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 120: Raising the Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders (with Charlotte Alter)
Boomers are aging out of nonprofit leadership in droves. Many started organizations post Vietnam and there is a huge impending leadership void in the sector that needs to be filled. Nonprofit boards tend to skew old and are distrusting of youth and "inexperience". And so the cycle continues.
So who will fill this void? How do we build a leadership pipeline?
In May of 2017 Charlotte Alter, national correspondent at Time, heard President Trump’s speech on how the US was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement. She looked up each person who advised him to do so and began to feel that the decisions being made were examples of the old eating the young. This took her on a journey to write her book.
Today she takes us through the people, events and forces that she believes have shaped the political thinking of the rising generation of leaders in America.
We discuss how today’s leaders differ from yesterday’s and what we might do to nurture millennial leadership.
About Charlotte Alter
Charlotte Alter is a national correspondent at TIME covering the 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections, women in politics and youth social movements. Her first book The Ones We've Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America was released in February.
Ep 119: Your First 90 Days as an Executive Director (with Michael Watkins)
The first 90 days on the job.
You might think this podcast is for someone on their very first day as a new nonprofit executive director. But I want you to think broader than that.
What steps can be taken to ensure success and begin the process of crafting your legacy as a leader, even BEFORE you take on a new role?
In this episode, Michael Watkins, author of “The First 90 Days” (named one of the 100 Best Business Books of All Time!) shares key strategies to a successful transition. What are the typical pitfalls and what must a leader really get right in the first three months? Does anything change if you arrive during a crisis, like say... a global pandemic?
Learn the key principles a leader can use to help an organization succeed and thrive, and also what might thwart their success.
Michael Watkins is THE expert on this topic, and I could not be more excited to have him on the podcast.
About Michael Watkins
Michael Watkins is the co-founder of Genesis Advisers, a global leadership development consultancy based in Boston Massachusetts, specializing in transition acceleration for leaders, teams and organizations, where he coaches C-level executives of global organizations. He is also Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change at the IMD Business School and was recently ranked among the top fifty management thinkers globally by Thinkers50. He has spent the last two decades working with executives - both corporate and public - as they craft their legacies as leaders.
Watkins is author of the international bestseller The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, which The Economist referred to as “The Onboarding Bible.” With over a million copies sold in English and translations in 24 languages, The First 90 Days is the classic reference for leaders in transition and a standard resource for leading change. Amazon named it one of its top 100 business books of all time.
Prior to joining IMD, Watkins was an adjunct professor at INSEAD, and an associate professor at the Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. While on the faculty of these institutions, he designed and taught world-class programs for high- potential leader development, corporate diplomacy, and strategic negotiation.
He is the author of eleven books and numerous articles on leadership and negotiation. In the field of leadership these include Master Your Next Move: The Essential Companion to The First 90 Days (HBR Press 2019), Shaping the Game: The New Leader's Guide to Effective Negotiating (HBS Press 2006) and Predictable Surprises: The Disasters You Should Have Seen Coming and How to Avoid Them (HBS Press 2004). Predictable Surprises was named one of the best business books of 2004 by Strategy + Business and won the 2006 annual Kulp-Wright Award from The American Risk and Insurance Association. He is also the author of numerous Harvard Business Review articles, including “How Insider CEOs Succeed” (2020), "Initiative Overload" (2018), "Onboarding Isn't Enough" (2017), "Leading the Team You Inherit" (2016), "It's All About Day One" (2013), "How Managers Become Leaders" (2012), "Picking the Right Transition Strategy" (2009), "The Leadership Team: Complementary Strengths or Conflicting Agendas" (2007), and "The Successor's Dilemma" (2000).
Originally from Canada, Michael Watkins received his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, did graduate work in law and business at the University of Western Ontario, and completed his Ph.D. in Decision Sciences at Harvard University.
Ep. 118: The Growing Charitable Movement That's Raised a Billion Dollars (with Sara Lomelin)
When one person makes a donation to a nonprofit, they can make a difference for one organization. Now imagine that you gathered with a group of friends, relatives, colleagues pooling resources, sharing ideas and expertise to make a much larger collective impact in your community.
This is called a giving circle. And it turns out that giving circles are fueling the world of modern philanthropy in a big way. Huge.
How huge? Try 1.3 billion dollars over the past 20 years. Like I said, huge.
Philanthropy Together, a national initiative with a mission to diversify and democratize philanthropy, is led by my guest, Sara Lomelin. By strengthening and scaling the power of giving circles, she and her team are working to challenge the narrative that suggests you need to be a billionaire to be a philanthropist. Each spring and fall, Philanthropy Together hosts Launchpad, a virtual, interactive leadership training program that helps launch giving circles for a diverse group of community leaders from across the country.
Are giving circles the future of philanthropy? And how can you tap into this growing movement? Let’s find out.
About Sara Lomelin
Sara Lomelin is a connector of people and ideas, a relationship builder, and a firm believer that everyone can be a philanthropist. As the executive director of Philanthropy Together, the first organization dedicated to strengthening and scaling the collective giving movement nationally, she is working to diversify and democratize philanthropy by creating the infrastructure and information-sharing needed for the giving circle model to flourish in ALL communities. Prior to Philanthropy Together, Sara served as senior director of leadership philanthropy at Opportunity Fund, the largest nonprofit lender in the United States. Previously at the Latino Community Foundation, Sara served as vice president of Philanthropy for seven years and brought her high-energy approach to creating the Latino Giving Circle Network™, which she helped grow to become the largest network of Latinx philanthropists in the U.S. that support Latino-led organizations. She has been featured in Forbes, Amplifier and also participated in panels hosted by the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, Hispanics in Philanthropy and more. Sara graduated with honors from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and received her Administration and Management Certificate from Harvard University, where she also earned the prestigious Katie Y. F. Yang Prize.
Ep 117: The Hunt for Great Board Members (with Robert Acton and Lalita Badinehal)
Have you ever said the words, “I can’t find board members”?
Yup. I know you have. I always respond as if someone has told me they lost their keys. “OK, so where did you see them last?”
The hunt for great board members is often a big pain point. It’s not just that folks don’t recognize the joy and privilege of service but that even those who do may not arrive ready to serve. What do candidates need to understand about the commitment to serve?
You’re about to meet two people who are evangelists for excellent governance and for communicating the opportunity and privilege that comes with board service.
Robert Acton is the Principal and Founder of Cause Strategy Partners, BoardLead, and BoardLearn. Lalita Badinehal is a Corporate Citizenship, Inclusion, Diversity, and Employee Experience Executive at Credit Suisse. Our conversation today revolves around the elements in building strong boards.
BoardLead is a matchmaker. When an organization submits an application, BoardLead looks to place talented professionals with carefully vetted nonprofits by looking for community impact, strong leadership, and a commitment to deliver around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
BoardLearn is an educational platform to prepare their candidates for effective board service and to drive impact. Their approach to training new board members comes from a place of abundance, not scarcity, and includes a mix of cheerleading and scaring.
Credit Suisse partnered with BoardLead to recruit, place, train and support high impact board service. Listen to how they work together and how they measure success.
About Rob Acton
Robert Acton, J.D., is Principal and Founder of Cause Strategy Partners, BoardLead and BoardLearn. Cause Strategy Partners (www.causestrategypartners.com) is a consulting social enterprise that provides strategic counsel and high-impact programming to Fortune 500 companies, global professional services firms, private foundations and nonprofit organizations with a specialized focus on building both board and executive leadership. Cause Strategy Partners’ signature program, BoardLead (www.boardlead.com), has placed, trained and supported 670 professionals for high-impact board service at 350 nonprofits in 19 cities across the country. BoardLearn (www.boardlearn.com) is BoardLead’s innovative good governance e-learning platform. With more than two decades of experience founding, leading and scaling social good organizations as both a nonprofit chief executive and board leader, Rob previously led Taproot Foundation in both New York City and Chicago, as well as Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA) in Chicago. In 2009 and under Acton’s leadership, CGLA received the prestigious Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence. Rob is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Nonprofit New York, a membership organization serving 1,500 nonprofits in the New York City region. During his eight-year tenure, Rob has chaired the Presidential Search Committee, Governance Committee, Strategic Planning Committee and Development Committee. Rob also serves on the Board of Directors of Broadway Inspirational Voices and on the Advisory Boards of CGLA and Parkes Philanthropy. Previously, Rob was a founding Board member of Illinois Legal Aid Online, served on the Advisory Board of the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management, and served on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Spring Arbor University. In 2010, Rob was appointed as a State Commissioner by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and confirmed by the Illinois Senate to serve on a statewide commission investigating past police abuse in the City of Chicago. Rob is a member of the Bar of the State of New York. He attended Michigan public schools, Spring Arbor University & Brooklyn Law School. Rob’s Causes: second chances for ex-offenders, the performing arts,
Ep 116: The Most Important Piece of Diversity Work: Belonging (with Neha Sampat)
Consider two different dinner parties.
One is a group of like-minded folks who know each other well. There is comfort in that like-mindedness that affirms your politics and your world view. You are not stretched.
The second dinner party is filled with people representing all kinds of diversity. Age, race, politics, class, life experience, you name it. The conversation is messy, the voices raised. You don’t agree with everything that’s said but the insights shared make you think. They test your own assumptions. You drive home and realize you had to confront an implicit bias.
It was a great dinner party.
This is what I think of when I think of the power of diversity. Our world, my journey through it is enriched by the diversity of folks around me.
My guest today, Neha Sampat, is CEO and founder of GenLead|BelongLab where she focuses on building belonging and true inclusion.
What is belonging? Here’s a clue - it’s not just fitting in. Belonging requires being seen, understood and valued without needing to change yourself.
To foster belonging we cannot make assumptions. We need to ask the right questions and make the right efforts to build a bridge between leadership and everyone in the organization. That’s how organizations gain visibility into otherwise hidden barriers to belonging such as Imposter Syndrome and internalized bias and the daily microaggressions that the most underrepresented may experience.
Neha suggests we start by shifting our perspective from believing we are do-gooders to accepting that even good people have biases.
About Neha Sampat
Neha Sampat, Esq. is CEO and founder of GenLead|BelongLab, where she focuses on building belonging and true inclusion. Through consulting, training, speaking, and writing, she helps organizations create peak‐performance, inclusive teams by addressing hidden barriers to belonging, such as Imposter Syndrome and internalized bias, unconscious bias, generational diversity, distrust in teams, and wellness challenges. She is a nationally sought-after expert on disrupting Imposter Syndrome and internalized bias and runs the top-rated “Owning Your Value” online course to develop inclusive leadership.
In her work, Neha leverages her experience working as an attorney at both large and boutique law firms as well as her tenure as dean of students and leadership professor. Neha’s insights have been featured in Time Magazine, ABA Journal, Attorney at Work, ABA Law Practice Today, Thrive Global, News India Times, the Heels of Justice podcast, the Resilient Lawyer podcast, the GenWhy Lawyer podcast, the Leaders Love Company podcast, Talent Think Tank, and other professional publications. Neha holds BAs in Sociology and Political Science from University of Illinois at Urbana‐ Champaign, obtained her JD from UC Berkeley School of Law, received her Certificate in Graduate Applied Psychology from Golden Gate University, and is certified in Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), Hogan Development Survey (HDS), and Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI). Neha works across industry, from Pixar to Perkins Coie LLP, and UC Berkeley to City of San Leandro. You can read more of Neha’s insights at blog.genlead.co, follow her on TW/IG/FB at @belonglab, and reach her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ep 115: Taking Nonprofits From Good to Great – Part 2 (with Jim Collins)
Welcome to part II of my two part conversation with Jim Collins. In this second part, we discuss how to navigate uncertainty, disruption and chaos. Pretty timely, no?
We continue to explore the question of why some companies thrive in uncertainty and chaos and others do not, using the research and principals in the book Great by Choice.
Jim and I talk about The Terra Nova Expedition, a story of two teams of polar explorers who in 1910-1913 went to Antarctica to reach the South Pole. Both were under the same harsh conditions. One team never made it back. Why? Collins contends that the successful team employed key leadership behaviors and approaches, and they map perfectly to what a modern day organization needs to do to survive and thrive. Lots to learn here.
If you are hungry to change the world it just might be you need a healthy dose of fanatical discipline, empirical creativity and productive paranoia. “What’s all that about?” you ask. Jim will tell you all about that and why you need to create a “do NOT do” list.
About Jim Collins
Jim Collins is a student and teacher of what makes great companies tick, and a Socratic advisor to leaders in the business and social sectors. He has authored or coauthored six books that have together sold 10+ million copies worldwide, including Good to Great, Good to Great and the Social Sectors, Built to Last, How the Mighty Fall, Great by Choice, and his most recent work Turning the Flywheel published in February 2019.
Driven by a relentless curiosity, Jim began his research and teaching career on the faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. In 1995, he founded a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. In 2017, Forbes selected Jim as one of the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds. Jim, an avid rock climber for more than forty years, has completed single-day ascents of El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite Valley.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Entertaining, insightful and actionable! 🔥
Whether you’re well established as someone who can translate creative energy into the impact you want to have on the world, or just getting started as a catalyst for change - this is a must-listen podcast for you! Joan does an incredible job leading conversations that cover a huge breadth of topics related to the ins and outs of building a thriving nonprofit and life you can be proud of - with leaders who’ve actually walked the path. Highly recommend listening and subscribing!
Joan Garry and her guests are an incredible resource for any nonprofit board leader or executive director. On this podcast, you’ll get advice and inspiration that you can put into action right away. And you’ll be reminded that excellent board members are abundant and it’s likely they want to serve on your board. You just have to give them the right opportunity, role and challenge.
Excellent Podcasts - Learning a lot
Some many great insights on managing a not for profit in these episodes