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Ask the Experts

Join the Weekly Live Podcast on yot.me

Hosted by:

Kev Khayat

Every Wednesday

11:00 AM

Eastern / 8 am Pacific

Listen or Watch

Ep 45 - Dana Litwin

"What's the secret to a successful volunteer program?"

When you think of volunteers for your nonprofit, what are you hoping they’ll achieve for you?  Yes, of course there’s no wages to pay but just like free puppies, there’s a ton of work involved if you want any chance of success.  And if you’re putting in that work, don’t you want to get the most out of it?  Volunteer management guru - and yes I mean guru - Dana Litwin joins me to walk through at least half a dozen golden secrets to success with volunteer programs.  It may be seven or eight, we literally lost count!

Ep 44 - Beth Wonson

"How do I give feedback to colleagues?"

You’ve probably heard of the “feedback sandwich” where you put criticism in between two positive or flattering comments.  Well Beth Wonson wants to rid the work world of that model because we’re now so trained to hearing it that it undermines the whole experience.  She has a completely different approach to feedback - and challenging dialogue generally - rooted in a safe, honest exchange of facts in a way that empowers both the giver and the receiver.  This episode is a thought provoking introduction to having better conversations that reduce the drama and emotional drain of conflict.

Ep 43 - SPECIAL FEATURE

"Making the move to hybrid events"

18 months ago no one was talking about virtual events but we’ve learned so much in doing them that now that we can plan for in-person events, why give up the virtues of online?  In this special feature edition of the podcast, I moderate a panel including yotme founder Barry Hinckley, events producer and founder of Saphier Events Jennifer Whitman and Nic DiBella, Director of Experience at Stage Edge an events and content producer.  Let’s hear the panel explain how to make hybrid events work as a double event, a combination of a fantastic in-person event with an equally fantastic online experience.

Ep 42 - Kelly Gagnon

"How can nonprofits reduce chaos?"

How much of your day is spent firefighting?  How much time do you spend on things that aren’t urgent or - just as you get to the really important tasks - you get interrupted by colleagues who just want to have a quick word about something.  Today’s guest, Kally Gagnon is a nonprofit coach who helps people create systems and processes that focus on the most important things.  We talk about the causes of chaos, how to tell the difference between positive, constructive chaos and negative, destructive and distracting chaos and some straightforward steps you can take to better manage not just your own time but other people’s too.  

Ep 41 - Kimberley MacKenzie

"Why do fundraisers leave and what will keep them?"

Seems like there’s always at least half a dozen jobs going for senior fundraisers or directors and the turnover rate is scary, the average time someone stays in one of those jobs is around 18 months.  My guest today is Kimberley MacKenzie, one of Canada’s premier nonprofit coaches who’s done the fundraising gig herself, more than once.  She explains what Exec Directors and fundraisers themselves can do to keep people in post for longer doing their best work.  That’s a win for everybody.  Let’s tune in. 

Ep 40 - Katie Blomquist

"What's your 'Wow Factor'?"

You’ve got your nonprofit mission and vision, and if you follow me anywhere else you’ll know about having an impact statement.  But what about your Wow Factor?  Nonprofit founder and coach Katie Blomquist tells me how valuable it is to have not just a distinguishing feature for your nonprofit but one that really grabs attention.  Not a gimmick, but a genuine stand-out feature that comes from the core of your mission.  If you don’t have a wow factor, listen to Katie explain so you’ll know how to create one for your nonprofit. 

Ep 39 - Chris Barlow

"How can digital marketing serve donors?"

We tend to think of marketing as a way to tell people about our nonprofit or our services or maybe an event.  It’s one-way communication.  Especially with digital marketing, where we’re sending emails or posting on social media.  Digital strategist Chris Barlow takes a different approach, which is about using digital marketing to serve donors.  I ask him what he means by serving donors, and not only does he answer, he has plenty of useful examples that you can put into practice immediately.  

Ep 38 - Heather Wolfson

"How do I lead into the next normal?"

We don’t have a crystal ball to tell us what to do over the next year to re-emerge from lockdowns and other Covid restrictions.  But we do have leadership expert Heather Wolfson, and she talks to me about what these situations really demand from us as leaders.  She tells me how to get a good perspective on what’s happened in our nonprofits during the pandemic and how to use that information and learning to prepare for - that is, lead - whatever the next normal looks like for you. 

Ep 37 - Tim Kachuriak

"What prompts people to give?"

Today’s episode is about the totally irrational and emotionally driven decision to donate.  The question isn’t why do people give, but why do they give to your nonprofit?  Or why should they?  Founder and Chief Innovation and Optimization Officer at Next After, Tim Kachuriak, has run hundreds if not thousands of experiments to see what works in digital marketing for nonprofits.  And he’s found lots of ways we make giving harder - that’s right - harder than it needs to be.  Nonprofits consistently make the same mistakes online.  Listen out for some simple steps you can make to vastly improve your online giving.  

Ep 36 - Amanda Moore

"Should I cultivate major donors or loyal donors?"

Can your nonprofit survive on major gifts alone?  Do you have enough loyal donors to keep you afloat?  Maybe in your case they’re the same people but it’s easy to separate the size of a gift from the frequency and take for granted the people who give us $10 or $25 month in, month out.  Today I discuss with fundraising coach Amanda Moore how and when to choose one group of donors over another because, as always with nonprofits, it depends.  

Ep 35 - Maryanne Dersch

"How do I develop influence as a nonprofit leader?"

We all want to be influential when we’re communicating with others  But mindset and leadership coach Maryanne Dersch will tell us to think about how we’re communicating to ourselves, first.  Are we being consistent?  Is our internal voice in alignment with our external voice?  If not, that disconnect is going to show up in our messaging and we can undermine whatever influence we might have.  So how can you retune your internal and external voices?  Let’s listen to Maryanne model what it’s like to be authentic and vulnerable while exerting influence.

Ep 34 - Rachel Sacks

"What are the keys to success with grants?"

Where are you with grants?  Have you been spending hours and hours filling out forms, shooting them off and hoping for the best?  Have you been successful with small grants and now need to step up your game?  Grant expert Rachel Sacks walks me through the strategic thinking nonprofits need to do before they even think about grants.  Sort of like online dating.  Sort of.  And then there’s the whole other piece about handling the grant well when you get it.  Let’s hear from Rachel about succeeding before, during and after getting a grant.

Ep 33 - Tosha Anderson

"Why do nonprofits need to make a profit?"

Let’s admit it, folks, we in nonprofits have a money problem.  Not the one you’re thinking of - not enough money - but not enough talking about money and money management.  Today we address that with Tosha Anderson, whose rapidly growing accounting firm works only with nonprofits. Were you aware that major donors review your tax forms to see how financially viable you are?  That means being on top of your cash flow, your reserves and your accounts receivable.  If that sounds intimidating, help is here, in the form of TheCharityCFO Tosha Anderson.

Ep 32 - Dr. Tamsin Astor

"Why are bad habits easy and good habits hard?"

How often do you tell yourself you’re not quite good enough?  Over half of the actions we take every day are done out of habit, including how we talk to ourselves.  In this episode Dr Tamsin Astor, Chief Habit Scientist, explains how detoxing isn’t just green smoothies but also includes resetting our self-talk, especially around our personal expectations, which we know in the case of nonprofits can be astronomical.  We’ve come to expect super long hours and in some cases we wear burnout like a badge.  Let’s hear Dr. Tamsin explain how we can reset our habits and our expectations.

Ep 31 - Maseta Dorley

"How does nonprofit strategy undermine financial security?"

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “culture eats strategy for breakfast” then you may be familiar with today’s topic.  I’m talking to consultant Maseta Dorley about strategic planning and ways we’ve seen nonprofits do it right, or better, but also how they can get it spectacularly wrong and end up undermining their own survival.  As we come out of lockdowns, we can’t just go back to the old normal - so how should we approach nonprofit strategy in a Covid and post-Covid world? 

Ep 30 - Michelle Molina

"When are spreadsheets no longer good enough?"

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a nonprofit say that now they’ve been running their programs for a while, or someone’s finally asked to see their results, they’re going to start measuring and monitoring outcomes.  Hint - if you’re not measuring, start now!  You’ll probably use a spreadsheet to get started, but how long will that serve you?  Evaluation Expert Michelle Molina chats to me about the signals that tell you when it’s time to move on to dedicated software or - actually - just make better use of the spreadsheets you already have.

Ep 29 - Travis Johnson

"How do I create recurring monthly donations?"

Lots of nonprofits think about recurring monthly gifts and put them in the box labelled - “will get to it later”.  In this first episode of the podcast using the yot.me virtual events platform, I’m joined by fellow nonprofit podcaster Travis Johnson, who you may know from his nonprofitarchitect podcast.  Travis walks us through not one, not two but THREE ways to generate donations that come in month after month based on a single ask.  Plus we learn about three nonprofits that Travis has nominated to participate in this exciting new format.

Ep 28 - Cathrine Yuill

"Major gifts - if not now, when?"

Every nonprofit is looking for financial stability, and just about every nonprofit fundraising consultant will tell you that major gifts are a key component of that stability.  Yet many nonprofits shy away from major gifts in favor of events, peer to peer and other types of fundraising.  My guest today, fundraising coach Cathrine Yuill gives us a useful definition of major gifts that you might find surprising because it means that no matter what size of nonprofit you’re in, you’re already doing major gifts.  Then she goes on to share her thoughts about how to do it well.

Ep 27 - Emily Hicks-Rotella

"How much time and money should I spend on tech to make it worthwhile?"

When we ask how we can get better data, or make better use of data, or make data-driven decisions we’re soon talking about using technology in some way.  Nonprofit tech and data expert Emily Hicks-Rotella talks to me in this episode about the mindset changes that are necessary for those hefty tech investments to work for us.  Tech can’t do everything, it seems, so we still have to rely on the human element of engaging with technology and putting effort into making the human-tech-tech-human connection meaningful.  Apologies for the odd acronym, we do our best not to geek out.

Ep 26 - Maura Fitzpatrick

"Who is my ideal donor?"

What, really, do we know about our donors before they become our donors?  What value might there be in thinking rather deeply about that?  Today’s guest is nonprofit marketing specialist Maura Fitzpatrick who has a well defined process for helping nonprofits identify their ideal donors.  Let’s find out how that works and what you can do with an ideal donor persona.

Ep 25 - Anna Bruni Sabhaney

"How do I translate my mission so that outsiders understand my impact?"

Listeners will know that when the conversation turns to mission and impact, I’ll always recommend a clear, tightly worded impact statement.  My guest today, Anna Bruni Sabhaney, would agree but she’s really looking at a deeper, more strategic problem around alignment and clarity.  A former civil engineer, Anna has turned her eye for precision to the nonprofit sector and we’re all the better for it.  Have a listen to us working through what impact and clarity means for nonprofits as we (hopefully) start to emerge from Covid lockdowns and turn our eyes to the future.

Ep 24 - Kris Putnam-Walkerly MSW

"How should nonprofits engage a philanthropist's delusions?"

If you haven’t read the book Delusional Altruism you should but first, listen to the author Kris Putnam-Walkerly tell me about some of the delusions or blind spots in philanthropy and how nonprofits should approach grant makers who suffer with any of them.  We pull out some gold dust about asking the wrong questions that applies to all of us when it comes to planning and executing.  Here we go. 

Ep 23 - Annemarie Grassi Amefia, PhD

"What are the biggest challenges in scaling a nonprofit and how should I prepare to climb the mountain?"

We hear about scale and scaling a lot, not just in nonprofits.  But what dies it feel like to really do it?  I’m joined by Annemarie Grassi Amefia who took a small after school club with three part time staff and a budget of $60,000 to 65 staff and $6 million.  It took 17 years yet, if she had to do it again, she’d probably choose to slow it down.  Listen to why that is. 

Ep 22 - Allison McIntosh

"Why do I feel like I never have enough time?"

Today we’re talking about a problem that affects everyone at some point - that feeling that we’re always running out of time.  My guest is life coach Allison McIntosh, and we start with the scarcity mindset and move through self-talk and self-trust to unpack what’s driving this belief and this feeling that we don’t have the time.  Allison explains how we can adjust our thinking by building awareness of how we feel, why we feel that way and taking more active control of our thoughts.  Have a listen. 

Ep 21 - Ariel Glassman 

"Collaborative Fundraising - the next big thing?"

Today I’m joined by Ariel Glassman, who specializes in helping nonprofits with their technology and also with their fundraising efforts.  That’s the topic we’re covering today - Collaborative Fundraising.  You heard that right, rather than competing for donors, imagine nonprofits banding together to share donors.  Sounds a bit unrealistic, perhaps?  Well, let’s listen to Ariel share her experiences and tells us what to do and what to avoid if we team up with partners to fundraise.

Ep 20 - Cole Hoover

"Key Lessons from Social Enterprise"

We’re up to episode 8 in the Summer Series of Nonprofit Problem Solver podcast, and I get to spend the next hour talking to Cole Hoover, Director of Moving Worlds Institute all about social enterprises.  Cole has years of experience instructing and guiding social enterprises and part of his job is leading an international fellowship program.  We focus on what drives social entrepreneurs and how they balance the demands for profit while making a social impact and, increasingly, an environmental one.  And of course we try to pull out practical lessons for nonprofits interested in new ways of income generation.

Ep 19 - Amy Neumann

"How will AI affect nonprofits and how can we prepare?"

In episode 7 of the Summer Series of Nonprofit Problem Solver, I’m talking to Amy Neumann, an advocate of advances and applications in nonprofit tech.  We cover a range of topics from how to work out if tech can help your nonprofit and how to find the best solution to ways in which artificial intelligence has already found its way into our nonprofit lives and how that seems likely to develop over the coming months and years. 

Ep 18 - Roxanne Ray

"What if we spent $1000 on Facebook Ads?"

We’re now on Episode 6 of Nonprofit Problem Solver Summer Series, and we turn our attention to social media marketing and in particular, when and why it might make sense to invest in something like Facebook Ads.  If you’ve never done it, there’s lots to be scared about.  My guest, social marketing savant, Roxanne Ray explains the ins and outs of Facebook and Instragram and tells us how to create engaging content to build an audience of raging fans. 

Ep 17 - Stephen Garten

"Social Impact through Enterprise"

Today’s Nonprofit Problem Solver, Episode 5 in our Summer Series of one-to-one conversations, is with Stephen Garten, founder and CEO of CharityCharge, a public benefit corporation in Austin, Texas with that solves one particular nonprofit problem - access to a credit facility without anyone’s personal guarantee or credit check and for zero fees.  Talk about enterprising - let’s hear how Stephen came up with this idea and how it’s developed over time and listen out for ways his experience applies to program development and fundraising.

Ep 16 - Jeanne Bell

"The Board-Staff Disconnect on Race Equity"

Today on Nonprofit Problem Solver we’re up to Episode 4 in our Summer Series of one-to-one conversations.  I’m thrilled to be speaking with Jeanne Bell, who’s well known as a contributor to Nonprofit Quarterly and has a wide range of deep experience in nonprofit organizational development.  Our topic today is an important one, especially if you’re a nonprofit leader trying to initiate meaningful next steps around race equity.  We’re exploring the Board-Staff disconnect on Race Equity and trying to get as practical as possible about moving from words to action.

Ep 15 - Nick Takamine

"What is Strategy Anyway?"

In our third summer series episode, I’m talking to Nick Takemine of Arpeggio Advisors.  Nick has an international nonprofit pedigree with a particular focus on Strategy, so we’re going to get right down to it by asking, from a nonprofit perspective, What is Strategy Anyway?

Ep 14 - Rhea Wong

"How to put the fun in fundraising"

Episode 2 in the Summer Series continues the one-to-one format between me and a guest and also we stick with the theme of fundraising.  My guest today is Rhea Wong, who’s going to tell us How to put the Fun in Fundraising.  Rhea coaches and consults nonprofit leaders and has a regular podcast, Nonprofit Lowdown.

Ep 13 - Dr. William Clark 

"How much does fundraising cost?"

Today we open the Summer Series of Nonprofit Problem Solver which replaces the expert panels with deeper conversations one to one between myself and a single guest.  For Episode 1 I’m joined by Dr. William Clark, an experienced nonprofit leader, author, pastor and podcaster working in Hartford Connecticut.  Our question today is, How much should fundraising cost?

What we cover on the weekly calls:

  • Experts in the nonprofit field responding to your questions, offering the benefits of their experience to help you accelerate your vital work.  
  • Get specific feedback on the most pressing problems and issues preventing progress toward the impact your community deserves.
  • Relevant, up to date discussion on key topics raised by your nonprofit and mission-led colleagues across the US, Canada and UK.  

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