Despite having limited time to devote to fundraising, it’s not too late for the second half of this year to be a breakthrough period for your organization’s development efforts. Listen to this short bonus break to learn how to create a plan quickly and implement it effectively.
This episode offers a featured conversation with Dr. Jeff Thompson, a pediatrician, author, sought-after speaker, and CEO Emeritus of Gundersen Health System in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Dr. Thompson is author of the recently published book Lead True and his perspective shines throughout the book: when others are afraid of the risk, the timing, or the possible failure, true leaders step forward to meet a need.
As most listeners know, healthcare systems often represent the largest, most complex nonprofit organizations – perhaps second only to colleges and universities.
During his successful CEO tenure at Gundersen, Dr. Thompson not only improved health outcomes but also used hospital resources to serve as a catalyst for rebuilding the surrounding community, helped patients die with dignity (even though it wasn’t in the organization’s financial best interest), and become a green organization while dramatically curtailing the rising cost of providing healthcare.
And he did all this while protecting the financial well-being of hospital employees, patients, and the community. True to his ethos, Dr. Thompson is donating his proceeds from this book to the Gundersen Foundation Leadership Development Fund!
A few time-stamped highlights from our conversation included:
(4:11) The difference between respect for employees and reverence for employees
(6:10) How to maintain a sense of reverence when your organization’s financial position is weak and strained
(9:58) How to convince your board to support long-term growth strategies during crisis
(14:15) How to deal with staff who are going to war with each other instead of working together to achieve the mission
(17:03) The importance of quickly addressing behavior and performance issues with upper management.
(18:20) Using HR to stop be a people-buildter instead of a rules police.
(18:38) The importance of leaders being responsible for their team members’ success (and that being more important that simply holding people accountable)
(21:10) How to challenge the employee who’s performance is “just good enough” but is cruising along at 80% of their potential.
(24:20) Why leaders need “durability” in order to succeed
(28:03) How leaders can make better decisions during times of great difficulty
(31:20) A real life example of “making the right decision” even though it would decrease revenue
(42:09) Why your nonprofit organization should consider taking your fund balance out of savings to invest in green initiatives, local businesses, and partner nonprofits.
(48:43) The value of “learning journeys” to educate and build your board.
There is nothing scarier than a cash-flow crisis. It can undermine your organization's success and even your own confidence.
If you're facing a cash flow crisis, listen to this bonus break over a cup of coffee. In less than 15 minutes, you'll learn:
We’ve all encountered a schmuck at work, and I’d be willing to bet that we’ve all been the schmuck at least once or twice in our lives. Nonprofits can be messy workplaces with people like Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep’s character from The Devil Wears Prada).
Of course, in the nonprofit sector, the schmuck might not be a staff member. The schmuck can also be a board member, a key volunteer, or an organizational partner. And a schmuck in any of these roles can dramatically derail your organization’s ability to meet its mission and suck the fun out of your relationship with the organizastion.
In today’s episode, we’ll talk with psychiatrists Dr. Jody Foster and Dr. Michelle Joy about their new book “The Schmuck In My Office: How to deal effectively with difficult people at work”.
During this episode, you’ll gain insight and ideas for dealing with the schmuck at your nonprofit.
Link: The Schmuck In My Office
Each time I tell a nonprofit that every board member should fundraise, a well-meaning person will say,
“But Dolph, we have two former clients on the board, and they don’t know anyone with deep pockets who can give. We need them on the board because of the important perspective they offer, and one of our government funders even requires their board membership”.
I always look this well-meaning board member in the eye and say the the following. . . . (you'll have to listen to find out).
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At some point during its life cycle, every nonprofit has a need for legal counsel. Often times this occurs when the organization is about to sign its first lease – and realizes that an attorney should review the document. Other times, they may be contacted by an attorney representing a disgruntled client, employee, partner, or in some bizarre cases just people walking in front of their building who tripped.
Since every organization needs to speak with an attorney at some point, I asked Rachel Spears to join us on the show today. She is the Executive Director of Pro Bono Partnership Atlanta, which connects volunteer attorneys with Georgia nonprofits in need of pro bono legal services.
As part of our conversation, we discussed:
Links mentioned in the episode:
It took me almost 20 years in the nonprofit sector to realize there are four predictors of board performance. If I can see just these four data points, I can predict the board’s overall performance with relative accuracy.
When the realization hit me, it seemed as simple and obvious as the law of gravity. If you release a ball in the air, it will drop to the ground. If your board doesn’t perform well in these predictors of board performance, they will also fall.
Listen to this Bonus Break to learn the four predictors of board performance and determine who well your board is performing!
Past episodes in descending chronological order are below:
Ep 38 - Planning for Fundraising Success with Heather Yandow
Ep 37 - Smart Fundraising Strategies with Ellen Bristol
Ep 36 - Good Advice for Your Board with Dr. Victoria Boyd and Linda Lysakowski
Ep 35 - Making Fundraising Events Fun and Profitable with Abra Annes
Bonus Break 5 - 31 Proven Fundraising Ideas for Board Members
Ep 34 - When a Nonprofit Buys a For Profit Company with Dave Shaffer
Ep 33 - Critical Analysis of Trump's Budget Blueprint with Dolph Goldenburg
Bonus Break 4 - Face Uncertainty With Confidence
Ep 32 - Focusing and Achieving More with Liana Downey
Ep 31 - Content Marketing for Nonprofits with Robert McGuire
Ep 30 - Engaging an Interim Executive Director with Lynne Molnar
Bonus Break 3 - Bonus Break: Better Board Orientation = Better Results
Ep 29 - Impact Without Burnout with Beth Kanter
Bonus Break 2 - Bonus Break: Contemplations on Compensation
Ep 28 -Telling Stories That Matter with Vanessa Chase Lockshin
Ep 27 - Creating a 100 Day Launch-Plan for Your New CEO with Kim Powell
Ep 26 - Our Guests Share Their New Years Resolutions + Tips For Keeping Yours!
Ep 25 - Our two most popular career-building conversations
Ep 24 - Building a Nonprofit Social Enterprise with Paul Lamb
Ep 23 - Building Strong CEO-Board Chair Relationships with John Fulwider
Ep 22 - Universal Truths About Individual Donors with Heather Yandow
Ep 21 - Getting Media Coverage During the Holidays (or anytime) with Peter Panepento
Ep 20 - What's wrong with your fundraising and how you can fix it with Ellen Bristol
Ep 19 - Preparing nonprofits for a Trump presidency with Dr. Janelle Kerlin
Ep 18 - Achieving nonprofit sustainability with Eleanor Boyd
Ep 17 - Taking the Pulse Survey with Bill Lutz
Ep 16 - Creating your professional brand with Kristin Battista-Frazee
Ep 15 - Having fun at work with Terry Stone
Ep 14 - Women led philanthropy with Zenia Frendt
Ep 13 - Your case for $upport with Linda Lysakowski
Ep 12 - Career advice from search consultant Kevin Chase
Ep 11 - F**kUp nights with Jay Cranman and Tim Adkins
Ep 10 - Producing big money events with Harry A. Freedman
Ep 9 - The power of a great banker with Ashley Carson
Ep 8 - Major gifts with Chris Haley
Ep 7 - New overtime rules with Gary Wheeler
Ep 6 - Nonprofit mergers: A more perfect union with Erik Speakman
Ep 5 - Revoked! Protect your tax exempt status with Anthony Sampson
Ep 4 - Get more grants with Laurie Nichols
Ep 3 - Measuring outcomes with Khurram Hassan
Ep 2 - Promoting inclusion and diversity with Clarence Patton
Ep 1 - Career changers with career coach Gary Hines
At some point, almost every organization considers a capital campaign. For very small organizations, this might be to purchase a small building, while for large institutions it might be hundreds of millions for a major expansion.
Whether your organization is thinking about launching a big campaign or a small one, it is essential to get your nonprofit "campaign ready" before hiring a consultant, conducting a feasibility study, or launching the campaign itself.
For this reason, we’re bringing you this Featured Conversation with Andrea Kihlstedt, author of Capital Campaigns: Strategies That Work. The book is so popular and such a vital resource, that it is currently in the fourth edition.
Not surprisingly, Andrea Kihlstedt is among the most respected capital campaign specialist in the country. In addition to authoring this book and several others, she has helped dozens of organizations conduct capital campaigns and co-developed the capital campaign course for the Fundraising school in Indiana.
In this conversation, we discussed:
Links from the episode:
Back in episode 22, we did a deep dive with Heather about the universal truths of individual giving. Heather distilled these universal truths from her groundbreaking Individual Donor Benchmark Project, which surveys hundreds of smaller nonprofits on their fundraising practices and results.
In that episode, she shared one absolute truth that the IDB revealed: the number one factor in fundraising success is whether the organization has a fundraising plan. Turns out that our P.E. teachers were right, we don’t plan to fail but we do fail to plan.
When our last conversation with Heather ended, I asked if we could record another conversation about creating and implementing a fundraising plan. She graciously agreed to have this additional conversation with us and even share some resources with listeners for developing their own fundraising plan.
In this episode, we cover:
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