114 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, 193 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 112: What Foundations Are Thinking Right Now (with Caryl M. Stern)

    Ep 112: What Foundations Are Thinking Right Now (with Caryl M. Stern)

    You know that old saying, “May you live in interesting times”?



    Yeah, about that….



    The times have been terrifying and surreal. In particular for those of us that fall into the category of “older Americans with underlying conditions.” Yeah, people like me.



    But hope is medicine. And I find hope in the work of the nonprofit leaders I am privileged to serve. The juxtaposition of your immense struggles (read: funding, resources) and the exponential need for your work is like nothing I have ever seen.



    I could tell stories for days of small and mighty nonprofits that are delivering against all odds - with resilience, creativity, collaboration and sheer grit.



    That said, I get it. So many of you are struggling. Facing crises that are existential. Will we make it?



    I wanted to know what funders, especially foundations, are thinking at this time. I’m imagining program officers inundated with requests for emergency grants.



    And so I spoke with the Executive Director of the Walton Family Foundation, Caryl Stern. In 2018 this foundation awarded nearly $600 million(!) in grants with a focus on the environment, K-12 education and the place the Waltons call home, Northwest Arkansas. The foundation invests around the world, on farms and back yards, and in the kids who are the future.



    For all of you nonprofit superheroes with tattered capes, this conversation is for you.



    About Caryl M. Stern

    Caryl M. Stern is the executive director of the Walton Family Foundation. Previously, she was president and CEO of UNICEF USA. A dynamic change-maker, Caryl has dedicated her career to helping others through education, compassion, advocacy and rolling up her sleeves. For 12 years, she served as president and CEO of UNICEF USA, an organization that supports UNICEF’s lifesaving work to put children first.



    Caryl has traveled to more than 30 countries in support of UNICEF’s work and has spearheaded

    UNICEF USA’s emergency relief efforts for children affected by disasters, including the 2010

    Haiti earthquake, the 2011 East Africa drought, the Ebola and Zika epidemics and the ongoing

    global refugee and migrant crisis.



    A sought-after public speaker on the topics of Kids Helping Kids, children and philanthropy, anti-bullying and international development, Caryl was invited to present at the White House’s

    inaugural summit on The United State of Women and was named one of “25 Women Changing the World in 2017” by People Magazine, “20 Most Influential Moms of 2017” by Family Circle, “25 Moms We Love” by Working Mother Magazine and “Ten Women to Watch” by Jewish Women International.



    She serves on the boards of directors of The Container Store and the We Are Family

    Foundation. In addition, Caryl is a member of the Advisory Board of Chime for Change and a

    trustee of The World’s Big Sleep Out. Prior to joining UNICEF USA, Caryl was an executive at

    the Anti-Defamation League, the founding director of it's A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE®

    Institute, and the Dean of Students at Polytechnic University.



    Caryl is an activist, author, executive, public speaker, mother of three and grandmother of two.

    • 38 min
    Ep 111: Once Upon a Time There Was a Fundraiser Who… (with Dan Portnoy)

    Ep 111: Once Upon a Time There Was a Fundraiser Who… (with Dan Portnoy)

    Just for a moment, imagine what it would mean for your organization if you could double your online fundraising next year. I’m thinking it would increase your impact for sure. Sounds pretty great.



    So how do you do that?



    My guest, Dan Portnoy, says you start with a good story. Dan is the author of The Non-Profit Narrative: How Telling Stories Can Change the World and is the founder of Portnoy Media Group.



    In the episode, Dan teaches us how to effectively use the framework of the hero’s journey to achieve phenomenal fundraising results.



    If you want to improve your fundraising over the next year, you’ll want to pay attention.



    About Dan Portnoy

    Dan is the founder of Portnoy Media Group and the author of The Non-Profit Narrative: How Telling Stories Can Change the World. For over two decades, Dan has worked with the toughest outposts of Fortune 500 companies to get them back on track with big results. He is a sought after to help flesh out ideas, coach teams, and lead senior staff through the digital age. He is a story expert and builds narratives that remove the barriers between traditional cultivation and acquisition.

    • 51 min
    Ep 109: How to Have a Difficult Conversations - Part 2

    Ep 109: How to Have a Difficult Conversations - Part 2

    There sure are a lot of difficult conversations happening right now. All over the place. We learned all about how to approach them in part 1 of this 2-part episode.



    Today, we’ll dig deeper into an absolutely critical component of a productive difficult conversation. Receiving feedback.



    Receiving feedback can be especially difficult, particularly when you think it’s not deserved. Not needed. Not wanted.



    But if you won’t listen, nothing will change. And conversely, if you’re the one giving the feedback, your listener won’t be open to what you’re saying if they’re feeling judged. If you don’t approach it the right way.



    Remember, the goal in these conversations isn’t to “be right”. It’s to affect change in some way. To improve something that’s been going on.



    My guest, consultant and author Sheila Heen, discusses three triggers that can help us process feedback productively, even when it feels “off base, unfair, poorly delivered, and frankly, you’re not in the mood”.



    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:

    - I am so skillful in giving feedback, why can’t you hear me?

    - Is feedback always judgmental?

    - What are the three triggers and why does it matter to recognize them?

    - Three different types of feedback with distinct purposes

    - What if the person evaluating me doesn’t know me well enough?

    - What if as an E.D. I am not crushing my job because I have a weak board chair?

    • 34 min
    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

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
193 Ratings

193 Ratings

clairesmallwood_ ,

Drink the Joan Garry Koolaid

If you’re involved in any nonprofit—in any capacity—this podcast is an amazing resource. It kind of just makes you a better person just by listening!

Jenwatleynelson ,

Required listening

No one should attempt to work at or lead a nonprofit (or maybe any company) without Joan! Always timely and relevant.

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!

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