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.
Investing in New Executive Directors, Part 2 - with Jane McDonnell and Irving Washington
In this episode, you'll get a rare glimpse into the inside story of two people who have, together, gone through the unique crucible that is an executive transition.
Jane McDonnell is the former Executive Director of the Online News Association and is now an independent consultant. Irving Washington is the current Executive Director of the Online News Association, and a longtime association professional in the journalism field. Jane and Irving went through an executive transition in a thoughtful, proactive, ethical, and effective fashion, with respect for one another, for their colleagues, for their funders, and their organization. We all know that executive transitions are critical inflection points for organizations, and too many funders are not yet proactively investing in healthy transitions, and not supporting outgoing and incoming executive directors to succeed in the transition.
This episode is Part 2 of our mini-series on supporting new executive directors. It’s the companion to Episode 2, the previous episode, which was a conversation with Bipasha Ray and Joey Lee, former and current staff at Open Society Foundations. In that episode, we discussed OSF’s New Executives Fund, a program that supports new executive directors in nonprofits around the world, especially “historic firsts” in their organizations. (Irving participated in the OSF New Executives Fund. A few months after we recorded this interview, Irving announced that 2022 would be his last year with ONA, after six years as CEO and 11 years total of service to the organization.)
Here we explore Talent-Investing Principle #4: Talent justice is essential. This principle says that racism, sexism, classism, and other inequities are baked into the deficit of investment in the nonprofit workforce. Thus, the solution must advance intersectional racial equity.
Investing in New Executive Directors, Part I - with Joey Lee and Bipasha Ray of Open Society Foundations
In this episode, you'll gain valuable insights from a major funding institution about why they believe it’s important to invest in the nonprofit workforce by supporting new executive directors. We speak with Joey Lee and Bipasha Ray of Open Society Foundations (OSF). You'll hear about important research on the value of investing in new executives from a new OSF report that draws upon the experiences and voices of hundreds of new E.D.s. This is a resource that you can use with your funders, your board, and others.
The issue of healthy executive transitions was important before 2020, and it's even more important now, as diverse new executives are hired into challenging pandemic workplaces. Executive transitions are a crucial inflection point for new managers, organizations, staff teams, board members, and supporters involved in the process. And, perhaps most importantly, they also impact the communities who rely upon organizations for services.
As more organizations hire “historic firsts” – women, people of color, LGBTQ people – as their top executives, too many of these leaders are unintentionally being "set up to fail", rather than supported to succeed. Funder practices can be part of the solution, or part of the problem. So having a major funder like OSF become part of the solution in a very public way is important progress, and it’s something you can leverage in your own talent-investing efforts!
This episode explores Talent-Investing Principle #4: Talent Justice is Essential. This principle says that racism, sexism, classism, and other inequities are baked into the deficit of investment in the nonprofit workforce. Thus, talent-investing must advance intersectional racial equity in order to be successful. To hear all 8 Principles of Talent-Investing, listen to Season 3 Episode 1. And we invite you to learn from all the amazing past guests of Fund the People - A Podcast with Rusty Stahl. All resources & links mentioned in the show can be found at fundthepeople.org/podcast.
The 8 Principles of Talent-Investing with host Rusty Stahl
This episode kicks off the fabulous third season of Fund the People - A Podcast with Rusty Stahl.
To get the season started, Rusty establishes the theme: the 8 Principles of Talent-Investing. He shares guiding principles from “Funding that Works,” the exciting new framework for talent-investing that Fund the People will roll-out in 2023 through our new online Academy. The principles offer the intellectual groundwork upon which effective talent-investing practices can be built.
Coming Soon! New Season of Fund the People Podcast Launches Sept. 7!
It's been a long, hot summer, and we've been cooking up a delicious menu of alternatives to the nonprofit starvation cycle. We are back with a phenomenal Season 3, serving up episodes based on the 8 Principles of Talent-Investing. Grab your fork, dig in, and enjoy interviews with folks from foundations, nonprofits and intermediaries. Tune in for Season 3 of the Fund the People podcast on Wednesday, Sept. 7, and remember to keep your tank full, take care of yourself, and take care of one another.
Funding That Works Academy
Announcing a special new program: the Funding That Works Academy! Learn about our talent investing framework via an online course with versions available for all types of nonprofit professionals.
Using Capacity-Building Grants for People-Systems - with Andrea Frye, People’s Action (Bonus Episode)
During this long dark winter, we have a bright conversation with a colleague who is managing the operations of a national social justice organization, and who can offer us some rays of hope.
Our guest is Andrea Frye. Andrea is the Operations Director of Peoples’ Action, a national network of state & local grassroots power-building organizations united in fighting for justice.
This episode gives you a concrete example of the value created for an organization and its staff when they use capacity-building dollars to build their people-systems – the policies, procedures, and people needed to support the staff. You’ll hear good examples of how an organization that champions worker justice in American society is practicing those values in-house: how they’re building their recruitment and retention systems; how they’re approaching a unionization organizing effort within the staff; and how they’re preparing for a major executive transition.
People’s Action is a grantee of Ford and has received a 5-year capacity-building grant from BUILD initiative, through which they’ve focused on building their people-systems. Andrea also helped to get a peer-learning cohort going among the “COOs” of BUILD grantees. (Fund the People co-designed and co-facilitated the cohort, alongside the Chicago-based consultancy Morton Group.)
In Season 1 Episode 2 (S1E2) of this podcast, we spoke with Kathy Reich who directs Ford Foundation BUILD. This episode is a companion to that one. (It’s like we’re bringing Kathy and Andrea, a grantmaker and a grantee leader, into conversation with one another virtually across time and space through the magic of podcasting!) We hope you get great value from this bonus episode and hope you’ll check out S1E2 with Kathy. We can’t wait to share more conversations soon in Season 3!
…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.