The ENGAGE Podcast

Subscribe to The ENGAGE 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 sgENGAGE Podcast.
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Dec 31, 2020

Do you know how to not only interpret your organization’s financials, but also how to present them to others as a compelling story that offers transparency and increases donations and impact.

In today’s episode, you’ll hear from Stephanie Skryzowski, founder and CEO of 100 Degrees Consulting, about how to use and communicate your organization’s financials. Listen in to hear what Stephanie has to say about why sharing numbers is important, who needs to know your numbers, and what the best ways are to present your numbers to different audiences.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Stephanie’s role as a CFO
  • Why it’s important to use and share numbers
  • Benefits of financial transparency
  • How sharing numbers improves relationships with donors
  • How to share financials with your board
  • How to share numbers with your staff
  • Sharing with donors and the public
  • Ensuring that you have a strong financial foundation
  • Checklist for budgeting best practices
  • What reports tell your organization’s story on a monthly basis
  • Five financial reports to review every single month
  • How your data can be visualized
  • Checking performance vs. plan



Stephanie Skryzowski


5 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Financials to Increase Transparency

The Buyer's Guide to Fund Accounting Software



“As these organizations are sharing more information about themselves and about their financials, they got more money, which leads to greater impact.”

“Before we start telling our financial story, we need to have the foundation of financial management really solid at our foundation.”

“You want to make sure that we are coding all of our revenue, all of our expenses to admin, fundraising, or programs along the way, so that we can really easily pull this report.”

Dec 23, 2020

Feedback is a gift, but the thought of giving feedback can be scary. However, whether you are giving the gift of feedback to an employee, a manager, a teammate, a donor, a supporter, an advocate or a peer there is a process you can use to ensure your gift is better accepted.

In today’s episode, Monica Mutter, Director of Leadership and Culture at Blackbaud, focuses on the steps you can take to give effective feedback. Listen in to hear why Monica calls feedback a gift and what steps you need to use to give feedback in a way that helps the person receiving it become better for the next similar situation that arises.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Why Monica says feedback is a gift
  • The cost of feedback
  • The selection process for feedback
  • The neuroscience of feedback
  • Where people are left at the end of a feedback conversation
  • Checking to see that the timing is right
  • The steps for preparing to provide feedback
  • The steps for delivering feedback
  • Resetting expectations
  • Having the person identify behavior changes they can make to incorporate the feedback



Monica Mutter


7 Steps for Giving Effective Feedback



“Feedback is a gift on so many levels.”

“Because there is a cost to giving feedback, as we mentioned earlier, we want to make sure the gift is received.”

“What’s most important is where we leave the person at the end of our conversation.”

Dec 17, 2020

Content is at the heart of how your constituents engage online. It’s how you inspire supporters to action and nurture their passion for your mission. But getting top-notch quality and performance from content isn’t always easy. 

Nyleva Corley, principal user experience designer at Blackbaud, talks all about how to get the most from your content on today’s episode. Listen in to hear Nyleva speak about how content attracts viewers and drives traffic, the link between content and constituent opinion of your organization, and why a content strategy is critical for social good organizations.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • What content attracts viewers and drives traffic
  • How much content is being processed daily
  • The definition of content strategy
  • Why working on a content strategy is critical
  • The link between your content and how your constituents feel about you
  • How to take inventory of all your content
  • Performing a content audit
  • The message hierarchy
  • Performing a gap analysis
  • Page description diagrams
  • Storytelling techniques
  • Tailoring your content to specific audiences
  • Creating an editorial calendar
  • Developing your content style guide



Nyleva Corley


Guide to the Nonprofit Web Design Process

What Is Content Governance and Why Does It Matter?

How to Write Effective Web Copy (Part 1): Make It Readable

How to Write Effective Web Copy (Part 2): Make It Stick



“If you could focus on the content that was most critical to your organization and expire or archive all of the other content, just think of the great content you could be producing.”

“You want to start relationships with your constituents on your website.”

“Content strategy is not something that you do one time, in a silo, all by yourself.”

Dec 10, 2020

End-of-year fundraising is always important, and this year it has added importance with organizations needing to make up potential COVID-19 related shortfalls.

In today’s episode, Michael Johnston, founder of hjc, discusses some of the things that you should be thinking about when it comes to end-of-year giving and busts some common end-of-year fundraising myths.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Why this year is the most important year for end-of-year fundraising
  • What’s great about December donors
  • What you can find in the End-of-Year Fundraising Toolkit
  • How to make a holiday persona
  • Mapping out the holiday journey
  • The myth that holiday giving is only from October to December
  • How end-of-year fundraising spans the wide spectrum of society
  • Bringing different fundraising channels together
  • Last-minute giving



Michael Johnston

End-of-Year Fundraising Toolkit

Last Minute Tips for Year-End Giving



“You might want to make a holiday persona or two.”

“Don’t be afraid to make direct references, but still respect all religions and secular celebrations.”

“People hold off on their giving until the last minute.”

Dec 3, 2020

Can you think of a business process in your organization that is inefficient or time consuming, yet no one has been able to change the process for the better? When you know the steps to follow, eliminating waste is easier than you think!

In today’s episode, which features a session from bbcon 2020 Virtual, Jackie Huffman, Operational Excellence Engineer at Blackbaud, shares how to analyze your business processes by identifying and removing waste. Learn how to identify value-add and non-value add steps and ultimately improve your constituent experience.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Jackie’s role with Blackbaud
  • How to analyze business processes
  • Value-add activities
  • Non-value-add activities
  • The 8 categories of waste
  • Preventing and removing waste from processes
  • What a waste walk is and how it can help



Jackie Huffman

Guidebook to Becoming a Lean Organization

7 Steps for a Successful Lean Implementation at your Nonprofit

Quiz: How Lean is Your Business Office?



“Anything that does not meet the value-add definition is what we consider waste.”

“The problem with waste is that it consumes our valuable resources of our people’s time.”

“Because transportation is not something we’re willing to pay for, it is clearly a waste.”

Nov 25, 2020

With only a little more than a month left for the the 116th U.S. Congress, there is still federal data privacy legislation pending that could affect social good organizations. So, what’s included in those bills and how exactly might your organization be affected if they are passed?

Today’s episode features experts Sally Ehrenfried, who leads government relations at Blackbaud, and Cameron Stoll, Blackbaud’s Director of Privacy. In this session originally hosted at bbcon 2020, Sally and Cameron discuss the current landscape of data privacy legislation in the U.S., the key committees and lawmakers involved in federal data privacy legislation, and where current legislation stands.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The federal data privacy legislation landscape
  • Key committees and lawmakers involved in federal data privacy legislation
  • Whether legislation will contain limitations on changing your privacy policy
  • The principle of consent
  • Examples of data use that don’t require consent
  • The Brookings Institution compromise
  • The impact the election might have on federal data privacy legislation



Cameron Stoll

Sally Ehrenfried


The sgENGAGE Podcast Episode 112: Tips for a Successful Hill Day

The sgENGAGE Podcast Episode 110: Understanding Data Privacy Regulations



“When we’re looking at what happens to a federal bill, and with California having such a large delegation their delegation can actually have an impact on whether a bill passes or not, especially in light of how it treats CCPA.” –Sally Ehrenfried

“The information has to be presented in a way that’s concise, transparent, intelligent, and easily accessible to the data subjects, using clear and plain language.” –Cameron Stoll

“The GDPR was really the first law to give individuals choice about processing their data on the basis of consent.” –Cameron Stoll

Nov 19, 2020

GivingTuesday is less than two weeks away – but there’s no need to panic. We brought in Blackbaud fundraising expert Tanya Fitzgerald to talk about those last-minute things you can do to be successful, whether you’ve been planning for some time or are just pulling something together now.

Listen in to learn about the most important thing to focus on, how you can leverage your #GivingTuesdayNow campaign and how to steward those first-time GivingTuesday donors.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • How to adjust your approach to GivingTuesday messaging this year
  • Leveraging your GivingTuesdayNow campaign for GivingTuesday success
  • How organizations can plan out a GivingTuesday strategy now
  • Last minute considerations for organizations that have already planned their GivingTuesday campaigns
  • What donors want to hear
  • Stewarding GivingTuesday donors




“You need to tell your 2020 story - what happened to your organization this year and how did it affect you all sustaining your mission?”

“If your organization hasn't started preparing for GivingTuesday yet, there is plenty of time.”

“You're going to have a lot of traffic on your website on GivingTuesday, and you're going to get a lot of first-time donors. Those are the most costly to acquire so you want to make sure that you keep them.”

“Don't be afraid to reach out to your donors. They want to hear from you. They actually really do want to help you and they want to be part of your team.”

Nov 12, 2020

We are more connected than ever, but loneliness continues to increase. The concept of belonging is important not just in our personal lives, but also at work. Belonging in the workplace has real impacts on employee well-being, retention and business results.

Joining the podcast today is Sarah Judd Welch, CEO of Sharehold, an innovation consultancy that recently conducted extensive research into belonging at work. Listen in to hear what Sarah has to say about how organizations should look at belonging, the impact of DEI initiatives, and how times of uncertainty impact belonging at work.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Why Sharehold decided to conduct research on belonging
  • The core findings of the research
  • Why loneliness is increasing and the impact that has on well-being
  • The four different types of belonging
  • The business case for belonging
  • What employers can do in the workplace to increase feelings of belonging
  • Who leads the charge on belonging in an organization
  • What someone could do to start advancing the idea of belonging in their organization
  • Actionable ideas to increase belonging at work



Sarah Judd Welch

Sharehold's Redesigning Belonging Research



“We saw that the key to community transformation was organizational transformation.”

“We’re in the middle of a loneliness epidemic.”

“What we heard in our research was that there is both an explicit as well as tacit power dynamics that show up in how we belong at work.”

Nov 5, 2020

What if everything that we know about fundraising is mostly wrong? Is your organization focusing on the right data-based fundraising strategies?

Joining the podcast to discuss this topic with host Steve MacLaughlin is Joe Waters, founder and CEO of Selfish Giving. Listen in to hear Joe and Steve talk about why individual giving matters so much, what’s changing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and thinking about fundraising as a cycle vs. a funnel.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Where most nonprofit revenue is concentrated
  • A breakdown of nonprofit revenue sources
  • The importance of individual giving
  • Leveraging corporate partnerships
  • The increasing role of online giving for social good organizations
  • Changes and shifts due to COVID-19
  • Fundraising as a cycle vs a funnel
  • The importance of the second gift
  • Creating a realistic plan



Joe Waters

Business for Impact at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

Blog Post: The End of the Beginning of Online Giving



“If you had to choose between getting money from the company checkbook or going after the consumer, the employee, and engaging them, you’re much better off with the latter.”

“I actually make a recommendation of sixteen different business that people should engage with during normal times, and right now there’s only two that are extremely viable: supermarkets and convenience stores.”

“In a lot of instances, corporate partnerships don’t so much create success as they do reflect it.”

Oct 29, 2020

The social good community has massive opportunity and meaningful challenges before us. Recognizing the power of partnerships to build a better world, Blackbaud launched a unique year-long accelerator  in 2019 designed to support early-stage startups with the potential to impact the Ecosystem of Good®, and formalized it as the Blackbaud Social Good Startup Program in 2020.

Listen in to hear Roz Lemieux, Senior Director of Platform Product Manager and head of Blackbaud Labs, talk about the goals for the program, how the first year went, and why Blackbaud felt it was important to focus on startups with diverse founders for the 2021 cohort.



Roz Lemieux

Blackbaud Social Good Startup Program Application

The Blackbaud Social Good Startup Challenge—Hear from the 2020 Cohort Participants



“These are startups that are really enabling organizations to do things in a different way.”

“From the outset, we said part of the lens and philosophy that we wanted to apply to the program was to encourage founders from traditionally underserved backgrounds to be part of the program.”

“There’s a very tight coupling between breakthrough innovation and the presence of diverse teams.”

“There's every reason for us to put our time and money and effort behind those [diverse] companies because they're the ones that are quite likely to make a big difference.”

Oct 22, 2020

In science fiction, artificial intelligence (AI) is often depicted as threatening to humans. But in reality, the science of AI can be used for any number of helpful purposes. What are the implications of this technology in the social good sector? Beth Kanter and Allison Fine join Steve MacLaughlin on the podcast to discuss their research into the use of AI in social good organizations.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Why Allison and Beth decided to write the AI4Giving report
  • Why the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was interested in the report
  • The definition of artificial intelligence for giving
  • The questions they wanted to answer in the report
  • Top findings from the research
  • What was surprising at the end of the research
  • How AI works in philanthropy
  • Cautionary tales about AI
  • How people without AI skillsets will be able to use AI tools
  • Recommendations for how social good organizations can start to think about AI



Beth Kanter

Allison Fine

Unlocking Generosity with Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Giving



“The most advanced technology in the world can be used to rehumanize fundraising.” –Allison Fine

“Algorithmic discrimination is a huge potential problem that is starting to develop.” –Allison Fine

“They don’t need to know how to necessarily make the sausage themselves, but they need to know how the sausage is made.” – Beth Kanter

Oct 15, 2020

Capital campaigns. Maybe you’re in one. Maybe you’re thinking about one. Maybe you’re wrapping one up now. Maybe you have one in the past that you’d like to forget about. Either way, they are important. Capital campaigns can be a tremendous asset to an organization as nearly a century of their history shows.

In today’s episode, we’ll explore the subject of capital campaigns in more depth with guest Amy Eisenstein, CEO and co-founder of The Capital Campaign Toolkit. Listen in to hear what Amy has to say about the key questions you need to answer to get a capital campaign started, the elements of a successful capital campaign, and the state of capital campaigns in the COVID-19 world.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • What a capital campaign is
  • Running a capital campaign without eating your annual fund
  • Key questions an organization needs to answer to start a capital campaign
  • How long a capital campaign should take
  • Your campaign objectives
  • Why you should be thinking big
  • Elements of success for a capital campaign
  • What Amy has found works and doesn’t work through experience
  • Which donors are most likely to make or break your campaign
  • The state of capital campaigns in the COVID-19 world
  • How organizations need to adjust due to the pandemic
  • What listeners can learn from the capital campaign toolkit



Amy Eisenstein

Capital Campaign Toolkit

Article: Planning a Capital Campaign: The Essential First Steps



“There’s always a concern at organizations that a capital campaign will cannibalize an annual campaign or annual fundraising, and what we’ve found is that simply isn’t true.”

“If you want that Olympic size pool, put it in those plans. We can cut it out later if we figure out you can’t raise the money for it. But now’s the time to dream big.”

“You need to have donors who have the capacity to give those lead gifts in order to have that element of a possibility, a real possibility, for success.”

Oct 8, 2020

Giving Tuesday, the annual global day of giving, will be held on December 1st this year - just under two months away. Although this has been a year of changes and challenges for many, your organization can still incorporate strategies that will help you leverage GivingTuesday in order to kick off your year-end giving season.

Stephanie Thomas, principal peer-to-peer fundraising consultant for Blackbaud, joins the podcast to discuss methods to help your organization successfully engage supporters to raise awareness and revenue. Listen in to hear her talk about peer-to-peer fundraising strategies, educating fundraisers, and tips for stewarding donors after GivingTuesday.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Why peer-to-peer fundraising is a good strategy for this GivingTuesday
  • The different ways that organizations can leverage peer-to-peer fundraising tools
  • Education that organizations can do with their peer-to-peer fundraisers to increase success
  • How to steward supporters and donors after GivingTuesday
  • Advice for organizations planning out their GivingTuesday strategy now



Stephanie H. Thomas

Webinar: Five Steps to Supporter Engagement

Blackbaud's GivingTuesday Webinar Series

Free GivingTuesday Toolkit and Resources

Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising™, powered by JustGiving®



“I think peer-to-peer fundraising offers new channels.”

“Ultimately, the ways that social good organizations can leverage peer-to-peer fundraising tools, it has to be easy, it has to be mobile-friendly, and most importantly, it has to be fun.”

“You really do have to have a strong marketing effort; you really do have to have a strong coaching program for those individuals who are volunteering their time and their network for you.”

Oct 1, 2020

During a crisis, you need strategies that will help your organization cope with the situation effectively and come through on the other side. Knowing how to work with your board in these situations can help you continue to fulfill your mission. In today’s episode, you’ll hear from Blackbaud Senior Marketing Manager Tanya Fitzgerald in an excerpt from a webinar about effectively working with your board during a crisis.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The board’s role during a crisis
  • Using a crisis cycle to communicate with your board
  • Breaking down the phases of the crisis cycle
  • Top areas that an organization needs to focus on during a crisis
  • Planning events during this time
  • Keeping your mission at the forefront of the community’s mind
  • How the board can help with a safety plan
  • Communicating and sharing knowledge



Tanya Fitzgerald

Webinar: Stay Cool: Proactively Working with Your Board During a Crisis

Financial Management Thought Leadership Webinar Series

Blog Post: 3 Steps for Developing a Passionate Nonprofit Board



“Consider these six phases for crisis transformation and how your organization will be affected in the best case, the likely case, and the worst-case scenario.”

“You’re going to want to be prepared during the first warning sign.”

“The community is actually going to be receptive to this information more so than they normally were. Information they used to tune out, they’re focusing on now.”

Sep 24, 2020

It’s hard to believe that we’re already well into September and it’s time to start thinking about year-end audits. This year, many social good organizations will be having virtual audits, and now is the time to learn about how best to prep for them.

Mel Rancour, principal instructional designer for Blackbaud University’s Organizational Best Practices curriculum, joins today’s episode to talk about why you want to begin audit prep now, how this year is going to differ from previous years, and resources to help you get started with your preparations.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Why now is the best time to start audit prep
  • How audit prep will be different this year
  • The trickiest part of having a virtual audit
  • What organizations should do first when preparing for an audit
  • How organizations can make sure they’re fully prepared
  • Resources on preparing for a virtual audit



Mel Rancour

Webinar: Preparing for a Virtual Audit

Blackbaud University Organizational Best Practices Curriculum: Year-End and Audit Plans



“Well, it is 2020, which has been a year full of changes and differences in policies and procedures and really any organizational and personal norms.”

“When you think about it, our policies and procedures for just about everything have changed.”

“Don’t forget, these guidelines need to be electronic.”

Sep 10, 2020

Too many nonprofits overlook the opportunities for planned giving. While planned giving may not be the most typical type of gift, it can be a powerful driver of growth for nonprofit organizations and can be a way of deepening donor relationships.

To talk about the modern landscape of planned giving, today’s guest is Patrick Schmitt. Patrick is the co-founder and co-CEO of FreeWill, a company that specializes in modernizing how organizations can take advantage of planned giving. Listen in to hear what Patrick has to say about how the thinking around planned giving is changing, how organizations can incorporate planned giving into their strategy, and how to steward donors through the planned giving process.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Patrick’s background and experience
  • Why planned giving allows “average” donors to give much more than they otherwise could
  • Why right now is the time to focus on planned giving
  • What Patrick has seen change in the way people are thinking about planned giving in the last year or so
  • How organizations can start incorporating planned giving into their fundraising strategy
  • Ways to talk to and steward donors
  • Giving donors choices
  • Common questions that donors tend to have
  • Getting people started with planned giving



Patrick Schmitt

Free Will



“We made it so easy for people to give 10 dollars, and yet in some cases, quite hard for them to give a hundred thousand dollars or a million dollars in the same way.”

“It behooves you to start much earlier than people do traditionally, to secure planned giving donors.”

“In some ways, we always talk about how fundraising is a highly specialized skill, and it is, but also, humans are humans.”

Sep 3, 2020

We’ve seen evolving challenges and change of 2020, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the racial justice movement. From economic challenges to increased service delivery demands, social good organizations have been impacted in many ways. While it is difficult to determine the future extent of economic impacts, there are valuable insights to be gleaned from historic trends in giving. 

In today’s episode, Ashley Thompson, Managing Director of the Blackbaud Institute, discusses the Institute’s new State of the Social Sector series with host Steve MacLaughlin. Listen to the interview to hear Ashley talk about what the data indicates about the social sector right now, how organizations can remain resilient and why organizations should look at history to help inform future actions.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The new State of the Social Sector reports from the Blackbaud Institute
  • Building resilient programs
  • The historical impact of economic changes and challenges on social good communities
  • Surprising findings in the Institute’s latest research
  • How organizations can positively leverage the moment in 2020
  • The importance of renewed focus on fundraising fundamentals
  • The value of being nimble
  • Making data actionable



Ashley Thompson

State of the Social Sector Series

Blackbaud Institute Index



“As we all know, 2020 is shaping up to be a real mixed bag.”

“What’s interesting, though, is that you see this continuation of generosity, kind of through the ages.”

“We talk about retention, and we talk about retention, and we talk about retention, but unfortunately, it’s still the same case.”

Aug 28, 2020

Running peer-to-peer fundraising events present a challenge in the current environment. However, the organizations that will be successful this fall are those who realize they must pivot and start proactively planning for these events.

In today’s episode, you’ll hear from Blackbaud’s Robyn Mendez, Principal Product Marketing Manager, and Shana Masterson, Principal Customer Success Manager, as they explore the topic of peer-to-peer fundraising in more depth. Robyn and Shana spoke with Steve MacLaughlin about the current state of peer-to-peer fundraising, what the data says about how peer-to-peer fundraising has been affected in recent months, and how organizations are reimagining their events. Listen in to learn more about how peer-to-peer fundraising is being changed and adapted.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The current state of peer-to-peer fundraising
  • What has been surprising about peer-to-peer fundraising in recent months
  • What the data says about what’s been happening over the last six months
  • How both organizations and participants are taking “wait-and-see” approaches, and why that may not be the best approach going forward
  • How organizations are thinking about reimagining their events
  • Changes to digital fundraising and how it’s changed engagements with peer-to-peer fundraisers
  • Logical next steps for organizations planning for fall and spring



Robyn Mendez

Shana Masterson

A Guide to Evolving Beyond Virtual: SPRING 2020 PEER-TO-PEER FUNDRAISING STUDY

The Time Has Come to Reinvent Fall 2020 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Events

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Idea Calendar



“What’s happening is people aren’t registering, so as an indirect result of them not being super decisive about what’s happening in the fall, or conversely, what’s happening in the spring, it’s suppressing registration rates.” – Robyn Mendez

“The community is the thing that really drives people.” –Shana Masterson

“I think the idea of getting back to a more grassroots style program is one of the interesting, innovative things that’s happening as a result of the pandemic.” – Robyn Mendez


Aug 20, 2020

What is your personal brand, that is, how would others talk about you when you aren’t in the room? Whether you are looking for a new role or just want to be more effective in your current role, personal branding is important. But how is it possible to improve your personal brand and professional network when many people are still working remotely?

Today’s guest, Marcos Salazar, founder and CEO of Be Social Change, joins the podcast today to talk about what a personal brand is and why it’s important. Listen in to learn specific steps to take right now for building your personal brand and network during this time.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Marcos’ background as a social entrepreneur and why he started Be Social Change
  • The definition of a personal brand
  • The importance of building your personal brand no matter what your career aspirations are
  • Actionable strategies for building your personal brand
  • Tips on how to navigate networking in a virtual world
  • Where listeners can learn more about networking and branding strategies



Marcos Salazar

Be Social Change Webinars



“Human beings aren’t static entities; we’re always growing and changing and having new experiences.”

“The way I think about your personal brand is it’s how you’re perceived by others.”

“Personal branding and networking are tied together, and these are the two most important things that you should be focusing on your career.”

Aug 12, 2020

We spend a lot of time, energy, and attention on engaging the right donors, building relationships with them, and reaching other key objectives. But those are mostly external activities, and one of the keys to improvement is looking inward. That’s where the idea of performance management comes into play.

Joining the podcast today is Stacy Rooney, a Principal Business Consultant at Blackbaud, to discuss the concept of fundraiser performance management. Listen in to hear Stacy and host Steve MacLaughlin talk about managing gift officers for optimal performance, portfolio management, and the effects of COVID-19 on fundraising and performance data.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Demystifying the topic of performance management
  • How to optimize how portfolios are managed by gift officers
  • Maturity models
  • Using data to identify good performance and benchmark against peers
  • The connection between activity and outcome
  • Investing in officers as fundraisers
  • Understanding where the focus currently is and where the focus should be
  • How feedback and coaching factors in to fundraising success
  • The impacts of COVID-19 on fundraising and data



Stacy Rooney

Blackbaud Fundraiser Performance Management

8 Things Resilient Fundraisers Should be Doing Now

10 Things Fundraisers Can Do to Adapt During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond



“It’s just like looking in a mirror. Do you like what you see? Is this where you want to be as an organization?”

“We’ve had various profiles that we’ve thought of with the types of officers that might be really good at a certain aspect, and then you have some officers that are good at everything.”

“There are fundraisers out in the world that don’t like asking for money.”

Jul 30, 2020

Today’s episode features Derrick Feldmann, a speaker, researcher, and author of a new book, The Corporate Social Mind, which introduces a new cultural and strategic approach to social issue engagement by companies. Listen in to hear Derrick talk to Rachel Hutchisson about what prompted him to write his latest book, what surprises Derrick discovered in his own research, and what his golden principles are and how they can help the social good community.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Derrick’s background with the Ad Council and Influence SG
  • What prompted Derrick to write his new book
  • The most important points that Derrick hopes people will take away from his new book
  • Derrick’s guidance for companies looking to be socially engaged
  • Major findings from Derrick’s recent research
  • What surprised Derrick in his study
  • Derrick’s golden principles
  • Where listeners can go to learn more



Derrick Feldmann

The Corporate Social Mind

Cause and Social Influence



“I’ve always let the research guide what I not only focus on, but also where my interests have really come out to play.”

“One of the core things we do throughout the book is talk about these eight traits.”

“As companies, you don’t have to be the leading voice, you don’t have to be the hero in all of this, but you do have to be a contributing voice.”

Jul 23, 2020

Many foundations would like to have a more defined measurement process around their grantmaking but aren’t sure where to start. Today’s episode focuses on that process: how to get started, how to iterate through the process, and how to report on your foundation’s accomplishments.


In an excerpt from a Blackbaud webinar, you’ll hear from Veronica Dickson of the FMH Foundation and Jessica Tudyk of the Mary E. Bivens Foundation about starting with the mission statement, talking to your board, and tracking data. To view the entire webinar, click on the link the Resources section below.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Starting with the mission statement
  • Looking at the written donor intent and foundation’s history of giving
  • Talking to the board about strategic planning
  • Making sure you and your grantees understand your lingo
  • Meeting nonprofits where they are
  • The If/Then tree
  • Which data is needed
  • How to track data
  • Keeping track of data changes




Veronica Dickson

Jessica Tudyk

Webinar: "Measuring for Success: The Good, The Helpful and the Impactful"

Blackbaud Foundation Solutions Resource Hub



“Our foundation is very big on follow up and making sure that the money went where it should have gone and for the purpose that it was intended.” –Veronica Dickson

“I think that’s really good advice with any foundation. Where do you start? Keep the main thing the main thing. Look at your mission statement.” –Veronica Dickson

“I that it’s important to remember that no two processes are going to look identical, they’re not going to look the same.” –Jessica Tudyk

Jul 16, 2020

What does branding mean for nonprofit organizations, and how has it evolved to now require a comprehensive digital strategy?

Joining the podcast today is Farra Trompeter, chief growth officer of Big Duck and the co-author of an article about branding in the Blackbaud Institute’s new 2020 npEXPERTS eBook. Listen in to hear Farra talk to Steve MacLaughlin about the evolution of the marketing and branding tools that nonprofits need to think about using, understanding your why and who your why is for, and the importance of staff in upholding brand image.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • How nonprofit branding has evolved over the past seven years since Farra’s article in the original npEXPERTS book.
  • How the ways that nonprofits use communications and digital marketing tools has changed
  • Knowing why you’re using the tools the way that you are
  • Understanding the why for your organization
  • The intersection between branding and culture
  • The importance of staff members upholding the brand image
  • Combining speed and accuracy in communications to build trust and engagement
  • How outreach and communication has shifted over the last few months
  • How it helps to get feedback



Farra Trompeter

npEXPERTS 2020 - published by the Blackbaud Institute



“Thinking about your audiences and goals as it connects to your mission I think has been around for a while, and it’s still the right way to go about deciding what approach you should take, and then related to that approach, what tools you should use.”

“The staff are the people who are representing the organization day in and day out, and if my experience with that staff person is not one that in some way reinforces what I’m hoping for, then again that organization is not going to be able to uphold that desired perception.”

“What I hope to see is that momentum continue through the summer into the fall. I hope it’s not just a moment.”

Jul 9, 2020


Over the past months, racial equity and racial justice have come to the forefront of public consciousness and advocacy in the U.S. and around the world. And while this has also been a topic of discussion in philanthropy for some time, there is a real opportunity now for all social good organizations to really respond in a meaningful way that effects change.

In today’s episode, you’ll hear from Marcus Walton, President & CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO). Listen in to hear Marcus talk about the current movement, the steps that responsive philanthropy must take to advance racial equity, and how all social good organizations can approach their work through a racial equity lens.


Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Marcus’s background as a leader in philanthropy and in working on racial equity initiatives
  • What GEO does and how it’s working with members
  • Whether Marcus is hopeful that the current moment will move the needle on racial equity
  • Steps that responsive philanthropy needs to take to advance racial equity
  • What advice Marcus would give to funders right now
  • Why it’s critical for all social good organizations to look at their work through a racial equity lens
  • The importance of partnerships and data



Marcus Walton

Article: "Hope is Not a Strategy for Change"

GEO's Vision for Smarter Grantmaking

Marcus Walton's Resource List on Leadership and Racial Equity



“I can only be hopeful, because I’ve seen how quickly change can happen.”

“What I’m observing on one hand is an inclination to do something, to react.”

“Before we make a decision and head down a particular course of action, let’s ground ourselves in the current moment.”

Jun 25, 2020

How do leaders embrace their role in the new normal today? What does it mean to lead strategically and purposefully?  The experts in today’s webinar will answer these questions.

Listen in to hear Eddie Thompson, Founder and CEO of Thompson & Associates, Mark McCampbell, Senior Vice President of Advancement Resources, and Betsy Chapin Taylor, CEO of Accordant, talk about the challenges of leadership during times of change, why purpose and values are central to good leadership, and the importance of reconsidering strategy right now to lead your organization into a successful future.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The role of leaders in today’s changing new normal
  • Why who you are is more important than what you do
  • How values lead to actions
  • Leadership strategies
  • Affirming your organization’s vision
  • Thinking about areas that need to be pruned or changed going forward
  • The importance of connecting meaningfully
  • Considering strategic decisions
  • Holding board members accountable
  • Using board members as fundraisers
  • Thinking about how to go after major gifts in the future


Eddie Thompson

Mark McCampbell

Betsy Chapin Taylor

WEBINAR: Leadership During Times of Change

TIP SHEET: 8 Things Successful Healthcare Philanthropy Leaders are Doing Right Now

ARTICLE: 6 Tips for Managing a Virtual Workforce


“When you’re authentic, you’re being yourself, and you’re leading from who you are, that’s really the place to be.” –Mark McCampbell

“I think that we are unfortunately entering a period in our hospitals of austerity.” –Betsy Chapin Taylor

“I want to encourage you to reconsider having perpetual naming rights.” –Eddie Thompson

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