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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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Now displaying: August, 2019
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

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