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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: April, 2020
Apr 30, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the funding landscape in various ways. It’s important that both grantmakers and grantees understand each other’s needs and challenges right now.

In today’s episode, Lauren Steiner, president and founder of Grants Plus, talks with Blackbaud’s Rachel Hutchisson about the current trends she is seeing in grantmaking. Listen in to hear what Lauren has to say about COVID-related funding resources, changes to funding practices and requirements, and how nonprofits should approach conversations with funders.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • General trends in the funding landscape
  • How many funders are changing practices and requirements in response to the current situation
  • The importance of transparency and relationship building
  • Advice for starting conversations with funders
  • Changes in the funding situation that may continue once the crisis has passed
  • The COVID-related funding resources that Lauren has been gathering

Resources:

Lauren Steiner

Grant Plus's Guide to Grant Seeking During the COVID-19 Crisis

COVID-19 Industry Resources for Foundations and Grantmaking Organizations

3 Best Practices for Remote Disaster Grantmaking Response

Chronicle of Philanthropy article: 6 Steps for Grant Makers to Take Now to Ensure Nonprofits Recover From Coronavirus Spread

Quotes: 

“The general consensus was we need to advise organizations to not stop because of what’s going on.”

“One of the trends that I’m seeing – and I am here for it – is that foundations are loosening restrictions.”

“If you haven’t started that kind of frequent connection with your funders, do that now.”

Apr 23, 2020

Many things have changed in response to COVID-19, but the missions and purposes of social good organizations remain the same even if their methods must adjust to meet the current situation.

In today’s episode, Melissa Bank Stepno, Director of Analytics Consulting at Blackbaud joins the podcast to talk with Steve MacLaughlin about using personas for fundraising during COVID-19. Listen in to hear what Melissa has to say about the value of continued engagement, what organizations should be focusing on right now, and how personas can help their messaging.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • What Melissa is hearing from organizations right now about fundraising during COVID-19
  • The importance of continued engagement
  • What organizations should focus on right now
  • The importance of data health
  • How organizations can use personas to fine-tune messages for their audiences
  • Examples of personas and how they work
  • How the imagery can match the message
  • How organizations can learn more about personas

Resources:

Melissa Bank Stepno

Blackbaud Institute Report: "Supporters in Sight: A Look at Peer-to-Peer Personas"

Blackbaud Institute Report: "Supporters in Sight: An Introduction to Personas"

Article: Harnessing Big Data to Sustain Peer-to-Peer Revenue Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic

Quotes: 

“Every nonprofit in the country, in the world, exists for a purpose and for a reason, and those missions are all still valid today.”

“The health of the addresses on your file, the phone numbers on your file, the emails on your file is more critical than ever as we’re thinking about how we can reach people where they are.”

“How can you meet somebody where they are at their point in time in life, and what they’re most interested in?”

Apr 16, 2020

#GivingTuesday is an annual campaign that has taken off far beyond expectations in the years since it was first implemented, reaching an unprecedented global scale. And now the #GivingTuesday organization has created a new day of giving as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic: #GivingTuesdayNow.

Asha Curran, CEO of #GivingTuesday, joins the sgENGAGE Podcast in this episode to talk with Blackbaud’s Rachel Hutchisson about the new #GivingTuesdayNow campaign happening on May 5, 2020. Listen in to hear what Asha has to say about how #GivingTuesdayNow came about, how people are pitching in to help during this crisis, and how to handle messaging and creating campaigns in situations with limited timeframes. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The basics of #GivingTuesday and how it’s become an independent organization
  • What prompted Asha to create #GivingTuesdayNow
  • How people are using their unique skills in the COVID-19 crisis
  • How to focus when there isn’t a lot of ramp-up time to create a new fundraising campaign
  • Messaging advice to engage supporters around #GivingTuesdayNow
  • Asha’s goals for #GivingTuesdayNow

Resources:

Asha Curran

#GivingTuesdayNow

#GivingTuesdayNow resources from Blackbaud 

Quotes: 

“Last year on Giving Tuesday 2019, over 2 billion dollars was donated just in the 24 hours of Giving Tuesday.”

“Right from the beginning, we saw that people were in search of ideas. They wanted to help.”

“We have a saying in the Giving Tuesday community that there’s no stealing in Giving Tuesday, there’s just joyful replication.”

Apr 9, 2020

In the midst of COVID-19, virtual volunteerism opportunities are more important than ever. But there have also always been people who want to engage and contribute but who can’t, for various reasons, volunteer in traditional ways. This episode is about understanding and expanding virtual volunteer programs. 

Danielle Holly, CEO of Common Impact, an organization dedicated to skills-based volunteerism, joins the Podcast to share her insights and expertise on how nonprofits and corporations can better work together on virtual volunteer programs. Listen in to hear her talk with Blackbaud’s Rachel Hutchisson on different models for virtual volunteering, how companies can encourage employees to give back in this way, and what nonprofits can do to create more virtual volunteer opportunities. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The types of virtual volunteer activities that are available
  • How companies can set employees up for success with virtual volunteer opportunities
  • How to get to know your nonprofit partner quickly in a virtual environment
  • What nonprofits and social good organizations can do to create more virtual volunteer opportunities
  • Standout examples of virtual volunteer programs

Resources:

Danielle Holly

Common Impact's Catalog of Virtual Volunteer Models

Going Virtual - An Alternative Volunteer Event Guide

Quotes: 

“Pro bono and skills-based volunteerism, for the most part, translates very easily into a virtual environment.”

“The encouragement and the modeling of volunteering from mid-level management and from senior management is incredibly important.”

“There are very few projects, initiatives, and challenges that nonprofit leaders face that can’t be supported by service. That can’t be supported by pro bono talent.”

Apr 2, 2020

Traditionally, arts and cultural organizations start fundraising after someone buys their first ticket. But is that the best approach for long-term success? What if organizations waited and took a more methodical approach?

In today’s episode, Aubrey Bergauer, Executive Director of the Center for Innovative Leadership and VP of Strategic Communications at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, joins the podcast to talk about developing a long-haul approach to fundraising, being customer-obsessed, and attracting a more diverse audience. You’ll also hear a bonus segment with Aubrey, added after the main interview was originally recorded, in which she discusses how organizations can most effectively operate right now during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • How the San Francisco Conservatory of Music is responding in the face of COVID-19
  • How arts and cultural organizations can effectively communicate with their supporters during these uncertain times
  • Advice for arts and cultural organizations attempting to adapt their operations in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The success Aubrey has seen with the long-haul fundraising model she developed for fundraising and patron retention
  • Why organizations should wait to solicit donations
  • How Aubrey is bringing the long-haul model to higher education
  • Examples of the wrong types of metrics organizations often focus on
  • The importance of being customer-obsessed
  • Shaping your organization’s website for first-time visitors instead of your board of directors or long-term donors
  • Making programming more attractive and accessible to a younger audience
  • Attracting more diverse audiences
  • How to achieve a more diverse staff

Resources:

Follow Aubrey Berguaer on Twitter: @AubreyBergauer

Resources to Guide Arts and Cultural Organizations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Report: Guide to Evaluating your Arts & Cultural Organization's Online Performance

Quotes: 

“I think what’s so important for arts organizations is to really be forward-looking.”

“It’s OK to be human. But we must also be positive, and we must also be looking into the future.”

“The key is to talk to users but to also respond, not justify what we’ve been doing.”

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