#162 Bonus Episode: Special Training to Support Nonprofits in Honing Their Fundraising PitchJan 07, 2024
I am sure you want the nonprofit you care about to raise money effectively. In addition to creating my podcast and resources so donors like you can effectively make your money matter, I also have a training program to help nonprofits hone their pitch and attract support from donors. As a part of my nonprofit training program, I offer a free training webinar on the first Monday of every month.
Today’s podcast episode will give you a flavor for the information provided in my monthly nonprofit training webinars. I offer you a recording from one of my training sessions in this podcast episode, which had over 160 nonprofit leaders registered.
- How to craft a success statement that hooks donors right away and keeps them donating year after year.
- How to avoid the common mistakes nonprofits make when talking about their successes so you don't leave money on the table.
- How having passion for your cause inspires potential donors to care (almost) as much as you do.
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 grantmaking so that you can make a real and lasting positive contribution to the world on your terms.
Register for future free trainings: https://www.doyourgood.com/monthly-trainings
If you enjoyed this episode, listen to these as well:
Crack the Code: Sybil’s Successful Guide to Philanthropy
Become even better at what you do as Sybil teaches you the strategies and tools you’ll need to avoid mistakes and make a career out of philanthropy.
Sybil offers resources including free mini-course videos, templates, checklists, and words of advice summarized in easy to review pdfs.
Check out Sybil’s website with all the latest opportunities to learn from Sybil at https://www.doyourgood.com
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Hello everybody. Happy 2024. This is going to be a great year. I'm feeling optimistic about it despite any of the challenges. We are also going to have it this year. I'm sure it's going to be good. One for you all, OK? I hope so. Have I enjoyed season 2? I just concluded it. It snuck over a little bit into 2024. Because I must tell you the truth. I had so much fun with all the different themes I worked on last year that I added a few key bonus episodes. And I hope you enjoyed them. I am doing a special bridge episode between Season 2 and Season 3. This episode is a recording of an amazing series of exercises I'm having so much fun doing. They're getting a lot of attention from people. And it's wonderful.
My podcast is for you all. You are my audience in the donor world. You want to fund nonprofits effectively, and that's who is listening to this podcast primarily. In addition, I'm noticing that some of the nonprofits that follow me listen to this podcast. And I have a whole other part of my Do Your Good program dedicated to nonprofits.
Just so you all know, I'm supporting donors and trying to support nonprofits in honing their pitch and helping them raise more money effectively because I know that you, as a donor, care about your nonprofits. Being able to raise money, not just from you but from others as well. And I think you all know that. Then, I get pitched all the time, so I feel like I know what it takes for a nonprofit to do well in their pitch. Every first Monday of the month, I do free training for my nonprofit listeners. I am. At this point, I have over 13,000 e-mail subscribers who have self-identified as nonprofit leaders, and the registration for these trainings is wonderful. Just this last one, I had over 160 people register, and we had such a great discussion. I. was in the chat feature after I did.
In my official training, I asked people to submit their draught pitches and that kind of thing. We go back and forth. It's super rewarding for my donors, who are my clients. I also have paid resources for nonprofits. My donors, who are my clients, and All of their grantees get all of my information for free, and any nonprofit can get on this free train.
So, it's just Fabulous. I decided to do this bridge episode between Season 2 and Season 3. I decided that my podcast listeners like you all. I would like to listen to one of my training sessions just to see how it goes and what I'm doing there in that world. I have so many different things I do. I wanted to share this with you all. All right, have fun listening, and in the show notes, if you happen to listen and you're like, oh my gosh, I want to be part of this training, I'll have a link to register for all the future training I have. Monday of the month. All right. Have a listen and have a great time. And whatever you're doing today,
Today, we will talk about how to explain your success so that you hit a home run. So, to get you grounded, this is one of my real training sessions. And I want to help you learn to unlock a donor's mind. Your cause must become theirs. It's super important to me to help. You with that, and you're. On this call, because in the Zoom training, you sort of know who I am. But this is a friendly reminder: I'm civil. Work for donors and philanthropy. I've helped them give away over $45,000,000 in large and small grants. I get pitched. By nonprofits, every single day, every year, I get anywhere from 100 to 200 pitches, and I read proposals all the time I sit in on trustee meetings. And I know what it takes for you to make a pitch that hits it out of the ballpark and gets noticed. And I also, oh, it's so painful to me when I see non-profits make mistakes in their pitch, and so you end up leaving money on the table.
So today, I will talk to you about how to write your success statement and state it in a way that excites a donor. OK. So, let me summarise what you're going to learn today. First, I'm going to refresh. I will talk to you again in October about the seven elements you must include in a fundraising pitch. I talked about all seven of those at a high level, and now, for the next seven months, I'm digging deeply into each training. Into each one of those seven elements. And so today, we will dive deep into how to hook your donor up with a winning success statement. First, let's do a refresh. What are they? Overall, there are seven elements to include in a pitch, and like I told you, I did train in October and got into all seven high levels.
So, if you're interested in that and couldn't make the October training we did record, can you do it? Can you let me know? Send me an email, and we'll send that to you. If. You didn't already get it, but here's a refresh. With the seven pitch elements, what do you need to include in your pitch, either in writing or when you have somebody you know? At lunch, you want to talk. You want to have a success statement.
To have a clear problem statement that you're trying to solve. You want to explain your organization's role in a crystal-clear way. You want to. Explain how the grant that the donor is going to give you or the donation the donor is going to give you is going to leverage other dollars. They like that. You want to talk about how your work, even if it's super local, is a great example that others will copy. What you're doing is amazing because it's so amazing what you're doing. You want to explain your collaborators and have a really good budget so that when someone reads it, they're like, Oh my gosh, these. People have it together, OK? As I said, I had a high-level discussion in October. Today, we're digging deeply into success and then for. I'm digging into these seven in-depth every Monday for the next seven months.
So, in December, we're going to talk about problems. How do you define the problem? Well, and the list goes on, OK. All right here. Now, let's talk about success. This is the thing. This is the thing I want. You are to write your success statements. So that the donors, Like, Oh my. Gosh, you had me at hello.
So, let's talk about how to make this happen—first, the pro tip. Offer your success statement at the beginning of your pitch. You might say Sybil. This is so obvious, but I have to tell you, I'm really surprised at how few people do this. Do this correctly. It's almost like you assume we already know what you're doing, so you go straight into the nuts and bolts. But be sure you talk about what success means for your nonprofit.
Today, we will go through some examples of where a nonprofit did it well and where it didn't. Well, so that we can break it down. OK, here's the summary of what to include in your success statement and the order of priority number one. Make it exciting. Make your success exciting. I know you do this every day, and sometimes, as a nonprofit leader, you can get bummed out because the stuff you're trying to do is hard. But with the success statement, think a lot about why it is. You started doing what you're doing today. Why do you care about it? Make sure that that shows in your success statement. Then explain. What do you hope to achieve? What do you hope to achieve? Be clear about the scope of your worker project and demonstrate that you collaborate well with others. You should do this in one sentence with your success because the seven-pitch elements have elements. These are in them.
So you. I can expand on some of these things later. But your success Statement is the most important right up front. You want to make it exciting. You want. To explain, I hope you get what you want. Be clear about the scope of your worker project. And you want to. Demonstrate that you collaborate well with others. OK. Now, let's go on and look at an example—It's a really good pitch. And I keep all this stuff anonymous so that, you know, nobody gets called out. But even the good pitch? Maybe that's.
A good thing I can call Group out for that, but the good pitch These are direct write-ups that people have given me. OK. Ex-nonprofit partners are launching the largest market-based climate-smart forestry initiative in the Western United States. Holy moly. This thing is so darn good; it's one sentence that connects all the elements I brought up. And the key things we need to do, let's break them down. OK. So, they first say that they are former nonprofit partners. That's about Coca-Cola. Operation: They next say that they are launching the largest market base.
So you're like, Oh my gosh, this is exciting and new. If you care about the new launch of things, If you're that kind of funder, and if you're interested in creative things, partner with market solutions. That's exciting to you. That pulls out right there. Then, right after that, the nonprofit said: Climate-sparking forestry initiatives They're launching the largest market-based climate-smart forestry initiative. They're very clear about what they hope to achieve. It's a climate-smart forestry initiative, and that word makes sense. It's not an acronym. It's been said to anyone who cares about climate change. They know that there's something about forestry. Super cool.
And then they even do a great thing. Here they go in the western United States; they're defining the scope right there. In this case, they're defining the scope of their work through a geographical boundary. But you could have a project that may not have to do with geography, but it's like, let's say, you're working on—Pharmaceutical drug pricing in rural areas to make. Sure, there's access. That would be the scope of the rural community, assisting them to have affordable access to the drugs they require and saving drugs that they require, so that's also an example of scope. But I love this because it has all these elements together. OK, let's just remind you, you make it exciting, and explain what you hope. To achieve. Be clear about the scope of your work project and demonstrate that you collaborate well with others.
All right, now let's talk about the three top mistakes. To avoid that, I've seen it way too often. I don't want this to be you.
And then we're going to. Have an example of a mistake? Somebody who put something together that's a mistake. Mistake #1. You bury this success statement; you don't have it at the top. You have it... Maybe in the third paragraph, you think the Thunder will want other things initially. Don't bury it. Put it right at the top. Also, a lot of times, you can be overly complex. You have acronyms or long-running sentences. All that kind of stuff, and it's easy to get this way because you're living this every day.
So, to avoid this mistake, test your success statement with someone who doesn't know your issue well and see if they understand it. Mistake #3: You forget to include the success altogether. You get so into all the details in the nitty-gritty that you just forget to tell the funder why you're doing what you're doing in the beginning. This happens often, and you don't want that to be you. OK, let me give you an example. You can probably just tell from looking at this. Right away. This is not what you want to do, and I altered the facts in this one.
So you have no idea who this is because I changed things around. But it is based on a real-life example. This was the first paragraph of this proposal. Ex is requesting funds for a playground costing blah blah blah blah of the budget. Secure the X on the abandoned tennis court at X school, which will be 50,000 square feet for kids who ride bikes, blah blah blah. The space will include roller tunnels, pump tracks, rock gardens, and cedar totters. Additionally, they'll be green spaces. They'll feature seating areas for friends to use. Gather your artwork. Local students developed it. Now I have to. Say, this is a pretty cool I. Overall, it's like. If I cared about this work, it's it.
Oh, I can see the passion in this person right away. But I leave here not knowing, so think about it. After what I just talked to you about, what are the good things here? But what are the things here that are missing? Is this? Is this proposal leaving money on the table? Is it keeping me from being excited? Think about it. I made that statement.
They make you feel excited about their success and what they might get. Did it show you what? Their achievements were: Did you explain the scope? And did it explain the other collaborators? Like who? Else they're working with. Very well. Or did it bury this success? Was it overly complex, or did it fail to include the success statement altogether? Think about that. Think about what? What that. What are the mistakes? Avoid, and that example is so here. No, what not to do?
There are some pieces. Here, you might want to pull out. But it's very long. There are many sentences if you leave, not knowing where you want to be. And here's yes, good pitch: ex-nonprofit partners are launching the largest market-based climate-smart forestry initiative in the Western United States. I can't wait to read the rest of that. And if someone came up to me and talked to me about this, I also wouldn't. Be able to. Hold back on hearing more about what they're doing. OK, I just want to remind you of the seven-pitch elements.
We dug into this for success today, and we will keep going. We will talk about them and answer any questions you might have. But if you want to register for any of the other free first Monday of the month training, you can click on this QR code, and it goes straight to the Zoom registration, and you'll see that the problem statement and the problem conversation will be in December. How did you define your lobby in January? Right. How you leverage will be in February, how you scale will be in March, how you talk about your collaborators well will be in April, and how you offer an amazing budget that's crystal clear in May.
So, let me just tell you quickly about this pitch-perfect mastery package. If you want to dig in even more deeply with me, you can purchase this package, and this is the kind of thing that you get. Here is this package. I have a B-Reel course with four mini-videos, templates, and information about how to think through identifying the kind of donor you're talking to and being empathetic to that donor. Get an email that gets opened and read by the donors you care about. That's this kind of thing here.
Then, I have an e-book where I have compiled my 20 years of experience into 23 comprehensive tips to succeed on key actionable items around fundraising. I also have monthly templates and resources that I load every month. As I'm getting pitched, I'm like, Oh, I think people might need to know this because I see some mistakes. I feel like you might. I need to have help with it, and that's valued. About 29 a year.
The monthly pitch trainings are always there. Part of I I just want to remind you that I have that. Also, as part of the package, I will look specifically at your pitch. And give you a developmental edit of those pictures. I have lots of fun doing that. I love that because I can then help you think through it. Ohh no.
And you're making this mistake. Please don't do it. I look specifically at yours. And if you want a one-on-one deep dive, you can do that too. These are all the values of this. It's valued at about $1600. But you can get the whole package. 899 If you sign up now and in the next month. If you want individual things, like if you saw in there, there are some individual pieces. You can look at this QR code, and it's on the website. There are individual things that are much less expensive. You can also like eBooks and that kind of thing where you can pull out my video series. If you want To take a little, put your finger in the Water there. Figure it out.
And I just want to remind you that, like Natalie, who's taking my course? He said in one week, she was able to raise £10,000 using the new skills that I helped teachers, so it made me feel so good, and it's the reason I continue to do this on and on. OK, everybody, I will do a poll to ask you who. To ask to find out more about who you are here so that I can be sure that as I'm tailoring these free trainings and all of my other work that I'm supporting you, my nonprofit friend, then we're going to get into some questions. And I see Cheryl already has one.
So that's wonderful. Thank you, Cheryl. I will go into the bowl; this is the first time I've done an official. Also, hopefully, it will work; it's just four questions that ask you more about them—the kind of nonprofit you serve. The organization is the role that you have in your organization, and you don't have to fill it out, but it will help me quite a bit because, as I said, I can make sure that the training I do in the future focus on the kind of person you are and what you're working on. So please, if you can fill out this poll for me, we'll look at it. I'm answering questions.
So, the poll is live now, and I'm watching some of those. I'm hoping for a good answer. All right, Amanda, you can help me too. Let's make sure we're answering questions. Yes, I see. Cheryl. Thanks, Amanda. I see. I'll start with Cheryl first, but you've been tracking. So. So let me know. I'll. Start with her because I see.
Yes, we only got chills so far. So she's the first one to be great enough to ask something.
Cool, cool, cool. And then, if people don't ask questions, I'll start asking questions. I think people might.
I don't know if you have to have me do that.
Sure. Yeah. Alright. So, Cheryl, thank you so much for asking. Do you recommend the same format for grant writing and general donation plea posts on social media and e-mail. Cheryl, I like this question and am glad you asked it. I want to answer. It has two parts—part one. If you're thinking about a success statement, that's the kind of thing. That we did today should be a short, punchy sentence. The success statement should be able to Plug and play. For your social media. Or the top of any. Grant writing materials and everything else. OK, so for this particular training, I think this can be helpful for you in all of those formats.
And it's the same format. However, I want to talk about a second point. If you're thinking about making sure you're incorporating all seven elements in your pitch. In grant writing. You can have much more detail when someone asks you for a proposal. OK, so you can put in something other than the success statement, and you'll know if you stick. If you stick with me and stay through the deep, detailed training for all seven elements, I will suggest that some of the other pieces of the seven elements, like leverage and scale, aren't going to be one sentence. And as punchy in the one-sentence arena, it'll be more of an analysis on how you can explain how you want to leverage your dollars, for example, OK. So, With Grant's writing, you will get much more in for all seven elements.
Depth, but then, Hopefully, my training will help you think through how to pull out one or two keywords and sentences. From a conversation, for example, around leveraging the grant or other things to put on social media. And other things because the social media work and the website, and if you want to put it on your website, it gets much simpler and at a much higher level because you want to engage someone to then click on the link or to call you up and ask you for A meeting. OK. And then I have another sub-note, Cheryl; this is so fun, I love it—questions you have about going Too long in. Anyone, but there's another subnet in my B-real video series, which I pull out, and I discuss how you write an email to someone so they'll open it.
And your question has just made me think about it because. With a personalized e-mail, you're using all of these same seven elements, but you're trying to make sure it's sort of in between the grant writing and the social media piece you want to be sure that you personalize. It is to that. You're slightly more detailed than on social media, but you won't get into it. Of a three-, four-, or five-page full proposal, or else you'll lose them at hello, and I'm telling you this because that's what happens to me. I'll either get too high-level in an email or just hit delete. Or I'll get to. Detailed, and I'm like, Oh my gosh, this thing I I can't even track it. It's too much. So in all of these trainings, for the next seven months, this is why I like questions asked. I will think a lot about how to sort of scale those messages and help you think about what these messages can be for the different contexts we're discussing.
So thank you, Cheryl, and hold me to the task. If I don't do it well enough, I'll ensure we discuss it more.
OK, we have another question from David, who wants to know if you can share a great pitch statement you may have from start to finish. So, I know you did share at 1:00 during the presentation. So, do you have any other examples of what would make a good statement about success?
Oh my gosh, I love this question. I have many, and I'm reviewing one of my clients' proposals. When I say docket, I'm reviewing about 30 proposals and going through this right now. And I feel sort of bad, though, that I don't have them right. Up here, what I'm going to do after this training is put together a few others, like four or five additional quotes with good pitches, and I'll send those out as is right after this because I was just looking. A whole bunch is going. At that one, it kicked it out of the park. That one did great.
So I'll do that for you, David, and send it to the rest. Amanda, you can help me. I'm guessing because we'll do a follow-up email with this training recording if we can. Be sure to.
Do that. Yep, we can include the examples along with the recording, all the same.
E-mail. Yeah. Yeah, that's wonderful. Everybody asks for this kind of stuff because it will be really helpful. OK, so I see that you.
Go, you go, Amanda.
Sorry, we don't have another question yet. So, is there anything we have for you?
We do. We do. Rhonda sent this one to the Q&A. So we're looking at chats and Q&A. And this. Is awesome. So Rhonda.
Oh yeah, that's. There we go.
No, she simply did it. So, Rhonda, do you have a suggestion for someone looking for financial support for the vision? What? I'm at Ground Zero, establishing a nonprofit. I just have the vision, not the provision. This is a great question, Rhonda, because, actually, some of my clients. Support organizations that are just starting. OK, so I'm going to start answering. This is with a Story, and then I will get into specifically trying to answer your question. I was on a Zoom call with a wonderful individual, and she was the first person she'd ever pitched to try to get. The donation. Because of her organization.
Last started, and I work for these specific donors for this client. They want me to seek them out. Smaller nonprofits that are just starting up like they like helping with smaller grants, So it's a perfect fit. And my heart went out to her because she's who she was. The greatest thing she did was sit down, and she's like, start giving me her pitch. And then she said, I took a deep breath, and she's Like Sybil, I'm nervous. I just.
This is my fear. It's the first time I've ever talked to.
Someone was raising money for this, and she cared so much about the issue it was about. She was trying to get a native seed bank for habitat restoration on range land and working with all these interesting people. Is she amazing? And so, that's the first thing I want to say. Rhonda, if you're just starting at Ground Zero and don't feel 100% yet with all the key pieces in order. There are donors out there who want to support you and be genuine about it. It's fine. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good here. So that's the first thing. So I'm glad you're
So I'm just going to. Throw a quick follow-up to Ronda’s; I wondered if you're just starting. What should you do with the success statement? Because you don't have success yet to share, what do you say instead to get funders and donors excited?
Thanks, Amit. I love that question. That's a good point. So, if you're thinking about this and just starting, you don't need to worry about it. Usually, folks I've seen starting new nonprofits aren't starting them from scratch. You're probably an expert in that field, or you have a family member who's experienced a situation you want to rectify through a nonprofit or a friend. Some folks I've interviewed and talked with have gotten into the nonprofit space because of a loved one. It has experienced a challenge that they then want to create. A nonprofit is around. But most likely, you're Leaning into this cause you care about because you have experience with the issue.
And so I want to do a friendly pushback and say, Yeah, maybe your nonprofit hasn't existed for 10/20/30 years. But you're in it to win it, you are, oh. My God, that's a funny thing. I shouldn't. Say it like that: you're. To succeed, And so you still can. Create a success statement. You use. as your North Star to make it work. So, Rhonda, don't let that stop. Stop you there. Thank you, Amanda, for that question because I would challenge you all to be still able to create a success statement even if you don't have that many years behind you.
Awesome. So we have lots of questions coming in now. I'm going to. Go with the
One related to what you were just talking about, and for everyone else asked, we'll come to you. in a few minutes. So, how do you make the pitch success statement if you have an established project you are trying to sustain or build somehow?
Oh, these are great questions. OK, you have this. Is this true? I would argue that this makes your job pretty easy. If you have an established project, I'm also going to do a little story about this, too, but for someone to just say out loud, if you have an established project, You can sit back and look at the established project you've accomplished and succeeded at.
And if you are somebody who's a go-getter, which you are because you work in the nonprofit world, you care about the world and making a difference. Then, you look at what you have successfully got but look forward to the gap you still feel. This needs to be achieved in the future. OK, your success statement can say something like After years of succeeding at X issue.
We've accomplished so much, but we see a need to be able to take it to the next level. And then, you'll see when you come. In my future training, I will. Talk about scale. That's when you lead into the next sentence. Here's how we will scale our work and fill that gap. And here's how we're going to leverage additional dollars.
So it's great if you have a past track record of success; you can use that to launch your goal for future success. Let me use an example. One of my clients is one of the philanthropic organizations I work with. With the trustees. I adore working with them. I have been working with them for over eight years. They were very interested. Climate change and healthy habitat work. And when we first started, they said we cared generally about those two issues. And so I went out. I spoke with as many non-profits as possible. I could. And I already know these issues pretty well because it is an area of expertise for me. And I worked in the nonprofit sector in this To.
So I went out, talked to everybody, and got as much information as possible from them. And then the first couple of years. I said, Let's do a broad grant-making for many different organizations. And see what successes they're able to have. Please learn how they can do it, and then after year 2. I worked with those nonprofits, and they could do so even once they looked at the past two. Years at all. The things they've achieved and then the things they may not have been able to achieve, but the learnings from that also don't Be shy. It's OK. If you don't succeed at everything, that's OK. We were able to continue to hone the success statement. For the future with them. In partnership with the trustees, who cared? About doing this. And so that's a way we were looking back at the successes, and then we were talking about what worked, and then the nonprofits could articulate a narrative for me of what could work in the future. Then, they continued to get funding but were even more focused on those successes.
And so that's just a real-life example of how nonprofits work with these kinds of donors. I worked with people who could succeed both in the past and the future from their learnings. OK, great. Thanks, Rhonda. Thanks for saying so. I love the advice; it means a lot to me. I want to help. Out. Amanda, you've been tracking some of the questions. I see Sydney has one, but I haven't looked yet.
Let's do one from the chat, and we'll come. Back to Sydney. After. OK, because this is more related to what you were just talking about, someone asks how and where they can contact possible donors. So like, where do they find funders to help them with funding? In their case, they are a health organization located in Mexico, but they receive Lunch from around the world.
Oh, my God.
limited to just local donors who are good with Anyone.
You all have wonderful questions here. So, I did some training on this a while ago. I'll also have to dig out the recording on this, Amanda. But there are a lot of ways to do this. And so, as I said, it does require an entire training program. Yeah. Let me give it to you. There are some high-level things to think about. Right now. First, I don't think about nonprofits; I always think about the top level, so I want to bring this up. There are. There are a lot of Thunder collaborations, so colleagues and funders network together, and they create their sort of networking organization. For example, the Environmental Grant Makers Association and Biodiversity Funder Group are in the environmental funder space. A lot of those collaborations have websites. And then they list their members.
Now, I want to be careful here. They list their members, but it doesn't. It means that you should go calling all. Of those groups because of that. That's it; they're sensitive. There are sensitive topics there, but what can that be? Do you? Can we say? You're a person who's working in the environmental space. You find that kind of organization online that's a funder network. You can see the members. Then what can you do? If the private Family Foundation is official in the United States, you can look up their nine 90s, which are all public, and list the grants they Yep.
And then you can reduce it like the general, just like let me do a general search. You know these funders care enough to network with other funders about an issue you might be funding. And that's a good hint that it's a good use of your time to look at their nine '90s. You can find their nine 90s. on the Internal Revenue Service site or through GuideStar. And like I said, I do have training on some of this, so we should be sure that we follow up so that people can get that training as well. Sorry, there are a lot of other ways too. Should I stop there, though, Amanda? Because there's so.
Go ahead. Go ahead. Now. Keep going. I thought you were done.
There are many other questions.
But I'm going to say keep going.
Another way to Reach out and find donors is to remember that. Your current supporters are People who might be giving you funds. They are your best advocates. They can fundraise for you, and if you're fundraising sort of donor to donor and they love the work, they can be very helpful. And so, don't forget to ask your donors to support you.
What you can also do is even have a very specific event just for donors that donors may host. Your favorite supporters might host that and have a nice dinner or Zoom. To talk about it. There are other pieces, too, but those are the top two. Sometimes, I've noticed Folks forget, so the two things you sometimes forget to do, OK, let's keep going. Let's do it. I have more. The questions are all right.
Let's go to Sydney's question. Thank you for your patience, Sydney. So this will be a bit of a different topic, so let's see if you have anything about this. Do you have any suggestions or templates about us starting a multiracial church?
Sidney, what a great question. That's very specific in terms of a multiracial church. I think we should e-mail each other so I can flesh out the templates you may have. So we have my needs. I do have a lot of different templates to help with budgets. How do you do a clear budget and help with a clear success statement? Or is there a sort of plug-and-play to help you with your seven elements?
And so I feel like all of those pieces apply to what you're talking about with your multiracial church. I feel like Those things can link in. And I want to be sure that if there's anything additional you feel you might need once you look through some of those templates, let me know. I hope I feel like I want to talk to Sydney a little bit more offline, so maybe she can e-mail me because I want to be sure that I'm answering your question more. After all, I have all those templates, but I do feel like there might be something more we might want to do. Together, and can you put?
It sounds good, so she needs it.
My e-mail, Amanda, was what I wanted. Maybe I can just do it here. I'll put my email here so folks can e-mail me follow-ups, too.
Also, if you want to e-mail a follow-up, you would have gotten an email with a link to get into this webinar; you can just hit reply. On that note, it should go to sleep as well.
Yeah, Cindy, that requires me. We should e-mail each other because I want to be sure there's more there. Good. She gave a +1 thumbs up. OK, good. Have you been tracking the chats and the questions? Valerie has an I have a question in the Q&A, and I have a chat, so let's make it. Sure, we answer everything. Amanda, let me know who I should talk to next.
OK, let's go. Salary. So, Valerie explains the background of her question. And she's been having a hard time with competition from other nonprofits. So, usually, you expect nonprofits to work together on the same problem because they all care about the same problem. She's been having some problems with some of them not doing that and just trying to take advantage. So she's asking, like, what's going on? And shouldn't we be working together?
Oh, this is a really important question. I will start with a story and discuss how we can find solutions for you, Valerie. I don't think you're alone. When I was in the nonprofit world, I worked for a smaller nonprofit before I worked for a foundation.
So, I worked for a small nonprofit, and I was fundraising. And I then got a job working for a different nonprofit. And as part of that, I looked through the files. And when I was looking through the files, I saw a proposal for funding for a project that I had led and done at my previous job.
So I was really happy because they successfully got the money, and I moved over to that job later. But I was like, hmm, I happen to know that this group did not do as much as I did, yet they used everything I did. I always keep that with me. Right. So I keep that with me, and so on. So, actually, on my website, I have bifurcated it. I have a donor side of my website, Thunder, and A nonprofit side. On the donor side, I created a training program for four donors to fund Collaborations well. So that you don't act inadvertently, causing some of the tensions you're talking about, Valerie, and that's all coming from. The story I'm telling you about is not just that story; there are plenty of others.
- So you're not alone. But here's the thing: Let's talk about solutions first. OK, then. Now, let's talk about solutions. First, you 100% need to forge independent relationships with your donors so that it doesn't matter what the other nonprofit is doing. That's the first thing I'm really glad you're in my training: I want you to have the power to have good, independent relationships. You probably already do, and you're probably being civil. I do have independence. Relationships, but the This is just justifying how you need to have your Own the other word of warning. Have thought is. If this nonprofit and its leader also have really strong relationships with those donors, what you don't want to do is harm the donor.
I don't think he would anyway, but that won't help you any. But what you want to do is lean into a success statement and make sure that you're doubling down on getting independent relationships with the donors because the reality is that I'm a person. Like I said before, I get pitched all the time. And I'll often get pitched by 5,6,7,8,9 nonprofit leaders working on the same issue. And they all have slightly different Take it on. They don't all agree, but the best situation is when they're not focusing on the other person. They're just sort of explaining their success. Statement, their vision, and their theory of Change, and then I, as the Thunder, can fit it all together. It could be like, OK, that person's funding, and now this person. That didn't work well with you. It's it could be. The donor and the funders are likely doing their job. They're seeing right through it. It's just that you might not see that because they're not going. To say it directly out loud.
So, let's work together on helping you hone your success statement and good relationships with your donors so that this person and organization don't have—that kind of power. And let's see; I want to make sure that I'm addressing All parts of That question because it's important and one of the reasons. I decided to use this time to create.
Yeah. Valerie is in a different situation because she's a nonprofit, but she's running an e-commerce store that helps people in that country and not in America. I guess they want to start their own business or sell their wares. So, I'm not sure if she has donors directly or if it's more.
No, it looks like she does have it. It still isn't. It looks like it's a combo nonprofit. Yeah, because you can do e-commerce within a nonprofit or for-profit, but it looks like this is something she's given a little thumbs up. I appreciate that. Amanda. Thanks for checking in. I want to be sure. Let's see. Oh, let's see. Kathy is leaning into Valerie's comment. Can we do that, or am I missing something?
Now, we can talk about that for a minute. So we have a comment from Kathy and Cheryl, who are in similar situations to Valerie, where other nonprofits are not being quite friendly with them and not necessarily working. Well, with them. Yeah. So. It's so.
This isn't different, and Kathy's bringing up something. Amanda, I appreciate that she's brought up something that's added nuance to what Valerie talked about. And this shows you're not alone, Kathy. This is a big deal, too. And to the credit of many donors, they're seeing this problem, which is With which is This is how I'm reading it. Kathy, you're busy. You have your heads down. You're working in your country. You know your community. You know your people, and you know your community.
You know what they need, And then there's either a larger nonprofit NGO or someone who's not directly connected but maybe has more reach In the funding community. And they can get very large grants, and then they start just coming into your community without adequately talking to you about what's needed and also sort of going over the top of you. And this is a really common challenge, Kathy. And there's a really interesting movement in the United States. But also, it's gone out to like these. This Earth Fund is trying to, and Mackenzie Scott says they're all trying to attend to this. And my colleague at Brooke is also thinking a lot about this.
They're trying some creative strategies. This is sort of new, so you're probably not feeling it yet as much on the ground where these foundations are now. We say we want to fund the smaller local grassroots organizations, and maybe these are larger, not larger, foundations, but they're funding regranting organizations that focus on the smaller organizations. Or focus on it; it doesn't even need to be smaller. Focus on organizations that might be larger but that are directly connected to the country at issue. As it has been identified in the last couple of years, Kathy, this is a real problem, I'm sure. Are you still feeling it? I think, though, that it's a good movement where they're trying to break out of that, and it's something that I spend a lot of time on being someone that I work with, donors that like to fund the smaller grassroots groups that are very much in the community.
So, we need to identify this as a challenge. I think what you can also do—let me just say another thing—all of you might be thinking about this. I don't think Cathy's alone; I'm just saying it's in her country. I think that what you can also do is Sometimes what I've noticed is that larger NGOs or larger funders It's sort of accidental. It's not purposeful. They're getting excited about what they want. To do, and they're moving into the space. Sometimes, it also just takes literally sending an email, writing a letter, talking to someone; maybe you have a donor in your space who could reach that person. Please don't assume that they are. They know already, so be proactive here. Reach out.
There's a movement with trust-based philanthropy and many other conversations around this that I think you could find receptive if you made sure you leaned in. And I'd love to hear more about your story, Kathy. And like I said, I put my email in the chat. If you want, talk to me more. Let's keep Going over more questions. It is a lot of fun.
Hence, we have one. Anna, do you think foundations are becoming more partial to funding coalitions and collaborations among nonprofits working on the same issue?
Absolutely. So, I think two things are going on here. One is that funders themselves are forming funder collaborations. More and more often, I did a series of interviews with some institutions that are starting to work with these funder collaborations. Because there, they're on the rise. This, and so that's the first thing.
So, the funders are collaborating more and are also interested in funding collaborations more. Now, when discussing budgets in my 7-part series here, I'm working on a tricky piece because we need to consider how you present your collaboration regarding budget and narrative. You don't always have to force everyone.
All of you nonprofits don't have to be all under one roof and have one proposal. You can have separate ones as long as you're talking together, but it's always good to have a budget. That's a collaboration—budget in addition to your side budget or your project budget for your group. And we can get into that more during the budget discussion. But yes, the short answer to your question, Anna, is yes; they are becoming more partial to that.
And I'd just like to add that one of Sybil's upcoming free trainings, like the one we have today, is actually on collaboration. So if you make sure to come back for that, you'll get some more—information on how that works.
Yes, digging deep into that is important and can be tricky. Oh my gosh, there are so many things that can be challenging. It and I've lived. There are a lot of them. So. So, I will take a few minutes before we just look at what, how, and what people answered in the poll. OK, so it looks like we have a lot of executive directors or chief operating officers on this call, which is fabulous—about 58% of the folks on the call today, and that's great. Because, of course, you are the buck stops with you.
So that's key. We also have about 26% of the folks who are program or development officers, and that's those. I'm glad to know that because program and development officers have a slightly different role than the Ed and Chief Operating Officer and how you interact with funders and donors. Sometimes, folks don't always know or understand those roles, and sometimes, it can end up causing more harm—problems, so I Should Mull on. And think about how to discuss, you know, the different roles and how to approach funders, board members, volunteers, etc. We have ten people who are board members, volunteers of organizations, or consultants. I love you, consultants. I'm a consultant, too, so that's great. And then there were some other folks. And let's see all the different issues you're working on: child welfare, climate change, and child welfare (22%). So that's a lot. That's great for climate change issues, democracy issues, 9% education, 42% environment, 31% food security, 15% healthcare, 16% Indigenous communities, 27% religion, and 15% social. This is awesome. And then we have many folks saying other things, too.
So I want to be sure we're pressing that out, too, but this is good for me to know because I hope to learn some examples. Do you know how I'm looking at examples that might focus on some of the things many of you guys are listening to? And it looks like I have quite a lot. 75% of. You are smaller, uh, nonprofits less than $1,000,000. And so that's good to know because I want to support you and help you build. I'm sure you have ambitions to go even bigger, maybe, and also to focus on being successful at that. What do you have? I also have quite a few folks from the $4 million mark.
So I'm going to make sure that I have those conversations, but some folks still have organizations with 10 million or more, or 5 to 9,000,005 to 9 million, and the training that I have, I think, can help you too. Even though many of the larger, smaller organizations have some of these things down, it's surprising. Sometimes, it's nice to step back and say, "OK, let me ensure my organization has some of those success statements that work."
So I'm so glad you joined me too. Wonderful. Wonderful. This has just been a pleasure. It was just such a pleasure. I am loving this. It was an experiment to see if this was something people wanted. And it looks like it is. So, I will continue to do this and try to keep honing my work. You saw my e-mail in the chat. Please keep in touch, and I'll also see you next month. We're going to talk about the problem you want to solve. Thank you. Have a wonderful rest of your day, everybody.