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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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


Cameron Stoll

Privacy Toolkit: An Introductory Guide to Safeguarding Your Constituent Data

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


“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 


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


“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 


Kate Robinson

Failing Forward


“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 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


“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


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


“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


Joe Garecht

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

eBook: The Nonprofit Planning How-To Guide


“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


Cynthia Schaal

Webinar: Ramping Up for High-Impact Philanthropy

Exponent Philanthropy

Ramping Up for High-Impact Philanthropy Toolkit


“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


Sue Cunningham

Tim Hill

Webinar: 2018 Charitable Giving Report: Higher Education Spotlight

Report: 2018 Charitable Giving Report: Higher Education Spotlight


“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


Pamela Gignac

Full Webinar: Sustaining the Transformation

Finance and Fundraising Webinar Series

Financial Management Toolkit


“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.”

May 30, 2019

Digital transformation may sound like a buzzword, but the reality is that it fundamentally changes the way organizations operate and innovate.

Special guest Mike Gianoni, president & CEO of Blackbaud, joins us for our 100th episode to explore the topic of digital transformation and how it drives business performance. Listen in to hear what Mike has to say about how technology has changed the way organizations run over the past few decades, why successful digital transformation requires more than just new technology, and how leaders can champion digital transformation across their organizations.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Digital transformation over the past 30+ years
  • How digital transformation has changed various industries, such as banking and farming
  • How digital transformation drives business performance
  • What social good organizations can learn from the digital transformation of private sector companies
  • Barriers to digital transformation in social good organizations
  • Why digital transformation needs to be a team sport
  • The responsibility of the C-suite in leading digital transformation across their organization
  • Examples of social good organizations that have been positively impacted by digital transformations


Mike Gianoni



“Obviously, digital transformation impacts all of us. It’s changed our lives significantly.”

“Digital transformation is not just about the software and the IT, it's about moving the whole company in a different direction.”

“It's not just the IT person's job to drive digital transformation. It's actually the CEO's job or the executive director's job to drive it because you have to change everything, not just the software.”

 “To really get ahold of this, everything has to be rethought. Every part of the business, every aspect of the business…financial management to mission delivery, fundraising, all of it.”

May 23, 2019

Nonprofits and other social good organizations face many challenges, but one that can be seen over and over again comes from inside the organization. Different departments, such as development and communications, don’t effectively engage with each other, hampering their ability to reach out to and engage with donors as successfully as they could.

Today’s guest is Sam Stern, CEO of Magnify Good, a communications consultancy that helps social sector organizations magnify the good of the work they do. He joins podcast host Steve MacLaughlin of Blackbaud to talk about how organizations can transform by focusing on working more connectedly across departments, particularly between development and communications. Listen in to hear what Sam has to say about where to start to increase inter-departmental collaboration, how creating personas can help organizations operate more effectively, mirroring the donor’s journey with evergreen content, and the importance of technology to bring all the pieces together.

 Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Looking inward for problems rather than focusing on external factors
  • Steps for helping departments work better together
  • Developing personas to understand the donor’s journey
  • Creating meaningful and lasting content
  • The role that technology plays and shifting organizational thinking around digital transformation


Sam Stern

Magnify Good

Connective Impact eBook


“What would happen if we all focused on doing our work together in a fashion that would be more effective and lead to better results?”

“Having this persona in the front of your mind all the time is going to help you get to the point where you can even test these things to see what’s working best and what’s not.”

“How do we need to think about this, organizationally, and make decisions as to whether this technology is actually just going to be more work and not really pay off any benefits, or if it’s really going to empower us.”

May 16, 2019

Everyone knows that social media has a massive impact on today’s culture, so how can social good organizations effectively leverage it to engage supporters? What does your organization need to do to execute an effective social media strategy? What benchmarks should you be tracking your performance against? How can you improve if you’re not where you want to be? The guests in this episode of The sgENGAGE Podcast are going to help answer these questions.

Today Jocelyn Wright, Instructional Designer and Jenny Toledo, Instructor at Blackbaud University, join your host Roz Lemieux, Director of Blackbaud Labs, to talk about some of the highlights from the M+R Benchmarks Report and what they mean for your organization. Listen in to learn why social media tracking matters, what development professionals need to know about Facebook fundraisers, and what to expect from Instagram’s new donate stickers.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Highlights from the 2019 M+R Benchmarks Report  
  • Why social media matters to social good organizations and why it’s important to track
  • Social media vocabulary and best practices
  • What organizations should be watching for on Facebook and Instagram
  • Insights into online monthly membership programs
  • How to brush up on social media strategy and take your organization to the next level


Jocelyn Wright

Jenny Toledo

M+R Benchmarks Report 2019

Blackbaud University Organizational Best Practices

Blackbaud University Organizational Best Practices Course Listing


“We need to use social media to our leverage. That’s where everyone is. That’s where everyone is engaging and talking with our organizations. We have to be where the people are.”

“We have seen that video content is actually the most engaging across all platforms.”

“If you understand your audience, you understand what message they resonate with, what they connect with.”

May 2, 2019

Getting supporters to take action and engage with elected officials on policy issues can be a challenge, requiring organizations to start thinking outside the box. Learn from one social good organization how innovating and testing new tactics can help boost advocate engagement.

This episode of the sgENGAGE Podcast features an interview with Chris Masak, senior associate director of advocacy at the Alzheimer's Association. Chris shares how the Alzheimer’s Association has experimented to get more people engaged in Alzheimer’s advocacy. He also gives tips on how to identify people likely to take action on your cause and how to decide which methods of engagement to experiment with. Finally, Chris discusses the new tactics and technologies he is looking forward to trying next.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Chris’s insights on advocacy strategies for large and small organizations
  • Identifying the right potential advocates to engage with
  • How to determine what new engagement methods your organization should try
  • New technologies and advocate engagement tactics to get excited about


Chris Masak

Alzheimer’s Association

Grassroots Galvanizer Playbook


“When it comes to the advocacy work, if you’ve taken an action recently, if you’ve spoken out on an issue and done it in a way that we like, those are the people that we want to identify first.”

“It’s the long game that we’re ultimately looking for. Some of the stuff that has come out as beta tests or trial runs, those are the things that have had a lasting impact on our movement.”

“Even the biggest organizations probably have fewer resources than you’d expect when it comes to certain things. There’s some duct tape and glue going on no matter what.”

Apr 25, 2019

We spend as much as 20% of our day doing manual repetitive tasks, and those manual tasks often end up costing organizations a lot of money in lost productivity, fraud and errors. So how can social good organizations fix this? Enter robotic process automation (RPA), a technology that automates repetitive processes and allows organizations to better control their expenses, increase their margins, and drive more revenue.

In this episode, Blackbaud’s RPA expert Louis Stratton explains what robotic process automation technology is, how it strengthens internal controls and why it benefits organizations to include it as part of their strategy. After listening to the episode, check out the webinar through the link below to learn even more about how RPA can influence your work.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The state of business today and how much time and money is lost from manual repetitive tasks
  • The relationship between digital transformation and robotic process automation
  • The limitations preventing us from having more on-demand information
  • How RPA helps organizations strengthen internal controls
  • The future of robotic process automation
  • Examples of how organizations can be transformed through RPA


Louis Stratton

Webinar: Robotic Process Automation: What It Means for Your Organization


 “We live in an era where digital transformation is radically changing the way we interact, work, and live.”

 “One thing that’s always constant is that hardware gets better, then software gets better.”

 “In business, the robot is the software.”

Apr 18, 2019

It’s easy to think of data as something that’s entirely neutral, but like most things, data is open to interpretation. It can be affected by human choices and by human biases, and often social good organizations don’t realize that they are working with biased data that ultimately affects how they achieve their mission.

Today’s guests are Vanice Dunn, director of equity, and Lane Trisko, director of digital and data strategy at Provoc. Vanice and Lane talked with Roz Lemieux, director of Blackbaud Labs, about their work helping social good organizations identify and remove bias in their data, and how data bias ultimately contributes to institutional racism. Listen in to hear what they have to say about what data bias looks like, common mistakes to be aware of, and strategies for overcoming data bias.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • What data bias is and how it presents
  • What it means to lead with an equity-first approach
  • How data bias contributes to inequity and institutional racism
  • Common issues that cause data bias
  • Strategies organizations can take to ensure their data is more equitable


Lane Trisko

Vanice Dunn



“I think that people have this misconception that if they approach with a data first approach or if they’re rooting their work in data that they’ve got it covered.” –Vanice Dunn

 “What you carry around as your own unconscious bias or your assumptions is going to find its way into those decisions.” –Lane Trisko

“Being more strategic and rooting out bias in the way that you allocate those resources that will be allocated regardless is in service of the mission that your nonprofit exists for.” –Vanice Dunn

Apr 11, 2019

You’ve probably heard a lot about persona-based marketing. But do you really know what it is? What are personas, how do you develop them, and what do you do with them? And should your organization even be worrying about incorporating personas into its marketing efforts? (hint…probably)

Rachel Clemens, chief marketing officer of branding and digital marketing agency Mighty Citizen, joins the podcast to talk about persona-based marketing can amplify a mission-driven organization’s marketing efforts. Listen to the episode to hear more about what function a persona serves, how organizations can identify the audiences they should create personas for, and how persona-based marketing differs from segmentation.

Bonus - you’ll also learn how your mission-driven organization can win $25,000 in free communications services from Mighty Citizen.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The definition of persona-based marketing
  • How to get started incorporating personas into your marketing efforts
  • How to identify what personas your organization should prioritize creating
  • How Mighty Citizen uses personas into its own work
  • The differences between segmentation and persona-based marketing
  • Examples of organizations running great multichannel marketing campaigns
  • Resources for learning more about persona-driven marketing


Rachel Clemens

Mighty Citizen Fundraising Campaign Metrics Template

Mighty Citizen Marketing Campaign Template

The Mighty Big Grant contest

The Next Generation of American Giving


“The purpose of them is to learn to see a person as an actual person that’s looking at your org, not as someone you’re just trying to sell to or talk to or get a donation from.”

“You’ll know you’ve interviewed enough people when you start to anticipate their responses to your questions.”

“We always say research kills opinions.”

Apr 3, 2019

Things are changing in the world of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Employee volunteerism is on the rise, and a variety of new trends in employee giving programs are taking hold. Today’s guest, Dustin Joost, VP of Sales and Marketing at YourCause (a Blackbaud company), joins the podcast to talk more about these trends and what they say about the state of CSR today.

Dustin discusses ins and outs of the newly published “2019 CSR Industry Review.” Listen in to hear about major report findings, what’s driving the rise in corporate volunteerism, and which statistics Dustin found surprising and exciting.  

 Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The major trends highlighted in the report
  • Why employee volunteerism has been on the rise
  • How companies are engaging new employees in CSR
  • Strategies companies can employ to help drive donations to employee giving programs
  • The rise of peer-to-peer fundraising within corporations


Dustin Joost

2019 CSR Industry Review


“Really what we’re trying to do is build the largest network of do-gooders to go out and make a meaningful impact in the world.”

“Some of the most impactful companies that we’ve seen are able to tie their community relations efforts into that first-day experience.”

“Peer-to-peer personalizes what fundraising means.”

Mar 28, 2019

How does unconscious bias interfere with the hiring process? It may be different than you think. Listen to this episode to learn more about how unconscious bias affects the workplace and how it can be overcome to create diverse and inclusive workplaces.

Today’s guest is Paula Brantner, president of PB Works Solutions, LLC and senior advisor to Workplace Fairness, a nonprofit organization working to promote and preserve employee rights that maintains the most comprehensive online resource for free information about workers' rights. Listen to the episode to hear what Paula has to say about strategies that organizations can use to reduce unconscious bias in the hiring process, tactics for reaching out to and recruiting diverse candidates, and the benefits of a more diverse workplace.

 Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Paula’s background and how she got involved in diversity and bias issues
  • What unconscious bias is and how it interferes with the hiring process
  • Strategies that organizations can use to eliminate unconscious bias and reach more diverse candidates
  • Tools and training that can help hiring managers identify implicit bias
  • Patterns that Paula sees when it comes to diversity issues in hiring
  • Benefits of working to remove unconscious bias and be more inclusive


Paula Brantner

Workplace Fairness

Project Implicit


“I really started paying attention to diversity and bias issues when I realized that a lot of times it’s very difficult to bring a lawsuit when you’ve encountered these in the workplace.”

“You may think you don’t discriminate, but these forces may be working in your brain based on your life experience even before you take any action against them.”

“When you actually get to the point of sorting and interviewing particular candidates, make sure you have a diverse group of people looking at the resumes.”

Mar 21, 2019

Cheryl Contee, CEO of Do Big Things and author of the upcoming book “Mechanical Bull: How You Can Achieve Success,” joins the podcast to talk about digital innovation and how it can be used to increase stakeholder and supporter engagement. Listen to the episode to hear Cheryl and guest host Roz Lemiuex, Director of Blackbaud Labs, discuss what innovations can be used to help increase engagement, why online influencers are powerful, and how organizations can balance efficiency with innovation.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Examples of innovative campaigns Cheryl has seen
  • The power of online influencers and micro-influencers
  • Where should organizations start with digital ads
  • Why technology is a helpful tool but not necessarily a solution
  • How organizations are making space to take risks and innovate while remaining efficient
  • New technology and tactics emerging in 2019
  • What has surprised Cheryl while working on campaigns over the past year


Cheryl Contee on Twitter

Do Big Things

Video interview: Cheryl talks about how Leveraging Video Content with No Budget


 “New power really does rely on reaching out to the new power players, and the new power players are online influencers.”

“What people do trust are their friends, their families, and the influencers who matter to them, particularly micro-influencers.”

“This is a time now when organizations need to be follower-led.”

Mar 14, 2019

How can fundraising professionals, especially those working for smaller organizations, improve their own fundraising skills? And what can organizations do better to attract and retain fundraising talent? 

To help explore this question, Jason Lewis, author of “The War for Fundraising Talent: And How Small Shops Can Win,” joins the podcast to talk about his ideas about arms-length fundraising, creating value for donors, and how organizations can empower fundraisers in ways that set them up for success and job satisfaction. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode: 

  • The problems with arms-length fundraising
  • Industrial versus artisanal approaches to fundraising
  • Creating value and expecting more from donors
  • Why a passion for the cause isn’t enough when it comes to fundraising
  • Recommendations for identifying candidates who are a good fit for fundraising in the interview or recruiting process
  • How employers can reduce burnout and turnover of fundraising talent 


Jason Lewis

Lewis Fundraising

The War for Fundraising Talent: And How Small Shops Can Win


“Your local Starbucks knows how much initial volume they want to come through the door to purchase that first cup of coffee, and they’re going to spend quite a serious amount of money to get that first consumer, that first person to purchase that first cup of coffee.” 

“At some point, we have to recognize that generally speaking, what we expect of them is more every time we reach out to them.” 

“Passion can play out in a very harmonious way, but it can also play out in a very problematic way.”

Mar 7, 2019

Many nonprofit organizations struggle with communications. A lot of times, this problem is caused by too many complications in their strategy.

This episode’s guest is Michael Beall, Principal Consultant and Communications Practice Leader at Accordant Philanthropy. Listen to the episode to learn what Michael has to say about how organizations can uncomplicate their communications strategy by prioritizing communications to different audiences, how budget fears affect communications, and how to test messaging to see what resonates with different donors.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • How organizations often overcomplicate their communications
  • How organizations’ priorities shift when communicating with different audiences over time
  • How mixing messages rather than focusing on one audience at a time can overcomplicate messaging
  • What prevents organizations from doing their best work with a focused audience
  • Delivering active and passive content to donors in a face-to-face context
  • How to test messaging to see what resonates with donors



Michael Beall

Article: Uncomplicate Your Communications Strategy

Webinar Series: Resources for Creating an Atmosphere of Engagement



“I think a simple exercise to do is to really list those potential priorities, those different audiences, and just assign who’s number one, who’s number two, who’s number three.”

“The interesting thing is that when you poll donors, they tell you the opposite – that they’re overwhelmed by frequency and by noise. And that really, that’s not what they’re looking for.”

“You’ve really got to test it out before you send it out.”

Feb 28, 2019

What is digital transformation, and how is it impacting fundraising in the social good community? What does digital transformation mean for those organizations themselves?

To talk about this topic, Brad Little, Managing Director of Consumer Solutions, joins the sgENGAGE Podcast with host Steve MacLaughlin. Listen to the episode to hear what Brad has to say about digital transformation tools, how personal connections matter, and what the rise of crowdfunding means for social good.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

Digital transformation tools

How consumer behavior is starting to transform the nonprofit sector

Why personal connections matter in fundraising

Finding the right way to share stories to the world in a way that inspires people to act

Why crowdfunding is accelerating, and what that means for social good organizations



Brad Little




“Many of us would consider digital transformation much broader than trying to do digital things well.”

“Every industry, as we all know, is somewhat disrupted by not just the internet but the phones and access we have in our pockets every day.”

“Some of the work that we’re trying to do is find the way that we can help drive new supporters and net new donations that they maybe wouldn’t have gotten without using various softwares out there in the world that we might be able to produce.”



Feb 14, 2019

Why does fundraising matter so much for nonprofit organizations? What is the best way to measure how effective fundraising measures are? What do diversified fundraising programs look like? Today’s guests are joining the podcast to help answer these important questions.

Anne Wallestad is the President and Chief Executive Officer of BoardSource, and Andy Davis is the Director of Education at BoardSource. They join the podcast today to talk about diversified fundraising and metrics for fundraising success. Listen to the episode to hear what Anne and Andy have to say about the essential nature of fundraising for nonprofits, the best way to balance efficiency and risk in fundraising, and how organizations can measure their dependency quotient.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Why fundraising is essential for nonprofit organizations to survive
  • Educating donors about why their donations matter
  • Avoiding underinvesting in organizations
  • Balancing risk and efficiency
  • How organizations can get started measuring dependency quotient
  • Understanding where the fundraising portfolio is at
  • Having productive conversations about risks and rewards with board members


Anne Wallestad, President and Chief Executive Officer, BoardSource
Andy Davis, Director of Education, BoardSource

The Right Mix: How Diverse Income Models Influence Giving

Measuring Fundraising Effectiveness: Why Cost of Fundraising Isn't Enough



“Organizations do have to help donors get to know their organizations, share how their work is having an impact, share how a donors investment would have an impact.” –Anne Wallestad

“If you think about it just in terms of shorthand, cost of fundraising is a measure of efficiency, dependency quotient is a measure of risk.” –Anne Wallestad

“Everyone knows that your weight is a measurement in some way of how healthy a person is. But what if we were told that weight was the only thing that mattered, like sometimes is the case with cost of fundraising?” –Andy Davis

Feb 7, 2019

Have you ever read something that totally changes your perspective on a subject? When it comes to fundraising, it’s not uncommon for people in the nonprofit sector to have  set ideas about the process of fundraising, but today’s guest is challenging those perspectives.

Greg Warner is the author of the book Engagement Fundraising: How to Raise More Money for Less in the 21st Century. He joins the podcast today to talk about what prompted him to write the book and what engagement fundraising means for the nonprofit sector. Listen to the episode to hear what Greg has to say about why it’s important to take a more modern approach to fundraising, how to move from relationship fundraising to engagement fundraising, and what the first steps are toward engagement fundraising.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • What prompted Greg to write his book about engagement fundraising
  • Why a more modern approach is needed in many areas of fundraising
  • Myths of soliciting donations
  • Moving from relationship fundraising to engagement fundraising
  • The first step of engagement fundraising                                                                                                                                      


Greg Warner

Engagement Fundraising: How to Raise More Money for Less in the 21st Century

Introducing the "Four Selfs" of Engagement Fundraising

The Four Selfs



“Things that the sector believed just were not true, especially from a donor’s perspective, but also from a technology perspective.”

“Engagement fundraising really focuses first and foremost on the consideration process that the donor goes through.”

“It’s not about moving donors, and it shouldn’t be, but that’s what people think. The key to success is to provide value in a way that helps donors move themselves forward in the giving consideration process.”


Jan 31, 2019

It’s clear that social media can be a powerful tool for social good. Online campaigns like #MeToo have been greatly effective at raising awareness and sparking action. But not every campaign is so effective, and social media activism can be polarizing and difficult to manage.

This episode’s guest is Susan McPherson, founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies. She joins the podcast  to talk  about hashtag activism, why some social media campaigns are successful while others aren’t, what social good organizations can do to help ensure the success of their social media campaigns, and how to appeal to members of Generation Z.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • When social media activism is powerful and when it is not
  • How social good organizations can make their campaigns  effective and lasting
  • Hashtag campaigns that Susan has seen succeed, and why they succeeded
  • How nonprofits will need to adapt to capture the attention of the upcoming generation



Follow Susan on Twitter: @susanmcp1

McPherson Strategies

GRASSROOTS GALVANIZER: A modern playbook to mobilize, organize, fundraise and influence



“Social media can be an incredible way to scale reaction, to rapidly organize a message of dissent or awareness about an issue.”

“Remember, sometimes it’s OK if every campaign isn’t about getting people to make a donation."

“The most moving social campaigns are generally not associated with specific brands or organizations. They’re typically supported with a moment, feeling, or call to action.”

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