#103 Behind the Scenes Brainstorming Dialogue about Effective Giving Strategies for Season 2 , With Sybil Ackerman-Munson and her husband Fred Ackerman-Munson Part 2 of 4

Nov 14, 2022

Powered by Podetize

Sybil is once again joined by her husband for the second in a four-part series. Sybil and Fred continue to look into topics that are important to discuss in the philanthropic world. 


Episode Highlights:

  • Different types of donors that sustainers, campaigners, and launcher idea
  • Why a trend is important to consider but is not necessarily the only answer to effective giving 


Sybil Ackerman-Munson Bio:

With over 20 years of experience as a nonprofit professional and foundation advisor, I work with philanthropic institutions and foundations interested in successful, high-impact grant making, so you can make a true and lasting positive contribution to the world on your terms.


If you enjoyed this episode, listen to these as well:

#73 Sybil Speaks: It Takes Time to Make a Difference

#71 Sybil Speaks: When and How to Engage Expert Advisors

#69 Tips to Support a Nonprofit in Pursuit of Best Practices with Patton McDowell, Founder, PMA Consulting


Crack the Code: Sybil’s Successful Guide to Philanthropy

Become even better at what you do as Sybil teaches you the strategies as well as the tools, you’ll need to avoid mistakes and make a career out of philanthropy through my new course, Crack the Code!


In this new course, you’ll gain access to beautifully animated and filmed engaging videos, and many more! 


 Connect with Do Your Good


Would you like to talk with Sybil directly?

Send in your inquiries through her website www.doyourgood.com, or you can email her directly at [email protected]!

Full Transcript

Hello everybody, I am pleased to offer you a clip yet again from the discussion that my husband and I are having because we're developing our idea to focus on in 2023 and also in December 2022, to focus on key themes in philanthropy every single month. 

And I've already talked to you about what the details are there. If you're a loyal listener of mine, you'll have heard my introduction to season two. And then the first episode of Season 2, which is technically episode two of season two, was last week's episode where I talked to you about why I'm doing all this stuff and why I decided to focus on trends and philanthropy more systematically for the upcoming year. I'm excited about it, and I'm roping my husband into it. 

Just like I said before, to set us up I've been having wonderful conversations with my husband about what we might want to lean into and talk about more, and I thought you'd enjoy just our rough, raggedy-edged conversations around this as we developed the ideas. 

So, here's another little clip. Like I said before, our conversation. Without further ado, I'd love you to listen. And check in with me by DM me on the handle Do Your Good on Instagram because if you have ideas of things, you think my husband and I should cover next year around philanthropy, DM me on the handle. key questions Please DM me. Let me know. Alrighty, without further ado, here's the clip. 


So, what I'd love to talk about for one of the episodes is the different types of donors that sustainers, campaigners, and launcher ideas. But talk about it in a much more systematic way. Like, why do I see that there are three different types of donors? And why is it important? Even to understand that because there's a whole fundamental piece there that I think is important. Because the reason I do it is that I feel like there are these trends in philanthropy. Oh, that's another topic too, which is just trends in philanthropy.

Oh yeah, OK, yeah, that's right Yeah, yeah.

We should talk about that, but this is one answer to a trend where I've heard recently that the only way to give is to essentially give year-after-year grants, not ask a lot of questions.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Make it simple. I love that and it's a great idea, but I also think there are other ways to give that are also impactful and important. And so, I want to talk about the sustainer, campaigner, and launcher. And then I also want to talk about these trends in philanthropy where people say, "Oh, here's one way that's the right way to give. We've just discovered this new way, and it's like you and I've been around long enough that you're like 15 of those things.

Well, it's Yeah, that's OK.

So, OK, I'm going to write. Write these things down while you're

Wait a minute. So, Note trends in philanthropy. Write that one down.

And here's a little break for some ads, but don't. Go away; I'll be right back.


Ad Break


And then I, and then I.

I'm ready. You can keep talking.

I love the sustainer campaigner launcher thing that you have developed. And the other thing, I just want to make sure that we add to that. is that you can be two or three of those too. They can be appropriate for different situations… situations and different people, and I mean, in.


In a way, that's sort of like

It's really important.

I'm all for the work that I do. For it, yeah.

And like the family, I work with one family I'm working with. They are the standard funders year after year to certain grantees, and then they have me run what they call a campaign fund that goes over the top of that to support the groups in key areas that they're trying to work on. 

So yeah, and also that's the one thing, like in my training, I try to make it a little bit shorter. Yeah, so let's talk. Let's have that on. The list and let's also talk about these trends in philanthropy, because oh my gosh, they're driving me nuts. 

Oh my God, how many? She'd list them just for fun, I mean.

And they swing back and forth. I mean, and they spend on things, one of them. I mean, it's like everybody.

Yes, Spenddown 

And they all act like people come in, they act. All of a sudden, they're like…

OK, should we? List them, just like a common grant application.

OK, wait a minute.

Am I putting my trends, OK? And when we list them, though, to be clear, I don't think we're poopooing any of them. It's just that the thing that's annoying to me is that every time they come up, people act like it's the only way. It's the thing to do. It's like a thing that has to happen.

Yeah, yeah.

OK, go. Keep going.

Yeah, so common grant applications.

Can you tell me what the trends are? I'm writing while you're speaking.

OK, so you already did spend-down, right?

And we might want to make it special. Such as actual in-depth topics about the common apps and what that entails, and so on.

Yeah, yeah.

But we should also have an overview conversation about trends and how to beware of the person who says there's like the one thing that's going to work. It's a mix of all Yeah, so, and here's my second very short break for some ads, but stay tuned, we'll be right back after the ad. 


Ad Break


So, the thing we should talk about, is that's a trend right now that is interesting to me because people are rearranging their grants and making programs to have grantees make the decisions over where grants should go. 

And it's a shift. It's not always happening, but it's like a trend. What it's like the grantees in the community are the ones talking about where any things need to go, and there's good and bad about that. Should we, you know, I want to have a whole episode on Just you know, grants, grantee-based decision-making around giving out grants but it's also a trend, like a lot of folks are saying, "Well, we can't make any of the decisions. We can't make any of these strategic decisions. We need to completely rely on the grantees for those decisions, and so that's something to unpack. I think in the future, I'm going to put that on the list.

OK, yeah, you've got more experience than you do. I work with grantees and then given funds or whatever, then they get to decide what to use, but this sounds like something much bigger.

Oh yeah, yeah, no. So, there are two clients I'm working with right now. It's so interesting, and again, when we're talking trends, I think all these trends are really important. And like, the point that I want to make is that that's just part of our thing, and we should have an episode on how trends are important because they bring into the conversation. But they get dangerous and problematic, and they can be dangerous because they get problematic and dangerous when people start pushing them as the only answer, right? 

But they're all important, and so one thing that I think is an important piece of this is this structure where it's focusing on grantees making the ultimate decisions about where the money is going. They're on the committee that's deciding the final piece. And there are so many… As I said, I have two clients right now who are doing this model is a trend that's moving forward, but I don't think it's a model that will work for everybody. It depends on the goals, and that depends on where they're going, in these two situations my experience is that there's really good stuff there, and there's challenging stuff too. So, I think we should talk about it as a trend and then we should also, like, actually have an episode about it.

I feel like the whole conversation is about trends.

Yeah, it's bringing us into Things we want to dig deeper into, yeah?

Well, yeah and I don't know. I haven't thought about it enough to say this. This is my opinion for sure, but it feels like you and I are in the same place in our history, in philanthropy, and that we've seen so many trends that come at you like this is the way.


Hey everybody, so I hope you had fun listening to that clip of our conversation, and I'm going to offer you two more episodes with similar content. And then we're going to start getting into it. We're going to talk about all these different trends and we're going to list even more than what you hear about in these little clips. 

Anyway, again, I thought you'd have fun listening to our conversation because I always have fun talking to my husband about this stuff, even though it can be hard and challenging to think through some of these keys, okay, and just a friendly reminder DM me at the handle Do your good on Instagram if you have any of your ideas you'd like Fred and me to discuss for the upcoming year, and just do well and do good. in the world. Oh my gosh, I just got my little slogan wrong. Be well and do good in the world. 

Alrighty. I'll talk to y'all soon.