111 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

    • Non-Profit
    • 4.7, 183 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.

    Ep 109: How to Have a Difficult Conversation - Part 1

    Ep 109: How to Have a Difficult Conversation - Part 1

    Think about a dreaded moment in which you had to tell someone something they didn’t want to hear or just didn’t want to know… Or that you knew would lead to a confrontation.



    This episode is about difficult conversations and how to approach them.



    Most of us try to avoid these kinds of conversations. They are just so uncomfortable. But if you handle them the right way, you can actually come out better on the other side.



    Sheila Heen, co-author of the best-selling book Difficult Conversations, has been a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School since 1995. She joins the podcast today to discuss how there are actually more than two sides to every story.



    How do you build the muscle to make sure difficult conversations go well? What might you not be aware of that could change everything?



    This is part 1 of a 2-part podcast.



    About Sheila Heen



    Sheila is a Founder of Triad Consulting Group and has been on the Harvard Law School faculty since 1995. Sheila’s corporate clients include Pixar, Hugo Boss, the NBA, the Federal Reserve Bank, Ford, Novartis, AT&T and numerous family businesses. She often works with executive teams, helping them to work through conflict, repair working relationships, and make sound decisions together.



    In the public sector she has also provided training for the New England Organ Bank, the Singapore Supreme Court, the Obama White House, and theologians struggling with disagreement over the nature of truth and God. Sheila has spent more than twenty years with the Harvard Negotiation Project, developing negotiation theory and practice. She specializes in particularly difficult negotiations – where emotions run high and relationships become strained.



    Sheila is co-author of two New York Times bestsellers: Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (Penguin 2nd ed 2010), and the recently released Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (Even When It’s Off Base, Unfair, Poorly Delivered, and Frankly, You’re Not in the Mood) (Penguin 2014).



    She has written for the Harvard Business Review, for the New York Times as a guest expert and as a Modern Love writer. Sheila has appeared on shows as diverse as Oprah and the G. Gordon Liddy show, NPR, Fox News, and CNBC’s Power Lunch. She has spoken at the Global Leadership Summit, Nordic Business Forum, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Harvard Negotiation Journal, and Real Simple.



    Sheila is a graduate of Occidental College in Los Angeles, and Harvard Law School. She is schooled in negotiation daily by her three children.



    In this Podcast:

    - Wrestling with the inner voices

    - The three conversations or stories

    - The meaning of what is not said

    - Are you being too defensive?

    - Using feedback to grow

    • 39 min
    Ep 108: Starting a New CEO Job in the Heat of a Pandemic

    Ep 108: Starting a New CEO Job in the Heat of a Pandemic

    Imagine you were just hired as the CEO of a wonderful nonprofit. A health organization. It’s exciting. You feel a sense of pride and privilege. You gather your belongings and leave your family on the West Coast to start your new job on the East Coast. They will join you soon.



    While you know the Coronavirus is becoming a big problem, it doesn’t quite register how it will impact work and home.



    You arrive at your new job and 18 hours later find yourself leading the Incident Command Team for a pandemic that is now clearly sweeping the globe. Oh, and borders have closed and COVID-19 has kept them apart since March 7th.



    Ellen LaPointe, CEO of Fenway Health joins the podcast to tell the story of how she took on her new role, met and bonded with her team, and how they came together. How their ingenuity, teamwork and force-of-will helped them to make immediate and dramatic shifts to reduce community spread of COVID-19, all while delivering care to patients in a completely new way.



    Ellen also shared a bit about her personal story and how she affected an onboarding 101 plan at both a leadership and staff level.



    Listen for tips on leadership during a crisis and beyond.



    About Ellen

    Ellen LaPointe is the Chief Executive Officer of Fenway Health in Boston.

    Ellen has held numerous leadership roles in the nonprofit and public health sectors, working in social justice, research, LGBTQIA+/HIV activism and advocacy, health policy, law, and equity over the last three decades.



    Prior to joining Fenway, she was President and Chief Executive Officer of Northern California Grantmakers in San Francisco, a nonprofit that brings together Bay Area philanthropy to advance the common good. During her tenure over five years, the organization strengthened its leading role within a member-based philanthropic community that gives over $3.5 billion annually. Ellen is also credited with transforming the culture of the organization, including the establishment of a robust equity framework to inform organizational priorities and practices.



    Previously, Ellen served as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at HopeLab, an operating foundation that focuses on technology-based approaches to promoting positive health behavior, and she was Executive Director of Project Inform.



    She began her career as Coordinator of the Brown University AIDS Program, where she was involved in some of the earliest efforts to ensure access to promising experimental AIDS treatments and life-saving care. Ellen moved to San Francisco to become Director of Clinical Research at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and later practiced law at a large firm, where she represented pro bono clients in cases involving marriage equality, wrongful eviction, end-of-life liberty, and other matters.



    A native of Maine, Ellen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. She currently serves on the boards of the Lambda Literary Foundation and One Justice.



    In this Podcast:

    - The challenges of converting to telehealth with HIPAA compliance

    - How imagination kicks in during a crisis

    - Will there be capacity to integrate telehealth going forward? Or will we go back to business as usual?

    - How does communication lead to success?

    - 5 things you need to do during onboarding

    - How does humble confidence play a role in success

    - The art and value of self-care

    - You might not be able to plan for a specific crisis, but you can still plan

    - Reusing structures that were in place during previous crisis

    - A priest and a therapist walk into a bar...

    • 49 min
    Ep 107: The Top 20 Attributes of an Outstanding Board

    Ep 107: The Top 20 Attributes of an Outstanding Board

    Does your nonprofit have an outstanding board of directors? Some really do!



    But there’s the flip side. I know folks who have run screaming from board service, vowing never to join another nonprofit board. Why is that?



    What does an amazing board actually look like anyway? And whose job is it to find board members?



    When you are looking to build an outstanding board think of it as a strategic casting call! Today’s podcast reviews the top characteristics of an outstanding board and lists the ideal attributes of a board leader.



    Spoiler alert, many are the same as the top attributes of an executive director.



    Inside This Podcast

    - How do you design your board with intentionality?

    - Should we consider paying board members so they’ll be more accountable?

    - Whose job is it to promote engagement?

    - What’s the secret sauce for building a leadership pipeline?

    - What does board success look like?

    • 40 min
    Ep 106: Introducing Your Nonprofit Life (with Laura Zielke)

    Ep 106: Introducing Your Nonprofit Life (with Laura Zielke)

    There is nothing like a good spinoff. Some of the best TV shows of all time found their origins in another show. And now there’s a spinoff of this podcast!



    My guest today is the host of the new podcast, Your Nonprofit Life, Laura Zielke. Laura is the Director of Community Experience for the Nonprofit Leadership Lab. She has provided support, encouragement, and advice to more than 5,000 nonprofit leaders worldwide. And her new podcast is about you, the small nonprofit. Laura’s been blown away by the conversations she’s already had. People are so motivated by their passion to help others. And she wants to tell you all about it. Learn, be inspired, become motivated. Spend 20 minutes each week being introduced to somebody who's doing something that makes the world a better place.



    Find Your Nonprofit Life on iTunes, Spotify, and other places you get your podcasts weekly. Also www.yournonprofitlife.com, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter (@yournplife), and Pinterest.



    - Why launch a new podcast?

    - What are the goals of the new podcast?

    - What topics or themes will be explored?

    - Who will be some of the guests?



    About Laura Zielke:

    Laura is the Community Manager for The Nonprofit Leadership Lab, our online membership site for board and staff leaders of small nonprofits. She serves our community by facilitating meaningful connections and fostering authenticity, generosity, and laughter.



    For the past two decades, Laura has worked as graphics/website designer and marketing consultant for a variety of organizations spanning the nonprofit sector from environmental and health to education and arts & culture and faith based organizations.



    Laura earned her Master of Divinity degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where she focused her studies on Biblical Studies, Greek, and Archaeology after earning a Bachelor of Arts at California Baptist University with a major in Religion.



    No fiercer advocate for nonprofit leaders will you find than Laura. She goes above and beyond to ensure that nonprofit leaders have the resources and advice they need and deserve. The thousands of active members of our Lab feel a true sense of community because of Laura’s “divine” intervention.



    Laura lives in North Carolina. John is her lucky husband and Zachary is their lucky home schooled teenage son.

    • 28 min
    Ep 105: Leadership in the Time of COVID-19

    Ep 105: Leadership in the Time of COVID-19

    Like all of us, I am struggling. Not gonna lie. I’ve come face to face with a label I’d been ignoring. My wife and I are older Americans with some underlying health conditions. We are following all the rules and feel lucky that not only do we love each other but we like each other a lot too. No one else I’d rather be quarantined with. But this is stressful.



    Everyone contends with pervasive anxiety in different ways. It’s pretty clear what my coping mechanism is. It’s the hardwiring that led me to become a nonprofit executive director. I obsess with helping. And that obsession is now on overdrive.



    In a world so very hungry for leadership I have five pieces of advice from me to all of you leaders and helpers out there.



    Hoping all who can stay at home will do so while we are trying to contain the pandemic. You may notice from the quality of my audio that I was home when I recorded this.

    • 34 min
    Ep 104: Creating a Nonprofit Communications Engine (with Sarah Durham)

    Ep 104: Creating a Nonprofit Communications Engine (with Sarah Durham)

    Is your nonprofit clear about how to effectively communicate and build engagement? Is your organizational voice clear and compelling across the board? And what exactly is a “nonprofit communications engine”?



    The answers to these questions and more is the topic of today’s podcast.



    In writing her new book, today’s guest, Sarah Durham, CEO and founder of Big Duck Communications, asked herself whether there was a scalable model that Executive Directors can use to manage communications that help to build an “army of the engaged” regardless of what kind of organization they are running.



    Big Duck’s mission is to help organizations use communications in a strategic way with a clear voice and smart branding. And we’re lucky to have Sarah come onto the podcast to instruct us on how to do just that.



    About Sarah Durham



    Sarah launched Big Duck in 1994, Big Duck is a marketing company designed for non-profits. In 2019, she acquired Advomatic, a company that helps nonprofit and advocacy driven companies to improve their online technologies. Clients include the ACLU, Universities and Governmental organizations. In 2020, Sarah released her second book, The Nonprofit Communications Engine. Serves as Chair of National Brain Tumor Society’s Board of Directors.



    Sarah Durham is a nonprofit communications nerd. Sarah Durham is an adjunct professor at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Sarah Also contributes expertise to The Chronicles of Philanthropy Website. In 2006, Durham was named a “top fundraiser under 40” by Fundraising Success Magazine. Sarah is driven by social justice and believes that it is important to fight for what is right and fighting against inequality.



    Big Duck recently completed a complete rebrand for Shriver Center on Poverty Law, focusing on creating a more inclusive and interactive appearance.



    In This Podcast

    - What are nonprofits most unclear about?

    - How does communications tie into branding work?

    - What thwarts nonprofits from investing enough in communications?

    - Do you need a big budget for communications?

    - The three outcomes that lead to effective communication

    - How to achieve sustainable momentum

    - How to identify and prioritize your audience

    - The value of setting priorities

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
183 Ratings

183 Ratings

Babyhammy3 ,

Wonderful

I am not running or associated with a non profit in any way at the moment, although I have been in the past. I loved listening to episode 20 for my civil and community economics class, and I will be listening to more!

MichTorg ,

Thank you!

I run a national nonprofit, large in reach and impact, but small in budget. I’ve been gobbling up resources and at times feel like I’m boiling an ocean as I click through the hyperlinks on google docs, looking for the answer on how to lead and do the right thing in a global pandemic! Joan kindly reminds the listener, that the answers are within us and are core to our leadership attributes, and coaches the listener on how to focus and pivot with great suggestions and resources. Thank you!

acusasha ,

There is an opportunity in adversity

Great ideas and reminders!

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