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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: 2018
Apr 26, 2018

We’ve seen for a number of year now an increasing number of cause marketing relationships between nonprofits, corporations, and retailers. But some organizations still struggle to understand cause marketing and how to recognize and make the most of win-win partnerships. To learn more about this topic, we’ve brought in a true expert on this subject. 

Today’s guest is an expert on the subject of cause marketing. Joe Waters has been in the nonprofit world for 20 years, and is the author of Cause Marketing for Dummies. He’s also the author of the blog Selfish Giving.

Tune in to the episode to hear what Joe has to say about changes in the cause marketing space and what to expect in the future. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode: 

  • The biggest changes Joe has seen in cause marketing over the past few years
  • The difference between a traditional company and a retailer when it comes to changes in cause marketing
  • Why cause marketing can tap more potential donors than corporate sponsorships
  • What good cause marketing looks like
  • How testing helps show which strategies work best to encourage people to give
  • What will happen long term when it comes to the exchange of data between nonprofits and for-profits
  • Where will cause marketing be in five to ten years 

Links and Resources: 

Joe Waters

Cause Marketing for Dummies

Selfish Giving

Joe’s Newsletter

Blackbaud

Blackbaud - Twitter

Blackbaud - Facebook 

“What we really encourage on the B to B side when you go out there and talk to companies is to find out what they’re really interested in tapping.” 

“The great thing about cause marketing and what makes it different is that the money is raised from stakeholders, it’s raised from employees, it’s raised from vendors, it’s raised from customers.” 

“When I think of the gold standard, I think of authenticity, transparency, and visibility.”

 

Apr 19, 2018

Networking and digital trends have brought about big changes in politics and culture. For nonprofit organizations to keep up, they have to lean into these trends and change the way that they operate as well. The digital landscape and networking capabilities have created new opportunities for building power and allowing large-scale, effective collaborations. 

Today’s guest is Tom Liacas. Tom is a Senior Strategist at NetChange. NetChange is a Canadian digital consulting agency that helps transition legacy institutions to new network models. Tom is also the co-founder of a publicly traded social media agency, software developer, and a writer. Listen to the episode to hear what Tom has to say about network advocacy trends and what nonprofits can learn from them. 

Topics Discussed in this Episode: 

  • How Tom got involved in the nonprofit community
  • How the cultural and political landscape is changing how nonprofits work
  • What Tom has seen change in the nonprofit sector in the last 20 years
  • The Networked Change Report
  • How data can help nonprofits evaluate what their supporters are interested in and inform messaging
  • The importance of training people to implement effective strategies
  • Why going overboard with branding can ultimately be a negative
  • How to create campaigns with a wider lens and less branding that will attract more supporters
  • Tom’s recommendations for other nonprofits 

Links and Resources: 

Tom Liacas

The Networked Change Report

NetChange

#NoFilterNonprofit

Blackbaud

Blackbaud - Twitter

Blackbaud - Facebook 

“Every new cohort that joins the nonprofit organizing world is more and more ready to do things on their own.” 

“We saw the early days of this already showing up in the 90s, but now we can say that our culture has been thoroughly transformed by our networks, by digital, and by all of the cultural sea changes that those things have brought along as well.” 

“I always say that technology and culture evolve in parallel and so the big picture changes that digital permeates our lives and our activities as professionals, but new behaviors and new attitudes are just as much a part of it.”

Apr 18, 2018

Burnout. We’ve all been there or know someone who has. While work-life balance can be difficult for anyone to maintain, professionals in the non-profit sector face certain challenges that put them at a greater risk for experiencing burnout. How can you prevent burnout on an individual level, and how can an organization’s leadership help prevent employees from experiencing burnout? 

Today’s guest is Beth Kanter, consultant, trainer, and author of the book, The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact Without Burnout. Listen to today’s episode to hear what Beth has to say about burnout, why nonprofit employees are at risk for burnout, and how it can be prevented. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode: 

  • What the term “burnout” means in the nonprofit sector and why it happens to nonprofit workers
  • The stages of burnout
  • How passion for a cause can be related to burnout
  • How to recognize the symptoms of burnout
  • How leadership can prevent burnout in their team
  • The effect that the workspace can have on employee wellbeing
  • The Pomodoro method for focusing
  • How mobile phones and other devices can affect the feeling of burnout
  • Different methods of self-care
  • How to be inclusive of remote team members and keep them engaged
  • First steps organizations and individuals can take to avoid burnout 

Links and Resources: 

Beth Kanter

The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit

Blackbaud

Blackbaud - Twitter

Blackbaud - Facebook 

 

“I think we work in a field where scarcity mindsets lead. We don’t have enough staples in our staplers, or we don’t have enough staff, so I think this leads to trying to compensate by overworking.”

 

“Well-being is not something that’s foisted onto employees, right? They have to be engaged in it.”

 

“Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.”

Apr 5, 2018

In recent years we’ve seen the power of movements. They can bring people together in support of a common cause and drive meaningful change in the social good community. But how do they start? What gets a movement started, and once a movement has been started, what causes it to grow and accelerate? 

To help us answer those questions and more, joining Steve on this episode is Henry Timms. As president and CEO of the 92nd Street Y in New York City and a co-founder of GivingTuesday, Henry is familiar with the powers that drive movements. He has also co-authored the book New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World--and How to Make It Work for You

together with co-author Jeremy Heimans, co-founder and CEO of Purpose. Listen to this week’s 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
  • How Henry’s organization is embracing change and doing things differently with Giving Tuesday
  • 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

Blackbaud

Blackbaud - Twitter

Blackbaud - Facebook 

Quotes from This Episode:

“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.”

Mar 29, 2018

The digital age provides enormous opportunity for non-profit organizations to collect data, but it’s not enough for non-profit organizations to simply collect information. In order to use that data to make better decisions, nonprofits need good testing and analytics strategies. 

Today’s guest, David Karpf, has a long history of involvement in advocacy organizations. David is currently a professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University and has just released a new book about analytics in activism.Tune in to the episode to hear David’s thoughts on how analytics and testing are affecting the way that advocacy organizations create change. 

Topics Discussed in this Episode: 

  • How to combine the fundamentals of organizing and causing change with the latest technologies
  • How data and analytics enable organizations to try and test more strategies and make better decisions
  • How organizations that want to influence policy can use analytics and testing
  • What organizations should do if they want to make a shift in the way they test and experiment
  • How paying close attention to social media trends can pay off in exposure for non-profit organizations
  • How MoveOn has build a large member base because of their testing strategies
  • Advice for non-profits in the digital age
  • The importance of digital listening 

Links and Resources: 

David Karpf

Analytic Activism

The MoveOn Effect

Blackbaud

Blackbaud - Twitter

Blackbaud - Facebook  

“The crucial thing for organizations, I think, is that they still embrace the hard conversation upfront about what is our vision, what is our mission, what are we trying to achieve.” 

“The practice of testing is way more important than the outcome of any one test.” 

“The organizations that are going to be leading the way in nonprofit social change are the ones who have set themselves up to test.”

Mar 22, 2018

Understanding how giving trends change of the years can be the key to predicting what’s going to happen in the future and planning how you’re going to address those trends. 

In today’s podcast, Ashley Thompson, Managing Director of the Blackbaud Institute, stands in as host to interview Steve MacLaughlin, regular host of this podcast and Blackbaud’s Vice President of Data and Analytics and Senior Advisor to the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact. Steve is the author of the annual Charitable Giving Report. Tune in to hear about the latest report and what information and insights it provides about online giving trends. 

Topics Discussed in this Episode: 

  • Background on the Charitable Giving Report
  • The 2017 report looks at about 30 billion dollars in fundraising revenue, including about 3 billion dollars in online giving revenue
  • Sectors and geographic locations included in the Charitable Giving Report
  • What made giving in 2017 different from giving in 2016
  • How online giving facilitates the ability of donors to immediately respond to a given event
  • The increase of online donations made on a mobile device
  • The trend toward giving as a crowd
  • How Giving Tuesday donors are choosing to focus on smaller and medium-sized organizations
  • How nonprofits can use the type of information found in the Charitable Giving Report
  • Why organizations should be cautiously optimistic in the coming year 

Links and Resources: 

Steve MacLaughlin

2017 Charitable Giving Report

Blackbaud

Blackbaud - Twitter

Blackbaud - Facebook 

“We’re trying to really isolate how did specific organizations perform from one year to the next.” 

“We keep expanding the data and research that we’re publishing on an annual basis.” 

“The reality is that we’re in this transitional phase of where donors choose to give.”

 

Mar 15, 2018

The nonprofit world has seen rapid change over the last five to ten years. On last week’s episode we talked about how change can be difficult and positive at the same time. This week, we are tackling change from the perspective of professionals and organizations who are searching for ways to not just keep up with changing trends and technology, but to stay ahead of the curve. The answer is professional development. A multi-pronged professional development strategy can help professionals achieve growth in their roles while staying sharp and current while also helping nonprofit leadership mitigate attrition and turnover. 

Today’s guest is Terry Vyas, Vice President of Education Services at Blackbaud. Terry leads Blackbaud University, the training arm of Blackbaud focused on helping nonprofit professionals not only stay up to speed on the technology they use on a daily basis, but also helps individuals develop their skills and build lasting careers in the social good community. Terry and I tackle the impact professional development can have on an organization, the types of professional development to be considered, as well as the best way to put a professional development program in place. 

Topics Discussed in this Episode: 

  • Why professional development is particularly important to nonprofits
  • How high-performing organizations are staying ahead of the curve with professional development
  • How you should be investing in your team and how to justify it
  • New and different types of professional development to be aware of
  • How investing in professional development pays for itself in reduced turnover and productivity
  • The importance of focusing on the right problems and examples of what those might be
  • What kinds of classes are offered through Blackbaud University
  • What makes Blackbaud University stand out in the education space 

Links and Resources: 

Terry Vyas

The Internet Archive

Blackbaud University

Blackbaud

Blackbaud - Twitter

Blackbaud - Facebook 

 

“Each of us as human beings, we have this inherent need to grow.”

 “I would argue that you need a multi-pronged strategy for your organizational development.”

 “I would say the mission’s obviously number one, but if you don’t have a staff that’s growing, that’s learning something, that’s developing their own skills, they’re not going to be as productive to help you drive that particular mission.”

 

Mar 8, 2018

Accepting change is hard for everybody, but it’s an important part of life, and it’s definitely important in the fundraising world. The ability to accept and embrace change, whether it be change in process, staff or technology, is what allows your nonprofit organization to remain relevant and active in a changing world. 

Today’s guest is an expert on the subject of change. Michael Reardon is a change management expert, former professor at the College of Charleston with a Ph.D. in Organizational Communication from Purdue University, and currently a manager with Blackbaud’s Business Consulting Services. Tune into the episode to hear what Michael has to say about the importance of change management and embracing positive change. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode: 

  • The meaning and scope of the words “change management”
  • How to make change management a priority at your organization
  • The importance of communication about change within an organization
  • How to deal with resistance to change within an organization
  • How change within an organization can affect workers’ identities
  • The change curve
  • Why “go-live” is not the finish line
  • How to reduce anxiety around change
  • The importance of adjusting expectations while changes are being implemented
  • How to plan for the days following the immediate implementation of change
  • How setting mini goals can provide positive reinforcement during times of change 

Resources: 

Michael Reardon

Blackbaud

Blackbaud - Twitter

Blackbaud - Facebook 

“It means different things to different people, and I think that’s OK.”

“That’s usually the first step in any change management: make people aware.”

“Taking time now to do it right will accelerate everything down the road.”

 

Mar 1, 2018

We hear this group discussed a lot in the social good community: Millennials. More specifically, the importance of digital technology for understanding how Millennials, the first generation of people who grew up with digital technology, use the internet when it comes to social issues and charitable works and giving and how to properly engage with this group to convert their interests into action. 

Today’s guest, Derrick Feldman, is the founder and producer of MCON, the nation’s premiere conference on Millennials. In this episode, Derrick shares his unique thoughts about Millennials, how they’re really impacting the current and future states of philanthropy and what fundraisers need to start and stop doing going forward to engage Millennials. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode: 

  • Why Derrick chose to focus on Millennials
  • Various ways that Millennials support issues, beyond just financial giving
  • How to communicate to Millennials that their actions are having an impact
  • What you can find in The Millennial Impact Report
  • The importance of a holistic approach to raising engagement
  • How minimal actions, like signing a petition, can lead to larger actions, like donating and volunteering
  • Why Millennials act for social change even if they don’t necessarily identify with the label of “activist”
  • How Millennials feel about America’s future
  • Why Millennials are participating in causes through actions like rallies, marches, and contacting legislators
  • What fundraisers need to do going forward to engage Millennials, and what fundraisers should avoid doing 

Resources: 

Derrick Feldman

MCON

The Millennial Impact Report

Blackbaud

Blackbaud - Twitter

Blackbaud - Facebook 

 

“When you see some of the most successful organizations that have raised dollars, they have looked at it through the lens of the supporter constituency model.” 

“The population needs to see the next milestone to reach that bold statement.” 

“At the end of the day we continue to notice that the Millennial individual is focused on ensuring that that person, that human being isn’t challenged, that they have opportunities, and that they have the rights that are afforded to them.”

 

Feb 22, 2018

The professional life of a fundraiser often involves changing gears. Fundraisers frequently move to new organizations to set new goals and take on new challenges. However, being the “new kid” in the organization can be a challenge of its own. 

Today’s guest, Jerusha Schmalzel, has some experience with the challenges of coming into a new organization. Jerusha is now the Customer Success Manager at Blackbaud, but she was formerly a Director and Vice President of development in the nonprofit sector. Listen to the episode to hear Jerusha’s do’s and don’ts for how fundraisers can adapt and succeed quickly in a new organization. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode: 

  • The importance of listening during your first few days at a new organization
  • How to respect existing alliances within the organization while forging your own alliances
  • Why you should not go into a new organization planning to clean house and bring in all your own people
  • How to introduce new practices without bashing existing practices
  • How to prioritize goals and projects when you’re working in a new organization
  • How to build habits and behaviors that help the organization better use data
  • Once you get past the initial few days or weeks, how to plan for the next 90 or 100 days at a new organization 

Resources: 

Jerusha Schmalzel

Blackbaud

Blackbaud - Twitter

Blackbaud - Facebook

“You do not want to get the reputation of the fundraiser that goes into organizations, fires everybody underneath them, and brings in their best friends and their favorite people.” 

“Don’t take “we tried that already” as an answer.” 

“To me, that’s the hardest part about being the leader of a fundraising team – it’s keeping everybody on your side.”

 

Feb 15, 2018

A big election, like the upcoming 2018 midterms, can get people fired up about a variety of issues. Can nonprofits, including 501(c)(3) organizations, take advantage of these political moments to raise awareness, build support, and inspire donors? 

Today’s guest is Colin Delany, the founder of epolitics.com, a site that focuses on digital advocacy and strategy. In this episode, Colin will share some of his knowledge of and thinking about the intersections between nonprofits and politics. 

Topics Discussed This Episode: 

  • Where the opportunities might be for nonprofit organizations to move policy decisions during election season
  • How organizations can prepare to respond when an issue connected to their cause makes the news
  • How organizations can use social media to bring attention to their issues
  • How the changes to Facebook may affect nonprofit organizations
  • Ways that political campaigns use social media to build success
  • How organizations can automate calls to action
  • Different ways organizations can train volunteers, such as video and conference calls
  • How 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations can promote their issues without electioneering
  • The importance of keeping supporters motivated. 

Resources: 

Colin Delany

epolitics

Attentive.ly

Blackbaud

Blackbaud - Twitter

Blackbaud - Facebook 

“What we’re selling is emotional satisfaction. We’re offering people the opportunity to feel good about themselves by doing something to help the world.” 

“When you’ve spent all this time and money to build a list, to not get every benefit from it that you can, I think, is really shortsighted.” 

“If you’re out there elevating your issue, that’s not electioneering.”

 

Feb 8, 2018

As nonprofit marketers, fundraisers and executives, we always need to be looking for new and more effective ways to reach new people. One of the best and most underutilized ways to do that is through social ambassadors – people who love your work, support your mission and have a wide reach of their own. They can reach out to their own networks on your behalf, bringing in new donations and awareness of your cause.

Today’s guest, Beth Kanter, is an international non-profit thought leader who knows a thing or two about non-profit fundraising and how social ambassadors can help. Listen to the episode to hear Beth’s thoughts on this interesting subject.

Topics discussed this episode: 

  • How influencers help nonprofits
  • What type of person can be a social ambassador
  • How Beth once raised $5000 in 15 minutes with the help of influencers
  • How changes to Facebook will affect nonprofit fundraising
  • How video content is becoming more important for engagement
  • The importance of leaning into new technology 

Resources: 

Beth Kanter

The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit

Beth on Twitter

Blackbaud

Blackbaud - Twitter

Blackbaud - Facebook 

 

“Who are the people that already support you, or are interested, or their interests is aligned with your campaign or organization, and who are their networks?”

 

“If your organization has been able to build a really engaged organic fan base, and if you’re producing content that people are talking about and interacting with and sharing, that’s not going to change.”

 

“Groups are a great way to manage your influencers and fans.”

 

Feb 1, 2018

In the nonprofit sector, digital engagement and fundraising is a hot topic. But are donors and activists on the same page as organizations when it comes to digital engagement and giving online? Are nonprofits taking the right steps to engage them digitally? Do nonprofits understand what metrics matter online?

To answer these questions and more, Steve’s guest today is Carie Lewis Carlson, of CLC Consulting and formerly of the Humane Society of the United States. Listen in to hear Steve and Carie discus what’s happening in digital marketing today.

 Topics Discussed in This Episode: 

  • The similarities between consumer behavior and donor behavior
  • Whether donors distinguish between online giving and offline giving
  • How resource availability and leadership can affect the ability of nonprofits to appeal to donors with digital marketing
  • The importance of being willing to try new things and learn from them, even if they don’t work out
  • How to wean off vanity metrics and focus on more useful types of metrics
  • The importance of developing a strong content strategy 

Resources: 

Carie Lewis Carlson

CLC Consulting

Blackbaud

Blackbaud - Twitter

Blackbaud - Facebook 

 

“I think that our constituents and our customers are actually way more advanced than we are. Technology can’t keep up with them.”

 

“You’re going to come out better in the end, no matter if you fail or succeed, because you’re going to learn from those mistakes.”

 

“Everybody’s on social, but they don’t know why.”

 

Jan 25, 2018

In the nonprofit sector, it’s easy to think of the pool of donors as being limited. You end up returning to the same group time and time again. But is there a different pool of donors out there that you’re not reaching, perhaps because your organization isn’t reaching out to them with the right language or operating within the right cultural context?

Joining Steve for today’s episode is Adrian White Slagle, the Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Supporter Experience at Operation Smile, a nonprofit medical service organization that helps children born with cleft conditions. Tune in to hear Steve and Adrian discuss how to expand your donor base by engaging with multilingual donors.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The changing demographics in America, including the rapid growth of the Hispanic population
  • The large percentage of Hispanic Millennials in America
  • The importance of engaging bilingual and multilingual donors on a cultural level
  • The importance of Spanish in Hispanic culture, even among Hispanics who also speak English
  • The process of implementing multilingual programs for donors
  • The benefit of starting small and layering in more widespread multilingual efforts gradually
  • The importance of understanding key cultural values when determining if a cause is relevant to a specific audience
  • The benefits of starting with a digital campaign first in order to gather valuable quick data about the response

Resources:

Adrian White Slagle

Operation Smile

Blackbaud

Blackbaud - Twitter

Blackbaud - Facebook

Quotes:

“I think you can start out slow and small and just continue to layer on adapting from what you’re already doing, and that works.”

“If we’re not diversifying our audience, we’re just saying the same things to the same people, and at some point, they may move on.”

“We’re not reaching out to people who are sitting there waiting for us to start a conversation with them.”

Jan 18, 2018

We’ve all been there: the latest reports show this one color donate button works best, everyone is blogging about shortening subject lines, our board is inspired by another organization’s successful campaign and suggests we emulate. We find ourselves at the crossroads of “Should we do that?” and “Will that work for us?” Steve MacLaughlin, VP of Data and Analytics at Blackbaud and the host of today’s episode, explains that the answer is almost always going to be “it depends”. It depends on your mission, your technology, your audience, your goals – it depends on each organization’s unique situation and circumstance. The only way to get your answer: Test.

Joining Steve for today’s episode, a true expert in the field, is Tim Kachuriak, the Chief Innovation and Optimization Officer for Next After, a research and consulting firm that helps nonprofits, NGOs, and businesses grow their research capacity. Tune in to hear Steve and Tim tackle everything from why you can’t afford not to be testing, a simple change that tests showed could increase online giving up to 20% and how to get started with simple data points.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • How the web works as our own behavioral laboratory
  • Why testing is important for small organizations as well as large ones
  • The challenges of determining what is and isn’t working and where testing is needed
  • How data can demonstrate the changes in donor activity over time
  • How best practices can provide diminishing returns as more organizations adopt them
  • How to prioritize which areas to test using analytics
  • The three components of creating online revenue
  • Next After’s projects for 2018

Resources:

Tim Kachuriak

Next After

Blackbaud

Blackbaud - Twitter

Blackbaud - Facebook

“The thing that I’m usually amazed by is how seemingly small things can make significant impact as it relates to getting more people to say “yes” to give a gift to you.”

“One of the ways that you can mitigate risk is by doing testing and finding out for sure, using data, what works and what doesn’t.”

“I love best practices, but I love them as a starting place, not a final destination.”

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