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The sgENGAGE Podcast

Subscribe to The sgENGAGE Podcast to hear experts from across the social good community share best practices, tips and must-know trends that will help organizations increase their impact. Formerly called the Raise & Engage Podcast.
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Dec 12, 2019

Long standing social good organizations have developed foundational fundraising and engagement methods that have provided for them for decades or more. As technology continues to shrink the world, increasing competition and changing the way we communicate with one another, how can business principles and skills help bring historically traditional nonprofits and other social good organizations into the future? 

Dorri McWhorter, president and CEO of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, joined host Rachel Hutchisson to discuss how she modernized the organization and is bringing it to new levels of success. Listen in to hear about Dorri’s work, combining business skillsets with a nonprofit, and understanding the value of a cause. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • How Dorri modernized the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
  • Balancing a business approach in the nonprofit sector
  • Importance of revenue in nonprofits
  • Understanding and communicating the ultimate value of your organization and cause
  • Advice for social good leaders looking to future-proof their organizations

Resources:

Dorri McWhorter 

Quotes: 

“How can we get to the problems and just start solving them?”

“It just so happens that we have this wonderful tax status that allows us to look at the business differently.”

“A business solves problems and we solve problems too, we just don’t frame it like that.”

Dec 5, 2019

Pro bono volunteering can be a strategic resource for social change, benefiting companies, social good organizations, and individuals. But what makes pro-bono relationships work for all partners, and how can your company or social good organization set up a pro bono program that has an impact? 

In today’s episode, recorded live at bbcon 2019, we explore the construct of successful pro-bono partnerships. Danielle Holly, CEO of Common Impact, joined host Rachel Hutchisson to talk about how organizations can make pro-bono volunteering work. Listen in to hear Danielle’s insights on the benefits of pro-bono, what organizations need to be thinking about when shaping a pro-bono program, and how to measure the success of a pro-bono partnership from both sides of the partnership. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • How pro-bono can be a strategic resource for social change
  • Shaping pro-bono partnerships
  • Pro-bono volunteer tools for nonprofits
  • The benefits of pro-bono for companies and employees
  • Finding the right connections between companies and nonprofits
  • Why it’s important to avoid pro bono partnerships that are poor fits
  • How to lay the groundwork at the beginning of a successful engagement
  • How to measure success on both sides
  • Examples of companies that successfully plan pro-bono projects

Resources:

Danielle Holly

Read more from Danielle Holly on Pro-Bono Volunteering

Capacity Commons

Quotes:  

“At its core, skills-based is about translating any talent, expertise, superpower, whether that’s carpentry or painting or marketing, to a need that a social change organization has.”

“There are very few skillsets, very few projects that don’t translate between sectors.”

“As a company, ensuring that you are committed to an honest, trusted partnership is something that we always say you need to come out of the gate with.”

Nov 21, 2019

Companies are under increasing pressure to be socially conscious, if not socially active. But what’s the best way to do this authentically? How can you make sure that your purpose and your business strategies are aligned in a way that resonates with employees, customers and other stakeholders? 

In today’s interview with Sarah Chapman, Director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Deloitte Canada, we discuss how businesses and organizations are following the trend of being more socially active. Listen in to hear Sarah talks with host Rachel Hutchisson about how Deloitte Canada has increasingly incorporated purpose into their strategy, and her advice for how other companies can do the same.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • How Deloitte Canada is reacting to the trend of businesses being socially conscious and active
  • What Deloitte Canada is seeing across companies it works with in its Corporate Purpose practice, and how it’s advising them to incorporate purpose
  • Deloitte Canada’s “Tomorrow, Together” strategy and how employees, customers and stakeholders have responded
  • Impacts that Sarah is particularly proud of
  • Advice for companies that want to align purpose with business strategy

Resources:

Sarah Chapman

Webinar: The Evolution of CSR: How to Align Your Charity with Corporate Initiatives

Quotes: 

“At the end of the day, what it’s really about is standing for something and proving it in everything you say and do.” –Sarah Chapman

“What I’m actually advising clients now is taking a more center of the business approach.”

“Don’t wait for the perfect moments. Go and sort of get some quick wins.”

Nov 14, 2019

Smokey Bear, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk, Keep America Beautiful, The Crash Test Dummies…the Ad Council is well known for these and many other successful public service ad campaigns.  We sat down with them to peek behind the curtain and get tips that all social good organizations can leverage.

In this episode of the sgENGAGE Podcast, recorded in front of a live audience at bbcon 2019, Anthony Signorelli, SVP of Corporate Partnerships at the Ad Council, talks with host Rachel Hutchisson about how the organization creates its iconic campaigns. Listen to this interview to learn about the key elements for creating a successful campaign, the research that the Ad Council does before launching a campaign, and how organizations with smaller budgets and limited resources can effectively spread their message.  

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Key elements of successful ad campaigns
  • How research factors into the work the Ad Council does
  • How the Ad Council works with partners to understand and leverage metrics
  • An example of a particularly successful Ad Council campaign and why it was so successful
  • Tips for how organizations with smaller budgets and limited resources can run successful campaigns
  • How the Ad Council is now able to help more organizations get started with its Ad Council Edge consultancy
  • How organizations can get involved with the Ad Council’s new She Can STEM campaign 

Resources:

Anthony Signorelli

She Can STEM

See Anthony speak at bbcon with the bbcon 2019 virtual pass

Quotes: 

“I do love really bringing together lots of different people and lots of different organizations.”

“In order to be effective, it’s really important to focus on a single-minded message.”

“If you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve, you’ll never get there.”

Nov 7, 2019

As a 100-year-old organization, Save the Children is one of the most well-known nonprofits in the world. But as with any longstanding organization, they have needed to balance tradition with evolving to meet new challenges and needs.

This episode of the sgENGAGE Podcast, recorded live at bbcon 2019, features a conversation between Catherine LaCour, chief marketing officer at Blackbaud, and Janti Soeripto, COO & president of Save the Children U.S.. Listen in to learn about how Save the Children U.S., as a long-established organization, is adjusting to changing expectations and new challenges to keep their brand relevant while remaining effective and true to their mission. Janti has provides great insight about how their engagement strategy has evolved and how technology is helping them achieve their mission.

Topics Discussed in This Episode: 

  • Staying true and relevant to brand and mission in a changing environment
  • How engagement strategy evolves in response to new expectations
  • Leading with storytelling
  • Strategies for offering an increased response with fewer resources
  • Approaches for more effectively engaging donors
  • How technology helps Save the Children in their mission
  • What collaboration looks like for Save the Children

Resources:

 Janti Soeripto

Watch Janti speak at bbcon with the bbcon 2019 virtual pass.See Janti's presentation at bbcon with the bbcon 2019 virtual pass.

Quotes: 

“The relationships with local communities in the countries where we work, that is the most critical part of really getting sustainable change. And that takes decades to build it.”

“We really need to meet people where they are.”

“We need people to be really engaged and we need people to fight for the rights that we hold dear.”

Oct 31, 2019

How has grassroots advocacy changed in the past few years? And what are the current grassroots advocacy trends that your organization should be leveraging to have greater success?

Today’s episode, recorded at bbcon 2019, features Jeb Ory, co-founder and CEO at Phone2Action and Zach Ragbourn, director of digital communications at National Parks Conservation Association. Listen in to hear Jeb and Zach speak with host Steve MacLaughlin about how to influence legislators, how digital advances have changed advocacy, and how to think about youth advocacy.  

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Changes in the grassroots advocacy space in the past few years
  • What influences legislators from an advocacy standpoint
  • Strengths of storytelling and personalization 
  • How digital has changed advocacy
  • How to think about youth advocacy
  • How to make advocacy and communication sustainable

Resources:

Jeb Ory

Zach Ragbourn

Modern Advocacy Requires Modern Tools

Quotes:  

“It’s now common and acceptable for people to share what they feel about issues online, on social media.” –Jeb Ory

“We’re turning a corner toward greater personalization and a greater need for emotional storytelling, both to and from advocates, to move the needle.” –Zach Ragbourn

“What it all comes down to is listening, honestly.” –Zach Ragbourn

Oct 24, 2019

Innovation is a big buzzword today, but what does it actually mean for social good organizations to innovate? And how can leaders create an atmosphere that allows for innovation?

Today’s episode, recorded at bbcon 2019 in Nashville features Kyla Shawyer of DSIL, an agency that works with organizations to innovate through systems changes and human-centered design. Listen in to hear Kyla talk with host Steve MacLaughlin about how the working environment has changed for leaders, what liberating structures means and why it’s important, and how to take more risks to achieve innovation. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • How the working environment has changed in terms of what’s expected from leaders
  • Engagement in established vs new organizations
  • Statistics on worker engagement
  • Liberating structures
  • How to take risks in risk-averse environments
  • Fear of failure in leadership
  • The power of hierarchy
  • The role of feedback

Resources:

Quotes: 

“I think leadership is about creating an environment where people can flourish.”

“About 16% of full-time employees are actively disengaged in what they do.”

“Innovations can sometimes be as much about stopping doing something as starting it.”

Oct 10, 2019

The 8th annual #GivingTuesday is coming up soon on December 3,2019.  #GivingTuesday represents an opportunity for everyone to give back in a variety of ways, and companies are increasingly realizing how important it is to get involved in this global movement. Listen in to today’s episode for tips on how your company can leverage its people and core competencies to engage on #GivingTuesday.

In this super-sized episode, Blackbaud’s Rachel Hutchisson talks to both Gary Levante, senior vice president of Corporate Responsibility & Culture at Berkshire Bank and Icema Gibbs, director of Corporate Social Responsibility at JetBlue. Gary and Icema share how their respective companies celebrate #GivingTuesday and how the day connects to the rest of their CSR programs and overall business strategy. They also give advice for how other companies can make a mark on this global day of giving. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Why it’s important for companies to step up on Giving Tuesday
  • How to evaluate #GivingTuesday success
  • How #GivingTuesday relates to Berkshire Bank’s core purpose
  • What Berkshire Bank employees do to celebrate #GivingTuesday
  • Why it’s so important to leverage social media on #GivingTuesday
  • Gary’s tips for small-to-midsize companies who want to participate in this year’s #GivingTuesday
  • Last year’s JetBlue #GivingTuesday initiative, Destination Good
  • How JetBlue employees engage on Giving Tuesday
  • Spreading out the giving spirit over the whole year
  • Measuring the impact of giving and volunteering programs
  • Icema’s advice for how to leverage your company’s core competencies to make an impact on #GivingTuesday

Resources:

Gary Levante

Icema Gibbs

#GivingTuesday Toolkit and Resources

Quotes:  

“When I think of the real power of social media it’s to have a conversation with your customers with your community members with your partners about why activities like giving Tuesday are important.” --Gary Levante

“Our crew members are giving back not only through financial contributions, but really giving back in ways of really highlighting what’s important to them in their communities.” --Icema Gibbs

“We realized that we have to be able to talk about not only the outcomes, but the impact. What we did was fine, but how did we help somebody? What was the impact?” --Icema Gibbs

Oct 3, 2019

Coming up with strategies for fundraising can be difficult. However, if there’s a culture in place that promotes and encourages giving as a norm, an important chunk of the work is already done. That’s why it’s so important to create a culture of philanthropy, especially in social good organizations.

On today’s episode, Alia McKee and Mark Rovner of Sea Change Strategies are here to talk about their report, Inside Out Fundraising: How to Create a Culture of Philanthropy by Treating Systems Instead of Symptoms. Alia and Mark explain what it means to have a culture of philanthropy, the things that get in the way of creating that culture and how organizations can overcome the challenges to doing do. Listen to the episode to learn why culture is an important part of fundraising success and hear the big takeaways from their research. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode: 

  • The signs Alia and Mark saw that indicated it was time to start talking about culture with their clients
  • What it means to create a culture of philanthropy, and why it’s so important
  • What Alia and Mark found in their research
  • The primary challenges that get in the way of forming a culture of philanthropy
  • Implementing “the golden trio” in your organization
  • Balancing facts and data with passion for a cause
  • What boards can do to take pressure off fundraisers
  • How fundraisers can put recommendations from the Inside Out Fundraising report into action 

Resources:

Alia McKee

Mark Rovner

Sea Change Strategies

Inside Out Fundraising: How to Create a Culture of Philanthropy by Treating Systems Instead of Symptoms

Quotes: 

“I think the biggest “aha” was that only one in five fundraisers say their organization has a strong culture of philanthropy.” –Alia McKee 

“Increasingly with channel proliferation, with people being communicated with across multiple channels, you can’t do your own thing without affecting other pieces.” –Mark Rovner

“I think that the first piece needs to be stock-taking.” –Mark Rovner

Sep 26, 2019

We all know that it’s important for social good organizations to connect and engage with stakeholders in order to achieve their missions. One of the most effective ways this can be done is through storytelling. But how do you craft your story in a way that gets across your message while emotionally connecting with people? Today’s episode will teach you just that! 

In this episode of the sgENGAGE Podcast, host Christine Newman is joined by two storytelling experts, Jocelyn Wright and Kirk Lilwall of Blackbaud University. Listen in to hear what Jocelyn and Kirk have to say about the different types of stories organizations can tell, how to leverage multimedia communication channels, and key tactics for conducting interviews that will result in the information you need to craft a compelling story. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Why stories are so valuable in getting people to engage with an organization or cause
  • Types of stories that are most effective for social good organizations 
  • Elements that every good story should have
  • Storytelling for diverse audiences
  • How to tell a story that moves people without overwhelming them
  • Examples of powerful stories from social good organizations
  • Telling the stories of protected groups without violating privacy
  • How technology has changed the approach and strategy for storytelling 

Resources:

Jocelyn Wright

Kirk Lilwall

Blackbaud University Organizational Best Practices: Multimedia Storytelling 

Blackbaud University

Visual Storytelling for the Modern Nonprofit

 Quotes: 

“The stories that you tell are really going to shape the way that people perceive your organization, how they understand your organization, and also how they understand their relationship with your organization.” –Jocelyn Wright

“We’re all storytellers in our everyday lives. When you send texts, you send emails, you make phone calls, all those things are stories.” –Kirk Lilwall

“Personal stories are something that’s always going to resonate.” –Jocelyn Wright

Sep 19, 2019

December 3rd, 2019 marks the 8th annual #GivingTuesday. It has grown every year since its inception and become an important part of the end-of-year giving season. But with so many different organizations taking notice of the success and participating, it’s important to find a way for your organization to stand out. 

Joining host Rachel Hutchisson on the podcast today is Jennifer Dunworth, director of development for the Maryland SPCA, who shares the background on the creative campaign her organization used last year that helped them raise $41,000… $11,000 more than their goal. Listen in to hear what Jennifer has to say about preparing your organization for Giving Tuesday, engaging and exciting your donors, and managing the creative flow from idea to execution.  

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • What the Maryland SPCA did last year for #GivingTuesday that gained so much attention
  • Being creative and effective in your #GivingTuesday campaign
  • Most important steps when preparing a #GivingTuesday campaign
  • Keys to getting donors excited
  • How encouraging early engagement factored into the overall year-end giving campaign
  • Lessons from last year’s campaign that can be applied in the future
  • The difficulty of being distinctive 

Resources:

Jennifer Dunworth

#GivingTuesday Toolkit

#GivingTuesday article series

Blackbaud #GivingTuesday Webinar Series

Quotes: 

“As you can imagine, some folks are very vehemently one team or the other, and we want to ensure that we always represent Team Both.”

“Remember that you can get lost in the creative joy and sort of overinvest your time.”

“What popped was not the times that we closeted ourselves in a room and actively, almost forcefully brainstormed – although there was a lot of good stuff from those brainstorms that we used later – it was really the organic conversations.”

Sep 12, 2019

What is leadership? Knowing that management is directive and leadership is connective is a great place to start, but social good leaders often struggle with understanding and balancing these two.

To explore what leadership really means in a connected organization, Marc Pitman joins host Steve MacLaughlin on the podcast today to talk about the role of the social good CEO or executive director in fundraising, how to connect and balance internal and external leadership, and why continuous improvement is such a powerful way for organizations to focus.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • What fundraising leadership is really about
  • Balancing external and internal leadership 
  • Why nonprofits bring in COOs
  • The different perspectives of founders vs leaders who were passed the torch
  • The importance of continuous improvement 
  • The key qualities leaders need to develop to be effective
  • How to help your staff develop
  • The importance of finding support from peers or coaches

Resources:

Marc Pitman

Blackbaud Institute: The Connected Office eBook

The Wake Up Call leadership research

Marc's framework for growing in confidence as a leader

The Executive Coach Project Report by Compass Point

Quotes: 

“Part of what leaders need to do is cast a vision of something that’s greater than… some better world, some better experience for whatever the mission is that they’re trying to solve.”

“Doing that really well, caring for that cause, doesn’t provide the revenue.”

“I have a growing appreciation for events – if they’re not solely for fundraising.”

Sep 5, 2019

As a charitable organization, how can you leverage the popularity of live streaming to fundraise? How do you find a live streamer to pair up with? And how can you build and have a successful relationship with live streamers? 

Today’s episode features Alyssa Sweetman, the Charity Program Manager at Twitch. Tune in to hear her talk to Roz Lemieux, director of Blackbaud Labs, about how nonprofits and other social good organizations can work with live streamers, also known as content creators, to raise money on live streaming platforms.

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • What is Twitch?
  • Who is a content creator?
  • How to get started with partnering with a live streamer, or content creator
  • The kind of support or assets organizations should plan to provide content creators to build relationships and aid them in fundraising
  •  What makes for a good impact statement?
  • How live streamers make nonprofit content engaging for viewers
  • The most interesting fundraising live stream event Ally has seen
  • The different ways content creators raise money on Twitch

Resources:

Twitch

Alyssa Sweetman

Article: How to Harness the Fundraising Power of Twitch

Questions for Alyssa? Email her at Alyssa: charity@twitch.tv

Quotes:

“If you build these relationships up, they can grow every year.”

“When we think about money, we don’t often think of instantaneously give it away. So it’s often about making an emotional connection.”

“People like to feel like they have a bit of control, power, and that they can contribute.”

Aug 29, 2019

Hill Days, also known as “fly-ins,” are an important part of social good organizations’ advocacy strategies in the U.S., bringing their supporters together to speak with their members of Congress to advocate for priority issues and legislation. Preparation is key for these fly-in days to be successful. So, what’s the best way to prepare for a meeting with a member of congress? How can people working in the social good community make sure that elected officials prioritize their concerns? That’s what today’s guest is here to talk about. 

Sandra Swirski, co-founder of the D.C. based advocacy firm Urban Swirski & Associates, has helped many charitable organizations and nonprofits run awareness campaigns, build coalitions and advocate their priorities to members of Congress. Tune in to hear Sandra talk with Sally Ehrenfried, Blackbaud’s principal government relations leader, about what makes a meeting with a legislator successful, how to prepare to walk into a meeting, and how to follow up after a meeting. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • What makes a meeting successful from an elected official’s perspective
  • What makes a meeting successful from the social sector’s perspective
  • Scheduling meetings with legislators
  • How to prepare your organization and advocates for Hill meetings
  • Deciding on your key messages
  • What to say to fly-in participants who are disappointed to meet with congressional staff than with their representatives or senators
  • Resources for training and developing talking points
  • How to research before talking to elected officials
  • Following-up after meetings to continue the conversations

Resources:

Sandra Swirski

Quotes: 

“What I do in Washington, generally, is I translate what is happening in Washington to the donor community and then I help donors translate what they do and their concerns to Congress.”

“I also find that the more gracious and firmer you are, the more likely you are to get what you want.” 

“Always start with timely, because that is very important to the member. That they will naturally be able to act on.”

Aug 22, 2019

This year, #GivingTuesday falls on December 3. While this feels far away now, it will be here sooner than you think, and it’s time to start preparing! Whether you work at a small nonprofit, a community hospital, a large museum, or anything in between, #GivingTuesday can help your organization attract new donors, re-engage old ones, or even just set the stage for year-end giving campaigns.

In today’s episode, Tanya Fitzgerald, senior marketing manager at Blackbaud, joins host Steve MacLaughlin to talk about how organizations can prepare for a successful #GivingTuesday and year-end giving season. Listen in to hear some #GivingTuesday success stories and to learn some key steps for preparing a campaign, how to develop messaging that resonates, and the key elements to include in a stewardship plan.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • What #GivingTuesday is and why it’s important to social good organizations
  • How to prepare for #GivingTuesday and the end-of year-giving season
  • Making sure that the entire organization understands the importance of end-of-year
  • Messaging around #GivingTuesday and end-of-year giving to help you stand out
  • Stewardship plans for different types of donors
  • Thinking beyond just fundraising - creative ways to leverage the day to create awareness and thank volunteers and donors
  • Stories of innovative success stories from organizations

Resources:

Tanya Fitzgerald

#GivingTuesday Toolkit

#GivingTuesday Best Practices Article Series

Quotes: 

“This to me is a global day of kindness, a way that you can connect with others, share your heart, and you can do it many different ways.” –Tanya Fitzgerald

“Your volunteers are your donors. They give more than just your donors.” –Tanya Fitzgerald

“You should really have a #GivingTuesday stewardship plan.” –Tanya Fitzgerald

Aug 15, 2019

New privacy regulations, data breaches and consumer attitudes about data privacy are constantly in the headlines. But it’s not just corporations that have to worry about data privacy - data privacy regulations are a serious topic for social good organizations as well.

Cameron Stoll, Principal Legal Counsel at Blackbaud, joins host Steve MacLaughlin to explore the topic of data privacy regulations in depth. Listen in to learn about the changing expectations of consumers and donors, the importance of transparency in data privacy policies, and how the GDPR is influencing data privacy regulations globally.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The effect that Cambridge Analytica had on the privacy regulation discourse
  • The penalties associated with data breaches
  • The new normal when it comes to privacy regulations
  • The changing expectations of consumers and donors
  • Transparency around data usage
  • Consent issues with data
  • The differences between implicit consent and affirmative consent
  • Creating privacy policies that live up to stakeholder expectations, above and beyond legal requirements
  • Planning for new privacy regulations

Resources:

Cameron Stoll

Privacy Toolkit: An Introductory Guide to Safeguarding Your Constituent Data

Article: Two Crucial Themes from the GDPR Featuring in US-Privacy Legislation 

Quotes: 

“I think this one’s going to stick. July 2019 was the biggest month for privacy enforcement in history.” –Cameron Stoll

“Cambridge Analytica really changed the landscape of privacy and the concept of privacy in the everyday user.” –Cameron Stoll

“It really is a top-down effort, because privacy controls affect so many different aspects of an organization’s behavior.” –Cameron Stoll

Aug 8, 2019

An organization’s finance team is often one of the biggest overlooked strategic assets. However, in a connected office the finance team is a crucial part of driving success for an organization’s mission.


Joining the podcast today to explore this topic is Russell Pomeranz, President and CEO of Claverack Advisory Group. Listen in to hear Russell and host Steve MacLaughlin talk about the crucial role of finance in mission success, how and why the finance team should build relationships with other departments, and the importance of investing for the long term.  

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The importance of financial leadership in mission success
  • Why organization leadership can’t operate in a vacuum
  • How to build relationships from the finance team outward
  • Understanding the mix of different funding sources
  • How finance can partner with other departments to make critical investments
  • Thinking about the budget in non-traditional ways
  • Investing for the long-term 

Resources:

Russell Pomeranz

eBook: The Connected Office: Your Guide to Creating a Cohesive Constituent Experience

Article: Three Roles of the Nonprofit CFO that Lead to Mission Success

Quotes: 

“Basically, mission success, fundraising success, marketing success, programmatic success, can’t happen without financial function leadership, and financial function leadership can’t happen without understanding the mission.” –Russell Pomeranz

“The drive and the alignment of finance and fundraising, and finance and programming, and finance and everything else is so important to get the organization to where it wants to go.” –Russell Pomeranz

“The notion of investing long-term is limited because finance committees and boards are so focused on the short-term they’ve stopped thinking strategically on the long-term.” –Russel Pomeranz

Aug 1, 2019

What’s the last thing you failed at? What did you learn from it? How you think about failure in the context of learning can make a big difference in future performance – both personally and as an organization.

Today’s guest is Kate Robinson, executive director of the film Failing Forward: On the Road to Social Impact. Kate talked to host Steve MacLaughlin about how nonprofits and social good organizations can use failure to make a bigger impact. Listen to the episode to hear what Kate Robinson has to say about learning culture, the questions that organizations should be asking to improve programs, and what role funders play in the process of failure and learning.

Topics Discussed in This Episode: 

  • The purpose of Kate’s documentary, Failing Forward: On the Road to Social Impact
  • The characteristics of a learning culture
  • The pressure on nonprofits to appear effective
  • Using data as a tool to learn and drive decision making
  • Questions that organizations should ask to learn and improve programs
  • Overcoming resistance within organizations to “failing fast”
  • The dangers of not having a learning culture open to failure
  • The role of funders in adjusting perspectives to make learning from failure a bigger part of the equation
  • Building trust between funders and grantees to allow for more transparency 

Resources:

Kate Robinson

Failing Forward

Quotes: 

“I really set out to find an organization that I could use to kind of illustrate learning culture.” –Kate Robinson

“A learning culture puts learning as a very key priority for the organization.” –Kate Robinson

“To funders, I would say even if you think you’re being very extensive in your offer to hear what’s not working or hear the learning, I would say go even a step further” –Kate Robinson

Jul 25, 2019

Peer-to-peer fundraising continues to be an increasingly important part of the fundraising strategy for nonprofits and other social good organizations. But how do you know if your organization is successfully leveraging this fundraising channel? And what trends should you consider incorporating into your programs?   

On this episode, the authors of the just-released 2019 Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Study – Katie Walters, Tanya Turschic, Shana Masterson, Robyn Mendez, and Jennifer Cobb – join the podcast to answer these questions and more. Listen in to hear about different types of peer-to-peer fundraising programs, what motivates participants, the influence of Facebook on giving behavior, and why email is still an indicator of engagement.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • How organizations can use the study to improve their peer-to-peer fundraising programs
  • Important benchmarks from 281 organizations across the U.S. and Canada
  • Types of P2P fundraising programs
  • The rise of crowdfunding and DIY fundraising
  • What motivates P2P fundraisers the most
  • The impact of registration fees on fundraising behavior
  • Email as an indicator of engagement
  • How to benchmark your organization against the study findings

Resources:

2019 Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Study

Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Resource Hub

Quotes: 

“The most popular programs that we see are DIY fundraising programs and crowdfunding programs.” –Robyn Mendez

“Fundraising performance benchmarks by participants and by fundraisers, they help you measure your event potential.” – Tanya Turshic

“Every organization who has ever had a peer-to-peer fundraiser, ever, has the same exact goal. They want to attract more participants, they want to have more participants fundraising, and they want to have more participants fundraising more.” – Shana Masterson

Jul 18, 2019

This episode was originally published on April 5, 2018 as part of Blackbaud’s previous Raise & Engage Podcast.

In recent years we’ve seen the power of movements. Movements can create trends, bring people together in support of a common cause, and drive meaningful and significant change. But how do they happen? What gets a movement started, and then what causes it to grow and accelerate?

Today’s guest, Henry Timms, talks with host Steve MacLaughlin about these questions and more. As a co-founder of #GivingTuesday during his time as president and CEO of the 92nd Street Y and co-author with Jeremy Heimans of New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World--and How to Make It Work for You, Henry is more than familiar with the powers that drive movements. Listen to the episode to hear what Henry has to say about new power and how it is shaping and affecting modern movements for social good.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The differences between old power and new power
  • How movements like #GivingTuesday, the Ice Bucket Challenge, and #MeToo represent a fundamental change in the way that power is harnessed and used
  • The importance of mobilization
  • How new power is giving more people more agency to get involved in causes and make change
  • Why people are more loyal to causes than to specific organizations and how that’s disrupting old models of power
  • What Henry thinks movements will look like and how they’ll change over the next decade
  • Which old power values are still important
  • What can be learned from established movement-builders

Links and Resources:

Henry Timms

New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World--and How to Make It Work for You

Article: New Power & Social Good: Thoughts from Jeremy Heimans

Quotes: 

“When you start to look at the world, you start to see these themes emerging, which is that the people who are coming out on top are the people who understand mobilization.”

“We’ve all realized now that the assumptions of the 20th century - that if truth was on your side you’d come out on top - we know that’s no longer true.”

“The key to a movement is that it’s only a movement if it moves without you.”

Jul 11, 2019

On The sgENGAGE Podcast, we’ve talked about the importance of engaging supporters in the mission and the work that social good organizations are doing. But what’s the best way to get supporters to move beyond engagement, to connection and even taking direct action? Have we been thinking about the data wrong all along? 

Today’s guest is Shana Masterson, a Principal Business Analyst at Blackbaud and peer-to-peer fundraising expert. Listen in to hear her talk with host Steve MacLaughlin about why it’s time to pay more attention to Gen X (and what will happen if you don’t), what the emerging trends are in peer-to-peer fundraising, and how new ways of fundraising are encouraging more donors to get involved.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Why it’s important to pay attention to Generation X, and the risks that organizations take by not engaging them
  • Factors to consider beyond generation when reaching out to potential donors
  • Emerging trends and technology in peer-to-peer fundraising
  • Different ways supporters are choosing to fundraise for charitable organizations
  • How to engage with independent fundraisers
  • How new ways of fundraising are encouraging more donors to give in novel ways
  • The emerging importance of understanding analytics for engaging peer-to-peer fundraisers

Resources:

Shana Masterson

Article: Getting Serious About Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Data with Predictive Analytics

Webinar: The Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Revolution: DIY Fundraising and More

Quotes:

“Gen X, who has been remarkably ignored for a long period of time, is actually a group of Americans who are poised to become what we’re saying is the next big thing for philanthropy.”

“There are all sorts of behaviors that we really need to start looking at to form the picture of what are the clusters of the population that we need to look at and how can we segment them and market and communicate with them in a way that’s going to resonate most.” 

“Twitch, I think the last numbers that I saw, gamers have raised over 110 million dollars for charity. Doing what they love and watching what they love and are able to actually fundraise as a result of doing things like gaming marathons and challenges around their gaming.”

Jul 5, 2019

When you reach out and engage with donors, you could be setting the stage for a relationship that lasts a lifetime. This is even more important with your younger donors - however, you need to use the right strategies to begin to build that lasting relationship. What are younger donors looking for? What’s the right approach and what will it take to execute?

In this episode, you’ll hear from Joe Garecht, President of Garecht Fundraising Associates and founder of The Fundraising Authority, about cultivating younger donors. Listen to the episode to learn what donor cultivation means, what the cultivation process should look like, and about the 8 keys to cultivating younger donors that may alter your playbook. 

After listening, click on the webinar link in the “Resources” section below to hear more from Joe on this topic, including the younger donor lifecycle and what to do after getting that first gift.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The importance of building lifelong relationships with young donors
  • What donor cultivation means to different donors
  • The process of cultivation - from weeding out prospects to a set endgame
  • Going beyond social media to cultivate younger donors
  • Relationships with businesses vs. individuals
  • Making your cultivation process scalable
  • Telling the story of your nonprofit while including your donors

Resources:

Joe Garecht

Webinar: How to Engage Younger Donors to Create Lifelong Relationships for your Nonprofit

eBook: The Nonprofit Planning How-To Guide

Quotes:

“Cultivation is what happens in between. It’s all the communication and interaction that occurs between your nonprofit and a prospect.”

“The big goal of the entire cultivation and engagement process, the goal that it’s focused on, is the ask.”

“Don’t spend time trying to cultivate people who just aren’t interested in your organization.”

Jun 27, 2019

Is your organization no longer content with just “making good grants” or “doing good things for the community?” Have you thought about how your strategies need to change to achieve new goals? 

Today’s episode features Cynthia Schaal, Chief Program Officer at Exponent Philanthropy, discussing how your organization can have a greater impact. Cynthia takes you step by step and helps your organization understand the obstacles you might face after taking a fresh look at your goals, strategies, and outcomes, and helps you determine what you can do differently to achieve more. After listening, click on the link to the webinar in the “Resources” section below to hear even more from Cynthia on this topic.

Topics Discussed in This Episode: 

  • Steps to creating a high impact philanthropic program
  • What “high-impact philanthropy” really means
  • Setting clear outcome goals
  • Designing effective and coordinated strategies
  • Establishing a learning plan 
  • Overcoming common obstacles
  • Dynamics, readiness, planning, and focus
  • Capacity and implementation
  • Assessing and integrating your work

Resources: 

Cynthia Schaal

Webinar: Ramping Up for High-Impact Philanthropy

Exponent Philanthropy

Ramping Up for High-Impact Philanthropy Toolkit

Quotes:

“Perhaps high impact for you might be reaching more people or more places with your giving.” -- Cynthia Schaal

“Those who are giving in a high-impact manner match those strategies to their goals.” -- Cynthia Schaal

“It could be that everybody around the table comes to the work with a different perspective, a unique point of view, and really thinks they have the best idea for how to use the resources.” -- Cynthia Schaal

Jun 13, 2019

The digital world has opened a new range of possibilities for higher education institutions as they look to connect with alumni and other prospective donors. Opportunities for greater creativity and the ability to make the donation process much easier and more personalized have greatly advanced how institutions can better engage constituents. However, one thing that remains the same is the importance of building relationships.

This episode features a discussion between Sue Cunningham, President and CEO of CASE, and Tim Hill, President & GM of Blackbaud Higher Education Solutions, about the Blackbaud Institute’s “2018 Charitable Giving Report: Higher Education Spotlight.” Listen in to hear what Tim and Sue have to say about higher education trends in 2018 and how they compare to prior years, and how digital tools and campaigns will affect the future of higher education giving. And to learn even more about this topic, click on the link to the webinar in the “Resources” section below. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The current state of higher education giving
  • How much fundraising comes via online sources
  • How current digital trends have changed how donors engage with educational institutions
  • Multi-year trends in giving
  • How advancement professionals are responding to the changing landscape in giving
  • How institutions can harness the power of digital and online strategies to tell their impact stories and reach more donors
  • The increasing role of #GivingTuesday in higher education fundraising

Resources:

Sue Cunningham

Tim Hill

Webinar: 2018 Charitable Giving Report: Higher Education Spotlight

Report: 2018 Charitable Giving Report: Higher Education Spotlight

Quotes:

“Clearly the digital world has opened up a huge range of opportunities, and we’re seeing imaginative and creative use of those both in the context of a broader engagement and also specifically around fundraising.” – Sue Cunningham

“We forget that sometimes you’re competing for that dollar with other types of institutions.” –Tim Hill 

“Whether relationships are being built face-to-face or whether they’re being built remotely, I think relationships are at the heart of what we’re about and what we’re doing.” –Sue Cunningham

Jun 6, 2019

Has your organization better connected finance and development and you’re now looking for what you can do next to ensure sustainable mission success? Today’s episode focuses on learnings from Blackbaud’s Financial Management Toolkit, an expert guide for connecting finance and development as a strategic partnership.

Industry expert Pamela Gignac, Vice President of Development at JMG Solutions, shares strategies and best practices for using donor statements to position your organization for a successful sustainer giving program. Listen in to learn how to begin, how donor statements can be used to build trust and start new conversations with donors, and which donors should receive the statements.

After the episode, access the webinars listed in the Resources section below to hear more from Pamela and other experts.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • What donors want to know about the impact their funds have
  • How the donor statement helps build trust
  • Tying statistics and impact stories together
  • The first steps for creating donor statements
  • Which resources need to be used to create donor statements
  • Pros and cons of including expense details
  • Which donors to target with donor statements

Resources:

Pamela Gignac

Full Webinar: Sustaining the Transformation

Finance and Fundraising Webinar Series

Financial Management Toolkit

Quotes:

“Where it’s really relevant, more than in any other place, is particularly with major gifts.”

“If one organization does it, then donors get used to it.”

“The donor statement is one that allows us to personalize the accountability that we have to our donors.”

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