Are you a funder who loves philanthropy, but you want your foundation to be more effective, and to help build the organizational strength, equity, and impact of grantees? Are you a nonprofit leader who loves our sector, but you’re frustrated with the seeming inability to compensate and support staff in a fair and effective fashion, and the ubiquity of toxic nonprofit workplaces? This unique podcast examines the need, value, and complexity of investing in the nonprofit workforce.
How One Nonprofit Models Talent-Investing - Abby Wolensky & Ashley Pesi, Auberle
Auberle is a sprawling Pittsburgh-area social service nonprofit that has been named “Top Workplace” nine times by The Pittsburgh Business Times, and is described by employees as flexible, supportive, comfortable, and safe. In this episode, Rusty speaks with Abby Wolensky and Ashley Pesi, Director and Program Manager (respectively) in Auberle’s workforce development program, about the various ways the organization supports and develops its staff.
Our guests explain how the organization is devoted to breaking cycles of poverty and socio-economic distress not only for their clients but also their staff. To do so, they have continuously raised the floor on wages (without outside incentives or specific external funding for this purpose); hire from internships; offer numerous professional development opportunities; build their strategic plans from within teams; and more. Other topics discussed include:
Working through the pandemic and added hazard pay.
The Rising Star Academy: an internal training initiative to promote professional growth, crossed-departmental learning, and bottom-up thinking.
Auberle’s unique strategic planning process.
“Challenging Conversations for Change” and other equity and inclusion efforts.
Organizational culture and employee-employer loyalty at Auberle.
To get more information on the founders of Auberle & links to resources mentioned in the episode please visit www.fundthepeople.org/podcast
Nonprofit Voice & Visibility in Washington - with Jeff Moore, Independent Sector
Independent Sector (“IS”) is a national organization that represents the nonprofit sector in Washington. In this episode, Rusty speaks with Jeffrey Moore, its Chief Strategy Officer, about the importance of having a seat at the table with the federal government.
The nonprofit sector is the trusted infrastructure in communities, and also 10% of the private workforce in the country. To raise our visibility, and make sure that our government understands and partners with the nonprofit sector, IS has been working on a number of different fronts including NIIAG (Nonprofit Infrastructure Investment Advocacy Groups), and a campaign to create an ‘Office on the Nonprofit Sector’ within the White House.
Other topics discussed:
Update on legislative bills: the Build Back Better Package and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Roads and Bridges Package.
Raising the need to include the nonprofit workforce data in the Bureau of Labor Statistics report on a quarterly basis.
Health of the Nonprofit Sector Report: a four part diagnostic of the sector.
This is the fifth episode in our podcast’s ongoing thread about how federal and local governments can invest in the nonprofit workforce. For more episodes on this topic and access to resources mentioned in the episode please go to: https://fundthepeople.org/ftp_podcast/
*This episode was recorded September 23, 2021
Connecting Social Justice People, Orgs, & Jobs - Linda Nguyen, Movement Talent
Movement Talent was launched in 2020 to introduce a new way of finding, supporting, and maximizing talent for social justice organizations in the U.S. In this episode, Rusty speaks with its founder, Linda Nguyen, about the ways they have been working towards a more collaborative, equitable, holistic, and efficient approach to talent in progressive social movements.
The conversation covers Movement Talent’s role as a support system at the organizational level, and at the individual level as well. Also, and probably most importantly, they discuss the new effort’s work as a “membrane”, which looks to promote cross-learning on talent-related issues amongst organizations with the belief that they can fortify one another as an ecosystem.
Other topics discussed:
The needs Movement Talent seeks to address.
Benefits of investing in “people-systems” internally within organizations and externally in the ecosystem in which organizations operate.
Movement Talent’s accountability to social, racial, gender, economic, and environmental justice.
See more about Linda and get access to all links and resources mentioned on the show at fundthepeople.org
Transforming Government to Support the Nonprofit Workforce - with Jennifer Geiling, Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, City of New York
Government contracts are a crucial revenue stream for large swaths of the nonprofit sector. In many organizations, employee wages and other compensation factors are based on the terms of government contracts. So there’s a close connection between government contracting practices and nonprofit workforce issues. In this episode, Rusty talks with Jennifer Geiling from the NYC Mayor’s Office about the City's efforts to create a more equitable, accessible, transparent, and standard process for nonprofits who deliver services to New Yorkers on behalf of the City government.
The reforms they’ve made recently include: a base-lined 25% advance on Human Services contracts and an Indirect Cost Rate Funding initiative to make sure that more money is allocated to the overall costs nonprofits have beyond specific service-related items.
Other topics discussed:
A Nonprofit Resiliency Committee that has brought together government and nonprofit representatives during the Administration and through the pandemic.
“PASSPort” a centralized, digital procurement and sourcing portal for nonprofits, and Citywide contractors, working with agencies across the City government.
The City's “Cost Manual,” a new tool that defines nonprofit direct and indirect costs in human services government contracts.
The City's work to support nonprofits during the pandemic and the Covid-19 Human Service Recovery Task Force
For more information on Jennifer and links to the resources mentioned in this episode please go to fundthepeople.org/ftp_podcast/
Rethinking How Foundations Invest in Leadership Development - with Roger Nozaki, Barr Foundation
In this episode, we speak with Roger Nozaki, Vice President at the Barr Foundation. You’ll get the rare opportunity to hear a foundation executive thinking through their work supporting nonprofit sector effectiveness.
Roger shares his evolving ideas along the continuum from investing at the level of individuals - in particular executive directors - toward investing in “people-systems”, and a regional talent ecosystem for nonprofits. We discuss how racial equity can be bolstered through such efforts, and Roger shares how the Barr Fellowship exemplifies the connections between nonprofit organizational capacity, leadership development, and workforce development.
Find more information on Roger Nozaki & the resources mentioned in this episode here: fundthepeople.org/ftp_podcast/
Talent Matters Remix, Part III: Culture of Care w/ Michele Booth Cole
This is the third and final episode of Talent Matters Remix, our special summer series in partnership with ProInspire, co-hosted by Monisha Kapila and Rusty Stahl.
In this episode, Monisha and Rusty talk with Michele Booth Cole, Executive Director of Safe Shores - The DC Children’s Advocacy Center, about why and how to build a nonprofit organizational culture that supports and develops employees. Michele reflects on her article, “A Culture of Care, Without Compromise,” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) Talent Matters blog series. She discusses how her experience and thinking has evolved since the piece was published in April 2015.
We also discuss Michele’s 25-year journey as a Black woman executive director in the nonprofit sector, including her years as a volunteer in different organizations, her first experience as an E.D. with Mentors, Inc., and finally her work with Safe Shores -- The DC Children's Advocacy Center.
Other topics discussed:
How to lead nonprofits with a sense of abundance, accountability, and fearlessness.
The importance of feedback, and learning to hear people, see people and invest in people who are aligned with the values of our organizations.
How to deal with systemic racism and biases as a Black woman leader.
A message to funders on racial equity and justice.
Policies, rituals, and traditions created and led with and by Safe Shores staff to forge a culture of care.
The Talent Matters Remix, which is being released throughout July 2021, revisits Talent Matters, a 2014-15 series of essays on the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) blog. These special episodes are co-hosted by Monisha Kapila, Founder and Co-CEO of ProInspire (who helped curate the SSIR series), and Fund the People’s Rusty Stahl. These conversations feature some of the amazing authors from the Talent Matters blog series.
A lot has changed in our society in the seven years since 2014, when the blog series began. We’ve had seismic changes in our politics, economy, society, and the nonprofit sector and philanthropy. It’s time to revisit, reflect, and remix it!
*We want to thank Monisha Kapila and the ProInspire team, along with guests Michele Booth Cole, Trish Adobea Tchume, and Stephen Bauer for making the Talent Matters Remix possible. You can find out more about the series and all links and resources mentioned in the show notes at fundthepeople.org/podcast.
…a podcast about one of the most critical drivers of nonprofit success that most people have not thought much about. Rusty has brought together a wide range of interesting thinkers and perspectives on the topic of talent investing and makes you realize we should have been doing this work a long time ago. Not to worry. Rusty will help get you caught up.
A must-listen for non-profit leaders!
This show is a must-listen for nonprofit leaders! Rusty’s doing amazing work amplifying the voices of his guests and in increasing equity and impact. Tune in for fantastic advice around investing in your people, creating a strong culture, and more!
Great to have this resource on the go
Rusty has done a terrific job curating different perspectives from across the field on the importance of investing in equitable and diverse leadership and staff development. Love that I can add this to my podcast queue and hear new perspectives.