147 episodes

Hosted by Joan Garry, the “Dear Abby” of the nonprofit world, Nonprofits Are Messy is a discussion of the most pressing issues faced by nonprofit leadership. Joan and her guests tackle topics like the overhead myth, the best way to run special events, how to make a big fundraising ask, board-staff relations, and so much more. At times hilarious, uplifting, and frustrating, the stories told in this podcast should feel very familiar to anybody working in a nonprofit today.



Topics include fundraising, leadership development, building a great board, Executive Director / Board relations, communications and messaging, staff management, nonprofit career advice, crisis management, digital marketing, social media, and so much more.



Listen to real stories of nonprofit leaders like you and how they handled the mess. Because the truth is, nonprofits ARE messy. There’s not enough money, too many cooks, and an abundance of passion. Leading nonprofits isn’t easy. This podcast will help.

Nonprofits Are Messy: Lessons in Leadership | Fundraising | Board Development | Communications Joan Garry

    • Business
    • 4.5 • 21 Ratings

Hosted by Joan Garry, the “Dear Abby” of the nonprofit world, Nonprofits Are Messy is a discussion of the most pressing issues faced by nonprofit leadership. Joan and her guests tackle topics like the overhead myth, the best way to run special events, how to make a big fundraising ask, board-staff relations, and so much more. At times hilarious, uplifting, and frustrating, the stories told in this podcast should feel very familiar to anybody working in a nonprofit today.



Topics include fundraising, leadership development, building a great board, Executive Director / Board relations, communications and messaging, staff management, nonprofit career advice, crisis management, digital marketing, social media, and so much more.



Listen to real stories of nonprofit leaders like you and how they handled the mess. Because the truth is, nonprofits ARE messy. There’s not enough money, too many cooks, and an abundance of passion. Leading nonprofits isn’t easy. This podcast will help.

    144: A Fresh Perspective on Inclusive Leadership (with Dr. Ella Bell Smith)

    144: A Fresh Perspective on Inclusive Leadership (with Dr. Ella Bell Smith)

    Inclusive leadership requires more than just attending DEI training and then integrating what you learn into your nonprofit organization — this work goes much deeper. Join me as I dive into this topic and do some self-reflection with today’s guest, one of the leading experts in the management of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, Dr. Ella Bell Smith.

    It is no secret that the nonprofit sector has a major diversity problem. Don’t believe me? Consider the fact that the percentage of people of color in the ED/CEO role in our sector has remained under 20% for the last 15 years.

    As a white woman involved in this work, I can admit that at times I have found myself totally oblivious to my own privilege and power. Before embarking on my own DEI journey with my team at the Nonprofit Leadership Lab, I naively assumed that my time as an LGBTQIA+ activist would make the road less bumpy.

    But when it comes to DEI work, there is no room for assumptions — especially for leaders. Inclusive leadership requires you to keep your mind open so you can ask the right questions. This is how you begin to build the bridge between you and the people in your organization and lay the groundwork for a culture of belonging. That’s what inclusive leadership is about.

    In today’s episode, leadership and DEI consultant and professor of business administration at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, Dr. Ella Bell Smith, shares a fresh perspective on this topic and shares some sound advice for nonprofit leaders who are ready to invest in diversity, equity, and inclusion work.

    You see, DEI training is not some not some standalone project or checklist — it is a must-have for intentional leadership in today’s world.

    In This Podcast:



    * Why is diversity and inclusion important?

    * How do leadership and diversity intersect?

    * What is DEI training?

    * Should nonprofit leaders invest in DEI training?

    * Why is it so important for nonprofit leaders to self-reflect on their own privilege?





    Resources



    Learn more about Ella’s work: Know Who You Are

    Our Separate Ways: Black and White Women and the Struggle for Professional Identity

    Career GPS: Strategies for Women Navigating the New Corporate (Paperback)

    Why Diversity Matters and How to Get There

    * Joan Garry’s Guide to Nonprofit Leadership – 2nd Edition by Joan Garry

    * Free Webinar: The 5 Practices of Outstanding Nonprofit Leaders

    * Your Nonprofit Life Podcast

    * Joan Garry’s Instagram

    * Explore the Nonprofit Leadership Lab

    * Music by Jukebox the Ghost

    * Voiceover Work by a href="http://www.cindycapsolutions.

    • 56 min
    Ep 143: Lollipop Moments and Everyday Leadership Lessons (with Drew Dudley)

    Ep 143: Lollipop Moments and Everyday Leadership Lessons (with Drew Dudley)

    Your value as a nonprofit development director – or somebody in any nonprofit leadership position – is not (entirely) measured by the amount of money you bring in.

    In fact, sometimes the money you end up making for your organization comes in long after you are gone. You see, when you approach everyday leadership in a way that prioritizes impact and culture, your value extends well into the organization’s future.

    Feeling relieved?

    Drew Dudley is a highly dynamic speaker and leadership expert who’s on a mission to help people unlearn the most dangerous leadership lessons.

    According to Drew, we may not be in charge of what we need to get done everyday, but we are always in charge of who we are. He joins me today to talk about this and other valuable leadership lessons, and their impact on the biggest source of leadership in the world — the nonprofit sector.

    As the Founder and Chief Catalyst of Day One Leadership, Drew Dudley has helped top organizations around the world increase their leadership capacity. His popular TED Talk “Everyday Leadership (The Lollipop Moment)” was voted “one of the 15 most inspirational TED Talks of all time”.

    You’re going to love this one!

    Listen in to learn:



    What are some of the most dangerous leadership lessons impacting nonprofits today?

    What are lollipop moments?

    What role does identity play in everyday leadership?

    What happens when you think your work matters more than you do?

    How can a nonprofit leader ensure that their values become intrinsic to their organization’s culture?





    Resources



    Learn more about Day One Leadership

    The Student Leadership Challenge: Five Practices for Becoming an Exemplary Leader- by James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner

    Learn more about the Memorial School of Nursing – Newfoundland

    Check out Drew’s book: This is Day 1

    * Joan Garry’s Guide to Nonprofit Leadership – 2nd Edition by Joan Garry

    * Free Webinar: The 5 Practices of Outstanding Nonprofit Leaders

    * Your Nonprofit Life Podcast

    * Joan Garry’s Instagram

    * Explore the Nonprofit Leadership Lab

    * Music by Jukebox the Ghost

    * Voiceover Work by Cindy Cap Solutions



    Contact Drew Dudley



    * Twitter

    * Facebook

    * Instagram

    * LinkedIn



    About Drew Dudley

    Drew credits the Day One process with saving his life—he began applying the process to improving his mental and physical health. Recognizing how many people were struggling silently with similar battles, Drew began infusing these experiences into his keynotes,

    • 59 min
    Ep 142: How Kindness and Community Empower Today’s Nonprofit Leaders (with guest John Hoffman)

    Ep 142: How Kindness and Community Empower Today’s Nonprofit Leaders (with guest John Hoffman)

    I love a good AHA moment.

    I recently had one on the role of kindness in the work of today’s nonprofit leaders while watching the 2020 documentary, The Antidote. In this episode, I’m joined by one of the film’s directors, my friend and six-time Emmy Award winner, John Hoffman.

    As I watched this film, which features the stories of people who are really touching the work in their communities, I realized the true reason why I embrace the word kindness — it implies action. It requires commitment. You see, kindness can be thought of as something gentle, but it also has real strength.

    To quote one of the heroes the movie spotlights, “Kindness is a practice. Kindness is a stance.”

    Much like the nonprofit leaders of our world, The Antidote inspires a commitment to using kindness as a force for good and a vehicle to bind our communities together.

    Listen in as John and I continue the conversation that the film drives on the roles that kindness, decency, compassion, and respect play in nonprofit work and our society as a whole.

    In this episode:



    What role does kindness play in the work of today’s nonprofit leaders?

    How is kindness defined in today’s world?

    What is the difference between an act of kindness and sustainable kindness?

    What can nonprofit leaders take away from The Antidote?





    Resources



    * Watch The Antidote

    Instagram

    Twitter

    Facebook

    The 8 Habits of Highly Effective Nonprofit Leaders

    Small Nonprofits Move the World

    * Joan Garry’s Guide to Nonprofit Leadership – 2nd Edition by Joan Garry

    * Free Webinar: The 5 Practices of Outstanding Nonprofit Leaders

    * Your Nonprofit Life Podcast

    * Joan Garry’s Instagram

    * Explore the Nonprofit Leadership Lab

    * Music by Jukebox the Ghost

    * Voiceover Work by Cindy Cap Solutions



    Contact John Hoffman



    * LinkedIn



    About John Hoffman

    John Hoffman is a six-time Emmy award-winning filmmaker, whose most recent films include Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017, and Out of Many, One, which premiered at the New York Film Festival, followed by Netflix in 2018. Much of John’s work as a filmmaker has focused on the key health issues of our time, including The Weight of the Nation (HBO), Addiction (HBO), The Alzheimer’s Project (HBO), and First in Human (Discovery) – a 6-hour series set in the world’s largest research hospital, the NIH’s Building 10.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Ep 141: Why So Many Nonprofit Fundraisers Struggle With Donor Stewardship (with Lisa Greer)

    Ep 141: Why So Many Nonprofit Fundraisers Struggle With Donor Stewardship (with Lisa Greer)

    If you lead a nonprofit organization with a mission that requires financial support, an effective donor stewardship strategy is a must-have. My guest today, philanthropist Lisa Greer, knows this all too well…

    When she and her husband became members of the 1% overnight, they were thrilled at the idea of contributing to causes as five-star philanthropists…but, as more and more nonprofit fundraisers began to reach out seeking sizable gifts, Lisa uncovered some hard truths.

    Only 18% of people who give do so a second time. Why? Because unfortunately, many nonprofit fundraisers struggle to maintain positive donor relations that stand the test of time — and this ends up costing their orgs (and the causes they champion) millions of dollars.

    As a philanthropist and the author of Philanthropy Revolution, Lisa Greer has some valuable, firsthand insights on how organizations can cultivate strong, lifelong donor relationships.

    From treating donors like ATMs to not keeping them in the loop, she joins me today to fill us in on some of the most common donor stewardship mistakes organizations make and how you can avoid them.

    Listen in to find out:



    What are the most common mistakes nonprofit fundraisers make when it comes to donor stewardship?

    How can nonprofit fundraisers improve donor relations for their organizations?

    What inspires a one-time donor to give again (and again)?

    What exactly do nonprofit donors need to hear (or not)?

    Why are there currently $150 billion in donor advised funds that are not going to individual charities?





    Resources



    * Philanthropy Revolution

    * Fear of Asking for Money

    * Philanthropy is Sexy

    * How to Make Your Donors Feel Like a Million Bucks

    * Why Donors Who Know More, Do More

    * ​​5 Ways to Expand Your Pool of Donors and Volunteers

    * Joan Garry’s Guide to Nonprofit Leadership – 2nd Edition by Joan Garry

    * Free Webinar: The 5 Practices of Outstanding Nonprofit Leaders

    * Your Nonprofit Life Podcast

    * Joan Garry’s Instagram

    * Explore the Nonprofit Leadership Lab

    * Music by Jukebox the Ghost

    * Voiceover Work by Cindy Cap Solutions



    Contact Lisa



    * Website

    * LinkedIn

    * Twitter

    * Facebook



    About Lisa Greer

    Lisa Zola Greer is a philanthropist, entrepreneur, convener and the author of Philanthropy Revolution. Over the last decade,

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Ep 140: How to Attract, Develop, and Retain Top Nonprofit Talent (with Gali Cooks)

    Ep 140: How to Attract, Develop, and Retain Top Nonprofit Talent (with Gali Cooks)

    It’s no secret that attracting, developing, and retaining the best nonprofit talent is not always our sector’s strong suit. Today’s guest, Gali Cooks, is a nonprofit leader who works daily to help organizations find rockstar talent and set them up for success in lasting nonprofit careers.

    I’m not naïve. I know that filling positions in a nonprofit organization comes with many challenges. After all, you want the right people in the right seats on the bus (not just butts in seats) — and the time and money constraints are real.

    But, so too is the reality that having the right talent by your side is essential if you want your organization to last in the long run. That’s why having solid nonprofit leadership development and effective succession planning strategies in place at your organization is a must.

    Luckily, helping organizations navigate these issues is today’s guest’s sweet spot. Gali is the founding president and chief executive officer of Leading Edge, an organization funded by organizations and formed to influence, inspire, and enable dramatic change in attracting, developing, and retaining top talent for Jewish organizations.

    She joins us today to share how you can create a nonprofit workplace culture that empowers your best talent to grow and thrive.

    Listen in to learn:



    How do organizations attract and develop top nonprofit talent (Rockstars)?

    What are the six ingredients that impact nonprofit workplace culture and, in turn, nonprofit talent retention?

    How do nonprofit leadership development and succession planning impact an organization’s future?

    How do nonprofit leaders get started with nonprofit succession planning?

    How do today’s hiring decisions impact the future of your nonprofit organization?





    Links



    * How a Lack of Negative Criticism Can Make NGO Employees Feel Unsafe

    * Vera Institute of Justice

    * The Puzzle of Motivation (TED Talk by Dan Pink)

    * Joan Garry’s Guide to Nonprofit Leadership – 2nd Edition by Joan Garry

    * Free Webinar: The 5 Practices of Outstanding Nonprofit Leaders

    * Your Nonprofit Life Podcast

    * Joan Garry’s Instagram

    * Explore the Nonprofit Leadership Lab

    * Music by Jukebox the Ghost

    * Voiceover Work by Cindy Cap Solutions



    Contact Gali



    LinkedIn

    Twitter



    About Gali Cooks

    Gali Cooks is the founding president and chief executive officer of Leading Edge...

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Ep 139: Interpersonal Skills are Hard Work (with Carole Robin)

    Ep 139: Interpersonal Skills are Hard Work (with Carole Robin)

    Executive directors, your interpersonal skills have a much bigger impact on your org’s success than you might think. Yet, so many nonprofit leaders struggle to navigate workplace relationships — with staff, with volunteers, and yes, with their boards.

    Why do so many nonprofit leaders have a hard time with these interpersonal dynamics? Today’s guest, award-winning Stanford University professor and Co-Founder of Leaders in Tech, Carole Robin, is here to give us the scoop.

    She’s the co-author of Connect: Building Exceptional Relationships, a book modeled off the most popular class taught in Stanford’s MBA program — Interpersonal Dynamics, affectionately called “Touchy Feely Class”.

    Today We’ll Uncover:



    How do interpersonal skills impact nonprofit leadership?

    How does the power balance between staff and leadership affect interpersonal dynamics at work?

    How does modeling vulnerability lead to exceptional workplace relationships?

    How can nonprofit leaders vet potential hires for strong interpersonal skills?





    Links



    * Connect: Building Exceptional Relationships with Family, Friends, and Colleagues

    * The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable 

    * Joan Garry’s Guide to Nonprofit Leadership – 2nd Edition by Joan Garry

    * Free Webinar: The 5 Practices of Outstanding Nonprofit Leaders

    * Your Nonprofit Life Podcast

    * Joan Garry’s Instagram

    * Explore the Nonprofit Leadership Lab

    * Music by Jukebox the Ghost

    * Voiceover Work by Cindy Cap Solutions



    Contact Carole Robin

    LinkedIn

    About Carole Robin

    Carole Robin Ph.D. was the Dorothy J. King Lecturer in Leadership, Director of the Arbuckle Leadership Fellows Program, and award-winning teacher in Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business legendary Interpersonal Dynamics (aka Touchy Feely) course. Subsequent to leaving Stanford in 2017 she co-founded Leaders in Tech, a nonprofit which brings two decades of GSB lessons to Silicon Valley startup founders. She is also the co-author of Penguin Random House’s new Connect which contains the lessons of “Touchy Feely” that thousands of students have consistently described over decades as life-changing.

    Prior to joining Stanford, she was a partner in an international consulting firm and a senior sales and marketing manager in a Fortune 50 company. She has provided executive coaching, leadership development, and executive team building to a wide range of business, government, and nonprofit clients ranging in size from startups to global and Fortune 500 organizations and is currently an advisor on several boards.

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

full fun ,

Great tool for new Executive Directors

I’m about to take on my first Executive Director position and I’m so happy to have discovered this podcast. Taking notes!

Baobab_123 ,

Useful information for newbies

As both a staff member at an NGO, and a new board member at other non-profits, I find the range of topics useful and interesting. But I would prefer shorter podcasts — maximum 30 minutes. There’s too much repetition in each show, and even the same basic ideas coming up in multiple shows.

Lucky Jen ,

So helpful

Really enjoying this podcast - so helpful for those in the nonprofit leadership world.

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