164 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
    • 4.6 • 264 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 161: Inclusion is About More Than Diversity (with Daisy Auger-Domínguez)

    Ep 161: Inclusion is About More Than Diversity (with Daisy Auger-Domínguez)

    These days, lots of leaders in the nonprofit sector are searching for ways to hire more diverse talent. But, according to my guest, Daisy Auger-Domínguez (Chief People Officer at Vice Media Group) this is the wrong place to start if you really want to foster more inclusivity in the workplace.

    According to Daisy, before asking questions like, “Why don’t more people raise their hands for board service” or “How can we get more people of color on our board,” you must first unpack what conditions led the organization to be predominantly white or an unwelcoming place for people of different backgrounds in the first place.

    As a Latinx woman who contributes her skills, background, and expertise to FOUR different nonprofit boards, Daisy joins us today to share her insights on why it is so important to seek these answers as you embark on your journey towards a more diverse and inclusive nonprofit board and organization.

    Her new book, Inclusion Revolution, is for managers who need the knowledge, skills, and confidence to shine a light on all their team members without putting people on display for optics while leaving them disempowered. So is our conversation in this episode.

    Tune in as she talks about what it’s like to be the only person of color on a board, and how people who work for nonprofits can better equip themselves for difficult conversations about diversity and inclusivity in the nonprofit workplace.

    Click play to learn:



    * Why is it so challenging to have difficult conversations about diversity and inclusivity in the nonprofit workplace? (9:21)

    * What is it like to be the only person of color on a nonprofit board of directors? (18:03)

    * What factors are important to consider for board service? (20:14)

    * What skills are developed as a result of being a board member? (35:18)

    * What do leaders need to know about the road to creating an inclusive and diverse board? (38:13)





    Resources



    * Inclusion Revolution: The Essential Guide to Dismantling Racial Inequity in the Workplace

    * Subtle Acts of Exclusion: How to Understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions by Tiffany Jana & Michael Baran (Paperback)

    * FREE WORKSHOP: Let’s Build the Nonprofit Board of Your Dreams!

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

    * FREE WORKSHOP: 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



    Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Comm...

    • 49 min
    Ep 160: Corporate Philanthropy and the Paul Newman Foundation (with Miriam Nelson)

    Ep 160: Corporate Philanthropy and the Paul Newman Foundation (with Miriam Nelson)

    Purpose-driven work is in high demand these days — especially in the midst of the Great Resignation. The nonprofit sector is dripping with opportunities to find a deeper meaning in what you do every day, but what does this look like in the private sector?

    After all, people are hungry to work and become advocates for organizations that have a greater purpose than raking in more and more profits for corporate billionaires. I thought it would be interesting to explore what a purpose-driven corporate brand looks like.

    My guest today is the leader of a private organization where meaning, purpose, and philanthropy are part of its DNA. Meet Miriam Nelson, the CEO of the Newman Foundation.

    The Newman Foundation is a shining example of what I’m talking about here. Through corporate philanthropy, this organization donates 100% of its profits to nourishing and transforming the lives of children who face adversity. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT!

    Talk about touching the work!

    You might think this is a unique story of the legacy of a famous actor and humanitarian, but it’s so much more than that. Miriam has some good food for thought to share about shameless exploitation for the power of good and the story of the Paul Newman Foundation and Newman’s Own food company that every nonprofit leader should hear.

    Click play to learn:



    * What is the origin story of Newman’s Own? (3:21)

    * How can celebrities (and others with influence) use their platforms to make an impact? (9:57)

    * Are there any other companies that give away 100% of their profits? (20:59)

    * What are the current corporate philanthropy trends? (23:38)

    * What is a social entrepreneur? (38:12)





    Resources



    * Newman’s Own Foundation

    * Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose

    * FREE WORKSHOP: Let’s Build the Nonprofit Board of Your Dreams!

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

    * FREE WORKSHOP: 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



    Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    About Miriam Nelson:

    Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D., is an American public health and nutrition scholar and social entrepreneur focusing on the areas of children’s wellness, women’s health, and sustainable food systems. She has authored hundreds of scientific studies, research papers, and policy reports, and is internationally known for her New York Times bestsellin...

    • 46 min
    Ep 159: Helping Veteran Volunteers Find Their Next Mission (with Art delaCruz)

    Ep 159: Helping Veteran Volunteers Find Their Next Mission (with Art delaCruz)

    Do you know anyone who is a US military veteran? Our sector has many organizations with missions that support the brave individuals who felt compelled to answer the call to serve our country in the military. My guest today, Art delaCruz is the CEO of one of those organizations — Team Rubicon.

    Many veterans come home looking for ways to continue the sense of purpose, identity, and community they found while fighting for our country — and Team Rubicon’s mission is to provide these kinds of opportunities. They deploy veteran volunteers as first responders to navigate disaster relief in the US and around the world.

    As the leader of this organization, Art has so many lessons to share on volunteerism and the privilege and responsibility of service. We also dig into the real power of community, identity, and purpose when it comes to living a more fulfilling life and making this world of ours a better place.

    Join me to learn more about Art’s background, Team Rubicon, and the positive impact that continuing to serve after service has on veteran volunteers.

    Click play to learn:



    * What is Team Rubicon? (2:56)

    * What is it like to be one of Team Rubicon veteran volunteers? (13:59)

    * What are some of the best ways to support your volunteers? (18:26)

    * What is the #1 thing that we overlook when it comes to fundraising? (29:31)

    * Why is it so important for nonprofit organizations to invest in their volunteers? (36:50)

    * What are some of the challenges veterans face when they return home? (38:08)





    Resources



    * Team Rubicon Website

    * God’s Love We Deliver

    * FREE WORKSHOP: Let’s Build the Nonprofit Board of Your Dreams!

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

    * FREE WORKSHOP: 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



    Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    About Art delaCruz:

    Art delaCruz served honorably for more than 22 years in the United States Navy where he commanded a Navy strike-fighter squadron, spent one year with McKinsey & Co. as a Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellow, served as a Top Gun instructor, and made six combat deployments. This experience coupled with two and a half years in the aerospace and defense sector in the roles of business development, strategy, and planning, prepared Art to lead the humanitarian and disaster relief organization Team Rub...

    • 46 min
    Ep 158: 3 Big Trends That Are Altering the Nonprofit Sector (with Eric Nee)

    Ep 158: 3 Big Trends That Are Altering the Nonprofit Sector (with Eric Nee)

    What trends have you been seeing in the nonprofit sector lately? Been too busy to notice?

    I totally get it.

    That’s why I invited Eric Nee, the Editor in Chief of the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) to talk to us today. Understanding the current trends in our society is a key ingredient for effective social change.

    Whether we like it or not, we are all a part of this society’s sphere of influence. Our sector is a clear reflection of the needs, wants, and challenges of our world. As such, the trends going on around us trickle into the nonprofit sector and have a major impact on the way we work and lead. So it’s important to keep up. You do not want to let these trends stay on the back burner as you continue to lead on autopilot…

    This works the other way around, too. As the biggest source of leadership in the United States, the nonprofit sector as a whole has a big, fat opportunity to create lasting social change in a society that really needs us to do our very best work right now.

    As someone who curates the leading voices in the sector (and is one himself), Eric Nee has some interesting insights on how we can make this happen. He always has his eyes on the latest societal trends and has written countless thought-provoking articles for those who are fully committed to the power, impact, and possibility that the social sector holds.

    In my book, he is the true definition of a thought leader. Join us for a robust discussion about power dynamics, systemic issues, and ways we can improve the nonprofit business model to better serve our changing world.

    *Warning* This conversation WILL light a fire in your belly.

    Click play to learn:



    * What does understanding trends have to do with being a strong nonprofit leader? ​​ (0:04)

    * How did societal trends impact the nonprofit boom during the Vietnam War era? (9:14)

    * What are the current trends impacting the nonprofit sector and social change in 2022? (13:08)

    * What can nonprofit executives do to better navigate the world of DEI? (15:31)

    * What does the future of nonprofits look like? (24:56)

    * What did the pandemic teach us about the role of technology trends in the nonprofit sector? (30:01)

    * How can nonprofits can be the vehicle that brings us together as a society? (39:24)





    Resources



    * SSIR.ORG

    * Ford Foundation

    * FREE WORKSHOP: Let’s Build the Nonprofit Board of Your Dreams!

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

    * FREE WORKSHOP: 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



    Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless,

    • 51 min
    Ep 157: How Equitable Technology Can Supercharge Your Mission (with Amy Ward and Afua Bruce)

    Ep 157: How Equitable Technology Can Supercharge Your Mission (with Amy Ward and Afua Bruce)

    Technology for nonprofits is often thought of as being external to the work that goes on inside the sector. But, technology and equity are inextricably connected — and both have the potential to extend our social missions. In this episode authors, Amy Ward and Afua Bruce join me to talk about why.

    So many of us (including me) have this idea that simply increasing access to technology will put the world on a path towards equity. Turns out there’s a lot more to it than that.

    My guests today are strategists, organizers, researchers, technologists… and authors of a new book, The Tech That Comes Next: How Changemakers, Philanthropists, and Technologists Can Build an Equitable World.

    Amy and Afua are on a mission to answer the question: How do we change our relationship to technology? From who creates it and with whom to who funds it and uses it to what ends we put it to use — answering these questions allows us to develop equitable technology for nonprofits that supports our work to change the world for the better.

    Their book rests on some core beliefs: Since humans create technology, it can’t be neutral! If tech is to be a part of the solution of building a more equitable world, we must build technologies with intention and inclusivity, and we must do so collaboratively.

    Click play to learn:



    * Why is equitable technology necessary for today’s nonprofit? (6:48)

    * In what ways does technology give us hope? (9:34)

    * What are the implications about using non-organization-made tools? (13:18)

    How has the nonprofit sector has pushed technology into a box? (24:06)

    What does  building a tech culture in your organization looks like? (25:03)

    How can nonprofit leaders center community in their organization’s tech strategy? (28:34)





    Resources



    * The Tech That Comes Next: How Changemakers, Philanthropists, and Technologists Can Build an Equitable World

    * FREE WORKSHOP: Let’s Build the Nonprofit Board of Your Dreams!

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

    * FREE WORKSHOP: 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



    Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    About Amy Ward:

    Amy is passionate about the ways we can build and use technology to support our efforts to change the world and uses this passion every day as the CEO of NTEN.

    Contact Amy Ward

    • 45 min
    Ep 156: How Leaders Can Promote Belonging In the Workplace (with Rhodes Perry)

    Ep 156: How Leaders Can Promote Belonging In the Workplace (with Rhodes Perry)

    Belonging. It’s such a powerful word, isn’t it? Just hearing it can ignite tons of strong emotions in nonprofit leaders like you. My guest for today’s episode, two-time bestselling author, Rhodes Perry, describes it as a full-on sensory experience.

    For many of us, the word belonging brings up thoughts about issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion as many of us are somewhere on our journeys in this area. In fact, this work is demanded of leaders in our sector right now.

    A sense of belonging is something we all crave. In fact, we LONG for it (notice how the word “longing” is embedded in belonging?). But, with this much power behind it, what role does the word “belonging” play within our sector’s hierarchical structure?

    My guest, Rhodes Perry, has some great insights on why belonging matters, and the role inclusive leaders play when it comes to building belonging cultures at work. We also get into how leaders like you can and should positively impact workplace culture.

    Click play below and learn how feeling seen, supported, connected, and proud can help you bring your whole self to the workplace (and encourage others to do the same).

    Listen and Learn:



    1:02 How does power impact the culture of belonging in the nonprofit workplace?

    7:39 What is ‘belonging’?

    * 8:42 What are the 4 basic elements of “belonging” in the workplace?

    20:34 How can an organization support DEI commitments when the fundamental structure of work is at odds with advancing them?

    24:26 What are some alternatives to a hierarchy?

    27:50 Why is it so important for nonprofit leaders to understand how to use smart technology ethically and responsibly?

    44:52 How do you know what kind of workplace culture you have?

    46:12 What is the connection between workplace culture and decision making?





    Resources



    * Imagine Belonging: Your Inclusive Leadership Guide to Building an Equitable Workplace

    * Rhodes Perry Consulting

    * Belonging At Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take to Cultivate an Inclusive Organization

    * FREE WORKSHOP: Let’s Build the Nonprofit Board of Your Dreams!

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

    * FREE WORKSHOP: 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 Rhodes Perry



    * Facebook

    * Instagram

    * Personal Twitter

    * RPC, LLC on Twitter 

    * Personal LinkedIn

    * RPC,

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
264 Ratings

264 Ratings

zoverflow ,

Joan is a powerhouse

Joan is an amazing podcast host, and really makes you even as a listener feel empowered to act! Her conversations around nuanced nonprofit topics and the guests she brings on consistently provides amazing and actionable value to me. I love this show! And I also love Joan's sense of humor. Anyone who works in the nonprofit space or with nonprofits should definitely be listening to this show. It is clear why this show is consistently ranking on the podcast charts! Nonprofits ARE messy…but that doesn’t need to be the end of the story!

LD_Blue ,

Every Nonprofit Leader Should Subscribe!

I started listening to Joan when I was a Director of Development. When the pandemic started my life turned upside down and I found myself caring full-time for my two special needs kids at home and I could not longer keep a full-time job. After listening to more episodes and soul searching I realized I could follow Joan’s advice and start my own foundation. It is messy! But it is also beautiful. If you are in the nonprofit world, this podcast is a must listen!

maladynarf ,

Loving episode #135 children’s theatre introspective!

I loved hearing about how the pandemic affected nonprofit children’s theater and how it has potentially provided a positive change that can be taken into the future. Great questions and equally thoughtful answers. Looking forward to hearing more from this guest host!

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