Your Ultimate Communications Toolkit
Our 19NTC panel of communicators explains how to develop your communications plan and the core principles you need to abide by. They’ve got templates, checklists and worksheets galore! They’re Vanessa Schnaidt from Cause Communications and Gabriel Sanchez with First 5 LA.
Brian Lauterbach is from Network for Good. He reveals how automation can enhance your donor communications, engagement and stewardship. This was also recorded at 19NTC.
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Hello and welcome to Tony martignetti non-profit Radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host. We have a listener of the week, actually. A retired listener of the week, Patty Donahue. When she was executive director of the Tailor Conservatory Foundation in Taylor, Michigan, she enjoyed my show and insider alerts. That’s what she said. What’s not to enjoy? Of course, we take her at her word. That gig ended ended just last week with her retirement. Congratulations, Patty. I’m very happy for you on the celebratory retirement time on. And now she says, Keep doing the good work that you do, Patty. I will. And a grateful community thanks you for your work. Congratulations on your retirement. Congratulations on being our retired. Listen er of the week. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I go through in itis If you swelled me up with the idea that you missed today’s show your ultimate communications tool kit. Our 19 ntcdinosaur of communicators explains how to develop your communications plan and the core principles you need to abide by. They’ve got templates, checklists and worksheets galore. They’re Vanessa Schneiter from Cause Communications and Gabriel Sanchez with 1st 5 Ella, then automated fund-raising. Brian Louderback is from Network for Good. He reveals how automation can enhance your donor communications, engagement and stewardship. This was also recorded at 19 NTC on Tony Steak, too. Summertime is planning time. We’re sponsored by pursuant full service, fund-raising Data Driven and Technology Enabled Tony dahna slash pursuing by Wagner CPS Guiding YOU beyond the numbers regular cps dot com and by text to give mobile donations. Made Easy Text NPR to 444999 Here is your ultimate communications tool kit. Welcome to Tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of 1990 si. You know what that is? It’s a 2019 non-profit technology conference. You know where we are. We’re in Portland, Oregon, at the Convention Center. Thanks for being with our coverage of 19 NTC. This interview, Like all of ours, are eyes brought to you by our partners at Act Blue Free fund-raising Tools to help non-profits make an impact. My guests at this moment are Vanessa Schneiter and Gabriel Sanchez. Vanessa is vice president at Caused Communications, and Gabriel is director of communications at 1st 5 Ella. But Gabriel welcome. Thank you, Tony into the show, Tony. Thank you. Thanks for taking time. Absolutely. Um so where your topic is ultimate communications tool kit, tried and true. Resource is everyone can use ultimate communications tool kit. That’s that’s, uh, pretty impressive. It’s not just the penultimate. It’s the ultimate, the altum ultimate. All right, we’re going to see I’m not in, but this is radio. Yes, Yes, you can do about your africa. I appreciate your information. Okay, uh, make you keep these promises. All right. Um what, what? To start with you, Gabriel. What belongs in a communications tool kit? Well, every every organization needs to tell their story. They want to tell their story in order to drive action and move things forward. And what we’ve learned and what I saw was my exposure to the kid was about three years ago is that there’s not a lot of learning in one place. And that’s what makes this tool kit So great is that it’s pretty much everything you need to know in one place that you can start from, and in order to both tell your story to engage your audiences, to talk to board members, to talk to donors, to engage members of the public, the people you want to serve. It’s just a great tool kit in order for you. Teo, help Dr Understanding of what you’re trying to do and to get people onboarding your mission. Okay, Vanessa. So what’s in? What’s in the tool kit? One of the components of our ultimate took it. Yes. So the communications tool kit offers best practices and really practical advice for every communicator in your organization. So everything from how do you make the case within your organization for the value of investing in communications, too. How do you put together a communications strategy to make sure that you have the right goals and tactics to drive that progress forward? And then we also get into a lot of different tactical element. So more specific surround best practices in media relations or how communications Khun support fund-raising effort. So it really is meant to be a soup to nuts, very breath oriented toolkit to help communicators at any stage of their communications journey. Okay, on who’s developed this tool kit is that the two of you and the third person on your panel who was not here, Courtney Clarke So the where is the where where is this from? Absolutely so. The the communications tool kit is authored by and created by Caused communications, which is thie first non-profit to focus on communications effectiveness in the social sector. The tool kit was originally published in 2002 last updated in 2005 and over the last few years has been undergoing this massive expansion and update project that Gabriel, as one of our partners, has been contributing Tio Courtney as well on DSO. Although it is authored by cause communications, it’s really important to us to make sure that in order for it to be as relevant as possible for today’s communicators, we receive input and feedback from the very communicators it is meant to help. So that’s where our colleagues like Gabriel come in in really helping us identify what kinds of resources and information e-giving be most valuable to them. All right and tool kit is something that’s available to the community without subscription or that’s right way. Find it. The communications took. It is available on the Cause Communications website, which is at caused communications dot org’s slash toolkit. In addition to the toolkit itself. You can also find five interactive digital lessons that we put together with the support of Courtney and her team at Form one. There are really cool way Teo get a taste for the rest of the content in the tool kit. So those those lessons are on topics ranging from branding to media relations to competitive analysis to fund-raising and measurement and evaluation. Okay, okay, yeah, everyone wanted to and Tony’s. One of the great things about the toolkit is that it’s intended for a broader audience, not just those involved in communications, but those who might be leaders of organizations. Or maybe they’re involved in development or other sectors because it helps those folks understand the importance of communications and the role it plays in order to help them do their jobs better in many ways. And we’ve seen this in smaller non-profits and smaller organizations, there is not a dedicated communication staffers. Sure, it’s distributed right, or sometimes you have many people who are directors of development and communications. Those are two big jobs, right? And so having an understanding of communications is very helpful, and and that was one of the original intentions of the guide was to help him just inform and make that case for communications with within organizations so that they make that nothing. Because communications is actually a time saver for a lot of leaders for executive director Seo’s of organizations, because it will reduce the amount of time they need to communicate because they’re essentially putting an all in one place, as opposed to having Siri’s of meetings and check ins and putting out fires. And I know Vanessa was very careful to say at the outset this for all communicators. So you’re going that it’s irrespective of your position. If you’re facing the public. Well, maybe not even his could be internal communications as well, right? That’s right. And I just had a breakthrough moment That’s right and trainable. I’m tryingto wonder. Okay, it’s not about me. It’s not what you think. Communications these days is not just a roll. It is a a practice, and we want to make sure that the toolkit is there to support anyone in a non-profit, or social sector role. Regardless of what their title says On there there business card. Everyone is a communicator these days and has an opportunity to contribute Teo Thie, expanding the reach and the impact of their organization. All right, it’s time for a break. Pursuant, they’ve got a podcast. It’s go beyond hosted by their vice president, Taylor Shanklin, who has been a guest on this show and the friend of the show. Recent episodes are self care for leaders and four digital trends for 2019. That’s just a little sample you’ll find Go beyond at pursuant dot com. Slash resource is now back to your ultimate communications tool kit from 19 NTC since caused communications. Does this for the community so generously give a shout out? What does cause communications do so? Caused communications works to support non-profits and foundations, strengthened their impact and a cheat their mission through stronger communications and marketing. So we do that by making available tools and resources and trainings for the sector. And then we also offer consulting services as well. All right, how about 1st 5 L. A. What about Gabriel? Well, they’re all about kids. Did you know 90% of the child’s brain is developing aged five? That’s a critical time. They did not know that it’s a critical time, you know. I know we’re making a lot of connections here at NTC, but the inner child’s bringing your making 1,000,000 connections a second. So it is a critical time for childhood development. And so voters, in their wisdom 20 years ago dedicated a tobacco tax to help fund programs. And we’ve now shifted to advocate for early childhood development programs like developmental screenings, preschool access and other ways to help help kids grow ready to succeed in kindergarten and in life. And so what we’re dedicated to doing is helping improve systems, make him work better for parents and their kids so that these kids grow up to do great things. You have communications principles that I derive from your world is not the principal’s themselves, but principles for day to day and long term. Gabriel, you start to take off the first of what I hope is gonna be many communications principles that you’re going to share with listeners. Well, I know it. In my part of the presentation I made yesterday, I was talking about how it’s important to think of all communication strategies and turned them inward for internal communications. I know you mentioned earlier about my breakthrough moment. Don’t gloss over it. No, course not. There’s a great breakthrough because your staff is one of your most important communicators right there, the ones where, in the age of social media, where everyone has a public persona and their posting on social media, everyone has the potential to be a spokesperson for your organization with you. Like it or not, that’s not to simply that’s not to scare people. But it’s also to remind him of the opportunity you might have in that you can reach new audiences is if you’re pursuing internal communications, which helps you with your organization. Alignment with helps you with your brand ambassador type type of programs, as well as employing engagement. So if you’re using internal communications, where those goals you’re going to help build your brand in ways that you might not, you can’t do officially through your official channel. So so oil that principal down to ah sentence. What’s the principle here? Think of your staff first, okay. And then, of course, you know not to negate everything. You just said that, like sometimes I like Boyd points. My I’m not sure my 1st 5 years were formative for my brain. I’m sure they were. You’re sure they were Tony? Not sure there was robust. They ought to have been. OK, but you gotta You gotta communications principle for us. Sure. Just Azaz Gabriel mentioned to put your staff first. We also believe in putting your strategy first. So more than we do a lot of polling and surveys at our organization on DH. We’ve learned over the years that while more than 95% of non-profits say that they value communications and its role in helping them achieve their their mission, less than half of non-profits have a dedicated communications plan. I’m not surprised by that. All right? And so the process of putting together a communications plan that aligns with your organization’s strategic plan is a great way to make sure that all of your efforts are working in unison with with each other and that you can really prioritize your time mean we all know that non-profits have way too much on their to do list and far too little time to get that done. And so a planning process can be a really helpful tool and making sure that you’re focusing on the most important things first okay. Have a communications plan. When I say okay, now, I presume the tool kit will help you develop your communications plan. That’s right. It goes over all of the basic elements of a communications plan. It even includes some tips for how to make the case for why you’re senior leadership should support the development of that plan. All right, Wei have more principles doing Gabriel have Ah, well, the principle you can share. I was talking about earlier my presentation how you can apply a crisis communications approach right to internal communications. When you’re going through a time of organizational change. Now I’ll give you four quick steps for crisis communications, and I’ll talk about how you can apply them internally. And that’s you want to be able to one. Somebody sounds their phones. I don’t Gabriel just took ownership. Go. Alright. Alright. So crisis averted. Okay, so yes, crisis cubine. How you gonna respond to this crisis? First on the show. I’ll use this perfectly as an example. Number one you ignore. Assume it was a crisis. Yeah, Yeah, but never one. You would acknowledge the situation. Hate. My phone went off, Took responsibility. Didn’t just late that it lay there. You got somebody else? Everybody stare out. Exactly. Step two is you take responsibility and you say you’re sorry, Tony, I’m sorry. And three, you explain what you’re gonna do next. I’m going to turn off my phone so it doesn’t happen. It ever happened again. Never happen again. And then for when? Hopefully you invite me back, I could remind you. Hey, I turned off my phone so that we wouldn’t have the same problem that we did last time. So what about the appoint? A blue ribbon panel? Isn’t that know me? Or is that you could put that in there? That old school? No. No, you can’t do that. It’s important to fact find. But it boils down to two. And step three, you want to explain what you’re going to do, right? And so, in times of organizational changes, the same thing, right, because you you work. You talked with plenty of non-profits. They’re always changing their adapting to new conditions. And sometimes it’s hard because it’s your staff that have are going through that, and you need to be able to explain its home. And sometimes some things don’t go The way you you wanted to. You need to take ownership of that and explain what you’re going to do to fix it. Okay, so it’s taking that same approach, you lying crisis communication and interns to your internal stand in times of change. Exactly. And in many ways, the best crisis communications is actually pre crisis planning where you’re averting crisis. That’s what you want to go to. So if you think of it that way and you’re applying those principles, that’s an external strategy. But internally, it’s a great way to keep people in line to keep people engaged and motivated. OK, Vanessa, you it’s your turn. You got communications principle for us. I do, and I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Tony. So we hear a lot about the importance of nailing that elevator pitch right? Well, I’m here to tell you that there is no single elevator pitch that is going to be the magic bullet for your organization. In fact, you need to tailor your message, depending on who you are speaking with this so there’s no one size fits all solution. There’s no one size fits all message, so it’s really important that organizations as they’re developing messages, think about what is it that really motivates each particular audience group that you’re trying Teo engage with and then create a bridge between the messages that you’re putting out there and the mission of your organization with what what your audiences really care most about. So in a sense, it’s using your it’s. Using your audience is motivation to connect that back to your organization’s mission. Alright, so, Taylor, your messages. Here are your messages again. My fundamental brain capacity. Tell your messages. Yeah. Now I have had guests who have gone through the exercise of having their board learn a new elevator pitch. You’re it. Sounds like you’re welcome. Tto disagree with other guests and but on the show over in Have we had this show in half years? Certainly everybody is not monolithically thinking so. The uniform elevator pitch not so not so helpful, you think? Well, I think there’s definitely a time and a place for developing that that pigeon, and it is important to equip your board members, for example, with some really simple talking points that they can use. But what’s going to be most effective is if that boardmember then has the comfort level of taking that message and really making it their own riffing on it, depending upon who they’re talking about. You talking? So yeah. No, I don’t I don’t know that this guest was recommending, you know, rote memorization of the identical, The identical pitch for all you know, whatever. 12 boardmember tze Maybe it was just talking points, okay? And then you should be as a boardmember. You should be comfortable enough tow Taylor that message And I said riff on it. Based on who you’re talking to, whether it’s a funder or somebody at a cocktail party, fundez becomes more. Just to be sure, the audience that you’re talking to, we got more principles if you want to keep going. This ping pong thing with are we have re exhausted communications principles. Well, I was going to talk a bit more again about internal communications and how critical it is. And I think another principle is linking the two where you should think about your external strategies and open essay was talking earlier about having a communications plan and strategy, and you should have internal communications in that same breath. You shouldn’t think of it is afterward, or a bolt on our Oh, yes, we’ve got to tell the staff, too. It should be within the same breath as you’re talking about it. You have your audience. Is your internal staff should be on that list as well. Doesn’t have to necessarily be number one, but it should be included so that they’re not thought of as an afterthought. But instead, you’re looking to engage them because one of the principles I was talking about is that your need to love your staff because those are the ones who are helping you to get the people you want, which is donors or media coverage or what have you. And they’re there for you. And you have to respect that. And you also need to look at it to where? Another way. A practical way to look at this is if you can’t sell an idea to your staff the people that are most bought into your mission that says I agree with what you do, I’m going to show up here every day. Do you work for that? Yeah. Then maybe your idea is not good. Okay. All right. So again, internal communication with urine. Think about it. It’s half in your eyes. You’re planning your own communication. Exactly. Think about stuff, okay? And building on the whole idea of tailoring your message to your audiences. It’s also really important. Don’t assume you know what your audiences want, but how do you find out what they want? Well, you asked. Um, it’s a really simple principle, but one that is often overlooked by non-profit professionals today and asking your audiences or understanding what motivates them is isa really easy way tio? Understand what what motivates them, how you can more effectively introduce your organization to them. And it’s something that we did as we were updating the the communications tool kit. So that’s where we brought in communications directors like Gabriel or implementers like communications interns or program managers or development directors. Folks who maybe don’t have communications in their title but have almost in a default kind of way, become the primary communicators for there. They’re non-profit, and so we brought them all together. We had several different workshops where we sat back and we really listen, Tio, what is it that you need in your day to day life? on. We were able to replace some of our anecdotes that, quite frankly, were so old. They become folklore in our organization with a really wonderful insights that let us know what today’s communicator needs in this digital era, where with the democratization of of communications and social media, everyone has a megaphone on their cell phone. What are some of the audiences that we might be talking to? Sure. So audiences would include board members who are not only an audience but also a messenger for your organization. You might consider talking to your donor’s. Think about speaking with your volunteers, folks who intern with you and also individuals who benefit from this from the services that your organization provides. Could even go broader. Mean journalists could be part of your communications plan. That’s right, whether that’s sort of, you know, outdated press releases or that maybe people still do them because you have to. But building relationships with journalist that’s right, could be a potential funders. People in the community government, depending on their work, the work you do okay, all of the above, all the above, and then they used data they want. They want information in different formats. A journalist, you know, might want bullets that they could carve a story around or craft a quick interview for. And then you have to know that they’re on a deadline versus funders would want more, more, more data. Rich Moore. Outcome driven. And not so much a headline and a lead. Exactly. Okay, I think you hit on something there. Tony is again twice in 20 minutes. It’s amazing. I think that the best point is stop. We’re wrapping it up is have a story. You have to have a story. You can’t just say we’re doing this. It’s great. You need to be able to explain it, and I’ll give you a quick tip. And this is something that you is gonna help you connect. You want to be able to Both are three things. You want to personalize human eyes and dramatizes story. You need to be able to make it two. In order for your story to be effective, you have to be able to personalize it. Say it affects people, might hurt them or health. Um, you need to humanize it. And so that way, in a sense of they can empathize with what’s going on and then you need to dramatize it. Need to say like there is some urgency there. We’ve got to fix this or else people are still going to be getting hurt because you could certainly talk about a number or statistics or fact and saying 1,000,000 people you know are affected by hunger every day or what? Whatever kind of fact, you figure. But it’s just a number that’s tends to be abstract. Yeah, no, we know you want to get storytelling, and I like your personalized human eyes and dramatized train. All right, let’s, uh we’re going to move away from the communicate buy-in principles. Now, you, uh, you talked about some best practices for moving a printed piece online. You say pdf doesn’t cut it. Or maybe maybe a. Pdf isn’t bad, but it’s not sufficient. May be necessary because it’s so common. A format. So what’s, uh what’s the trouble? Vanessa? What way? Not getting right about moving? Our resource is online. Well, so pdf so are still a valuable way tio share and communicate information. But as as you’ve pointed out, it’s no longer sufficient as thie on Li Wei as more of us are accessing resource is from our phones. Thie action of downloading a pdf is really cumbersome and not very convenient for today’s communicators. And so, as we’ve been updating and expanding Thie, the communications tool kit we were thinking about OK, how do we make sure that the content is not only relevant but as accessible as possible so that folks who actually use it on DH in that process we’ve partnered with Form one and came up with some really fun solutions for How can we break free from just relying on this This pdf and taking some of the content and best practices and concepts from our toolkit and putting them into a format of these interactive digital lessons. So giving people a chance tto learn by doing, giving them a chance to go through some fun exercises from the convenience of their their phone on DSO. In partnership with Form one, we’ve got these five great lessons on our website. It caused predications dot org’s slash lessons and those cover co-branding fund-raising measurement and evaluation, competitive analysis and and give you a chance to try it out right there. I think one of the other great things, too, is it? It’s much more share a booth challenge you have with Pdf. If you find a great lesson, you say, Oh, you want to share it with somebody? That’s a Tony. I want to send you a tip. I would say chicken download the pdf look Att Page 15 in the bottom right corner for the tip I’m talking about. That’s really hard to do. But if instead, if you have it where it’s much more digestible in a digital format much more cerebral and it’s going to help you, you’re gonna get to what you need quicker. What are some of these formats alternatives that we’re talking about? What you visualising data obviously. Pdf No one duvette Well, we’ll talk about one dimension ifit’s green. But pdf not very rich in visual ization. What are what are some alternatives? Sure, so there are no great infographics that you can put together, but something as simple as a pole Khun B. Really engaging, so putting together little bullet points and in fact so putting content together in smaller, digestible formats that is going to be a lot easier not to not only consume, but as Gabriel mentioned share So a wide of a wide range there of a different ways that you can consume that information. Okay. And a lot of organizations, they have a lot of great content already in these Pts, which is not t knock that. But it’s an opportunity to look at what you’ve done in the past and think about how you can reformat it where it’s much more digestible and terrible. So that way it doesn’t feel daunting. Thatyou have to redo everything. The contents there just think of ways you can make it more digestible by asking what your audience is looking for, what has been the most interesting or what’s the most thing you get. Most asked about his organization. Have that up front. Okay, Yeah, I gather the pdf is not going away, but it’s no longer sufficient because this is the 2nd 2nd panel where we’re talking about. In fact, the title of the other one yesterday was No one is reading your pdf like something like a great panel. I went there. Yeah, you stole their content later. No way were aligned when you recorded it and made it so much easier. Well, yeah, so I I Maybe, I guess. Yes. Pdf sorr no longer the and all. That’s right. And it was so much more we could do visually. Exactly. And it was really through that process of listening to our target audiences for this tool kit that we came to that conclusion on. So it was It was insightful contributors like Gabriel who who let us know that it was It was okay for us to experiment and to get a bit more creative. So in this way, we let our audience is be a barometer for our risk taking. Okay. We still have almost three minutes left together. Let’s spend a little more time. Two minutes. What else? What else did you sharing your 75 minutes with you already? And we haven’t talked about yet, but I was gonna share one of one of them. One each. It was you. You tend to grab the mic. Go ahead. Go ahead. I’m conscious of it. Thank you. We’ll get her share. I wanted to share some information. We ask tips from our audience. What is the best piece of communication advice? David, What you hear? And one of them I That was fantastic it is. Tell the truth. I mean, you want to put it in context with stories, but tell the truth. Great piece of advice. Good, especially in our current in political and government environment. And tell the truth, I shouldn’t need to be said. But it’s important to say Well, we also heard Keep it simple, don’t overthink things and test test test along along the entire process on DSO that really that really showed us that there was incredible wisdom in that room. And really, the most important tool in our tool kit is each other on DH. There’s an entire network here on DSO. We’re thrilled to be here at 19 and NTC to be able to tap into that that wisdom on DH, share it with our colleagues back at home, all right, and the way they are sharing this wisdom is by having you go to cause communications dot org’s slash tool kit for the ultimate communications tool kit, and you can also go to cause communications dot org’s slash lessons for the pdf alternatives. That’s right. Alright, they are Vanessa tonight, vice president that cause communications, and Gabriel Sanchez, director of communications at 1st 5 l A Thanks so much. Thanks, Tony. Thank you. Don’t hear opportunity. Thank your local. Thank you for being with our coverage of 1990. See all our 19 ntcdinosaur views brought to you by our partners at Act Blue Free fund-raising tools to help non-profits make an impact. We need to take a break. Weinger SEPA is They’re accountants. You know what they do. For goodness sake, do you need help? You help your 9 90 Need a fresh set of eyes on your books? Ah, some other kind of financial related accounting related audit. Possibly help you know where to go. You start at wagner cps dot com. Do you do diligence there and then check out, then talk to your coach to Don’t just check him out. I mean, you could see him on the website. It’s one dimension talkto pick up the phone. He’s been a guest. He’s not going to pressure you. He’ll tell you honestly whether Wagner CPS can help you or not. Get started at wagner cpas dot com Time for Tony’s take two. Summertime is planned. E-giving planning time. This is an ideal opportunity. You’ve got a little relaxed schedule. Your boss does. Maybe the board needs to be involved, too. And they do also. Probably no board meeting’s over the summer. So the you can work on your proposal your plan and, ah, pitch it upstairs where it has to go and get some attention paid to it so that you can have, ah, fall rollout or maybe a January rollout. So I think this is a good a good time to be doing that. Um, As you know, I recommend starting with charitable bequests those gifts by will for your organization that might be the place to stop. That might be. Your entire plan is just promoting charitable bequests. You could go further, but you don’t have to have a very respectable program with just request. But any case, bequests are the place to start. That’s where you want to begin your plan. There’s a little more from the beach on Ah, Cancun, Mexico, in the video at 20 martignetti dot com, And that is Tony. Stay, too. Now here is automated fund-raising. Welcome to Tony martignetti non-profit Radio coverage of 1990 si That’s the non-profit Technology Conference in Portland, Oregon, were in the convention center This interview like all our 19 ntcdinosaur views is brought to you by our partners at Act Blue Free fund-raising Tools to help non-profits make an impact. My guest at this point is Brian Louderback. He’s vice president of programs and capacity building at network Fur. Good. Brian. Welcome. Thank you, Tony. Absolutely great. To be here is always Thank you. Thank you. And your topic is three ways automation will make Sorry. Will modernize three ways. Automation will modernize your fund-raising. This is like the click candy of seminars. Three ways. Seven steps. You’re familiar with our work rhymes for things you didn’t know. All right, all right. Exactly. Um, I am familiar. Listeners are familiar, but go ahead for the new listeners who may not recall what is the work of network for good? Sure. So what we’ve done is really taking a legacy of, I would say online giving enablement when we started 15 years ago and helping provide non-profits with a space to conduct philanthropy online and teach him how to do it. That mission has really evolved over the last day decade, and now what we’re doing is taking all those dates and data and with renewed determination have a set of products that really helped new to fund-raising executive directors Or certainly first time development managers create an infrastructure that’s going to enable Mohr annual giving and certainly from individual gifts on DH to infuse a little bit more revenue and retaining donors into their non-profit bloodstream and remind listeners you were last on with Lisa Bonano. Yes, you were. You were remote. You were supposed to think you were supposed to come to the studio. Yeah, Couldn’t make it. Southwest Airlines was not cooperating with our schedule going from the airport or something. I did? Yeah, they’ve grounded the plane and everything you know? Not really. They would have a via say Sure on DH. That was when we talked about the work of network for good. Listeners can find that at tony martignetti dot com, But for today we’re talking about automation. Yeah, So what’s the trouble? Why are non-profits slow to adopt? What? Wait, Give us the headline here. It’s a little bit of everything. Our experience has been in helping about 200,000 non-profits for the last decade. Obviously, we have access to a lot of data and what we’re seeing is a CZ we from the outsiders outside perspective. Rather, there’s been a tectonic shift in how consumers interact with the world and consume content. It’s now Khun B personalized Curie. Eight curated and the frequency of it can be controlled all by the customer, the consumer. And so what we find is in trying to push non-profits in that direction. Two things happen. One. There’s sort of this legacy belief that because we’re a tax exempt were somehow non-cash were technology exempt. You know, in the sense that well, we’re non-profit, people should know that we don’t have to do all those things because we’re put bing over money and programs, and rightfully so. But in this day and age, what we see is you need to invest, Yeah, you Not only do you need to invest, but you need to embrace and exploit the functionality because we see a need to be to really create a relationship with a donor at every level at least, and using digital technology to do it at scale. Because I think as we see the a massive influx of millennial donors and certainly lagging Gen X donors, they interact with the world in ways that a number nine envelope just won’t facilitate. You know what I mean? And so what? What the need is is not only to raise awareness about the need of technology, but let’s help that small or beleaguered or emerging nonprofit organization do it the right way by not only embracing tech but embracing what automation can bring from a proper tech stack. You know, you didn’t say the phrase, but I’m thinking as you’re listening to your scarcity mindset, Yeah, we just we’re non-profit We can’t invest in in writing in digital automation. You know, our manual processes have worked for so long, so well, right, we have volunteers will come. Exactly. But so and I actually, you know, acknowledge. Ah, that perspective. However, how do we know as a non-profit that we’re doing well? Is it because we have a 30% donor-centric retention rate and set a 25? And so I think what what our sector needs to do quite frankly, is to look in the mirror and demand Ah, hyre level of output and strategy and really, you know, donor-centric City to use a cliche. But you know, donor-centric fund-raising That’s nothing new we talked about it for decades, right? But But the idea is centralising. Yeah, the donor’s preferences over what is easy for the fundraiser to execute. That needs to be the discussion and how to get that done. Because in a world where we can subscribe to anything that we want through a Web platform through online, look at Netflix. I mean, Netflix does not renew its customers by sending them a letter 30 days before their subscription is going to expire, right? And so the idea that we, as non-profits Khun, do that in a household that is heavily digitized and automates all of its payments. Teo, certainly, you know, their mortgage utilities, and then everything they do is generally online. I mean, even my grandparent’s don’t send me a $5 bill in a card anymore. You know, I get noticed from Amazon that Grandma Lauterbach just, you know, give me $50 have to go online to retrieve it. So non-profits cannot continue to hold up their tax exempt status and the fact that we’re a charity to absolve themselves from the tectonic shift that has happened now and how consumers interact with the world. Let’s start with storytelling. Yes. I don’t have too many too many panels this this year on storytelling. Okay, I have in past years just I mean, it’s so general. What? You know what? What can we do digitally to automate storytelling, making more effective all the things that story would be compelling? Heart wrenching? Yeah, moving, Make it about. Make it about the people you serve as opposed to the money that you need. You know, non-profits have perfected ways and hyre consultants to figure out even more creative ways to frame their financial need. Well, as far as I know, there’s one point 3,000,000 and counting non-profits out there that all have a financial need. And so it’s not necessarily to distinguish yourself from all the other non-profits, but if you do it right, you do it automatically and distinguish yourself. And that is talk about the unique impact of your mission. Start quantifying outcomes instead of outputs. You know, it’s not enough to say that we feed the homeless. How many people do you feed on a weekly or monthly blazes? And how does that mark mitigate the problem in that community in that neighborhood? Let’s talk about impact. You know, that’s that’s the impact, not the outcome, right? Right. Outcome is a number of meals because I think what non-profits need to do is understand that I believe and see that donors aren’t giving to non-profits. They’re giving through them. And what I mean by that is in effect, donors are outsourcing their desire for public good and impact in their communities to non-profits who have demonstrated they have the capacity to execute and achieve programmatic outcomes. So if we’re not talking about that, two donors were wasting, you know, we’re we’re wasting column inches, so to speak, on paper and email on websites. Talk about why you exist and what happens when you are fully financed. The goal of a non-profit isn’t a balance a budget. The goal of a non-profit is to achieve a mission based outcome for its community. Where’s the automation? Come in. How do how do we use automation? Yeah, tow have these successful stories, right? So what it comes from is fusing together the available channels to us and, you know, let’s just keep it simple for the moment. So we have email, we have direct mail. We have social media and text. And so the idea is we need to leverage automation to fuse those channels together to create an actual donorsearch spear. Ian ce. Because the goal is, you know, I would say we’re moving beyond a era of Doner management to a new era of donor and engagement. And so a lot of the terrain donorsearch from Doner Management. A donor engagement. Okay, Yeah, yeah, of course. Right. And so into the idea that one communication and annual report or invitation to a cultivation event is somehow you know, that combination of things ends up constitutent donorsearch stewardship. I think that’s really that’s limited thinking. What do you want to see instead, right? What? What didn’t start what I want to see. It’s what donors want to see. What donors want to see is the systematic communication of the impact that their gift or all gifts added up achieve for a new organization. So don’t tell me when it’s time to give again. Tell me when you are going to make more impact, and so in that message needs to get appropriated in texts, in social media and email, and then integrated with direct mail. I’m the last person that says, Oh, direct mail’s dead it’s not. It will always be a fixture in what it is and how it is. We communicate with donors, but I think you know what changes is, how many times in how many touches that particular channel could be effective to that particular segment. And so the rial need here is to think about how everyone consumes information, and it’s all done on phone or not all but we see a vast majority of it on phone. And the big headline here is age is no longer that determining factor for what channel’s someone will use to interact with your organization. Rather, it’s going to be a combination of multi touch that’s going to really drive a campaign message because, like, think about in the context of counter urine giving on. We talk about campaigns and data, but the reality is it’s only non-profits. Their campaign is comprised of a ah direct mail piece that goes out on some Magic day between the day after Thanksgiving and probably before the 23rd of December, and they expect these miraculous results and so on, and some of them get them because they have loyal, committed donor. Does that look past the channel? The message and see that logo and align with didn’t want to fly their flag. But the other side of it is that a campaign is the, you know, systematic communication of information to drive a group for people to get a result. And that can’t happen in one channel. You have to remind people, you know, it’s the same phenomenon where you send a direct mail peel out, don’t get a response. But then you sent an email out a month later and you see this Number nine come back into your office and that is proof positive that a multi-channel touch is what’s going to compel Mohr gift giving participation, but most importantly, Maur engagement of donors so sticking with his story telling talk about being multi-channel and digital. How do you feel about what’s your advice around? Because I pretty common practice empowering our are beneficiaries to tell their stories themselves. Yeah, you know, empowering them with the phone or some simple instructions. Sure, I think that’s well and good, but I think we would agree is a sector that is extremely difficult to get donors to jump through that hoop and make that, you know, make that make that commitment to take an action. I mean, I would argue, probably. There are many board of members of boards of directors that are slow to do that. And we all know about their accepted if you do cherry responsibility. So I think, yes, capturing the perspective of the donors is great, but they’re not the one delivering the program. They’re not working with the person that is the beneficiary of let’s capture the beneficiaries. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. Beneficiaries right is powering them. Yeah, I think to the extent that it’s possible, Absolutely. But, you know, in the construct of like human service organizations, it’s probably I think we all would generally agree that the people that we’re helping house feed and give medical care aren’t in a position or, you know, if we want to Mads low. This discussion aren’t really thinking about. Gosh, how do I help this non-profits? Really? How do we get it? But it’s time for our last break Text to give. They’re five part email. Many course dispels the myths around mobile giving. You do not have to be small double digit gifts. They can be in the hundreds. They don’t have to go through the donors phone company. Those were a couple of the myths that are dispelled. You get all the display shin of the mystification if you get there. Five part email many course. And to get that it’s one part per day. You text NPR to 444999 We’ve got butt loads. More time for automated fund-raising you Khun, you can solicit there. You can solicit totally. You know, selectively. Of course. You know we want to be careful about exploitation. All right, But But I think the first whillans Argo and another way I’ve had some guests recommended empowering the people who are delivering the services, like sort of putting the focus on them as the heroes of the organization and letting them tell the stories that they of the work that they’re doing. Oh, absolutely, in the conveyance of the benefits, right. But to do that, you need to have a technology or a system or a process to harvest all that great information and that storytelling byproduct for lack of a better term and bring it in and approach effectively appropriated and distributed to, among all channels to the people that care about the most. You could do that from direct mail to YouTube channel tio. Sure texting with Linc. Yeah, and this is not Teo marginalize any of those ideas because they’re not only are valid, they’re good and they’re best practices. However, most non-profits that’s not step one step one for a non-profit is to understand their O to have shared visibility within the organization. And it can be at the volunteer level two but a shared visibility around what the organization achieves and make sure everyone is communicating that externally. So it starts at a staff and volunteer level. And I would argue Stage two is enlisting the beneficiaries, let alone the donors, and delivering that message. Because until non-profit stop talking about their fund-raising go goal as the Rays on Detroit to fundraise, then I think there’s more work to be done at the organizational level. So I would say it’s about the It’s about a sequence in about what stage appropriate based upon the human and financial resource, is that I had that an organization has part of what you were talking about, and you mention this, but with cult action, the engagement, a cz, the cult action as engagement had. What’s your What’s your advice around technology and supporting that? Ah, so you’re automation automation? Yeah, So it is automation. You know, people kind of use the phrase, set it and forget it. That’s not inaccurate. But it kind of creates this belief that once we automate acknowledgement and engagement, then we don’t have to worry about those donors or that group or whatever the opposite is true. What automation allows you to do is focus on the things as a fundraiser that you always wanted to focus on, but never of time. And that is what is the impact or what the result from this email did this subject line work that is called action work? Did this text message get engaged with, and so it allows the fundraiser instead of worrying about, you know, getting the email out or getting the letter out, it allows the fundrasing think about what is what is the actual result is this channel for this campaign achieving what I need to? And then if it’s not how doe I re calibrate or optimized, how do we answer that question whether that channel is provided giving us our ally, right? Well, so the first step, you know, the natural inclination of a fundraiser obviously see like is it bringing in money? And that is the I would argue that is the penultimate metric, the ultimate metric. First, to figure out if you’re if you’re content and if your message is resonating, is people are people engaging with it? Are they opening? Are they clicking and so wants you? Once you’re able to measure the, you know, a hopefully a steady increase in the level of engagement, then I think that’s when you can start to go to the next, not the next level. But then the second consideration is it raising money, right? So because there are many great messages you can put out there that engage a donor that don’t necessarily have to quote unquote culminate with a gift or philanthropy eso I would argue that the number one metric that every fundraiser needs to be thinking about today and moving forward is engagement, as opposed to just participation, just the amount raised and the date that it came in. And when is it up for renewal because, you know, engagement. There’s, ah, hyre relationship between an engaged owner and a second gift alone increase gift. Then there is, you know, just how many solicitations do they respond, Tio, Um, you part of what you say in your session description is increasing efficiency. Yeah, with the fund-raising platforms, right? What? What can we do? So the way the thing about efficiency is like, I was, you know, I’m a dumpster fundraiser of 12 years right before he returned to a big bad consultant and then network for good and all that funds. And I would I remember 80% of my day wass in a delivery. Logistics. How do I get this email out? How does this postcard go out This invitation Go out. And and so the idea is, let’s be planned ful about what all those touches are going to be throughout the year. Let’s use technology to automate as many of them as possible so that we can stay focused on the thing that actually matter. What What are some of the tools that you don’t think enough non-profits air using or are aware of or or tools within platforms? Yeah. What what? What’s under exposed? I think what’s under exposed is like, for example, in the donor management systems out there. Are you able to produce text and email, let alone integrated with direct mail communication? I’m not talking creating a list or a segment. I’m talking about actual fund-raising cockpit, right? Whereby you Khun Sure, pull your list, your lead select and all that fun stuff. But then create and schedule campaign to deploy a text, deploying email also and then to produce a direct mail piece that works within that er that fits within that message framework on DH, then also the portability of that content over to social channels Instagram, Facebook, you know? So I would say that the thing that non-profits need to be looking for again it’s going back to my statement about we’re moving. You know, donorsearch will always be something we need to do and the highest priority. But we need to move beyond technology a zey donor-centric construct and think about in terms of donor gauge mint. We have to manage our donors and segment our donors so we know who to ask for what reason what time and what they want to hear, And how do we begin a relationship with them? So, yeah, it’s looking at at the platforms out there that allow you to doom or than enter and report and analyze data. That’s a critical thing that we always need to dio. But then it’s like, Okay, how do we How do we take the insights from that analysis and apply them to production and engagement? And so that’s that’s That’s where we’re going. I think that’s where we need to go. Is a sector? Is Mohr software companies looking at the what neat. What constitutes engagement and creating a optimal donor experience. And the donor experience just isn’t a timely acknowledgement letter or a nice looking website. Instead, it’s end end throughout the year. How are we going to make sure this person knows we’re doing the job they subcontract us to do with their $10 gift, let alone their $10,000 gift? Okay, Uh, you got some big ideas. You get something? We got some time. We got another full three minutes or so. What? What else you gonna share? You haven’t done your session yet? No, no. What else? You’re gonna sew one of things that were going to share tell people were so Network for Good is releasing a white paper that we did on will be released at the at our session on Friday, and then we’re going to share it with the rest of this sector. But basically what we did is three year study that followed 2000 non-profit organizations and knowns that use multiple channels of digital technology to communicate. And those that did not the headline here and this probably doesn’t surprise you. The headline is that those that used to arm or channels to communicate and solicit and thank donors and year and giving had a higher average gift by about 40%. And those that did. I’m surprised we need data to make this point. I know I’m not talking about being donor-centric and multi-channel well, multi-channel not as long as donor-centric right, but it’s been a long time exact multi-channel. You’ve got to go where the people are. Well, that’s the thing is like, I think what what the sector has lacked is and an example that we could be held up and pointed to a success. While it’s a commercial example, I love it and we deconstructed in the white paper what Netflix does to achieve a 91% customer retain tension rate. They simply used data, segmentation, text and email and then, of course, have great content online, right? And the combination of those things and everything that gets touched in the in delivering those things create this composite profile of their users, so they know exactly what to say and what exactly what? Content to position. Now, that’s an extreme example. But I use it because Netflix doesn’t have this oughta magical technology that does it all forum. They’re doing the spadework that every non-profit has the ability to do at any stage, right? You don’t have to have a full time digital fundraiser or a data analyst to be able to do this stuff. It’s about basic block and tackle and being planned ful as opposed to react. All right, so this is a case study of Netflix, and yet case the lessons for non-profits. It’s not out yet, not out yet, be released on Friday and then the whole sector the following week, where we’re going to get it so you can get it at network for good dot com on you confined it on Facebook A ce Well, yeah, and we’ll be launching on. We’ll have a couple of webinars around it to really present the findings. But most importantly, is to present some how to things that non-profit due to, you know, starting quote unquote tomorrow. One of things that we’re offering is a no digital navigation kit. Basically, how to make a case to aboard that they need to invest in fund-raising how to make a case, your boss, that you can work more efficiently with technology. Basically, it helps the fundraiser make a case internally that guys, we have to adapt. And here’s why. Because sometimes fund-raising our struggle to make that case to a board or two a boss. And so do you want to make that easy For part of the cases? You’re already experiencing it right through Netflix. Amazon, right, Zappos, your experience in this this seamlessness and this great experience they’ve all raised the bar we now need toe be dragged along raised, raised up to mix my metaphor drag along. But everybody’s experience Our donors are experiencing this everywhere else online way. You need to be there too. And we’re creating this cognitive dissonance. Everytime we don’t, we’re gonna leave it there. All right, he’s Brian Louderback. Hey, thanks so much, Tony. And he’s the vice president of programs and capacity building and networked for good. You’re very welcome, Brian. My pleasure. This interview, like all the others for 19 NTC brought to you by our partners attacked Blue Free fund-raising tools to help non-profits make an impact. Thanks so much for being with us next week. Yolanda Johnson. She’s women in developments. New president If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you find it on tony martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by pursuing online tools for small and midsize non-profits, Data driven and technology enabled Tony dahna slash pursuant by Wagner CPS Guiding YOU beyond the numbers weinger cps dot com and by text to give mobile donations made easy text NPR to 444 999 A creative producer was Claire Meyerhoff. Sam Liebowitz is the lying producer. Shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our Web guy, and this music is by Scott Stein of Brooklyn, New York. Thank you, Scotty. 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