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Social Good Instigators Podcast

Looking for inspiration and encouragement geared towards leaders of social good organizations? Join your host Kirsten Bullock on the Social Good Instigators Podcast to hear about what's working. You'll be learning from other leaders who will provide helpful tips related to social entrepreneurship, growing successful organizations and more. Leaders will be sharing about ways they helped their organizations excel (as well as things that didn't work out so well). Formerly known as the Nonprofit Leaders Network Podcast.
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Now displaying: February, 2016
Feb 29, 2016

Matt McIntyre is our guest for this episode of the Nonprofit Leaders Network to discuss Nonprofits and the digital space that is social media.

Matt is co-founder and executive director of Brackets For Good, an Indianapolis, Indiana based 501(c)3 charitable organization focused on activating new donors and increasing awareness for other nonprofit organizations through competitive, online fundraising at no cost.

 

Brackets For Good is a online fundraising tournament where local nonprofits compete against one another to out fundraise each other, advance through a bracket style tournament, so they’re competing head-to-head round by round. They advance in this tournament, they’re gaining more dollars, more awareness, new donors, and the winning organization will have a chance to receive a $10,000 grand prize from a very generous corporate sponsor.


He is a Butler University graduate with a successful background in software marketing and previous experience in co-founding a nonprofit school for computer programing Eleven Fifty and marketing consulting company Sixty100.

Following are some of the key points from our discussion:


Social Media: A Leadership Opportunity


Almost always within nonprofits social media defaults to being the intern or volunteer task. Why should this be the case? Through digital platforms you are broadcasting a message to many people about your organization that you care so much about; but you are not really taking responsibility for and ownership of that strategy by simply delegating it. They don’t have as much experience of your organization, the good it’s doing and in telling its story, in telling your story. Find a way to spend time learning this new tool that is going to better the organization longer term. It is an amazing opportunity to tell your story to people who want to hear it. You’ve got to tell them the story and make sure they understand it. Own your organizations social media voice.


Crossing the Nonprofit Digital Divide: Just Take a Single Step


The digital world can seem a complicated and difficult space to operate in, which may in part explain why there is such a large number of nonprofits NOT engaged with it at all, or only in a very limited capacity. But really, you just need to start somewhere, anywhere, and doesn’t need to be a big action. I encourage organizations to see what tools they already have available to them, tools that are truly accessible. It could be as simple as making better use of your website or as simple as an email. Could you start a standard email newsletter to better engage with your board, or your volunteers, or your beneficiaries? What does it look like for you to start doing something today that can be a good stepping stone?


Don’t Be the Best Kept Secret Anymore: It’s Your Choice


We all know the old hat marketing terminology “Invest in Your Brand” right? In todays world nonprofits really should consider this in relation to digital development in the same was as they do flyers, traditional fundraisers and volunteer drives. When it comes to nonprofits operating in the digital space people gravitate to, discover, and learn more about something that they can relate to, access easily and that really appeals to them. So, when I say invest in your brand, I mean both raise your awareness and your outward communication, and social media is a great place to do that and reach a really wide audience with minimal effort and cost. So just don’t hesitate. Don’t be the best kept secret anymore.


Find more information on the podcast at www.SocialGoodInstigators.com.

Feb 15, 2016

In this episode of of the Nonprofit Leaders podcast we are delighted to welcome Whitney Bishop who, for over 20 years, has been an engaging facilitator, informative trainer and inspirational communicator for higher education, business and non-profit organizations in Kentucky.

A change agent for both for-profit and non-profit enterprises, Whitney has a long history of serving people in various people development roles for organizations and companies. These have included the University of Louisville, Louisville Metro Government, Dress for Success Tampa, and Brown-Forman

She has crafted and conducted training seminars in a wide variety of related skill areas, such as communication, customer service, career development, change management, creative problem solving, decision making, personal accountability, strategic planning and having FUN at work. Whitney’s participant centered approach to training & facilitation puts her clients, students and participants at ease, enabling them to take full advantage of her extensive experience in the non-profit sector.

You can listen and enjoy the full discussion with Whitney in our podcast. And here are some of the highlights.

Create Permission to talk About Accountability

...it became clear that one of the key elements to a successful relationship between myself and my board was getting clear about the expectations. Then, learning how to hold each-other accountable for those expectations in a way that was respectful, that was effective, and that moved the mission forward. Learning how to create permission and have those conversations, and set up our meetings in such a way that allowed us to deal with the expectations and discuss what ACTUALLY happened up front made the biggest difference, I think, in our ability to communicate more openly and more effectively.

Trust and Accountability Go Hand in Hand

When you have people who struggle with dealing with conflict or struggle with change, you can also see that they struggle with the accountability piece. So, sometimes it went well, sometimes it didn't go well. What we tried to do was create permission in a culture that allowed us to have difficult conversations, to call a time-out and say, "I'm sensing some tension, let's have a conversation about what's happening here." Accountability is very closely related to trust. Making sure that you are continuing to build a culture that fosters trust makes it a little bit easier to get that mutual accountability that's so effective.

Sometimes it’s about Slowing Down to Speed Up

I really believe in taking, and investing, the time that you need into creating that cultural piece. It's a slow down to speed up, if you will. Sometimes you do need to really prepare, and plan, and slow things down so that along the way you can move more quickly. Every time that we ended up having these conversations, the more and more we practiced holding each-other to the things that we said we would accomplish, the more we stopped and asked a clarifying question, the more we got to know each-other. We got to learn about the conversations that needed to happen beforehand, to help everyone arrive to the meeting prepared to have the better focused conversations that we really needed to have.

Find more information on the podcast at www.SocialGoodInstigators.com.

Feb 1, 2016

Topher Wilkins is our guest to discuss Convening for Change in this episode of the Nonprofit Leaders Network podcast.

For over a decade, Topher has been convening and connecting people for the purposes of social change - first, with co-founding the Highland City Club, a membership community of 300 change-makers in Boulder, Colorado, then to managing Dunton Hot Springs, one of North America’s top all-inclusive resorts and retreat centers. He now leads the Opportunity Collaboration, a global network of 1400 nonprofit leaders, for-profit social entrepreneurs, grant-makers, impact investors, corporates and academics building sustainable solutions to poverty, and has created Conveners.org, a trade association for fellow impact conference organizers.

Ultimately the goal of Opportunity Collaboration is to bring nonprofit leaders together in a broad community network and facilitate a supportive environment in their vision to solve global poverty. We discuss how they are providing a way they can see where their professional emphases overlap, where they might be able to escalate and scale up their efforts, or even support others to do the same, in a non-traditional inclusive process.

Here you can read some of the key points from our discussion –

Building Authentic Relationships and Increasing Partnerships
The focus of the Opportunity Collaboration work is much more to do with the inner, personal work that we as nonprofit leaders are doing. What's our story? What's our path? What's our personal experience of poverty? How have we handled power and privilege as it relates to the work? What are the emotional triggers that we bring into the field? Etc.

The unconference model we use is unique in the sense that there are no fundraisers, no keynotes, no PowerPoints, pitches, presentations, etc. Every session is designed to be a dialogue for around 15 people. It's a chance to be very open, raw and real, and perhaps even vulnerable with each other. As a result, many partnerships and collaborations can develop which are progressed outside of the event, through ongoing connections to move their visions forward.

Setting the Tone for a Productive Unconference
With anyone who enrolls to attend an unconference we have several touch points as part of that enrollment process. It's our chance to understand what each of these delegates are working on, what it is they're hoping to get out of being at the Opportunity Collaboration, what is it that they're hoping to contribute to the other folks that are there.

We also have what we call a guide program, a group of delegates who have participated in the Opportunity Collaboration who help all the folks coming for the first time to really understand what they're getting into, why it's a different conference structure, and what that means in terms of the culture that underpins the Opportunity Collaboration. The guiding question of “what can I do for you” is really the core of the culture here.

Creating a Convening Experience
I think what differentiates us is the safe space we create for delegates every day to have these delicate conversations, to really make meaningful dialogue, have a learning arc and have a transformative experience as a result.

We work hard making sure that the facilitators are top-notch facilitators and trained really well, and that the dynamics of individuals in those groups - which we construct with great care - are tended to.

Learning from Mistakes: Overcoming Uncomfortable Discussion, Learning and Moving Forward
Sometimes things don’t work out as you hoped. About four years ago, we decided to try getting all four hundred people together in one room for part of the day, and organized a panel (yes, that flies in the face of the unconference model) made up of a facilitator, a non-profit leader and a prominent funder.

The idea was to explore the dynamics around power and privilege as it exists between funder and fundee in the nonprofit world. It did give an opportunity to air those concerns, but it became very confrontational, we did very little in that conversation to actually address those dynamics and move forward. So in a way we failed at the intent.

I'm thankful though that we tried, that people saw Opportunity Collaboration as a space where otherwise taboo subjects could be aired. We've since done a lot of things to improve the funder/fundee relationship, it’s now a much healthier conversation in the Opportunity Collaboration. Nonetheless, it was very cringe-worthy during those couple hours, but we learn and move forward!

Find more information on the podcast at www.SocialGoodInstigators.com.

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