they came in through a paid ad. Then on that landing page would be another opportunity to where you could have very targeted messaging for those visitors dependent on the ad. And so if that ad. That messaging that was on the ad itself make it very appealing and make sure that it's, it's the same sort of messaging or value proposition that's on the headline of that landing page. And I think once you have that, then it's, it's, it's much easier to try and get the, um, the email, uh, the email ask, uh, once you have your ad aligned with your landing page headline. And so that would, that would be the third tactic [00:17:00] Track 1: I'm glad you mentioned the value proposition because along the way you, you mentioned you, you have a new, uh, a newsletter pop up saying like, get the newsletter from us. And that's one of those like, sort of like triggering things for me when I see an organization trying to make their unique selling proposition, Hey, their user. [00:17:20] George: Would you like another email in your in. , do you know? Are people, if you walk around being like, you know what? Do you need me to hit you in the hand with a hammer? Cuz I have one. I'll do it. [00:17:32] You need another email in your inbox? [00:17:33] eric_melchor: inbox. [00:17:34] George: So I like that you said value proposition. Can you tell me [00:17:39] eric_melchor: compensation about [00:17:41] George: approach? [00:17:41] Anything maybe the product does, or what you've seen for message testing [00:17:45] eric_melchor: investing [00:17:46] George: getting away from? I will say the dreaded, like you need another. [00:17:51] eric_melchor: Yeah. Um, humanizing the copy, the brands that we work with, those that tend to have the higher conversion rates in terms of getting email subscribers are the ones where the copy is, uh, is humanized. [00:18:06] And what I mean by that, like off the top of my head, I think really good, they've gotta. And it says something like, hey, sorry to be an AHO and interrupt your experience here, you know, But I mean, it's just, it's just a really good copy that captures your attention you end up reading the entire message and, uh, you know, it's got this, it's got this humorous component, human touch, you know, that it wasn't like standard copy and paste corporate type messaging. [00:18:36] So if you can do anything. Maybe could put a, make somebody laugh and, uh, you know, that, oh wow, this person, you know, or this organization, uh, they're trying to, you know, human humanize a this approach, this human-centric approach, uh, that works well too. [00:18:55] Track 1: There's a term in, in marketing, communications and copywriting. Um, grabbing a, a swipe file and creating a swipe file. And this is just a, a funny way of saying like, , you should go around and shop for anytime you see something like that, something clever, a good framing in and around, adjacent or even not adjacent communication and, and, and save it and sort of prime your mind with ways of doing that because I think you're, you're right, you need to have something that breaks the third wall. [00:19:29] Something that stops the normal train. Consume and move. Uh, and so, you know, I dare say interrupt, but rather entertain is a, a good framing and a good approach. And, and too often just because a nonprofit works on serious issues doesn't mean they always need to be serious. There, there's a line there. Um, and I think it's possible to skate on both sides. [00:19:59] and you know, your point, I don't know, would work on a, you know, world animal protection being like, sorry to f and interrupt here. You know, we were busy with this tiger, but get on this email. Uh, you know, you wanna be careful. But, uh, when it comes to, when it comes to AB testing though, because we're gonna come up with a clever idea. [00:20:18] Cool. Does it work? Can you tell me a bit about your approach to AB testing messages? [00:20:26] eric_melchor: Yeah, I mean, that's what we recommend for all brands to do. It's very easy, e very easy to do within our platform. Uh, I'm not sure if you knew this, George, but Google is suning Optimizly. I think [00:20:38] George: Ah, don't [00:20:39] Track 1: get me started on the number of things. Google is sunset. That has me infuriated number one, universal analytics, number two. Is optimized like number three is just the fact that they're rebranding Data Studio as Looker, cuz they got Looker and now they're just getting rid of Data Studio. But it's like pretty much the same functionality. [00:20:56] But I'm, you know what, Google, just stop it. [00:21:00] eric_melchor: Yeah. It, yeah. [00:21:02] George: Rant. [00:21:02] Track 1: End. Rant. Continue. [00:21:05] Before I interrupted. [00:21:06] eric_melchor: Yeah, but that, that's the main thing that you should be testing. You could test headlines, you know, with AB testing. With the messaging, like for popups, asking for an email subscriber. You can test different popups that have a different image, different copy, or maybe even the different popup itself, maybe an exit and 10 popup versus another side message popup. [00:21:24] There's all kinds of ab testing that you can do within our platform, and, uh, you can see, you know, the results in real time also with the degree of statistical. Uh, significance as well. You know, if it's at least 90% or better, we show that too. Um, as as well. But, uh, the humorous approach, I mean, how did I get your attention, George? [00:21:45] You know, y I sent an email and I don't think I got a response and I followed up with, uh, with the joke, right? And so it works if that is your person. You know, if that is, if you're being authentic and you're being genuine, it works, right? And so if you're an, or if you're an organization and you're very professional and very corporate, like it's probably not gonna work If you, you tr first of all, it's not even gonna get past compliance and legal. [00:22:14] They're not , they're not even gonna allow that. But it really works. If that is your personality type, and I, I would say that I'm able to get a response back to more than 90% of people that who don't know who I am, but I end up sending them, you know, a code email or something, and I add a touch of humor, because. people under, people wanna work with people they like. And if you can make somebody laugh, then you're, that's, that's half the battle already. They're like, oh wow. You know, this guy put a smile on my face. And it's the same thing works with, we're trying to get somebody's email, maybe even trying to get somebody to donate. [00:22:51] Right. And it's engaging, it's like a fun micro engagement that I don't see brands take advantage of, enough in this day. And. [00:23:03] Track 1: Well, certainly in, in your approach, like look, you're, you are proof, proof to that statement right now, right? You got through I'd say a fairly high barrier of me ignoring the heck out of everything that comes in, uh, to my attention, the. Point though also as, as a tactic, you know, if you are doing that type of cold outreach, which, you know, fundraisers and communications folks do, when you're trying to get the attention of the c s r director at so-and-so, when you're trying to get Yeah, just a conversation at maybe the, the, the grant manager at what you callit trust, I think going back to what is your value proposition and how are you positioning who you are and what it is like humor has. [00:23:47] Um, and it communicates more than maybe we, we realize what I enjoy talking with this person. Does this person both see the cause, see the issue, see the world. And you know, how, you know, how humans really do orient around humor. And I think is, is undersold in, in what I see around social impact communication and certainly just as a tactic. [00:24:09] I think there's a lot to borrow. I think there's a lot to borrow here from, you know, I'll, I'll see this, this tactic more from, you know, folks that are, we'll call it SMILE dialing and emailing [00:24:21] George: for, [00:24:22] Track 1: for attention, but there's a lot I think nonprofits could borrow. What do you think about that? [00:24:28] eric_melchor: Absolutely. Um, when I was at Bonura and people would come on board for like a free trial, you know, all of us, we would try to send, uh, a personal video. And I found that once I started telling people jokes, specifically like cheesy dad jokes, like, Hey, when does a joke become a dad joke? When it becomes apparent, 20% of people would respond with a video of their own and tell me a dad. You know, and , it just, it just really, it just really broke down Barriers started the conversation and the conversion rates compared to just sending anybody a personal video and just saying, Hey, hi, welcome to have you on board. Um, it blew those, you know, through the roof. I mean, significantly higher when you, when you try to add humor. [00:25:14] And I do the same thing on LinkedIn too. When I connect with somebody and it's somebody that I do wanna engage with, you know, if I just send them, uh, a really nice message, even with a little dad joke or whatever. I actually get a lot of responses back. People are sending me jokes as well. So, uh, I think it, if you could put a smile on somebody's face, um, it just really opens the door for further communication, just as it did with you, you and myself here. Um, and that kind of clever, that kind of humorous approach. Really works well for any sort of organization that is trying to start that conversation, that initial conversation, uh, whether it be a customer, a potential donor, maybe somebody that they just wanna continue that communication with in the form of a newsletter or email. [00:25:57] And it works, you know, it, it works. It's been working for me over the past three, four years. And, uh, I've had nothing but great, you know, great results from it and created lots of different friendships, relationships, and contacts, uh, because of that. [00:26:14] Well there you have, we had, we had to get you to minute 26 of this podcast. [00:26:18] podcast. [00:26:19] but there it is. There's the gem for you. You can stop listening. Dad jokes. Dad jokes convert. Simply put, you could stop listening now, or maybe there's more, but there's probably not, uh, I, you're, you're just talking to somebody who has taken great pride in the fact that we index, I think, [00:26:35] think. [00:26:35] positions, whatever, one, two, or three in the top, top few for non-profit jokes. [00:26:42] George: Um, because I thought it was funny and I just put a bunch of dad jokes as non-profit. Simply because, uh, simply because, but getting back to [00:26:52] eric_melchor: getting [00:26:52] George: idea of AB testing, I think this is critical, uh, because just setting it and forgetting it, [00:26:57] eric_melchor: it, [00:26:57] George: uh, is betraying the point of doing the work in the first place. Do you have any stories or anecdotes or testimonies of being like, you know, I did [00:27:07] eric_melchor: I [00:27:07] George: thing and then suddenly the conversion rate doubled. [00:27:10] eric_melchor: Right? That dream of like two x it, because here's the power. and I don't think we, we get it. [00:27:16] it. [00:27:16] When you double a conversion rate, you have doubled your effective ad spend. You have doubled the efficacy of all of the hours of work you put into writing content. You've doubled the downstream net income that comes from the value per email. [00:27:35] Track 1: It, it is so. and it takes sort of so little time, but it is so overlooked and I like, I try to frame it in different ways, but do you have, what is your stump speech on this? Do you have any stories? [00:27:47] eric_melchor: Yeah. Uh, I remember when, again, back to the personal video and welcoming somebody that, that was coming for free trial for Bonura. I, um, I started experimenting with after I said the dad joke, right, where we could tell if it was like a SaaS company or if it was an ngo. Or if it was an e-commerce, uh, company, uh, or if it was like an agency or something else. if we were, if we knew that information, um, we would see it before we would send out the video. And what I would do is the call to action would be specifically for. That specific industry. And we had case studies. So for example, uh, if you were an agency, we had case studies about agency owners who started using bargi and they were able to get more clients and more demo calls, uh, because they were sending out personal videos if you were in the education space. [00:28:42] We had case study on a university that started using uro and uh, they saw that application rates started. Went up like 25% because they were sending out personal videos to potential new students, uh, at the university. And so once I started including a specific call to action that was tied to that industry in the, in the video that I was sending out. the conversion rates, but more than double, I mean, we were seeing clickthrough rates go from, on average, from like 15% to like over 35, 40 5%. And we knew that we had a winner right there just because we recognized who they were. and once we knew, were able to recognize who they were, then, you know, we could insert content that was most appealing for them. [00:29:26] In the case of a. Right. AB testing, you know, different headlines or different value propositions for the different, uh, visitors that are coming in from different segments. And so with a platform, with the personalization platform, it should have the ability to trigger a different headline, a different copy, a different image, or a different graphic. [00:29:50] Based on the source. So if you want to, if you're doing, you know, a lot of visitors, you have a lot of visitors from Instagram or maybe Facebook, you can actually show them a different message, um, on that landing page. But even better do an AB test where you have two different messages trying to appeal to visitor visitors. [00:30:08] Or maybe you don't even want to a ab test the headline. Maybe you just have a regular experience. But for 50% of the visitor, visitor. you're asking them a survey. And on that survey you have a few questions that you're asking them so you can do different things, um, uh, based on the source of where they're coming from. Um, also, you know, based on, um, Uh, the type of visitor. So maybe it's a returning visitor, maybe it's a v i p customer. You already have them in your C R M and you already know who they are. and then also, you know, new visitors as well. You can also ab Tess, um, with those visitors as well, so starting to get carried off there. [00:30:46] But yeah, it's a fun approach. I always, my, my philosophy is you can't really call yourself a marketer if you don't do AP testing. Point, point, break. [00:30:56] Track 1: Well, you can call yourself whatever you want. Can't call yourself a good marketer. [00:31:00] eric_melchor: Yeah. [00:31:01] Track 1: Uh, I think also with, with nonprofits, they have access to other other means, including now limited to the Google Ad Grant, which is 10 K a month in kind of search advertising. now you can tune and fix all day on the top of that funnel and get, you know, after a certain point diminishing returns on, on that traffic. [00:31:21] But looking at the landing pages, looking at what you do with that traffic once it's on your site, like you can then look down the marketing funnel and then remember when you get those improvements, it magnifies the value of that attention because you're converting it, turning it into the permission to talk to somebody. [00:31:39] But it's only through that, that activity. Of AB testing. [00:31:43] George: Alright. [00:31:44] eric_melchor: Yep. [00:31:44] George: Yeah. [00:31:45] eric_melchor: bringing back memories. I remember when I started my nonprofit, I didn't find out about that program till like over a year. And when [00:31:51] George: Oh gosh. [00:31:52] eric_melchor: like, why didn't anybody tell me about this? You know? Yeah. [00:31:58] Track 1: Well, I mean, whole whale. We have, uh, free resources on how to set that grant up to maximize it and what you can get out of it. We spend a lot of time trying to give away that information. Um, we even have a, a trained cohort coming up where, um, you know, that. Nonprofits limited. 25 of 'em can, uh, can be a part of it, uh, because it's such a powerful tool. [00:32:19] But it's also, you know, it, it's important because all that glitters is in gold. There's a diminishing return after maximizing it, and then it's just about managing it efficiently for, uh, what it's good for. So before you run off, if you've never heard of this before, be like, oh my gosh, I'm gonna start a nonprofit just to get this grant and I'm gonna take over the world. [00:32:36] Like, read the article first. [00:32:38] eric_melchor: yeah. Yeah, absolutely. [00:32:41] Alright, Eric, anything else that you wanna leave with our audience as a, a tip or guidance [00:32:47] Guidance? [00:32:48] on the upside of personalization? [00:32:51] Yeah. Website personalization is a bit like Google Analytics and everybody thinks that, oh, I know how to use Google Analytics because they figured out, figured out how to create an account. And get it working. Um, but the thing is, is that you really want to try to go to. Get as much education as you can. [00:33:08] Maybe go to our workshop. We have free workshops, free website, personalization boot camps. I actually conduct those and we walk you through our process we actually show you a lot of, uh, the best practices that top companies do, small and mid-size organizations on how they use website personalization. [00:33:27] And we provide free resources along with like a checklist. And based on that checklist, you actually will uncover, um, top ideas and experiments that you can do that are going to give you the biggest ROI based off the reach, the impact, and um, the expected effort. And so once you have that, then you have an idea in terms of what should be the priorities of what I should focus on next. [00:33:51] And then we also have like playbooks and how you can implement those for, uh, for your website. So, um, that URL. Optum and that that's the what I highly recommend. That if you wanna learn more about website personalization, then check that out. [00:34:08] George: Well, we normally end our show with rapid fire. I'm going to cherry pick some out of there because typically we're talking to non-profit leaders and focused conversations. But I, I'm gonna throw some random questions at you. Uh, please keep your answers super short and here we go. [00:34:23] eric_melchor: Okay. [00:34:23] George: is one tech tool that you have started using in the past year? [00:34:27] Track 1: We cannot say optimum. What is it? [00:34:30] eric_melchor: One tab. [00:34:31] Track 1: One tab? [00:34:32] eric_melchor: Yeah. Have you heard of this, George? [00:34:35] Track 1: No. What? [00:34:36] eric_melchor: No. So, you know, every marketer has like 50 or 60 tabs open and it makes your website, you know, your, your computer run slow anyway. Um, Uh, for, it's for Google Chrome and you can use it in basically just kind of hides and, and saves in the back, keeps it, keeps it in the back, all those tabs and you can very quickly, uh, find them. [00:34:57] But it just saves a lot of me memory. Um, you know, while you're using Chrome and you don't have to have 50 tabs open, you can just have one or two. It's called Onet tab. [00:35:07] Track 1: what is one tech Dragon Tech problem issue that you are currently battling with? [00:35:13] eric_melchor: Uh, text Expander. This is another third party tool. Um, it's a great tool that allows you to just to type a few different keys in and it'll auto-populate the rest of the message. [00:35:23] George: this a G [00:35:23] Track 1: P T three game? [00:35:25] eric_melchor: no, the problem that I found out is that if you have LinkedIn open at the same time, LinkedIn, um, thanks that you're using it as sort of an automation tool to try and connect with people. Autom messages people on LinkedIn. And so I actually have my LinkedIn account like, like pause for like 24 hours because of this thing. so that's the thing that I'm currently battling. It's called Text Expander. It's a good tool but just can't have LinkedIn open or can't have it open. When you're using LinkedIn, [00:35:57] Track 1: Okay. Uh, what advice did your parents give you that you either followed or didn't? [00:36:03] eric_melchor: uh, I would say the advice, it was not so much like words, the advice, but more of actions and, uh, my dad, when we were kids, he had this like mini Mitsubishi truck and I remember the windshield wipers and stop working and he never replaced them. And so it'd be like raining and he would, you know, be trying to drive out there in the middle of the night. Couldn't see. Couldn't see. And I've always just, it's not necessarily advice, but it's one of those things that you learn from and you, you learn like what not to do as a parent. And now that I'm a parent, it's like that's something, you know, stupid things like that I would never do. [00:36:47] Track 1: Who is the most important mentor that you've had, and how did you come across? [00:36:52] eric_melchor: Oh, uh, my most important mentor would be secondary mentors. And so that's just a lot of different books, everything from, oh God, Napoleon, to, uh, God, I mean even, even and, and different coaches like Pat Summit, Vince Lombardi, um, did a lot of reading when I was younger. I just didn't really have a lot of access to good mentors, um, or people in my family. Um, you know, I'm first college graduate in my family, so, uh, secondary mentors were just a lot of books that I, that I read so many [00:37:30] Track 1: What is something you think you should stop? [00:37:37] eric_melchor: mm. You know, I've, I'm really happy with my life right now and the person that I am, the parent that I am, the father, that I am, the husband that I am. I think of one thing that comes to mind is, um, I haven't written any handwritten letters to my family, I think in over a year. And so that's something that I should start doing, but that's like the first thing that comes to mind. oh, I know what I should stop doing. Eating, eating candy and junk food when I go to. It's 10:00 PM I go to bed and I go grab some, a candy bar, and I'm eating that. That's, that's what I should stop doing. [00:38:11] Track 1: Yeah, you gotta put the Gremlin law into effect. No feeding after a certain period of time. [00:38:15] eric_melchor: Yeah. Yeah. My wife is, uh, to blame for that one. [00:38:19] Track 1: Well,      
2/9/202338 minutes, 20 seconds
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Is Charity Content for Clicks Charitable? The Mr. Beast Debate (news)

  Hot Take Debate: Was Mr. Beast's Cataract Surgery Video charitable? Adam Faircloth joins the debate.    Context:  MR Beast made content around paying for 1k eye surgeries, is this charitable.  the video has 95million views and was sponsored by Experian. At a rate of $2.13 per CPM, the video has generated at least $200k.    does it matter that it isn't a nonprofit? what if it was a nonprofit? how does this compare to flies in the eyes videos of african children that used to be used for fundraising does it matter if Mr Beast made a profit on this? what difference is there between actors being paid to perform in a video and people getting their surgeries covered to perform in a video Is this actually a potential earned revenue model?     Other Summary World Cancer Day Promotes Advocacy, Awareness, & Early Detection World Cancer Day, which was this past Saturday, emphasizes the importance of awareness around cancer, its potential symptoms, and the importance of an early diagnosis. The BBC acknowledged the day of advocacy by highlighting stories of young cancer patients who were misdiagnosed, acknowledging that young people can get cancer too. Many nonprofits, including Whole Whale client LCFA, advocates for research, awareness, and community on behalf of those impacted by cancers of various type. Many hospitals and other medical centers launched advocacy campaigns themselves, including the Georgia Cancer Center. Read more ➝   Late Subway Cofounder Donates 50 Percent Ownership to Nonprofit  | QSR magazine Local nonprofit cleans up 36,000 pounds of trash along American River  |  CBS News World’s biggest YouTuber paid for 1,000 people to get eye surgery but is slammed for ‘making content out of people who can’t see’   |  Fortune Gorillas, militias, and Bitcoin: Why Congo’s most famous national park is betting big on crypto  |  MIT Technology Review          
2/7/202327 minutes, 39 seconds
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Buying Voter Files is so 2015 Advocay - Join 2023 with Quorum

Alex Wirth, Co-founder & CEO of - a leading public affairs software that helps map, track, change, and report on policy landscape, shares insights into advocacy approaches that will work in 2023. Alex ranks: Twitter, IRL meetings, calling, letters, videos, Meta, and billboards as just some of the methods advocacy organizations can be using to get the attention of representatives.     He shares why buying Donor Voter files may be obsolete in the new advocacy landscape.    About Alex Alex Wirth is the Cofounder and CEO of Quorum, a public affairs software platform that enables organizations to launch grassroots advocacy campaigns, manage stakeholder engagement, and monitor dialogue in Washington, Brussels, all 50 states, and thousands of cities around the U.S.     Rough Transcript [00:00:00] audio1717820249: Today on the podcast, we have a returning guest, a returning guest that we had on a few years ago. His name is Alex Worth, the co-founder and c e o at Quorum. Uh, quorum is a public affairs software helps you work smarter, move faster. Thousands of public affairs officials use quorum and their work to Congress. [00:00:44] My short hot take on it is it helps you connect with Congress and has an amazing database and functionality prior. To that, uh, he did happen to graduate from Harvard, as I understand it, and he was an intern at , the White House. Uh, and the office of the Chief of staff, uh, has also spent time as a global shaper. [00:01:04] And a board member on the Economic Club of Washington, among other things. Uh, but Alex is also one of the folks that I've known since back in the day, and I respect his work and his persistence in, in staying with, uh, staying with the organization and building it over time. So, Alex, welcome and, and thanks for coming back. [00:01:25] Awesome. Thanks for having me. Well, I hopefully didn't confuse people too much about Quorum, but what is your elevator pitch and explaining what Quorum does in the world of political advocacy? Yeah, so we're a public affairs software platform, uh, that is used by public affairs professionals at major companies, trade associations, nonprofits, uh, little bit of federal government work to track everything that's happening on Capitol Hill. [00:01:56] All 50 state legislatures help communicate up to members of congress. Um, we collect both the official and staff contact information and have the tools to be able to get email messages to those staff. And then also we have a whole series of grassroots advocacy technology to help individuals write their member congress, tweet their member, call their member, run massive mobilization campaigns. [00:02:18] And we are currently working to bring a brand new pack product to market to help, uh, third party packs, both collect and raise. Manage their individual bank accounts and records and then issue disbursements to lawmakers to participate in the political process. So the quick way to think of us and our goal is to be the one stop shop for all the efforts that an advocacy team needs to engage on Capitol Hill in Brussels or in any of the state capitals across the country. [00:02:45] Yeah. It's pretty impressive. And before we, we pressed record, you were telling us, um, about Capital Canary. Right? You were, you were able to, to pull them into your. Feature suite and what has that capability? Yeah, so this has been the really exciting update for us, uh, from the last year is that we did acquire Capital Canary, which is the new name for the phone to action business, which sends more messages to Capital Hill than any other technology platform out there. [00:03:15] Uh, phone to Action on average sends about 25 million messages a year to Capitol Hill, and so we combine forces with them, uh, at the end of September of this past fall. And overnight both doubled in size for the number of clients we serve and that we're working now with 2000 organizations, including hopefully some listeners, uh, on this call, but also as a result of that, have been able to double the size of our research and development team. [00:03:41] So we're incredibly excited to be working combined as we think about innovations with advocacy and advocacy technology rather than against each other, taking the same teams to build the same features on multiple different platforms. And we're pretty excited about what the future's gonna be able to bring from. [00:03:58] Well, last time we talked, I feel like you were really opening my eyes, our audience's eyes, to the impact that Twitter was really starting to have. And mind you, we were pre pandemic, we were PreOn Musk coming into Twitter town, and I felt like you really were helping us understand that there are, you know, I guess a hierarchy. [00:04:21] A hierarchy of ways that elected officials and you know, really their staff. Are are listening to constituents and I'm, I'm wondering, maybe we could just revisit that. What is your current hierarchy of high to low attention? No attention for messaging, elected officials, representatives. Yeah, so to start with the Twitter piece one, you were spot on. [00:04:49] Twitter has taken off since we last talked, and a lot of that was as a result of the pandemic of you had members of Congress, state legislators, mayors who are used to being out with people in their constituents, stuck at home, not able to meet everyone, anyone. And wanting to show that they are being relevant and share as much information as they can with constituents. [00:05:10] And so we saw the number of social media messages from elected officials skyrocket in 2020. I mean, just a full jump, um, as the pandemic and lockdown hit. Um, and so there's been more definitely usage of the platforms. I think the other component to it is, I do agree with Elon Musk's comments that Twitter really is a digital town square, and I think you see that very significantly in the policy influence participation journalism and advocacy worlds that exist on Twitter and that many of us, including me, follow along, but that we see members of congress, journalists, policy, influencers, actively participate in. [00:05:51] And the example that I think is helpful to share is that almost every state legislature in the country, Has a given hashtag for the individual legislative session. I was born and raised, uh, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. My dad happens to be a state legislator so I know it well. Uh, and in New Mexico the hashtag is hashtag nm ledge. [00:06:09] And the best way to get information about what's going on in the State House during session is following on the hashtag nm ledge. Cause you have people that are in the gallery. You have reporters sharing what the information they have. You've got leadership sharing, Hey, we're gonna be on the floor of the House of Senate. [00:06:24] This bill is moving, party's sharing what's up next. And you can't get information that quickly, that accurately and from that many people anywhere else. And so that same level of conversation that's happening, New Mexico is happening in all 50 states. But also then it's happening on key issues here in Washington DC and it presents a really significant opportunity for advocacy organizations to participate in. [00:06:48] Stuff. Yeah. Because frankly, it's, you know, love it or hate it. We're not here to litigate the, you know, week by week changes that Musk is putting out there. The, the truth is that it's, uh, an open, trusted platform to the extent that identities and we understand the identities of representatives and people that have been able to burnish their reputations with consistency on the platform are able to report on things like bills progress, uh, and political means, and. [00:07:18] And one of the questions I actually had for you is around the fact that, you know, recently, you know, we were recording this in January of 2023, uh, change of allowing political ads in political organizations to, to run ads. Now on, on Twitter has, you know, the, the ban has been lifted. What are your thoughts on the, the implications of that or opportu. [00:07:41] Yeah, so I think there's huge opportunities you think about reaching policy makers and their staff in that it is possible to geofence state capital, the US Capitol, a given agency, and run publical or public policy related Twitter ads to those organizations. I think that is some of the biggest opportunity and impact. [00:08:03] and the Great Washington story that I, I've heard over the years is there was an official at the Department of Transportation that was needed to approve an airline route from one country in Europe to the us and it was held up with a singular individual official, and the public policy firm in DC figured out where the official lived. [00:08:23] Figured out the exact direction that their apartment window faced out of, found the billboard that they look at every day, and went and bought just that one billboard and talked about the benefits of opening up this airline . And literally the official had to stare at it for a month or a month and a half, and then suddenly the approval came through. [00:08:42] And so that's obviously like the really old school way of doing things. And that story is probably from 10 plus years ago. But that is now possible again on Twitter with public policy and political advertising. And it makes a difference because these elected officials are looking at it. They're watching and seeing what's happening and going on, and so you wanna be at the platform that they're on. [00:09:02] And it's a lot more cost effective to do than that, than try and advertise to everyone that's gonna be watching Super Bowl Sunday and like hope you get the elected officials that are also gonna be watching as well. So I want to come back to my question about hierarchy. So at the top of the hierarchy, Billboards in front of the windows of representatives, number one. [00:09:23] What is number? In person meetings. Um, and I think that that is something that very much got lost in Covid. Um, members of Congress did love to do zoom meetings cuz they could be many more places at once, much more efficiently. But there is something about sitting next to someone in person explaining your story, saying, I traveled to Washington or the state capitol from whatever county or state it may. [00:09:51] And giving that pitch and, and giving that conversation. I think the third one that I would put out there is video. Uh, and this is something that we're seeing much more cutting edge within the last year and a half, is video story banking. So pulling in and having individual advocates or members or donors record, what does the organization mean to you? [00:10:11] Why is this policy issue important? How are you being impacted? Buy this change or buy a covid lockdown. And then organizations stringing that together to be able to play to an individual legislator or lawmaker or appointed official and say, let me show you how your constituents are having an impact. [00:10:28] And it feels really raw when someone's sitting in their car with a cell phone video and sharing that. And that's been pretty impactful. I've probably put Twitter, um, close to number four. And the reason for that is that we have seen an increase in members of Congress who are personally tweeting themselves on the platform. [00:10:47] Um, and that's one of the big things that we've expected to happen just as we've had both, you know, more younger members of Congress become elected, but also more members adopted. And one of the interesting things from our annual social media report, Is that some of our most prolific tweeters in Congress are actually the older members themselves. [00:11:04] Um, and so we're seeing, you know, individuals look towards that example and realize this is the way that you communicate with constituents. And let me tell you, we've all used the Twitter app. You know, when you're mentioned and you know, when you're talked about. And it's a little bit along the lines of, you know, what people are saying about you, not behind your back, but on a public town square. [00:11:22] Like, you're gonna click on that and see how you're mentioned and see how you're being discussed. And so I think that has a huge impact that oftentimes can go overlooked as a way to be able to reach and, and get to a member of Congress. That's a sort of self-aware sentiment that I'm sure they're all using tracking applications. [00:11:41] And last time I dug into this, there are very, you know, smart apps that are, that can be used to track these things and manage messages. And so that's up there. So it's interesting because it feels like it, it's moved up the rank, you know, looking back, we were talking about calls and letters, you know, where, where does that communication medium fall for? [00:12:01] Yeah, so calls are still key, um, and certainly have an impact. I mean, if you can have a hundred people call a legislative office in a given day, that's really big. Now the challenge is that staff picks that up, not the member. There are some great stories, a members that'll occasionally do a little time phone banking and someone calls and suddenly, if they're a member of Congress on the phone. [00:12:22] But you know, that's one in a million um, calls that it happens. And so members do, and I was a congressional intern, you know, get a sheet every day of here are the top issues that we're called about. And the key piece there is doing it all in one day so that you're at the top of the list. Because having a hundred people call over a month, you're gonna have five, six calls a day. [00:12:40] It's not gonna be as effective as everyone in one given day. Um, I still think that personalized letters really do have a pretty big impact. Um, and the key piece of it is making sure that they are differentiated and on, you know, slightly different subjects than all form letters on the same thing. [00:13:00] Because what happens behind the scenes is that members of Congress have constituent management software platforms and they can both pull and collect similar messages together and highlight that. If a message is 50% the same text, batch it all together, write, write one response, and send it. . And yes, the numbers matter, but it's different than if somebody takes the time and writes a completely customized note. [00:13:21] You can't send a form letter to a customized note, and so then you actually have a staffer customizing a message in response, getting that approved and having that happen. Uh, and I really do believe that that starts to change some of the conversation in a congressional office because it can take an issue that no one was previously aware about and suddenly raise it to be top of mind for the office because they're spending time writing and customized and thoughtful. [00:13:45] Mm-hmm. . So you would still put Twitter above calls and differentiated, we'll call them custom letters. So I, the handwritten letter is what might give that a little bit of a run for the money. If you can deliver a handwritten letter to a member, um, that's pretty valuable. But again, the opportunity with Twitter that exists is you've got a chance to reach that elected official or policy influencer directly themselves and differentiate and also catch them in a little bit of downtime. [00:14:13] Um, and I think that's the key thing that I would encourage and you know, it helps with both my parents being local elected officials, is they're people just like, And so members of Congress the same way they're sitting, waiting for that flight to take off to go home, do they really wanna be sitting there, you know, powering through email? [00:14:26] No, they're probably scrolling on Twitter. And are they gonna click on the notifications tab? Of course they are like, we're all human. Um, but you know, that's a different experience than if you're a state legislator and you're trying to go through email as fast as possible. Like it may not have that same component or piece to it. [00:14:43] Um, that getting the direct in front of and, and on the Twitter platform. . All right. Any other honorable mentions out there? You know, the, the case for Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, fill in the blank. You know, I won't talk about Mastodon because I feel like that is a moment in time. Yeah, we're cer We certainly see some members that are active on Facebook at the congressional level that use it even more than Twitter. [00:15:10] Um, I think, you know, anecdotally we'll see more form posts or posts that it feels like come from staffers and are a little less personalized. Um, than Twitter. We, interestingly enough, see more state legislators have Facebook accounts, uh, than Twitter accounts. It's about 75% have a Facebook account and little over 50% have a Twitter account. [00:15:33] Uh, and that's where they do end up using it a little bit differently. But the medium of the platform is just harder of saying, oh, you're gonna comment on an. Uh, in, you know, sending someone a Facebook message to page, it just doesn't work the same way that Twitter does. And, and that's part of, I think, you know, the relevance of Twitter and also where I have to say long term, you know, I am bullish on Twitter continuing to be around because you have all the users and people on it, and it's designed in a way. [00:16:03] that is very user friendly and also very personal. That is a, you know, way for an individual to communicate. Whereas I think when you look at some of the other platforms, there are many more uses for them. And so as a result things become harder where, you know, TikTok is not gonna be the best way to, to reach your legislator. [00:16:19] I mean, are they allowing government officials on TikTok anymore? I know there's certain bands talked about for, uh, government employees on the platform. Um, namely because China is literally probably used to spy, manipulate popul. Yeah. So I know certainly that's been talked about for federal, uh, executive branch employees. [00:16:39] Um, I am not as familiar, um, with the rules that are currently happening in Congress, but realizing is a different branch of government. Oftentimes we will see different rules, um, that are applied to congressional staff. Um, but I don't have the answer top of mind. Gotcha. Alrighty. I wanna talk about what you're seeing. [00:16:59] 2023. In terms of tactical trends, there's an organization listening right now saying we are, you know, going to be gearing up. There's the, you know, the new elected officials in office. We're trying to get our, you know, lobbying and advocacy straight for 2023. What are the types of activities that you see being planned for, that you think are going to be. [00:17:22] Yeah. So first off, it's state level, state level, state level, state level. And the reason for that is we now have a divided government here in Washington with Republicans in control of the House and Democrats in control of the Senate and the White House. And so the general mood in town is that not a whole lot is going to happen here over the course of the next two years. [00:17:41] Uh, and where are things gonna happen? Things are gonna happen at the state level because you've got state houses. Both on the democratic side and the Republican side, where you have either Republicans or Democrats in complete control of both chambers as well as the governorship that wanna enact policy and want to go, and Bills can move fast and they're able to do things. [00:18:01] And so it is incredibly important to have a state level advocacy strategy because there's both an opportunity for a lot of wins, but also there's an opportunity to, that you need to be aware and be playing defense because any of your opponents are gonna be really active. on that state level as well. Um, so I think that's part one. [00:18:20] Um, part two of that is thinking a little bit about how do you build a thoughtful and engaged advocacy program to succeed in Washington in the long term. Uh, and it's a pretty exciting time because we're about to. Start thinking about the 2024 presidential election cycle and also what does Congress look like in 2025 during the next cycle. [00:18:42] And there's a world that, you know, we could be back with one party control. There's a world, we could have a new president and a new administration, and there's a world that we could still be in divided government, but that as we are ramping up for that, now is the time to be planning those strategies in. [00:18:56] For 2024. And when talking about strategy, I'm talking about things like voter education. What are the campaigns that you're gonna be running when everyone's talking about the presidential election cycle, and how are you helping your advocates and your donors and your employees and your members register to vote, find their polling places? [00:19:11] There are some super innovative programs that I've seen nonprofits do targeting campaign staff. Targeting individuals who are running for president and making sure that they are very known. So one of the most simple ones is just simply to go wear your nonprofit's t-shirt and go volunteer for a presidential or congressional candidate and make sure they know that on that given day the phone bank is 50 people from this organization. [00:19:35] They're gonna notice, and these elected officials and presidential candidates are gonna be way closer to the voters than they are during most times of the year. And then figuring out bigger picture, like how are you gonna position your issues both in the election cycle, but as well as in the presidential cycle? [00:19:51] So that they're top of mind when either, you know, the administration is reelected or new congress comes in so that you're off and running in 2025. And I think it's really about playing the long game at the federal level. Um, that becomes so important. And then the last thing that I'll share, Just on thinking about 2023 and the advocacy side is it's all about integration. [00:20:11] I think in the past we've seen a lot of very siloed efforts and siloed technology platforms. So you use one thing to send things out and you use another thing to do advocacy, and you use another thing for tracking. Um, and it ends up with data being lost, really clunky, lot of time doing downloads and uploads and what we're seeing both with Quorum as well. [00:20:34] Other platforms out there is that integration so that you have more one-stop shops and that your data lives together connects together, um, and that you're able to leverage the full benefits from it. [00:20:56] I have a random question. Can you explain data, data voter files to me as though I were a seven year? [00:21:06] Yes. So when you are 18 and you get to register to. You go and give information to your county clerk about where you live, who you are, your age, and that information is compiled in a publicly available record that you are registered to vote, and then that record is accessed by campaigns candidates. [00:21:37] Policy organizations and advocacy groups, and they can use that very simple information, most notably your home address, to attach a whole series of additional information to you based sometimes on algorithms and sometimes on other anonymized data. So for example, if you give your home address to go. For a hunting magazine, they can tag you as likely interested in hunting. [00:22:07] And so when you get a mailer from your candidate or uh, elected official that's talking about the work that they're doing on access to guns and hunting. You can bet that the person that cares about environmental issues or cares about gun control is not also getting that same mailer, and so it lets a series of both hyper targeting from mail, but also from digital ads occur in an anonymized fashion that protects an individual from being exposed by, or being known for the fact that they subscribe to a hunting magazine and may care about. [00:22:47] I was wondering, I've seen some organizations, you know, when it's time to jump into the advocacy fray, think that like, step one is I buy this absurdly expensive donor file and then I do the advocacy. I, I, um, I'm curious of what your thoughts are on where that fits in the strategy versus, you know, looking at it from a different lens. [00:23:14] Yeah, I, I love this question. So I've spent this morning with, um, two Quorum customers as we've started off the year and done just strategic planning around their advocacy campaigns. And one of the comments from breakfast this morning was that 2015 was the era of buying big lists. And this organization bought a massive list of. [00:23:37] Suddenly had all these people on their contact program, and now five years later, what they're seeing is these people aren't active. Their sending domain and reputation is going down. People aren't engaging because they never signed up and never wanted to be a part of it. And so that era of big list buying and just adding people in is over. [00:23:57] It is all about having a trusted brand or trusted network of communication of someone that you know. And getting individuals to take action through that. And one of my favorite examples of this, uh, is American Airlines, uh, a company that I am, uh, quite a big fan of as being a frequent flyer. Uh, but they're also phone to action customer. [00:24:21] And about four or five years ago when they were facing some of the challenges with air traffic control staffing and the f AA funding and where we gonna have enough air traffic controllers, they sent out an advocacy alert to all their frequent flyers, myself included saying, You don't wanna have longer waits on the tarmac. [00:24:38] We need to fully fund the f a and expand the number of controllers. And so suddenly you have all these frequent flyers saying, of course I'm in. Take action, write my member of Congress. And it elevates that issue. And so for organizations out there, My encouragement for you is you have to start by looking at who's on your existing list, who are your most engaged donors, advocates, event participants, individuals who are involved, and use that list to start your advocacy program and then slowly recruit people beyond that because it's about the quality that matters and not the quantity. [00:25:10] And it goes back to behind the scenes of what the Congress. To see if you have a ton of people that don't really care, just sending and clicking a form letter, it has nowhere near the same impact as someone who really does care, taking even just two minutes to write what they personally care about. And so that's where, you know, unlike 2015, you shouldn't feel this pressure that, oh my God, I need to send 10,000 messages because 10,000 messages that say the same thing. [00:25:34] ops is just shrug. And I'm like, yep, I've seen this before. But sending a hundred messages that are all different and super customized, like that's really impactful at the end of the day. And then ideally, you're having your in-person advocacy team go up and talk to the members and re-share those messages and say, let me tell you about your constituent who's facing this issue. [00:25:54] Yeah. I think that's, that's helpful. I love you saying it was such a 2015 moment. It's clearly burned into your mind as you led up to the presidential elections. I. , you know, the, the expenditure on that. And the interesting thing is, you know, you're, I, I dunno what the going rate is, but it's tens of thousands of dollars depending on what you're getting, but you're not getting the permission to communicate. [00:26:14] And, and I think that's what you're hinting at. And when you burn through that list, you are also hurting your digital reputation. You know, ending up on, on many, uh, do not send lists and ultimately the goal was missed. Um, and so what, what are some int. Planning in terms of spending, like, you know, clearly everyone will get quorum, , uh, right. [00:26:38] But, you know, in terms of the, the outreach, what, you know, is it buying Twitter ads? That seems like, uh, an opportunity, is it spending to build up my list? Am I trying to do petitions, promote petitions? What is the, the tactic then if, if you're not buying. but earning it. Yeah, so the most easy one that we go to is Facebook Lead Ads, because Facebook still has a series of targeting that you can get pretty specific in terms of individuals with interest that you're looking for, as well as individuals that are in a given region or area that you can then connect. [00:27:14] Through to an advocacy webpage. Uh, and so that by far is the default for organizations that are really actively looking to grow their lists and looking to invest. But I will also just go back to my big challenge is before you look externally, look internally and what are the options with your internal events and internal lists to be able to grow your pool of advocates. [00:27:38] And what I often see happen with nonprofits is the advocacy team. Siloed in a given area that says, oh, well that's your database, that's your list. You figure out how to grow it. And the organization is sitting on a list that is way bigger and way larger for their major trade association or major individual impact summit or movement. [00:27:57] But it says, oh no, you can't use that list to do advocacy. And I think one of the key message. To share and highlight is that advocacy can be helpful in building a more robust relationship with your members, donors, individual participants, because they're looking for ways to be involved. And I think so often what you get is fundraising teams who go, oh, well, don't even ask our donors for anything. [00:28:19] We're already asking them to give money every year. But if you're just asking, give money, you're sitting there saying, well, what's my connection? Why am I here giving resources and dollars to it? I don't feel like I'm helping. I want to be more. And so as you can have a donor who gives money and say, oh, thank you for it. [00:28:35] Would you be willing also help us out and take action? There's more of an attachment, more connections, and so you can build on the ladders of engagement and actually end up with, you know, larger donations, more frequent donations, and people who see the work and connection that they're funding. Rather than just get hit up for a check every single year. [00:28:53] I think the inverse of that too is also your grassroots advocates are the best people to identify future donors from. Because asking someone to go and write a hundred dollars check, like that's a big ask. Asking someone for two minutes of their time to click a couple buttons and write their member of Congress, that's easier. [00:29:09] And so the challenge that I would give to any of the organizations listening, Is what percent of your grassroots advocates are donating and how do you help increase that percentage? And what I think you're gonna find is, is that very few organizations turn around and actually solicit the grassroots advocates because the advocacy teams are sitting in their silos saying, oh, well we don't wanna ask them to donate money. [00:29:28] Like we're trying to get them to do advocacy. And really what we're seeing is the best organizations are connecting the two and making it part of a cohesive engagement. [00:29:40] final. Uh, thank you for sharing that. It's, you know, helpful to see your framing on it. I'm now curious, you know, we're talking about grassroots advocacy communication, and it's not one size fits all. I feel like when we last talked, we were in peak moments of what I will call rage politic, right? Ra ra rage messaging was all the rage. [00:30:04] I, I, I'll go out on one and say, what? , what do you look for in terms of tactics, guidance, advice, approaches for getting people to care when clearly, uh, we are, we're even postig of political messaging at this point, so I think one, you have to make it relevant to them. Uh, people are not as interested to be stirred up or responded in, uh, Aggravated per se based on whatever the issue is on left or right, because certainly there are people there that feel that way and feel really passionately. [00:30:44] But you also have a whole series of people that just wanna go about their lives that aren't thinking about what's happening. The state capitol aren't thinking about what's happening in Washington, and honestly probably don't even know the names of the individuals that represent them. And so the challenge for most organizations, Is, how do you phrase the messaging in a way that gets at those people who are in the middle, who and are, who are often on the sidelines. [00:31:08] And I go back to that American Airlines example, and there's many others. If you have to make it directly relevant to them of, Hey, your life is going to be impacted because of this. And that's how you get some of the most passionate and engaged stories. Because what you end up hearing is saying, Hey, if I'm sitting on the tarmac for another three hours, I'm not home playing with my kids and I already have to travel. [00:31:28] X number of days a week. This is the personal impact that it has on me. That's the story that you want to tell the member of Congress, not the story around government funding and whether we should spend more money or less money on the f aa and how that impacts the federal debt. Um, because it comes down of that. [00:31:43] They wanna hear the personal stories and that's what moves. And so making clear that individuals know, you know, what is the impact for them, and making that as hyper-relevant as possible, I think leads to both the best advocacy outcomes and also the most effective. . Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Making it practical, bringing it to your backyard, you know, the sort of act local and is what you started off by saying, which is , the state. [00:32:08] The state, state, you know, is acting in your backyard. Um, super helpful. Anything else that you wanna share regarding Quorum Cool Tactics, uses of the platform that are. I, the big one I just go back to is this is the year of integration, the year of one stop shop, and it's time to get your data working for you. [00:32:31] Um, and both, some of that runs through the work that we're doing is we work to string together, pack information, advocacy, legislative tracking, and have that sync. But it also comes to just simply donor databases and is your donor database talking to your email platform, talking to your fundraising tools, talking to your grassroots advocacy tools, and getting all the information from those back in a, you know, circular motion so that you can learn from it and apply more analytics and information. [00:32:55] This is something that was really probably cutting edge as we think 5, 6, 7 years ago. But now is the time to make it happen. And we're seeing a lot more organizations make changes to their technology stacks to reflect that we're in 2023 and the technology is out there. It is possible to do, but it's really comes down to a matter of having both the willpower. [00:33:20] As well as the encouragement to know that now is the time and that you don't have to be a trailblazer to go and, and make that happen. Um, and so I would just encourage folks to really think about that because as you think about 2024 and the advocacy opportunities coming presidential election cycle, like that's the time when you need your tools to be the most effective they possibly can be. [00:33:40] And so take the time this year to go make those investments and make those changes, uh, to be your, put yourself in a position, uh, for. . Well, thanks for that. All right, we're gonna move into some rapid fire here. Please keep your responses brief and interesting. , what is one tech tool or website that you or your organization has started using in last year? [00:34:04] So we finally started using a chat bot on our website to engage with people who were coming to the website. Uh, we were late on this, um, from a B2B perspective, and many of you have probably been to websites looking to buy and see the little chat bot pop up. But we've seen a whole new series of engagements, conversions, and people that wouldn't normally just fill out a form on the website that we've captured through the chatbot. [00:34:29] And so my kind of out there challenge to the listeners on this podcast is what would it look like to put a chatbot on your website? Who would you wanna try and engage with? What information would you wanna capture and can you get more people added to your organization's list or engaged than you could from just a standard email sign up? [00:34:47] I think we've seen a lot of B2B uses for it, but I don't think we've seen as many advocacy nonprofit and even B2C uses for it, and that there's a lot of low hanging fruit there, especially with the new AI coming out. As you know, as much as you wanna trust a pre-trained AI to answer on behalf of your organization, uh, is a good point though. [00:35:07] tech issues. You are battl. Yeah, so we just bought Capital Canary, doubled in size overnight and literally had two of every system. Now, sometimes they were the same system in that we had two instances of Salesforce. Sometimes they were totally different. We had an instance of churn zero and an interest of Gainsight. [00:35:25] For our customer software, uh, we have HubSpot and we have Marketo. And so we are currently in the middle of a major, major push to both select go forward systems and integrate so that we're operating as a combined business. And the advice and kind of mandate that I gave our team is that we don't wanna be Southwest Airlines. [00:35:45] When you look at the challenges Southwest ran into at the end of December of 2022, they have not upgraded their technology yet the way that they need to. And so you saw a massive meltdown as a result of it. And I think that all organizations need to take a moment and just look within and say, do we have the technology infrastructure that we need to scale as we look to grow and expand our operations, or even keep the operations going right now? [00:36:09] Because the, you know, if Southwest Airlines is culpable of not having the technology, I know that there's a lot of organizations out there that may be looking and saying, yeah, my tech really isn't working for me, so we're up to our next, just because of combining two businesses together and doing it. But I'm really excited because I know we're gonna come out stronger with more advanced tech than if we hadn't done the combination. [00:36:32] What is coming in the next year that has you the most? Yeah, so we're launching a brand new pack product to help pack professionals run, manage, and distribute contributions from their pack. It's gonna be the first new software in the market in 20 years, and so we both have an incredible amount of excitement to come into a market that just has not seen a whole lot of innovation. [00:36:56] And also we have customers that are really. Excited about for what that's going, uh, to bring. And then for us, it's the last leg of the stool on the integrated product strategy of finally putting together federal and state legislative tracking, grassroots advocacy, impact management at one place. So that's certainly gonna be, uh, a highlight for us. [00:37:16] Can you talk about a mistake that you made earlier in your career that shapes the way you do things? So the biggest business mistake that I've made is signing a new office lease in downtown DC where I sit now. Uh, and I share this because I think organizations really need to think differently about both their office space and their work strategy. [00:37:39] We signed this lease three months into Covid, so probably. Uh, probably a year or so after we last talked and, um, you know, we were focused in betting on a rebound of coming together and coming back to the office. We now have a fully remote development team, and about 35% of our team is fully remote and lives outside of dc And even for the folks that live in DC people are not coming into the office the same extent that they normally do. [00:38:05] Now, luckily as a company we doubled in size, and so the amount that we're paying is a small percentage of our overall budget each year. But still, when you sit in 28,000 square feet of office space and have 30, 40 people coming in, you realize that is this really the best use of money? And is this also no longer is the way that you engage, retrain, uh, at attract and, you know, help, uh, skill and motivate team members, uh, because it's a whole new world. [00:38:35] Uh, and so I really think that both has changed the way that I look at the world, both of how we operate as an employer in an organization. But also, you know, I was even in a board meeting, um, earlier this week of folks that are planning to renew their office and, you know, thinking really is that the best sentence? [00:38:52] And looking at what are the other options? What can you do with less space? Can you do more flexible working? And that the way of working as much as I loved it or others may have that we've done for the last 50 years has completely changed with the pandemic and that we've gotta adapt our strategies to that. [00:39:10] do you believe that nonprofits can successfully go out of. . Absolutely. So one of the things that we initially met through do, uh, which is just an incredible organization, uh, working on efforts and getting more young people engaged in making a difference. And one of the things that I think do something really framed for me is this ideal of social impact and doing it in a way that. [00:39:38] Funded by organizations that are looking to make a difference or by donors, um, that are looking to achieve a particular outcome that's clearly measured. And I think the same way that businesses can go out of business, if they're not consumers that are willing to pay for it or customers that are interested in the service. [00:39:56] Uh, nonprofits should be able to successfully go out of business either because, one, they've solved the problem and so there's no more need to pay for that individual code or service. Or two. I think it's also okay to. And look at the number of startups out there that have tried to do successful things and the number that fail as a result of that. [00:40:15] Um, and even with that, it's clear that hey, there's not a market or need to it. And I think the trap sometimes that, uh, smaller organizations, even larger organizations, can fall in of what, we're a big institution. We're here, the donors keep funding it, and so let's keep finding things that we can keep getting more donations. [00:40:32] The push that I would say is, are you really making an impact at the end of the. And one of the clearest ways to do that is if someone is willing to pay dollars or services or time for what you're doing, even if it's a small amount, because that gives an indication that you know what you're doing is, is successful. [00:40:48] And then the best ones, uh, you're eventually gonna run it out of that because hopefully you've solved your individual problem. How did you get started in the social impact sector? So I was involved, uh, in local youth advisory boards. Uh, I served on the Santa Fe Mayor's Youth Advisory Council, uh, and eventually chaired it for two years and gave me really a chance to start thinking bigger and broader around the community. [00:41:13] And then realized that there was a whole series of opportunities to work with organizations that informed youth advisory boards do something. Dot org was one of those, uh, and had the chance to be on the do something youth advisory board. Uh, and then I sat there thinking about it and saying, look, we've got a whole series of governors, a whole series of members of Congress that have youth advisory councils. [00:41:29] Why doesn't the president, uh, have one? And so I ran a campaign for probably four or five years to try and get a presidential youth council. Uh, we got this close, but ultimately, uh, we're not successful. With it. But what it really taught me was how to start and run an organization. How do you get people signed on? [00:41:48] How do you delegate tasks? How do you put a website up? How do you send out email updates? Uh, basically everything but a whole ton on the financial side. Uh, and what I realized is that social entrepreneurship was one of the best lessons that I could have ever wished for, for doing actual entrepreneurship because as we were founding and launching the company, it felt really familiar and it was something that I'd. [00:42:09] You know, a couple of years before, just in the social side for the Presidential Youth Council. Yeah. It's funny, I rare aside that, yeah, it is how we met. I'm getting flashbacks. I don't know if I was directly running it at that point, but I do recall at one point it might do something career, uh, needing to arrange a bunch of kids coming to New York, going to and from hotels to our office. [00:42:31] I don't know if you were part of that adventure when I was running it, but that was pretty funny. Yeah, I remember it. , I'm glad I didn't lose you in the , the subway. Uh, alright. If I could put you in a hot tub time machine back to the beginning of your work, what advice would you give? [00:42:54] So I think one of the hardest pieces is you have to be prepared to give things up. And there's a great article called Giving Away Your Legos. Um, but you have to train yourself and learn that you have to constantly be pushing and giving things to other people as you grow and scale. . And that's really hard because when you're a small organization, you have all the Legos and you know, the Legos are super, super fun to play with. [00:43:20] But as you scale more and more Legos start falling on your plate and you have to start giving away your favorite Legos and that you can no longer send the emails or collect the invoices or spend all the time with customers or do these items and you need a team around that has their own Legos that they're playing with. [00:43:35] But all those have to start with you. And so I think one of the most challenging lessons is we've scaled. Is learning, okay, how do you give away your favorite Lego set and say, I'm no longer involved in doing that, or I'm not gonna go do X. And that's a really core part of scaling that I think founders definitely struggle with because you care, you're passionate, you're engaged, uh, and I think also applies for individuals, even if you didn't found organizations. [00:44:00] What are you doing that you can give your new team member that just joined or be able to delegate or give back to someone else to let you really spend time focusing on the things that matter the most? Uh, and that's been one of the most helpful framing things that we've learned over our eight and a half years of doing this. [00:44:16] That's so funny. There's part of my brain that's saying Absolutely right. , you have to eve away tho those types of things. And the other part of me is saying, I don't want to give away my Legos. I think there is, you know, speaking to somebody who's approaching a decade of work in the organization, I think there are some Legos that I will say you have to hold onto because it fuels you in some part, because otherwise you're just left with all the little gray pieces that don't really match or anything. [00:44:37] And you're like, these Legos stink. I don't like this Jack. So I'll put an asterisk on that. Alrighty, . Very fair. . What is, what is something you think you or your organization should stop? Uh, the number of meetings that we have. I am a big believer in the book time, talent, energy, and I think the shocking thing that the book starts out of is you have all these organizations, many listeners too, who have large finance departments that are really concerned when you go spend a hundred or a thousand dollars on something and all the approvals that are involved. [00:45:13] Well, most organizations', largest expense is the salary. For their headcount, and each individual each hour of the day has a cost associated with it. But yet, so often you see, oh, let's put 10 people in a meeting, and suddenly you're looking around and you're running a $500 or a thousand dollars meeting. [00:45:31] And most organizations, including ours, Don't have a whole series of protocols in place that limit the number of meetings or put standards around meetings the same way that you have to get your expense report approved or a budget approved. And so I certainly would love to see us reduce the number of meetings, reduce the number of people in meetings, and be more intentional about when we get together. [00:45:52] But it is a fight that I've fought for many years and it is a challenge because we as humans wanna socialize. Wanna see each other and default to that, and also wanna be inclusive, and so add more and more people and suddenly you've got 15 boxes on a Zoom screen and it ends up being a pretty significant cost to the organization. [00:46:13] What advice did your parents give you that you either followed or didn't follow? I love, I love this question. So, when I first told my mom, uh, that I was going to start a startup at Quorum to track what was happening on Capitol Hill, uh, her immediate response is she goes, oh, well that sounds like a nice thing to do between college and graduate school. [00:46:34] Rest assured, both my parents are lawyers that would've loved for me to have gone to law school. Um, I did not have the opportunity to go to graduate school. I'm very happy to be here in growing the business. Uh, and so that, uh, immediately comes to mind because look, founding a company, Or a social, uh, impact effort or a nonprofit can be scary and you've gotta jump off and have confidence. [00:46:56] And if you spend enough time working towards it and iterating, you will eventually get there, even if it's not the idea that you started on. If I were to hand you a magical wand wave across the social impact sector, what would it do? So for us, we're always interested in more government data, more information published online, more information in machine readable form, and more transparency, uh, that happens every day, uh, on both state governments and, and the political process. [00:47:27] I think there's a ton of opportunities at the state government level of just being able to pull in much more information around the individual proceedings on the floor amendments, agendas, and committee hearings. Some state governments have individual transcripts of what's happening on the floor and committee sessions, and so there is huge opportunity, but oftentimes we'll see government organizations trying to hold it back where they don't want to give too much information to the public. [00:47:51] They don't want to invite too much participation, and so that's the big area that I would love to take a magic wand and just fix that and make the government more accessible. What advice would you give college grads looking to enter the social impact? So my big advice would be go follow your passions. [00:48:12] Go do the thing that you are most excited about doing, and that gets you up every day, even if it is not the given chosen path or the one that might be most exciting. And it's really interesting. Well, that most exciting, but most financially rewarding. When I look at my college classmates now, about eight years out, the ones that really went out and followed their passions, did the most risky things that at the time we graduated. [00:48:38] You said, well, why aren't you going to take the really high paying. Consultant or financial job or going to law school and doing the traditional thing. Um, those are the folks that I think are both most successful and most fulfilled currently in their careers. And that is something that when you are leaving college at a given and current moment, you have this pressure of where everyone else is making high salaries and going to, you know, go work in business or go work in Wall Street or going to go do X or Y and a big encouragement that you will. [00:49:09] Financial success, you will find fulfillment. You will find what's right. It might take you a little while to get there, but your twenties are the time to do that. And so use that time to explore because you'll end up with just a much more fulfilling career and you'll have more opportunities to pivot within it than say you will, you know, going into one of the more traditional paths. [00:49:29] Well, Alex, thank you so much. Final question. How do people find you? How do people. Yeah, so we're super easy. Um, My email's just Alex quorum us. Uh, more than happy to be helpful. So if you're looking at your nonprofit technology and just want someone to talk to, certainly happy to bounce ideas off. [00:49:48] Uh, if you're figuring out your advocacy strategy for next year or looking for advocacy software, we're certainly here. Uh, and happy to talk and in general, you know, looking to be able to give back to the community because I think it's so important that we help each other and realize that there's a lot of advice, uh, and favors and help that we've been given over the years. [00:50:04] That's let us build the company, uh, and looking to see more people do that with NGOs, social impact movements, uh, and startups. Uh, thanks for the work you're doing in the sector. We appreciate it and good luck this year. Awesome. Thanks so much for having me on, George.  
2/2/202351 minutes
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Blood Donation Eligibility National Update (news)

FDA To Further Ease Restrictions On Gay Men & Blood Donation Eligibility On Friday the FDA proposed new policy revisions that demonstrate a shift toward more inclusive regulations surrounding blood donation for members of the LGBTQ community and those of various sexual orientations, according to reporting from CNBC and others. In 2015, the lifetime ban on gay men from donating blood was eased to allow those who abstained from sex for one year to donate blood, but Friday’s announcement proposed easing those restrictions further. The restrictive blood donation rules have long been criticized as discriminatory. As CNBC reports, “the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest organization that advocates for LGBTQ rights, said the FDA proposal is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to remove restrictions.” The new rules would allow monogamous gay and bisexual men to donate blood, while folks engaging in sex with new or multiple partners must wait three months. Read more ➝   Summary PEPFAR Celebrates 20 Years of Unprecedented Global Impact in the Fight to End HIV/AIDS United States Department of State How Nonprofit Hospitals Put Profits Over Patients | SNAP 'food stamp' payments are about to get smaller. NJ lawmakers want to fund the difference. | Gothamist 10th Annual High Country K9 Keg Pull raises money for local nonprofit | Watauga Democrat     Proud partner of the Nonprofit Podcast Network from    
1/31/202320 minutes, 44 seconds
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Cookie-pocalypse & Fundraising in 2023 | Agility Lab Consulting

Elyse Wallnutt, Founder & Principal at Agility Lab Consulting shares how nonprofit fundraising professionals need to adapt to the removal of 3rd party cookies, dealing with evolving donor privacy laws   Resources on GDPR, SHEILD, and CCPA for nonprofits.     Rough Transcript [00:00:00] audio1299811408: Today on the Whole Whale podcast, we have somebody who was referred to Whole Whale by none other than a, a frequent guest and teacher on whole whale, uh, Josh from Round Table. And we, uh, we tend to pay attention when he says this person knows what they are doing, knows what they're doing with regard to data privacy and fundraising. [00:00:48] So I was, I. To Elise, the founder and principal at Agility Lab Consulting, uh, agility Lab Consulting. And that's, uh, I believe Agility Lab Consulting. Uh, agility Agility is their website. And we're excited because Agility Lab has just founded and starting their work. And I will say Elise comes with an incredible background, previously senior director marketing advertising at World Food Program. [00:01:17] Yeah, you might have heard. In the us I also spent time director and strategy at the Center for American Progress. Uh, spent time at Media cause for a year and of course, uh, a little organization called The Nature Conservancy as a senior Associate director, uh, digital acquisition. So safe to say, you know, your stuff. [00:01:37] I'm excited. I'm excited to learn from you. Thank you for coming on. Anything I, I missed, Elise? No, thanks George. It's, it's great to be here. Thank you for having me. Yeah, well, you caught my eye immediately because you started speaking my language before we turned on record by talking about the sort of like cookie apocalypse. [00:01:58] The cookie apocalypse. So I don't know if that's the right place to start, but things are gonna get weird in 2023 for fundraisers. Why? Yeah, so you're probably all aware as consumers about how much more aware we've become about how our data is being used. I think that that's been a much more popular topic of conversation in the last couple of years, and audience demand for privacy has really picked up. [00:02:28] We saw the EU adopt privacy laws with GDPR in 2016, which really set the standard and us. Uh, legislators have taken note as well. So there are five states in the US implementing privacy laws this year. And with that, uh, big tech is really paying attention to how they need to protect their reputations, um, and stay in compliance. [00:02:53] So they are eliminating what's called third party cookies, and that's a, it's a little piece of code. , that is what allows marketers to stand up ads that, uh, essentially follow you around the internet. So those, you know, that pair of pants or shoes that you can't stop seeing, it's, it's that pixel or that, that third party cookie that allows for that. [00:03:15] So, um, the reason it's. It's troublesome is most people consider it not consented data use. So what we're moving toward with the elimination of third party cookies is marketers are only gonna be able to use. Consented information. So the information that you provide to them. So we're looking at things like what you provide in a form, when you donate, what you provide, when you fill out that petition, um, and, and things of that nature. [00:03:46] So that's really gonna require us to be a lot more thoughtful about our targeting strategies. You caught my attention here with saying that there are five states. I was only aware of the New York Shield and C C P A in California, but it's feels like, can I just summarize saying like where one goes all must follow it. [00:04:06] It's essentially like I love how am American states are like so futile when it comes to internet laws and even like registration. So I. nonprofits have to register in each state for fundraising, even though you have one donation form on your site, is this is where data privacy, third party cookies are going? [00:04:29] Like how do you advise, because obviously you're offering like consulting advice on how to approach this. How do you advise folks of being like, oh no, no, you gotta do this here, here, here, here. What is the approach? So the good thing about the, uh, five states that are implementing this right now is that the laws are, are pretty similar. [00:04:46] Um, what it allows for is audience members to request that their information, um, can be deleted from your file essentially, so they can. Call you up and say, Hey, I wanna know everything you have on record about me. I want to view that information, and if I want you to get rid of it, you have to. So most of the states are, are pretty aligned on where they're falling with that. [00:05:10] And to your point, George, I think most of the states are probably gonna have to. Fall online eventually based on, uh, demand from constituents, that's not going to stop. And there's actually, um, a bipartisan supported federal bill that's pending. Um, it's gotten a little bit stalled up, but may make progress in 2023. [00:05:33] And if that comes to fruition, that will create that federally supported framework. So my advice for nonprofits is to start treating this like it. Already a reality and to start getting prepared for something you can put in place operationally across the board. There's not really a point in standing up, you know, a set of operations for Colorado versus California, um, because they're, they're pretty similar. [00:06:00] So GDPR is the most aggressive and luckily we already know what that looks like, uh, from the eu. And if you use that as a framework, you're pretty much guaranteed to be in compliance with what the states stand up. and just to play it out more practically, let's say you get, cuz it's a, a rite of, rite of removal, I think for your data. [00:06:23] Mm-hmm. . What if that's not followed in, what is it, 30 days or 90 days? What are the kind of penalties you're seeing for this? Uh, so what we just saw actually, um, Facebook got hit with a really large fine by the EU for not following privacy compliance. Um, so when you're out of compliance, you can get hit with fines. [00:06:44] Um, you, you will have more of that, uh, legal eye on you and it really could impact you in. In terms of audience trust more broadly. Um, so that's where I've been encouraging people to think of this as more of an opportunity rather than a slap on the hand. Um, when we're showing audiences that we care about respecting their rights and how their data is used, you can really build your brand and make sure that you are front and center of building that trust conversation. [00:07:16] And just to be clear, let's say there's a, a [email protected]. Mm-hmm. , I George email them saying, you know, I'm sort of invoking my right for removal. Right. To be forgotten. Yep. Uh, please present and remove any and all data. This is an official notice, let's say that goes to that email and the organization's like, this is the first time we've ever seen it. [00:07:40] Like, what does that actually. So it means that you're gonna have to go through your C R m present everything that you know about, but you also need to have a handle on how you've been releasing data to third parties. So you know when you're uploading a person's. Email address into Facebook so that you can serve ads to them. [00:07:59] You're also releasing some of that data to Facebook. So there are things that you can implement, like Facebook's conversion API that allow you to self-select some of those fields and get your third party options in, uh, better compliance being more risk averse there. But really it involves you being able to tell people what you have on them. [00:08:23] Um, You know, your own spare, but also how you've been using their, their data externally. So the idea is that you don't want it to take you three weeks to execute one of these requests. You wanna be able to make sure that your staff knows how to, uh, turn this over and make sure that it is, you know, scalable and your approach is able to be right sized. [00:08:48] Um, and also that your privacy policy reflect. What people can expect. So if you have 45 days to, to do this, is it gonna take you all 45 or can people expect to see something in 10? So you really need to be able to set the tone for, um, what audiences should get from you. And when [00:09:08] I see a lot of headaches in the future here, I mean clearly, unfortunately, my mind goes toward. More of a predatory attack potentially, um, where you could sort of deluge an organization with, um, hundreds of these requests, um, and really bog down a technical team. So certainly I think having a plan in place for how do you do this in, in batch and do it efficiently, uh, especially if you are on the front lines of organizations that dance on contentious issues, we'll say. [00:09:39] Is that a, is that a fair. Yeah, we're actually seeing whole companies, uh, being stood up just to provide for that. Um, you know, it's flooding businesses with requests from consumers, you know, as the consumer you can hire them to go and do this for you and they'll hit everything you know, you've ever email subscribed to. [00:10:01] So that is where you need to be able to make sure you have your operational process in line and, you know, um, what. fair game to be released and, and what's not, um, and, and how you're gonna treat that. Yeah. Sounds like, um, a lot of work. I I, I don't wanna spend too much more time here unless there's something I'm maybe missing on the, the right to be forgotten and those policies coming up. [00:10:26] I think really the most important thing, well, not the most important thing, but another important thing for, uh, marketing teams to also consider here is that, Data minimization is going to be your legal team's recommended approach. So it's really important for you to get a good handle on what the states consider, uh, personal information, what those fields look like, and also for you to know the business reason that you're ingesting certain data fields and what you want your retention period to be, and what fields you're willing to. [00:11:02] You know, forego. So if you know that you're going to lose some of that third party tracking, what do you need to know on a first party level in terms of, you know, person's age and their interest categories and, and all the other things that make us understand what makes a person tick? You need to have a good handle on that so that you can sit at the table with the legal team and, uh, engage with them productively on what can stay and what can. [00:11:28] I mean, I don't even know how you would go about finding that individual's third party cookie that you're using to track them around the internet and delete it. I mean, I think you acknowledge it, but is there a way to like signal out that one, you know, unique identifier inside of the walls of Google and, and others? [00:11:47] Uh, no, I, well, you, so what most people are approaching this as, and, and again, this needs to come through in the privacy policy, is there are services that will let a person like you or me, George. Gotcha. Yeah. Go wipe my, yeah. Yeah. Um, so. An organization can say, Hey, we're gonna recognize signals from those types of services or not. [00:12:10] Uh, and that's what you need to make clear in your privacy policy cause you're not technically, legally obligated to do that yet. But in the future, when third party cookies are wiped, that's gonna go away for all of us. It's not gonna exist as a capability. And when is the, is the deadline for removing third party? [00:12:28] So they, you won't have to do anything to remove them. Uh, Google's gonna do it for you supposedly. Uh, Firefox already doesn't support third-party cookies. There's several other browsers that don't, um, but Chrome is, owns 64% of the market share when it comes to browsers and they. Google is saying that 2024 is the year they're gonna make good on this promise. [00:12:54] And it's notable, this timeline has shifted a lot because Google hasn't quite figured out how they're gonna make up the revenue loss on their end, is my guess. Uh, so they are, they keep extending it, but 2024 is, is what they say. Uh, the deadline. And we've already seen, you know, thank you for explaining a bit about cookies and kind of how they're used and the, the apple fallout, I feel like is still coming. [00:13:19] So maybe you can talk a bit about how fundraisers are needing to adapt to the reduction in tracking ability in email and maybe marketing with regard to Facebook Advertis. . Yeah. So the question I get asked, um, often is, why is Facebook acquisition struggling and what are we gonna do to replace it? And I think what people are missing is that Facebook is just the first, because they were hit so hard with apple's changes when Apple forced web developers to say that, um, they had to ask users for permission to track them. [00:13:57] N 94% of those users said, no, I don't wanna be tracked. Facebook lot lost a lot of capabilities to target people outright and also to create lookalike models based on what they knew about people's behaviors. So what you're saying from Facebook is just representative of the struggle you're going to also have on Google via paid search ads and the like when third party cookies are wiped out. [00:14:23] So it's really the time to take stock. Understanding what's working on your file, doing some contextual audits to get a sense of. What you know about your audiences and what you'd want to know so that you can collect those inputs. And also so that you can do more one-to-one media buying. If it came to it. [00:14:45] Um, you might wanna understand, hey, we, we stood up ads on this site and they worked, but not this site. So we're gonna play more toward that type of content category. And we're also going to take that one step further and build our, our content strategy so that it focuses more on that type of topic. Uh, so you might think about those pieces now while you still have the capability to see into, uh, your Google results. [00:15:14] So the other thing that is really important to understand about third party cookie elimination is that there will be analytics implications. GA four coming into play. Um, and with third party cookies wiping out, you know, Facebook and other advertising capabilities to see a pixel fire, you're gonna have to feed that information more manually. [00:15:39] And you're also going to need to adjust your attribution model potentially to, uh, make changes so that you understand the state of play and how things are converting or. [00:15:52] I think the way I'm kind of trying to position this is less moving forward about who people are with regard to their cookie footprint. Mm-hmm. and more about what they do. This is gonna be a behavior first environment. And you know, you mentioned GA four. I have the feeling. based on numbers, conversations, and what I'm seeing, I have the feeling a lot of folks are not ready for the hard transfer from Universal Analytics. [00:16:24] The number one used web tracking analytic on the interwebs. Mm-hmm. stopping in July, like done, done like dinner, gone not until November, but until gone. Won't work and then suddenly everyone's gonna have to use GA four, which is very clearly Google's response to cookie apocalypse gdpr rising concerns of the way the fundamentals of universal analytics work don't work in this new environment, which is why this is happening. [00:16:54] Yeah. Uh, what is your take? How are you positioning this transfer and thinking? So in terms of my advice for people, I would. Operating like it's happening tomorrow and taking stock of what you've learned and the benefits of having all these tracking capabilities in place now, uh, by creating and documenting all of those insights so that you can say, , Hey, you know, right now I'm on this really sophisticated attribution model that lets me see all of the touchpoints that led up to a conversion. [00:17:32] But if those go away tomorrow, and if I never had them at my discretion, how would I make different decisions? So if I am only able to see that a person gave on this donation form and I know nothing else about their path, how, how would I apply some of the learning? From the past to, to get to that. So, um, I would look at what you've learned about, you know, when I was at the Nature Conservancy, we were finding that it took an average of 16 touchpoints for a per person to decide to give. [00:18:02] And those were the ones that we could track. So knowing that, how many emails do you need to get in front of them? How many, you know, direct mail placements do you need to, to hit them with? What are the more creative outlets that you. Uh, apply with influencer marketing and, um, more of that thought leadership lens that parn back to, you know, a decade ago before we had all these, uh, capabilities at our hands and had to operate, you know, more like creative marketers, , and getting to that touchpoint model. [00:18:34] And thank you for, for sharing that, having to be top of mind for your audience. Losing. , the tool of remarketing hurts. Mm-hmm. , I don't know. I like, I think that's the technical word hurts. . What? Help is my question. Yeah. So I, that's where I think that piece of the contextual auditing is gonna be really important. [00:18:59] So that, you know, I think the word persona is overused and it means so many different things, but really getting that fine-tuned understanding of what makes people tick. Um, and like you said, based on their behaviors, what they're doing. So qualitative, Data is one thing. You can ask people in a survey how they feel, what they think, but we've seen the downfall of qualitative data, uh, with, you know, election polls and, and whatever else. [00:19:29] So we know that we have to take that with a grain of salt. So understanding quantitative data and, and what's working, I think, will help you make those decisions about the content that you're standing up. Your forward path to creating, uh, what's called a first party data acquisition strategy, um, and making sure that you're creating content that's going to give people a reason to give you their email address so that you can do that more manual retargeting with, with emails and, and other services. [00:19:58] So you mentioned email. You know, when Apple flipped the, the switch there, we started to see some wonky things in our mm-hmm. open rates, confusing numbers of being like, we're doing great, but are we, can you explain a little bit more? Because so much of I'll, I'll say, , the digital fundraising tactics that whole whale pushes forward, rely on those email data. [00:20:23] Can you explain what's going on, why we may not be able to trust our open rates and what we can do as, uh, you know, moving forward in this environment? Yeah. So that goes back to the same iOS update, um, that impacted. Mobile app developers on the advertising side, and it'll also hit email. So the metric to watch now is, is click data. [00:20:47] That is what allows you to understand if a person actually engaged or not. And everything before that is a bit amiss because of the tracking capabilities that are missing now. So the, the metric you wanna watch, Um, engagement, and that is because you know that that information is visible on your side and it's, you know, considered your data. [00:21:11] So, Paying attention to all of those content insights is what I would focus on right now. And, you know, there's never been a more important time to make sure you have really good, um, reasons for a person to click through and engage so that you can factor in at that email engagement rate. It's so difficult because sometimes the purpose of an email is to deliver that experience. [00:21:41] in that platform, in that medium and not click through. Mm-hmm. not lose that extra step. When you do that though, you're getting less data. So, you know, we know that that strategy has worked in the past, but it's tough to also say like, oh, we're not saying only send like two words and be like, click to see the rest. [00:22:00] Right. We're holding your content hostage until you give us data in the form of clicks. Uh, . I mean, I don't know. Are you recommending that? Is that the trade off or are you just like, no, what you're not getting. Yeah, I think there's, so one of the things that I've been playing with in my own email strategy is encouraging people to reply to an email or do something that's other engagement, um, and reply to say, Hey, this is why I signed up for your email list, whatever, whatever type of content that you think, um, might be engaging and might give you some information that you can scale. [00:22:34] That's another mechanism for people to. Really show interest and, and give you data that is consented that you might be able to gain some, some insights from. Um, but yeah, otherwise, I, I would not recommend sending a two word email that just says click. But I would say that you should start, um, optimizing. [00:22:54] Content in the way that we used to optimize for subject lines to get that open. You know, you still need a good, you still need a reason for people to open, but that's not your primary focus. Your primary focus and your metric basis should be on, um, what you're doing to, to get the engagement in those insights. [00:23:12] And so you mentioned that in 2024, Google Chrome is gonna be making this change. Does this also extend to Android and Gmail? in terms of that tracking. Will open rates put another way, be completely null and void as we get into 2024 of that change? Or do not? I under do, am I misunderstanding this? Uh, so Chrome. [00:23:37] So safari has already been hit by this with Apple. Um, so anything that's happening on your iPhone right now is, is not really trackable in terms of third party cookies. Um, in the Android land, I, what is the primary browser for Androids, it's chrome. Yeah. Yeah. So, so Chrome, yeah, everything will stop being supported there. [00:24:04] So yeah, unless you're using some device that none of us are aware of at this moment, , it's, it's really going to be hurting, I guess if you are opting into some browser that's, that's very small and market share. Um, effectively this is really just gonna need to be the wholesale change, so. I think this all comes back to the same thing, which is that this is just kind of the way of the world now where audiences, they're not gonna get less aware of how their, their data is being used. [00:24:36] So you should probably adjust for that and, um, take the opportunities that you have to be a leader in the space and. You know, let people know how their data is being used. Be upfront about what you'll do to, to respect their space and their privacy, and make proactive changes so that you're not caught off guard. [00:24:56] We saw a really good example of this actually. Um, the New York Times in 2020 became the first major publisher who went to a first-party data only model. So they completely stopped using third-party supported, um, information. And the way that they were able to scale that is they came up with a really creative content tagging strategy where, you know, they're tagging their content based on a range of different things, whether. [00:25:23] You know, emotion evoked author, topic, et cetera. But with those insights, when an advertiser comes to them and says, Hey, I wanna place an ad on content that has this type of feel, the New York Times can offer that with. Completely consented data because it's based on what people are doing on their site in a logged in state. [00:25:46] So the New York Times is a great example of a content publisher doing that, and obviously it's not completely replicable for the, those of us who are not, uh, you know, news outlets. But I think that there are things that we can learn from them in terms of giving people a reason to log in. , which is easier said than done, but is a case for brainstorming what some creative product development might look like, and also thinking about the context of the content that you're putting out and how you might, uh, do it differently in terms of both tagging and the, the actual content within, so that you are setting yourself up to, to get good data insights from it and, uh, to make sure that you are setting your data or setting your content up in a way that. [00:26:32] Clear funnel toward monetization. It's a move kind of back toward the old school intent driven ads. Mm-hmm. , what is the, uh, user intent, and it's more clear on Google's search than probably any other platform at this point. If I'm searching for ways to support the environment, it's pretty clear. I care about a couple things. [00:26:55] I have a desire to take action, and that action is revolving around learning more about the. , guess what? That might be a good moment to introduce yourself as the nature conservancy. Yeah, and what's interesting is that, uh, last year was the first year in recent memory that the total combined ads, as I understand the stat, um, being spent total ad spend of Google, Facebook, who used to dominate pretty much the entire market fell, um, fell below 50%, which means there's like a rise of the rest coming. [00:27:29] and I wonder if you can talk about how we'll have our own data of emails, but then we'll be like shopping around in a much larger marketplace and needing to make a lot more decisions than ever before. Uh, as it relates to data opportunity, however you want to take this, uh, this fly ball. Yeah. Yeah. You, uh, in terms of things like co-op partnerships, I think those are some of the options that are at. [00:27:58] Discretion. Um, and I think that's where knowing third party data terms is gonna be really important so that you're making really practical decisions to understand how, um, those partnerships are working. You know, I think that there are some organizations that can offer up. Email addresses at scale, and you wanna make sure that they're also GDPR compliant and following cans, spam rules, and doing things in a way that aren't gonna get you into hot water. [00:28:30] Uh, so that's, I think, point number one is you're going to need to be newly. Aware of and deeply aware of as a marketer, the decisions you're making on that front. Um, and also you're gonna need to consider efficiency. So I think when it comes to the efficiency question, obviously the third party. Data pieces are what allowed us to scale so quickly. [00:28:58] Um, but I would test a range of different publishers who are not so much reliant on, um, third party cookies and start getting those insights now so that you get a sense of how things are gonna perform and you can scale that later. So there are publishers who are exploring this in a pretty forward thinking way, you know, Spoke with Basis Technologies last week, just as a, as an example, but, um, they're already exploring how they can garner, uh, marketing techniques that put advertising out there in a way that isn't, um, illegal. [00:29:34] as it will be later. . Yeah. Well, it's gonna get pretty interesting. Any other points you wanna make before we move into our rapid fire about coming data privacy changes? What organizations need to be prepared for? I think really just making sure that, as you know, a marketer or a fundraiser, wherever it is, you sit on that spectrum that you consider. [00:29:58] The implications in a forward thinking way. Um, and don't think of privacy as something that's just for the IT and legal teams. I think it's going to impact your job in a way that it just didn't previously, and that's gonna be the state of play from here forward. So it would make sure that you understand, you know, what your privacy policy says. [00:30:18] Make sure it's covering you. Make sure your legal team knows what you're up to so that, um, you are protecting your organization and ultimately your brand, which is your job. So that's the big piece that I would hammer home there. That's super helpful. Alright, rapid fire time, roughly 32nd responses. And just to kick it off, what is one tech tool or website that you've started using in the last. [00:30:44] Uh, so I have been using. Kajabi, that's how I built my site and I really enjoy that. If you are looking to build a website, which is probably a, a small number of people, um, I'm also exploring notion, um, I'm late to the game there, but that is a tool that's. . Um, I need a replacement forever Evernote, because my Evernote syncing has gotten very bad, uh, between my devices. [00:31:11] So I'm looking for a, a replacement note taking app. Maybe that follows into tech issues you're currently battling with ? Yeah. Yeah. I would say data sync issues between devices has been a big one for me, uh, where I'll write myself a to-do on my phone and it's not showing up on. My desktop app version. So that is a big problem. [00:31:35] What is coming in the next year that has you the most excited? What's coming? Yeah, what's coming up? Uh, personally, professionally, does it matter? Oh, let's do one, one professional and one personal. Now that you ask, uh, I would say professionally, you know, this is my first year in business by myself, so I am excited to, um, be able to know what to predict for 2024. [00:32:02] Uh, no. What I can scale and um, how things need to pivot. I think entrepreneurship has always been something I've been very intrigued by and I'm excited to be, you know, taking the plunge personally. Um, I am going to Greece for the first time in March, so that should be a great time. Awesome. Talk about a mistake that you made earlier in your career that shapes the way you do things. [00:32:28] this is a good question. I think one of the most valuable insights I've learned over the years is when it's important to have at least a verbal conversation, if not an in-person conversation, rather than trying to make it work over email, slack, et cetera. Um, I think sometimes people rely on the efficiency of. [00:32:52] email and, and written coms. Um, and I know I certainly over relied on that in the past, and sometimes it's really important to just take the time to take somebody to coffee and recognize that that's gonna do more service to what you're trying to get done than hammering home a deadline will. [00:33:08] Do you believe that nonprofits can successfully go out of business successfully? Go out of business? . Yeah, I do. I think that it is, there are a lot of solvable problems. You know, when I was at World Food Program, we called Hunger, the world's most solvable problem. I think it's a matter of building the operational infrastructure to be able to ingest the money that would allow you to go out of business. [00:33:37] If you got. A huge donor, are you gonna be able to scale your operation that quickly and think about the components that would need to go into that? So I think, um, nonprofits need to be able to operate in a way that allows them to have those overhead pieces taken care of, and the sound operational infrastructure that allows for that. [00:34:00] if I were to put you in a hot tub time machine back to the beginning of your nonprofit work, what advice would you give yourself? Hmm. Um. I would say to be unafraid, to, to speak. I had a mentor early in my career who made clear that if you were invited to a meeting, it was for a reason and your voice needed to be heard. [00:34:26] And I think especially as, uh, a female in this industry, you can, can take a step back from that at the beginning of your career. You, there's some, I think, imposter syndrome among all of us, but especially among young women. So I would. Speak. [00:34:41] If I were to give you a magical wand that you could wave and change something in the industry, what would it do? Hmm. I think we'd be a lot further ahead on diversity initiatives and understanding how they come into play in every facet of what we do. I think nonprofits. Just catching up to this conversation. [00:35:04] And we still think of it as, you know, we need a diverse hiring pool and we don't necessarily understand all of the things that go into building that, that talent pool. So making sure that we have cultures that diverse communities would want to work within and, uh, that, that respect, um, the difference standpoints that we all come from. [00:35:22] That's what I would change would be further along. What is something that you think you should stop doing? I should stop doing, I should stop drinking more than one cup of coffee a day. , I, uh, I'm playing with my, my workflow for the day and the optimal time to make sure I'm, I, I used to exercise first thing in the morning, and I'm pivoting that more toward, toward the, the mid-afternoon, which I, I guess, are the luxuries of being an entrepreneur. [00:35:52] But, um, playing with the caffeine intake, um, has not been great. So produced. How did you get started in the social impact sector? So I grew up in a very conservative area of Colorado. Um, Colorado's a very interesting state in terms of politics, but I grew up in the area of Colorado Springs, um, that's very focused on religion, military, et cetera. [00:36:17] Um, and I was about nine when my Uncle Keith passed away, uh, from AIDS and. at that time, we weren't allowed to talk about why he passed and what happened and, uh, his sexuality and I, as I have gotten older, always think about what that must have felt like for him to not even be able to talk to his family about, um, you know, this terrifying illness that he had and. [00:36:48] The, where he was in life. So that's, that's been the event in my life that I've always come back to. That drives me to make sure that no one else feels like that or is in that place. What advice would you give college grads looking to enter the social impact sector? You co oh, I guess your college graduated by that point. [00:37:07] Um, I was gonna go the internship route. I, I think just start. I think there's a lot of trepidation around diving in and, um, finding, you know, the perfect job description to apply for, or the perfect service to offer. And I think just getting out there and seeing, um, Casting a wide net is, is very useful in those beginning stages. [00:37:34] And also not being afraid to say yes when you get invited to, you know, that networking session or the happy hour, that might seem useless. Just building your army of, of friends and contacts. What advice did your parents give you that you either followed or did not follow? [00:37:55] Um, my parents gave me lots of advice, advice that I, I did not follow. Um, . One thing that I did follow, my parents, uh, grew up in, um, a very small area of Ohio, former mining town that, um, was not well to do. We did not grow up, um, super well off money wise, and my dad really wanted me to focus on a business degree, uh, because it was practical and I did do that. [00:38:24] Um, but I will say that I've, I've tried to pivot it in a way that's become my own. Um, and that is, is focused on. Yes, the business side and the practical sides of that, but also the social impact side that is, is my own mark. Well thanks for sharing all of that. How do people find you? How do people help you? [00:38:44] So my website is agility Um, and I have on. That's a, uh, you can contact me for a quick informational consult or I have a couple of, uh, checklists that will help you think through your risk diversification strategy. And if you're interested in pursuing a project together, you can reach out to me one-on-one through the site, um, or join my email list. [00:39:10] Yeah, I'd say just add, if you're looking for that digital privacy tuneup that doesn't just stop at privacy, but also looks. How your fundraising and comms team are approaching a different landscape. It sounds like you know what you're doing. I enjoyed the conversation and thank you for all that you've shared with our audience. [00:39:27] Thank you, George.  
1/25/202340 minutes, 32 seconds
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AmazonSmile Turned Upside Down Cutting $449m CSR Program (news)

  Amazon Sunsets AmazonSmile Amid Cost-Cutting  The AmazonSmile will be ending by February 20th, according to a statement from the company, as reported by NPR and others. While the program dispersed nearly $449 million to nonprofits globally, the company says that the donations were spread too thin, minimizing impact. Amazon pointed to other efforts, such as its Housing Equity Fund, which supports affordable housing efforts near its headquarters, as an example of a social impact program receiving investment. However, smaller nonprofits that received AmazonSmile donations say that the donation were helpful and would be missed. The move comes after Amazon announced 18,000 layoffs, amid a winter defined by tech layoffs across the industry. Read more ➝   Summary Time's Up to halt operations, shift resources to legal fund | ABC News  People are only just realising what happens to the money IKEA makes - and it’s blowing their minds | The US Sun Founder of Seattle West African immigrant nonprofit accused of embezzling millions |  What if school was all outside, every day? N.J. ‘nature schools’ take class outdoors, rain or shine. The Eagles thought their Christmas album would fund a toy drive. It ended up doing much more. |     Rough Transcript [00:00:00] George: This week on the nonprofit news feed. Well, we are talking about turning that Amazon smile upside down. I was first off, really happy to be able to come up with that subject line. Um, not as happy that this program is ending. Uh, Nick, how's it going? [00:00:42] Nick: It's going good. George, this is, I think, gonna be one of those weeks where we are just focused on, on one-liners and, and puns. But alas, I'll take us into the top story, which you alluded to, which is that Amazon Smile. The program that donated a PORs, uh, portion of the proceeds from purchases on Amazon to nonprofits will be coming to a close on February 20th. [00:01:07] This comes via reporting from NPR and other outlets. And in the history of the program, it dispersed nearly 449 million to nonprofits globally. However, the company says that the donations were spread too thin, minimizing impact. That's in quotes. Um, Amazon pointed in their statement to other efforts such as its Housing equity fund to support affordable housing. [00:01:34] Here its headquarters as an example. Of a social impact program it was investing in. However, in the articles, smaller nonprofits said that Amazon SMILE donations were helpful and would be missed. And this comes amid broader economic headwinds that the industry is facing. Amazon has announced 18,000 layoffs. [00:01:57] Tech layoffs are now commonplace across the board. Amazon Smile more like a frown these days. [00:02:06] George: I'm sad to see a CSR corporate social responsibility program of this magnitude get sunset in this way in short order. I've been looking on LinkedIn, um, the reactions, and some folks are saying, you know, good riddens, this was a distraction for nonprofits because it sort of baits an organization into becoming an affiliate marketer. [00:02:30] Meaning you get a portion of the sales based on a trackable link and you're pushing product as opposed to your purpose. , I hear that. I also see 449 million, uh, across nonprofits being something meaningful now. Yeah. You spread peanut butter too thin and it turns into nothing. Right. If I were to donate that, but like, that's still just, that's a lot of money. [00:02:55] You know, there's, um, 1.5 ish million nonprofits, so I don't, I don't know that I buy that full narrative of like, it was too small to make a difference. , it was part of, for some organizations, a balanced fiscal diet. It was a diversification of revenue streams. You know, it was something that they, they got and ideally didn't have to push too hard for. [00:03:19] So bad thing too bad. You know, I, I, I don't think that, I'm curious why, and, and I'll maybe never know the reason of like the actual, like, is this a cost cutting? Is there just a change in csr? Did they not get enough, uh, from it? Because on the same token, it actually served them as well because guess what? [00:03:42] Somebody was buying something from them. You know, it was the affiliate marketing strategy. It was actually pretty darn clever, and it worked so sad to see it. And hopefully there'll be a, another solution that arises, an opportunity that shows up for, for those organizations. [00:04:02] Nick: I agree. I. It can't have cost them that much money to run though. Like that's the thing, right. [00:04:11] George: Well, the the other thing is like you can just sign up for an affiliate link and sell things, but I think the difference also with Amazon Smile is that, You could have your supporters put Amazon Smile on their purchasing. So I had it for, for my nonprofit, and it was just, anytime I buy, I had something on Amazon. [00:04:27] A point went that way. So I, I, maybe you need to backtrack on like affiliate marketing versus actually it was adding a layer that said, for these customers, a portion of your proceeds go back to this organization. So that is uniquely different. [00:04:43] Nick: That's fair. That's fair. We'll continue to see if we hear more about this, maybe they'll roll out something different or new. Alas, we move along to our next story, and this one is from a ABC News and others that the Times Up organization, the Me Too, the organization born out of the Me Too movement, particularly the that one in Hollywood, um, has Hal. [00:05:13] Operations and is shifting remaining financial resources to the Legal Defense fund. So Times Out has had a. Go of it. Fallout from associations with Andrew Cuomo and that scandal, um, and has been something of an EM battered, uh, embattled organization rather, um, over the past couple years and is now closing doors and, and shifting that money to the legal defense fund, which does, uh, provide, uh, resources for women in, in specific industries. This is kind of a weird one because it's such a high profile organization that came up very quickly. I think there's probably some lessons to be learned here. George, what are those lessons and what is your take on this? [00:06:03] George: I wish I was smart enough to actually understand the, the full implications of of this. The different narratives that I see here, one, are the types of organizations that pop up in these. Cultural moments have a lot of headwinds. Later they start off with a disproportionate amount of attention and funding upfront, which certainly times updated and they did remarkable work, certainly around if we're looking at victims of Harvey Weinstein, and then the way that they were able to, I'd say, update the way that victims were dealt with. [00:06:44] In these cases from a legal standpoint and a lot of achievements there, but there's a certain type of what feels like immutable. What goes up must come down type of physics here, where the speed at which with which you rise to fame. also seems to all but guarantee the fall from Grace. That is kind of like the inverse Lindy effect. [00:07:15] The Lindy effect is if you have been here for this long, you'll probably continue to be here. Uh, coming from the. Run of show for Broadway, uh, productions that if a Broadway production had been on, you know, it's a, it's a wonder that cats ever stopped being on Broadway. Cause cats had been forever on Broadway. [00:07:32] And it was this, this joke of like, once you're in the line cafe, you'll sort of never be removed. Um, I've gone far from the topic, I'm gonna come back to it. So the first thought, the speed with which something rises probably dictates the speed with which it falls the next. Looking at organizations that need to sort of spin up with all of the overhead, with all of the infrastructure and hiring staffing, like to create a new organization takes a lot of, of work and wealth. [00:08:08] And the fact that now at the end of it, you know, they, they talk about, and even in this quote, very simply, the Legal defense Fund really reflects who we were, not only at our inception, but really at our core. And that's a quote from, uh, Schultzer. And that's why, you know, the, the remaining 1.7 million, which is, is quite small, uh, in the grand scheme of the size of the organization, uh, is going back to that fund. [00:08:33] And the question I guess in my mind is, you know, the fund administered by the National Women's Law Center in Washington? Which has provided and provides legal administration help to, to workers that identify as low income and 40% of people of color. I, I'm, I'm curious as to what the world would've looked like, had times Up simply been a branch of that organization, how much more could have been applied to it and the, the learnings and the staff and that ability rolled into an existing organization rather than saying, we need a new organization. [00:09:08] You know, could this have. A campaign or a program of that legal defense fund. Those are just questions in my mind, and it's, it's tough with an organization under this level of scrutiny. I, I have a hard time getting behind some of those decisions they made with, you know, Andrew, Andrew Cuomo and, and consulting, allegedly consulting with them behind closed doors that was then later revealed by reports. [00:09:33] Uh, It's tough. I think nonprofits are under, uh, a much, much greater microscope and it doesn't take much to set the, set the tide in the wrong direction because you exist at the public's. Will you rely on funding and funders and if those funders are then effectively being shown. as public donors because nine 90 s are all public. [00:09:59] We can see donors and donations. Are you then saying, oh, a large donor has to then reconsider like, wait a minute, am I supporting an organization that supported Andrew Cuomo? Not saying that that is a direct line, but all things being equal, it doesn't take much to hurt in that reputation, and it's tough for organizations that are in that frontline type of work. [00:10:17] Nick: George, I, I think that's, that's a great point. You bring up a lot of different nuances and the threads there, and it makes me think that your nonprofits have to play by different rules than businesses, right. [00:10:33] George: They do. You can't just go on an apology tour being like, Hey, sorry, we fired him. We're all back to normal. Like, nevermind that our news station. Maybe let this kind of go by the wayside. [00:10:44] Nick: Yeah. Yeah. Um. Yeah, I guess we'll, we'll continue to keep an eye on this story. It'll be interesting to see how that legal defense portion of it, which is still administered by, um, that, uh, the other organization, the, the woman's um, uh, legal organization, how that all pans out. Um, so we'll keep our listeners updated, but to that end, I will take us to our next story. [00:11:12] And this one comes. From King and the founder of a Seattle West African immigrant nonprofit is accused of embezzling millions. Um, so. Uh, the, the gentleman in, in question, Issa I apologize cause I know I'm mispronouncing. That was the founder and longtime executive director of the West African Community Council or W A C C, which is based in Seattle. [00:11:44] Um, and after decade of service, um, he was ousted, uh, on December 16th. Accused of embezzling, which is, which is, you know, terrible, terrible, um, especially, you know, people who really, really need help. And then this long article kind of goes into it, it goes into, uh, in DA's started of the story, um, as well side of the story rather, and it kind of a complicated one. [00:12:11] But, uh, George, what's your takeaway on. [00:12:16] George: I look. Board members for this, and this is a reminder for the fiscal responsibilities that your board members take on. And I'm not saying send this article to your board members, but if you are on a board, if you are building a board, fiscal stewardship and hiring and firing the c e o, those the primary jobs and roles of a board. [00:12:38] And so I see this and I don't look at, you know, in the D and say, oh, what a bad actor. Like there are bad actors. One out of a thousand people, one out of 10,000 people are not the, you know, folks that you should be trusting. The job of the board is to hire and fire and make sure the right people are in there. [00:12:56] And the fact that this was an extra bank account started in 2014, like a secret bank account, and like hundreds of thousands of dollars going through there, you know, I'm looking at auditors, I'm looking at board members looking at that, and so paying attention to those things like, oh, it can't happen. . Um, it, it is just a function of odds and, uh, again, I wouldn't have put this in here actually if it had not been for the size of the, the embezzlement. [00:13:25] We have millions of dollars. It's, it's brutal. Uh, so it's a reminder to, to board members out there that, uh, while those finance meetings may be boring, and also the people preparing them, like, here's, here's what you're actually doing. Um, you're making sure money gets to the. The right places and you're avoiding, um, tragedies like. [00:13:45] Nick: Absolutely. I think that's a fantastic point and we always like to keep our listeners on their toes to protect themselves from this happening at their organization. I have our next story is an interesting one. Um, Georgia. Did you know that IKEA is owned by a nonprofit? [00:14:11] George: Here's the thing. I didn't know that Ike. Was owned by a nonprofit. Frankly, this is like a non-story story, but it's fascinating because, uh, you know, in the , the rep reputable, the US Sun , and this title says no Ikea, uh, people are only just realizing what happens to the money IKEA makes, and it's blowing their minds. [00:14:32] I mean, first off, a plus on a hook title. But it's funny because there is a nonprofit involved and owner of the main entity. So IKEA is actually a nonprofit organization. So the money made from those, uh, you know, fund to assemble wardrobes, uh, you know, beyond paying is, is put away into, um, a nonprofit. And the charity's big mission is to further the advancement of interior design. [00:15:01] Nick: Novo, Novo. [00:15:03] George: uh, They're putting it out there further, the advancement of interior design. I mean, you've gotta believe in that mission, I suppose. Um, I did. I didn't have anything else here. Just I thought it was funny. [00:15:17] Nick: it's really funny. So the detail is I e Ikea store stores are franchised by a company called, Inga Holdings, which is fully owned by a nonprofit organization called Stitching Inga Foundation. Um, yeah, I , it's kind of funny. I wanna do a deep dive on this. We need like a little mini documentary on what the hell's happening, but. [00:15:45] Uh, I am willing to bet there is some criticism in the wonderful Scandinavian world about, uh, whether this is truly because people are passionate about, um, easy to assemble interior design pieces, or whether this is some kind of, uh, super duper clever, uh, tax loophole that is being taken advantage of. [00:16:09] George: Yeah, I mean, look, there's some definitive, like this is a tax play very clearly. They pay according to online mba, 33 times less taxes than the average business. The Economist, the overall setup of IKEA minimizes taxes and disclosure handsomely, rewards the founding camra Cam Prad family, and makes IKEA immune to takeover. [00:16:32] So it's interesting. That when you're saying like, this is a strategic reason, like frankly as a business owner, now you have me thinking, should a nonprofit own whole whale and suddenly we don't have to pay taxes. We have, I'm gonna go ahead and say a loftier mission then to improve, I'm sorry, I want to get it accurately to, uh, to further advance, uh, the advancement of interior. [00:17:00] Further the advancement of interior design. So I would say ours has built a healthier, more just and sustainable world as an agency. I, uh, I don't know. One of the funnier quotes here is, uh, no wonder why you gotta put everything together yourself at Al Okaya, because they rely on a bunch of volunteers to put their stuff together. [00:17:20] So, you know, they have a lot of volun, big volun. I have volunteered for Ikea on more than one occasion, [00:17:29] Nick: Volunteering on for IKEA is a, a family pastime. Um, That's funny. Here's another one for you, another light story. We're, this is a good week. There's nothing too traumatic in [00:17:42] George: I mean, just, you know, massive embezzlement, half a billion dollars of CSR stopping at Amazon. This is a good week, [00:17:49] Nick: Yeah, this is, [00:17:50] George: on [00:17:51] Nick: this is a good week for [00:17:53] George: this. Okay, you're classifying Good week on this. Okay. [00:17:55] Nick: I, you know, maybe it's just because it's sunny out. But that is a perfect segue into our next story, where one New Jersey school asked What if school was outside all the time? Every day. So New Jersey Nature schools are taking class outdoors, rain or shine. Um, and this article talks about bundled up kindergarten students at a Star Child Nature School in Medford, New Jersey, outside collecting tree sap to make glue. [00:18:28] Four handmade ornaments. So this is an immersive, you are outside, you are learning, you are one with nature type situation at this school. And that brings us to, uh, the relevant question of making, uh, the question of nature versus nurture ever. The more salient. [00:18:46] George: Wow. It's, it's all, it's all nature school here. Uh, and I know some are nonprofits, some are for-profits, but there's a number of them, and I'll call out one quote here From the South Mountain Nature School, our programs promote social and emotional development and instill confidence and foster independence. [00:19:01] Said Mary Claire Solomon. Who also in other news happens to be my sister. And so I'm incredibly proud of my sister for starting one of these nature schools, pushing through the pandemic and growing to the size that they have, uh, in New Jersey. And, you know, I get to see the, the pictures and the approach that they take in. [00:19:23] There's, you know, that question that comes up, well, what about when it snows? And it's like, you know, there's no bad weather, just bad apparel. So they, they are out there, rain or shine. I think this is a, a really healthy way for, for young people who are inevitably going to wander into the world of screen first learning and engagement and work to realize that, you know, food comes from the ground. [00:19:52] SAP is fun and it's, uh, it's great to see. I'm very proud of my sister, though. In other news, [00:20:00] Nick: That's super. George did you know that's mine, hometown, A South Mountain Reservations with in walking distance from where I grew up. [00:20:07] George: He can go over and say hi. [00:20:09] Nick: Go over, say hi. Maybe a little too old for, uh, the Nature School thing, [00:20:14] George: you could volunteer perhaps. [00:20:17] Nick: love it. All right. How about a feel good story? [00:20:21] George: Yeah. What do we. [00:20:22] Nick: This one comes from the Philadelphia Inquirer, uh, and it's about the eagle. The team, not the group, uh, thought that their Christmas album would fund a toy drive and it ended up doing so much more. So the Philadelphia Eagles of a football and. Sports fame can tell. [00:20:44] I follow football. Uh, thought that they were just raising a mere $30,000, um, for this charity toy drive, when in fact they raised [00:20:59] George: Quarter million 250,000 I believe. [00:21:02] Nick: million. Wow. Wow. Good for. [00:21:07] George: Yeah. What it's nice is also going to be funding not just one, but two toy drives and a summer camp, uh, which. Objectively I, while I respect toy drives and I like those moments, it's great to also say, what about dealing with, uh, the summer learning gap and supporting communities when, um, when you are needing a potentially even more. [00:21:29] So, uh, congratulations. Also, full disclosure here. Nick thought that this wasn't the team, the Eagles, but the band, uh, the Eagles. And it took him a couple of reads to realize that it was a fact about the sports ball. So Nick, I think we all learned something today. [00:21:49] Nick: We've learned a lot. [00:21:51] George: Have we, well, before I give you a terrible joke, I have a bit of a sponsored post here and it. A note that we are opening up our, as far as I know, we only do it once a year and it's the ad grant cohort and we're teaching. Organizations how to run the ad grant, the Google Ad grant, the thing that you get 10 K a month in in-kind ads for placing ads that drive traffic and value to your organization. [00:22:20] We're doing a five week live cohort. This isn't pre-recorded. This is hands-on and we're sharing exactly how we run this ad grant to maximize the ROI for your organization. And so we're gonna help, uh, only I think it's limited, 25 organizations. It always sells out. Registration is now open. Uh, and you can find that link in the show notes or wander around whole and you'll find it there. [00:22:47] Alrighty, question Nick, for you. [00:22:52] Nick: Uh oh. [00:22:53] George: Why, why did the clown donate his salary? [00:22:57] Nick: Hmm. I don't know about the clown thing, but why did the clown donate his salary? [00:23:02] George: Uh, it was a nice gesture. [00:23:05] Nick: Ah, ah, ah. [00:23:09] George: He, he laughs sometimes he doesn't know. And then we like, go off, Nick, did you actually get this one or is this gonna be the one where you like pause and you're like, I didn't get it. Explain it to [00:23:17] Nick: I, I got this one. I'm a huge Shakespeare Stan. I, I'm very familiar with a court gesture and this was, yes, but offering to explain was as well a nice gesture. Um, cuz [00:23:30] George: I just wanted to do it cause I feel like I cut off. I'm like, this would've been much funnier if he didn't understand it. He was like, I laugh, I don't get it. Alright. Thanks for humoring me and this is what you get for staying to the end of the podcast. Leave us a review. Thank you. Bye. [00:23:46] Nick: Bye.
1/24/202324 minutes, 30 seconds
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Using Food Entrepreneurship to Feed Careers | Hot Bread Kitchen

We interview Leslie Abbey, Chief Executive Officer, Hot Bread Kitchen. In this podcast, Leslie shares how HBK is focused on reaching 1,000 "breadwinners' by 2024 and how it has been leading the organization out of the pandemic. Hot Bread Kitchen programs and services include professional skills training and career programs, job placement, food entrepreneurship and social services support. We have a built-in network of high-quality employers ready to hire women from our programs. Our food entrepreneurship offerings help small business owners seed, start and scale their ventures. And our team helps women overcome obstacles to success outside the workplace—from financial planning to childcare.   About LESLIE ABBEY, ESQ. Leslie is an organizational leader and entrepreneur who has committed her career to supporting at-risk youth and families, social justice, and data-driven strategies to improve human service outcomes. In January 2022, Leslie became CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen, an organization that creates economic opportunity for immigrant women and women of color through job skills training, food entrepreneurship programs, and an ecosystem of support in New York City.    Prior to joining Hot Bread Kitchen, Leslie was Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Covenant House New York, the City’s largest organization dedicated to serving youth experiencing homelessness. During her tenure, she implemented significant operational improvements, including the launch of multiple data-driven strategies to improve youth outcomes, growth of the organization’s budget by more than 50%, and the spearheading of an agency-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan. From 2014 to 2017, Leslie was Interim Executive Director and Chief Program Officer at Lantern Community Services, a leading nonprofit provider of supportive housing in New York City, and the largest operator of such services for youth leaving foster care. From 2007 to 2014, Leslie held progressively senior positions at the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS).    Leslie started her career as an attorney in the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice from 1997 to 2007, where she first represented children and youth in Bronx Family Court, and then moved on to the Practice’s Special Litigation and Law Reform Unit. In 1995, Leslie received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was an editor of The Review of Law and Social Change and a member of the Family Defense Clinic. She received her B.A. with Honors from Swarthmore College in 1990.    Leslie has served on various boards and committees in the nonprofit and public sectors and currently sits on the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College and Board of Trustees of New York University School of Law. In the year following her law school graduation, Leslie founded Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT), which provides legal information and support to Family Court litigants, and now serves 30,000 litigants annually; she continues to serve as a member of LIFT’s Board of Directors. A native New Yorker, Leslie lives in Manhattan with her husband, two teenagers, and rescue dog, Sammy.
1/19/202348 minutes, 55 seconds
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MLK Day Celebrated by Nonprofits & Santos’ Charity Questions (news)

Nonprofits Energize & Give Back To Communities On MLK Day Nonprofits across the country worked to engage and give back to communities this MLK Day. Virginia nonprofit Rise Against Hunger worked to fill 50,000 bags of food to serve communities in need. The article notes that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke often about hunger, and was a catalyst for this organization to focus on emergency food relief. In Charlotte, communities are finding assistance from nonprofits like Promise Youth Development, which serves to educate youth about Dr. King’s legacy while advocating for social justice. In addition to providing kids with education and exposure to Dr. King’s teaching, the nonprofit also fosters healing and relationship-building between students and police. Read more ➝   Summary   Allegations that the charity George Santos claims to have run was fake highlight how scams divert money from worthy causes |  Anchorage nonprofit’s use of $750K in federal funds investigated | 118th US Congress most racially and ethnically diverse in history | Pew Research Center Greta Thunberg detained by police at German coal protest | Axios  Local nonprofit celebrates helping black entrepreneurs on MLK day - KLAS | 8 News Now       Rough Transcript [00:00:00] audio1555325285: This week on a nonprofit newsfeed. We're talking about some of the events that went on during M l k day as we're recording this the day after. And Nick I hope you had a great weekend and we're able to celebrate in your own way. , yes, it was a brisk but lovely weekend here in New York. We hope you're staying dry and safe out in California. [00:00:27] But to your point, yes, we want to talk about nonprofits giving back to communities on MLK Day. So yesterday it was MLK Day in Peas, United States and nonprofits across the country are. To give back to communities. One nonprofit in Virginia named Rise Against Hunger Work to fill 50,000 bags of food to serve communities in need. [00:00:50] Noting that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Himself spoke frequently about the issue of hunger which catalyzed this organization to focus on emergency food relief and in Charlotte. Communities were finding assistance from organizations like Promise Youth Development, which serves to educate kids and young people about Dr. [00:01:11] King's lead legacy while advocating for social justice. And recently they started providing kids with healing and relationship, building support between students and police during the ongoing conversation. Police and community relations in America. So I think that M l K Day is a point of reflection, a catalyst to service, and an opportunity for nonprofits to show how they are making their communities safer, more inclusive, and more just. [00:01:46] Yeah, it's great to see how the holiday evolves with the times and how it. Be used to spark those types of conversations and social impact activities. And just knowing that people are more primed to, to volunteer and have have those dialogues around this time. And of course moving into, in, in short order Black History Month coming up next month. [00:02:09] It is good to see also the amount of coverage in the news that we saw. [00:02:15] Absolutely. All right. Shall I take us into the summary? Yeah. What do we got? All right, George, I'm so excited for this story, not because the main antagonist of this story shares your name, no relation. , but we are talking about . George Santos, famed Republican congressperson from Long Island. Parts of Queens, but , his, George Santos has been in the news recently for as it turns out, fabricating almost the entirety of his resume, professional and personal background. [00:02:52] But the reason we are talking about him on this podcast is that Santos claimed to have started a animal welfare nonprofit called Friends of Pets United, and apparently, This nonprofit, which was listed as such on an early version of his campaign website in fact, did not exist. Apparently, the only inkling of. [00:03:17] Any evidence that such an organization existed is a now defunct Facebook page. But the nonprofit was never registered under the i r s never made donations to organizations it claimed to, and as Santo said, the group rescued 2,400 dogs and 280 cats between 2013 and 2018. However, there is absolutely zero evidence at all. [00:03:43] That such activities happened. This is a ghost organization and I. Leads into a broader narrative about how fake charities are, in fact a real problem. The article we link out to in the [email protected] goes through why this is such a problem because it diverts donations away from legitimate organizations as well as undercuts donors confidence in giving. [00:04:10] So George, what's your take on this? And then I'm gonna follow up and ask you what's your favorite, George Santos? . God, it's so hard to choose. Not really, no, nothing proud here about how there was failings, I think on several different levels. And if your immediate reaction here is to be angry at George Santos just acknowledge that there are many people creating many fake charities. [00:04:34] There are also many folks that look to take advantage by lying. Their accomplishments, resume in order to get ahead. And so where does the onus fall? If you're applying to a job, the hiring manager should check on these things, maybe call a reference. And I suppose if the United States Congress is hiring somebody, voters are hiring somebody, the news outlets, one of the branches of anything that we rely. [00:05:06] should maybe do background checks. And so I'd say there are a cascade of failures that led to this. And they're on both sides, really. D nnc opponents that did literally nothing in terms of researching their opponent. Journalists that put that name down without calling a single thing whatsoever, checking anything in IRS records, something that would've taken the amount of time. [00:05:31] a brewing, a cup of coffee would've revealed. And then the r n c, which is in an unenviable situation now, of letting someone in who is a categorical liar. And then you can see nonprofits here because nonprofits are frequently used to burnish the reputations of those that need that work done and that. [00:05:55] Story is on repeat. I would say one of those things, this is in the back of my mind, is whenever I hear now that the specificity of of work, right? You're out there counting that me number of cats, like there's a certain, like we've helped a lot, we've helped over hundreds to say 280 cats. Also why fewer cats than dogs? [00:06:16] 280 cats versus 2,400 dogs that, I, I don't know if those numbers would. and then released 3000 cats. Yeah, there's a lot of numbers here. They're too specific for me. , this is what I'm, it's. It's such a mess. , I can say that in addition to apparently creating a fake nonprofit and not going working at any of the jobs he claimed to have worked or going to school where he claimed to work Santos is in the unenviable position of being under county. [00:06:54] State and federal investigation in the United States, as well as under a case that was reopened in the lovely country of Brazil. Apparently they've been looking for him for a long time, and there he is in the US Congress. So yeah, hold on. Here's where allegedly, I wanna go back to the cats and dogs though. [00:07:15] Okay. So in the US approximately 4.1 million shelter animals are adopted each. , you wanna guess the breakdown? [00:07:26] I don't know. 50 50 precisely. 2 million dogs. 2.1 million cats. Okay. So going back to those numbers, this is why it's off, right? How are you that far off in terms of the rescue numbers? 2,400 dogs, 280 cats. I don't think this guy likes. I think there's a cat a bias against cats that you should look out for. [00:07:52] That's really, that's a spicy thing. He's not numbers, right? He's making up numbers. I will say his compatriot for the New York City mayoral election Curtis Sliwa is famously a cat person and has nine cats and is very pro catt. Maybe just many layers of division and rife and just bizarreness in this story, but, This does take us to our next story. [00:08:20] Both sad and fun as this one is about a nonprofit organization in Alaska which used $750,000 in federal funds improperly. So the Revive Alaska Community Services Food Pantry is very saying serious questions about how the group. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funds throughout the pandemic. [00:08:45] Anchorage itself received a hundred million dollars to distribute to various organizations and. For various reasons. But nobody seems to know where this money goes and how that $750,000 helped feed families in Anchorage. There seems to be some just sketchy what happened here in the saga, and there's more details you won't get into, but it's important to be accountable. [00:09:16] Yeah. And sadly, I think we're seeing a lot of the, where did the money go now that the, pain of the pandemic has mainly passed from the peak periods and it's it's a reminder to, to be documenting these types of things and in your accounting. But this was, this seems pretty question. [00:09:36] Because they were given three quarters of a million dollars to rebuild a barn that was a food pantry . Instead, the structure was torn down. So you're like wait a minute. Little different. Not great. But we will go now from not great two. I think is great. George, you threw this article in from the inevitable Pew Research Center that the 118th US Congress, our current Congress is the most racially and ethnically diverse Congress in history. [00:10:09] So according to Pew Research This is actually the seventh Congress to break that record set by the one before it. And overall, 133 Senators and representatives today identify as black, Hispanic, Asian-American, American Indian, or Alaskan native. According to this analysis. And this is increasing in every Congress. [00:10:35] Interestingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly I think 80% of these members caucus with the Democrat Party. But that being Said Congress is becoming more representative of America as a whole. Approximately now Congress is approximately 75% white which is, brings it closer in line with the overall US population which is now at 59% white. [00:11:03] And will soon actually be minority white if demographic trends continue. I'm all for it. Representative Congress, representative democracy, let's go. Yeah. And the Republicans are making a couple ticks toward the right direction. Previously it was, 17%, 83%. A distribution for non-white lawmakers in terms of the breakdown of diversity in Congress. [00:11:27] Slight increases there, but overall, it's just great to see over the past two decades to see this number nearly double. And, clearly tracking US population and you see it in that way. And it's also a good reminder for what representative democracy will hopefully become as the people representing representatives representing communities will will reflect them. [00:11:53] Absolutely. All right we will take us now to our last story in the summary. And this comes from Axios and others, and the headline of this article is Greta Thunberg has been detained by police at a German coal protest, and the article comes with a pretty dramatic photo of Greta being. Whisked away by some scary looking cops and riot gear. [00:12:21] It turns out that climate activist Greta Thunberg was detained today protesting a coalmine expansion in the German coal mining town of. Rath where she was physically removed from the site. Apparently Tomberg was participating in a sit-in near the edge of the mine. A pretty hands-on approach to activism from fellow climate activists. [00:12:48] But George, I can't help but being struck how similar this photo seems to the photos of activists. Protesting for clean water particularly adjacent to Native American reservations and communities in the United States, not just a couple years ago. It seems strikingly similar and real interesting to see such tactics taken by activists and protestors. [00:13:36] I think it's a Huff one. I like the activism angle here in terms of you have a young person able to command such a powerful presence and message, right? And on the other hand, you have, I think Germany and some other countries making. energy decisions that actually cut off the bridge to sustainable energy. [00:14:02] And you feel that, especially when you're dealing with the conflict in Russia, and I'm cutting off various pipeline resources and pieces that, it's one thing to say you're going to go on a carbon neutral path, but if you don't have the plan to get there, all you've done is. Given disproportionate power to Russia and other coal generating areas. [00:14:25] Cause that energy has to come from somewhere. And I think there's there was a lack of planning and a lot of promising shutting down nuclear power plants of reducing the production without the plan. And so I think the next phase that I honestly hope to see from Thunberg and others are the planned part, not the, just the protest and stop this because the truth is when. [00:14:46] Drastically increase energy prices overnight, and you create dependencies on governments such as Russia to give them disproportionate of power in the region. You hurt large swaths of humanity and indirectly directly hurt the environment. And protest, but have a plan. And I, I. The green movement can easily have that critique going back 30, 40 years of evolving. [00:15:11] Hopefully it's approach to the industry and how you get a path rather than a protest to to green energy. It's complicated. When I see these types of things, it's easy to celebrate. Yeah. Close it down. On the other side, like with regard to coal mining you're not gonna solve this winter's problem with gold taken from the ground right now. [00:15:30] has to be processed, has to be pushed through. And so like how, how you're planning this is also confusing to me. I don't know a lot of thoughts I have. Yeah, George. I think that's right. It's interesting. I was actually recently talking from someone to talk to someone from Germany. And she was saying, By far and away the energy crisis. [00:15:52] There is the most talked about issue and has been for well over a year now in central Europe. So it's interesting to get a glimpse into that world. And I think similar in, in other countries, particularly the UK as well. Yeah, an interesting look across the pond into how these issues play out in the public sphere. [00:16:15] All right. How about a feel good story? Yeah, what do we got? All right. This is from eight news, and it is reporting out of Las Vegas where a local nonprofit is celebrating helping black entrepreneurs on MLK Day. The organization is called Global SoCo, which is a nonprofit dedicated to helping black-owned businesses like the one mentioned in the article, get a boost. [00:16:43] I think it's really cool to see community organizations like this working to support black entrepreneurs and black community members. And I think really coincides with the legacy and desire of M L K to see the, that community work together. Real cool stuff. Shout out to them. [00:17:01] Yeah, absolutely. Love the angle of entrepreneurship and actually helping folks. A leg up in the industry and a good excuse again to, to use m l k to evolve to the needs of the community and where we are in the world. So thanks Nick. I appreciate you giving the summary. Always. Thanks George.
1/17/202320 minutes, 4 seconds
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Thousands of NYC Nurses Go On Strike As Hospital & Union Talks Fall Apart (news)

Thousands of NYC Nurses Go On Strike As Hospital & Union Talks Fall Apart A dramatic, last-ditch effort to avert a strike failed this weekend, leading nurses at two major NYC hospitals to go on strike, according to reporting from Politico and others. Approximately 7,000 nurses at Montefiore Medical Center and Mount Sinai Hospital went on strike at 6 a.m. Eastern on Monday, demanding increased staffing levels for nurses who say the staff shortage creates unsafe conditions for patients. While other hospitals successfully negotiated with the New York State Nurses Association to continue operations as normal, the strike at these two hospitals is the culmination of longstanding grievances of nursing staff who feel unfairly treated, burnt out, and chronically understaffed. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s push for binding arbitration in the last hours of negotiations was not accepted by the nursing union. Medical professionals working in nonprofit hospital systems across the country will be paying close attention to how this is resolved—the result of which may have wide-reaching implications. Read more ➝   Summary   Woman sentenced to three years in state prison for collecting $400,000 in viral GoFundMe scam | CNN Aid operations hit as Taliban bars Afghan women from working for NGOs |  The New Humanitarian From Nonprofit to $29 Billion Valuation - The Promise and Danger of ... | A 72-year-old congressman goes back to school, pursuing a degree in AI | Washington Post   
1/11/202330 minutes, 38 seconds
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Mastodon Embraces Nonprofit Status (news)

Mastodon Embraces Nonprofit Status As Potential Industry Model Mastodon, an open-source microblogging site, has rejected offers from more than five US-based investors in recent months, according to reporting from Ars Technica. The platform’s non-profit status is “untouchable,” according to its founder Eugen Rochko. Mastodon has similar features to Twitter but is made up of many decentralized, independently moderated servers. Users join one server but can connect with people on other servers throughout the so-called “federated” system. Mastodon has seen a surge in users since Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in October amid concerns over the billionaire’s running of the social media platform. Amid increasing concerns about social media platforms’ stability, privacy, and ethics issues, the nonprofit model may increasingly find salience in an industry plagued by a decrease in public trust in for-profit social media companies. Read more ➝     Summary   America's Top 100 Charities 2022| Forbes  Bank freezes Portland nonprofit Brown Hope's account, delaying donations | OregonLive Revisiting Pope Benedict’s thought on reason and faith | Philanthropy Daily Fans raise more than $3 million for Damar Hamlin's toy drive | Coney Island Polar Bear plunge raises money for nonprofits | WABC-TV  
1/3/202327 minutes, 34 seconds
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Where Did MacKenzie’s Billions Get Donated? (news)   Scott Releases Comprehensive List Grant Recipients MacKenzie Scott has released a comprehensive database of all the nonprofit organizations that have received grants from her over the past several years. Scott has in many ways upended the philanthropy sector with the sheer volume and size of the grants, as well as their “no strings attached” nature. The database denotes the name of the organization, the size of the gift, and the organization’s focus area, geographic location, and stated mission statement. The new website’s “Process” page hints at the potential for future open calls for prospective grant recipients. According to reporting from The Guardian, the donations totalled over $14 billion and were disbursed to over 1,600 nonprofit organizations. Read more ➝   Summary   22 Most Charitable Companies in 2022 | Yahoo When Nonprofit Health Care Behaves Badly: The Case For Mission ... | Big Tech Laid Off Thousands. Here’s Who Wants Them Next | WIRED Common Man For Ukraine delivers presents to 1,300 orphans | WMUR Manchester    Transcript   [00:00:00] This week on the nonprofit news feed. Well, we're talking about a big release by Mackenzie Scott. She's been giving away money now she's giving away data, a comprehensive database actually, of all of the nonprofits. So we'll jump into that. And also we had, uh, our, our end of year celebrations at Whole Whale. [00:00:45] And there's an internal video that Nick put together where he is a washed up British rock. Talking about a success. They, they definitely took the whole well adage of taking it too far and making it way too hilarious. Um, we can't release any of it, but if you worked here, you'd see. Uh, impetus to, to keep us on your, your, your job postings, uh, going into the new year. [00:01:07] Should we be hiring? Yes. Uh, [00:01:10] video is released. Super fun. I got to live out my alter ego being a washed up British rocker for our annual holiday music video. Here's what I'll say. If you leave us a review and then you message me, I will share that video with you cuz it is unlisted on. I feel like that's, I think that's a fair trick. [00:01:30] Cool. It is chaotic, good , chaotic, festive, let's say , chaotic, festive. Um, I, I agree. Amazing. Well, we, in the spirit of giving and festivities and holidays and all that, our top story is of course Mackenzie Scott releasing a comprehensive list of grant recipients. So, Mackenzie Scott has started a new website, yield, and the website essentially serves. [00:02:06] Just kind of like a, a holding a place to hold all the information about the recipients of Scott's Enormous generosity over the past couple years. So a downloadable database of all the organizations that have received money from Mackenzie Scott. So it's estimated that Don. On this list totaled over 14 billion and were dispersed to over 1600 nonprofits. [00:02:36] The donations and grants were no strings attached in nature, and the database denotes the name of the organization, the size of the gift, and the organization's focus area, geographic location, and mission statement. So we are getting. Full and total transparency from Mackenzie Scott on where those donations are going. [00:02:59] and important to note on the website's process page where they talk about how they found these donations. There is a hint at an open call for grant recipients, um, at some kind of process that organizations going forward might be able to apply for grants. Um, that seems to be an in the works type thing. [00:03:20] But it is the first time that Mackenzie Scott has hinted at an open. Tight scenario. So George, this is, this is big news and we, we started going through that spread list and you see this like never ending list and these donations, it's not $500, it's not $10,000. It's all of them are getting millions of dollars, or at least most of them. [00:03:43] It's crazy. Yeah. It's refreshing to see. Transparency there. I mean, technically speaking you can, um, sort of back into information like this using, you know, tools like cause where you can track who's given what. Uh, cuz these things have to be disclosed on nine 90 s. It's just a different. Ability though to sort of pop it out into a C S V and be able to look at it and, and get an idea of it, you know, top things in here. [00:04:13] I was looking down the list. Um, one of the top recipients in 2020 was actually our IP medical debt who is on our, you know, on our list of, uh, podcast participants. You know, planned Parenthood is is up there with 50 million. Uh, they were a past client of ours, so I was like, oh, kind of, you know, happy to, to look through and see that many of the folks that we. [00:04:35] actually worked with, um, our are on this list volunteer match, um, is a past client. And you can see just, you know, what's impressive, I encourage you to go there and just like you get an idea of, to your point, it's not like, oh, here's like, you know, 10,000, 20,000 gifts. Like they're just row after row of millions of dollars being given. [00:04:57] Right? Like that is, uh, something quite significant. , uh, for, for what you're, you know, able to achieve. And you know, it's not until you get to the very end where they're like, very few grants are like under a million dollars. Um, actually if I was on this list and I got less than a million, I'd be like, what the heck? [00:05:15] why did I get less than a million? Um, but it's a reminder of that, the power of this level of wealth and. , you know, on the other side of that coin is like, you know, this could easily be spent the other direction, but, you know, I have a, a hard time finding a bad, bad, bad apple in the bunch and looking through the hundreds of organizations here. [00:05:37] Yeah, George, I think that's a great takeaway. It's impactful to see all this disparate data that we might have been able to see just in one place really cleanly. you can download as a CSV and see all these amazing organizations there. Um, that presumably have been a vetted. Um, and yeah, it's just cool, cool to see that impact in one place spelled out so cleanly. [00:06:06] But I can take us into our next story. And this is from Yahoo Finance, and it talks about the 22 most charitable companies. In 2022. It goes through some heavy hitters. You've probably heard of just about all the companies on this list, uh, Google, Starbucks, Walmart, alphabet. George. How seriously should we take this? [00:06:30] Is this, is this a good thing? Is this a. E s g whitewashing situation. Are these real donations? What's, what's, what do we think of this list? Well, I mean, it's tis the season for lists. I also bring it up because I think your organization, obviously, if you haven't already, it may be a little too late, but there's still periods of time, I'd say that's stretched through January where you can create your top list of corporations, of people, of influencers, of whatever it may be that have done you. [00:07:03] The most social impact in your, in your ecosystem. And so this is like at one level, it's like, look, it's Yahoo Fines writing an end of your article. Fine. But I'd also say that, you know, looking at companies being celebrated for doing the right thing in the right way, on the heels of, you know, what we just saw with C v cvs, which, you know, uh, we talked about in the other episode, um, is, is great to see. [00:07:28] I, I do think. Social impact isn't just relegated to the domain of 5 0 1 It's, it's clear that, um, for-profit organizations need to stand out. I mean, am I, am I really celebrating that hard when I see, like Chevron make the top 10 here? Like maybe not or, you know, JP Morgan Chase? Not exactly. Being like the pinnacle. [00:07:57] Offense, but like, you know, social, social impact, justice and investment. Uh, okay. Um, ExxonMobil making the list. So there's a little bit of e s g gaming, so take a look at the list. How would you write it? That's my question. I think that's, I think that's good framing. Uh, something of course to keep in mind this time of year. [00:08:19] Um, but some good things for nonprofit leaders to think. [00:08:23] All right. I'll take us into our next story. And honestly, this one ruffles my feathers, George. So you're ruffled last. I'm, I'm, I'm ruffled. Uh, The New York Times last week published a story titled How a Sprawling Hospital Chain ignited its own staffing Crisis. And it talks about a hospital chain, um, under the Ascension umbrella. [00:08:51] Um, that is a hospital that serves approximately 6 million patients in the South and Midwest. It has revenue, yearly revenue of $15 billion. That rivals companies like General Mills and Gap. It is a non-for-profit hospital system, and in addition to its billions in cash, it runs an investment company that manages more than 41 billion in assets, and the chief executive of its wholly owned. [00:09:23] Investment company made a salary of 13 million last year, and it's estimated from that article that because of its nonprofit status, ascension has avoided more than 1 billion a year in federal, state, and local taxes. That's the, the, the tax exempt work. Um, and in response to that, we have an article from health that offers some framing and solutions of thinking about this problem. [00:09:51] Um, Because our irrational health system, as it notes, allows mega hospital chains that operate under a nonprofit status, um, to, to really not put their, their patients first. It, it stems from, um, staffing crises, trying to squeeze out pennies, uh, during the, the Covid problem, uh, during the covid surge and a whole host of other problems. [00:10:20] But you. Mega wealthy kind of bad actors in the nonprofit healthcare system. Um, this article offers some different approaches, um, that I'm quite frankly not knowledgeable enough to, to speak or even summarize, quite frankly. But George, why'd you throw this in here? And, and why do we keep talking on this podcast about nonprofit hospitals? [00:10:45] What, what's the importance of, of that thread? [00:10:47] This is under. Ongoing theme of brought to you by, just because it's a C3 doesn't mean it's doing good. 5 0 1 is a tax classification and clearly in this case, one that is saving a, um, an operating organization, billions of dollars. Uh, you know, when you're talking about, and it came up in this article, uh, staffing shortages, leaders of these organizations, of these hospitals and their boards bragging about how much they were able to. [00:11:19] In, in overhead, not for mind you, the service of the patient or what's best in the health outcome, but mind you, in a reduction of staff and especially, and you know, as we're moving through a pandemic, it, it's, it's a real head scratcher in terms of saying like, how, how isn't there more scrutiny brought to bear? [00:11:38] Also, you know, tactics. Intentionally obfuscate the 5 0 1 obligation of hospitals to actually cover in the case, um, medical bills that aren't able to be afforded by, um, low income clients that come through. And it is, you know, a part of the, you know, terrible jigsaw puzzle that makes up our, our healthcare system. [00:12:02] But sad to. The nonprofit, uh, you know, name being pulled in, uh, to this overall brand. And so when you look at overall trust dropping in nonprofits, it is narratives like these that are, are really doing it, are really bringing it, uh, bringing it around. So I, I hope this type of article leads to oversight, scrutiny. [00:12:23] And like, you know what is fine with me? Pay your taxes. That's okay. Right? Just lose your C3 status. Pay your taxes. You're gonna operate like a for-profit. You're gonna operate in the competi. Ecosystem where you're trying to get the most out of it. Like that's, that's America, that's fine. But I don't like the thought that our tax dollars are going to underwrite so that they can have a higher amount of money to then go turn their nonprofit into an investment vehicle. [00:12:50] Yeah, I agree with that. Uh, [00:12:53] Certainly a big problem. Healthcare in America, nonprofit hospital chain healthcare system. But, uh, hopefully that this amount of high profile articles, um, shines light on the problem. Alright, I can take us into our next story. And this one comes from and the title of this article is Big Tech Laid Off Thousands. [00:13:19] Tier who wants them next? And the subtitle is government's, nonprofits and small startups hope to scoop up. People let go by the likes of Meta and Amazon. It's their big chance to learn top tier talent. Um, so the Article C sites, the sta, that nearly 1000 tech companies around the world have laid off more than 150,000 tech workers. [00:13:39] This year. We've seen high profile layoffs from meta Amazon. Whatever it was that happened at Twitter. Um, and quite frankly, you now have high skill job seekers in the tech marketplace that now may be looking for stability, potentially lower pay , you know, it comes with the territory, but that governments, nonprofits, and other private sector industries that are looking for highly skilled tech workers, uh, this could be a good. [00:14:12] To recruit these workers, um, during this kind of realignment of the tech sector. Uh, Yeah, not only that, um, increasingly you're seeing public opinion of major tech companies, uh, taking some heat, Twitter, taking heat, Facebook especially over the past couple years, Cambridge Analytica forward taking heat, and these workers might be primed to be looking for. [00:14:42] Environmentally socially conscious type jobs, whether that be in the government, social impact sector, nonprofit sector. Um, so this article just kind of makes the case, um, that this is a golden opportunity for social impact folks to recruit. [00:15:00] I think that's exactly right here and a great opportunity. because many of these folks that have been laid off actually do have fairly generous severance packages, you know, coming out of, uh, meta and others. You can actually go to a site layoffs, FYI, for a full breakdown of number of people laid off when it happened. [00:15:25] And on top of that, there may be the opportunity of saying like, okay, if we know that there are people in our region or area that have these technical skills, like how are you? Selling and even amplifying the the potential need for not just frankly employees, but volunteers. Again, I note. Severance packages may cover these folks for, you know, 3, 6, 9 months depending on what that agreement looks like. [00:15:50] There may be, uh, a new swath of volunteers, um, coming out as a net result of this. So, you know, what does your technical volunteering strategy plan promotion look like as you move into 2023? Not just, you know, clearly for, for hiring, in which case, you know, we, we always recommend Idealist dot. As a, you know, a solid place to be listing, uh, for at least nonprofit minded, uh, employees. [00:16:19] And what's layoffs, I know. Weird ending. But, um, it'll give you some charts and stats on, on what's going on. Yeah. Great. Great resource there. Go check them. All right, George. The time has come. How about a feel good story? Yeah. What have we. Okay, this one comes from W M U R nine A B C, local affiliate, and it talks about how an organization called the Common Man Family of Restaurants, um, has co-founded a nonprofit called Common Man for Ukraine. [00:16:55] Um, and the nonprofit has delivered 1300 present. Two children in Ukraine this holiday season, along with 700 tons of food and 10,000 sleeping bags. Um, they, they have been visiting orphanages in Ukraine, of course, as the, the human tragedy of the conflict has now left kids, uh, orphaned. Um, and it says, the organization says they've raised 2.3 million in less than six months to support Ukrainian refugees and. [00:17:30] this is amazing, right? Like those, the, the gift itself is almost not what matters. What matters is kids feel seen, they're allowed to feel joy amid, you know, insane circumstances and, uh, get a little, a little bump, a little support, a little, pick me up during an otherwise uh, trying year. , it's the season of giving. [00:17:55] And, uh, cool to see a nonprofit stepping up and giving to kids who God knows need it the most. [00:18:01] , it's an important reminder that we've got, uh, children in a war zone. And, , that's diametrically opposed to a season of giving an abundance and care. So the, , the fact that that's, that's occurring and giving, uh, an semblance of, uh, what the season's actually about, um, is good to see. [00:18:22] And that's like, that's the work of nonprofits. Uh, you know, and, and sometimes you just, you know, like, oh, well, you know, shouldn't they be sending body armor? Sure. Right. Like, if that were the only focus. Um, but this is called, you know, working with empathy and realizing that, um, there are, uh, many people suffering and there's, uh, there's work to be done. [00:18:45] So, uh, I like. Uh, all right, Nick, you know it's coming. , I, I know it's coming. Qu question, question for you. Um, how, how was the nonprofit camping fundraiser you went to? [00:19:00] I'm not sure. How was the nonprofit camping fundraiser I went to? It was intense. [00:19:07] Oh, brother . Oh my. That was good. That was good. Yeah. Yeah. Moderate. Uh, I, uh, I will say we're probably, we're, we're signing off. I don't know if we'll fit in another one of these before the end of the year. So I appreciate the, the time, uh, and working with you, Nick. Uh, happy holidays to you and yours. See you in the new. [00:19:28] Happy holidays to you and your family in the new year. Thanks for a great year. Here comes 2023.  
12/20/202220 minutes, 31 seconds
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Helping 40,000 Young Entrepreneurs | Sky’s The Limit

Interview with co-founder and CEO of Sky's The Limit ,Bo Ghirardelli. Bo discusses how they built a youth entrepreneurship network that has supported over 40k young people. Learn how Sky's The Limit leverages corporate partners to help achieve its mission.    Links: Success stories Twitter Corporate partnerships   Rough Transcript [00:00:00] Today on the podcast, we have a great guest who has bravely come on, despite, frankly, Responding out of the blue to a message that we sent him cuz I found the organization very interesting. Bo Garelli, co-founder and CEO of Sky's The Limit, and that's sky's the if you wanna find them on the interwebs. [00:00:23] Really quickly on Bo, since I did find him on LinkedIn, which is amazing, but this is quite a track record. After graduating with an [00:00:31] mpa, [00:00:32] In nonprofit management from the University of Washington was in the Peace Corps. Love it. And he was a small business development consultant in Morocco. Wow. And then goes on to co-found two other organizations [00:00:45] in Morocco before, I guess in 2010 [00:00:50] for 12 years now. [00:00:51] Co-founding Sky's limit. So Bo thanks for joining us and maybe you can start with that. Why is there a limit at the sky? What is going on there? Can you tell us what the organization does? ? [00:01:01] Sure, yeah, a little. We work with underrepresented young adult entrepreneurs to help 'em chase their business dreams. [00:01:09] And we combine business mentoring, advising and support and community with learning and training and access to a startup grant fund that we build. And so those three things that the mentoring, training and funding are really Produces some greater than their parts. [00:01:25] And we've been as you mentioned, doing this for 12 years, but only six as a technology organization. And we can get more into that that journey later on maybe. Interesting. So maybe just to pull back why this cause, why this. Okay. I'd probably start at the beginning in that sense then so I was born and raised in Oakland, California to a family full of small business owners. [00:01:49] And the conversations at the table were were about how to build businesses, how to solve problems for your customers, how to think about and develop. A business that's truly valuable to the community and and then, concurrently out, out in society and school, raised on this this myth of the American dream where America was touted as this land of equal opportunity. [00:02:17] And I, I did not see that playing out in my friend group and my community. As I saw vastly different outcomes for people based on arbitrary things like their skin color and their gender and other other opportunities that were there weren't Really gave lie, I think, to in, in many ways this this idea of the American dream and equal opportunity for all. [00:02:40] And that really sparked a desire in me to figure out how I could kinda combine my. Love of entrepreneurship and love of entrepreneurs themselves with with a way of creating a more just and equitable world. So the journey led to being a, a middle school teacher. [00:02:57] I'm in south central la and when I got the opportunity to teach a, an elective chorus to, in, in middle school, I asked my students what they wanted to learn and they said they wanted to learn about business and money. And that was the first entrepreneurship course I taught and built was was helping sixth graders understand. [00:03:16] What it's like to build a business. And students loved it. I loved it. And and I went on in into the the Peace Corps and during the Arab Spring I joined the Peace Corps in order to kinda respond to this this crisis that was brewing in North Africa in particular. It was really rooted in a lack of economic opportunity for young adults of working age. [00:03:40] So roughly 50% of working age young adults at the time were unemployed. So it's a massive unemployment rate, completely destabilizing the the countries and societies and. While I was there, I asked the young people in the community, like about what what they needed. And they said, Look, we have business ideas. [00:04:01] I've got a business idea, but I don't know what to do with it. So we built a business training program really rooted in business planning. And they said, Okay, now I got this plan. What do I do? And so we said, Okay, let's go to the microfinance organizations and see if they'll lend any money. So we went to all the, these ostensibly non-profit microfinance organizations. [00:04:20] None of them would lend money to, to the young entrepreneurs. I was working with and and so we said, Screw it. We'll build our own fund. So I flew back to the Bay Area, raised some money from some generous folks in the community. And we created our own loan fund and underwrote interest free loans to entrepreneurs. [00:04:38] They got their businesses up and going, and they said, Okay. Now what, how do I keep this thing alive? How do I grow it? And that's where we tap the community of business leaders for mentors and advisors, supporters to wrap a community of support around the entrepreneurs. And so that's the birth kind of our model of combining those three things that mentoring, training and funding. [00:04:59] And and my Moroccan co-founder took that, that over. And I went back home to Oakland because the same thing the same gap in the ecosystem exists in the United States and existed in my own hometown. And so I, I felt a need to respond to my own community at home. And sure enough we can approved that out, right? [00:05:18] We launched and quickly got served hundreds of entrepreneurs. We had thousands applying from around the country, and this is for everywhere from, rural Georgia to Detroit to, to the Bronx, like people were applying from across the country. And it just showed that there was this massive gap for earliest stage young entrepreneurs, people of color, women. [00:05:39] Low income entrepreneurs who had all kinds of business ideas, everything from starting a clothing line to building a gourmet popcorn company to launching a beauty line. So the so I think that was the catalyst for kinda why we. Why we needed to transform what we were doing as a brick and mortar in Oakland to, to figure out how to serve a national and eventually global community to meet this need. [00:06:06] So that's a long answer to your question, but but that's the why and what of our story that's. [00:06:13] That's what I love about podcasts too, because guess what, , We have the time. We have the time to talk about it. And the truth is it matters quite a bit. The motivation and the process of how organizations are formed, how they have listened to the community and how they've responded over time, and very impressive that you have. [00:06:34] Served over 40,000, if I have that right. 40,000 underrepresented young entrepreneurs from 50 states, and also a number of countries. And it seems like when you move from brick and mortar to digital, I'm seeing a sort of app look on your site. It looks like there is in fact an online. Portal that you created. [00:06:56] I wonder if that isn't that moment where you went from serving into the hundreds to the thousands. Maybe you can talk me through that shift and what [00:07:03] led to it. Yeah. So in, in 2015 when we had over 5,000 applicants to our Oakland based program that at best could serve people in the Bay Area we, I went to one of my best friends and who was a tech founder. [00:07:18] He was at the time working on a small startup called, which is now a very big startup. And he and I, it's, he and I had spent many late nights in college talking about. What what our purpose was in life and what the what was the meaning of all this and what should we do about it? [00:07:38] And he was a child entrepreneur in the same way I was different kinds of businesses, all technology based. For him, he to building a web company as a, 14, 15 year old building websites for other businesses. And and I said, Hey, look, I know you're really busy with this other startup, but what about helping us transform? [00:07:56] There's a clear demand here. And I think the only way we can meet that demand is through technology and. The reality is that our customer our, the entrepreneurs we serve are the first generation of digitally native entrepreneurs. So when we think about meeting customer needs, our entrepreneurs want are going online. [00:08:15] They're looking online for services and support. We took this this evidence to a few pe We shopped, shopped this around for a while. We were very fortunate to have a tremendous partner in, in Accenture and Accenture's corporate citizenship group understood this. They understood that that just like how the For profit sector was going had been undergoing decades of digital transformation that the nonprofit sector was also going to do this. [00:08:42] And and certainly George you understand this well coming from a tech nonprofit that and so they said, Look, yes, we get it. We'll fund it. And they have for, eight years now. So they've really co-created this platform with us. And they did it in a really innovative partnership. [00:08:58] They staffed a team of engineers, designers. Product manager to the, to sky's the limit to, to help us, build the platform that would power the services and support and impact. We were looking to achieve with our entrepreneurs. Now there's a second component to this and this is why, corporate funders are over 90% of our funding. [00:09:23] Is that the Fortune 500 has some of the best and brightest people working for them and they've, the Fortune 500 can afford to pay the high salaries, the good benefits. It's the fortune in 500 in the Fortune, right to. To really support these incredible people and help them have great jobs and et cetera. [00:09:43] And and so we recognize that the community element of what we're building at Sky's the limit was actually the harder side, right? We had a lot of entrepreneurs signing up. So we need to figure out this other side of the community who was going to support the entrepreneurs. And Not only did we get funding talent from Accenture, we also got to we also got a channel to recruit. [00:10:06] From there, at the time I think there were 500,000 employees at Accenture, and now it's. Closer to a million than not. And and just an incredible global workforce that that was, that has come to bear and engaged thousands of their employees as volunteers on the platform in support supporting entrepreneurs. [00:10:25] Everything from a digital marketer in New York, helping an entrepreneur launch their first Instagram ad campaign so they don't waste a ton of money. On the ads that aren't working everything from their internal legal department coming in and providing pro bono legal services to, to product developers, helping entrepreneurs, hone and enhance the value proposition of their products. [00:10:45] So there's a, there's so much we can do with folks inside the Fortune 500. And then we've continued to replicate that model now with PNC Bank, our second largest funder, Goldman Sachs Wells Fargo, hp and some others who've come alongside and said, Hey, we give we will fund and we will provide. [00:11:04] Access to our employee base as volunteers to bring this, the, this community together online so we can go into a little bit more about the platform. But that's the genesis of that and of the transition to becoming a technology organization now half the team or on our product and engineering. [00:11:21] It's so interesting cuz there are a lot of different paths that a nonprofit can take to funding and clearly, If the money isn't there, it's very [00:11:29] hard to support [00:11:30] Your stakeholders. I'm curious, can you take me into the room of you pitching Accenture? Like how, Cause this has gotta be on a lot of organization's mind. [00:11:39] You're like, Oh yeah, all you do is talk to Accenture, talk to pnc, get Goldman Sachs, throw a sales force in the midst. So you just walk on the door, knock on and say, Hey, money please. Now. Okay. time, talent, treasure. So can you talk to me about how it looks like you landed that anchor partnership [00:11:58] with Accenture? [00:12:00] Yeah. I certainly did not get into this work to fundraise, but the reality [00:12:05] yeah. No one told you that nonprofits actually are obsessed with money because you have to get [00:12:10] that right. Yeah no. I, It was, sorry. It was like it's one of those things like, look the mission and the people we serve are the end for me. [00:12:19] And money is certainly a means to achieving that end. So fundraising has increasingly been more and more part of my day to day. And look, the, some of my favorite days we're working one on one with our entrepreneurs in the earliest days, understanding, their pain points and what their, the problems they're trying to solve. [00:12:37] But to, I think, unlock the kinds of resources we need to make a dent in the size of this issue. It's gonna take hundreds of millions and billions of dollars and. . And that is what it is, right? I've had to learn how to do this. How do you do it? So what the journey looked like for us is we tried a lot of things that didn't work first and foremost, so failed a lot. [00:12:58] Okay, so then, so once we figured out all the ways that this didn't work, like cold messaging, [00:13:02] sending to HR at Accenture, [00:13:05] the Sure. Everything, but what we realized was like that we had to find companies that had, So step one, find the, find companies that have a public statement around their corporate citizen. [00:13:17] That, or corporate social responsibility programs that aligns with your mission. If it doesn't, then it's gonna be, it's gonna be a hard road. There's so much internal negotiating and so much internal planning that went into stating these public goals for these companies. You gotta align with the, I think you all of this is just my perception or my belief. [00:13:36] So I think you gotta align with those. Once you do that you can the next step is much harder. It's figuring out and navigating the decision making process for how a funder can how a, how corporate funder makes decisions around who they. There are 2 million, I think over 2 million non-profits in the United States. [00:13:57] There are often many non-profits doing similar work. And every nonprofit is, is looking for and hopefully trying to talk about their, comp their advantage, right? Their edge, their why me? , why this organization? And I think. That does matter. But what we realized was that in many corporations, you need to find somebody who cares. [00:14:19] You need to find a champion. . And that champion needs to be able to influence the decision making process for funding inside of a corporate. And so that's eventually we found what worked. And so we started to recruit, managing directors who. Who could care about, not only not only cared, cuz it's easy to care about our work, right? [00:14:38] It's a widely appealing mission. And but, Caring going from caring to acting was a journey. And I think ultimately we just find people that we have meaningful relationships with we genuinely care about them and they genuinely care about us. And then we, we also need to then after we have that kind. [00:14:57] Based relationship, we need to deliver results. And that set and that's, a third piece here is like, how can you deliver results to the to, to a corporate who has a stated goal of what they're trying to achieve? And how can you do that? Technology, at least for us, our, our part, big part of our story was like, look, this is a big need. [00:15:16] There's big numbers involved. And and even, we just hit our 50000th sign up. Last month. And so it's just, Hey, congrats. Gotta update all those numbers now. . Yeah. . And and we and we have to figure out, to me that's just the tip of the iceberg. [00:15:29] It is just the tip of the iceberg. And we have to, continuously create value for entrepreneurs, for the volunteers we serve. And then a third customer group, which is the. And so we treat, we treat those partners as a customer group and we. We feel accountable to delivering results against their funding. [00:15:45] Why they funded us. And it's for the impact. It's for the mission. And often it involves a, an element of scale to, to what they're looking for. And and all of those are important. And understanding each funder is, different, Each corporate is different. All of those corporate, social, respons. [00:16:02] Goals are off, are all tailored exactly. To to the corporate. And how they measure success is different. It's one of the vast complexities of the nonprofit sector, right? Is what success looks like and what impact, how do you measure it? On the financial side, all of these companies use Gap, right? [00:16:19] There's a very clear set of ways for accounting for the financial performance of a Fortune 500 company. And they all [00:16:26] use, I'm sorry. GAP is general accounting principles. Is [00:16:28] that right? Yes. Yes. There you go. Yes. Thanks for spelling that out. So it's, it is a, it's a formal process for counting for financials, so you can compare the financials of one Fortune 500 company to another. [00:16:41] But how do you compare the, impact of one nonprofit to another? Is often very difficult because there is no standardized process. And we're talking about people's lives and we're talking about multifaceted issues on impact. So ultimately to bring this full circle, you have to be able to position your. [00:17:02] Properly for in the ways in which these corporate funders measure. Impact. And and that's so that's a final piece of it. But really finding that, that champion and showing how you're better better different and and then delivering results and maintaining and valuing the needs of that partner over, over many years is how we've, I think retained some of our corporate funders for a long time. [00:17:29] So to roughly summarize, [00:17:31] it sounds like you start with this alignment list, this list of potential organizations that you have vetted and checked with regard to their vision, their csr. [00:17:44] Corporate social responsibility [00:17:46] programs then take a step back and potentially identify champions and you have an advantage just to reverse engineer this, it seems where you have a backyard full of potential volunteers that may already work at these organizations or can be recruited to become volunteers to see it firsthand, which can be pretty powerful. [00:18:04] There's no substitute for putting in the time. Once you have that, you develop them into a champion and then you expand within with this sort of bigger vision. Clearly the name is, Sky's the limit, but you are bringing numbers, you're bringing opportunity for impact that is at a scale that frankly companies that deal in the billions understand and it just lets you, it seems level up and align with [00:18:30] these organizations. [00:18:33] Yeah, I think an so to speak about specific value propositions for corporate funders. So one is employee engagement, right? One of the top concerns, particularly now in this in this really tight labor market is retention and attracting new hires to, to companies. [00:18:52] And then with the murder of George Floyd, you had a a social wining that demanded the companies, the employees who worked at these, at big companies are demanding a response. And more than, Lip service to the issues. And I think that the, one of the ways in which we've we've seen some corporate partners for example, PNC Bank made a massive racial and economic opportunity investment to in, in low income and black communities across the country. [00:19:24] And they were, and they've and as part of that commitment, their people are able to volunteer on sky's the limit with the entrepreneurs we serve. 61% of the entrepreneurs we serve are black entrepreneurs. Again, most of our entrepreneurs are between the ages of 18 and 30, right? [00:19:39] The working with young adult first time, earliest stage entrepreneurs, 80% are pre revenue. And this is a part of, part of our pitch to corporates, and part of the reason why we've had so many people sign up is because that is a true gap in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, even for nonprofits. [00:19:57] Many nonprofits in the entrepreneurship ecosystem serve entrepreneurs who are more established. So they, especially if you're a lender or a C D F I a microfinance organization in the entrepreneurship space, and you're a nonprofit, you're still looking for an entrepreneur who's had one or two years of business operations. [00:20:17] . But there's a massive gap for earliest stage entrepreneurs who don't have friends and family with money and who don't have savings, right? We know over half of America only has $700 in savings. The we call our fund, our grant fund, the Friends and Family Fund, to recognize this gap that exists for founders who don't have friends and family with money, because that's how privileged entrepreneurs get their first money. [00:20:42] They get it from friends and family. And if the business doesn't work out their friends and family aren't taking them to court and suing them they're just saying, Okay, we're gonna let it go. Yeah. Took a flyer and that's what happened. Yeah. So all of this ties into the, this kind of the why. [00:20:59] Why does your work matter? Why is, and why are you filling a need that others aren't? And what are you doing about it that's more efficient, better, faster, cheaper? All of those value propositions matter for corporates and particularly we, the employee engagement angle is an aspect, is an important part of why corporates partner with us. [00:21:17] Gotcha. Now that you [00:21:20] have passed 50,000, it sounds like signups and entrepreneurs. I have to say that [00:21:24] the resources are pretty [00:21:27] broad and impressive. You have on the site accounting, building a team, business planning, legal leadership, funding, operations, Like it just goes on and on for the really, like how we go from zero to one for these entrepreneurs. [00:21:42] Can you tell me, moving back to the tech you've. [00:21:45] How the app and maybe even the website gets [00:21:49] that entrepreneur from zero to one. And I think a [00:21:53] very tricky part, how you create [00:21:56] the right connections between mentors and these entrepreneurs. [00:22:02] Yeah. Absolutely. And we are, we're still, even, five years into building the platform, we're still we're still iterating, right? [00:22:09] Like we have we can always be better, in my opinion. And we're still trying to solve what is fundamentally a matchmaking problem, right? As you pointed out. The. Entrepreneurs and volunteers create profiles on the platform, right? And we ask a lot of things about you about what you're looking for. [00:22:28] And then we use that data. To recommend matches for you, but we also recognize that many people, we take a lot of inspiration from dating apps. The major difference from for us is, of course, these are platonic relationships, professional relationships and on a dating app, you don't really need to explain what, what dating. [00:22:50] To people come in with a clear preconception around around dating and finding a partner, et cetera. And maybe people have different preferences except within that ecosystem. But when you talking about mentoring, it is a, you ask 10 people what mentoring means and you'll get 10 different answers. [00:23:09] And and really what the kinds of interactions that we're facilitating between entrepreneurs and supporters more broadly. It's, it's between entrepreneurs as peers, Between people who, who may be an accountant really good at accounting, but not interested or able to support in any other area. [00:23:27] Or you've got, small business owners or general entrepreneurs who've been on the whole journey and understand this. Then you got people who have an hour and you got people who are looking for. A long term relationship. And some people are looking for, shorter term engagements both on the entrepreneur side and the sporter side. [00:23:44] So there's so there's just really a a ton of nuance and a ton of different types of engagements. Everything from pro bono offering, so that accountant, maybe they'll help you set up your, their, your QuickBooks for your business. That's nice, but maybe they also. [00:24:01] Want to give you some general pointers around around. Accounting and how to think about managing your money, how to track your money, but you're not formally structuring saying [00:24:09] Hey, if you talk to this person about accounting, you have to go jump into their, QuickBooks [00:24:13] and go grind this out, or build their website for them. [00:24:16] Yeah. One of our principles is that we want to mimic the way humans develop relationships in the real world. Through the platforms. So there isn't a lot of like constraints or rules or if I, I met you George through LinkedIn. Great. Cool. We hashed out what it was. [00:24:35] Why are we talking, what is it about this, There are no, no rules about what kind of messages you can and can't send. Sure. There's common decency and we certainly have policies around building a healthy community. But beyond that, it's not to say that, if I'm an accountant that I am or if I'm an entrepreneur looking for accounting support do I even want to set up QuickBooks? [00:24:55] I, Yeah. What do I want? It's so matchmaking between the nuance and what happens if you're as a first time entrepreneur. There's all these things that you're constantly learning about what you need, and your priorities are constantly shift, shifting as you figure out what it is. [00:25:10] It's a very messy process, building a business, right? And there's a in 98, 9% of our founders are solo. So what are you doing when you're on your own, you have to do it all. You're all your. So again, the community aspect becomes really important, but the matchmaking problem is a really difficult one to solve, and that's what we've been really working on, is helping people meet each other where they're at and supporting them in in building meaningful relationships, whatever that means for an entrepreneur supporter at any given time in there. [00:25:42] Is it all one to one or is it one to. Yeah it's primarily one to one. Wow. So entre each re each relationship is treated on an individual basis. So if I'm an entrepreneur platform, I can have I can reach out and build an entire advisory board. I can have, 10 different people. [00:25:59] Doing that. So in that sense, it's one to many. And a volunteer can match with multiple entrepreneurs across many different areas. Now, am I actually [00:26:07] swiping right and swiping left on people, or have you dialed [00:26:09] back the dating to that point? Not yet. That's certainly on our minds. [00:26:14] Oh guys. But yeah, the question is like how do we help you find what you're looking for in the community? At any given moment because it's changing rapidly, particularly for the entrepreneur about what their needs are. And how do we help you do that in a way that's engaging, gamified et cetera. [00:26:31] What we've done is. We've built a gamification system into the platform so that the entrepreneurs and supporters who are creating the most value in the community as measured by, spending time together, achieving measurable results for co, for the entrepreneurs in their businesses. [00:26:46] Which we call milestones. So cheating a business milestone. Everything from naming your business to getting your first business bank account up, all the way to getting your first customer, raising money, hiring employees, All of these are common business milestones. So we track those in the platform and the community members who are. [00:27:04] Who are creating the most value are getting the most points. And those points aren't just for show. They actually govern our grant program. Entrepreneurs can create pitches on the platform and then the community votes on who wins those pitches. So your points are your votes. And so that's a way for us to, Oh, [00:27:23] Yeah, [00:27:24] so there that the interaction, but the points aren't just there for smiles and dials, like it's there [00:27:28] for actual. [00:27:29] Cache in the community. That's right. Yeah. And you vote for yourself or only for other people? Sure. You can vote for your, your points go to your vote, your votes if you have a funding pitch. But you can also use 'em on other people if you'd like. If you're a volunteer, you don't have a funding pitch, so you're you're voting. [00:27:44] If you're an entrepreneur, maybe you aren't ready for funding yet or you haven't created the pitch. So sure, you can use yours however you like. The. But the point is that, this governs hundreds of thousands of dollars that we've given away through community voting. [00:27:56] It's real money on the line and and we're always working to increase the size of that fund. And we've got a couple of, and I assume you don't [00:28:03] take any, so it's not like a Y Combinator where you're like, All right, we get 10 points of your company going forward. [00:28:09] It's just no equity. It's a pure grant. [00:28:11] It is not repayable. It is as free money as it gets. Yep. And we're working on a couple experiments around this. The, blockchain technology is a really interesting potential use case here. Cuz essentially what we're building is a Dow a decentralized, autonomous organization that is governed by a, a token. [00:28:32] And in, in this case it's on our platform. But we're we. In the process of building a pilot dow that will, potentially transform our community to be able to be governed by a, an actual blockchain based token that is immutable and and will have real control over the disbursement of these funds. [00:28:51] And it'll all be on chain and and auditable and verifi. And really empower the community to feel a sense of deep ownership over, over sky's limit. And eventually we have plans in the future to turn over the entire sky's the limit organization. To the Dow. Everything from governing, what features get built to who the staff, the everything, and certainly the governance of the fund itself and where those funds go. [00:29:21] But I think that's a long ways off still, but it's certainly yeah sky coin to the. Yeah, certainly something that we're we've been thinking about and already testing without blockchain technology right now. But but yeah, that's the community is at the hardest. [00:29:34] Sky's the limit. And we believe that the people closest to the problems that they're trying to solve are. Suited to solve those problems. And we really do want our community to, can take an ever greater voice in in what we do and how we serve two-sided [00:29:50] marketplaces [00:29:51] are absolutely the scariest, [00:29:53] the hardest, the most difficult to get going as a flywheel. [00:29:56] Right now I'm curious, do you need more entrepreneurs or do [00:30:00] you need more volunteers? I need you, George, on the, I'm somebody who gets that, that problem. It absolutely is a big one. We have we manage a bit of the kind of the two-sided demand dynamics here. We often, we have many more entrepreneurs signing up than we do volunteers, but we do offer peer matching and. [00:30:20] That is a one way in which we think about balancing out the Demand from the community for meetings, for support. We're also working on other ways to engage beyond just just meeting. We're buildings, we're thinking about and cons and designing right now, some asynchronous. [00:30:38] Opportunities for supporting an entrepreneur. Everything. Think about get, getting feedback on your business plan from the community would, could be really helpful and valuable. And get in writings. You don't have to, wait and book a meeting. But using that as a one of, one of the problems we've noticed is that. [00:30:56] Maybe if you're joining a dating app, you're looking for dates, you're ready to go on the date when you joined. So it's not gonna hold you back from messaging people. But we found that so many people need to understand what the, they need to go on their own journey to, to saying, Okay, I'm ready to talk about something. [00:31:13] The vetting and the prepping. [00:31:15] You don't wanna put somebody who's I don't know what a, what is a business? And you're like maybe you're not ready for a mentor. [00:31:20] Maybe, or maybe you are. And maybe the question, this comes back to the matchmaking problem. How do you get, how do you get the right person at the right time in your journey as an entrepreneur? [00:31:31] And same thing on the volunteer side, right? Because it's, it, there's a lot of imposter syndrome from volunteers. It's never, I still, I [00:31:39] wanna be very clear. I don't know what I am. I have no [00:31:42] idea. It's one problem at time. And that's the thing, right? And that if only more people just were like, okay with that, that we're all kind of making this up as we go along. [00:31:51] And if that was a more broadly met that was more broadly known message. We'd have, I think a much more open and ready to jump in kind of mentality between with communities. So doing this digital community piece is a tough problem to solve, but the. [00:32:08] Reward when we crack the crack. The code on this is tremendous. It's imagine unlocking the social capital, the talents of the Fortune 500 and beyond. And really and unlocking the talents of all these entrepreneurs. Who are starting businesses across the country across the world who aren't getting the support they ha they need from their own community or from or online. [00:32:32] And we can truly I think create a valuable experience for both entrepreneurs and supporters that could change the world. Spinning up a bunch of [00:32:41] economic engines from the people. Potentially needed the most are in the communities that are, have the greatest opportunity, I'd say to benefit from creating actual companies. [00:32:52] It's not, the idea of a handout. It's this idea of training as a great opportunity. And the exciting part about this type of model, and I'm wondering if this is actually bearing to be true, is that after, I imagine over a decade of. Do you find that there are people that came in as entrepreneurs coming back as mentors? [00:33:12] Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. We see that all the time. And part of the peer matching is, Hey, I'm an entrepreneur with the same kind of problems you're trying to solve, and neither of us have a solution, but let's figure it out together. That's a, an absolutely can be an absolutely powerful relationship. [00:33:30] It, or it could be an entrepreneur who's Hey, I joined Sky's Limit with just an idea, and now I've got, a couple hundred grand in revenue and a team and working on product market fit and found it to some degree. And now I can come back and or not come back. [00:33:45] I never left. I'm just can I help unshare some ideas along the way? Absolutely. So that's the. The reality is that our our system is broken right now. And so I think it's a tough thing to try to build a new system because what we're doing is too incremental. [00:34:04] Like we have the same problems and some of the problems are getting worse in our society from a socioeconomic equity lens. And. We need something that is that is going to transform the reality around where opportunity exists because the talent is certainly everywhere. [00:34:23] And I think the. The way in which we do that is by reducing the friction from people who care to and from reducing the friction for entrepreneurs to get support to get community, to get to have a thought partner. And it doesn't have to be a, a Fortune 500 volunteer. It doesn't have to be a, another small business owner who's, been there, done that. [00:34:45] It can be. 24 year old who's, in the same place as you and you can work with them in, in building your business together. Yeah. To [00:34:54] even find co-founders. It sounds like there's a lot of opportunity once you get everybody in the room. Absolutely. But I'm gonna pin you down tomorrow. If 10 new volunteers or entrepreneurs showed up, which would be the [00:35:06] one you would say you needed more? [00:35:08] 10 new volunteers. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. All right. Maybe this [00:35:12] is a good transition into our rapid firearm pinning you down. Please keep your responses to about 30 seconds, respond as needed. And if you're ready, here we go. What is one tech tool or website that you or your organization has started using in the [00:35:28] last year? [00:35:29] We just started using Century for error log monitoring on the platform. What are some tech issues you're [00:35:35] currently battling with? [00:35:38] We are currently battling with wrapping up our web app and deploying it to the iOS and Android store. What is coming [00:35:47] in the next year that has you the [00:35:48] most excited? [00:35:51] I think a big overhaul of our user experience design is is what I'm most excited for. And then the and having that be the impetus for the launch of our iOS and Android app in 2023. Can you talk about a mistake that [00:36:06] you made earlier in your career that shapes the way you do things? [00:36:09] Ooh, there's too many to choose from Doing too much, right? Startups often die from indigestion instead of starvation. That's not always true financially, but it can be from like an op standpoint. Like where do you spend your time as an entrepreneur in the earliest days? And how do you how do you balance it all? [00:36:27] Because it's too much. And brutally prioritizing is is a skill that is That I've learned the hard way of how important it is. You believe that [00:36:37] non-profits [00:36:38] can successfully go out of business. Yeah, and I think they should aspire to. I wish that we had more going out of business though. [00:36:46] Cuz I, we don't see a lot of non-profits, fully achieving these kind of persistent societal. Problems that they're what we're working to solve. [00:36:57] Fair to put you in the hot tub Time machine. Send you back to the founding of Styles Limit. What advice [00:37:03] would you give yourself? [00:37:04] Just focus on people of finding people who, who care about the mission and care about the work and and don't let the people who don't get you down. [00:37:14] What is something that you think your organization should stop doing? [00:37:19] Lot of things. This is back to my earlier point around indigestion killing startups. I think we have got to stay focused on the matchmaking problem that we're trying to solve between community members and I think that anything that isn't trying to solve that needs to be deprioritized or to give you a magic wand to wave [00:37:41] across the social impact [00:37:42] sector, what would it. [00:37:44] Oh man. I think that I would I, I would. Just find a way to, to build trust more between between the entire sector. If I could wave a magic wand trust building is difficult and it's hard. And we face it in tr in our community, right? Trying to build trust between members of our community. [00:38:07] But when there is that trust, it's tremendous things can happen. And and I think that I would certainly wave my wand over the kind of philanthropic funder place and say, examine what you're doing as a funder to encourage or not trust in the nonprofit sector. What advice [00:38:28] would you give college grads currently looking to enter the social [00:38:31] impact? [00:38:32] Focus on creating value for who you're serving. I think Richard Branson has a quote that it's like he, something along the lines of the. The only mission worth pursuing in business is creating value for people in people's lives. I don't think that's any different of the mission for the social sector, right? [00:38:52] Like it is ultimately rooted in creating value for the people you're serving. And I would make sure that. Staying anchored to that and measuring that. And and listening to the people you're serving, [00:39:05] what advice did your parents give you that you either followed or [00:39:08] didn't follow? [00:39:09] One of the big business lessons at the table is don't spend more than you have. And it's, and it, I know it sounds so simple, but man how many businesses have gone out spending more than they have? And same thing for, non-profits. That's all right. Final hardball here. [00:39:26] How [00:39:26] do people find you? [00:39:27] How do people. [00:39:29] If you're an entrepreneur we're here for you. You can sign up on skys Everything's free. If you are a professional or a business owner and And you care about this work. And then you can either both and sign up as a volunteer on And you can fund us and you can, and do both of those from our website at skys [00:39:55] Both. Thank you for your work. [00:39:57] I love what you're building. I love that you have a bigger vision of what's possible and we appreciate [00:40:02] it. Thanks so much, George.
12/15/202248 minutes, 37 seconds
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CVS CSR Needs a Health Check (news)

CVS Shows “Pledges” Do Not Equal Direct “Donations” In November 2021, US pharmaceutical giant CVS’s social responsibility team announced a $10 million commitment to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to be delivered over three years, as reported by Quartz. However, what CVS omitted is that the donations collected from customers through in-store fundraising weren’t going to be in addition to the initial pledge. Rather, they would be used in lieu of donations coming from CVS’s coffers. Customers subsidized CVS’s generosity without knowing it, as their donations were part of a larger pledge that CVS had made to the ADA. A new lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status, claims that by failing to disclose the exact way in which the funds raised would be used, CVS committed fraud. Nonprofits (and donors) interested in better understanding corporate partnerships should heed the word “pledge” as merely marketing lingo until actual monetary donations are received by the NPO organizations such corporations purport to support. Read more ➝   Summary   How a Hotel Was Converted into Housing for Formerly Homeless People | Stacey Abrams’s Georgia Nonprofit Could Face Criminal Investigations for Unlicensed Fundraising | Washington Free Beacon Crain's 2022 Notable Women in Nonprofits | Crain's Detroit Business Santa Clarita Nonprofit Organization Unveils 'Horseless' Carriages – NBC Los Angeles | NBC Southern California   
12/13/202223 minutes, 36 seconds
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#GivingTuesday Predictions: Search Is Down, Hope Is Up (news)

2022 Giving Tuesday Predictions: Search Is Down, Hope Is Up Whole Whale, the publishers of this newsletter, predict a record-setting $3.2 billion will be donated for Giving Tuesday this year. The prediction is the result of an analysis based on an adjusted linear regression, trends in Google Search terms around “Giving Tuesday,” and national giving trends. This method predicts an 18% or $500 million increase over 2021’s total amount raised. While this is an optimistic prediction, several negative indicators might give nonprofits more caution heading into the season of giving, including decreased Giving Tuesday search volume, narratives around inflation and economic pains, a public drained of giving after an election cycle, and a potential return to post-pandemic giving patterns. Yet, elections can lead to heightened social engagement, and online shopping trends continue to be strong despite economic worries. (2022’s Black Friday set a record for online giving.) Whatever the final tally of donation revenue comes in during #GivingTuesday, remember to thank your donors!     Summary Nonprofit Uses Zillow to Help Homeless | Nonprofit Technology News  Charities funded by Sam Bankman-Fried may be asked to return donations: ‘I had assumed FTX to be a reputable company’ | MarketWatch Pablo Eisenberg, a fierce critic of nonprofits and philanthropy, died at age 90 | NPR Rough Transcript   [00:00:00] This week on the nonprofit News Feed for November 28th. This week we, uh, we have our big day, the day of the Tuesday of Giving, giving Tuesday. We're excited to talk about this and what's going on. Nick, hope you had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed family time. I know you had a massive amount of, uh, of humans eating Turkey. [00:00:26] We had a massive amount of humans eating Turkey. Multiple turkeys I should say, but it was super fun and happy giving Tuesday. George, I sorry I didn't get you anything. Um, but what I do have for you is some predictions. Uh, we are starting out with our 2022 Giving Tuesday predictions, and we're going with the headline. [00:00:51] Search is down, hope is up. We're seeing some. Conflicting factors. So Whole Whale, which is US , we write the nonprofit newsfeed, whole letter, uh, newsletter. And we as in you predict a record setting $3.2 billion to be donated for giving Tuesday this year. And our prediction is the result of an analysis based on an adjusted linear regression. [00:01:17] But we also take a peak at things like Google Search terms around giving Tuesday and broader. Giving trends. So using this method, we have officially predicted an 18% or 500 million increase over 2020 ones total amount raised. So this is an optimistic prediction, but there are several negative indicators, uh, that could potentially, uh, be pushing down this increase in including headlines regarding, uh, inflation and economic pains. [00:01:53] We just came off an election cycle. Maybe folks are tired of giving, um, and we're potentially returning to kind of a post pandemic social engagement. That being said, we're seeing online shopping trends from Black Friday set new records. So it seems that even though we're all talking about the economy, the consumer, uh, sector, particularly on Black Friday did real well. [00:02:21] So, George, what's, what do you make of this as the, the, the predictor himself? The, the Chief Guesser and Chief Waer? Yeah. I am excited. 10 years of giving Tuesday. I mean, this is the 10 year anniversary, uh, of how it's come up and, you know, it is pretty steadily in terms of donations, uh, increased at a, at a decent clip. [00:02:45] One of the things though that I am seeing, and this is tough cause there's some lagging search data when I'm pulling it up, but right now, um, it, it is, it, it's trending behind. Um, Uh, call it 10 to 20%. It's hard to pin it down exactly year over year, but it is certainly not exceeding previous years of giving Tuesday. [00:03:09] And if you look at this trend for the past five years of, uh, giving Tuesday in search, why I care about it is that I'm hoping that it becomes a regular recognized holiday on par. The other major players, you know, Halloween of, you know, black Friday, of things that you will see in terms of increasing search. [00:03:33] And, and frankly, over the past five years, it has been, um, it's peak, it's peak in terms of search related trends and, uh, questions in the United States being asked and has decreased. And this is seemingly continued into, into this year. And. One of the things that you need to happen for a holiday is continued awareness. [00:03:58] And part of that awareness, and this is a proxy, but part of that awareness is the number of people putting in related queries to, to giving Tuesday in and around the holiday. And, you know, hopefully this isn't, uh, fatigue setting in, but we'll see it, um, we'll see the results in terms of, of dollars and maybe, uh, maybe it's just one of those. [00:04:20] That finds, uh, finds its level of awareness, but a different level of giving. So I'm, I'm still optimistic about the giving cuz as you mentioned, people are, are still spending despite threats of recession, uh, looming overhead. And hopefully that continues. And, you know, we, we've been telling people to check their, check, their real time analytics to pay attention to look. [00:04:42] I think it's an important time also, as you are looking and reviewing, like, okay, how did it go? How's our donation form? Like this is the kickoff to giving season, but also this is the last year. This is the last year that your current universal Google Analytics will work. We'll show you conversions. We'll show you where donors are going. [00:05:05] This is it. This is the last December you. With the old version of Google Analytics. So just for funsies, take a look if you haven't already at GA four, Google Analytics four. It's the upgrade that Google is forcing all clients to move onto. Mid next year, in July of 2023, take a look at what it looks like in terms of your donation tracking and flow, because that's what you're gonna have this time next year. [00:05:35] I mean, this won't be the last time I talk about it, but this is your last season, so this is a good time to be taking notes of what you, uh, what you may need to plan for next to your next season. But right now, pay attention, make sure donation forms are working and doing your best with your email messaging. [00:05:52] Get people in the door. [00:05:55] Yeah, George, those are great points. We'll wait to see the final numbers, but if you're listening to this today, make sure you check your forms and something we say at Whole Whale is always remember to thank your donors as well. Um, and if you follow the newsfeed, you can see some links to some best practices around fundraising, thanking your donors and all that good. [00:06:17] Right. I can take us into the summary now. And this is an article from Non-Profit Technology. Uh, news was reposting from, uh, KOMO News, KOMO news, which talks about. In Seattle, Washington, um, a Seattle based nonprofit called Housing Connector has part partnered with a local technology firm, Zillow, which I'm sure you've heard of, to help more than 3,700 people. [00:06:48] Homeless people move into affordable housing, and this was over the past three years and. I'm gonna guess, George, that we put this in here because we love a good public private partnership. It seems here that housing connector had a system for seamlessly connecting landlords to qualified homeless tenants eased the friction in that process. [00:07:15] Of course, with anything administrative. Um, it, it's really significantly harder for folks experiencing homelessness. And in addition, uh, with assistance from Zillow, we're able to get homeless folks into housing. Um, cuz we are experiencing a housing crisis in these United States. So this is just a real cool example of tech and public private partnerships creating real results, at least in Seattle, was. [00:07:44] This is exactly right. Their, their housing connector. They're talking about the efficiency that it gives case managers at the tip of their fingers, like the alternative here. The alternative here is that, Communities, municipalities pony up for incredibly expensive databases to manage and and maintain really cuz you need live data. [00:08:08] And the truth is, the public market has already created this. They're paying for it. Zillow's doing just fine because of their knowledge of, uh, real estate networks. And this is the a type of partnership that creates efficiencies and really, Focuses resources on affordable housing, which if you pull the thread on so many societal ills in the United States, so many of them, that thread leads right back to affordable housing in areas that have access to resources, solve that. [00:08:44] Um, and so I love seeing Zillow being a part of this and hope other. Other districts to take a look at this, uh, this housing connector versus, you know, the question of like, wait a minute, we have to build everything internally and go this, um, go this other route. So, uh, yep. I like highly and stuff like this. [00:09:05] Yeah, I absolutely agree. It's a, a cool story. We hope more of this happens. [00:09:10] The moment you've been waiting for George. Our next story is from Market Watch, and the title of this story is Charities funded by Sam Bankman, freed of the infamous FTX fame, has been asked to return donations to nonprofits that Ft X's fund had given money to. So the background on this is Fdx is a cryptocurrency exchange created. [00:09:37] Sam Bankman Freed and the whole system collapsed a couple weeks ago in. What was a liquidity crisis that essentially created a digital bank run. And it's much, much more complicated than that. But anyway, uh, this exchange collapsed, but its founder was a very public proponent of the effective altruism movement, um, potentially to. [00:10:03] Market himself and, uh, divert attention away from other potentially illegal, if not, uh, morally questionable actions. Um, but anyway, the funds that the foundation has given to nonprofits, um, there's a potential that in an effort to repay, um, folks who have debt in, in ftx, there might actually be clawbacks essentially. [00:10:29] Uh, Through the, the process nonprofits might have to give some of the funds that they got donated back to the foundation, um, which is devastating to these nonprofits. And it seems that a, a couple of people might be stepping up to kind of, you know, provide cover for these non-profits, so it doesn't happen. [00:10:50] Um, but, but Jordan, I mean, this is, this is terrible. And, uh, I have, I have more thoughts, but I wanna, I wanna get your thoughts on this. Well, this is just, you know, watching one, one shoe drop after another in terms of the, the level of fraud, which frankly is not the first time we have seen in crypto, or frankly in financial markets in general. [00:11:17] You don't need to have that long a memory to realize that yes, this was in the level of a 16 billion fraud, but there was a level of 60 plus billion by Bernie Madoff also. A very well known philanthropist and clawbacks actually happened in that case as well. Which is just an important note to, to nonprofits receiving some of these donations, which is just brutal for them. [00:11:42] You know, you're making plans, you're hiring, you're saying, Hey, finally this capital plan strategically done is gonna happen. And suddenly you're, you're now dealing with, uh, potential, you know, pullback of funds and that, you know, over a hundred nonprofits, I believe in the days of Bernie Madoff and that crash, uh, received such clawback notices. [00:12:04] And so coming back to this character, Sam Bangin Fried, uh, the damage is, is still being calculated. Um, and, and albeit less money, there was his deep, deep connection and association with the effect of altruism movement. And there is some soul searching that needs to be done. And part of that is that when people. [00:12:30] Make pledges, especially those that are in the public spotlight, that are seeking investment, that are seeking to build and effectively pay for a, a moral cause. Washing a official stamp from media and investors alike, that I am one of the good guys. I am one of the people out there making positive change. [00:12:52] You can trust me with your funds, which by the way, he was gambling. Overtly with customer funds. That's not a legend. They can see that now. Um, and this was clearly paying the price to, in the same way he, he bought a stadium rights right in Miami, the Fdx arena. He was buying the movement of effective altruism to burnish his reputation. [00:13:18] And now even beyond. You know, the, the call of effective altruism is using data and research and logic and making the best possible decision to solve the causes you care about. It's aligned with a bit of utilitarian thinking that even if I do, uh, morally corrupt jobs, questionable, and this is coming directly paraphrased from a. [00:13:44] In a paper written by one of the main philosophers behind, um, McCaskill, William McCaskill, one of his papers, talks about taking morally questionable jobs because somebody else will do it anyway, as long as you promised to make large donations in line with effective giving effective altruism. This is a very tough moral justification. [00:14:12] To play, especially when you play it at scale. And the fact that teacher pension funds were actually somehow rolled up in this as well and now are, are left empty. Um, all for the, the grand total of pledges that Sam Bankman free made. Yes, there was some money made, uh, and donated, but that money is now even being clawed back. [00:14:35] I want to say it as many times as as possible, but when you. A millionaire billionaire making a pledge. It's called pr. They're making pr. They're not making donation. They're not changing society. They're making pr, public relations. I want to look good for something I haven't done. I think everyone's red flags. [00:15:00] Red cards tie in some World Cup should be high, high. When we see pledges, they're worth the paper they're written on and maybe even less. It's frustrating. It's frustrating. Uh, net net, this is not going to end crypto philanthropy in the same way that Bernie Madoff to end family foundations and, and fiat giving. [00:15:29] Um, this is not gonna end effective altruism, though. It's gonna push for some soul searching and, um, A lot, a lot more questions about, well, how morally bankrupt can I be and still make that tithing at the end. [00:15:45] The church did this a while back. Look up the history of tithing. It's quite interesting. It doesn't go well. Alrighty. [00:15:55] I mean, more ran ranum, but uh, you know, it's. It's good to, to turn around and look at the power of, you know, billionaires in philanthropy, um, and the detriment, um, that can, uh, can be cost. Yeah. George, I, I really appreciated that. For our listeners, maybe they're just this year they've started experimenting with crypto donations. [00:16:21] Maybe they have a way to donate, uh, cryptocurrency to your organization. I think this situation has led to a crisis of trust coming from a lot of different directions. If you are a small made or large size nonprofit, how do you instill trust for people who follow this and maybe a little jaded by the whole thing? [00:16:49] How do you as a nonprofit communicate trust? [00:16:52] So you're saying for like, if you're accepting crypto philanthropy, crypto donations through your site, there may be questions of how, you know, like this is all a fraud, right? This is the, the top line banners one. You know, remember that roughly 40% of millennials actually have and own cryptocurrency. , um, and are able to, to sort of use it and, and I would say some of those parallels to, just because Enron existed doesn't mean that the entire equity market was a sham, that you shouldn't accept stock donations. [00:17:27] The truth is when you accept crypto, uh, it is, if you're used at least the giving block, full disclosure, whole. Um, manage that manages with them as a client. They're a client of ours. Uh, but once that donation is made, it is immediately liquidated. So I don't care if you are getting some sort of animal coin or a Bitcoin or Ethereum, whatever it may be, once it hits that donation form, it is processed into fiat Hold onto your dollars type of things. [00:17:58] One of the questions, however, is, as with any other donation, is that if it was I begotten and it is of high, It there could be suspect to clawbacks if there are legal proceedings. So maybe that is actually one, maybe large takeaway that when you receive a large donation, um, don't, aren't counting those chickens, um, just yet and making sure that that is money you can hold onto. [00:18:23] But, uh, I would say keep going and it is, um, it is a minor setback and if you really parse into it, you're like, oh, I. Crypto was all on the blockchain and it was all transparent. How, how could this level of fraud be is, is because this was a classic Ponzi scheme of centralized control over these assets. [00:18:46] There are abilities on the blockchain to have your own wallet the same way that you have a wallet in your pocket with $20 in it, and you're like, as long as I hold this, as soon as you hand that over. To a Lehman Brothers and they start leveraging the heck out of it. And you're like, I know I can get my $20 whenever I want. [00:19:06] That's where the centralized trust comes in. And this particular company was based in The Bahamas with no regulation, oversight, financial responsibility, board members, or, um, frankly, asset back checks involved at all. And so when that happens, that's, you know, that's just human. Error that is, uh, human fallibility. [00:19:29] It's hard to say, like, alright, you don't give that diri to anybody asking, but I I'm hoping that this isn't a knee jerk reaction of like, oh, we gotta pull our crypto off because it is all a scam. It's like, it is not, scams get perpetrated on top of it as, as they do with every other financial market. And this will set probably, uh, the crypto space back. [00:19:51] Um, they're saying, you know, a year or so, um, as there's ripple on effects. But, um, the underlying my confidence in underlying technology, uh, remains and people are still building on it. George, I think that's a great synthesis of all the different kind of threads that nonprofits should be considering, and I'm sure we'll talk more about this in the next couple weeks, months. [00:20:13] Um, as we do follow the crypto philanthropy space, I should say, we've got a, a webinar coming up with care two, um, I don't know when you're listening to this, but on. I should know it off the top of my head. December. I'm gonna say first December 1st. So check out, uh, that webinar. It's uh, Um, you can find it on our webinars section there. [00:20:36] That is an awesome reminder. You get to listen to us live, not me. Um, but you , you. I don't wanna do that. You do that. . Well, George speaking. Uh, wealthy philanthropists. Um, we wanted to highlight, uh, someone who is skeptical of them. Uh, our next article, um, comes from npr and the title is Pablo Eisenberg, A Fierce Critic of Nonprofits and Philanthropy. [00:21:11] Critical out of fierce love, I guess you can say. Um, has died at age 90. Um, so Eisenberg, who was someone I didn't know until I read this article. Um, Is a professor, nonprofit leader, a social justice advocate, just really, really cares about, um, issues of equity and justice, and apparently was somewhat famous for kind of sticking it to the stayed old, outdated. [00:21:43] Um, however he perceived it kind of traditional philanthropy space. Um, it says here, chastising prosperous donors for giving disproportionately to Ivy League schools, rich hospitals, and well endowed museums all while getting tax breaks. Um, so it seems like kind of a, I don't know, sticking out for the, the little guy in the, the philanthropy space, but seems like a titan nonetheless, within the, the philanthropy. [00:22:10] Yeah, I mean, I put this in here also, uh, because I think you know this as an outspoken critic. Um, you know, often said of mega billionaires out there, um, that pledged, there's that word pledged, red card pledged to donate the majority of their wealth. Uh, were not spirit desire. He, uh, he criticized them for not giving away more of their fortune immediately. [00:22:35] If you have it, give it away. Do the work, do the work now, and gets even more frustrated watching these towering offices be, be built, um, around giving away this money as opposed to doing the work. Uh, so I do, here's what I would say. I, I do believe when you're giving away that level of wealth, you must probably be very careful, um, about giving it away in ruinous ways. [00:23:00] Um, I, I like the sentiment in there. [00:23:02] I like it too. I think this guy deserves a movie. . I'd watch that movie. I don't know how many other people full would, it was a little niche, but I'd watch that movie. Uh, maybe Netflix. Netflix is at a documentary budget for that, for sure. All right. How about feel Good story? George, what have we got? This one comes from Ktv Q. [00:23:24] Dot com and it is about an organization called Adult and Teen Challenge, which is a faith-based recovery program for men and women that suffer from addiction. And they are selling live Christmas trees to raise money for program costs, to help teens and other young adults experiencing addiction and needing recovery. [00:23:46] And we do like a good seasonal article, and I don't know what says. Seasonal fundraising, um, like a Christmas tree sale, nothing. Not to like here. Yeah, it's, it's great. And I also love these earned, uh, earned models, um, that usually can be program related, but certainly around the season when people are buying you, if you have the ability to, to match a program to something that can be purchased is a way for you to generate some earned revenue, which can be put to good causes. [00:24:20] It's great. All right. Got a, got a question for you. Oh boy. Yep. What should an unwell non-profit Twitter campaign do? An unwell non-profit. Just not, well, not feeling great, not feeling great Twitter campaign. Oh man. What did they do Nick? They should, uh, get treatment. Oh my. Oh, oh my. Look, they've made it to the end of this podcast. [00:24:48] They deserve that. All right, have a good one. Happy given Tuesday. Happy Giving Tuesday.
11/29/202226 minutes, 4 seconds
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Controversy in Qatar & Giving Tuesday is Coming (news)

Qatar World Cup Centers International Human Rights Issues, Corruption, And Sportswashing The 2022 FIFA World Cup is underway in Qatar in a climate marred by years of controversies related to human rights issues, corruption, and influence peddling. While this is the first time the games will be held in an Arab country, Qatar’s bid was a remote possibility until it shockingly won the bid back in 2010. FIFA, the international governing body of football, is considered one of the most openly corrupt institutions in sports, where bribery, corruption, and influence campaigns are rampant. Since winning the bid, Qatar has faced sustained criticism for labor rights abuses since the country began luring low-income workers (largely from Asia) to work on construction projects in what international human rights groups have labeled dangerous and exploitative conditions. The country has faced renewed criticism of its internal human rights issues, particularly around women’s rights and LGBTQ+ rights since fans have started to arrive. International NGOs have been long calling for accountability over the games’ human cost, and teams have been put in the awkward position of navigating complex disagreements between the Qatari government, FIFA, and the general public. Read more ➝   Summary Meta Spending $7 Million To Stoke Recurring Donations | The NonProfit Times Jeff Bezos plans to give away most of his fortune: Why 'it’s a big deal,' from a philanthropy expert | CNBC When 10M meals aren't enough: Childhood hunger nonprofit struggling to meet demand | Survey: Nearly 1 in 4 American Donors Increased Giving Due to Rising Inflation | NonProfit PRO      Rough Transcript [00:00:00] This week on the nonprofit news feed, well we're talking about a little thing called the World Cup and unfortunately, how it is mired in a number of issues of human rights and corruptions, so we'll get to that in just a bit. I'm back from Hawaii, uh, on a trip with my family. It was fun. Lot of sand everywhere. [00:00:49] Kids love the beach. Uh, but it's, it's, uh, much appreciated. Nick, that you and Matt handled last week, I, uh, I was a little jealous. I did wanna share a few words on the FTX collapse, but we'll, we'll get to that in the future. Something tells me those dominoes are not done falling. Yeah. George, I'm sure, I'm sure that story will be making a comeback as we talk about crypto philanthropy and the fallout from that. [00:01:16] To your point this week we wanted to talk about QAR and the 2022 FIFA World Cup. So the World Cup began this weekend in Qatar in a climate marred by, let's say, years of controversy related to human rights issues, corruption in. FIFA and influence paddling across the board. So this is the first time that the World Cup is being held in a Arab country, but Qatar's bid was considered just a remote possibility until it somehow shockingly won the bid back in 2010. [00:01:55] And fifa, the international governing body of football. Is widely considered to be one of the most openly corrupt institutions in sports, uh, accusations of bribery up and down the whole chain. It's essentially assumed Qatar bought this bid. Um, but now this is coming full circle because since the bid was awarded to guitar, the country has consistently faced criticism for pretty egregious labor rights abuses. [00:02:26] Uh, human rights issues, uh, workers working in extreme and deplorable conditions on the massive construction projects. And now that the World Cup itself is underway, a focus not only on the labor issues, but of just human rights issues more broadly in the country related to women's rights, um, LGBTQ plus rights, and the country's facing. [00:02:51] Criticism from international NGOs calling for accountability and the whole thing's kind of a mess. But it's a complex situation. So, George, what, what are your thoughts on this one? This brought to you by the public service announcement that not all nonprofits are good. And I'll remind that FIFA actually is a, is a nonprofit, uh, that, that is running this. [00:03:19] And I think, you know, you mentioned that you wrote a paper about this when you were in college back in 2010, about the human rights abuses, the, you know, the modern day misuse of labor there. Estimated deaths, which can't be accounted for. But Amnesty International and I have seen others quote in the, uh, 6,000 or more potentially that have actually just died, you know, issues of taking someone's passport once they come in and forcing them to work. [00:03:49] Uh, you know, that it's, uh, it's an unfortunate thing to be happening in, you know, this age of , this agent of like modern globalization. When you bring the Globe's spotlight in, I think we have to be careful also about pushing Western ideals on other cultures. It's hard, you have to balance this like absolutism that we have the perfect moral compass here. [00:04:21] So, you know, put a pin in that perfect moral compass here, baked in our western ideologies of, of, of rights and equality, and you really have to. It's hard to remove that because I do think there's some objective truth to like allowing certain freedoms of frankly, people to love each other, uh, to have providence over their own bodies. [00:04:47] Uh, I, I, I want to believe in something like that, but also you just have to note when you're, when you're speaking with that, you know, absolutism to just be careful. The fact that they're, they're doing this. They couldn't even have it in the, the summer. They had to have it in November because it's not a climate that, uh, accommodates life in the summer. [00:05:10] Like, no joke, 120 degrees. Like you can't take a ball in that temperature. I think the ball just sort of evaporates. It makes no ecological sense whatsoever, uh, to have done this and made this level of investment. And I really hope a touch more. Frankly, discretion and intelligence of just because they can pay doesn't mean we should do it this way from fifa, frankly from the Olympics, from these large institution, large institutions that, you know, do pull the world together. [00:05:43] I, I think there's something very beautiful about the World Cup and I, and I hope it doesn't get lost because yes we can, we can focus here, but the truth is 5 billion people are most likely going to watch. 5 billion people are going to agree that one team beat another team. Do you know how hard it is to get 5 billion people to agree on a thing, to watch the same thing? [00:06:07] There's just, I think, something beautiful about this, that despite all of this and the sports washing involved, like it is, uh, it is something that I'm glad everyone is still participating in and, and not simply boycotting because it's. It's easier to destroy than to create. It's harder to, frankly, some of these captains wanted to wear arm bands in support of issues of LGBTQ and human rights. [00:06:35] They wanted to take a stand. Some are kneeling, some are showing it, but they're still participating. I'm more nervous when we stop participating collectively. And so, you know, uh, that's, that's how I'm viewing these games. I'm gonna watch. And we'll, we'll watch the news and we'll see that. And, uh, it's hard for mold to grow in the sunlight and there's a lot of sunlight right now on guitar. [00:07:02] Yeah, George, I couldn't agree more with that, that characterization. And I wanted to give a shout out to some of the, the nonprofits that have been doing, uh, really great reporting on this. And I've been flagging it very early. And as you alluded to, I wrote a paper on. Years ago in college because the issues were, were still salient then. [00:07:24] But Amnesty International in particular has done really great research from the beginning on workers and yeah, it's, it's really challenging. Um, and, and really actually sad, I mean, workers are essentially being lured, uh, Poor workers from Asia into this country, they're having their visas confiscated. [00:07:47] It's not a good situation. Um, but I think to your point, the World's Cup is an opportunity to shine light on these issues, right? And I do not think we should be giving Qatar Pass. But that being said, uh, the chance to come together, Is, is really important, especially in a time of division. So yeah, I agree with that. [00:08:15] But let's just fire everyone at fifa. I have no . I Oh yeah, let's get of those. Let's cleans. Oh my gosh. [00:08:23] I think, I think 5 billion of people could possibly agree to that, that it's, it's really funny to see an institution solo, but an event so, Yeah. Um, , if you, if you're really into this, like do a deep dive on the bid, it's like the most outrageous thing. There was like a plane of the US delegation that flew to wherever it was, like Finland, Sweden or something for the bid process. [00:08:52] It was like, Mid-level State Department people, a couple of us soccer people, the United States activated Morgan Freeman took him on this plane, but it was clear like Morgan Freeman didn't prepare anything for this speech. It was like this like kind of incoherent jumble of like why the, it's the whole story's wild. [00:09:12] If you're into it, just read about it. Uh, but, but anyway, we'll leave that. [00:09:17] Uh, yeah. Moving into the summary, I'll, I'll jump through this quickly. Meta, formally known as Facebook, the artist , formally known as Facebook Me, is gonna spend, uh, 7 million to stoke reoccurring donations around Giving Tuesday. Which is great. We'll, hope you're all getting ready for your Giving Tuesday to, to make what you can of the kickoff to Giving season, not the end, but the kickoff to Giving season. [00:09:41] We have a bunch of those resources. Hope you find them. And, uh, another one here. Uh, Nick, do you wanna talk about what Bezos is announcing? Yeah, George. So Jeff Bezos, uh, formerly CEO of Amazon is, has announced, was giving away most of his 122 billion fortune. Uh, but this article from says, leaves many questions unanswered. [00:10:10] Uh, It says that Bezos, thus far has resisted developing a public philanthropic identity, unlike that of his ex-wife Mackenzie Scott. But I don't know what's your take here is, is, is Bezos having a, I don't know, a conscious time? Time to do. Good moment. What's this about? I'm gonna say the following phrase, and I'm excited because I'm gonna say it so many times that people are gonna be sick. [00:10:40] And here it is. Pledges are pr. That's it. I'm gonna say that every single time I see that, those of you listening, every time you see something like this, every time you see a post like this, I just want it ring in your head. Pledges are just pr. Cause if you were doing it, we would see the check and we saw that with Sam Bankman. [00:11:07] Getting all that ink across all those papers about how altruistic you was going to be in the future. Right about me now for things I haven't done. It's called P, so Bezos can shove it until we see a check. That's what I think. [00:11:25] I agree. See? See it Hit the books then we'll. We'll talk again, uh, remains to be seen. He's got some, some rockets to fund as well. So yeah, God bless him. Get it done. All right. This next one comes from out of, uh, Richfield, Minnesota, and this is actually a follow up on a story we've talked about, but, uh, there was a 250 million fraud investigation to Feeding Our Future, which has fractured trust and efforts to feed hungry children across Minnesota. [00:12:02] Um, and it's really affecting, uh, this nonprofit and a time when it's, quote, quietly delivered 10 million meals to hungry kids and counting. So, Yikes. It seems that you just have a perfect storm of kind of bad scenarios. Here. You have 10 million meals to hungry kids. Uh, being that's a gap, like that's a gap in our safe, our social safety net, in my opinion that is being filled by this nonprofit. [00:12:32] Also at the center of a quarter of a billion dollar fraud investigation. Yikes. It's sad to see. Hopefully it doesn't erode confidence in giving locally to food banks that you know are serving your area. The, the larger groups have have a trust gap to fill. I'd say the ones that are, you know, chapter based and working out there. [00:12:57] The on the onus is on communication and transparency, but please don't let that hopefully be a barrier to giving locally, supporting, uh, supporting your. Food banks and nonprofits. We, we spoke and had that podcast recently with Move for Hunger when, you know, please go back and listen to that if you haven't. [00:13:17] Uh, because I think Adam Lloyd does a top shelf job of explaining how the need is year round and there's ways to support that. Yeah, George. Absolutely. And this actually takes us into our next article for nonprofit, which says that on behalf of a poll conducted on behalf of Vanguard Charitable conducted by interviewing 2000 US adults. [00:13:42] Uh, it found that 60% of American donors with a charit giving budget, say rising inflation had no impact on their giving or caused them to increase their giving over the past 12 months, the nearly 24% saying they increased their giving. So we were talking about how critical time this is. Food pantries and nonprofits like that. [00:14:06] Um, but it seems that the, the giving public is aware of that need, not stopping, giving potentially increase in giving e even in light of inflation. The survey size is a little small, 2000 adults, but. I think that's really optimistic news that the public is still committed broadly to charitable giving despite, uh, what's now kind of record setting inflation. [00:14:37] It's a positive signal, one that we hope is, uh, is accurate as far as polls go. Giving Tuesday coming up, we're predicting that over 3 billion will be donated, uh, in and around the day, and hopefully is a, is a strong end of. Giving cycle. You know, sadly, we might as well just root for the markets to go up because that is another predictor of, uh, of giving. [00:15:00] You know, we're past midterms, so now, uh, it's time for nonprofits to get their narratives out there. [00:15:06] Absolutely. All right. How about a feel good story, George? What do you got? All right. This comes from the venerable ks LTV and Salt Lake City, Utah. And it's estimated that Americans will throw out more than 200 million pounds of perfectly good Turkey meat this year, uh, most of it after Thanksgiving. [00:15:32] But this woman. Uh, Dana Williamson founded the nonprofit Waste Less Solutions, which tries to rescue unused food and donate it to community organizations that need it. And we talk about food waste a lot on this podcast. And there's a couple, quite a, a number of organizations working in this space now, but great to see, uh, local Utah resident, uh, bringing it close to home and helping out the communities in Salt Lake. [00:16:02] Any, any percent or stats on what percent of those, uh, pounds of Turkey are actually dry because he definitely left it in the oven too long. No stats on that. Nothing there. No stats on that. We gotta call the the Butterball hotline. I love projects like this because food waste needs to be solved locally. [00:16:21] It's a last mile problem. We have enough food, we don't have enough food in the right places. Um, going back to Adam Low conversation in our, in our previous podcast, to end on a lighter note and because he made it to the end. Hey Nick, I got a, a question for you. How, how do you organize a Giving Tuesday fundraiser to help the earth? [00:16:42] I don't know. How does one organize such a thing? George, you plan it. [00:16:51] That was good. That, that's, that's, that's your, that's your, that was good. The best one. All right. On that note, uh, leave a rating if you feel like it, if you feel like giving. Um, and we hope you have a wonderful holiday.
11/22/202218 minutes, 28 seconds
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Maximizing Corporate Event Fundraising | Move for Hunger

Conversation with Adam Lowy, Founder and ED of Move For Hunger. Adam shares about the landscape of food insecurity in the US and the need for year-round support for food banks - not just around Thanks Giving.  Move for Hunger is also succeeding with great in person truck pulling events that raise food, funds and awareness across the US.    Video from the truck pull event:        Rough Transcript [00:00:00] Well, we've got a returning guest, Adam Lowie, founder and executive director of Move for Hunger, move for Hunger, mobilizes Transportation Resources to reduce food waste and fight hunger. And we're gonna get into how they're doing that. They were founded in 2009. So Adam, you've been at it for quite some. [00:00:47] We met actually back in the day, my former life as Chief Technology officer of do When Adam Lowie was, was it at that time a Brick Award winner? A Do something award winner Do do something, yeah. I think it was the Do Something award technically at that point, yes. A do something. I think I still have my little exclamation point trophy from back in the day. [00:01:11] Well, these were the sort of best of the best of young entrepreneurs in the social impact world. And I, I remember Adam at the time and we stayed friends and we stayed friends. He was a member of the New York City Global Shaper community and has really built something incredible at Move for Hunger. So, In, in your words, can you remind us, because obviously all of our audience listens to every single one of our over 250 episodes. [00:01:40] remembers all of our guests. Can you remind us how Move for Hunger does what they do best? Absolutely. So we started, as you mentioned, 13 years ago, out of my family's moving company. We saw folks leaving behind or throwing away food when they were moving, and started to ask that question, do you wanna donate food when you. [00:02:00] Turns out people wanna do good. You just have to make it super easy. And in this case, we were bringing a food drive into people's living rooms. Uh, today we have trained more than 1100 professional moving companies across the US and Canada to make food recovery a core part of the way they do business. [00:02:18] We've expanded from just movers to work with relocation management companies, temp housing providers. We work with more than 600,000 apartment units, for folks moving in the multi-family industry. And we're also now tackling fresh food. So for us it's really about, ensuring that we can mobilize transportation networks to be in the right place at the right time to get food to where it needs to be. [00:02:39] And altogether we've now collected enough food to provide more than 25 million meals, uh, to folks. And it's an incredible number, but also it's an innovative approach. We are, I'd say, generally familiar with how food banks work locally, and I think this is addressing both a problem and opportunity, uh, to, to use these resources, which are, you know, moving trucks and moments, which are moments. [00:03:08] People relocating their living situation and saying like, yeah, there's a lot of waste in that system. How do we redirect that? And then it seems like you're expanding now to realizing that there's a huge last mile problem. As I understand it for food insecure people in our country there, there's enough food, there's enough planted, grown. [00:03:33] In our country to feed everyone. However, getting it to where it needs to be is that last mile problem. And it strikes me that trucks are, are a good way to do that. And so maybe a little bit more on how you're expanding there. Yeah. So you kinda hit the nail on the head there. 35% of food produced in the United States ends up in landfills. [00:03:57] And if you zoom out globally 28% of the world's farmable land. Grows food that will never be eaten which is just a wild number, you know, to think about. Hmm. and all of this, well, you know, there's now 38 million Americans including one in six kids that are going to bed hungry each night. So for us, it's really about mobilizing existing resources. [00:04:17] You've got these companies, you've got these trucks, they're providing a service, and this is something that helps 'em stand apart from the competition. It's providing a really great service to their customers. You know, if you've ever moved, didn't know what to do with that food. Maybe felt guilty about throwing it away. [00:04:33] Here's an easy thing to do. but it's not just about that last mile. In some cases it's about the first mile. So we're working with farmers. We are working with CPG companies, distributors. We just install a cold storage hub in Rhode Island to work with local fisheries out there, to be able to keep food cold longer so it doesn't have to go to waste. [00:04:56] Um, and that fish is being distributed across our Rhode Island. We've done the same with some farms in New Jersey and some other places, Kentucky as well. Um, You know, there, there's a lot of reasons why food goes to waste. It happens at the farm level. Um, it happens when food is rejected. Um, we talked to, uh, a company that had bananas, um, 250,000 of them to be exact, that were. [00:05:24] You know, the grocery stores no, no longer wanted them. They were at a port in Los Angeles and we were able to recover all of that food and get it to local food banks within just a matter of days. Um, so again, right resources, right time. Mm-hmm. , um, you could have a dented can in a 12 pack of soup. The, the grocery store isn't gonna take that 12 pack anymore because one can was dented. [00:05:47] Oftentimes that food is discarded, and that's the reality of what's happening, not just in our country, but. . Well, I wanna come back to some of those stats, as you mentioned, one in six kids, uh, facing food insecurity. You know, we're coming up on Thanksgiving and this is a time of year where food banks get this sudden surprise amount, not surprise amount, predictable amount of support of volunteers of yet another can of cranberries. [00:06:20] Can you, you know, from the perspective of somebody who works in the industry is like, uh, you know, you welcome volunteers with open arms, but there's a very much like, you know, where, where were you yesterday? Um, so what is the feeling at at food banks right now coming into this Thanksgiving? They're busy, right? [00:06:41] They're, they're busy of an ever, um, part of it's for, you know, the reasons we just talked about. Food insecurity is, is at a, at a high, yes. In some cases it has lowered a little bit. Um, but then you couple that with inflation. I went to the grocery store yesterday and probably spent the most I've ever spent, and I wasn't even shopping for Thanksgiving yet. [00:07:00] That is a reality for a lot of people that are seeing, you know, these food prices increase when they go to check out. So it's, it is becoming more of a problem than, than I'd say it has been in the past. Really where we are trying to kind of take this. As we go into the holidays is listen, hunger is a year round issue. [00:07:22] People are food insecure on a year round basis. And by the way, hunger is a symptom of poverty. You know, handing someone a can of food is not going to solve their food insecurity problem. Um, you've got the cost of food, you've got the cost of healthcare, you've got the cost of housing. Insurance. All of these things are at all time highs. [00:07:40] While wages are still at all time lows in, in many cases, um, yes, we're seeing some wages, um, increase, but, but that doesn't affect a lot of the minimum wage workers, um, out there that are working two, three jobs and still trying to decide between. A meal for their kids or you know, paying rent. And that is a real negotiation that a lot of families are doing. [00:08:05] So when we think about the holidays, and I'm sure the food banks will agree, Yes, this is a busy time of year, but what we have moved for hunger at least trying to do, is create opportunities to have people think about food insecurity throughout the year, um, with different campaigns. So in February we do our Spread the Love campaign where we collect peanut butter and jelly. [00:08:26] Um, or maybe in August we're doing our Shark Week food drive, um, where we're collecting can tuna fish cuz kids like tuna just as much as sharks do. Right. Um, in August, we're the only game in town. No one's holding a food drive in the summer. And by the way, kids are outta school. They're not receiving emergency food assistance or reduced their pre lunches. [00:08:43] Those are the times where we really need to think about how do we put more food on the shelves of food banks and pantries. Those are the times where we need to raise our voices as hunger relief organizations and be the loudest, because that's where the difference can really be made. Yes, the food banks are gonna be fine this Thanksgiving. [00:09:01] They're gonna feed a record number of people between Thanksgiving and New Year's, but come January two. Those shelves are just as barren as they were before Thanksgiving. And this is where we all need to come to come together. Not just to donate food, but donate dollars, donate time, um, donate your voice advocate, and really come together to make sure we can, uh, really reduce poverty, because that's the only way we're gonna reduce food in insecurity. [00:09:30] We're such great creatures when it comes to moments of compassion, but sustained effort. It's just, it's tough. It is. It's, it's really hard. Which is why coming back to your solution make it easy. People do care, make it easy. People wanna find a, a moving company that supports move for hunger and will donate that extra food. [00:09:55] You have a search on your site that has a network of moving companies that will actually directly assist in moving that food that last mile. And so, yeah, you can't just depend on these moments of caring, but rather you have to make it convenient and, and not just convenient for the person that wants to give, but convenient for the person that is actually implementing the process, right? [00:10:20] So in our case, our movers, our multifamily partners, our relocation management companies, if you can create something that becomes part of their business model, becomes part of their standard operating procedure, if you. Then at some point you don't actually need a charitable cost. You know, you talk about charities going outta business. [00:10:40] We're not trying to go outta business right now, but it's really fun to be able to see like companies like Bell Partners or fpi or Allied Van Lines like. Talking about food insecurity or food waste and food recovery as part of their marketing that wasn't happening 10 years ago. Um, but now it's something that they're touting as part of their brand, part of their values, um, and part of the service that they're offering their customers. [00:11:08] And I think it's important that you have found this industry found an in innovative way for the industry to work in and around and directly on the cause of food insecurity. You've doubled down, really focused on how do I not just sort of ask for donations from this industry, but ask for the work, ask for their expertise in terms of moving and provided extra value along the way, and that's. [00:11:42] Kind of where I wanna take this conversation. I'm gonna play this, this clip as a part of, part of transition where I was lucky enough to attend one of these fundraising events where all I got was a message from Adam. It was a text message, Hey, wanna pull a truck this week? And I was like, oh, what is he doing? [00:12:02] And, and sure enough, I found myself pulling a truck. So play that. [00:14:05] All right, Adam, so what you heard in the background was a lot of noise, music, maybe me being a little winded there. Uh, can you describe what was going on at, at this event that took place in the Bay Area, uh, the other month? It was such an incredible event. Um, we worked with, uh, bam Bay Area Mobility Management, which is a relocation association, um, in the Bay Area. [00:14:31] And, um, we put together one of our favorite events, which is what we call a truck pull teams of 10 competing to pull a moving truck in the fastest time. Um, we had the most ridiculous venue, the USS Hornet. Which if you've never been, I, I recommend it. Um, what, what a ship that was. And they gave us the entire pier. [00:14:52] Incredibly generous. Um, but we raised a ton of money and it was a lot of fun. And, you know, we had, we had taco trucks and beer trucks and, um, team building and people working together. To do this thing in this moment that they typically wouldn't do and everyone walked away knowing not only did they pull a truck, um, but the, the funds raised that day were going back to helping us feed thousands of people. [00:15:16] Um, and it was probably one of our most, one of our largest truck pulls that we've done on to date in terms of, um, you know, people coming back out after the pandemic in terms of dollars that were able to be raised. Um, and. We shot a great video from it as well, uh, which has now been used and seen over and over again by others that are now inspired to wanna hold a truck pole in their communities. [00:15:42] And that's what we're trying to think about. How do we, how do we scale these events? Before the pandemic, we were doing a lot of 'em. I think in 2019 we organized nine truck poles. Our plan for 2020 was 16 of them that we had on the books. And then obviously, Covid happened. Um, so this year we did three, and this was one of the three. [00:16:00] And I was so happy that you were able to be there and see it in person. I didn't think that you were gonna pull it, uh, yourself, let alone drag me into pulling a truck. It's been a while. Um, but uh, you know, it's about creating these fun experiences for people and companies, and that's what we try. So I wanna unpack this because I think now that we're in a, you know, knock on wood post pandemic fundraising environment, you're combining some smart elements. [00:16:30] One, you're focused on this industry. So you're, you're creating this package that has value, that is aligned with what they do. Moving truck, we're gonna move the moving truck. You get to pull it, truck pull. It is a unique experience. You're allowing also teams. Teams to jump in, fundraise to be a part of that. [00:16:50] You have a unique venue potentially, but this can be done in a parking lot. This can be done in your, you know, asphalt backyard, and it can be paired with conferences. It can be paired with these industry events that are hungry. They are hungry for social ties, impact and particip. And you know, this checks a lot of boxes, so, you know, I think it was really smart to just not just run the event, but also sort of frankly bring, bring the cameras. [00:17:22] And maybe you can talk a little bit more about how you see this expanding and how you see it as both raising awareness and also funds. Yeah, so, so during Covid, you know, I'd say prior to Covid we were doing a lot of in-person events. We loved in-person events. We did a lot with conferences and associations that we were partnered with, and then, All of that had to stop and we had to change our model, right? [00:17:45] So everything became virtual. What, what type of virtual team building could we do? We did a virtual karaoke event. We've been doing virtual trivias. Um, we found like a lot of different ways to engage people where they were virtual wine tasting, you name it, we were doing it, um, because. We needed to find ways to not only meet people where they were, but also let them feel like they were still giving back. [00:18:08] If you talk to most charity organizations that utilize volunteers, they were, they were at a standstill as well. People couldn't come in, so a lot of organizations had trouble actually delivering their services. Um, and it was a, it was a problem. So, It was great during that time for us to be able to be a little bit creative, reinvent a little bit of what we're doing. [00:18:30] Now that we've kind of come out of c we're not abandoning that aspect of it. We're in some cases creating this hybrid experience, right? So, hey, if we're gonna do a food drive with you on site, uh, maybe it's one of our favorite ones we call, can the CEO or you fill your CEO's office with so much food they can no longer get. [00:18:50] Maybe we're gonna kick that off with a virtual trivia to educate people about the issues of hunger and food waste. Because while we can't be there physically for your food drive, um, we can be there to host this great team build that then kicks off and hopefully inspires team members to collect even more food than they would have before. [00:19:09] Right? So building up that moment, you can use the virtual. Uh, to almost, uh, work toward that in-person event. Um, and when we have these in-person events, then it's a matter of just engaging your networks and we're very fortunate to have a lot of networks that, um, we can kind of engage that way. What kind of staff is necessary to run that kind of event? [00:19:33] Where I'm not quite sure how many people were there, it was a good amount of people, but like, what does a truck pull event staff look like from your, your. So there's definitely some behind the scenes happening before the event had happened itself. Um, but on site, again, depending on the amount of people that are going to be at the event, but we can usually manage it with two, uh, two people that are staff from for hunger. [00:20:01] And then maybe a handful of volunteers can probably get away with four volunteers. Um, and that can run a truck full of up to 200 people, uh, most likely. Mm. You know, you hit those numbers and your math begins to, to work out. Uh, especially if you have multiple events, right? Just one and done the sort of, you know, can we do one massive chicken dinner and call it a day? [00:20:24] It's sometimes frustrating, I guess, to watch that type of model. And that model was really shaken, I'd say, during the pandemic because, you know, it's all about this one day of fundraising as opposed to, A part fundraising, part programmatic implementation of an event that is doing the work that needs to be done, local building of awareness of funds, and also donations. [00:20:54] Like you're pulling it together in the right way. And it also seems to be more, uh, sustainable because, You're mixing those two parts. Uh, does, does that make sense? Is that intentional? There are for profit companies out there right now today that regular companies are paying to manage their team building and employee engagement experiences that exists. [00:21:21] Why can't we be the ones that do that better? And at least have a charitable twist and an impact arm on it? So instead of some company giving, This for-profit, $10,000 to do whatever it's going to be. Why not? Why can't we be the one that's getting that $10,000 donation, giving people a great experience? [00:21:40] And then that company also is able to know that they were able to feed a whole bunch of people. Um, that's kind of the way we think about that. And I agree with you like that model of like the one big dinner. That's gotta be on the wayside. And we never did the big gala or anything like that. I know. I never got an invite. [00:21:57] I kept waiting. No, I, well there was nothing to, I invited you a truck pull. Right. Um, instead it was how many of these different food drives fundraisers, special events could we do with our partners? We have a lot of partners, um, and a lot of them make a contribution every. But those partners have employees and those employees can also be champions and advocates and donors and volunteers. [00:22:23] Um, so, you know, for any other organizations listening, you know, I do not discount the, the network that you have built with your partners because there's so much more than just a check one time to have their logo on your website. Um, you know, , anytime that we're going into a big partnership, I don't lead with a big ask and say, can you give us a hundred thousand dollars? [00:22:47] I lead with what are you doing from an employee giving an employee engagement standpoint? What can we do to become part of your culture? Because if you do that, they're gonna stick with you. And most of our partners have stuck with us for over a decade now. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And it. It's easier. I'll say once the flywheel is going, you've got like amazing footage of these events and the history and relationships. [00:23:12] But even starting out, you bring up this, this point that just sort of stuck in my mind for, for folks listening and looking for ideas and it's like, oh, that's easy for you to say, you know, you're dealing with moving in trucks. They're right there. It's like so easy. Like, here's what you actually just gave as a, as a solid idea. [00:23:27] Maybe you can help me flesh it out a bit more, where. There are corporate engagement, there are corporate activities. There is somebody in HR at Major Fortune 500 companies right now looking for that corporate event, team building. I'm using keywords right now. Team building events for corporate gatherings. [00:23:49] Take a look at what's being offered. , see the sort of ropes courses or the escape, the whatever room. Packages that that are being provided. And then ask yourself, are any of these programmatically adjacent to potentially what we do? What would it cost to get someone on our team to do event planning or bring a fundraiser in for event planning and organizing and take a shot at selling it? [00:24:16] Does that feel like a, like a, a couple, two step approach? Yeah, I mean, it, it can't hurt, right? Like someone else is getting that business. There's a market for already. Let's put the twist on it. Um, and that's really what we're trying to, to make work. Um, And, and, and you kind of, uh, mentioned it there as well where it has to feel like it's connected to your program. [00:24:44] So it's not like we're just picking things that these companies are doing. But there are a couple things like that people wanna do cooking classes. We haven't done it yet, but if we could find a way to make that work, like, and the costs made. A hundred percent. Um, we could probably find a way to do some sort of zero waste cooking class for a corporate event. [00:25:08] Um, unfortunately cooking is probably one of the most expensive things from a cost per head standpoint, but we are exploring those options because they do feel very relevant in some cases to the work that we're doing. Yeah, really. It seems like you, you don't maybe wanna do all of the things you wanna do one thing or two things pretty darn well have that package ready to go so that you have the costs, the planning all in place so that it's like, and you fundraising in a box, right? [00:25:39] Yeah. Um, and, and that, and that honestly is what the truck pull is like. We ship everything to the mover, the truck pulls up, your whole event is in the back of the truck, , right? So it's, it's so easy. Cleanup is easy. Setup is easy. Um, and, and that's what we want. We wanna create events that can scale. Um, you cannot scale a foundation, gala, dinner in 30 locations and a hundred locations. [00:26:04] The amount of time and resources that it takes to plan those things, it doesn't make sense. You'll never be able to do. But can we scale some of the things that we're doing virtually or, or can the CEO Food drive? Absolutely. What is the price point? What are the resources? What are our costs? And ultimately, most importantly, I would say, what is the impact? [00:26:24] Because, you know, you can do all these things and not raise any money or food in our case, and what's the point of doing it? So there's gotta be impact. The, the ROIs gonna be worth it that way. And for, I just wanna come back to the, to the staff. Cause I feel like I'm glossing over some of the complexity inherited in event planning. [00:26:47] You know, is this a position that you would sell something potentially then hire a part-time event planner? Like what is like the zero to one for implementing, we'll say a programmatically aligned corporate event fundraising. Thing. That's, that's the secret sauce. Georgia, but , that's why I'm asking. But, but you know what I, what I a hundred percent will say is you need to create it first, right? [00:27:21] Mm-hmm. , you need to test it, and then you need to do a few of them. Um, once you've done a few, you can learn really what your price point is, and then once you feel comfortable selling, Then you can ultimately begin to start hiring that part-time, then full-time person to be able to implement some of these things. [00:27:38] Um, when we started, you know, we didn't have an events person. Um, fortunately my background is experiential events. I was doing event marketing before I started Move for Hunger, so I've always loved that aspect. I could, I could plan one truck pull. Could I plan 30 and do some of them simultaneously? No, you need support for that. [00:27:57] Um, and by the way, it's not just an event planner, it's who's doing your marketing, your photography, your graphic design to bring this stuff to life. Like there are more elements that go into just those things besides the two staff members that are on site to actually physically run the events itself. [00:28:17] You can build that small. Not everything needs to be big and grand, um, to begin with. Um, but I will say there's a lot of, uh, tricks and ways to cheat to do some of that, to make it feel grander than it is. You'd be surprised just having a branded tent, top canopy at something with your table, bring a tent. [00:28:38] It all, all of a sudden looks like an event. A tent does not cost that much money. Um, but without that tent there, it looks like it's a much smaller spectacle. Um, but now with the tent, you've got some images that you can take and, you know, those are the things that make things feel real. Yeah, I think that makes it just like a lot more practic. [00:28:58] Because sometimes it's, you know, like watching someone at the, you know, top of the top of their game already going full speed, being like, it's easy. You just, you know, put one foot in front of the other, you're like, no, you started small. You grinded it out. You figured it. But I think those are, those are some great first steps. [00:29:16] Uh, alright, well. Thank you for, for sharing those points. Are there any other big things? Cuz I've already done the, the rapid fire with you at least twice I think. Um, are there any other final points, you know, you're thinking about as we we move into the end of the year for, for Move for Hunger or what's getting you excited? [00:29:37] Um, you know, we did a few things. At the end of this year and like tried some new campaigns that worked really well. Um, and I'd say the reason that they worked really well. Was because we had the right champions in place and the companies that we were working with. So this is not only something that I planned to do more of in 2023, but also that I would really, really encourage other organizations and companies to do. [00:30:05] And I'm just gonna leave you with two very quick examples. Um, one of which I just did last week, um, in, uh, Amelia Island, Florida. Um, we were at a conference with one of our partner. They were planning to do a little fundraiser for us anyway, and they had dueling pianos as their entertainment. Um, I talked to the CEO and and said, Hey, How much would it take to get you up there singing a song? [00:30:29] Right? And he said a lot of money. So I got on stage and I told everyone that if we raised $5,000, he's gonna get up and sing a song. And you know what? We raised $7,500 and it was just so much fun, um, to be able to do that and to see his employees want to support his embarrassment, if you will. He's got very little shame. [00:30:54] And it was one of the easiest fundraisers that we've ever done, and the cost was virtually nothing. I was there anyway. Um, and the same thing happened a couple weeks prior where we're in Las Vegas. Um, and it's really hard to get anyone's attention at a convention in Las Vegas cuz there's so many distractions. [00:31:10] Um, but one of the larger CEOs of one of the companies that was there agreed to jump off the stratosphere about two weeks before you can, you can do it. It's a thing that people are allowed to. So the, one of the tallest buildings in Vegas, and I, I asked, I'm like, Hey, would you be willing to jump off this building if we were able to raise some money? [00:31:28] And he said, I'm in. And this guy, by the way, is one of the nicest kind of CEOs, TER Global Relocation, has been a partner of ours for a long time. Such a cool guy. And. He jumped off the stratosphere. We created a lot of buzz for his company at that conference, and we raised a whole bunch of money to kind of support the cause. [00:31:47] These are things that don't take a lot of resources. Instead, what they take is who are the people are willing to embarrass themselves? Put their lives in danger. Do something fun or silly. Small stuff, right? Let's, let's not put everyone's life in danger, but do something fun and silly. Um, and, and think about tapping their network, not just your network, but their network. [00:32:10] Um, I know that's like basic peer to peer fundraising, but when you can do that at scale with the CEO or a C-Suite executive, it really goes a long way. And, and we were really thrilled. To see how well those two activations went for us. I think it's testament to how ingrained you are with this niche community, this niche business network, and then you kind of know it and go all in. [00:32:35] And I think we can get a little insular in the the non-profit world where we forget that there are entire industries just around moving companies. And like that's just one of many, many, many company networks that are out there. Like, here's another game. Look at Vegas conferences coming up. Just the random Vegas conferences coming up. [00:32:59] And look at how many random things that you didn't realize. Professional networks gathering together, looking and needing to stand out. And I think those types of opportunities will present themselves. Adam, thanks. I hope you are doing even better next year. More truck pulls and more food delivered to those in need. [00:33:22] Uh, again, how do people find you? How do people help you? You can visit move for You can make a donation. You can hold a food drive, you can donate your food when you move, you can advocate, you can learn about the issues of hunger and food waste, and share our content. Um, and you can show up at a truck pull, uh, near you. [00:33:40] George, I hope to have you out to another truck, pull or put your life in danger at some point in the new year. Um, and I, I always really do appreciate, uh, having the opportunity to, to reconnect my friend. Well, thanks for your work and appreciate it.
11/21/202234 minutes, 41 seconds
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FTX Collapse & Effective Altruism (news)

What The FTX Collapse Does & Does Not Mean For Crypto Philanthropy & Effective Altruism  Crypto-exchange FTX, one of the largest such exchanges, collapsed last week, leaving the cryptocurrency world in disbelief as stakeholders try to piece together what happened and what comes next. The company’s founder Sam Bankman-Fried (known by the moniker SBF) was a visible proponent and donor to the effective altruism movement, as well as someone who built a personal brand as a prominent crypto-philanthropist. As noted by The New York Times, SBF was perhaps one of the most visible supporters of Effective Altruism, a community underpinned by a utilitarian approach to giving where donors focus on giving only to the most impact-efficient charitable causes. Created by Oxford philosopher William MacAskill, the Effective Altruism movement faces serious reputational trust issues as supporters worry it was a cover for the reckless FTX founder. It was also revealed by The New York Times that the two largest FTX Foundation grants went to nonprofits where MacAskill was on the board or directly supported the work of Effective Altruism. Bankman-Fried, who has also spoken frequently of his crypto giving, may have abused the crypto-philanthropy space to shield himself from questioning, but nonprofits should still understand that 38% of millennials own crypto and represent a major (and growing) potential source of donation revenue. (Editor’s Note: The above link is a blog post written by Whole Whale CEO George Weiner, the publisher of this newsletter. The Giving Block is a proud partner and client of Whole Whale.) Read more ➝   Former executives of nonprofit indicted in alleged $10.7 million fraud scheme | KLBK California expected to partner with nonprofit Civica Rx to produce its own low-cost insulin, sources say | NBC News  New York City nonprofits stepping up to help asylum seekers find jobs | CBS New York    
11/17/202222 minutes, 6 seconds
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The Power Law of Large Donors | Causevox

Rob Wu, Founder of shares lessons learned from talking to over 100 large gift officers and donors. Learn about the BAIT approach to donor qualification. BAIT - Budget, Affinity, Intension, Timeliness    About Causevox 11 years of experience We launched in 2010 and help nonprofits rally communities and raise millions every year.   1500+ customers From small community-service charities and national organizations to global development nonprofits.   75,000+ fundraisers From DIY fundraising and peer to peer to events and donation pages, CauseVox has you covered.   Transcript   [00:00:00] Today [00:00:26] on the Whole Whale podcast, we have a returning guest who may, if I'm right, may be setting the record for the, the most, uh, appearances on the whole Whale podcast, episode 50, The Data Behind Donor Retention, Episode 1 53, Analytics Answer, Who are My donors? And Episode 1 59 Survive the nonprofit software business. [00:00:47] Rob, we always appreci. Your candor, your willingness to come on the show to talk about it. And this is Rob Ru, of course, the CEO, founder of Cause Box. He has been diligently working in the sector, I believe, at least on cause box since [00:01:03] 20 11, 27 officially. [00:01:08] Officially 2010. Uh, actually also the same year that whole Whale was founded. [00:01:12] So, uh, we were joking before we turned on record of our, our various, uh, check-ins with each other over the years. And, uh, we're still, we're still doing it. Rob, [00:01:21] I'm so happy you're still alive, George . Thanks, [00:01:24] man. You know, we'll, we'll continue to, to check in over the years. I brought you in today though, because you are always looking for the upside for the nonprofits using ox. [00:01:37] You're trying to stay on, you know, the, the practical, I'll say the practical cutting edge of how to raise more money for great causes. And so I was hoping you could share a bit on what you have been focused on this year with regard. Major gifts. [00:01:55] Yes. How I see it in terms of my mission is that I'd rather be useful than to be sexy. [00:02:03] I'd rather be valuable rather than to be a unicorn. So if you look at the field of all the animals, there are all these analogies. I'd rather be a zebra than a lion or a unicorn or whatever fancy animals there are. So, Starting cos walks Over a decade ago, you, we came into this, uh, this business to become a digital fundraising platform because there's a big gap between technology and fundraising where a lot of nonprofits couldn't go online. [00:02:33] They didn't know how to do it. They didn't know how to utilize all the ways of social media fundraising. Digital fundraising, peer to peer. This and that. So it's been a great journey to us help accelerate that piece of digital fundraising and by bringing more and more organizations online and where we had some of our best years of growth and over covid, unfortunately, where a lot of organizations were transitioning into digital fundraising. [00:03:01] As we see the next steps of what's coming up, I think one of my biggest frustrations is that a lot of organizations see. Online fundraising as a siloed approach where they think, Hey, I need to run an event. I need to run a gala. I need to do peer to peer fundraising. I need to be on Facebook. And they kind of just treat, uh, the, that style of fundraising as a one and done thing. [00:03:26] They don't look at it as a process of how you can grow donors, of how you can grow gifts, how you can upgrade folks up the pipeline to become major donors. So I went on this quest to figure. When you're looking at major donors, how do folks actually get major donors? How do they qualify them? How do they really work through this process to grow a small $100 gift all the way to a hundred thousand dollars gift? [00:03:54] And the results of this were actually really surprising, where it gave us a lot of inspiration behind what we should build next when it comes to major gift fundraising. [00:04:03] That makes, uh, it makes a lot of. And as you're, as you're building this in this approach, the way I guess I look at it is that if you are ignoring, if you're ignoring the major gift strategy of your digital fundraising, You are missing out on easily half of the potential revenue you could and should be making. [00:04:25] What does that actually mean? If you have a hundred donors, I can very confidently tell you that there is probably a power law distribution of their wealth and capacity to give fancy way of saying that 10% of them have 90% of the wealth, because frankly, that's just how the things in America are carved out. [00:04:44] Thanks to capitalism, the question. That you should ask next is who are those people and what should we message them? So maybe you could pick up the thread there. Is it just, you know, smile and dial and be like, Hey, you have money. Give now please [00:05:00] more. Right, right. It is kind of funny, like, so I did this huge research quest to, to speak to over a hundred people on major gifts. [00:05:09] So I talked to, uh, over a hundred people who are either major gift officers, where the day to day is just about talking to rich people and China secure donations all the way to major donors who have carved out half a million dollars or more to give annual. Give to organizations. So across the board I've talked to like a lot of folks, and what's really interesting is that it's less about the message itself. [00:05:31] Yes, having a compelling story and follow up and the exercise and activity of reaching out to prospective major donors is important, but what's actually more important? Is understanding what the process looks like. Having a complete process of taking a mass donor, which is someone who gives what, 50 bucks, a hundred dollars at your Facebook fundraising or your, your gala, that kind of thing, and having them have a strong cycle and process and methodology of identifying who are the folks that I should be reaching out to as my short list of major gift prospects so I can grow them conversations. [00:06:09] On one end you have a lot of folks who do events and mass fundraising and crowdfunding and peer to peer. On the other end, you have just a short portfolio of a hundred, 150 people, uh, where. Uh, those are just like your prime targets and essentially you're just kind of reaching out to them and trying to secure meetings and tell 'em their story. [00:06:30] It becomes a very one-on-one sales process, like for better work. And there's a huge gap in a middle where I've also identified that for mid-level donors, nobody knows what to deal with em. So that part gets severely ignored. And when you look at parallel, which is kind of the distribution of, of uh, I, a handful of donations can have astronomical impact on your fundraising. [00:06:53] Uh, the, the top matters a lot, like major donors matter so much where you get a 50,000, a hundred thousand dollars gift that's transformational in terms of a small organization or if you get a number of mid-level gifts, which is around five 10 k each. Getting a handful of those, that's also transformational. [00:07:13] But then when you look at mass level gifts, if you get additional five more donations of a hundred dollars each, that's not transformational anymore. So it's kinda interesting where a lot of folks focus too much time on the mass, not enough time on the major, and no time at all on the mid-level donors. [00:07:30] So they're missing huge opportunities. [00:07:33] Mm-hmm. , and that's the graduating donors, I think is maybe one of the terms I. Used in the past, how do we upgrade our donors from this level to the next level? But also acknowledge that like, guess what, You know, somebody who's given 50 bucks, maybe, maybe not. Is there, you know, wealth engine type stuff. [00:07:51] I know Wealth Engine is a company, I know there's other, uh, data pools out there. Does that bring any extra information to you, or do you prefer just to look. The spread of donation amounts. Say like, All right, here's my bucket of people that donated an a hundred. As you mentioned, like, Oh, this person donated a thousand. [00:08:11] That's interesting. Maybe I have a talk with them. Which way do you like to. [00:08:15] Yeah, if you have the resources and the time, the ability is to do both approaches. That's where some of the organizations they, they really flourish because they have just a lot of different data pools to tap into. Of course, one of them would be like using folks like Donor Search and Wealth Engine and iWave, and to provide a great Kind of just well screening data where you can pipe out data into their services and come back with a rating in terms of the properties that a donor owns and if they have more of a propensity to give, you know, that kind of stuff. [00:08:45] But really, when I talk to a lot of major gift folks, that data is rational at best. So it's not very bad. Mm-hmm. , So the most accurate information actually is previous giving. So if you have giving history of a donor, uh, the two things that typically, uh, are really great indicators of a great and major donor prospect, one would be is their, their loyalty. [00:09:09] Meaning that are they being retained year after year If a donor is donating year after year, Whatever it amount, they already meet a qualification of, they support your organization, they know something about it. They have shown this intent to give, and they're just tied to you. So there there'll be a great prospect. [00:09:27] The additional layer you can layer on top is actually giving amount. So donors that give it over a thousand dollars typically be the threshold. . [00:09:35] All right, I'm back. [00:09:38] I really like. How you were talking about the behavior, It's something that I consistently try to pull our clients toward, our teams toward in terms of finding insights, which are less about what public data we've scraped and more about, show me the behavior. Is this person acting like someone who cares? [00:09:57] Are they showing the capacity to give through their actions? Because truth be told, a lot of this wealth data is essentially address zip code based. They pull it up and look at like, Oh, they live in this zone and live in this reason. They don't even talk about the, the reason they may have given, which is maybe it was a, a one and done check because, you know, someone's nephew wrote them one time and they don't really have a emotional connection to the organization. [00:10:22] So I like starting with your, your own data in your backyard as you. To these fundraising experts. I'm wondering what is the most common way of starting that conversation of like, Hey, you've got a lot of money and seem to care about us. How about more like what is the shape of that? What is the cold, warm intro? [00:10:51] Yeah, so ideally you're starting with a set of folks that have already donated to your organization. So you're looking at your own, uh, donor pool, whether you have 200 donors or 2000 donors or 20,000 donors, which is whatever. Uh, whatever you're looking at, you're starting with these. Warm donor prospects who've given something to your organization so they know something about you. [00:11:13] So it's not a cold type of outreach. It's something that is more about, uh, having a conversation with somebody that, uh, knows what you do. So you start with that kind of formulate a list of folks typically. If you're looking at doing major gifts full-time, you can reasonably work only around 150 folks as part of your portfolio. [00:11:32] So it has this account management focus where you short list list of folks who've, uh, given to your organization, uh, several years in a row that given over let's say a thousand dollars or whatever that threshold is. They can be higher if you're a larger organization, lower if you're a smaller organization and you come up with a list of. [00:11:50] If you do have the ability to bring in some of the wealth data, uh, that we just mentioned, then you can use that to segment even more until you get to a point where you have 150 people that you can work on for a year. So after you have that list, then what you wanna do is, uh, basically qualify. So your goal is to get to a qualification meeting with a donor. [00:12:11] Qualification meeting just means that you have a conversation with a donor, uh, to better understand. Uh, the capacity to give as well as their affinity to give. So those two points, capacity to give would be, uh, this basic understanding of how much wealth they have. Is, is this somebody who has. The ability to give more than a thousand dollars. [00:12:36] Like can they give $10,000? Can they give 50? Can they give a million? Basically having a conversation, asking some questions to better understand what, essentially what is their wealth, and not in those direct terms would be the first part. The second part would be understanding the affinity to give. Why did they give to your cause in the first place? [00:12:55] Is it because they're personally tied to your organization's work? Or was it because a friend asked a friend or something else in some other circumstance? So to better understand, essentially the affinity to give, I also like to add in, add a few additional qualifications to it based on my conversations with actual major donors who are donating hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. [00:13:17] Uh, one. The third one would be intent to give. So someone who has an intent to give, uh, that is typically a lot stronger than someone who does not have the intent to give. Intent is essentially what I, is an indicator of generosity. So someone who says, Hey, uh, I have a donor advice fund. I'm trying to spend it down every. [00:13:40] And, uh, I already give as part of my culture, of my process, as part of my family values, then that person has a stronger intent to give and are, and will be more likely to give. All else being equal . And the second, uh, qualification that I wanna add in is around budget. A lot of major donors that I talk to, they actually have carved out budgets for giving. [00:14:05] So when they look at their plans, look at their cash flow, uh, they look at their donor advice fund or kind of whatever they have, they think about, Okay, I have a budget. I, and I want to donate $300,000. So, and they try to figure out, how do I do that? I give to the folks that I already give to, Yes. But then I still have a chunk of it that I'm trying to figure out who to give to. [00:14:27] So, uh, in another instance, my framework for qualification is called Bait. Bait. Yeah. The budget, the affinity, the intent. And you also need to have the timeliness to give as well, like talking to somebody at the right time. That would be the last point I didn't really touch on, which is around this idea of like, did something happen where they, they come into an liquidity event where someone sold their business or they had a windfall of some sort. [00:14:55] So a lot of major donors I talked to, uh, come to that point where they're like, Hey, I just sold my business. I have a lot of millions to, uh, to give away. Uh, now is the right time for me to get an ask from a non. So, [00:15:10] and being top of mind in that moment is probably pretty valuable. [00:15:14] Yep. Yep. So after you have this qualification framework and kind of the screening then really becomes an exercise of saying, outta these 150 people that have on my list do they check the boxes in terms of, uh, being qualified for B ait? [00:15:29] And if they do, then I will make a. So it's as simple as that. The hard part though, is actually reaching out to each one of the hundred 50 donor prospects and trying to get that conversation so you can qualify them to get to a point where you can make a ask. [00:15:46] Yeah. I imagine people are not itching to have a, a conversation like this, and I imagine it is packaged in a different way, such as talking about, you know, the, how the organization plans to grow. [00:15:58] Maybe it's a capital campaign, maybe it's an upcoming event. It seems like there is more effective if you've got some sort of branded thing that you can talk about as opposed to give because it's Tuesday, [00:16:10] right? Right. It's give, because it's Tuesday is definitely not a good reason for major donors to give. [00:16:15] It, it, a lot of the outreach that happens with major donors happens way beyond the giving season that follows every year. It's really about, uh, thanking a. For making that initial, uh, donation or series of donations and having a conversation with them to better understand why they give to the organization and how the nonprofit can better match, uh, opportunities and present opportunities of giving to the donor. [00:16:46] So, so that's really the key, getting that conversation, doing the qualification and understanding if this major don. Prospect would be a good person to make up bigger asks too. So a lot of it just revolves around just getting to know a donor. [00:17:04] Yeah, and I mentioned, I mean, I just kind of threw out there the like events, the capital campaign, or maybe you're asking them, Hey, it's the end of year, we're looking for someone to put up a matching gift that will help other people. [00:17:18] Are there other programmatic activities or types of packaging? I, I guess, that these conversations revealed as more successful than others? Things that are trending more given the, you know, shift in wealth or shift in, uh, philanthropic interest? Yeah, [00:17:37] I think was it really interesting, especially when I talk to major donors they, they, they. [00:17:42] they profile the same as any other person that you talk to where they're really interested in causes, they wanna connect their dollars with making an impact. They want to hear a compelling story. So it's, it's less specific about the time of the year and more about, uh, what kind of programs are available. [00:18:01] There is an information gap when it comes to major donors and major gift officers, where major donors have the capacity. And they need to know what giving opportunities are out there because nonprofits never do a good, a great job of presenting all the opportunities that someone can give because they're just limited to their, their tools that they have, like their website or social media. [00:18:25] And then major gift officers need to figure out what makes it a donor click and then presenting those opportunities. So I do think that there. Campaigns that organizations do, if you're doing a capital campaign, like building a building, that kind of thing, uh, that, that is a great opportunity. But by and large, when it comes to major donors, uh, they're supporting the programs, uh, the annual funds or just kind of whatever gap fundraising an organization needs to do. [00:18:51] Yeah, the opportunity. To match that donor along their interests could be, you know, around a program, something they are particularly passionate about inside the organization and like, Hey, here's an opportunity for a, a multi-year support of this program happening in this region that I know you're interested in. [00:19:11] Mm-hmm. , but it's about, it's about matching that. But it does sound like a lot of work, right? This like tracking, tracking down 150 people, having those convers. But it does seem like you, I mean, you only need a hit rate of what? 5% if they're the right gifts. [00:19:27] You only need a small hit rate. So that's why a lot of organizations that invest so much staff time and effort into major gifts, where if you just secure a handful of them, then it's transformational as well as when, when I look at, uh, fundraising folks, development folks at an organization, they're better equipped to have conversations and tell stories on a one-on-one basis than on a one to many basis. [00:19:51] Uh, I think for a long time, uh, we're. We as kind of just an industry we're trying to transform, uh, kind of fundraising people who are really good at one-on-one communications and turn them into digital marketers where you're saying, Hey, like, learn how to do direct mail or learn how to do social media, or learn how to put on large virtual events. [00:20:12] So kind of forcing people out of like their skill sets. Or what they know the best and trying to push 'em into kind of this mass fundraising. And I, I believe that if you're able to do mass fundraising well, or just do it okay, as long as you have a, a, a steady inflow of new donors. You just kind of need to set some parameters and throw them at fundraising people so they can have these one-on-one conversations, get the major gifts, and use the parallel effect to transform the fundraising results of the organization. [00:20:46] I have this, [00:20:47] this assumption that if you gave me the fundraising data of, you know, a donor pool, I could calculate a projected potential. Upside for a large gift. Am I like, you know, am I on some sort of, you know, data island with this? Is this like an assumption too far because you know, if you've seen one, you've seen one? [00:21:08] Or is it pretty immutable? Once you see like major gifts implemented over a period of time that you would get a distribution saying like, All right, if you have got, you know, 30% of your audience donating a hundred dollars, here's your upside. Here's what's potentially sleeping in [00:21:24] in your backyard. Oh, for sure. [00:21:26] I, I think you can completely forecast it given enough data set. Now, of course, if you're a small organization, let's say you only have a hundred donors, then your distribution in your data forecasting is gonna be grossly inaccurate. But once you get to, uh, several thousand, tens of thousands of donors, then you can easily make assumptions to start forecasting. [00:21:46] And then that's where things get interesting, where then you can know, Oh, we need to talk to X amount of people every year because then we'll close a dozen major donors. And this is implication of that forecast. [00:21:59] I think that's helpful, especially if there's somebody listening that has a. A standard, we'll say, sort of let people donate as they're going to donate. [00:22:10] We'll go after grants and things like that. But individual donors are just, you know, fine at this, whatever level they wanna access at. We have an annual event. But I think looking at it as saying like, you're leaving money on the table if you aren't seeing this type of. Power law in giving, cuz it certainly exists in wealth. [00:22:25] Is that a fair phrasing? [00:22:27] Yeah, a hundred percent fair. I, I think for a long time, uh, and this is one of my frustrations, uh, at cos box is that, uh, we're empowering folks to do kind of these mass giving opportunities, but then there's not an easy way for folks to say, Okay, now what I. These couple hundred donors that I got from my peer, peer or craft funding campaign, let me have an easy way to move them on, upgrade them into a major donor. [00:22:53] Uh, so that's something that we're building towards, to helping organizations have, have the right tooling so that they can reach out to folks, have those conversations, qualify them, track the stages, and eventually close on these major gifts. [00:23:08] Does it make sense to be really trying to have those. Obviously qualifying conversations earlier in the year, and then as you move to the end of the year when you know, uh, you know, tax advantages, especially for the rich, they're thinking about donations and making those final donations. [00:23:23] Is it more extreme in that, like you gotta have those closing conversations in q4 or are large net worth individuals just dealing with DAFs and it really doesn't matter when, when that gift is. [00:23:36] Yeah, it, it is more of a letter. It, it is not as, uh, important when it comes to time of the year. Uh, but you before, for most major gift plans, their work plans is based on an annual cycle though, where at the beginning of the year, uh, they come up with a portfolio of folks to work and then they figure out what is my work plan for each specific person? [00:23:57] When am I gonna reach out to them and when I'm gonna make an ask, But ask, coming on a rolling basis. Uh, some donors are qualify a lot faster so they can make a proposal center proposal, make an ask for a major gift while folks, uh, sometimes just kind of drag it out depending on time of the year. There is more urgency at the end of the year, typically speaking. [00:24:17] But, uh, for major donors, they really break this process. They're not molded into, uh, this seasonal annual in of year giving. [00:24:27] I think it's just super helpful and it's something that continually is on my mind because we work at various levels for digital fundraising, but also just for awareness building. [00:24:37] But inevitably it is looking at a marketing funnel where you're turning attention into interest as measured by emails, converting those folks into people that care enough to open their wallets, and then sometimes it can sort of be left. At that point of the funnel as opposed to saying, and the next phase is this. [00:24:59] You gotta have conversations. Your CEO needs to be set up with people that have been qualified to say, Hey, here's our larger vision and here's why I need a quarter million dollars to get there. . [00:25:09] That's right. I, I think it's, the challenge right now is to make sure organizations are set up to have opportunities for major donors to donate. [00:25:17] Uh, or kind of presenting in that format is one of the big challenges. I think the second big issue is that, uh, organizations don't have the right tooling. You know, I, I've been on this research quest and essentially folks have been telling me that when it comes to major gift fundraising, they just take data outta their data. [00:25:36] Their CRMs and they just manage it in their head or in their spreadsheet when it comes to major gifts. So, the, the work of someone who's touching major donors, it really isn't served by by tools. So I think that's another gap too, where infrastructure, having the right tooling, having the right process built into the tools just aren't there for folks, and that's one of the reasons why folks don't do it. [00:26:00] Well, it sounds like a, a great opportunity and a natural evolution. Maybe you can tell us a bit more about how people find you and maybe some of these new tools that they can check out at cause box dot. [00:26:11] Yeah, so at Cosmos we're launching a new product. The, the product name's called Morningside. For now, probably need a better name, but the idea is that we want to build, uh, a product geared towards major donors. [00:26:24] So we call it a major donor workflow Product essentially has three different tiers, uh, three different pillars. The first pillar being that, uh, you have a suite outreach tools, so you can send. Like one on one emails to donor prospects. You can text them, you can make calls, you can do all your outreach in one tool instead of depending on your phones or depending on your email system, uh, so that you can track everything in one place. [00:26:48] Uh, the second piece of it would be this idea around donor tracking, where you can track. What stage a donor is in from prospect all the way to committed and fulfill. So you can easily see outta my portfolio. Major donors here are folks I've had meetings with. Here are people who are qualified. Here are people who've committed but haven't paid, and here to people who paid. [00:27:07] So you can easily see that as well as you can apply different work plans to each donor where you can chart up. Uh, for this donor prospect. I'm gonna touch 'em four times a year, hear the dates that I'll touch them. It's basically like a. Giant reminder list or to-do list that lets you easily just see what needs to happen on one day. [00:27:26] Uh, and then the D pillar will be attaching payments. So just the easy ability for, for donors to, to, to make a payment. But, uh, And have a customized, uh, donation page, equipment page for that. As well as if you're doing an offline, then they can send in checks or, uh, forward that information to their donor advised fund, uh, for our stock transfer, things like that. [00:27:48] Uh, essentially the idea is that we wanna be end to end when it comes to major donors. So gonna help folks not only automate but accelerate their major gift fundraising. [00:27:57] Awesome. Really appreciate you walking through it and excited that you're gonna be helping more organizations get a, get a bit more in their, uh, in their bank accounts. [00:28:07] So thanks, [00:28:07] Rob. Yeah, my pleasure. Thanks George.  
11/17/202229 minutes, 14 seconds
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Crypto DAFs are 3X MORE Generous that Traditional DAFs |

Alexis Miller, Donor Engagement and Strategic Partnerships Lead at shares how crypto DAFs work and why nonprofits should start paying attention. When compared with traditional DAF payouts, Endaoment is showing 3x payout rate of funds- 22% to 58%.  We also discuss other ways crypto donors differ from traditional fiat donors.   About Alexis Miller Alexis Miller is the Donor Engagement and Strategic Partnerships Lead at Endaoment, the first 501(c)3 community foundation built on the Ethereum blockchain. Alexis works to facilitate collaboration between nonprofit organizations and crypto donors. Before joining Endaoment, Alexis worked as a philanthropic advisor and a development professional. She earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and now lives in Washington DC. Resource Links Endaoment Community Hub *includes a crypto 101 glossary - Endaoment website - Twitter -       Rough Transcription   [00:00:00] Well, we found a reoccurring guest, well I'll say organization joining us today from endowment, and they are helping turn crypto holdings into crypto givings, which is a topic that I love. I just love it. I'm long crypto philanthropy. Alexis Miller donor Engage. Strategic partnerships Lead at Endowment is joining us today. [00:00:32] Kind of as a follow up to our conversation a year ago. We'll put that in the show notes. And Alexis, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Master's degree in Social work, Went on to donor services officer and Baltimore Community Foundation. So definitely kind of one of us, as well as working at, uh, Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. [00:00:56] So now you have landed at endowment, and maybe for our newer listeners, can you explain what endowment spelled? Endowment? Mm-hmm. . I'm not pronouncing it right. I feel like you really have to put M faces on the Dow. Can you explain what. Yes. Thank you for having me, George. And for that introduction. So endowment, spelled E n d a o m e n T. [00:01:22] I always try to, sometimes people Google us and can't find us because we're spelled d a o, not d o w, like the traditional way. We are a 5 0 1 C three. Non-profit community foundation that essentially exists for the crypto community. So we are built on the Ethereum blockchain, so our actual non-profit entity structure is built using. [00:01:46] Blockchain technology, and we essentially serve as that community foundation resource. So we were created really to solve two problems. The first is to allow a tax compliant and easy way for donors to be able to give Crypto or NFTs. And on the flip side, allowing non-profits to be able to receive donations that originated in crypto. [00:02:10] No cost to the nonprofit. So that is a little bit of what we do. I will get into the details, but our kind of bread and butter is our crypto donor advised fund. So similar to other community foundations that offer a donor advised fund, charitable checking account. Essentially we do the same just using crypto. [00:02:30] Maybe we can make sure that this makes sense, because I feel like there was a lot of words with lots of words, a lot of acronyms, because that's what technical people seem to enjoy doing by making a ton of acronyms. Maybe we start with the, as you were explaining, Dow and what that actually means. The d a o as I understand it. [00:02:52] What, what, what does that actually mean as it's part of your name? It is part of our name, so, DOW stands for a decentralized autonomous organization and basically what that means. An organization or an entity where the decisions are being made by the community as opposed to like a top down approach. So having your CEO or your executive director make all of the decisions, you're actually putting voices into the hands of your community or stakeholders to have a say in how the organization is run. [00:03:28] So that. A term that's used widely in the crypto space is a dow, but the concept is something that other folks are using just maybe in a little bit of a different way. So in short, we're talking about a daf, but. For crypto. Is that a fair quick summary? Yes, yes. Another acronym. You know, like it's, it's funny, my, my a donor advised fund. [00:03:53] You're right. Yes. We're gonna have a lot of gloss. It's all good. It, it's funny cuz you know, my background's in non-profit and I feel like non-profits use a ton of acronyms and like insider language. And now I'm in this fine, I'm kind of balancing the non-profit world with the crypto world. And they also use a ton of acronyms, very different acronyms, but you know, gotta get used to both of the lingos for sure. [00:04:16] So let's just make this tangible. Somebody has a crypto windfall. They're then interested in deploying that capital for social impact, making the world less terrible. They come to What happens? Good question. So, you know, as I mentioned before, we're built on the Ethereum blockchain, which I'm, I'm gonna get technical for a, a second and then I will make this more easily digestible. [00:04:50] But basically the blockchain is just the technology that underpins. This whole crazy world of cryptocurrency. So think of it as like, a public ledger where basically all of the transactions and data is taking place. So what that means in practice is our nonprofit is actually set up so that you can see all of the transactions taking place. [00:05:14] So, All money flowing into endowment and all money flowing out of endowment is technically publicly available without any personal information. But all of that information lies using what's called blockchain technology. So that's kind of like the basis, So we're built on. Blockchain technology, and when someone comes to, you know, or, they would connect their wallet that holds their cryptocurrency and they could take an action on our platform so they could open up a donor advised fund by clicking a button, they could make a direct donation to a nonprofit of their choice. [00:05:53] Basically skipping the fund process and just giving a one off donation to any nonprofit in the us and. We handle all of the tax receipting so that individual donor is giving us their name, their email, their address so that they can get a tax deduction if they choose. And you know, within 24 to 48 hours, we are turning around that donation and getting it into the nonprofits bank account as US dollars in cash and turning it from the cryptocurrency that it originated in into us. [00:06:29] Gotcha. And to date you have deployed, it looks like over 50 million according to the website, to a total of 924 organizations. I'm curious, uh, how has growth been? Because right now, I don't know if you've noticed things like Ethereum and others are down 60, 70% just this year. Has that slowed growth? What is it looking like for endowment right now? [00:07:02] Yeah, so we are right at the $50 million mark and. In terms of growth, you know the market is down for sure, but our average donor is someone who has been in the crypto space since, you know, 20 16, 20 17, 20 18. And most of our donors, while they still might be, you know, down some money or down large amounts of money, They're pretty much up for when they originally invested in the crypto ecosystem. [00:07:34] So for us, we're still seeing a lot of activity. It's definitely slowed a bit. But we're still seeing that. So to kind of like take a step back, I'll give you some, some statistics based on this year versus last year in terms of how we're doing in terms of getting money out into the hands of nonprofits. [00:07:52] So our, and, and again, as I mentioned like blockchain, everything's transparent. We also are, so on our website you can actually see, uh, a lot of these statistics that I'm going to share. And, you know, we really try to keep our community informed. The ecosystem and the impact that people are having through using endowment. [00:08:14] So we have granted, to date 58% of funds that are sitting in donor advised funds. So 58% of the capital that has gone into endowment has been distributed out to various nonprofits across the country. Just to give you a comparison, the average I believe this is through Fidelity, is 22% a national average for donor advised. [00:08:39] Deploying capital. So as you can see, you know, And that's annually, I guess for the, the DAF distribution and Yeah. Yeah. Annually for the DAF distribution. So you can see that our community is really, really focused on getting money out into the community to support their favorite nonprofit or to support an area of interest. [00:08:58] And they just need a little assistance identifying who to actually support. So 58%. Capital that has been basically ingested by endowment has been distributed out to various non-profits. And that's lifetime. That's a lifetime distribution number. Lifetime distribution. Yep. And, and we started at the end of 2020. [00:09:15] So year to date, we've had $21.15 million donated to endowment. So 21.15 out of the 50 million has been donated. This year, you know, in 2022, and we've granted this year 17.9 million which is both of those numbers are up from last year. So if you think of, you know, 2021, the crypto market was a lot higher. [00:09:39] Yet we've actually done more volume in terms of both donations and grants in 2022. Then, sorry, one more time. Was 17 distributed over 20? 17 distributed this year in 2022, and you have collected 21 million and we've collected 21 million. I mean, you're tracking at 80% at that point, so that, you know, I think it's even more impressive if I'm just speaking, honestly, looking at the annual cause I feel like there's many sins hidden in average numbers. [00:10:06] Yeah. This is not a sin. This is actually. Contrary to what I would've believed in a down market where I imagine a donor coming in who has transferred over their, you know, do coin. Millions may have chosen not to liquidate, but to hold and maybe hold until it goes back up. This doesn't seem to be the case, and I am right in that assumption that when a donor comes. [00:10:31] Connects, their wallet moves over an asset that that asset isn't immediately liquidated like it is with say, the giving block when a donation is triggered on site directly to a non-profit. So we do actually liquidate it to US dollar coin. Okay. So yeah, so we are taking in whatever cryptocurrency is donated to us. [00:10:53] We always say that anything that there's a liquid market for, we will take. So we don't have, you know, a hundred cryptocurrencies listed on our website. Okay. We really will take anything and work with any donor who has any crypto. We immediately convert it into US dollar coin. And then it's SDC, I believe. [00:11:09] Yes. Yeah. Yep. So U sdc and then it's granted out as US dollars to the nonprofits bank account. Mm-hmm. one, one thing we launched last month in our version two of our platform is actual portfolio allocations, which has been super exciting and was the top feedback we received from our donor community last year. [00:11:30] So, It's always exciting when you can take feedback and actually build something or do something about it and not just say, Thank you so much for your feedback. We'll take it into consideration. So endowment just launched our version two of our platform and one of those features includes portfolio allocations where people can actually take that us d c, that US dollar coin that's in their donor advised fund and actually invest it in. [00:11:55] Right now we have three different. Crypto native portfolio allocations that they can invest it in. So when they're not granting out, they, instead of kind of having their funds set idly, they can actually deploy their capital and hopefully earn a little bit of interest making their fund grow, which means more money to charity. [00:12:16] I don't fully understand that. Can you explain more? How, how is my fund growing? So you're putting together portfolios I understand of nonprofits. Let's say I wanna go help the environment because maybe the coin of my choice is proof of work and it's torching a bunch of electricity and I wanna like make amends on that. [00:12:38] Is that what we're talking about? There is a essentially an index fund for. That you had packaged for the environment, for social justice, for women's rights, Actually, The kind of the opposite. So it's actually like taking, it's taking your cryptocurrency and actually investing it in like an, the version of like an etf, right? [00:13:01] So most donor advised funds, you're actually investing those assets in like a money market or in some sort of actual like financial investment vehicle. So, Community foundation's, Fidelity Schwab allow their donors mm-hmm. to take, you know, if you have a hundred thousand dollars in your donor advised fund, you can actually invest that in a money market or in an ETF that the board obviously approves, and you can earn a little bit of yield on that. [00:13:29] So. Mm-hmm. , you know, when I was in the community foundation space, we would have donors in a, in a good year who were making. Eight to 10% on their money, so that capital is being invested and then you're able to actually give more money out to charity. So we're doing the same thing, but with crypto. [00:13:48] Portfolios essentially. So instead of investing in, you know, a Fidelity ETF or something, you're investing in Ethereum or you're investing in Ave or Compound, which are the three portfolios that our board has approved right now. So you're taking your idle capital in your donor advised fund that you're not granting out imminently and you're actually investing it to hopefully yield a little bit of a return so that you have more money to grant out to charity in the long term. [00:14:19] That's, you know, that's interesting. I won't touch on it too much though. I, I feel like one of the reasons that this year you're tracking at what sounds like four x the rate of distribution, then standard DAFs. So by the way, I'm coming up with a title of this podcast right now. I feel like a good one. [00:14:36] Crypto philanthropists, four x, more generous than greedy. Little fiat DAFs, right, Who are tracking at 20%. In general, your overall numbers are three x, right? If we're talking 20% into 60% distribution, I'm all about the distribution. I'm all about putting the money to work. Nothing frustrates me more than money sitting on the sidelines while non-profits are out there doing the work right now. [00:15:05] And so I get, I'll just be honest, hesitant about, Hey, here's a way for you to like stash it and make 0.78% on compound. By the way, no subtle risk to what may actually happen to that capital. Looking at what happened to DAFs this year alone, with the market dropping 20% that were in safe, I'm using air quotes, safe investments just means less freaking money for non-profits headed into a recession. [00:15:35] You can tell I'm frustrated by that , so I think this is interesting. , but it doesn't, it it's not, It's not exciting in the sense that like getting dollars out the door, which is, which is really great. I wanna come back to, unless you have a finer point and you wanna push back on that, I'm fine to. Listen, I, I, you know, I, I agree with you for sure. [00:15:57] Like money needs to go out into the hands of non-profits. You know, I will say that we are working at a way faster pace than traditional DAFs in terms of getting that money out. We have a four x this year, four x this year. Yes. We have, you know, a two year inactive fund policy is an example. Most community foundations have five years where you don't have to do anything with your. [00:16:17] For five years. Hmm. Ours is two. And I will say just anecdotally, based on our community, people are super generous and wanna get money out into the community. So even if we're letting them invest a small portion of their donor advised fund, they are not necessarily investing their entire donor advised fund. [00:16:37] They are still getting money out into the hands of nonprofits. Yeah. And we've seen this time and time again with Ukraine, with reproductive rights. All of the horrible things that are going on in this world, You know, we have been able to raise money imminently, and the fact that we send grants via a bank wire and not a check, like most traditional DAF providers, we are able to actually deploy capital in one to two days to these non-profits that really need it. [00:17:06] So, you know, everything we do at end. Very, very mission driven and mission-aligned, and we are taking some of the traditional narratives of donor advised funds and, and of philanthropy and really flipping it on its head. My last point about this, and then we can totally move on, is our fee structure, because that is something compared to the traditional donor advised fund that really, really sets us apart. [00:17:30] You know, we take a transaction fee, it's one and a half percent. It's super upfront and transparent on our website, and it's actually weighted at the throughput. So we take 0.5% when someone is making that initial investment into their donor advised fund, and we take 1% when it's going out to the receiving nonprofit. [00:17:53] So we're actually financially incentivizing ourselves by taking a larger fee to get money out of the DAF and into the hands of nonprofits. Most traditional donor advisement providers are taking a fee based on assets under management. So if someone has $500,000 in their DA and they grant out $200,000, they're left with $300,000 and that. [00:18:16] Donor advised fund provider is getting less money. So there's no financial incentive for these larger daph providers to actually get money out into the hands of nonprofits that need it imminently. So, you know, we're trying to really change the narrative and one of the reasons, and one of the ways we're doing that is with our fee structure in terms of waiting more on the output and on the throughput. [00:18:40] Sorry. Not taking a fee based on how much money is actually in the donor advised fund. The adage, show me the incentive. I'll show you. The behavior is ringing in my ears. I wonder, coming back to the fact that you're built on Ethereum, which is a publicly auditable database living on the blockchain, that it's publicly available that I can check. [00:19:04] You said words, they sounded. . Here's the thing. I can check that. I can check the holdings, I can look on the chain, I can see where the assets are and I can see where they aren't. I think that's a sort of like amazing trust but verify. Mm-hmm. that traditional DAFs just don't have for sure. And I think that maybe part of this ethos, it's, it's easier to stay honest when you're kept honest. [00:19:31] For sure. We, we, That's something great about crypto Phil. Yeah, it's not just our board. You know, since we are structured as a nonprofit, you know, we do have a board of directors and it's not just our board us, us being accountable to our board and to our staff, right? But we're actually being accountable to our entire community and ecosystem. [00:19:49] And even beyond that, because somebody who is not a donor to endowment, has no relation to endowment, can actually see that public trail on the blockchain. So anyone. Check our work can see the activity that's happening. And that for me personally, just coming out of the non-profit, traditional non-profit landscape is something that was really, really exciting about what endowment is doing. [00:20:14] Because there is that public trail, you are able to check activity and it's just adding layers of transparency that people are really looking for. Both donors, non-profits, and just people in general. This world needs to be more transparent and upfront and, you know, inviting people into the conversation. [00:20:33] And, you know, we definitely are doing that at endowment and, and we're kind of practicing what we're preaching as well. [00:20:42] Okay. I was doing some back of the envelope math, so already asterisk. Be careful with that. 924 organizations have been the generous recipients of that amount of, you know, percent of 50 million that has been distributed. 924 is not a lot. That's actually a, a rather small distribution on average looks like $54,000, uh, headed toward, on average. [00:21:06] These organizations, again, average is a dangerous number, probably throws against a power law for the distribution of this capital. So a sort of consolidation of cause. What is top of mind? What is noisiest? What is emotionally resonant of the moment? And as I explore some of the, the top organizations getting funds and community funds, it does seem like there is a pretty high consolidation around those topics of reproductive rights, of gun violence, of, as you mentioned, Ukraine. [00:21:41] Can you tell me a bit about. How a nonprofit listening right now that is not the, in the limelight in the moment right now on that cause, how might they engage with this platform or at large crypto donors that seem to be following the shiny social issue of the moment? Sure. So I think it's important to note that, you know, we have nonprofits that are signed up with endowment that haven't. [00:22:12] funds. Right? And that's okay because you are adding awareness to your donor community that you offer this type of giving vehicle. So you know, once a non-profit is onboarded with endowment, again, we're completely free for non-profits. So there's no contract. You know, nonprofits aren't paying. To potentially get a crypto donation. [00:22:34] We're completely free. We're really offering this public goods infrastructure where we want every nonprofit to be able to benefit from, we call them crypto originated donations. Since we transfer it into US dollars, we want every nonprofit to be able to participate in this ecosystem and benefit from this new asset class and donor group without ever having to pay. [00:22:55] Because if. Wait, it then all of the large nonprofits who have the budget will be able to benefit and the small grassroots nonprofits get left out. So when, you know, our CEO built endowment, that was really important to him to keep it free for all nonprofits. So that's like my first note is like, get set up with endowment. [00:23:15] Like gonna give us a little shout out here. We're completely free. You don't have to pay and get set up and like start communicating to your donor base that you're now set up to receive crypto donations. So, You know, I always tell nonprofits like start spreading the word within your own donor community, right? [00:23:32] If you are a nonprofit and you have a newsletter, if you use Twitter, if you use Facebook, if you use Instagram, spread the word because you don't know who's a crypto holder, and just because somebody hasn't come knocking on your door and saying, Hey, we have Bitcoin, do you accept? It? Doesn't mean that they're not holding crypto. [00:23:49] The other aspect is on the donor education side, because. Right now, again, I'm not a cpa. This is not tax advice, like I'm not a financial professional. But crypto is tax the same way as stock is where if you have appreciated crypto assets or appreciated stock assets and you donate them to a 5 0 1 C three, you can mitigate your capital gains taxes while also taking a tax deduction. [00:24:14] So there's actually a benefit financially why someone would donate crypto. There is an education gap because there are so many people out there who are holding crypto who would never think of it as an asset that you can donate. And I just think about non-profits and the education that they've had to do about stock donations. [00:24:35] I mean, it has taken years and years to educate the masses that you can donate stock, and it's a change in behavior for people, you know, instead of donors putting. Their $5,000 donation on a credit card are sending you a check. If they have appreciated stock assets, they can actually donate it and it's beneficial for them and for the nonprofit. [00:24:56] So once a nonprofit starts educating A that they are set up with a platform like endowment to receive the crypto donations, and B, start educating their donor community on the actual benefits of giving crypto, you'll probably see people coming out of the woodworks. So, That's kind of my plug for how nonprofits can kind of benefit from this and start spreading the word. [00:25:21] And then you see nonprofits who are like totally embracing this crazy crypto community. You know, like there are nonprofits who, a lot of them are larger nonprofits, but they have a, you know, gaming in community manager, or they have like a dedicated staff person, whether on their development team or their marketing team who. [00:25:42] On Twitter trying to find NFT projects to collaborate or learning more about the space. And I would just say like, you know, if you work at a non-profit and you're crypto curious, like do some research, like find out what's out there because there's a lot of people in the crypto space and in the nft, the non fungible token, like the little digital JPEGs as people call them. [00:26:06] There are a lot of people who are looking to give back and to do good and just start like seeing what's out there. Because I'm not saying you should hire someone on your non-profit team to spearhead this, but if you're curious at all about the space, start doing research and talk to your team about it. [00:26:22] Because there's people who wanna do good in this world and support non-profits. And you know, we, we now have created a platform where you're able to do. Yeah, it's, I mean, you're, you're spot on with regard to the opportunity. You know, there's, I'll, I'll pause on it cause I'm gonna put a pin in. There's no downside. [00:26:44] I'm gonna put a pin in that for a second. Just to add to this, the idea that, because no one has come to you saying like, Hey, I'm a crypto donor, itching to give you money. Doesn't mean they're not out there. A recent study from Investipedia showed that 38% of millennials hold cryptocurrency, 38%. So there is a high probability that existing donors to your organization, uh, meaningful percent of them are, are already holding cryptocurrency. [00:27:18] What's more, if we're talking about millennials, we're entering into in this. Five to 10 years, the largest wealth shift in human history of boomers, shifting wealth, transferring wealth to millennials. I'll let that sink in for a hot second, as you may write off. Now, that said, Alexis, it has been an adage that has kept me alive for quite some time of not being the first penguin in the. [00:27:48] Are you familiar with that? Penguins actually, when they're trying to suss out whether or not there's a shark in the water before they go fishing, they'll all cuddle up right next to the edge, and whoever's the first penguin in the water, they see and they look over and they're like, Did Jim get eaten? [00:28:03] Did he not get eaten ? And if it's safe, they all start jumping in and getting fish. Now where I'm going with this is that we're still pretty early. There's still a lot of confusion, I would say around. Whether or not accepting crypto hurts the environment supports terrorism. You know, blind, small puppies kills rainbows. [00:28:25] In a more practical sense, earlier this year, Wikipedia chose to stop accepting crypto after having accepted it since very early on. Can you talk me through some of the pain points or potential honest downside? That are talked about with regard to non-profits choosing to move forward or not on accepting crypto. [00:28:54] Sure. Before I get into that, I want, since you just gave that great stat on millennials with crypto, I wanna give another stat and stat. Stat sta an article. Sta sta sta . Yeah. So, and then I will get to your question, but so to add to that We just did an article in, In Giving Compass and in Candid, and I quoted a Fidelity research that said that, you know, One third, 33% of crypto holders have actually donated digital assets to nonprofits, and half, nearly half, 46% of those donors felt it was difficult to find charities, which directly accepted cryptocurrency donations. [00:29:40] So that to me is saying that. People want to donate crypto, they just can't find non-profits to accept it, which is just going back to my point of like, get signed up. Because if it's not on your website and you're not promoting it, then people are gonna go elsewhere. So I just wanted to share that stat. [00:29:59] It's something that I, you know, I have been sharing a lot recently because it just adds to the point about. Why it's so important for nonprofits to get set up to not have to pay for this, because people are looking to donate crypto and they just are gonna turn to the next nonprofit who is set up to receive it. [00:30:17] So that is my stat add-on. To go to your point about, you know, kind of like the hesitations or maybe like the weaknesses in crypto, you know, It's a really interesting space because of a lot of the privacy and security and you know, when I first started with endowment, I was completely new to the crypto space and I had a lot of preconceived notions about like, Everyone in crypto is like a crypto tech bro, and they're sitting behind their computer and they, you know, like are all engineers. [00:30:54] And I had all of these preconceived notions about like who is in crypto. And now that I do this for a living, I have met so many amazing people who are in the space who do not at all look like. What I imagined, and there is a huge women in crypto community that I'm, you know, I've connected with a lot of people who have similar backgrounds to me. [00:31:17] I just found someone the other day who also has their master's in social work, and I'm like, I never thought sitting in my, you know, social justice class that I would be sitting here working at a crypto nonprofit, but here I am. So I think a lot of it is like the preconceived notions and the judgements that people make. [00:31:34] Like there are a. Diverse people who are in the space. You know, crypto's also. International, Right? Really anyone who has access to internet can access crypto. And we've seen a lot of use cases of people who aren't able to access bank accounts, be able to open up a crypto wallet cuz all you need is an internet connection. [00:31:57] So it's actually, there's a lot of use. Cases, especially in other countries of how people have been able to use crypto. Not just to give back like we're doing an endowment, but actually instead of traditional banking because for one reason or another they don't have access to traditional finance and banking means. [00:32:14] So it's been a really interesting use case. On the flip side, there's a lot of securities and risks. Like I wouldn't encourage anyone to just open a crypto wallet if you don't know what you're doing. You need to be able to educate yourself on the landscape. And you see all the same headlines as I do with different protocols who are going belly up and CEOs leaving, and there's a lot of noise in the space for sure. [00:32:39] And part of it is like having a trusted source of where to turn to. And I think for. I'm grateful that when I started with endowment, my team was super helpful in educating me and telling me like, Don't interact with this company or protocol and this is where you should focus your efforts. And you know, like different podcasts to listen to and blogs to read because there is a lot of noise and that is really important because you don't know what. [00:33:09] Fake and what's not, and you don't know what's legitimate and what's not. So that's definitely a hurdle because if you don't have a team like endowment or a friend who's in the space, it is really hard to know what's valid and what's not. You know, speaking to like some of the environmental impacts, you know, like we're built on the Ethereum blockchain and we just moved to proof of stake, which just lowered the environmental impacts by 99 point, like nine, 7% or something. [00:33:36] You know, a lot of other things in our world today take up a lot of energy and. Ethereum just merge, which I don't need to go into the details, but basically like the energy consumption that Ethereum is using has been increasingly lowered which has been huge for the industry. And, you know, we do work with environmental nonprofits that are signed up with us and like see the, that the benefits are kind of outweighing the, the negatives. [00:34:03] Is there anything else specifically you wanted me to touch on in terms of like, The negatives, I guess, of the crypto space or, or the perceived negatives of the space? I suppose if there was a I'm, I guess I'm in the mind of a non-profit that is worried that they start talking about the word crypto and those headlines of fraud, of criminal activity of, you already mentioned the environmental component, which is awesome. [00:34:35] Just. Make sure that that is clear as a bell because you are on Ethereum, literally because you exist when somebody moves their money onto there, connects their wallet and moves their Bitcoin, there it is liquidated and is actually on an energy efficient network. You are actually a net positive for moving cryptocurrencies onto a green network quite literally. [00:34:56] So that is hopefully becoming a moot point. The criminal activity one could be one that, let's just say older donors assume that it's all Silk Road type of nefarious activities. Russian billionaires being able to avoid sanctions, fill in the blank. Cnbc, uninformed post about how crypto's being used, how is that responded to, or can it be responded to because the same arguments can, should be made about cash. [00:35:29] Cash is the number one full stop used for criminal activity worldwide. Yeah, so, you know, I will say with endowment there, you know, there's a, an ofac like bad actor, bad wallet list that exists and. We are crosschecking wallets that interact with endowment. I don't know the, you know, I'm not, I'm not on the engineering team, so I don't know the logistics of how it happens, but you know, because people interact with our platform using their wallet, we are able to crosscheck it on the ofac. [00:36:07] Bad actor wallet list. So that is, you know, for us as an organization, that's kind of how we are checking ourselves to your point. Exactly. There is bad stuff going on in every industry, whether that's with crypto, whether that's with cash. There are bad actors everywhere in this world. And you know, we've seen it a lot in philanthropy, like people are. [00:36:31] Making a lot of money with their company that's maybe not doing so good in the world, and they're parking their money to be charitable and they're getting buildings named after them, and that money is dirty money essentially. So I would say like, this is my personal opinion, that. It's happening everywhere. [00:36:50] And that just because the headlines are talking about crypto now doesn't mean that that doesn't exist in the world today. And you know, if anything, using a platform like us, people are charitably inclined and they're doing good in the world. And you know, our donors also like, Most of our donors are under the age of 45. [00:37:09] Most of our donors have made their wealth in a very short amount of time and feel so grateful to give back to the communities that have helped them or that they live in, or that they've benefited from. You know, time and time again, we talk to donors and they say, I've never been able to give more than $500 to charity, and now I'm giving $50,000 or $500,000. [00:37:29] And just the. Heartwarming sentiments of these people who have made a lot of money in a short amount of time is really, really inspiring. So there are bad actors everywhere. There are also people who are incredibly generous and philanthropic and wanna give back, and in my opinion, the headlines need to focus more on the use cases for crypto and how it's being used for good and how it's helping people who don't have access to bank accounts as opposed to the opposite area. [00:37:59] Gotcha. Yeah. And thanks for, for making that point. I know it's, uh, it, it's one that probably comes up, uh, a bit. I wanna talk about one more feature on the site before we run out of time here, which are your community funds, because I think it lends itself potentially to a strategy. Can you explain what these funds are? [00:38:18] I'm on the site and I'm seeing something like the Art Blocks Fund or the end guidance ending. And gun violence fund advised by hug and some are advised by endowment. I'm interested actually, if you can talk about the ones that are advised by other projects and other groups here. What is this? So community funds are. [00:38:43] Really think of them as area of interest funds. So somebody could come to our site and open up a fund that is supporting gun violence, that is supporting reproductive rights or Ukraine. And these community funds are most often utilized by groups of people, whether that's an NFT project, whether that. We talked about Dows in the beginning of this conversation, whether that's advised by a Dow, whether that's advised by a group of friends, and it's really a great way to be able to raise money for the cause or area of interest that you care about. [00:39:23] So we saw this. With reproductive rights, right? So endowment as an entity set up a protect reproductive rights fund where we vetted seven non-profits, both national and local. We wanted a combination of, you know, like the more well known organizations paired with the small grassroots non-profits. We identified seven non-profits that we were gonna split donations to those organizations. [00:39:51] So anyone. Come to our site, make a donation to our Protect reproductive rights fund, and we would evenly distribute to those seven non-profits. That was a great opportunity for anyone who wanted to support the cause, but didn't know where to turn to or didn't wanna do the research on their own. In addition to that, we had other groups of people and FT. [00:40:11] Artists dows different protocols, some companies that opened up their own funds that they could actually fundraise from. So an example. There's a Dow, an NFT project called Cowgirl Dow and Molly Dixon, who's their founder and artist, she set up a. Fund where a hundred percent of the NFTs were supporting various reproductive rights nonprofits. [00:40:38] So anyone who purchased one of her NFTs, a hundred percent of the proceeds were going to this fund. And then she was using her community to actually vote on what nonprofits to support. So it was giving people a voice, giving them a say in how the funds are being distributed. And then because it was. [00:40:57] Public fund on endowment. Anyone could just donate into that fund. You didn't have to purchase an nft. You could just go to her fund, make a donation, and know that your money was supporting reproductive rights nonprofits. So they're a really great tool in vehicle for kind of that collective giving model. [00:41:16] You know, like in. A lot of nonprofits offer giving circles or have a way where people can kind of pool their funds together and distribute among various nonprofits, and that's essentially what our community funds are doing, is giving a say to various communities across the country that want to give back to a specific area of interest and mobilize their community to get involved in some capacity. [00:41:40] Gotcha. This is the index fund of non-profits that I think I was thinking of earlier, but what great functionality and also transparent, again because it is built on the blockchain. Alexis, thank you so much. Are there any final thoughts, bits of advice, stats, , that that's, that you were hoping to share before we sign? [00:42:05] No, this is, This has been great. I mean, I would just add, you know, End of year and it's giving season. And I would encourage, you know, from the donor side of things, if anyone has it, if anyone's listening and has cryptocurrency, please consider donating to your favorite nonprofit. And from the nonprofit side, get signed up with us before the end of the year. [00:42:27] Or just do some research and like figure out what works for you. Or just survey your community and see if anyone has crypto. Like take an action, do something out of your comfort zone, this giving season. And. , you don't know where it'll lead. And I, I will end with that, but this has been great and you know, I'll give a little plug. [00:42:46] Like for anyone who wants to learn more we have a whole like resource. Center, we have a crypto 1 0 1 dictionary for nonprofits who have heard terms like blockchain and dow and don't know what they mean and wanna learn more. It's on our website. You know, we are really here as an educational resource and if anyone has questions they're curious about the space, like please reach out to us. [00:43:06] Our website is or on [email protected] on Discord. You can email us. All of the links will be shared in the show notes and. Thank you George, this, this has been a great conversation. Well, thanks for your time and we appreciate the work. Thanks.
11/10/202244 minutes, 29 seconds
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Greenpeace: ”Recycling is Futile” (news)

Reality of Recycling Comes To Forefront As Environmental Concerns Peak  Nonprofit Greenpeace has released a new report acknowledging the gross inefficiencies and near futility of recycling, as reported by Grist. The report highlights that even while the use of plastics across the world surges, the amount of plastic that gets recycled has decreased, a symptom of a solution no match for the scale of a problem it hopes to address. Greenpeace states that “U.S. households generated an estimated 51 million tons of plastic waste in 2021, only 2.4 million tons of which was recycled.” Because of the complexities of sorting, the chemical hazards of the process, and the use of low-grade plastics, the U.S.’s recycling infrastructure is abysmally short of where it needs to be to reduce plastic waste. This report comes as the United Nations-sponsored COP27 climate summit commences in Egypt, where U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has warned the world is on a “highway to climate hell,” set against a backdrop of war and economic crises.   Summary With Twitter in chaos, Mastodon is on fire | CNN Business | CNN Ashton Kutcher finishes NYC Marathon, raises $1M for his nonprofit | Election officials facing armed militia presence at some polls | CNBC 200-foot sub to benefit food-rescue nonprofit |   
11/7/202218 minutes, 8 seconds
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Voter Engagement Can’t Be One-and-Done | Voter Empowerment Project

Interview with Dave Chandrasekaran, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Voter Empowerment Project. VEP leverages skilled volunteers to help front-line community-based organizations that work on voter engagement. Dave shares how they engage volunteers to support communities over time rather than just every 2 years.    Learn how trust was built with CBO's over time and how skill-based volunteering is creating amazing impact.    The Voter Empowerment Project (VEP) is a grassroots initiative that launched in November 2019 and mobilizes individuals to support voter turnout in high-need areas. VEP’s network of volunteer professionals provides remote technical assistance to small, high-impact, front-line organizations that mobilize voters in historically disadvantaged communities.   Find VEP on:  Volunteer here     Rough Transcript   [00:00:00] We have a very timely guest on with the midterms coming up. We reached out to the voter empowerment project, voter, voter, and we found none other then the co-founder and executive director Dave Chandresakaran to join us on the podcast. [00:00:46] Dave, how is it? It's going great, George. [00:00:48] Thanks so much for having me on. [00:00:51] Well, I could imagine, I don't know, a million other things that you are racing to do as we approach such a important time in American Politic, but I maybe we could start with your story. How did, how did this begin? I, I know 2019 was the year, but maybe you [00:01:08] can bring us back. [00:01:09] Sure. Our founding was back in 2019, but it really was inspired by some experiences several of us had in 2016. And I, along with many of my colleagues who are here based in the DC area, we like to every election cycle go knock on doors and go phone bank, and we try to recruit as many of our friends and colleagues to come and do the. [00:01:30] And so in 2016, many of us were in Pennsylvania. And on, on one day I was in South Philadelphia knocking on some doors, predominantly African-American neighborhood. And there was an older black gentleman who answered the door in one case and had no interest in voting. And he explained that was because quote, you people come here every four years, you yell at us to go vote and you leave because you don't give a damn. [00:01:52] That's something that when I tell that story, often everyone in the room nods their head. They've all experienced that when they're doing election related work. But I think the problem was as I spoke to some of my colleagues in the campaign sector, they said, You know, that's what happens. You talk to 10 million voters and you upset 2 million of 'em. [00:02:07] It's just collateral damage. And I think as we experience what happened to people, especially communities of color after the 2016 election and for the years afterwards, a lot of people were absolutely suffering, especially people of color. And when we approached 2020, I really didn't wanna perpetuate that situation of having out of towners, parachute into black and brown neighborhoods and just tell them what to do and then leave. [00:02:31] And so we really, were brainstorming in 2019, how can we still activate volunteers from around the country, but do so in a way that's more respectful, that's gonna have, you know, meaningful impact and really values the communities we're talking to. And so we recognize that. Hundreds or thousands of really small, amazing non-profits out there that are doing this work. [00:02:52] And they do it year round and they're based in the community. They reflect the community. They work not just on elections or voter empower, empowerment or civics. They also work on housing and healthcare and education and criminal justice reform. So they just have far more trust in their communities, but a lot of them are under. [00:03:10] And so we thought, why don't we find volunteers from around the country, all of whom are just really smart and have a lot of skills, and let's go to these fall nonprofits and let's say, Hey, if you have access to our network of just really smart people, what could we do for you? And so that morphed into this model where we kind of became a pro bono consulting firm for small organizations that were at the front lines of helping get out. [00:03:32] That's [00:03:32] so interesting cuz you hear this, You know, you people come here every four years and tell us to go vote. It's like there's this giant voter apparatus, this amazing engine that gets revved up with the order of billions of dollars and then disappears, vanishes overnight. and it in one way makes complete sense. [00:03:55] It, it seems like there's just like a lack of feedback loops because I imagine the other side of the narrative, the people that are working for progressive change in these neighborhoods say, Well, well, well, yeah, well, we're going to do the work. Didn't you see that, this or that, or the things that happen, How do you view the, the underlying problem here? [00:04:12] I've labeled it as a feedback loop, but clearly that's over. [00:04:15] Sure. So if you think of the sort of electoral industrial complex, it's a multi-billion dollar industry that pops up every two years, every four. I recognize that for better, for worse, that's how our electoral system works. It's donors going to campaigns to political action committees, and then hundreds of millions of dollars spent mostly on advertising, on networks and digital space. [00:04:37] And the whole goal is either to persuade people to vote for your candidate or to eventually get them to come out to vote. And that's not gonna change any time soon. But for those of us who want to participate in a way that's maybe. We have built our model recognizing that there's amazing groups who do this work, who can help build trust among folks who are disenfranchised, who've really been left behind and can earn their trust. [00:05:00] When we then go and say, Hey, we'd love for you to register to vote. If you aren't, or we know you're registered, we'd love for you to go and exercise your right to vote. And what can we do to help you if there's barriers because of voter suppression laws, because of the difficulty in finding your polling place because you move. [00:05:14] and I wish there was more emphasis on that to the larger, broader industry that's working on elections to realize that investing in these groups and doing so not just every two years or four years, but year round, that really helps a lot of these groups report that's funding comes, you know, the summer before an election. [00:05:30] There's all this beltway influence on them of what they need to do with strings attached to the funding and then it disappear. So they hire people and then have to fire people and then find new ones again. And then, you know, and one thing I'm very thankful of is that a lot of the philanthropic community who cares about civic engagement and democracy have really moved more to this longer term investment in these kinds of organizations, multi-year grants that are big enough that they can hire and train quality staff, that they can use some of that money to invest in the community through outreach and events. [00:06:01] And I think that is having an. But I'll be honest, as you know, the rise in voter suppression in many states around the country is making the task of helping people vote all the more difficult, You know, dozens of laws have been passed in, in many, many states that are specifically targeted at help, making it harder to vote, especially for people of color and other disfranchised communities. [00:06:21] So I do hope that the larger industry that cares about voting rights will really look at how we invest that. and the support, not just episodically, but year round over the long term, and helping these groups really expand their impact over time. [00:06:37] I do wanna get more into how you are working with volunteers, training them, placing them, connecting them. [00:06:44] But I'm also curious because there's a sizeable voter engagement and, you know, midterm circus going on right now. I know you're focused on the overall, like how do we build over time, But I have you in this moment. What is top of mind for you right now? What are you looking for as we roll into what's gonna be a very noisy week [00:07:05] politically? [00:07:06] [00:07:06] Our model has two. One is helping amazing small, high-impact organizations working at the state and local level who are mobilizing communities of color and rural Americans and returning citizens and first time voters and young people, and we want to really help them expand their impact. [00:07:24] The second objective though, is activating more people in civic engagement, and so we really prioritize creating volunteer opportunities that are more accessible and meaningful and engaging. For people who otherwise wouldn't get involved. And in fact, in our first year of operations, over 80% had only participated in less than three campaign cycles. [00:07:46] 40% had never been involved. So we see that as our mission in addition to helping frontline work. And where that really comes in this year though, is what many people are noticing traditionally in midterm election. The enthusiasm among voters and the enthusiasm among volunteers and the enthusiasm among donors is just significantly lower than presidential years. [00:08:07] And I can honestly say that 2020 probably had the most attention compared to, you know, decades of elections. And I think we all understand why it was a very intense election. There was very vitriolic. But that really has had an impact on us when we're trying to find more people to participate as volunteers. [00:08:21] It was much more difficult this year compared to 20. So that was huge lessons in what we need to do in a year on fact function of engaging volunteers, building opportunities that will keep them involved, keep them enthusiastic and make sure that they're available to support these groups in a year round fashion. [00:08:38] Since that's the one, one of the most important things, I think we're seeing that the vitriol and, and devices and politics is not going, not going away anytime soon. And that certainly motivates some people. But there was a lot of people who were volunteers with us and a lot of the groups we. They just really care about helping people get out to vote. [00:08:54] It doesn't matter whether you're liberal or conservative, it doesn't matter, you know, where the voter is in the country. Everyone should be able to exercise their right to vote, especially those who've been disenfranchised. And I think that's been a huge selling point to a lot of the volunteers that we talk to, rather than door knocking or phone banking and talking to strangers on the phone. [00:09:11] And, you know, that's a very difficult circumstance difficult activity, and frankly, not everyone's good at. . But instead of that they can use their existing skills helping really amazing frontline groups and the staff they get to interact with. It's, it's just a much more pleasant experience. And so we certainly hope despite lower enthusiasm in these quote unquote off years, we wanna figure out how we can grow our impact in recruiting volunteers so that we're delivering for the groups that we're helping. [00:09:33] That makes sense. And so, Maybe you could say a bit more about, I think on a macro level, I will also say that we've seen a, a decrease in, in volunteers. There are, you know, big picture things like employment levels after effects of covid involved in this, as well as inflation costs of gas for transport. [00:09:54] That volunteering in general seems to be on a bit of a decline. What is your hope though, when you recruit volunteers at this time of year? There's a sudden surge, albeit much lower than our every four year. This is an off cycle. What is your hope though, in, in raising the, the visibility of the voter empowerment project, in front of volunteers? [00:10:18] I guess at this [00:10:19] moment [00:10:19] we are very much interested next year and focusing on understanding what motivates people to volunteer, what excites them about it, and what can we do. To earn their participation. So for example, we're really broadening our investment in professional development. So we recruit volunteers. The youngest was 14 in 2020. [00:10:40] The oldest was much, much older. They are anywhere from students in high school and college to early career professionals, to executives, to retirees. But especially for the younger volunteers, we know that there's a way we can help them develop. Help them find mentors, help them as they advance in their careers or in their education. [00:10:58] And so we really wanna highlight that. We wanna develop that more formally so that when we approach, you know, the masses we wanna recruit to volunteer, we can say this is something that you benefit from as well. So that it doesn't rely on people's political motivation or the intensity of an election cycle. [00:11:11] It's just an opportunity that they see that's meaningful to them. We also want to convey that volunteering to help other people vote. Perhaps it's just something everyone should. For those of us who have an easier time to vote, maybe that's a way of giving back the way. Volunteering at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving, or helping to mentor young people in your nearby schools. [00:11:31] Those are things that many of us have done over the years. This is something we all should just do and everyone can do it whenever you have time using your existing skills. We really believe that it doesn't matter what skills you have. Maybe you have graphic design, social media skills, data analysis. [00:11:44] We need a lot of. But also just people who are really good at Googling information or really good at just writing and building information putting up to da the documents calling volunteers of a small nonprofit and getting them to come out to volunteer. There's a lot of ways people can help and, and it, so we're gonna spend a lot of time next year figuring out both what to offer and then how to take that message out to the public when we recruit volunteers. [00:12:07] Yeah, it's a couple steps removed, I imagine, on off cycle years and timing. It is. Potentially tough to connect that, that impact, right? A volunteer who hands out and creates, you know, impact in a soup kitchen is very different than someone who builds capacity in a frontline voter empowerment organization on the ground somewhere doing, you know, as you mentioned, data analysis or marketing, pr, communications, research. [00:12:38] You know, you're helping the people who are helping the people who are then going to vote. How, you know, are these times of year, maybe I'm getting into more specifically here, are these times of year easier because voting and the importance of voting is top of mind for recruiting volunteers? Or is it just so noisy that it is other sort of more, we'll say soup kitchen focused direct service on the ground, smile and dial types of volunteering that that overtake these. [00:13:07] The first thing I'll say is we really wanna say there's no such thing as an off year. That voting is a thing we should think about always, regardless of whether it's midterm or presidential election. And in fact, in many places, your state or your local municipal government will have elections in odd numbered years. [00:13:25] And there's many elections that happen. Some happen early in the year even. And so we want. Both voters understand the importance of coming out to vote, but also volunteers understanding the importance to volunteer throughout the year, throughout different cycles. And we recognize though that, that the larger narrative around what's happening, presidential election, you know, Democrats are Republicans, that's probably gonna motivate most people, but we really think that there were a lot of volunteers in 2020 who wanted to get involved, didn't know how, and once they did, they were really eager to come. [00:13:56] Our post activity survey in 2021 showed that 97% were interested in volunteering again, and 86% said that they just had a deeper understanding of issues around voter disenfranchisement. And over 60% said that really helped them understand issues around racial injustice. And so we hope that once folks get in the door and they participate once that, they'll really come back. [00:14:18] And we have seen that. But you're right, there's, there's, nothing's gonna make it easy to build enthusiasm at a time. People have been overwhelmed and traumatized by the pandemic and by other issues and political vitriol and criminal justice reform issues. So we wanna also be empathetic to that. [00:14:33] Our big motto is that those who want to help, here's an opportunity for one way you can. And there's many, many ways you can help, whether it's in voting or other ways. We just wanna create a very attractive one for the people that it'll benefit and who who would like to, to get involved. And so that's really on us to make that volunteer opportunity attractive. [00:14:51] And one of the things the volunteers really said, they appreciated volunteering in a nonpartisan way. They appreciated working with these frontline groups, most of whom are led by staff of color, who were just genuinely amazing people. And some of our volunteers built really great relationships with the staff of those groups on the ground, even if they lived a thousand miles away. [00:15:10] Some of them joined the boards of these organizations. Some of them became direct volunteers for these organizations. Some of them became donors. So I really think that experience is one that makes it worthwhile and we hope to really amplify that message by saying, Here's this great opportunity not just to help the public, but really to help you as well. [00:15:26] I really [00:15:27] am interested in how you're crafting this volunteer experience. Clearly based on the, you know, exit polling, , the surveying that you're doing of volunteers that are, are part of. It is working. How many volunteers have gone through this process? Can you gimme an idea of some of the numbers and then as much as you can, Like what kind of impact can you tell these volunteers are having given the wide range of services that these volunteers are then providing to frontline [00:15:56] organizations? [00:15:58] Since the start of 2019 when we launched, we've had, you know, close to 500 people sign up, interested in volunteering. About a half of them eventually ended up participating, getting onboarded, getting involved in a project. But I'd say about 180 or so have been like really active in doing, in delivering services. [00:16:15] And we certainly hope in the future to double or triple that number once we expand our capacity. We know. For most volunteers, it's really hard to balance their work commitments and other things going on in their lives during a pandemic childcare, a lot of you know a lot, and that's why we allow volunteers to volunteer when you have time. [00:16:36] Do you have a couple hours this week? Great. If that's, if there's a project that needs someone to help edit a newsletter and you have time to do it, great. Do it. And then if you're busy for a month, that's okay. And when you're free again, come back and we'll offer what other projects are. We also want to make sure that the groups we're helping are able to receive our help without adding burden to them. [00:16:54] And that's why one of the most important things we do is we manage the delivery of services. A lot of groups match people, They match volunteers to organizations, and I think that model absolutely works as well. But we wanted to be careful because. We didn't want the organizations to have to have an additional thing or additional person to have to oversee. [00:17:12] So we just get the info from an organization. Let's say they wanna update their website, They want new information on their civic engagement page. They just don't have time to research it. They don't have time to upload it. We'll find a volunteer who can do the research. We'll find a volunteer who can then take that information and write copy to go on the website. [00:17:26] And then we'll find a website expert who can then take it and put it up online, maybe a graphic design volunteer. We'll create some great graphics with it and add it to that webpage. And so, you know, multiple people are working on a. And we can get this done in maybe a week. And if folks want to go out and hire people, if they had the funds that could take, you know, three weeks just to sign the contract and then months of meetings, and then maybe it's update. [00:17:47] So we really value our rapid response process to help these groups who are in need, who just don't have the time or capacity to do it in house. This is such an [00:17:57] important point, and I'm really happy that we're turning towards it because I think there's this myth. All you have to do is point a volunteer at a nonprofit and boom, good things happen. [00:18:08] Ignoring the amount, the amazing amount of project management, organizing, messaging, and generally corralling of volunteers to have an actual workable product created. Maybe you can dig a little bit deeper into how this actually works, because it sounds like you are effectively running an agency. That is leveraging volunteers to have finite [00:18:36] deliverables [00:18:37] that can be relied on by these organizations. [00:18:42] Like, What, This sounds like a PM circus. What is going on? How are you doing [00:18:46] this? So we often describe ourselves as a pro bono consulting forum for small, under-resourced voting rights organizations at the front lines of voter engage. But I think that sounds a little corporate. So we really consider ourselves an organization that gives free technical assistance in a way that is tailored to what an organization drives is their needs. [00:19:08] But you're right, managing all of the different projects is an enormous hercule effort, and it's not insignificant. And that's one of the reasons we're really, you know, aggressively trying to raise more money from foundations, from donors, so that we can hire more staff. It really just comes down to. Good people who are organized, who can help recruit volunteers, who can help identify the great frontline groups that are doing voter engagement, and then who can help assign the volunteers of the work. [00:19:34] But the most important is following up and making sure the services get delivered, especially since volunteers are donating their time. It's not like their staff, It's not like you have that ability to sort of really just directly have that authority to sort of order them to get certain things done. [00:19:47] You're really asking for. , which is why we are very supportive in helping. Any time a volunteer needs help or needs information from the organization, we can help facilitate that if needed. Anytime the organization feels like a volunteer maybe isn't responding we'll step in and figure out what's going on and just wanna make sure that soup to nuts, everything gets done. [00:20:06] And that's our really we pride ourselves in delivering things on time and in a satisfactory fashion. In a way that's equal to or better than what a private sector consulting firm would do because these groups deserve that. They don't deserve second tier service. [00:20:21] We were talking with the podcast r i p, medical debt and how they turn $1 into a hundred dollars of leverage to alleviate medical debt. [00:20:30] I see for voter empowerment dot. That you actually can, can claim that you are getting a three to one, right? You're getting matched on your generous founders, which is awesome. Can you explain maybe, is there a leverage where I donate $1 to essentially your amazing project managers there who are organizing all of these volunteers and these hours, Like what type of leverage do you see happening with dollars put into the organiz? [00:21:02] Yep. I appreciate you bringing up our current fall fundraising campaign. Our, one of our board members has generously agreed to put up $10,000 in matching funds. She's gonna donate $200 for every donor who contributes this fall, and so we're very excited to be able to expand our impact by securing more funds that can both help us, you know, invest in hiring more staff, but also in different projects like our professional development program. [00:21:31] That's gonna help create opportunities for skills training and mentorship for our volunteers as well as for staff at the partners, because a lot of our frontline partners said we really would love more professional development opportunities, but we also wanna see how we can leverage getting more financial and other types of resources to our frontline partners. [00:21:48] And so, for example, in 2020, We recognized that a lot of our organization partners had never had voter file data before to help them target their messaging, target, their outreach, door knocking, et cetera. So we said, How can we help you access voter file data? And so we found some opportunities where they existed that were actually pretty affordable, but they didn't have it in their budget. [00:22:07] So we were able to raise a bit of money from some donors to pay for that voter. But then we realized we have this voter file data. Well now you need to use text banking tools and phone banking tools, et cetera. And some of them didn't have that. And so we said, Okay, why don't for, you know, for the next three months, we'll pay for those services for you so you can get it off the ground. [00:22:24] And then a lot of them had never done paid advertising on social media before, which is another key way to reach certain demographics. And so again, we were able to raise a bit of money to help them fund their digital marketing campaigns that we ran through volunteers, but we needed that tiny bit of money to help it get out the door. [00:22:40] So that's another area where we're willing wanna expand our project to help support these organizations. And donor and foundation support is gonna be critical to. [00:22:48] Yeah, there's a lot of leverage happening here. I, I don't know if it's even possible to say like, Oh, we do this many projects. This is the average size, this is the average output, or however it would come across. [00:22:59] But this is a leverage play very clearly, where you are able to create the, the tool, get access to the data, and then. Offer it to organizations that need it the most, on the front line and also, you know, it seems like provide funding to them on occasion as well. [00:23:16] Yeah, we've executed several hundred projects for the organizations and from a wide range. [00:23:21] It could be revamping or redoing many of their websites and no critique to non-profits. But our websites are not known for being cutting edge . And we were fortunate enough to have several computer science students who then became graduates from Stanford, who were just amazing at this stuff. And we also created, you know, 50 to a hundred pieces of individual social media content, graphics, cap. [00:23:43] That were plug and play for several organizations based on topics they described, or we analyzed voter file data for them to help them create targets of who they should go doorknob to, who they should phone bank based on the demographics and the zip codes that they wanted to focus on. Or we actually helped some groups figure out how to do volunteer recruitment better, so it could be anywhere from as simple as updating their volunteer signup form on their website to collect the information they need to better use their volunteers. [00:24:10] To researching what are some great student groups in your area? Or if you need, say, volunteers who speak Korean or Vietnamese, let's find some networks of people who speak that. And then we would actually engage those organizations to recruit those volunteers to the frontline partners. So the projects were, were really diverse. [00:24:25] And some would take an hour or three hours. Some would take, you know, once a week for, for three months to help execute. And it just, A broad range of ways. We help organizations and the, and create them in a way that volunteers who have different time, different skill sets and different interests can really plug in wherever they want. [00:24:42] Yeah. This [00:24:43] is, this is great. I'm, I feel like I'm being sold to become a volunteer. I'm like, Oh, I know how to do that. I could do that. I could, I know how this would work. Talk me through. I'd go, I would sign up on the form and then I'm contacted. I imagine I'm vetted to some extent. What would my experience be? [00:25:00] And I guess maybe it also depends on the time of year, because right now, let's just be honest, , you're volunteering to like work for the next week. This is not the, you know, maybe the right flow, but big picture, if you care about voter engagement, it seems like a great use of, of energy and skill. So walk me through what that, you know, onboarding, What does it feel [00:25:20] like? [00:25:20] What does it look. Well first off, George, I absolutely would like to recruit you to come volunteer, and I know several groups have been interested in launching podcasts. Your expertise would be very, very well received. Oh, yikes. . So, in terms of the process you know, if you find our website, voter, you know, you can click there to sign up to volunteer, and. [00:25:40] You know, you'll, we'll reach out to you pretty quickly and just say Thank you for volunteering. The signup form includes an opportunity for you to list what are the different skills you might have. It might be creative, like graphic design or social media or writing. It might be technical, like web design or data analysis. [00:25:56] Or computer programming, or it might be sort of logistics, an administration, like helping to recruit volunteers or helping with backend HR operations. and we'll, we'll onboard volunteers just to give an overview of what the experience is like and we really get a sense of, well, what kind of time, you know, do you have now over time, over the year? [00:26:16] And then we can add you to our list of volunteers based on the skill set you said you have. And as we approach organizations throughout the year and they share with us, Hey, right now I really need someone to help me draft some new social media content, we'll reach out to anyone who said they had social media expertise and say, Is anyone available to help this amazing. [00:26:33] Asian Pacific Islander Outreach Group in Arizona or in North Carolina create some new social media content targeting youth from API backgrounds. . And so we see which volunteer might have both the skill set, but also the sort of experience in those communities that can help volunteer. And then we'll, we'll, you know, ma link the organization and the volunteer and we'll oversee the process, provide them with any information and support and check in as they, you know, create the social media content. [00:26:59] We'll make sure it meets the needs of the partner, ultimately leading to creating, you know, a Google Drive full of content that the organization can, can use. And once that volunteer's completed, you know, we like to check in and see how things. and then the volunteers sort of able to come back whenever they, they are interested or if they get busy, they're, you know, we understand that and we, we, you know, give them their space cuz everyone has a lot going on. [00:27:20] But it really is flexible, built around your, your availability, your skills, and your interests. The other thing we do is that we know some people might come in with a little bit of knowledge of something, but not a lot. And maybe they wanna enhance those. So let's say you're, you know, preliminarily good at some website design, or maybe you're someone who likes the, you know, you wanna learn more about fundraising. [00:27:41] Well, maybe we'll pair you with a volunteer who's an expert in that on a project so you can get some sort of apprenticeship exposure. And we hope that you can develop those skills as a volunteer. Not just to be able to help other partners through v e P over time, but also that can add to your skill set as you develop your own career and can apply for jobs that look for those kind of skills. [00:28:01] So like I said, we really want to invest in the people participating in the program as much as we're investing in the organizations we're serving. [00:28:06] Yeah. That, you know, that makes, that makes sense in terms of just like the amount of time, like how much time is like, I'm gonna fill out this form. I'm like going through right now, I'm entering in my skills and the extra pieces that I can. [00:28:18] You know, what is the amount of time before I would be potentially placed on a project? Or is it, it's like I get called in if the project arises that matches [00:28:26] it. The volunteer can get invited whenever we have any project that seems to meet their skill set. So it might be that someone signs up and maybe they're someone who has video editing and video prediction skills. [00:28:37] And at the moment there isn't an organization who needs that. Well, it might be, you know, we're not gonna reach out to that volunteer right away until we have that. But for many of the groups, they have such a broad range of needs for, for so many different skill sets that most volunteers have something that fits some project that's open. [00:28:53] It can be as complex as doing some really sophisticated regression analysis of something, something through data, data tools, or it can be as simple as data. Just need to find out what is the demographic breakdown among 18 a plus year old in Milwaukee. Folks can just quickly research that and pull together and make it into a little, you know, worksheet that they provide to the partner. [00:29:17] So for most volunteers, we really will have an opportunity right away. Now you did mention, you know, how about right now we're less than a week away from the election, and it's true that most things towards the election is already in motion. But one of the things the organization said very clearly is that when they need help is not only September through. [00:29:37] Perhaps even more important, starting next year, January through next summer, the summer of 2024, that's when they have time to work on things, to take on new projects. That's when they really want to test out new tools or new ways of doing outreach. That's when they'd like to learn and take trainings on how to, they can improve their social media skills. [00:29:58] So we really are aggressively inviting people to sign up, to volunteer right now while elections are on their. So they can help us out, you know, in November, in December, and into next year, which I think is gonna make or break voter turnout in 2024, if that's something people care about. [00:30:13] The human [00:30:14] response to emotion and disaster thinking and of the moment is gotta be so frustrating for you. We donate and we're triggered to donate to disasters, hurricanes, when they happen, and then the interest die. As well as the attention and then the commitment to it falls off. So it really does seem like when people are motivated in this window is, is when you would recruit the most volunteers. [00:30:40] Is that accurate [00:30:42] or do I have this wrong? It's a hundred percent accurate that people are certainly more motivated to donate or volunteer. In the moment in a crisis in response to a, a severe event, whether that's, as you mentioned, hurricanes like Katrina or the tsunami in Southeast Asia or it's in the aftermath of earthquakes or, you know, horrible, horrific mass shootings in the US And then certainly elections and 2020 was probably a hallmark sign of how so many people were interested in getting involved. [00:31:11] And some found a way, but many didn't. And so we were one opportunity that many people got. And like I mentioned, a lot of folks said they appreciated our opportunity cause it was unique. It allowed them to use their existing skills and didn't put them outta their comfort zone and let them work with amazing small, frontline person of color led organizations. [00:31:29] But I think that's the reality and I don't blame anyone for being reactive when it comes to their tism in their philanthropy or their volunteer time. I think that's just part of human nature. And that certainly was the case for me when I was younger and, you know, I evolved to become someone who really got. [00:31:44] Year round. Volunteerism is a good thing, not just for the community, but for myself. And it can help me advance and grow as a person and in my career. So I take it upon ourselves to help educate the public that, you know, next year, next January, February, is as far away from an election cycle as you can be. [00:32:01] That's gonna, you know, really be on people's minds, but that might be the best time to come. Volunt. And we want to earn folks interest in that by creating opportunities that are easy, that are meaningful, that are rewarding by investing their professional development. But really, we're gonna sit down with all of the frontline organizations we work with, and we work with over 30, and we hope to grow that we're gonna find out what do you need now in 2023 to help you grow? [00:32:25] I wanna take that directly to the volunteers and say, I just heard from the most amazing frontline groups in Georgia and in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and Arizona, and in Texas and Florida, and this is what they say they need to succeed. And you have those skills to help it. So we're partnering, We're looking to do an impressive outreach with universities. [00:32:44] For example, we've contacted about 300 universities in several of the states that we're working in, over the past couple weeks, thanks to our amazing interns who are working with us this fall. and we're talking to multiple student groups in those universities saying, We'd love for you guys to volunteer. [00:32:58] We'd love for your students to apply to intern with us, and we'd love to invest in those students so that they're getting something out of this. And we think that'll be a huge opportunity to, to both support young people, but also create a pipeline among them to become future leaders. In civic engagement, we wanna reach out to mid-career professionals, so folks who might be lawyers or data analysts or web designers and say, This could be a very easy way for you to compli. [00:33:23] what you're doing in your day job with a little bit of just rewarding altruism out there. And maybe that'll even help you build some connections and build relationships. And then there's a lot of executives and a lot of retirees who have enormous amount of skill, and especially the retirees have a lot of time on their hands. [00:33:37] Mm-hmm. and saying, You know, here's a great way you can help positively impact our country at a time when democracy is. So I'm consciously optimistic that we'll be able to recruit more volunteers despite, you know, this year's lower enthusiasm as we really invest in what we think is gonna matter to the volunteers. [00:33:54] One more important [00:33:56] part of the puzzle, I mean, you're dealing with a two-sided marketplace, which is notoriously the hardest where you're finding volunteers, but also the projects, the types of projects structured in a way that are. Package so that a volunteer can actually plug in play. But more importantly, you mentioned the, the 30 community based organizations as I understand it, that, that you have and you have built trust with because you know that is really where the actual impact occurs. [00:34:26] Maybe you can talk a little bit about how you recruit them, how you work with them to find those types of projects, and even like what is the most common project you see coming [00:34:35] in 2020? Yep. In late 2019 and early 2020, I just researched, you know, civic engagement organizations in the many states we were focusing on. [00:34:47] And I could tell you it was an enormous amount of research. I built a, a very impressive list of 300 plus organizations and I just called email . And then I had emailed them a second time and then a third time, and I got a response rate of maybe about 10%, but even that was 20 plus organiz. But I heard from one of our, you know, the first organization we work with, an amazing group in Michigan called API Vote Michigan. [00:35:05] The director has since joined our board and, and she's lovely. Rebecca, she's just been an amazing partner. She told me, you know, I got this email from you for free help and communications and social media and web design. I just didn't think it was real. It seemed too good. Definitely fake. Definitely [00:35:20] fake. [00:35:20] Here's three. Yeah, sure. Where's the catch? Where's the, you? . [00:35:25] And so you're right. We really had to earn the trust as a new organization that at the time was grassroots. We weren't incorporated at the time. We were just a, I always say we were just a bunch of nerds with the Google spreadsheet and we were eventually able to earn through, you know, having her on board, having a couple others during our pilot phase, having them be able to give us quotes that we used in our email outreach to other groups to show that we were real. [00:35:45] And so over time we built up, you know, we built connections with several groups, but the most important thing that we learned from them was that they. Didn't wanna be told what to do. And I think that's a very common relationship between Washington, DC and community based groups. Out in the field is a very didactic relationship, and that's not what we were, We were very wanted to hear from them what their needs were. [00:36:05] But the other thing they told us is that we would give 'em a list of ways we could help and they said, I didn't even know I could access voter file data, or I didn't even think about creating video ads to post on social media. So we didn't know what we didn't know until v p came and showed us the opportunities and that I really take pride in that we were able to help expand their scope of what they wanted to do to impact other entities out there. [00:36:26] We were fortunate enough to then get incorporated. Last year we joined a fiscal sponsor that handles all our back ends and now, Formal non-profit c3. We have our web domain, we have our formal emails, so that really helps in our outreach now. And I can assure you I haven't had as much difficulty getting organizations reaching out to me lately. [00:36:42] Many, many want help. And so we're actually in the opposite circumstance where we have so many projects that need to be done and not as many volunteers. Oh, interesting. Come all on. But again, I think that's the heat of the election cycle. Could we really ramped up in the summer and. And I hope next year as we are past the election cycle, we have a bit more time to both grow our volunteer network to invest in them, but also work with the organizations. [00:37:03] You know, they don't need a three day turnaround on something after the election the way they do now. So after the election, we can take a writing project on, and it's okay if it lasts three weeks, or we can do a web design and it's okay if it lasts a month, and that'll just help increase the number of volunteers who can participate since it'll fit their schedule. [00:37:19] That makes a lot of sense, but it also sounds like a lot of work. But that's where the leverage comes in, right? That right there is, you know, building that trust packaging, productizing the types of ways that, v e P can support via volunteers and, you know, then, then move those, those projects forward. I mean, it's, it's really impressive. [00:37:41] And I will say I'm, I'm sold. I officially, I hope I don't offend you. I literally did. The whole submission of my, my form as a, as a potential volunteer. So, maybe I'll be doing a follow up on my actual experience, because this makes a lot of sense to me. [00:37:55] I'm always satisfied and happy when I hear a new volunteer signs up close. [00:37:59] Very exciting. And I, I am shameless in recruiting anyone and everyone in all of my personal, professional and social engagement. So, so I'm very thankful, for you to. I should have [00:38:08] known when I entered into this, this podcast that this would be the net result. Before we move into the Rapid Fire, any final, final thoughts, notes on the upcoming midterms, the chaos confusion or what you see with the [00:38:22] organization? [00:38:24] Yeah, I'd say two things. One is, uh, someone who's worked both in the voter engagement volunteer side, but also on the policy side, trying to pass the Freedom to Vote Act this past year that. . I would argue that democracy is under attack now more than it's been in well over half a century, and I haven't been around for half a century. [00:38:40] So I've consulted a lot of folks who ha were around when the Voting Rights Act and others Civil Rights Act were passed. And they absolutely agree that the vitreal and divisiveness we have now is, is very scary. And most importantly, the laws that were passed to disenfranchise the vote have made it so that it's becoming legal. [00:38:58] To basically impede someone's constitutional right to vote. And so we really just hope people recognize that and are able to step up again with whatever they can. So my second point is when it comes to the voter empowerment project, we believe strongly that everyone can help in at least one of three ways. [00:39:14] You can volunteer, you can donate, or you can share. Now we'd love for you to volunteer, but not everyone's schedule allows, or maybe that's not meet their interest. But then would you be considering making a tax deductible donation at $25 during our fall fundraising campaign where you know it's gonna get matched by 200 bucks? [00:39:31] Uh, but if for, for some reason that's not possible either, can you just take our website and post it on social media? Say you heard it on this podcast, Sounded like a neat opportunity. Maybe you know, a few friends who have skills in graphic design or data analysis or web design or writing or fund. Can you email them real quickly and say, Hey, check out this website. [00:39:48] And we really feel like everyone can do at least one of those three things to help us try to preserve democracy. And I'm not being hyperbolic. I, you know, it's scary to think about where this country could be in 10 years or more if things continue in this way. So I'm, I'm just hoping we all can do our part and step up in whatever ways we can. [00:40:04] Yeah. [00:40:05] Catalyze on this, this moment of compassion and concern for the actual work that needs to be done with the organizations on the front. Makes a lot of sense to me. Alrighty. Moving into rapid fire. Here we go. What is one tech tool or website that you or your organization has started using in the [00:40:23] last year? [00:40:23] We recognize that doing everything off of spreadsheets was not possible. And so especially for managing all of the individuals who've donated to us and others we went to a very simple but very accessible CRM called action. And a lot of non-profits start there. There's, you know, bigger ones and more sophisticated ones that are more expensive, but it's really proven to be a very great entry level one for us to really get our, the, the hu the humans we work with into a, a, a more manageable circumstance, uh, so we can engage with them better, but also keep track of who's involved with voter empowerment project. [00:40:57] What tech issues are you currently battl? [00:41:00] The single biggest tech challenge we've had is being effective at project management tracking. So we've been using spreadsheets primarily, and I think we were lucky enough to have some pretty smart data people who created really sophisticated. [00:41:12] Formula is in our project management spreadsheet, so it is very functional, but we recognize the need to move over to more sophisticated project management tools. And we're actually in the process of doing so. Uh, we have a contractor who's bringing us on to in the next week or so, one of many that's out there. [00:41:27] And we definitely recommend to small non-profits that these tools, the one that fits your budget, the one that fits your needs. I really do think that they have a return on investment. Uh, and so we're excited to transition over. What [00:41:40] is coming in the next year that has you the most excited? [00:41:43] I do believe that one way or the other, the elections will motivate people to get more involved in democracy, or at least I'm consciously optimistic. [00:41:52] And I think everything that's happening in our public discourse, is, is being felt by more and more people. I hope then we can tap into that by and recruit them to volunteer and that we'll. The broad volunteer base next year like we had in 2020 to really meet the needs of the frontline partners that we know is gonna be great next year. [00:42:11] Can [00:42:11] you talk about a mistake that you made earlier in your career that shapes the way you do [00:42:15] things? Now? [00:42:16] Throughout my career, one thing I know I've done is try to do everything for everyone, all the. And that means, especially when working with Frontline Partners, which has been a core aspect of my career, whether it's health policy or gender based violence or here in voting rights, and in this project, we really recognized the need to focus in on where help was needed most. [00:42:37] And so we, you know, had to pick certain states where we knew voter suppression was at high risk. We also had to decide which services do we do, and which services do we know not focus on. We purposely limited our focus to voter engagement and not policy and. And then we really had to decide which groups to work with. [00:42:54] And so we prioritized small groups that are under resourced, that are at the state and local level. Even though there's other groups that are very deservative of help, we just wanted to tailor and focus in so we can, you know, do it well for the people we're serving. [00:43:07] Do you believe that [00:43:08] nonprofits can successfully go out of [00:43:10] business? [00:43:10] I think I have a broad response to that question. I think there are circumstances where there's a very intense specific need, a need to pass this bill, a need to address this urgent climate crisis that's in a particular community where a coalition can form or a non-profit can set up and they can say, Look, we're here through the end of this problem. [00:43:28] It might be a year, it might be five years. We're fundraising for it, we're staffing up for it, we're gonna. For the better. And then we disband, and I think that's healthy. So I think sometimes a lot of non-profits start up and then they're just in perpetuity forever, and then they're just fundraising forever and then they just become part of the Emilio. [00:43:43] But I do think a lot of the other non-profits that are built to solve some of the most intense issues of inequity, both domestically and internationally, I, I just don't have optimism that we're gonna solve most of those issues anytime soon. And so sadly, we do need those non-profits to exist and to fundraise and to have. [00:43:59] Over the long haul as we try to solve really big problems with really great solutions. Do you think the voter [00:44:05] empowerment project could successfully [00:44:07] go out of business? I will happily, you know, close up shop of the voter empowerment project. If and when every person is very able to exercise their right to vote in a, in a easily accessible way. [00:44:22] I think the trend is heading in very much the opposite direction. And so, you know, the main reason for us incorporating is. We check, is there a need for this model long term? Is there a support for it? Is, you know, does our frontline partners think that they need this help, uh, going forward? And the answer was absolutely yes. [00:44:38] So for as long as we can be helpful, we'll be around, uh, as long as we have the funding to do so. But if and when voting becomes as easy as it should be in the country, I will be the first person to close up our shop, free up our web domain for anyone else, and to, for us to go focus on the next big problem. [00:44:54] We won't be holding [00:44:55] our breath. Uh, aspirationally. I like it. If I were to put you in a hot tub time machine back to the beginning of your work with the voter Empowerment project in 2019, what advice would you give yourself? [00:45:07] Uh, a few, a few things. One would be start earlier. Uh, we certainly were aggressive in our thinking in 2019, but you know, we should have started it earlier. [00:45:13] The second would be to build relationships with formal entities sooner. Whether that's national organizations or especially universities. Uh, it wasn't until later that I really realized how much students were an, an amazing source of volunteers and had unbelievable skills, social media, web design, writing, uh, so start there earlier. [00:45:32] And then thirdly, I would've invested our project management tool much earlier on because I think that would've made us much more efficient. And so I do encourage organizations to think about that instead of just relying on spreadsheets and. [00:45:44] What [00:45:44] is something that you think your org should [00:45:47] stop doing? [00:45:49] We're really exploring next year comprehensively. What should our focus area be? You know, do we continue exactly how our model is? Should we expand the organizations we work with? Should we expand how we help? Should we look into charging money for our services? I. One of the things I think we've been good at is making sure we don't have mission creep. [00:46:07] And so I want us to resist that urge as much as possible. Cuz we've all, we've all heard the great need from the frontline organizations and so far we've been able to resist. I think there's a temptation to want to do more and to expand outward in a way that might stretch us too thin. And so that's one thing that I'm really hoping we, we avoid doing. [00:46:25] If you had a magic [00:46:26] wand to wave across the industry, what [00:46:28] would it. I would absolutely love more organizations to make good on their commitments to dei. I think there's a lot of talk and a lot of great language on websites about wanting to diversify their staff and wanting to ensure that more funding is going to under-resourced organizations from historically, you know, underprivileged communities. [00:46:46] I think it's starting, It's nowhere near where it should be, and so I'm the kind of person that wants to have this job. But if there's a great person with lived experie, That really has a better way to fit. I wanna be someone who will step out of the way and let them take the reins. And I just hope more people in the in the movement will recognize that one of the problems is who's in charge, and if they're willing to step away, that might actually help, uh, advance the cause. [00:47:08] How did you get started in the social impact sector? [00:47:11] It's interesting because my college focus very, was actually biology. I was really into the hard sciences and life sciences and wanted to pursue, you know, medicine over time. But before I applied to med school, I actually did an AmeriCorps program in Boston for two years working with young people in Boston, as well as focusing on healthcare advocacy in Massachusetts, and I got hooked. [00:47:30] I loved the advocacy area. I love the organizing side. I love the policy side. You know, the thinking part of my brain. Loved problem. But the human side really loved working with people, especially people who were facing challenges. Uh, and so that really, really stuck to me and I ended up going to med school and then halfway through I ended up quitting. [00:47:48] Cause I really missed the advocacy side when coming back to it. So I thank AmeriCorps so much for that experience. What [00:47:55] advice would you give college grads currently looking to enter the social impact sector? [00:48:00] I think broadly is. Really identify what is it you care about in terms of issue. Is it healthcare? [00:48:07] Is it climate? Is it, uh, criminal justice reform? Think about the ways you, what you like to do. Is it social media? Is it writing? Is it fundraising? Is it policy? Is it organizing? And then reach out to as many people as you know that are in the field. Not everyone likes to take on college grads as mentors, but many people out there are happy to talk to you. [00:48:25] I'm happy to talk to folks to just give them that advice. I will say this, right now, when you look at the job, If you are in development or you're in digital strategy, those are the two things. Well, you'll be employed for the next 10 to 20 years for sure. So if that's something you understand, I definitely recommend going into fundraising, Going into social media, digital strategy, what advice [00:48:45] did your parents give you that you either followed or didn't quite [00:48:49] follow? [00:48:50] Uh, my, I think at a young age, certainly there was a lot of pressure to do well in school and to make. And I think, uh, I think over time I've been able to help my parents understand how great it is to be in sort of progressive non-profit advocacy. But I think probably most importantly is they're just very into family and community and just sort of, you know, loving respect and honoring people in your life and, you know, contributing that way. [00:49:13] And I absolutely think I channeled that to the broader community at large. Uh, I will say the advice they're not, I'm not taking, that they would be mad at is going to visit them more. And so I think I know I need to do. Thanksgiving coming up, so I'll, I'll be sure to go and see them. Gotta go visit. Have you called [00:49:28] your mom [00:49:30] Yes. We talk, we talk periodically. Not as much as they'd like, but uh, but they've actually over the years, have become a lot more active in social justice issues and fundraising and donating and whatever. They sort of do something progressive or they donate money to a candidate or they, you know, knock on doors. [00:49:43] My mom will always text me excitedly and so it, it is heartwarming to see sort of how we've both, you know, we kind of share those interests in sort of supporting the. That's awesome. [00:49:52] Also, shout out to my mom, who's probably listening to this podcast. Hi mom. Alrighty, , final hardball question. How do people find you? [00:50:00] How do [00:50:00] people help you? [00:50:01] Please check us [email protected]. As I mentioned earlier, there's three ways you can help that anyone can help. You can volunteer, you can donate, or you can share. Please sign up to volunteer. I promise you the opportunities will be fun. They'll be interesting, they'll be meaningful and rewarding, and we invest in you so you can grow your skills. [00:50:21] If you can't do that, or in addition to, can you please donate $20, $25, a hundred dollars, whatever you can spare, our, our generous board member is matching every donation with a $200, uh, match. And so we hope to get as many donors between now and the holiday. And then lastly, can you share our website? Can you share our social media? [00:50:40] Adam Empower Voters on Twitter and on Instagram. And voter is our website. We just need more people to know about us to know that we exist, cuz we know once folks find out about us and get involved, they really do appreciate our model and what, what it sort of allows for them to do as a volunteer. [00:50:54] And we just need to get that word out more. And we really appreciate everyone helping us do so. You have [00:50:59] it. Share either your time, your treasure, or your tweets. Do. I love the skill-based approach to a massive problem facing democracy in our country. I wish you all the best, and I thank you. Thank you for [00:51:12] the work you do. [00:51:14] Thank you George, so much for having me. And thank you for doing this innovative podcast. I, I always appreciate it and folks in the media really prioritize bringing folks on board who can talk about, you know, movement building. And so thank you so much for what you [00:51:24] do.                          
11/2/202252 minutes, 16 seconds
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Terrifying Twitter Trends - Nonprofits React (news)

Reactions, And Worries, As Musk Twitter’s Takeover Is Finalized Elon Musk’s $44 Billion takeover of Twitter was completed last week, with Musk officially becoming the owner and de-facto CEO of the influential social media platform. The drawn-out saga of the acquisition, which at times seemed like it would fall through, marks the beginning of a new chapter for a platform now run by one of its most prominent users. Musk's ownership has raised new questions about content moderation, rules around speech, and other fundamental questions about what Twitter (and by proxy, social media) should even be. The takeover, with Musk being a self-proclaimed advocate for “free speech,” has spurred a sharp increase in derogatory posts from trolls, according to the nonprofit Network Contagion Research Institute. While Musk sought to assuage the fears of advertisers by saying the platform would not become a “free-for-all hellscape,” some prominent corporate advertisers already appear to be wary of the change in discourse on the platform. Read more ➝   Summary   How a ‘mental health workforce crisis’ has these nonprofits retooling office culture | The Salt Lake Tribune  Swarm learning for decentralized artificial intelligence in cancer histopathology | Nature Michelle Obama, Melinda French Gates, and Amal Clooney Announce Collaboration to Support Adolescent Girls’ Education and Help End Child Marriage Resource: Scary good AI email writer - Nonprofit Email Fundraising AI Writer (free-for-now) | Whole Whale     DALLE2 Image - blue birds
11/1/202223 minutes, 1 second
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Girl Scouts Get $85 Million Historical Donation (news)

  Girl Scouts Get $85 Million Donation From MacKenzie Scott MacKenzie Scott, known for historic billion-dollar donations continues to change nonprofits’ fortunes, this time with an $85 million donation to the Girl Scouts of USA. The donation is the single largest donation in the organization’s history since its founding in 1912, and will help the organization recoup a loss of programming and membership as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to reporting from According to the report, only 2% of philanthropic giving in the United States goes directly to programs expressly interested in serving women and girls. Youth membership in the Girl Scouts dropped nearly 30% in the first year of the pandemic. Read more ➝   Summary   Gates Foundation boosts GivingTuesday with $10M donation | AP NEWS Bill and Melinda Gates are chopping funding for reading, writing and the arts to plow $1 billion into math education instead | Fortune  Police Complaints in This Indian District Are Going on the Polygon Blockchain | @coindesk Countering an Authoritarian Overhaul of the Internet | Freedom House Avoggedon strikes Philadelphia: One nonprofit gives away thousands of avocados   
10/25/202221 minutes, 19 seconds
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“Big Lie” Affiliated Nonprofits Scrutinized By FBI (news)

“Big Lie” -Affiliated Nonprofits Scrutinized By Authorities On Eve of Midterm General Election Two organizations associated with the “Big Lie,” the disproved conspiracy that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election, face scrutiny for financial impropriety. The Arizona Attorney General (a Republican who as recently as 2020 courted Trump’s endorsement) has asked the FBI and IRS to probe the nonprofit organization True The Vote, an organization that purported to document unfounded claims of election fraud, according to reporting from Politico. Similarly, the nonprofit organization Defending The Republic led by Sidney Powell, a prominent character in the plot to deny the 2020 election results, has made highly questionable expenditures after raising $16 million, including to private companies that Sidney Powell is listed as a manager, as well as reportedly expenditures to Powell’s personal legal fees. The Justice Department has subpoenaed Defending The Republic’s documents as Powell herself faces multiple lawsuits, legal sanctions, and other legal inquiries as reported by The Washington Post. Read more ➝   Summary Century-old nonprofit Goodwill on taking thrifting online |  Major bank cancels account of religious nonprofit, demands donor list | FISM TV Richmond nonprofit says marijuana possession pardons could help over half of their clients | CBS 6 News Richmond Gates Foundation pledges $1.2B to eradicate polio globally  | AP NEWS
10/18/202219 minutes, 27 seconds
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10th Annual Giving Tuesday: Predictions & Strategies | Big Duck

Discussion with Farra Trompeter, Co-director of Big Duck, and George Weiner about the 10th anniversary of Giving Tuesday. How should your organization approach this year's event on November 29th?    Will Giving Tuesday raise a new record on the day? Whole Whale predicts it will.   Should your organization adopt a new 'Collective' giving approach to the day?  Farra talks through a recent post about collective giving how to bring a spirit of abundance and consider how you can use this day to educate and inspire your supporters beyond your mission.        Image: Dalle2 Megaphone on pasta
10/18/202232 minutes, 22 seconds
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Marijuana Win For Social Justice (news)

Weekly Nonprofit News summaries.   In Win For Criminal Justice Advocates, Biden Pardons Marijuana Charges & Orders Evaluation of Cannabis Scheduling The Biden Administration announced last week a series of pardons for those charged on federal, simple marijuana possession charges, in a win for criminal justice reform advocates. The legacy of the Nixon Administration’s “War On Drugs” is still felt throughout the United States, where black and brown Americans are more likely to be charged for marijuana use than white Americans, despite similar rates of usage. NPR quotes Patrice Willoughby, vice president of policy and legislative affairs at the NAACP, who says that “The failed policies on drug criminalization have ensnared many on nonviolent, marijuana offenses.” Biden has also “instructed the attorney general and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to start the process of reviewing marijuana’s status under federal law, according to Politico. Advocacy groups continue to highlight the need for reforms at the state level. Read more ➝   Summary   U.N. refugee boss warns of 'severe cuts' without immediate new funding U.S. Reuters What Happens When a Company (Like Patagonia) Transfers Ownership to a Nonprofit? | Daily  Black Lives Matter tops list of groups that Black Americans see as helping them most in recent years | Pew Research Center Nonprofit Helps Salem Family With Wheelchair Makeover Fit for Halloween | NECN   DALLE2 Image thumbnail   
10/11/202221 minutes, 26 seconds
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What is the CURE for medical debt? |

On this episode Allison Sesso, the CEO & President of RIP Medical Debt talks about their unique approach to alleviating medical debt of Americans. By leveraging medical debt markets and partnering with hospitals, RIP Medical Debt is able to achieve 100X leverage on every dollar donated to wipe out debt at scale.   How big is the problem? The SIPP survey suggests people in the United States owe at least $195 billion in medical debt. Approximately 16 million people (6% of adults) in the U.S. owe over $1,000 in medical debt and 3 million people (1% of adults) owe medical debt of more than $10,000.     RIP Medical Debt by the numbers: $7,091,262,274 in medical debt relieved so far 3,987,191 individuals and families helped 2021 Annual Report   The debt relief we provide reduces mental and financial distress for millions of people. Here’s how we got started.   RIP Medical Debt was founded in 2014 by two former debt collections executives. Over the course of decades in the debt-buying industry they met with thousands of Americans saddled with unpaid and un-payable medical debt and realized they were uniquely qualified to help those in need. They imagined a new way to relieve medical debt: by using donations to buy large bundles of debt that is erased with no tax consequences to donors or recipients. From this idea RIP Medical Debt was born, a New York based 501(C)(3). The results have been spectacular—billions in medical debt eradicated so far, providing financial relief for millions of individuals and families.   About Allison Sesso President / CEO Allison Sesso became the President / CEO of RIP Medical Debt in January of 2020. RIP Medical Debt was established for the sole purpose of reducing the medical debt burdens of low-income individuals with limited capacity to pay their medical bills by leveraging donations from people across the country. They have abolished $7,091,262,274 to date for over 3,987,191 people. Under Allison’s leadership and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, RIP Medical Debt launched the “Helping COVID Heroes Fund” focused on relieving the medical debts of healthcare workers and emergency responders like nurses, home health aids, pharmacists, social workers, hospital technicians, the National Guard and others working on the front lines of the pandemic. It also benefits service workers and others facing financial hardship resulting from the COVID induced economic downturn. Through this effort RIP has abolished over $100 million in medical debt. Prior to joining RIP Medical Debt, Allison served as the Executive Director of the Human Services Council of New York (HSC), an association of 170 nonprofits delivering 90% of human services in New York City. Under her leadership HSC pioneered the development of nationally recognized tools designed to illuminate risks associated with government contracts, including an RFP rater and government agency grading system. She led negotiations with New York City and State government on behalf of the sector and successfully pushed for over $500 million in investments to address the nonprofit fiscal crisis. During her tenure at HSC, Allison also led a commission of experts focused on socialdeterminants of health and value-based-payment structures and published the report,Integrating Health and Human Services: a Blueprint for Partnership and Action, that examines the challenges of operationalizing relationships between health and human services providers, offering several recommendations. She also served on the New York State Department of Health’s Social Determinants and Community Based Organizations (CBO) Subcommittee helping to formulate recommendations around the integration of CBOs into Medicaid managed care. Allison’s work on behalf of the human services sector led City & State to recognize her as a top nonprofit leader in 2018 and 2019, one of the 25 most influential leaders in Manhattan in 2017, and one of New York City’s 100 “Most Responsible” in 2016. She recently received the 100 “Most Responsible” award for the second time for her efforts at RIP Medical Debt. Allison also serves as the Vice Chair of the nonprofit “Right to Be,” formerly Hollaback!, a global movement working to end harassment through bystander intervention training and storytelling.    Rough Transcript   [00:00:00] George Weiner: This week we have an awesome guest who I, I think I promised I would track down somebody from R IP medical Debt because they kept showing up in the news and innovative approach to dealing with, uh, a tremendous. Problem in America around, uh, I'd say healthcare and debt, and none other than Allison Seso, the CEO and President is joining us. [00:00:52] This means a lot. Thank you, Allison, for, for taking the time today. [00:00:55] Allison Sesso: Thanks for hunting us down and finding us. We love talking about our work and, and the issue of, of medical debt, so I appreciate every opportu. . Well, [00:01:05] George Weiner: let's drive right into it on the front page of r i p medical On the front page of site, I see every $100 donated relieves 10,000 in medical debt. [00:01:19] First off. That gets my attention. What a perfect way to start a conversation. But how does that work exactly? [00:01:29] Allison Sesso: Yeah. We are a, uh, a unique model and we take advantage of the for profit, uh, debt market, uh, and use it for a mission driven purpose, which is really exciting and, and I think unique. So we do get an incredible return on investment and it's because there is a market for debt buying, uh, that is, has been established, and That is because, uh, there is a for profit industry that we take advantage of, uh, and they are looking to make money off of the issue of debt. We, on the other hand, are trying to relieve debt, so we take donations from individuals, we take 'em to the debt market, and we buy large portfolios at. [00:02:10] So, the individuals that are in those portfolios tend to be financially burdened. They are poor, they are, um, in fact, to qualify for our program, you have to be 400% of poverty or below, or the debt birth burden has to be significant compared to your overall income. So it has to be 5% or more of your income. [00:02:28] We do an analysis of the debt portfolio and we buy all of the accounts that qualify and then we purchase them based on. For profit rates. And so we're competitive with that market, but because the for profit folks are trying to make money, they have to really depress the prices and they have to have a really deep discount in order to make sure that they're making their money back. [00:02:49] And so we don't have to make our money back. And so we're able to take, you know, $1 and turn it into a hundred dollars of medical debt relief. And as you pointed out, you can ex expand that. So, you know, $500 gets rid of 50. Um, $50,000 of medical debt. And so that's how we're able to, provide massive debt relief to the tune of $7 billion to date and grow. [00:03:12] George Weiner: Yeah, I think there's a lot to unpack there. Maybe I, um, wanna poke a little bit more into like, making sure I actually get this. So let's say I'm, you know, a family living below the, the poverty line meeting your, your standards. There's an, uh, unexpected accident and injury. I then am in the hospital for a few days and suddenly I'm walking around with 45 grand in debt overnight. [00:03:34] And because of the way our systems work, this is now. A debt I owe to creditors. Now that debt, as I understand, can first go from the hospital to maybe a secondary buyer, right? There's like all these markets of like, Oh, I'll grab that one, I'll grab that one. And then it seems like they're, there's a discount on it cuz it's not dollar for dollar you're getting. [00:03:56] A hundred x leverage on it. So there's some discounting of my debt with that 45,000. Can you just walk me through like