Nonprofit Radio: The Encouragement Show

Sarah Olivieri joined Tony Martignetti on Nonprofit Radio to talk about shedding fear-based decision making, scarcity mentality and reflexive negativity, in favor of confidence, abundance and an open mind.

Listen to the show here: http://tony.ma/podcast419

Here are Sarah’s key takeaways where she goes into 6 core issues on this topic and how to change your mindset around each:

Real Issue #1: You feel like you don’t have enough, because you actually don’t have enough.
Your Belief #1: We don’t have enough money.
Mindset Change #1: We don’t have the right business structure and operating framework to …… start a fundraising program… get the right people enrolled in our services… do more with less money.

Real Issues #2: Lingering emphasis on overhead as bad [check out Dan Pallotta’s talk on this]
Your Belief #2: Overhead is bad.
Mindset Change #2: Overhead is how we operate and how we operate is the backbone that keeps our programs up and running.

Real Issue #3: We are uncomfortable asking for money because we think we don’t deserve it.
Your Belief #3: Our donors are giving us money and they aren’t getting anything in return OR I feel like a fraud when I’m asking for money.
Mindset Change #3: When someone gives us money, they are receiving more value than that money was worth to them.

Real Issue #4: We have a hero or martyr mentality and we believe we need to D.E.O. (do everything ourselves).
Your Belief #4: Getting outside help isn’t a good way to spend money.
Mindset Change #4: f I’m not an expert in this and I don’t have a ton of free time to learn the ins and outs, hiring an outside expert or paying for a tool/resource WILL SAVE US MONEY/ENABLE US TO BRING IN A LOT MORE MONEY IN THE LONG RUN.

[Pro tip] Paying for access to expert advice can pay off many times over.
[Pro tip] Investing in automation can pay off many times over.

Real Issue #5: A fear of wasting money mentality has left nonprofits with bad buying processes
Your Belief #5a: Once we spend money it’s gone.
Mindset Change #5a: When we spend money we are getting something in exchange that is worth more to us than the money we spent [FYI, this is how your donors feel]
Your Belief #5b: Product/service x costs $, so we will decide to buy it when/if we have the money.
Mindset Change #5b: We have an issue that is worth $ to us if we resolve it, how much does it make sense to spend to solve this issue?
Your Belief #5c: We have to be fair about who we hire.
Mindset Change #5c: We have to hire the person who brings the most value to our organization

Real Issue #6: You are so wrapped up to trying to organize fundraising events, that you are sucking the lifeblood out of your fundraising capacity.
Your Belief #6a: More or bigger fundraising events will solve our money problems.
Mindset Change #6a: How much do we need to raise and what’s the most cost effective way to raise that money.
Your Belief #6b: We’ll never be able to raise that much money.
Mindset Change #6b: The outcome of this project/program/etc. is worth so many times more than the cost, it makes perfect sense to raise the money and our potential donor base will see that too and want to be a part of investing in our impact.

No go forth and get some abundance!
The problem with having a scarcity mindset is that it’s a prevents you from taking some of the most crucial steps to having a thriving nonprofit and so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I’ve given you 9 actionable mindset change that will lead you to realized abundance.
If right now you are saying to yourself “yes I can” then go forth and make the change. But changing the way you’ve thought for a long time can be hard, so for any of you who are still skeptics I’ll give you a stepping stone… start with just 2 new ways of thinking:

1. Your nonprofit is worthy of abundance.
2. There is always a way to take a step forward. You are never truly stuck.

Full Transcript Below:

Tony M: 00:13 Hello and welcome to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio, big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be hit with Jarontopia if I saw that you missed today’s show. The encouragement show, Sarah Olivieri wants you to shed fear based decision making, scarcity mentality and reflexive negativity in favor of confidence, abundance, and an open mind. Your aptly named host has encouraging words of his own to contribute. What a surprise. No surprise. Sarah is principle of PivotGround, a Tony’s take two train. We’re sponsored by Persuant, full service fundraising, data-driven and technology enabled, tony.ma/Pursuant. By Wegner CPAs, guiding you beyond the numbers, wegnercpas.com. By Telos, turning credit card processing into your passive revenue stream, tony.ma/tonytellos. And by Text To Give, mobile donations made easy, text NPR to 444-999. It’s my pleasure to introduce Sarah Olivieri. She came down from upstate New York. She’s a nonprofit digital strategist helping nonprofits bring their mission and services to life on the web. At PivotGround, she leads her team of digital experts to help clients increase capacity, deliver better programming, attract more funding, and make the world a little better. In college, she studied in Spain, Tanzania and Cuba. Then moved to Japan to teach English. Sarah’s company is at pivotground.com and she’s @PivotGround. Welcome, Sarah Olivieri.

Sarah Olivieri: 01:53 Thank you, thank you for having me.

Tony M: 01:54 Pleasure. Pleasure to have you in the studio. Thank you for coming down from upstate. I love it when guests come to the studio. Thank you.

Sarah Olivieri: 02:00 Always my pleasure.

Tony M: 02:01 You’ve been abroad, you’ve been abroad a good bit in your, in your life.

Sarah Olivieri: 02:05 Yes. I traveled quite a bit. I studied international studies as an undergraduate and so that took me abroad and that led me to University of Chicago. University of Chicago led me to move to Japan afterwards. Then I came back to my home community in the Hudson Valley, started getting involved with a local nonprofit. They needed a conference organized, which led to running a program, which led to starting my own nonprofit. And then I went and got my graduate degree in humanistic multicultural education.

Tony M: 02:31 Humanistic, multicultural education. All right. Break that down and make some sense. What was, what’s the nonprofit that you started? Tell us a little about that. Your first venture.

Sarah Olivieri: 02:41 Sure. I started a nonprofit called The Open Center for Autism. It was following, and the program that I had been working at was a school for kids on the spectrum, high school, and that program was shut down and so I went and started my own program.

Tony M: 02:56 If the state isn’t going to provide it or whatever the counties that if the is going to provide it, I’ll do it myself.

Sarah Olivieri: 03:00 That’s right.

Tony M: 03:01 I’ll do it myself. All right. All right. And how long were you with that organization? What did, what happened?

Sarah Olivieri: 03:11 Well, kind of good and bad. You know, what happened was the need became so clear that a number of the other local public schools picked up their own programs. So we ended up not starting the school as we anticipated because the need was filled. So that was all right. But it was a great, it was a great start to learn all the elements of not just starting a nonprofit, but when you charter a school in New York state, there’s a whole bunch of extra things that need to happen.

Tony M: 03:38 I can imagine. There’s a lot that has to happen when you’re a fundraiser.

Sarah Olivieri: 03:40 Right, right. And, you know, thinking about what you do, that really led me to go in like, wow, I couldn’t find lawyers who knew about how to register a school in New York state. So I just dove into reading the law myself and that kind of even deepened my, like, this stuff isn’t so hard. If no one knows how to do it, I’m just going to dive in and figure it out.

Tony M: 03:56 Okay. Okay. And how long at a PivotGround?

Sarah Olivieri: 04:00 PivotGround has been since we had another incarnation that started in around 2005, but we’ve been in our current state about three years.

Tony M: 04:10 Okay. All right. You brought along some words of encouragement like so, so to some symptom and problem areas and words of encouragement. I thought this would be a nice way to, this is really wrapping up the year because the next the next two shows, the next two weeks there are no shows. So this is our end of year show. So for like end of year encouragement, looking to the future, people can be feeling overwhelmed in this hectic fourth quarter. Lots of listeners may not even hear this until January, so it could be the look forward kind of show for them. So what are some of the, what are some of the symptoms that you hear in your practice that raise your, raise your consciousness, raise red flags for, you know, maybe we should be thinking a little differently.

Sarah Olivieri: 05:03 Yeah, I mean, anybody who works with nonprofits have heard these things. Like, we just can’t do it or we don’t have money for that, or we can’t spend on overhead. All our money has to go directly to programming. I actually had, it was part of a local group, kind of a support group for a nonprofit leaders run by a friend of mine, Susan Ragusa. And we talked about this one day, like scarcity mindset and a lot of it I think boils down to money. And a lot of people in that room that day said, yeah, you know, like, I don’t have a good relationship with money and my nonprofit doesn’t have a good relationship with money. And I think that it’s a complicated issue.

Tony M: 05:41 I mean they’re willing to raise their hands and say, yeah, we have, we have issues with money.

Sarah Olivieri: 05:45 Yeah. But only in the situation where we said this is a safe space and we’re going to talk about scarcity mindset. Otherwise I don’t hear a lot of people realizing that that’s kind of one of the cores of the issue is this relationship with money. And resources. Just, I think that the people say like, oh, we’d better like do it ourselves. And I think the, the reality, the worst reality is what I call DEY, do everything yourself.

Tony M: 06:11 Yeah. Right. We can’t afford the expertise that we need. We’ll just have to learn it ourselves, which takes you away from core work and distracts you terribly down some rabbit hole that someone could come in and be so much more efficient at. So these are, there’s a lot around, you’re talking about money, there’s a lot around fundraising too. I mean, in your own personal experience, how aware of the fact that you had to raise your own money were you when you started the school program?

Sarah Olivieri: 06:43 I was pretty aware. My mother had actually run a school in much the same way. She just kind of fell into it and figured it out on the job. I did have some family experience, but you know, related to the money question, I think a lot of people, you know, when they start feeling in nonprofits like, we don’t have enough money. They have tunnel vision, they’re like fundraising. We need to raise money. But that’s only half of the picture. Like you have to be good at spending money as well as raising money. So there’s two sides to this coin about money.

Tony M: 07:14 And it’s not all raising money, you know, outright gifts. I mean there’s, there could be revenue opportunities. There needs to look, think, strategically, whether you’re capable of producing product or services or some form of revenue that other nonprofits or government or individuals, you know, whatever will pay for. Lots of nonprofits have a thrift shop. That’s one simple way, not simple that it’s easy, one common way I should say of raising revenue. But you know, when we think of fundraising, it’s not all grants and gifts from individuals.

Sarah Olivieri: 07:54 Absolutely not. Your revenue stream, which, right, when you’re nonprofit, you’re like, revenue, what’s that? But that’s, that’s just your total money coming into your nonprofit and you want that to be somewhat diversified. And now it might sound like we’re talking about a stock portfolio, but we’re talking about your nonprofit. You have to think about having some of, you know, if you can charge a little for your programs you want, you may want some revenue streams that way. If you can have a donor base of donors who give small donations more regularly, some donors who give larger donations, some grants, maybe there’s some government funding you can apply for. You want a mixed bag because if one of those pieces goes away, you don’t want to go under. You want to have a few resources you can pull on.

Tony M: 08:41 And the one you didn’t mention is events, which we see. I see sometimes a little too much of. We’re going to, we’re going to take our first break though. Pursuant, they have two new resources on the listener landing page. The field guide to data-driven fundraising is practical steps to achieve your fundraising goals using data. Plus they’ve incorporated case studies and demystifying the donor experience guides you through creating a donor journey plus a savvy stewardship strategies for your existing donors. Could check those out. tony.ma/pursuant, capital P for please. Now back to the encouragement show. So events sometimes, you know, actually often too much reliance on events. I think that comes from a fear of asking someone directly across their desk for a $5,000 gift or a $50,000 gift or whatever it’s going to be. We’d rather invite people to a big party and have them pay tickets, pay money for a ticket at a table. We gotta you know, you gotta again, diversify. You see too much events?

Sarah Olivieri: 09:52 Definitely too, I think, you know, it’s natural. You get into a room of people, it’s like, what can we do with like our hands, you know, with an event. But events, most kinds of events that you’re probably familiar with that nonprofits are doing are the least return on investment. Meaning you’re going to spend a lot of money and a ton of energy to put on that event. And you’re going to get a relatively small amount of money back. And what I see happens is if when you lead with events, then you’ve used up your entire fundraising capacity, your money, your energy, it’s all spent on those events and you don’t have time for those activities that actually generate a lot more money. I love the example you just shared, like picking up the phone and calling them and asking for money is like super, super effective. And the nonprofits I know who are really great at fundraising, their executive director knows like a handful of 12 major donors who are interested in supporting their nonprofit, doesn’t have to be 12 it’s just an example. And when they need money they call them up and say, hey, we need $20,000 for this program or we’re going to have to close it. Or you know, whatever the thing is that they want, if they want to take a step forward. And usually when you ask people for something, they give it to you. I love to test this out and I encourage people to test it out. Like go over to your friend or your relative or somebody on the street and be like, oh, hey, can I borrow your pen? They’re going to do it. Probably they’re going to feel extremely compelled to do it. And same thing when you ask people for money. People are compelled to give something just because you asked.

Tony M: 11:28 So this cadre of close, you know, major donors, however you define major donors based on your needs and your work, you know, you’ve recruited them because you know that they’re committed. I mean, they’ve, they’ve risen to the top. They’ve, they’ve perhaps been volunteers for you. They’re the people who ask, what can I do? What are your needs? They shine, you know, as you, as you’re listening to this, people are probably occurring to you. Oh yeah. Like she’s, she’s like that. Or that couple is that, you know, so those are the people you want to continue to cultivate so that they do become sort of core supporters of yours so that when you have a big need, you know, those are the people you can go to. When you kick off a campaign, those are the people you talked to initially before you go public with your number so that when you do go public for your $100,000 campaign, you’ve already got 40 or $50,000 or 60,000 already committed and now you’re just asking people to get you to the margin, you know, the other 30 or 40%. Those that having that kind of a cadre of donors, you can go to who, you know, love your work, cultivate those people. That is time very well spent and don’t only cultivate them when you need the money. You know,] this is a longterm process of cultivation and bringing people to your organizations.

Sarah Olivieri: 12:42 I think a great way to start with that is what some people call it the friend razor. If you’re nervous about start by just getting those people in the same room just for the purpose of like having a positive interaction with them. And that’s a great way to build that relationship. I think that there’s another piece to this where a lot of people when they think about asking people for money, they feel like they’re a fraud or that like the person who’s giving them money isn’t getting anything in return.

Tony M: 13:07 You’ve got to cut that shit out. We don’t have, we don’t have affiliate am/fm stations anymore, so I’m free. I could, I could do the George Carlin in seven words if I, if I felt like it. We’re not bound by the FCC anymore. So yes, you’ve got to cut that out

Sarah Olivieri: 13:22 And they are getting something. They are getting probably the most valuable thing that you could spend money on. They are getting a positive feeling. They’re getting the feeling of fulfillment. And how else do people spend money to get that feeling? They buy food, alcohol, drugs, people who go shopping to feel that feeling of fullness. What I can’t think of a better way to trade in money for a feeling of doing, you know, that positive fulfilled feeling than giving money to a nonprofit. And the piece of that is, you know, I just was reading about a business book about, you know, what is the most motivating thing for employees? And it’s when they feel they are making a positive contribution that creates progress for an outcome that they’re interested in. It’s not salary, no. So it’s the same for donors. They’re interested in the outcomes that you’re having. And when they give, they want to feel like they’re helping in that journey. They’re making that step. A little piece of that step now belongs to them. A little piece of that progress. And that’s worth, that’s worth real money to people.

Tony M: 14:31 And share it with them. Invite them in. I don’t mean just write a write a direct mail letter that shares a story. Yes, storytelling is important, but I’m talking about, you know, if you’re talking about major donors, bring them in. Let them see the impact of your work. How can you show it off? If you haven’t figured that out yet, brainstorm with your staff, brainstorm with your board. How can you show off the impact that you do? There are ways, if you can’t bring people to it, you can video it and present it to them, you can prove your impact. Do it. That’s how, you know, that’s how they’re going to get the positive feeling that you’re talking about.

Sarah Olivieri: 15:06 Right, that’s what they’re buying. They’re buying something from you. You’re not, they’re not just giving you money. I think another piece to this is, I remember this one in my early days working at a nonprofit because I’ve never had a corporate job and for a moment I felt, thank you, for a moment I felt…

Tony M: 15:23 I would be a terrible employee, vacation request forms. Oh, please can I have the week between Christmas and New Years off? Oh, please. Oh, please. What? Are you kidding me? I just take it. You can’t, I can’t, I’d be a terrible employee. I wouldn’t even interview. I wouldn’t even show up. I’d show up late cause I don’t care. You know, I’d be an awful employee. I’d never even get hired. I wouldn’t even make the second interview. I’d be bounced. I wouldn’t even make the full interview. I’m like, well I probably walk out. What, are you kidding me? I don’t need this shit and God, why am I even here? I made a big mistake. I’m sorry I’m getting out. I wouldn’t even make it through the first interview.

Sarah Olivieri: 15:56 I hear ya. So yeah, so you know, when that check came in though, early on I was like, this person makes a high salary. Like their job is making money in some way. That’s why they have their job. My job, like the purpose of my job is not to make money. I might be making a salary at my nonprofit, but ultimately my purpose is to do good. And so somehow I felt like initially that, that the person who was giving me money knew something about money that I didn’t, and it felt like the scales were not, because they have it and I need it, right?

Tony M: 16:29 They have more than we have, so they’re smarter and savvier about money than I am and we are.

Sarah Olivieri: 16:34 Right, but now I know better. And I want nonprofits to know better too. What you’re doing is important and it’s worth money. And you’re savvy because you’re getting people to give you money in exchange for a valuable experience. You know, just as much about money, if not more than for profit businesses. And in fact, I dive a lot into business operations for nonprofits and nonprofits are more complicated than for profits because you always have two target customer groups. Even if you’re, you know, even if you’re a teeny nonprofit, you have the people who donate and give you money and then you have the people you serve or the impact you’re trying to make and the people who are going to help make that happen. And so by that very nature, by having, you always have to audience a for profit company that’s small, can have just one audience, the people who want to buy their product or service. So it’s, it’s more simple in that nature to be a for profit company.

Tony M: 17:32 Before you have shareholders.

Sarah Olivieri: 17:34 But you know, as a board, as a small nonprofit you have a board. So that’s like having shareholders when you’re just a teeny company.

Tony M: 17:44 There’s not a financial stake, but absolutely. But there’s certainly commitment.

Sarah Olivieri: 17:47 Commitment, opinions, human relationships. So be proud of yourself. If you’re running a nonprofit, you already probably know a lot more than many for profit businesses.

Tony M: 17:58 You’ve got your three constituencies, the service you’re doing, whether that’s to people or animals or the environment. Consider that a constituency or community and your donors and your board.

Sarah Olivieri: 18:10 Absolutely. Right. And then if you have a staff, you know, whenever there’s relationships involved, I like people to think about like, imagine, you know, you’ve got one person in the room that’s no big deal. You’ve got two people in the room, you think you just doubled but you actually tripled in complexity because you have two people and oops, you have the relationship between those two people at a third person to the room. You’re not three times bigger than you were when you are one person. You don’t have three people plus the relationships between each two of those people and when all three of the people are in the room. Each person you add to any kind of dynamic, whether it’s your board, your staff, the people you’re working with, you now are exponentially increasing in complexity and I think that a lot of nonprofits as they start to grow, they’re like this spaghetti mess starts to begin and that’s why, because you didn’t expect that you are growing exponentially in all of these relationships that takes, it takes people off guard.

Tony M: 19:09 Doesn’t it often reflect itself in, in the board? Especially in early phases as the board is growing, we need more expertise, you know, et cetera.
Sarah Olivieri: 19:19 I see it in the board, but I see it in the way staff and departments are organized more as you grow and you start adding programs. Sometimes it’s like you might add a program and you might say, well, who in our nonprofit like has capacity to like run this new program and you just throw it in. And then often with my clients who tend to be a little bigger, they have these kinds of organizational structures that don’t make sense. They don’t work efficiently because they just started throwing things in and they didn’t think very carefully about how exactly should we organize it? They just threw it in where they could. And then we go through a process of kind of reorganizing so they get so much time back in their day. Are they gonna fill it up again with amazing work delivering their mission? Absolutely. But at least then it’s, it’s faster progress towards their mission.

Tony M: 20:05 Yeah, it’s a more deliberate rather than just let’s throw it in, you know, forced it on somebody who they can learn but can train up. That goes back to the scarcity mentality. We can’t afford the expertise that we need to help us develop this program. We’ll figure it out on our own.

New Speaker: 20:21 Yeah. And I want people to stop thinking that way because there’s two things that I think if you had, if I had like $2 left in my pocket, I would buy one of two things or both of these things. Access to expert advice. Not even like, you know, if he can’t get help doing it, if you don’t have money for the tool, getting an expert to tell you which way to go I think is like one of the most valuable ways cause they’re going to see things that you don’t, you’re in your own bubble. Even if you were that expert, you wouldn’t be able to see it for yourself. And once they point you in where your next step is, you have a step to take forward. The other thing these days that I think people who are really strapped for money will get a huge return off of, is investing in some automation. So we have, you know, computers and the Internet can take off a lot of the busy work that your staff might be doing right now or if you’re a solo, you know, solo operation, there are things that you’re doing right now that the computer could start doing for you and free you up to take some real positive growth steps

Tony M: 21:27 Two resources come off the top of my head in that vein. Nonprofit technology network, which helps nonprofits use technology smarter so that they can focus more on mission. Listeners know Amy Sample Ward, our regular social media contributor every month. She’s the CEO of NTEN, Nonprofit Technology Network, nten.org. And the other one is Ideal Where, idealwhere.org. They are essentially the consumer reports of technology for nonprofits. They don’t accept grants or gifts of technology, but they evaluate it and they evaluate it objectively. The CEO Karen Graham has been on the show. I think she’s been on twice. She doesn’t really love when I, she doesn’t object strenuously, but I don’t think she loves when I make the analogy between Ideal Where and consumer reports. But to me it works. So those are two excellent resources that are agnostic. You know, they don’t care about platforms, they’re trying to help you. NTEN and Ideal Where.

Sarah Olivieri: 22:27 And you shouldn’t care about platforms. The biggest thing, you know, I work a lot in technology and I talk about automation and digital strategies for people and people always come, like what tools should I use? And that is the very last question you ask. First you ask what problem am I trying to solve.

Tony M: 22:46 What we’re trying to do with it?

Sarah Olivieri: 22:48 Right, exactly. And if we’re talking about automation, you need to have a process in place of how you do something. So if it’s not something you repeat and if you haven’t written down how it goes and like what the process is, then you’re not ready to automate. But you know, and automation can get like really complex. It takes like a bit of like mind shifting to think about automation, but people should start simple with automation. I often like to just remind people that like there’s elements of your email that can probably already be automated and Zapier, which is one of the most common tools for connecting things. It can actually automate without connecting to apps.

Tony M: 23:25 I got connected to Zapier from someone else too just this week. You create zaps and it links Salesforce with your Outlook.

Sarah Olivieri: 23:35 Right. And actually can do some automations just with one app. So if you, I use it to, you know, if you receive an email with a certain subject, it can then, you know, send a reminder to somebody else. For example.

Tony M: 23:49 It’s very complicated, we’re just tapping the surface of the tasks that it can automate between thousands of apps that they’ve got partnerships with.

Sarah Olivieri: 23:58 But you can start simple, Zapier has a free level, but for nonprofits you can get their pro level for free if you put their logo on your website. So you can really do a lot with Zapier. It’s what a lot of the automation people kind of use at some point to connect things even if they’re using more advanced tools. So I think that’s a great starting step for people.

Tony M: 24:19 Symptoms of this, if you can use automation, I think of if you’re, if you find yourself entering the same data in multiple places, if you’re doing a lot of copying and pasting routinely, there’s a good chance that that could be automated. Sarah, you mentioned email. There are lots of email tasks that can be automated. What else?

Sarah Olivieri: 24:42 Following up with people is huge. If you set appointments or need to remind people to do things, automation is great for that. You can create a series of emails that remind people to do something. And for nonprofits, you know, especially if you’re a human service nonprofit, you can use automation to help deliver some of your programs. If you teach a course in your organization, you could turn it into an online course. You can make it what we call an evergreen online course, which means that it’s like video, the content is written content and video, that as soon as somebody signs up for the course, they can then access the material. So that’s one great way.

Tony M: 25:23 And is there a revenue possibility there?

Sarah Olivieri: 25:26 Absolutely. You could charge for your course. You could have, you know, get a donor to commit to like a matching sponsorship. Everybody who enrolls in the course, they’ll make a certain donation. Lots of possibilities for that.

Tony M: 25:40 We’re just other symptoms of we could, technology could help us here.

Sarah Olivieri: 25:46 Absolutely. And you know, I still love the classic email course or email mini series. The kind of tool that you use for this, anything that does what’s called a drip campaign, that just means email one goes out, you wait two days or however amount of time you set, email two goes out, then email three goes out. It’s just on a timer and you can deliver, um, education that way. One of my favorite uses for that is internally, a lot of nonprofits struggle with keeping their staff trained or keeping them up to date on policies that they really want them to remember. That might not be that fun. We send out reminders of the critical policies in the organization that the staff, especially if they’re like direct support staff need to remember. We often rewrite them and make them a little more fun in the email. And it’s like if you want to read the real, you know, the original policy, go to the handbook, but we’re going to make this a little more fun and remind you to, you know, drive safely or whatever those key policies are. So it’s a great way people aren’t going to read, like if I give most people like a book and say, here’s the manual, and go read it. Yeah. Do they read it? No, it’s not. But if I turn it into five or six emails that are just like one or two paragraphs long and remind people in a fun way of the things they need to remember, are they going to read it? Yeah, probably.

Tony M: 26:56 It could also be part of a campaign. You could do this with your volunteers, with your donors. Okay, automation. All right. So we’ve spent almost the first half of the show just like spit balling. But this is great. You know, I feel like I’m at a bar and we’re just having drinks and there’s 13,000 people listening in. But you know, so, all right, so you came with more orderly, you know, this is not all just a spitball thing, but, believe it or not, I mean, this show does get planned. But I love this just back and forth and, you know, it’s what we’re, what we’re seeing through the years. Okay. We just have about a minute or so before a break. Let’s introduce this idea of overhead we have, we haven’t, the lingering overhead myth. Let’s introduce that and then we’ll pick it up after the break.

Sarah Olivieri: 27:43 Sure. The lingering overhead myth, I think Dan Pallotta gave a great Ted Talk on it. It dates back apparently to the puritans, but it’s this idea that there’s your programs that where you deliver all your impact. And then there’s your overhead and that the overhead has nothing to do with the impact. And overhead is bad and impact is good. So all the money should go towards those impact. And I’m putting quotes around that because, yeah, around those program activities and nothing should go to overhead because that’s a waste of money. So, but really that’s not true. And maybe after the break we’ll dive into that.

Tony M: 28:17 We absolutely will because that is not true and we need to, I see it being eroded, but we need to kill it. When you’re CPAs you need help with next year’s 990 perhaps, or are you doing your 990? I hope to God you’re doing your 990 for God’s sake. Are you thinking about a CPA change perhaps in 2019 or changing audit firm? Maybe time for a fresh look at the books. Look at Wagner, talk to partner Yeet Uchtomb. You know, he’s been a guest on the show. There’s no hard sell. There’s no bullshit. Well it doesn’t matter what we’re, that’s right. We’re FCC free. So I’m getting carried away. wagnercpas.com. Now time for Tony’s take two train your staff on basic planned giving, I’m encouraging you to get them comfortable just opening conversations about the most popular type of planned gift, which is the charitable bequest in people’s wills. There’s no lifetime cost to your donors. They can keep it private if they want to. I mean you always want them to tell you, but if they want to keep it private, they can, they can change their minds. These are a couple of the reasons that bequests are always, I don’t care what size organization, always the most popular planned gift. And so that’s the place to start. So that’s the place you want to start. You know, getting your staff trained just on the basics. Again, opening a conversation you don’t need in house expertise. You don’t need a lawyer. You don’t even need a consultant like me. You don’t need a lawyer on your board. You don’t need all that because you’re going to refer people to their own attorney. Cause we’re doing this on a, on a, you know, this is a streamlined, we’re just trying to get you into planned giving. You don’t need the expertise. You can open those conversations. All right. I say more about this on my video. And I bring in the holidays. You see, as I talk about training, there’s some holiday inserts there as well. And then I did it from a beach. And you’ll find that video at tonymartignetti.com. Okay. Let’s go back to Sarah Olivieri and the encouragement show. Okay. So the overhead myth. So what do you counsel clients on who, who say that they’re concerned about possibly spending too much and donors are gonna think we’re wasting money on overhead?

Sarah Olivieri: 30:27 Yeah, I mean, first of all, be brave. Be Intentional. Know that it’s not true that this, I don’t even like to use the word overhead. I call it, I say it’s operations, right? So like operations is the backbone of your organization. Nothing happens without it. It’s the core. It couldn’t be more opposite than this overhead myth. You need good leadership. You need structures and processes in place in order to make whatever you’re delivering, consistent and efficient. I love to talk about efficiency with nonprofit.

Tony M: 31:02 Okay, you need technology. We just talked about technology. You need technology supporting you. That costs money.

Sarah Olivieri: 31:07 Exactly. You need tools. Oftentimes you invest in a tool and you’re gonna save so much time or so much money. But people are hesitant that it’s that DEY, we’re going to do everything ourselves mentality. And it’s literally when you have that mentality, you’re sinking your own ship because you’re the, your ship is your overhead.

Sarah Olivieri: 31:29 It is your operational structure. And then it’s like the cargo is all the stuff you’re going to do to deliver your mission. So if you have a teeny ship and you just load on a ton of cargo, you are just going to sink it and you’re not going to deliver any mission. You’re not going to go anywhere and you’re not going to solve any major problems. So you need to make sure that if you’re going to grow programs, you grow your capacity. That means growing your ability to operate, right. So I hope people can begin to think like overhead is operating. It’s functioning.

Tony M: 32:02 Investment in other words. It’s an investment in your office in a nice place for people to come to work. An investment in professional development for your staff, an investment in technology, investing in the future, right? You’re saying, you know, you’ve got to be sustainable and have, be at the right capacity. These are all investments. This is not wasted overhead. It’s investing in the future. If you’re planning something new, you might have to invest for a year or two in it and lose money at it to, to get up to speed. That’s an investment in a new program.

Sarah Olivieri: 32:38 Exactly. Yeah, I think, I think you’re absolutely right and it’s fundamental. You know, too many times you talk about, you know, of course there’s that nonprofits are messy, right? And non people say not, you know, a lot of nonprofits that I’m like, Oh man, we’re kind of dysfunctional. That dysfunction, that means you don’t have good functioning, good functioning. That overhead is how you get good functioning. That’s how you become not dysfunctional, that’s how you become not messy. That’s how you become a clean, effective, oiled machine that just is doing good in the world and can scale that up if you want to and deliver, you know, deliver to more people. Or if you’re an environmental organization, make a bigger impact. That is the key to making a bigger impact. It is not, you know, spending, you know, I think that the, the mindset shift that people need to make is they think, oh, if we’re spending money on operations, it’s like we’re spending money on ourselves and we don’t spend money on ourselves. There’s kind of like that martyr mentality. It’s got to go, it’s really got to go.

Tony M: 33:39 You are worth investing in, your staff is worth investing in, your office is worth investing in. Technology is worth investing. If you go to, if you go to your office on Monday and you’re putting up windows XP, you are not investing the way you need to. Bring that shit to your boss and tell them this has got to go. We’re eight years behind.

Sarah Olivieri: 34:00 That’s right. And just since this is the, you know, I want to give some motivation, some encouragement for people. You know, you all have a story. That’s all right, yin and yang, positive, negative. You have this in you already. The story of Dorothy, right? Dorothy has the power to return home all along, but she has to go through this great journey. All she has to do is click your heels three times and say there’s no place from home. Well, you, if you’re running a nonprofit right now or if you’re involved in one, no place like home, that’s right. I want to go home. I like to be really direct. So you already believe in your nonprofits mission. Like, I know this about you, like listening right now. You believe that your mission is worth investing in, which means you already have the power to believe that it’s worth investing in, but you are part of your nonprofit. And so you have to believe. Now you have to take that same belief that you believe in your mission and just convince yourself you are worth investing in. Because if you don’t invest in yourself and in your organization, you’re not investing in your mission. And so as soon as you connect those two dots, you already have that power to believe that you’re worth it.

Tony M: 35:11 I don’t even, yeah, the overhead myth. We got to bury it. We got to kill it and bury it. All right. Something, you have some ideas around, feeling like you, you appear that you don’t have enough or appearing that you have too much to donors. What is this second guessing? Why are we looking over our shoulders at ourselves? Why are we looking over our own shoulders? How did we do it? Yeah. Why are we looking over our shoulders? Why are we, why are we second guessing how we’re perceived?

Sarah Olivieri: 35:45 You know, I had a nice coincidence. I had two clients start working with me around the same time. And within a week of each other I had these two conversations. One client was a nonprofit who had money and they said, well, we’re afraid that like if our website and our brochures and stuff look good, people are gonna think we have a lot of money and they’re not gonna want to give to us. Right. And then the other client who was a very small startup, didn’t have any money, said, we need our brochures and our website to look really good because if people know that we don’t have money, they won’t give to us. And guess what? It doesn’t matter if you have money or if you don’t have money. Just be authentic, be yourself, play your own game, run your own race. If you have money, people will say, hey, this organization’s impact is important. That’s always the first thing. And wow, they’re stable, they’re sustainable, they have enough money I’m going to give to them because I know that they’re going to keep going. For the other one, people want to give to their impact. The primary driver, is that like that emotional return. Yes, for some people there’s the tax benefit. But I really think that secondary.

Tony M: 36:57 Absolutely. I have 20 years in fundraising and consulting and it’s absolutely secondary.

Sarah Olivieri: 37:03 Yeah. They’re buying an emotional return. They’re buying a feeling. And so, but if you don’t have money, then you say, hey, we don’t have money. We’ve got this amazing thing that we want to do. We have a great way of achieving it.

New Speaker: 37:18 We want to scale and do this with a thousand people instead of the dozen that we’ve served so far.

Sarah Olivieri: 37:23 Right? So you’ve got a great argument whether you don’t have money or you do have money with one caveat. If you’re worried that you’re not really delivering the impact that you say you are, measure it. Measure your impact. And if you’re not, if you take it and you’re like, man, we’re not really making the changes we thought you were, just reorganize. It’s time to pivot. Right, it’s time to invest in that overhead and try and figure out, um, you know, how you can make that impact because you probably didn’t, you know, there’s a need there. There’s always a need.

Tony M: 37:58 This goes to also just you touched on, you know, be genuine, be honest. People can, when they’re talking to you, les so when they’re reading your material, that’s one dimensional but, but it applies somewhat there too. People can tell when you’re genuine and when you’re phony. You know, if, if you’re a small shop and you’re producing fancy four color brochures or you’re spending money on lavish video production when, when low production value could be just as sincere or more sincere and genuine people see through that stuff, you know, be yourself like you said it, be yourself and don’t be ashamed of who you are and what you’re coming to and the way you look.

Sarah Olivieri: 38:41 Exactly. And both of those problems, you know, relate to those are marketing concerns. And I just like, cause marketing gets thrown around a lot, I like to just clarify like what is marketing? And because it’s not a department, marketing is a means to an end. Marketing is about finding people who have an issue or a problem that you can solve. So if it’s a donor, it means they’re looking for this positive experience. If it’s somebody who you might serve, it means they have, you know, you have a solution to the issue in their lives. And then engaging those people who you found who already basically need what you have so that they take action with you. That’s marketing.

Tony M: 39:22 We have to take a break. So, look over your page there and you’re gonna, I’ll welcome you to introduce the next topic right after this break. Telos, start with the video at tony.ma/tonytellos. Then think, what companies can you talk to to ask them to switch their credit card processing to Tellos? Maybe it’s one owned by a board member. Maybe it’s a local company that supported you or one that you’ve been thinking about approaching because you have a relationship of some type. Talk to them. Have them watch the video. If they switch, you get the long stream of passive revenue from all those credit card transactions that they process. tony.ma/tonytellos for the video. Time for the live listener love. We’ve got to do it. Did you think I’d forgotten because I didn’t do it after Tony’s take two? Perish the thought. Hell no. I could, I can go even further than hel no, but I’ll just stick with hell no. So where are we? So let’s go abroad. I want to go abroad. Russia, we cannot see your city, but we know that you’re with us. Russia live love out to you. Toronto, up north, welcome live listener love to you. Mexico. We can’t see a city and we got multiple Mexico. We have Morelos, Mexico as well, so we can see Morelos live love to you. Buenas tardes and the city we cannot see, live love out to you also. We got multiple New York, New York always got multiple New York, New York, Brooklyn, New York is in Queens, New York. Thank you very, very much. I don’t see anybody upstate. Sarah Olivieri didn’t bring her a tribe, but they’ll listen to the podcast. And that’s the podcast pleasantries that come on the heels of the live listener love. It’s the, you know, it’s the podcast pleasantries. One read and follows the other, you cannot have one without the other. You cannot. It’s axiomatic. Pleasantries to the 13,000 plus podcast listeners throughout the, mostly in the US but I know throughout the world we’ve, I know the UK checks in. I know we’ve got listeners in Germany. I know we’ve got Mexico podcast listeners also. Pleasantries, pleasantries to you, the vast majority of our audience. Thank you for being with nonprofit radio. Okay. What’d you pick? What are we gonna talk about next?

Sarah Olivieri: 41:34 We’re going to talk about wasting money.

Tony M: 41:35 Wasting money. What do you got?

Sarah Olivieri: 41:38 Well, I think, you know, a lot of people, it goes back to what we first talked about, right? This bad relationship with money and that a lot of people feel like when we spend money at nonprofits, we’re flushing it down the toilet. When we spend it, it’s gone. That’s what’s happening. And that’s not the relationship I want you to have with money. I want you to realize that the way you should be spending money, the way you hopefully are, is thinking about what am I going to get back from my money? Am I getting more value back than the money cost me? So I, you know, I get excited about spending money, not because I love spending money, but because whenever I choose to spend money in my business, I’m always getting something back that’s worth even more to me than the money that’s going to take me to the next level. So it’s great. It’s always like this exciting moment of growth where I’m getting something. And that is the mentality they really want people to adopt to this coming year is that when we spend it, we are not throwing it away. But if you’re not thinking about what you’re getting back, then you might be wasting money. So this is one of those like it’s a self fulfilling prophecy. If you feel like spending money is wasting money, then the chances that you are wasting money are way higher. If you feel like spending money is a process of trying to get more back than you spent, then you’re probably not wasting money.

Tony M: 42:54 Greater value, you want greater value for the dollar that, each dollar you spend.

Sarah Olivieri: 42:57 Exactly. So I definitely want you to think about that. Another thing that’s related to this, I think is a lot of people think about, you know, oh, we need something, it costs, I don’t know, $2,000 $2,500 we don’t have that money now. When we have that money, then we’ll spend on this. And that’s just like a process.

Tony M: 43:16 In the future, if we have more money, we’ll spend on that, that money is never going to come. There’s not going to be a delivery of money that says earmarked for this purpose that you’ve been putting off for 18 months. Not going to happen that way. It’s just like time. Sorry, I’m on, I’m on a rant. You’re not gonna find time. When I can find the time, I’ll do that. No. If it’s something that’s worthwhile, you got to make the time. Consciously put the time, put the time aside now, and if you’re constantly putting it off, then you need to evaluate. Maybe this thing that we’re talking about is not that important or maybe you’re not prioritizing correctly. It’s just, it’s recognizing the value of time and the fact that it’s just not going to land on your desk a week. Oh, here’s that project time you’ve been thinking about for 18 months. It doesn’t happen that way. You need to be much, you need to be intentional about it.

Sarah Olivieri: 44:03 Exactly. Intentional about time, intentional about money. So here’s the new way I want people to think about it is that if you’re thinking, I need something, stop and say, what is the problem that I’m having? If you think you need a website, if you think you need automation, stop for a moment and say, what’s the problem I’m having? If you think I need fundraising, say what’s the real core? What is the real problem? Get down to that problem. It could be a person. A process could not be working. A person could be in the wrong seat. It could be, you know, it could be any number of things. Once you found that real problem, say if I fix this problem, how much is that worth to me? If I don’t have this problem, if this problem is gone, how much is that worth to me? What can I do next if this problem is gone? And then say, how much time, money, resources, am I willing to spend to have this problem gone? And then, then you have your budget. If you can solve it for less, by all means. But then you have your number, you have your number, and then you go get that money. You say, I need this problem solved. I see this probably the most painful area where I see this is, um, with employees. If you have the wrong people in the job and you’re just like afraid to let them go or afraid to change their position, that is really hard. But if you ran the numbers, you’d be like, I’m wasting like $50,000 a year on this person.

Tony M: 45:38 Sapping energy and other people see it as well, we know it’s a bad, the other people in the organization know it’s a bad fit that they’re seeing it day in and day out of their employees. It’s draining you.

Sarah Olivieri: 45:48 Yeah. So your problems are probably costing you more than you realize. And if you really think about that, you’ll be like, oh yeah, we’re going to raise that money right now and that problem is going to be gone.

Tony M: 45:59 Let’s talk about something you mentioned early on. Fundraising events, events sucking the lifeblood. What did you, what did you say? It caught my, but I also want to talk about, you know, that overreliance on events.

Sarah Olivieri: 46:12 Sure. Yeah. I mean I said I think like it sucks the capacity all of your fundraising capacity goes to putting on an event because of the time. And then you have nothing left in you to do the more important fundraising. Like, if you’ve done all other fundraising strategies and you still have a ton of time and energy on your hands, do an event. But if you haven’t, just like, try not to do that event, try to stop doing it, try to do any other fundraising strategy.

Tony M: 46:39 Also, a lot of times you have to defeat an argument by a board member. Events, you know, I just went to this great gala and they raised two and a half million dollars. Okay, so what size organization was that? Did they have entertainment that cost them $350,000, you know, to get Don Henley on stage or something. Or The Eagles. So Don Henley is The Eagles. Okay, so you know, board members often come with these gala ideas cause they just played in a golf tournament or they were just at this lovely event at a restaurant. You have to help your board members recognize that you likely don’t have the capacity to produce the event that they’re trying to get you to do and what’s something you might do is ask them to chair it.

Sarah Olivieri: 47:32 Right. Exactly. And the event that they went to probably didn’t actually like after expenses probably. And sometimes people think just about, you know, what they netted at, you know, based of costs to put on that event. But they forget to calculate that it took like one of their employees full time work for three to six months. So you factor in there at that salary, chances are you’re taking a loss.

Tony M: 47:56 And part of the argument is, but think of all the people we’ll bring. We get hundreds of people thinking about us and giving to us. Whoa. Thinking about us. Yeah. They’re thinking about you that night. Giving to you, that’s a big stretch. That’s a huge stretch. And there’s enormous follow up that has to happen. And notoriously event attendees who came because their friends invited them are unlikely to become longterm sustainers for you. They were happy to do the, they were happy to buy the $50 table or the or the $50 seat or the $250 ticket, whatever it was. But beyond that, it takes a lot of cultivation to get them to become close to you that they give beyond the annual event. So don’t let your, whoever’s espousing this, this great gala idea talk you into the idea that everybody who comes is going to become a major donor instantly. It does not happen. There’s enormous cultivation that has to take place after that event.

Sarah Olivieri: 48:49 Yeah. In fact, you know, at PivotGround, we don’t really focus on fundraising that much and a lot of people who come to me with like, we need to do fundraising. I say, okay, well what’s your capacity to like manage donors? Like are you able to follow up donor, to follow up with donors? Do you have somebody who can like put together a fundraising strategy? No. You need to do that first.

Tony M: 49:10 What are you gonna do with these hundreds of people who come to, reportedly come to this event? You have no, you have no capacity to do the follow up I’m talking about.

Sarah Olivieri: 49:17 And for small nonprofits out there, you know you’re thinking like, oh, I need to do my end of year fundraising letter. Ask yourself first, do you have a list of people to send it to? No. Then don’t worry about the letter. Move on to an activity you can do. Move on to list building. Host a friend raiser, host a holiday party that costs you almost nothing. Get some contacts on your list, in someone’s home. Right. I love, small events are great.

Tony M: 49:45 Hold that thought. We’ll come back to it. Got to take our last break. Text To Give. Talking about email mini courses. Sarah was talking about the drip campaign, the five part email mini course, debunking five myths. Do you think text donations have to go through a phone bill and so they take 90 days to collect? No, not true. It doesn’t have to be that way. Do you think there are high startup costs? No, not so. There’s a lot of misinformation around text giving. You can raise more money, get the email mini course from Text To Give you text NPR to 444-999. Five emails. Okay. We’ve got several more minutes for this encouragement show. All right. Sometimes as, just now happens as sometimes happens, I forgot what we were, what were we just talking about?

Sarah Olivieri: 50:33 Mini events. But I’d love to talk about RFPs and the buying process.

Tony M: 50:39 RFP. Okay, let’s go. Go ahead. Go ahead.

Sarah Olivieri: 50:40 We can, we can finish off with mini events.

Tony M: 50:43 In someone’s home. This is ideal for the board member who says, I hate fundraising. Okay. You can help us friend raise, you can bring some people. We’ll bring some people too. You’re not only responsible, but we’re going to have, we’re going to have 12 or 15 people and there’s going to be a short presentation by me, the CEO and we’re going to that, you know, that’s something manageable. We can follow up with 12 or 20 people.

Sarah Olivieri: 51:07 Exactly. And it should cost you roughly nothing. Like usually like you get a host who has a nice house and will buy dinner and you know, make dinner, you get maybe someone else donates the wine or you might have a host who will do it all. Exactly. Make dinner or cater whatever their level is. There’s lots of people who would host a dinner for eight to 12 people in their homes. You know, you, somebody from your organization, a couple of board members show up and then you just have to, between your organization and the host’s contact list, you invite a small group of people and those can have fantastic turnouts, great way to spend money and energy. So not spend money but spend energy.

Tony M: 51:44 Yes. Not so much money. All right, so eight to 12 you could cook for that, but obvious thinking like 20 you might want to cater that.

Sarah Olivieri: 51:50 Right? Exactly. And it all depends on what your resources are like who’s, you know, whose house it’s at, what you’ve got what you can get to.

Tony M: 51:57 Think about these small cultivation events. Much, much more manageable in terms of both front end and the followup after that. That’s your point.

Sarah Olivieri: 52:06 Right. And you’ve got to followup after the event and you know, you really want to focus on that moment that the donation is given and then expand it out from both ends. What happens, what’s their experience after they gave their donation and what’s their experience just before. So a lot of people focus on making a great experience so that somebody gives them the donation, but then they forget about the followup after somebody gives, which is just as important because you want them to give again and tell their friends that this was a great experience.

Tony M: 52:34 That was the donor journey that Persuant has, they have a whole, they have a resource on this. Demystifying the donor experience. It’s exactly what at tony.ma/Persuant. It’s exactly what you’re, you’re talking about that, that donor journey mapping the experience out.

Sarah Olivieri: 52:52 Exactly. Exactly. It’s really important. Another tip I have for people is, you know, if you have a website you can probably make a unique donation landing page for each of your board members. That way when they go out and start soliciting their personal contacts to say, hey, would you give to my organization? They can send them to a landing page that’s like, this is the donation page for my organization. But it’s got like as if I’m the board member, it’s got my name and picture on it and what my pitch is to most of my friends and that way I know that when I give my friends and I’m asking them to make a contribution when they do, they’re having an experience that’s connected to me and that I know what that experience is going to be. And then for the organization, you know exactly like you can give me credit as a board member, you know, you’ll know when it’s one of my contacts who makes a donation because they came through my page at the organization.

Tony M: 53:42 It’s all trackable. Personalized board member landing page. You have a resource you like for landing pages?

Sarah Olivieri: 53:50 Not particularly, you know, we do websites, so we actually usually build them in the site itself. And otherwise, you know, lead pages, oftentimes if it’s a donation page, whatever tool you’re using to list your pages, this is an area where it can get kind of complicated for nonprofits picking the right tech stack we call it, that means the tools you’re gonna use that all work together. So, but yeah, there’s no specific recommendation. It’s really matter of what you have already in place.

Tony M: 54:18 Bringing in expertise, like PivotGround. So there was something, we just have like two minutes or so left.

Sarah Olivieri: 54:26 Buying process, you know, RFPs and the buying process. You know, I think a lot of nonprofits rely too heavily on RFPs. Like RFPs are good. If you’re like, we have plans for building and we’re now going to build the building. We need a contractor do an RFP, but you don’t need an RFP for everything. And especially if you’re going to get like expert advice or have your situation assessed, you don’t need an RFP or you don’t need a complicated RFP. It could be like, what are you selling and what’s your process? Or maybe it’s like rather than RFP, it’s an announcement. Like it doesn’t have to be this giant document like, hey, we’re hiring for this. Come tell us if you, if you solve this problem. And another thing is, you know, when you make complicated RFP is, especially, I know in the marketing space, like most good marketers, I know good web people, they won’t respond to RFPs.

Tony M: 55:13 I’ve had guests on the show talking about the RFP process for tech, for tech products.

Sarah Olivieri: 55:15 You’re going to get the bottom of the barrel. So if you can avoid it at all costs, like don’t do RFPs for tech projects. And then I think another thing is, I’ve come across this concept that doesn’t, I don’t understand if nonprofits thinking we have to be fair in who we’re hiring. And I think that this comes from like, we don’t want to be corrupt or we don’t want to, you know, have a conflict of interest that causes us to hire someone out of favoritism. But, and you should make sure though, instead that you’re getting the best value for your nonprofit.

Tony M: 55:52 I don’t get this fair, what do you mean?

Sarah Olivieri: 55:52 I’ve heard it a lot like, so here’s a great one. We can’t hire someone who’s on our board who’s an expert in this because they’re on our board and it wouldn’t be fair. They already know what the project is and that’s just silly. I think people get confused about conflict of interest versus confluence of interest.

Tony M: 56:12 So you hire them, they become an employee and then they shouldn’t probably, they should not be on your board anymore as an employee, but they could still be some, now you’ve got their expertise.

Sarah Olivieri: 56:21 Right. Or if they offer a service, you know, they shouldn’t be the only one you ask for it, but chances are if your board members are professional, I’m sure if you were on a board, you would give your services at probably a better rate than anybody else would. Well, so you know this process of going out and getting a few quotes on something, that’s great, but the purpose is to get the best value for your organization. Not to be fair to all the people out there.

Tony M: 56:45 We’re going to leave it there. She’s Sarah Olivieri, you’ll find her at, she’s at PivotGround and the company’s pivotground.com. Thank you very much.

Sarah Olivieri: 56:54 Thank you.

Tony M: 56:55 It was a great conversation. Thank you. Next week, there’s no show. The week after that, there’s no show. No show for the next two weeks. We’ll be back on January 4th I hope you enjoy the hell out of your holidays. Take time for it. Make time for yourself. Don’t just look to find it. Make time for yourself. Some quiet time over the holidays. Enjoy the hell out of it. If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you, find it on tonymartignetti.com. We’re sponsored by Pursuant, online tools for small and midsize nonprofits, data-driven and technology enabled tony.ma/Persuant. Wagner CPA’s guiding you beyond the numbers, wagnercpas.com. By Tellos, credit card and payment processing, your passive revenue stream, tony.ma/tonytellos. And by Text To Give mobile donations made easy text NPR to 444999. Our creative producer isClaire Meyerhoff. Chris Gutierrez is today’s line producer. The shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this cool music is by Scott Stein of Brooklyn. You’re with me next week for nonprofit radio, big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. Go out and be great.

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