158 episodes

You are going to change the world. We can help. Running a small nonprofit is not for the faint of heart. With limited resources and fueled by a combination of caffeine and passion, small charity leaders are unsung heroes. The Small Nonprofit podcast, by The Good Partnership, gives you down-to-earth, practical and actionable expert guidance on how to run a small nonprofit. From leadership and law to fundraising and finance, we’ve got you covered. Forget comparing your organization to the big shops, we’re creating a community of nonprofit leaders who are going to change the world, one small nonprofit at a time.

The Small Nonprofit The Good Partnership

    • Business
    • 4.6 • 17 Ratings

You are going to change the world. We can help. Running a small nonprofit is not for the faint of heart. With limited resources and fueled by a combination of caffeine and passion, small charity leaders are unsung heroes. The Small Nonprofit podcast, by The Good Partnership, gives you down-to-earth, practical and actionable expert guidance on how to run a small nonprofit. From leadership and law to fundraising and finance, we’ve got you covered. Forget comparing your organization to the big shops, we’re creating a community of nonprofit leaders who are going to change the world, one small nonprofit at a time.

    five fallacies of fundraising with Nicole McVan and Tanya Rumble

    five fallacies of fundraising with Nicole McVan and Tanya Rumble

    We love busting myths in this podcast and in this episode, we are diving into more fundraising fallacies and why most of them are actually harmful for our beneficiaries, donors and relationships in our sector. 
    Here to share their Five Fallacies of Fundraising are Tanya Rumble and Nicole McVan. These two have been showing up on virtual stages for a while now and I’m so excited to have them on the podcast to share their framework and how it can help organizations and fundraisers.
    Tanya and Nicole's Five Fallacies of Fundraising: 
    Wealth is built by the smartest and most capable people. In fundraising, we often think of white donors pictured with a racialized person or community member who's benefited from the funds that they donated. As fundraisers, we need to acknowledge the structural advantages that allowed donors to build their wealth and debunk the myth that they gained it only based on merit because this narrative creates more harm and deepens inequity in philanthropy. The donor is always right. The donor-first-at-all-cost mentality essentially gives away all of the power and creates zero or very limited boundaries for the individual fundraiser and for the organization. If we continue to please and follow our donors it will be difficult to feel a sense of control and can have a negative impact on the direction of our program and mission. Donor centricity should trump everything else. Fundraisers should not subjugate ourselves, keep donors away from work and give away our power. Donors, by and large, don't want to be on this pedestal. Oftentimes it's the charity themselves that creates these recognition grids for donors. This fills the sector with unrealistic expectations from donors and later on drains the resources of the organization for stewardship and donor recognition. Beneficiaries are deficient and need a donor to save them.  Saviorism is when we center ourselves in the story instead of our beneficiaries. As fundraisers, we need to take an asset-based lens when we talk about our communities and beneficiaries that have identities that have been structurally disadvantaged from time immemorial, and we need to be thoughtful about how we position those. Resources are scarce, and we must fight each other for funding. Charities and fundraisers are worried about losing donors because our sector is built on a scarcity mindset of there's never enough, and we're constantly having to go out there to earn the money to be able to survive. But the reality is there are tons of folks out there who think about your charity in a different way. Favourite Quotes from Today’s Episode
    Post your favourite quote on social media to share with us!
    “We're not fundraising for fundraising's sake. We're fundraising to make a difference. And if we miss an opportunity to connect with the hearts and minds of our donors, to help them understand how they could change the behavior, not just give money, we're missing a massive opportunity to move our missions forward.” - Nicole M.
    Resources from this Episodephilanthropyandequitycop@gmail.com
    Nicole McVan | LinkedIn
    Tanya Hannah Rumble, CFRE, MFA-P™ | LinkedIn
    thegoodpartnership.com
    This season's sponsor, Keela, has provided you with a FREE grant manager resource to keep track of all your grant applications. Check it out and learn more about Keela here: https://www.keela.co/consultant/the-good-partnership

    • 45 min
    the smart nonprofit with Beth Kanter and Allison Fine

    the smart nonprofit with Beth Kanter and Allison Fine

    It's no secret that nonprofit organizations are a bit behind the times when it comes to technology. There are many reasons why nonprofits are slower to adopt new technologies, from a lack of funding and resources to the fact that many of them work on tight budgets, which can make tech seem like an unnecessary expense. Add to that the fact that as humans, we don’t generally like change - adopting new technology at small organizations can feel insurmountable.
    In today's episode, I’m talking with Beth Kanter and Allison Fine, authors of the new book “The Smart Nonprofit: Staying Human-Centered in An Automated World” to share with us how we can integrate smart tech into nonprofit work to work more effectively and improve the impact of our work on the sector.
    Myths that Beth and Allison  want us to walk away from:
    Smart technology is neutral and infallible.  There are two things that can make smart tech biased. One is the assumptions and biases of the computer programmer who made the tool, and the second is the datasets on which the AI is being built, which it uses to learn and create its patterns. Cost is the main barrier for nonprofits to using smart technology. The number one barrier for nonprofits is not the resources and cost of the tools but the knowledge about what the tech does and how to use it to free up time for staff to work effectively. Beth and Allison’s tips on integrating smart tech into nonprofit work 
    Readiness: The first step is really pinpointing the pain point from the end user's point of view. We have to go through radical prioritization of what the pain point is and make it tiny especially if you're a smaller organization.Setting: Know what are the tools or the technical partners that we should look for.  The vendors that you select with smart tech have to have values that are aligned with your organization. Mitigation of bias problems:  Be aware of the bias of the tools and try to mitigate the problems that it creates. One way you mitigate is to ask the developers what assumptions were built into it, how it was tested and then you can test it yourself.Go: This is where we start to implement. We implement it in really small pilots and set it up, learn as we go, and make it better. Favourite Quotes from Today’s Episode
    “It's really focusing on this reset, focusing on making the shift to smart tech so you can improve the culture of your organization. And both of them take this intentional work. And our dream is that organizations will embrace this because what we see if they do it again, this time to think time, to breathe a time to really improve the impact of their work on the sector. ” - Beth K. 
    “You don't start to solve problems with a tool. You start to solve problems in conversation with a large group of stakeholders.” Allison F. 
    Resources from this EpisodeThe Smart Nonprofit
    The Good Partnership
    This season's sponsor, Keela, has provided you with a FREE grant manager resource to keep track of all your grant applications. Check it out and learn more about Keela here: https://www.keela.co/consultant/the-good-partnership

    • 33 min
    everything you thought about your donors is wrong with Tim Sarrantonio

    everything you thought about your donors is wrong with Tim Sarrantonio

    We've all heard the stereotypes about giving and donors: They're wealthy, they're old, and they're white. But what if those stereotypes are wrong? Perhaps it’s time to rethink what you thought about giving and donors, and start to understand who is actually giving and how you can reach out to in order to raise more money for your nonprofit. 
    In today’s episode, we are going to debunk some of the myths that you know about giving and donors with Tim Sarrantonio, Director of Corporate Brand, NeonOne. NeonOne provides nonprofits and social good organizations with unified tools and services they need to help fulfill their mission. The team works hard to help social good organizations raise more money and build sustainable, long-term growth with software, services, and resources. 
    Myths that Tim  wants us to walk away from:
    People with higher income are more generously.  Regardless of your income level, most people on average give between 1.5% to 2% of their income. People who earn more are NOT more generous!Philanthropy is for white people. The Urban Institute has done some multi-year analyses and the Federal Reserve in the US has done this too, where black families in the United States are more likely to give higher percentages of their annual income to charity versus other demographics.Giving makes people uncomfortable. When somebody gives, the brain's dopamine centers activate at a higher rate than either receiving or entering into a more transactional relationship. It’s important to understand that people actually WANT to give. Tim’s highlights on individual giving 
    Showing gratitude: When creating a thank you note for your donors or designing an appeal, always focus on the person and not the transaction. You can highlight the generosity of the person instead of the amount of donation they gave. For example, instead of saying thank you for your generous gift - try thank you for being generous.When do people give:  Neon One found that Thursday is the day of the week that donors are most likely to give online and during the early afternoon around 11:30. Geographic analysis: Neon One also reports that donors are more likely to give to organizations that serve their local community. Small shops should look into the geography and demographics of the people who live in their community. Favourite Quotes from Today’s Episode
    Post your favourite quote on social media to share with us!
    “And the best piece of actionable advice I can give a small shop is when you're designing something like an appeal, for instance, when you're writing your thank you notes or the emails that go out or thinking about when you are talking to somebody, ask yourself, am I looking at the person or am I looking at the transaction?”
    “ But ultimately, all people are generous. There are just different ways that they're showing their generosity. ”
    Resources from this Episode
    Neon One Individual Giving Report 
    Neon One Resources 
    The Good Partnership
    This season's sponsor, Keela, has provided you with a FREE grant manager resource to keep track of all your grant applications. Check it out and learn more about Keela here: https://www.keela.co/consultant/the-good-partnership

    • 29 min
    honest fundraising with Rickesh Lakhani

    honest fundraising with Rickesh Lakhani

    Having a “positive” relationship with your donors is a cornerstone of fundraising success. It's the key to building trust and earning loyalty, which is why so many fundraisers and executive directors are afraid of saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing. But what if you could be completely honest with your donors? What would that look like?
    With Rickesh Lakhani, we're discussing the importance of “honest fundraising'' in today's episode. Rickesh has over 15 years of experience in the social good sector, and he is the current  Executive Director at Future Possibilities for Kids. He believes that we are all responsible for each other’s success.
    Myths that Rickesh wants us to walk away from:
    Donors should only know about the good things in your organization. Being honest with your donors about the reality of your organization will help them understand how your organization works and how you are spending your funds. It can bring them closer to your organization and help you achieve more of your goals. Donations should only go to programs and services.  Allowing donors to understand unrestricted funds and how they will support your services in the long term will help your organization become more sustainable. Rickesh’s tips on starting an honest fundraising  
    Start with your team. Write down everything you wish donors knew about the work you do and tell them the realities of everything that happens within your organization that they aren't aware of.Communicate with donors.  Start having an honest conversation about fundraising with board members and annual donors, or with people you feel most comfortable with.Make it a practice. Building trust and relationships with donors doesn’t happen overnight, that’s why you need to make sure to include them in the conversation to help them understand how the organization works and how they can help in a more meaningful way. Favourite Quotes from Today’s EpisodePost your favourite quote on social media to share with us!
    “When I say honest fundraising, it's not that we've been dishonest, but there are specific things that we have been withholding from donors and proactively sharing with them that are keeping things the way they are and what we're wanting all this change we’re wanting donors to invest in the space differently and have a different relationship. And we're holding back on some of these conversations that we're all having amongst ourselves and we're not having with donors. And so I was like,  how are we going to expect them to understand and change what they're doing? If we, as the folks who are living this day-to-day, aren't letting them into that a little bit more?”
    “Trust is built through the good times and the bad, to the vulnerability.  ”
    Resources from this Episode
    Rickesh’s Twitter 
    Rickesh’s LinkedIn 
    The Good Partnership
    This season's sponsor, Keela, has provided you with a FREE grant manager resource to keep track of all your grant applications. Check it out and learn more about Keela here: https://www.keela.co/consultant/the-good-partnership

    • 30 min
    the state of fundraising with Jacob O' Connor

    the state of fundraising with Jacob O' Connor

    Changes to the charitable sector? Indeed. 
    You’ve probably felt those changes over the last few years—nothing like a pandemic to shake things up. You might have some anecdotes or stories of how things have changed, but today we’re diving into some of the research.
    In this episode, I’m talking with Jacob O’ Connor, Senior Vice President of Charity Engagement at Canada Helps, to discuss The Giving Report 2022 which highlights insights and generational giving trends facing Canada’s charitable sector that are taking place as charities are still struggling with demands and challenges from the ongoing pandemic, and now significant challenges brought about by historic inflation rates. Don’t worry if you’re not in Canada - guaranteed you will benefit from understanding these trends (because they are likely true where you are too). 
    Key findings:
    Donors care about causes over affinity to specific organizations. The younger generation has a greater affinity for cause-based donations and support as opposed to giving to specific organizations. It’s important for nonprofits to know how they position themselves as contributors to these causes. This is a great opportunity for small organizations and underscores the importance of stewardship.Digital is here to stay. CanadaHelps saw a 119% increase year over year in giving in year one of the pandemic. Moreover, The Giving Report 2022 highlighted that younger generations find new and strategic ways to give online such as cryptocurrencies and securities. Jacob’s Key Insights on Giving Trends 2022
    The giving gap: Donors aged 55+  are actually giving twice the amount of the 25 to 54 age group. This gap is growing and as a sector, we need to think about where we will be when this generation no longer has the capacity to give?Cause-based donations: The way you tell your stories and engage with fundamental causes or movements, such as social justice and environmental issues,  will be very important to the next generation of donors. It’s important to know where your organization stands and how are you helping specific causes?Leveraging current trends and reports:  Further than just education providing insights, this report serves as a call to action that Canadians need to step up and engage with the sector and support the sector that gives us so much.Favourite Quotes from Today’s EpisodePost your favourite quote on social media to share with us!
    “ Canadian charities have experienced rises in demand throughout the pandemic. In our panel, we saw that 11% of Canadians are accessing charitable services for their basic needs. This number,  if the effects of the inflation pandemic don't change, expects to go up to 26%, which is staggering. Charities are already struggling to meet the demands and then the effects of inflation. We need to do more, we need Canadians to step up.”
    “We want to amplify that the sector needs support. Even though the pandemic is coming hopefully to an end, inflation is here and yet it was a big drop over the last few years that we need to help the sector recover from. ”
    Resources from this Episode
    CanadaHelps.org
    The Good Partnership
    This season's sponsor, Keela, has provided you with a FREE grant manager resource to keep track of all your grant applications. Check it out and learn more about Keela here: https://www.keela.co/consultant/the-good-partnership

    • 31 min
    the power of "no" with Dr. William Clark

    the power of "no" with Dr. William Clark

    When you’re a small nonprofit, it’s hard to say no to any opportunity that comes your way. After all, you want to make the most out of every single day and help as many people as possible. But if you try to take on too much, it can be a detriment to your effectiveness as an organization. When should you say yes vs. no?
    We're talking with Dr. William Clark, founder of Eli Patrick & Co. which provides fundraising consulting to nonprofits. He has over 15 years of experience working in city government, nonprofit administration, and public housing operations. Dr. Clark assists nonprofits with developing sustainable revenue strategies and identifying talent acquisition solutions for growing businesses.
    Myths that Dr. Clark wants us to walk away from:
    Saying NO will cost you opportunities: In making important decisions, we need to think about things more intentionally rather than being driven by the need of the moment, which is most likely revenue for small nonprofits.You are always in control: If things didn't work out in your favour, remember that there are forces bigger than you that may have contributed to this as well, forces you couldn't and will never be able to control. You must accept the fact that you will not always be in complete control.Dr. Clark’s Tips on the power of "no"
    Know your capacity. One of the questions you can ask yourself is: Can you do the job? It is a question of skill, talent, money and partnerships and everything that goes into running a successful business, or non-profit.  Communicate.  Communicate consistently with folks that you work with, your consultant, your colleagues, and your board to get different perspectives and advice. When you said no when you should’ve said yes. Every organization has its ups and downs. It's fine to rethink things and reevaluate how we proceed so that we can build up this account of goodwill with the various people with whom we were doing business.Favourite Quotes from Today’s EpisodePost your favourite quote on social media to share with us!
    “Giving yourself space to grieve, grieve in the moment, grieve in potential loss, grieve in potential failure, grieving the fact that your view of yourself is not necessarily consistent with the situation. Grieve in the fact that some people may look at you slightly differently and it might not be favourable because of changes that they may blame you for. So I think a lot of it is just processing through. And as you've worked through that, you don't want to stay in that moment way too long, because there's still work to be done. There are still clients who are looking to you for services and resources and they need you. And so you need to process through these things, but get up, dust yourself off, get back on that horse. Learn from what happened and grow ”
    “ When it comes to yes-no, it’s just understanding the moment and living in that moment and responding as best as you can. And lastly being okay with that response. ”
    Resources from this Episode
    drwilliampclark.com
    The Good Partnership
    This season's sponsor, Keela, has provided you with a FREE grant manager resource to keep track of all your grant applications. Check it out and learn more about Keela here: https://www.keela.co/consultant/the-good-partnership

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

kporter9876 ,

Small Nonprofits: You Need This!

Cindy and her team do an incredible job of highlighting the issues, challenges, and opportunities that small nonprofits face. They have their pulse on the industry because they are practitioners and deeply want to see small organizations grow. From practical advice to inspiration, you’ll find it here.

Shireymama ,

Great advice in every episode!

Cindy’s approach to helping the small nonprofit thrive is unique and spot on, delivering great advice in every episode. I like Cindy’s down-to-earth take on everything from board management to annual fund campaigns, and her network of nonprofit professionals bring a wealth of expertise to this show. If you’re a small nonprofit, you need to be listening and taking notes!

Rachel Bearbower ,

My go-to podcast!

The Small Nonprofit podcast is my go-to every week. Insightful conversations that make me feel like the host and guests really understand the needs of small organizations!

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