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The Secret Thing That Is Holding You Back In Your Nonprofit Career

The Secret Thing That Is Holding You Back In Your Nonprofit Career

In this webinar, Mazarine Treyz will talk about exactly how to build trust and make your fundraising office even more effective.

Full Transcript:

Steven:All right, I think my watch just struck 1 p.m. Eastern, so is it okay if I go ahead and kick us off officially?


Steven:All right, let's do it. Welcome everyone, thanks for joining us. Good afternoon, I should say if you are on the East Coast, and good morning if you're on the West Coast or somewhere in between. Thanks for being here for today's Bloomerang webinar, “The Secret Thing That Is Holding You Back in Your Nonprofit Career.”

And my name is Steven Shattuck, and I am the Chief Engagement Officer over here at Bloomerang, and I'll be moderating today's discussion as always. And just couple of housekeeping items before we get started here, I just want to let you all know that we are recording this session. And we will get you that recording as well as the slides in case those missed you earlier today, we'll get you all that good stuff later on this afternoon.

If you have to leave early hope you don't have to, but if you do, that's cool. We'll still get you all the resources to be able to watch it again, with a colleague, maybe even share with the boss if that's what you feel you need to do after hearing this great presentation, never know. But have no fear, just look for an email from me later on today with all that good stuff.

Most important, my favorite thing, please chat in your questions and comments throughout the next hour so I can keep an eye on those. I'll be pulling out some questions, we'll try to get to as many of your questions as we can before the 2 o'clock Eastern hour. So don't be shy, don't sit on those hands. You got a great expert here that is going to try to answer all your questions before 2 o'clock Eastern.

Also, you can do that on Twitter, I'll keep an eye on a Twitter feed there as well if you'd rather tweet us a question or just keep in touch there. And then last thing, if you're having any trouble with the audio through your computers, we find that the audio by phone is usually a little bit better since it doesn't rely on, you know, technology or internet connections or any of that good stuff. So don't give up on us completely, try dialing in by phone if you can, if you don't mind doing that, before you totally give up on us. There is a phone number in the email from ReadyTalk that went out when you registered, and about 15 minutes ago as a confirmation that you can dial into. Try that, it's usually better quality there.

If this is your first Bloomerang webinar I just want to say an extra-special welcome to you folks. We do these webinars just about every Thursday, we only miss literally two or three Thursdays a year, and we have a great guest like today's guest on for educational presentation. One of our favorite things we do here at Bloomerang, one of my favorite things for sure, but if you're not familiar with Bloomerang beyond that, check us out, check out our website. You can get a peek at our really awesome donor management software. I know I'm a little biased but it really is awesome, so if you want to learn more about us, check that out. Don't do that now, don't do that for the next hour, because you guys are in for a treat. One of my favorite humans of all time is with us today, Mazarine Treyz.

Mazarine, how is it going? You're joining us from Portland, are you doing okay?

Mazarine:Yeah, yeah. Man, thanks for having me. I love being on your webinars. I think it's the second or third time I've done this for you, and it's a fun time every single time. So the best people on earth.

Steven:Well, you make it as the best. You guys are really in [inaudible 00:03:12] here. If you guys don't know Mazarine, you've got to check her out, follow her blog, go to her events. She is a prolific organizer of a couple of I think the best conferences, educational opportunities in this sector. She runs the Nonprofit Leadership Summit which is coming up, she is going to talk to you about that. You should definitely register for that. Last April, I think it was, Mazarine, is the Fundraising Career Conference, right, I got that right, so you can catch that next year.

Mazarine:Yeah that's right.

Steven:Definitely check those out, she is nationally recognized or even internationally recognized if you count Canada, I suppose. Great speaker. If you see her on a conference agenda go to her session, she is awesome, she is a prolific writer. She has written three awesome books, I got one of them here on my bookshelf behind me. I think she is sending me the recent one, so I'm looking forward that as well.

She has worked with all kinds of organizations, done trainings for AFP, US Olympic Committee, Meals on Wheels, GuideStar, ADRP. She knows what she's talking about. So I have taken up way too much of your time already, my friend, so I'm going to turn it over to you to tell us all about what that secret thing is that's holding you back, so take it away, my friend.

Mazarine:Oh, thanks a lot, Steven, thank you. Everybody, thank you so much for being here. I just want to say that during today's session, I'm going to be talking about some things that you might already know about. In this show I'd love to have you speak up in the chat and give other people the benefit of your wisdom and your knowledge as well. I feel like we have a lot of knowledge in this room right now, and you're the authority on your own life and your experience as well as your experience in the sector, and I think we can all benefit from you.

So please, please when I ask questions feel free to speak up and just say, “Hey, Mazarine, I think you're wrong, and this is why.” And I really appreciate when people tell me that because then it really leads to something interesting. So feel free today to be like, “That's not right, this is what I think,” and I'm going to be very excited to hear what you think too. So even though it's a webinar, let's pretend that we're in person. So here is the secret thing that's holding you back in your career is kind of a riddle but let's keep going forward.

So this is me. I, as Steven said, I've done a lot of things, and I basically love to help people take their nonprofits and their careers to the next level. And that's why I run my two online conferences, The Fundraising Career Conference, the Nonprofit Leadership Summit, and that's coming up this September and I'll tell you about that.

So, here is my pop quiz for you right now. What's holding you back? What do you think the secret thing is? Is it your lack of communications in your nonprofit? Is it your community trust? Is it your donor database? Is it your brand? And this is for your nonprofit, you know, is it your fundraising processes, is it your staff, is it your leadership? What do you think is holding you back? Yeah, give us a chat, what do you think?

Ah, Tara, yeah, and Lynn, we can't do hands raised, I think you're going to have to chat it in. Holly, yes interesting. Laura said manpower, Diane said leadership, Tara said trust. Suzy said previous job duties, Boote said communications, Lynn said lack of staff, excellent, excellent. Blaine said bravery to just ask, and Cara said time, you know, all of these are true. Megan, board of directors, yeah. There is a lot of things, yeah, brand says Melanie. Samantha said board support. Sharee said my lack of communication, yeah. Peter, no college degree, yeah that actually really does hold us back which is really crappy.

Excellent, everybody, these are such good answers. This is the answer that we're going to be talking about today but those are all real and true as well. It's trust, it's trust, and it's trust inside your organization and trust outside your organization. So that's what we're going to be talking about today, and this is more what we're going to be talking about.

So the cost of not building trust in our organization, how to build credibility even with yourself, 10 ways to build trust at work, as well as one key way to build trust with donors which I know that we all need to do. But first we have to look inside before we look outside. Then we'll also learn three key elements of trust, seven phases of that expectation, and putting it into practice. And I'm going to give you a framework to really shift the culture in your nonprofit, should you choose to, and then I'm going to give you an opportunity to learn even more about that.

So one of the things that I wanted to start with was a bit of levity so we have a Dilbert cartoon here. And if you're calling in and you're on the phone in your car or whatever you can't see this I'm going to read it to you so here it is. Dilbert's boss is saying, “How are you doing on your unspoken objectives?” And Dilbert says, “My what?” And the boss says, “I'm referring to the goals I have in my mind that I've never mentioned. How are those going?” And Dilbert says “I'm totally nailing them.”

So, you can see here that he's talking about something that happens a lot in our nonprofits, as Sheree said, lack of communications. You know, Roger talked about communicating as well. I mean, it is about communication. You know, Megan said misconceptions as well. And so when we think about the community sometimes what we do is we recreate our problems internally with external problems, so if you're not communicating well enough, you might have to go inside and ask why.

So here is the thing, our nonprofit workplace cultures are broken. We have so many barriers for doing our work well, because of super jobs we have way more work, we have to make more decisions than ever plus because of at-will employment we're worrying about getting fired, we try to work harder. So then we don't take breaks and few of us work our proper hours. And we have few real metrics and systems, we are constantly busy, but at the end of the day we might still say, “What the heck did I get done?”

And so I actually stole this phrase, this last phrase from Ellen Bristol who wrote “Fundraising the SMART way.” And she's actually going to be speaking at our Leadership Summit about exactly what metrics you need to be using in your fundraising office and in your sales processes for getting new major donors.

Now I know this isn't about fundraising right now, this is about you and trust. But these are some of the things that are really holding you back and underneath all of this is trust, so super jobs is when you have to do four or five people's jobs in one job description. If you read the job descriptions out there these days, you see that, you know, development director's expected to be the events coordinator, the office manager, the volunteer coordinator, the grants manager, and on and on and on and on, right, and major gift solicitor, and graphic designer.

So, I speak from experience and this is something that is a really big problem. And so to be able to push back on this, we have to be able to show why we need to do that, and that's what I'm going to show you today. So next one, you know, I want to stay is how can we build trust with donors and the community if we don't know how to build trust with each other in our nonprofits. What's holding us back? So, the mantra is work like crazy then crash.

So I have worked like crazy and then I have gotten really, really sick. Luckily, I've recovered but I once had a doctor tell me when I got bronchial pneumonia that if I didn't go to bed for a week, he's going to put me in the hospital. And that's really sad when someone has to tell you that. And it seems that our [inaudible 00:11:11] just attracts people that are just very driven and focused and want to change the world and really, really want to give everything to the cause, and everything to their jobs, and I was the same way. But when you work really, really hard like that and you don't think of yourself, as Thomas Merton says, “The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his work of peace.”

So, because of all the reasons I just mentioned you're going to feel like you have to work really hard because there's too much to get done, because at-will, because you're just, you know, you're expected to do a lot. And you want to achieve but then you end up feeling disappointed that you didn't get everything done. I don't know about you but I have a lot of days where I feel I didn't get done everything I wanted to get done and I had too much on my plate and that's like every day. So, you know, perfectionism is the enemy of good, thank you Jacqueline, yes, exactly.

So I want to ask you a question right now, if you don't know this you don't need to answer but I'm just curious like, what's the turnover rate at your nonprofit right now? Anybody have any ideas, is there any, you know, HR executive director kind of stat you can give me, even just turnover rate in your, you know, fundraising department would be interesting to know.

I asked this question yesterday on this presentation and people said, you know, 23%, you know, 36%. Ann said, “It's very high.” Lindsey said, “Ten percent.” Yeah. So, oh, “We have 0% turnover,” nice Tara, very cool, you're extremely rare. And Jacqueline said, “It's difficult to tell. Depends on the department.” Lisa said, “Zero,” wonderful. Well, that's really, really different and I love that.

“Way too high,” said Edina, in lower-level employees Danielle said, “Low.” Megan said, “Very low because it's only four of us, very committed, very overworked.” Jacqueline said, “We have some people who have been here for 13 years, others that we have been here 1.” Yeah. And Danielle said, “I'm [inaudible 00:13:11] within two years,” that's a sign, yeah, that's a definite sign.

Samantha said, “Hire program staff less with management positions.” Lisa said, “The organization has had five directors in four years and the fifth and the only employee, oh God.” Okay, that's a pretty high turnover rate. Tara said, “Same with us. Our group only four of us all over worked well, yeah.” Panetta said, “We've recently had a large turnover in key staff members,” that's really telling. Cara said, “This is the third in my dead role in three years. I've also seen two people hired and leave in my year,” yeah. So, this is all very, very good information. Thank you everybody for sharing this.

So this is some things you may not know. The average turnover fundraiser in a nonprofit is between 12 and 18 months in the U.S. and in Canada it's as low as six months. This is directly from a recruiter that I know that recruits for all of Canada. So, we are overlooking people currently employed in our organizations, we looked at making executive levels hire, and then people get passed over and then they leave. And that's really sad, and what's behind this?

So it actually comes from the Puritanism that America was founded on where there's this concept called “the elect,” which if you read the book “Uncharitable” by Dan Pallotta, he talks about that. You may have some problem with him as a person, I understand that, but his concept was really fascinating to me about how we assume in this country that if you have a lot of money, you therefore know everything about everything. So that's why we trust Mark Zuckerberg to fix New York schools and Bill Gates to fix malaria, right?

It's because they're so rich, they just must know everything and so when you only make 10 bucks an hour or 16 bucks an hour, people will assume that you're an idiot, and we see this with board members assuming staff are idiots. And no matter how much turnover there is in a board or in the staff, it's like how can they all be idiots if you are all turning over? This is what's behind that, essentially. So when you look for a nonprofit executive level role, in some ways if the board is choosing the executive level role, they're going to be choosing someone who has less experience and not more. So there can be such a thing as too much nonprofit experience. Isn't that sad?

I mean, honestly, I've worked in organizations where the two executive directors had no nonprofit experience and they were just hired from the outside, and they came in and did a terrible job. And they both got caught doing some under hidden things and both got fired. So I'm not saying that anyway outside directors are bad, but I'm just saying that we're overlooking our good people inside, we're not nurturing our people inside the organization, and part of that is due to lack of trust.

So I have a friend who works at a national nonprofit that's a chapter-based nonprofit, and she said her CEO is worried because she sees a lot of her best workers all over the country leaving this sector and going to for-profits. Why? Because they offer better working conditions, benefits and higher salaries, that's why.

And so if we want to keep our good people, we really, really need to think about how can we keep them? But this isn't just me spouting off at the mouth. If you think you can ignore this, guess what? According to Cigna Groups Research of over 30 years it costs your nonprofit over a 100% of what a fundraiser makes a year to replace them. So even if you're only paying them $45,000 it costs over $50,000 to replace them with, you know, productivity gap, a wind down period, a job vacant just for one month, you know, salary increase, your new hire, direct hiring costs, accrued vacation, all of these things.

And if you don't have an HR person, these are not things that you think about. Personally, I was shocked when I saw these numbers but there's an even more shocking number coming up on the next slide, check this out. So, look at this, it costs your nonprofit, if you have four people turning over, $198,000, if they turn over in year two and then year three, they turn over again that's almost $400,000, if they turn over in your four again that's almost $600,000 to have turnover for three years running. And that's just crazy, and you might think “Oh, there is just how these numbers are real?”

Well, if you buy “Donor-Centered Leadership” by Penelope Burk you can discover all the math behind these numbers, but what I did is I made a blog post that distilled it. And if you want to see that, go to my website, wildwomanfundraising.com, basically I just copied what I wrote there and put it here. It's a serious, serious problem so we often just look at the money coming in but we don't see the hidden costs going out the door with our good people. And if we say we want to make a better world, how can we say that we don't start inside our organization?

So, if you keep your good fundraiser, if you keep your staff, they will raise you so much more money. You know, the hiring cost is only 9% of what the fundraiser actually may be raising for you. I mean, who wouldn't want an extra half million dollars a year for their nonprofit? It can really happen, so this is what you're losing when you don't pay attention to this key issue of retention through trust.

So last summer, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Oregon, Washington, California were covered in smoke from forest fires. Why? Well, global warming and because of budget cuts, no one has been doing forest maintenance and tree thinning. I have a friend whose family in Alberta used to do a lot of tree thinning, and she's like they haven't been doing it and here comes all of the smoke. So, what's more important than fighting a fire? Preventing the fire in the first place.

So, Sheree said, “Turnover is low for us, 10% staff is 20 years stable.” That is wonderful, you are the exception. So we want to prevent the fire, let's ask ourselves, “Have you ever felt a disconnect or lack of trust between yourself and your boss?” You can just type in the chat pane.

People are saying, “Yes, absolutely.” Tara said, “Not really.” That's wonderful, I'm so glad. Candy said, “So much.” Jacqueline said, “Executive leadership, yes.” Josh said, “Just yesterday.” Laura said, “In a previous job.” Lisa said, “No,” that's wonderful. Jim said, “Definitely.” Brian said, “Ever? Absolutely.” And Lauren has said, “Not in this job, with past roles.”

Lauren said, “Yes. And lack of agreement of trust within the board members,” but Danielle yeah. Stephanie said, “Not my boss but we both feel it from our board,” yeah. “Past roles,” said Megan, excellent. All right, I can't read everybody's but you're all doing so well here.

So next question for you, what do you think contributes to lack of trust right now at your organization? Just type it in, what do you think it could be? Silos again, yeah, micromanages can be right, lack of communication. Yes, “Not feeling heard,” said Katie. “Lack of communication,” said Lauren. “Lack of operating funds,” said Susan. “No direction,” said Jenny, yeah. “Too many unexplained departures,” oh my gosh. A lot of pressure, micromanagement, territorialist departments. Oh, wonderful. “Missed deadlines and having to do major editing,” said Juliana. Yeah, Samantha said, “Long-term ED retired in new interim position.” M.B. said, “Mission drift.” Pamela said, “Competition.” Yeah, that's so good perception is successful when you've left another department, Ann, yeah.

Amelia said, “Leadership, it doesn't always work with opposition clearly if people feel disappointed when changes are implemented.” Dory said, “Boss is rarely in the office.” Lori said, “Lack of board management.” “Mission director too,” said Megan. “Lack of vision,” said Lizzie. “Desire to keep doing it the same way.” Oh, isn't that's so common? Oh my God.

“Erratic management leadership,” said Melani, yeah. Chris said, “Unwillingness for impossible at go jobs.” “Micromanaging,” “Doubting ability because of age,” yeah, that's a real problem oftentimes with founders. “Officers and board members, who get a big ego and blame a central office for everything including their duties not being performed.” Oh, yeah, Stephanie, that's hard. “Our leadership only chooses a few people to contribute to tasks,” so Sheree, thank you so much for that. Everybody, those are really big problems, and a lot of them really, really do stem from trust, so not necessarily vision but the micromanagement definitely.

So the extreme downside of lack of trust is dysfunctional organization. We're going to go from like we start like most bad, so intense micromanagement, labeling others as enemies or allies, right, that's what we talked about just here someone said, you know, when one department gets success another department feels like they can't, right? Punishing systems and structures, so for example I worked very briefly at an animal shelter and in this animal shelter my boss was upset that I wasn't really like being open with her, and so she decided that I was going to have a . . . if I got there more than three minutes late, you know, for three days ever, I was going to be fired and then I was.

And so that's a punishing system and structure. Hot angry confrontations or cold bitter withdrawal, sabotage grievance suits, lawsuits and criminal behavior. Unfortunately, I've seen that in nonprofits I've worked at as well. Verbal, physical or emotional abuse or bullying, I've also seen that in workplaces I've worked at. That's why I'm passionate about this work, that's why I do this with you because I don't want what happened to me to happen to you. And also I want to take my pain and hopefully help other people not have that pain.

So if any of this describes your life and you don't have to say if it does, but I just want you to see this, it can go from this intense micromanagement to actual abuse. And the reason I put a calculator on here saying “help” is because as we saw in the previous slides, your turnover is going to affect your ability to bring in money, to keep your money, and to do your mission. All of this done from the machine that is made of people at your nonprofit and your nonprofit is a beautiful machine, but if you're not oiling the machine and taking care of it, it's just going to break down and crash. And like taking away different gears means the machine just falls apart, right? Even if you feel like a cog, you know, that's okay, we have to fix this machine to make it run.

So, here is the very low cost of not building trust. At a very low trust organization, you could see intense political atmospheres through plans, camps and parties, you know, painful micromanagement bureaucracy, unhealthy working environment, excessive time wasted on defending decisions, and lots of staff turnover, ahem.

At the low trust organization, you see common CYA behavior. CYA means cover your ass, right? So you're always telling everybody what you're doing, but you're also like trying to make it look like you're not going to get fired, hopefully, if you keep covering your ass, blaming other people, right, hidden agendas and many dissatisfied staff and stakeholders. Some people here talked about that too, how people are blaming them for their work not getting done.

With a few trust issues, you might be misaligned systems and structures, some bureaucratic rules and procedures, low approvals, and some dissatisfied staff and stakeholders. So these could be board members that are just getting yelled at by the ED, you know, that happens, yeah, it's really messed up.

With some trust, where trust as not an issue you might be good communication, aligned systems and structures, and fewer office politics. With good trust, you might be the focus is on work, effective collaboration and execution, helpful systems and structures, and positive partnering relationships with staff committees, board, volunteers, and donors.

So, one of the things I'm really working hard on this year for myself and what I'm going to hopefully talk more with nonprofits about is how you can build more positive partnering relationships within your organization as well as outside your organization. And it's just as people said today, silos really do prevent us from getting the work done, and lack of trust because of silos and all of things that go with that, the communication just gets cut off.

So, imagine if you could effectively collaborate with everybody in your organization, and it could be all hands on deck for an event, and then you could all debrief and celebrate when it was done. And imagine, you know, you get all the stories you need for your grant proposal right away, or imagine like if programs need help you can be there for them in a way that you, you know, and outreach event or whatever it is. Imagine like how could life be different and better in your organization? If your organization doesn't have a strong enough vision, we'll help you make that vision today in terms of how your workplace culture could be better.

So with excellent trust, you see positive transparent relationships with volunteers, staff, donors, and board, effortless communication, high collaboration, and partnering and strong engagement confidence, and loyalty.

So there are three key elements of trust, trust of character. So when you have trust of character, you manage expectations well, you establish boundaries like not staying after 5 o'clock. You delegate appropriately, you keep agreements, and you can be consistent. But if you're afraid that you're not doing a good enough job or you're afraid you're going to get fired, or you're afraid that you have too much work to do and you haven't done it all yet, then it's hard for you to establish boundaries. It's hard for you to delegate, especially if you're a very small nonprofit.

I know we have a lot of them on today and it's hard for you to be consistent because you are burning yourself out, right, so it's hard for you to manage expectations. So for example when I lost one of my last jobs I took another job even though I had very strong reservations, because the boss said, “I want you to raise me a million-dollar grant in the first three months,” and the whole budget of the organization wasn't even a million dollars. So I failed to manage expectations there which led to lack of trust. I just really wanted this job and I said “I'll do what I can.” And then he'd come in every day and say, “Where's my million-dollar grant?”

And it really would have been a better boundary for me to say, “I can't get this for you, I'm sorry.” You know, like, “We have to start with smaller grants first, then we can do the big ones,” and I did give him $120,000 in grants which is more than like, we got $7,000 a year before, right? So that was a really big jump but it was still not good enough for him, so that's why when you go into a new job you want under-promise and over-deliver, but that's a separate thing.

So trust of communication so you want to share information, tell the truth, admit your mistakes, give and receive feedback, maintain confidentiality, and speak with good purpose. So, I'll tell you how I screwed up here. So Richard said too many unrealistic expectations, I agree. And is it is their fault that they have that or is it our fault that we didn't educate them about what realistic fundraising expectations are?

You know, like they don't know if you're an ED, you have a very complicated job. You are trying to manage the board but you're also managed by the board. You're trying to do HR oftentimes, trying to do the budgeting and the finances, and you're also trying to approve budget, and have meetings with people all the time and still maybe even do a little fundraising on the side, and, and, and, right?

It's a very complicated job, and so if they don't know how to manage you or if they don't know what to do, it's our job to try to teach that. Oh, gosh, and Richard said, “Honesty has cost me opportunities.” Richard, believe me, I knew that if I was honest with this person it was going to cost me an opportunity as well, the opportunity to get that job. I totally agree but that's the reason I called my business Wild Woman Fundraising, because “wild” for me means speaking the truth even if your voice shakes.

And Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his new book called “Skin in the Game” said speaking an unpopular truth, you know, if it costs you your reputation at least, you know, he said it's the most courageous act that he can think of. And so I applaud that and so that's sort of what I hope everybody here can start to do when you tell the truth.

Oh, Danielle said I need to do a class on that board ED relationship management, I would love to. So when I was in one of my previous organizations, even though the boss was doing some very shady things, I was not speaking with good purpose. I instead of going to him directly, the ED, I was talking behind his back. And I'm sure he heard me at some point or another and I'm sure he just was like, “That's it.” And I know that I shouldn't have done that now but at the time I was like it's the only way I can discharge my anger about what's going on, and my frustration. So I should have journaled instead of talk to people and I should have talked to him directly but I didn't do that, and so that really cost me trust with him as well.

So trust of capability, you know, acknowledge people skills and abilities, allow them to make decisions, involve others and seek their input, and help them learn skills. So this is something that healthy organizations do and when you all take the StrengthsFinder test for Gallup for example, it's like 20 bucks, and you can find your five key strengths and then you can say, “Look, these are my strengths, therefore, I should be doing these jobs and I should not be doing these other job. These other jobs would be better done by another person who has these strengths.”

And one of the things that one of my favorite people in the world, Kishshana Palmer, talks about is that when she is building an incredible fundraising team or incredible nonprofit team and she's been a national VP of External Affairs for a national nonprofit, she asked everybody, “No matter what your title is, what do you like to do?” So the office manager likes to let them do that.

If your Development Director loves doing major gifts and hate doing grants, let them do the major gifts and then try to farm out the grants to some [inaudible 00:31:44] upgrading your organization no matter what their job title is. And if you can do that then you're going to be able to help them learn skills and build to the next level in their career by simply asking, “What would make you feel fulfilled here?” Like in any way, we'll talk about that in a second. I'm getting ahead of myself.

So, here is what will help donors trust you because people asked about this yesterday, and I thought I should add this. So I found that in building a relationship, either a personal relationship or a donor relationship or a colleague relationship, asking good deed questions makes all of the difference, any energy with which you ask the question makes even more of a difference.

So people –[inaudible 00:32:26] and listen to words and so, you know, recently I was in a relationship where this person did not ask questions of me at all ever, and I was like, “Why am I feeling so dissatisfied?” And then I realized it was because we were never going deeper, I'm like, “Well, how could we go deeper, and how could we build trust?” And the answer was better questions. But unfortunately this thing with this person did not work out, even though I told him I needed that but it really helped teach me this lesson that I've now learned from my pain, teaching you today.

So what do you strive for, how do you challenge? That can help donors trust you. Have you ever looked back on your mistakes and learnt from them? Oftentimes our donors give to us because they've had a painful experience in the past and they want to not repeat that experience. What meaning have you taken from your mistakes or your suffering? That's another way to look at that.

Tara said, “Our ED had us all take the Gallup StrengthsTest,” that's what it's called. “It was great to be able to see where each other strengths are, it helped understand why they do things in a certain way, highly recommend for everyone.” Thank you so much, Tara. Yes, yes, because not only could it help you see what tasks to do, but it can also help you see how you communicate.

So some of us have the relator strength, which means that you're going to want to sit down with someone say, “Hey, how was your day, how's it going, what's new with you, tell me about what you're studying in school?” You know, whereas, someone with a strategic strength might just be like, “Okay, let's get this done.” They'll be much more abrupt and if you know strengths, you can also know communication styles more.

Some people have woo which means that they will go through a room and talk to everybody and have a good time and meet someone in five minutes, become the best friend, and move on. And that's great for a major gifts officer but people might say, “Well, hey, I thought we were friends and we're going to hang out,” and the woo person is already on to like the third person.

So if you know your strengths, then you know what jobs you can do, and it can also help you learn how to talk to people who don't have that strength. And, you know, come at them from a way that really makes sense for them. I was actually working with an executive director with us last year and she said, “Oh, my god, Mazarine, like now that I know that my events manager has a relator strength even though I'm strategic, I get to go in and I get to hear about her day and we've really been able to build up trust together. And it's just so different knowing that this is what she needs.”

She had another person on staff who was just allowed to go ahead and talk to everybody and he also really liked to research and learn, and his strength was input. And so when you know that one of your staff has a strength of input then you can say to them, “Hey, you know, would you like to take this webinar or this workshop or this class or, you know, read some books about this? Here is an article I thought you would like,” they're going to love that and it's going to give them the reasons why you want them to do something, and it will help you motivate them that much more. So this is a really key thing I'd highly recommend, just like Tara said, to everyone.

So, other questions that you can ask to get deeper with donors. “Have you ever thought about the meaning of your life, what makes a meaningful life to you? Have you ever thought about your legacy, what kind of legacy do you want to leave? And at the end of your life how will you know you've led a good life, what do you hope for future generations?” So these are some deeper questions that you can sort of work towards asking your donors, and these can even become bequest conversations honestly. But not to be morbid, just we could all do better with that.

So if your competitive advantage is your people, that means work on keeping your people but how, right? That's what we're talking about today. Here's four phrases that set expectations with your boss, and your boss will also have phrases for you too, but even if you're a boss, you probably could ask this of your board chair, right? If they say to do something, you might say, “I'm not sure what you're looking for, may I have some direction?” or, “I might be going off track or going down the wrong road, I'd like to check in with you.”

And then that way if there's any resentment or fear on their part they're not expressing to you or even uncertainty that you can accomplish the task you'll get it right out in the open. And hopefully also if you feel uncertainty, you'll be able to say, “Here is what I don't know what do you really mean by this?” And so that way you won't go off and think you're going to be doing what the boss wants you to do and actually be not doing it.

Another phrase you can use is, “I'd like to understand what your expectation is, what do you need from me?” Another phrase you can use is, “I want to do my best, I'd like to schedule some time to review your expectations and make sure I understand what you need from me.” So when you do this it can be extremely powerful to start to rebuild trust that has been broken down.

Three phrases of expectations with staff or volunteers. That's a picture of Saturn. He is the great teacher, he's the dad and he'll say, “You know, I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed.”

So you can ask, “Are these expectations realistic?” You see stumbling blocks I haven't addressed, but even though that there's a power dynamic that's different between you and the person who is directly reporting to you, this is a way for you to equalize it and hopefully make them feel more comfortable and saying, “Here's what I see.” Now, in capitalism, you know, in gender roles we've often been taught to not make waves or not ask questions or not push back when somebody gives us an unrealistic expectation.

And some people here have also said, “Unrealistic expectations that were really hard for them to meet.” Here are hopefully some phrases that your boss can learn to hopefully ask, “Is this realistic?” and then hopefully you feel comfortable enough to say “Oh, actually that's not realistic, I wish my boss had asked me this.” Another way to say this is, “Is there anything you see that might become an issue down the road?” You might say “Yeah, you know, you wanted us to do all of these things but we don't have a database.”

So even if we call all the donors and get ideas about them not having a database or a database which we can add donor records easily is going to hold us back from actually being able to accomplish our goals because I can't hold all this all in the head and spreadsheets just make my eyes cross.” So if your donor database is a spreadsheet I'd highly encourage you to not do that.

So if your boss is asking this question say, “Please invest in this program.” If we don't have a budget for continuing education or for fundraising, we are a program just like every other program and we deserve to have a budget. And then another phrase you can say is, “Before we say goodbye, do you have everything you need from me?” And that's wonderful because then if the person is like, “Oh, I want to say this oh no we're finishing the meeting,” you know, then they can finally actually get to that question.

So how to keep your good people, try decent work, what is it? These are the seven elements of decent work as a starting point that the Ontario Nonprofit Network has identified. They're actually an advocacy organization as well, they're the only big association for nonprofits in Canada, but they're managing to get some of these passed into law and that is so exciting. So they've identified that people have precarious work, they don't have enough benefits. They don't have, you know, mat leave and paternity leave that is adequate. They don't, you know, no pensions, you know, not raises are not incremental or like based on performance. And all of these things, these are things that we need now to fix, so here the ones, ways they want to fix it.

So opportunities for development and advancement, equality and rights at work, culture and leadership, employment opportunities, like we talked about before. Rising from within, fair income, we know that our wages haven't risen since '70s, so if we actually redistributed the wealth that exists in the U.S. right now, every single one of us will be making $160,000 a year, boom, right? So imagine if you made that, how good would your life be?

I mean, money isn't everything, right, but neither is suffering because you don't have enough money to like go to the grocery store or fix your car. When I had my job in the domestic violence sector, I was buying groceries on credit, and I, you know, I could not afford what I was getting paid. And then when I had a car accident that really threw a wrench into things.

Health and retirement benefits, stable employment, so all of this and for some of us might say, well, we have at-will at in our state we can't have that kind of stability, but perhaps you can make an employment agreement or employee handbook that would supersede that that would, you know, really make it clear this is what we stand for treating our people well and we're not just going to fire you for no reason.

So culture and leadership, you can be proactive and take initiative and responsibility for results. You can ask, “What problem can I be a proactive about today?” So opportunities for advancement and development, when Peter Drury spoke at our Nonprofit Leadership Summit last year, he actually has built wonderful fundraising teams but when someone comes in first to his office, he says to them, he sits down and says, “What are your career goals? Where do you really want to be in five years? And don't tell me here. How can we nurture you in your goal to be successful?”

So, we really want to see you succeed and if you do that, if you do this one thing as a leader in your organization right now either, you know, as you move into leadership or if you're already a leader, people will be begging to work with you. They'll be like, “Oh, please let me work with you, oh my god, I would love to work with you.” This is going to be the best because you're going to actually mentor me and support me, and partner with me to help me succeed and you're going to know that I'm not here forever but I'll do my best for you while I'm here.

If you show interest in them as a person this way, it makes such a difference. You can ask yourself this question too but when you're nurturing other people around you, it really makes a whole shift in the energy and the culture of your nonprofit.

So, you can't talk your way out of this problem, right? You could guess what's going on, you could tell people what's wrong, or you go from mutual exploration, and you can listen first and talk later. I mean, what if people want more transparency with salaries, what if they want equal pay? What if they want flexible and equal work place, what if they have family responsibilities like children or aging parents or grandparents but they need to take care of? You know, you shouldn't penalize them for that. That's not okay.

So, equality and rights at work, look for ways to show respect and strive for equality. So seek first to understand and emphasize with others and hear their perspective before sharing your own. So I think it was either Socrates or Plato who said “Seek to understand, not to be understood.” We're going right back to the Greeks here and ask, “Who needs me to listen to them today?”

As we said before a lot of times in our organizations they're hiring from outside when they should be looking inside, you know, your future CEO could be hiding in plain sight. So as we said, let everybody lead the piece that they do well. Who loves to do something that isn't part of their job? Let them do that. Leverage their gift of research and see if you can promote them based on these aptitudes. So I'm just reinforcing what we said before about the strengths.

Culture and development, you know, sharpen the knife of your mind and always work to get better. So, ask, “How can I renew my mind and energy this week?” And another way you can do this is you can have a book club inside your organization say, “Hey, let's all read a business book and talk about it once a month.” I know we don't have a lot of time but this could help us start to understand each other's ideas and values that are behind the reasons why we do things. And if we have something to talk about that can help our nonprofit, so much the better.

So fair income, stable work and benefit, and people often say, “I can't, I can't, don't have money in the budget.” It is never true. You can do better and here's how you could you better. Offer more per hour and less hours worked. You know, if we're not providing a fair and living wage to our employees, we can do better. Could we have more worker protection? Could we supersede the at-will environment? Could we offer more benefits, could we let people work from home? People will have more vacation time, it's not just about the money, right?

So here is something that's below everything that we're talking about. So we're talking about late-stage capitalism, we're talking about, you know, how to support our workers better but why are we treating them badly in the first place? Because of the three pillars of white supremacy. So constant war and slavery, capitalism, genocide and colonialism, and racism [inaudible 00:45:52] that's what's underpinning our nonprofit industrial complex.

So what we're talking about today really stems from these key core issues that lie at the root of why there is so much inequity, and sadness, and poor workplace cultures inside our organizations. And thank you for sticking with me through to this very moment because I feel like this is something I really, really need you to get if you don't already know it. As Mumia Abu-Jamal says, “You can't fight power if you don't understand it. And can't understand it if you don't experience it, then dissect it.”

So we're actually going to have . . . I'm really, really proud to say a woman at our Nonprofit Leadership Summit who's going to be talking about how to decolonize our nonprofit. And I'm so excited to have her present about this, I'm sure an article about it, and now she's going to turn it into a presentation. And I just talked with her yesterday this is happening, so this is happening in September and if you really want to get to the root of what's going on, I highly encourage you to come to her session.

So, how to keep your good people and provide higher amounts per hour and lower hours worked, provide more worker protections to proceeding at-will in our employment agreement, offer cost of living wage each year, offer more vacation time, allow people to make mistakes, offer better titles and professional development stipends, and build trust liberally. That's all of this that we talked about today, right?

Megan said “Thanks for bringing this up.” You're welcome. Oh, Brian, you're welcome, thanks. We all need to talk about invisible systems of power because if we don't and we're just going to keep recreating them and that's not what we want. So that end, if you want to learn more about decent work, we're actually going to have the Ontario Nonprofit Network to discuss their case studies and findings at our Leadership Summit online. And you can learn directly how to apply these networks to your nonprofit and build trust.

Kara said “How do we get this out to our bosses without getting them annoyed at us?” Have them come to the event. Oh, that's the answer. You can say, “This is going to help us make more money,” but then the secret message is also we're going to help them understand these power structures, I made this conference to talk to your bosses. Like, if you're a boss, I made this conference to talk to you. I don't think that anybody is naturally, you know, trying to hurt other people, I think we're just built our system on the wrong structure.

So here is some of the people who are going to be speaking at the summit, this person here is from the Ontario Nonprofit Network, name is Pamela, this is Della Rae, she's going to be talking about how to be a better leader. Kishshana can talk about how to get more board members. Margie Fine who is the former Executive Director of the North Star Fund, she's going to be talking about how to get more grants. And she has got a lot of big history in program funding and stuff. Pamela Grow is going to talk about how to lead and network as an introvert which if you're really an introvert is going to be fun for you.

We're going to have Kristen Kennedy to talk about how to get that major donor meeting then talk about fundraising stuff, right, but we're also going to talk about the deeper stuff. We're going to have Sarai Johnson actually do a free webinar for us on August 15th on mission mirroring, how we recreate what we're trying to stop outside our organization, inside our organizations. It's going to be really fascinating. And we're going to have Daniel Hyman to talk about, and he's actually doing a webinar next week for us for free before he does the conference, like how do you increase your abundance mindset, how to have a bigger vision for your organization.

Richard has said, “Several familiar faces.” Oh, yeah, if you went to the Bloomerang conference you saw Kishshana, you know, she is good but she's presented every single year, and she is the best presenter I've ever had, so you definitely don't want to miss her.

So when is it, where is it, how much does it cost, this is it. It's online, it's September 24th, 26th, and 28th. Here are some of the presenters I just talked about, and this is the cost. This is the cheapest price, it's increased by $100 every month. But I am going to give you . . . By the end of the presentation that that will let you have a $100 offer right now. So what will you gain from coming? You'll learn new ways to get that major donor meeting, you'll build your fundraising board. Daniel is going to talk about dissolving unconscious mental blocks around money to lead to your organization to new levels of prosperity.

You're going to learn how to do new automation techniques to connect with donors that will save you weeks of time in a year. And actually, even just hold me, that Bloomerang is building this into their software right now, they're going to be able to do automation of donor emails and surveys inside of Bloomerang so that you'll be able to track and connect with people based around their values which is what we talked about today, the questions you need to ask donors.

So, this ties right in with what they're doing, I think it's really powerful really exciting. And I'm so happy that they're doing that because there is another software company that does this but they have a very, very high barrier to entry. And it's so expensive and Bloomerang is so much cheaper, so it's really good for us in small nonprofits. So the web address for the summit is . . . I'll put it right here right now, it's register.nonprofitleadershipsummit.com, and then I'm going to send it to everybody, you can check that out and you definitely want to get the coupon code too.

And the coupon code right now is SoSweet100 and that'll get you $100 off. So if you want to discover your strengths in leading and networking as an introvert, if you're afraid that you're not good enough to get major gifts or whatever, Pam Grow is going to talk about that.

And if you want to find a hidden planned donors in your database, we're going to have a guy named Jon Wright from the Wright Approach in Australia talk about how he gets that out of your data. And then if you want to become more entrepreneurial in your fundraising officer in your organization in general, we're going to talk about that too. We have so many incredible centers, like the best lineup we've ever had. I have only shown you a small fraction people are going to be presenting, I don't even think I'm going to present this year. I think I'm just going to be MC and I'm going to let them fly.

But we have two free webinars coming up if you want to get a little tiny taste of what's going to come. Daniel and Sarai, as I said before, if you want to sign up it's wildwomanfundraising.com/events, so I'll put that here as well. You can go to the chat and you can totally sign up for those if you want to. Those are free and that's when they're going to be, so there you go. And we are also giving away an e-course on how to make a fundraising plan for $197 value but that's going to be inside the Leadership Summit. And you're going to get three days with two days of break to work deep on all the issues we covered today.

So that's why I'm telling you about this because I think it's really, really exciting. And we'll also give you all the recordings to watch over and over. We'll give you “Win-Win for the Greater Good” book to help you partner with corporations and governments better. And you'll get, you know, fundraising techniques to help you raise over goal in so many ways.

So I can't wait to see you there. I really hope you come and join us, and here is the coupon code, here is when it is. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, so you will get all the recordings as well if you can't make everything. And if you have questions or if you have comments, feel free to email me. This is my email address and my phone number, so any emails, I pick up right away, and I would love to hear from you.

So thank you so much for being here. And now we'll take questions. We actually did have a question earlier, which was what's the exact name of the strength test? If you get strengths under 2.0 the book, it's basically based on the Gallup StrengthsFinder and it's a small book but it has a code on back that you can use to type into their website. And then you will be able to have a look out on the strengths as well as the link to take your test.

And then it takes about 20 minutes, so I would just order StrengthsFinder 2.0 book from bookfinder.com or powells.com because they treat their workers better than Amazon does. So I'll just type “bookfinder” in right here. And then it's called StrengthsFinder 2.0, I think. It's a meta book search engine I like to use, because you want to get it new because if you get it used, you're not going to have the code in it. But it'll give you like book stores all over the country, they're independent bookstores, and we do want to support them.

Anybody have any other questions right now about anything we talked about today, about the “Three Pillars of White Supremacy” or “Speaking Your Truth” or “Building Trust.” We could talk about trust all day, like this was just a tiny take but . . . oh, good, Lindsey said, “How do you encourage people to explore gifts outside their job description without them feeling like you're asking them to do more for the same amount of money with the same title?” That's a really good question, Lindsey. And I'm going to go back to what I said, and what I stole from Peter Drury which was, “Hey, I know that you're bigger than this job, and I want to know what are your goals for yourself in the next five years, and how can I support you in those goals?”

And so when you start asking them that, then they can say “Oh, well, you know, I really don't feel like an office manager, I'm really much more of a grant writer and I'd like to be doing that,” for example. And you could say, “That's wonderful, I am going to support you to get there.” So let's try to get some duties on your plate that will help us justify giving you that role in the next 6 to 12 months.

And then if you have that open clear conversation, Lindsey, where you show that you care about what their highest good is and what their personal ambitions are, they're going to do those extra duties because they want to see that light at the end of the tunnel with going from where they are to be where they want to be. And if you take that test, as everybody takes that test, you can start to have that conversation as well. So that's another doorway because then you could say “Oh, your strength is positivity, it seems like you should be more in front of people, talking about our cause than you should be behind a desk here.” And then if you'd be like, “Yeah, I'd like to do that.” Or if you're like, “No, I like where I am,” you know, and that's okay too, it just starts to open up the conversation.

Anybody else have any other questions? Is that helpful, Lindsey? Does that give you an idea? Any other questions, I'm here or if you want to have a comment. If you want to comment on something, if you want to say “Here's the way that I've built trust effectively,” I would love to hear that as well.

Oh, you're welcome. We have three more minutes and I'm here. So, Danielle said I think the StrengthsFinder will be valuable, as I'm coming against years of fear-based leadership. Oh, Danielle, definitely. We want to stamp out fear at the root, we want to get rid of the fear and come from a place of joy and prosperity and love always.

And isn't that why we're here, right, isn't that what our missions are supposed to be is to make the world better? But if we're coming from this place of fear and lack and real activists instead of people who, you know, have this broader vision for the world, you know, it almost poisons our work. It poisons the atmosphere in our office and it hamstrings us for really making a positive change if we're not also thinking about how to treat our workers in the best possible way, because then it'll translate and trickle into everything else that we do.

Sheree said, “How do you get the board to contribute to the fundraising ideas when all is good with staff motivation and drive? We only get more funding at this time.” Sheree, that's a good question. I would have a vision session with your board. First ask them to dream big for your organization, that's their role, I mean governance is a role but also dreaming is their role. And they don't have to be the ones carrying this out, they don't have to be the ones, you know, with the concrete ideas for how this is going to happen. But if they start to feel involved with the vision then they're going to want to help fund the vision to succeed.

You know, how Pitbull says, “Ask for money, get advice, ask for advice, get money twice?” Ask for them for advice, ask for their impression of what you're doing and how you could take it bigger. And a wonderful book to share with them is the “Blue Ocean Strategy.” That can really get them thinking broader. And I'll type this in the chat pane here “Blue Ocean Strategy.”

And that's something that's really helped I think a lot of leaders think bigger. And so, oh yes, oh yeah, yeah, yeah so who's that again, so Pitbull says, “Ask for money, get advice, ask for advice, get money twice.” I'm quoting Pitbull in a fundraising webinar, that's right.

So Bethany says, “I believe it's important to be able to make mistakes, how do I create that freedom in someone who seems afraid to make mistakes but also needs help staying on track? I feel like I'm saying it's okay to try things be free. At the same time having to be hard on her for work quality and getting things done.” That's really hard Bethany. You know, I would talk with her first about all the mistakes you've made or like just one that's similar to one that she just made, right, and say gosh, you know, even each staff meeting talked about mistakes that we made this week. And maybe that's hard, you can do it one-on-one first but I have a blog post every year about the mistakes that I've made.

And honestly, when you're open about your mistakes, it really helps people trust you more, and that's something else gosh that came up yesterday. I should add this to the slides. But, anyway I'll add it next time, thanks for that reminder Bethany. Having a culture of experimentation, you don't even have to call it mistakes. You know, you've never made a mistake in your life because you learned from it, right?

So it's all about . . . Adrian said, “Tell her we all make mistakes, no problem, just make a different mistake next time.” Oh, yeah. Danielle said, “Many layers in my org, bottom line commission fatigue and . . .” I'm sure you meant mission fatigue and silos. “This is very encouraging and giving me tools to continue to shift our culture.” Yes, thank you, really appreciate that. I want to encourage you.

It is so important to change our cultures, and yet having it be okay to make mistakes, it's a big one. I've been slapped on the wrist and given like a real reprimand for very, very tiny mistakes. My organizations and that was something really hurt my motivation and ability to succeed in these organizations as an employee.

Richard says, “Hi to PDX for me, I think before we originally connected Synergy or WeDo.” Yeah, hey, Richard thanks for coming on here. Yeah, Portland is beautiful right now. It looks like we're just over time. Does anybody else have any other questions? I want to make sure that I respect your time.

Oh, thank you Sheree, thank you. If don't want to say it out loud from other people that's okay too. Here is my email, here is my phone number, feel free to give me a call, feel free to email me, I'm here. I'll toss it back you and you can wrap this up awesome. How do I toss it back to you, how do I do that?

Steven:I mean, you just did it.

Mazarine:Oh you're here, awesome. Steven I toss it back to you.

Steven:It is awesome, I always love listening to your training, your presentation because it's cathartic and inspiring at the same time. So thanks for being with us again. It's a lot of fun.

Mazarine:Thank you so much, Steven. Thanks for having me. Everybody, I may have said some challenging things today but I want you know that I did it with love, and I want you to be successful that's why I said it, so.

Steven:Yes, we all do. And thanks to all of you for listening today, taking an hour out of your day, it's always fun to have you. We have got some great webinars coming up, we're actually taking next week off but we have two webinars in two weeks from now. And the first of which is coming up on Tuesday, special Tuesday edition, we've got Julia Campbell. If you are in the Boston area you may know her, even seen her speak at events. She's going to talk about public relations.

If public relations is maybe something that you struggle with or maybe you've got a communications person as a team, tell them about this. Have them register. It's totally free, it's going to be a lot of fun, and we'll definitely get you an invitation to our webinar on the 26th, also at 1 p.m. Eastern.

So be on the lookout for invites to both of those sessions, and hopefully we will see you again. And I guess it's 12 patients now right, yeah, the 12 to paying for. So we will send you a recording, we'll get you the slides if you didn't already get them. Definitely, check out the Nonprofit Leadership Summit and email Mazarine, take advantage of our coupon code and all that good stuff, so you can do that obviously. So call it a day there, have a good rest of your Thursday, have a good weekend and we will talk to you again soon.

Mazarine:Thank you, everybody, you've been wonderful. Thanks, Steven.

Author information

Kristen Hay

Marketing Coordinator at Bloomerang

Kristen Hay is the Marketing Coordinator at Bloomerang. She serves as Chairperson on the Blog & Social Media Committee for PRSA's Hoosier chapter.

The post [VIDEO] The Secret Thing That Is Holding You Back In Your Nonprofit Career appeared first on Bloomerang.

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