Simone Uncensored

October 7, 2019

More notes from my dorm room…

It’s fall. But I still have memories from my time at Saint Mary’s. This year I taught governance to 2 different cohorts…Cohort 27 and Cohort 28. And here are some more great insights from Cohort 27. Insights that you can use to stimulate your thinking, encourage you to learn more, and challenge the assumptions you might already have regarding governance.

Aaron said: “Governance is such tricky business for the untrained…But in reality, it is a set of guidelines to make the most use of everyone’s time as well as serve the organization to achieve its mission. [Governance] is not some mythical land where good organizations live and bad are denied. It is common sense coupled with good behavior.”

Brandon said: “The dialogue we had in class helped me see that it’s sometimes important to just acknowledge an issue. A board may not be able to command an end to racism, but the board can have a meaningful conversation about building a policy on diverseity. Smaller steps in part of a larger journey.”

Tyler said: “We can start by influencing what we have learned at our organizations. We can expand that by serving on a board ourselves and implement changes that we know to right in getting those organizations to do good governance.”

So what will you do with these insights? Most boards are mediocre at best…Darn few are really good. If you want governance to be better at your place, learn more!

October 3, 2019

Notes from my dorm room

Two cohorts graduated this summer… Cohorts 27 and 28. I can’t believe that I’ve taught at SMUMN since Cohort 9! For the masters program in philanthropy and development.

And every year, I blog about my experience in the program. Notes from my dorm room. We all live in the dorm!

I share these student comments with you all…Because their insights can help you ensure better governance in your organization!!

From Dan, cohort 27: “Board governance isn’t easy…it’s very complex. Pride is involved. Money is involved. Status is involved.”

From Kent, cohort 27: “I plan to implement some sort of governance development activity into each meeting. Not a big, time-consuming initiative, but just enough to keep the topic of governance top of mind.”

Brandon, cohort 27 asked (and answered his own questions):

“What is the sound of one hand clapping? Nothing.

What is the worth of a fundraiser in a silo? Nothing.

What is the value of a silent board member? Nothing.”

Cohort 27, Anna asked some great cage-rattling questions:

How can we ensure that we have an accurate understanding of the current organizational culture?

What would it look like if our organization took proactive action to develop our organizational culture?

To what extent is a disclosed conflict of interest different from an undisclosed conflict (in terms of the impact on public trust)?

How will we evaluate the level of spending that is necessary to best carry out our mission?

Such good stuff!! How might these notes from my graduated students stimulate your thinking? Challenge your assumptions? Help you do a better job?

September 30, 2019

Keeping track of your donors…and more

In the olden days, when I was a CDO, we had 3000 3×5 cards. 1 card per donor/donor family. Typed the info onto the card. (Yes!! The days of electric typewriters.) One day, someone dropped 1 of the 3×5 card drawers. Approximately 1,000 cards all over the floor. Alphabetizing by hand.

(I still have an electric typewriter in my office. You never know when what etc.!)

Now we’re in the world of databases of all types. Donors. Fundraising. Ticketing. Advertising. Do you think the horse and cow farms have databases by horse/cow names?

Can you imagine a donor/fundraising database whose purpose is donor retention?! Remember, loyalty is the Holy Grail of any business. And thanks to Adrian Sargeant, fundraisers have research that defines how to build and measure donor loyalty.

Adrian’s research was built into a computer algorithm for donor software. Bloomerang. And check out Bloomerang’s free webinars and blogs and other resources.

If you want to keep your donors (retention first…then acquisition!!!), then check out more donor research.

Cool stuff!!!

 

 

 

 

September 23, 2019

Fundraising Standard – What YOU MUST know…

The principles…fundamentals…key stuff… WHICH ALL FUNDRAISERS MUST MUST MUST NEED NEED NEED to know.

The Fundraising Standard is an interactive 40-hour online learning program

START DATES: 2019: 10/7. 11/14.  12/2.  12/16.          2020: 1/6.  1/20.  2/3.  2/17.

Stuff you and I and all fundraisers need to know. Designed for newbies. (But I know lots of fundraisers who aren’t newbies – and need this program! These fundraisers have been fundraising for a while – even quite a while. But too many don’t know the basics.)

What will you learn?

  • Thorough intro to the fundraising process.
  • Intro to the nonprofit sector and fundraising ethics
  • What we know about giving – who gives and why
  • Science and practice of communication design
  • How to raise lots more money by avoiding common errors that nonprofits too often make
  • Focusing on donor satisfaction and wellbeing

And all of this comes from Adrian Sargeant and his team. With start-up funding from Bloomerang.

Check out the Fundraising Standard Program. Now!

P.S. And it’s pretty darn inexpensive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

September 16, 2019

Fundraising myths…fundraising fallacies

Thanks, Terry Graves, for asking me to write my thoughts. Cool to be with Gail Perry and Mary Cahalane.

Getting Past the Myths of Fundraising, Part 1.

TomAnd then, check out Part 2 with Claire Axelrad, Tom Ahern, and Jeff Brooks.

(Geez… I didn’t know Tom Ahern was in Part 2. Obviously, we don’t necessarily communicate all that well. So Now I’m reading Part 2. )

Are you avoiding these fundraising fallacies? I sure hope so. Always remember…opinion vs. expertise shouldn’t even be an option. EXPERTISE should win!!!!

Thanks, Terry, for inviting these writings and putting them all together.

September 12, 2019

Donor experience week

Donor Experience Week. (And make your donor experiences more than 1 week long!!)

10 online sessions…ALL FREE. September 23-27.

Topics

  • Optimizing the monthly donor experience
  • Building donor funnels and journeys
  • Donor stewardship: Engaging with donors online
  • Optimizing your donation page
  • Using data to strengthen donor relationships

Speakers: 

Beth Kanter.  Lori Jacobwith.  Amy Eisenstein.  Erica Waasdorp.  Brady Josephon. Ashley Pettifer.

September 10, 2019

Little notes from different places

I was going through my office supply cabinet. And I have tons of little notebook thingys.

And here are the quotes on the little notebooks:

SORRY. (Red and black plaid cover with Maple Leaf. Maple leaf is Canada.) And on the back: “Souvenirs that don’t suck!”

ORANGE. Engraved in the leather-like cover: “Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.” And since I’m the conversation is a core business practice woman…with CRQs (cage-rattling questions)… This is perfect for me to keep!!!

PINK: Work hard. Play hard.

BLACK: “Always deliver more gratitude than expected.” From Tom Ahern.

Filed under: Just for fun, Leadership

September 5, 2019

Talking with 10 funders…practically 1 on 1!!

AFP RI Chapter is hosting its annual Meet the Funders workshop on  Friday, September 20. 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Cranston Country Club in Cranston, RI.

This is NOT NOT NOT a panel presentation. (Yippee!) This is each funder at a table. And we audience members move from table-to-table chatting with funders.

AND!!!! Funders have promised to tell us more than what’s already on the website. (WOW! Very cool!)

Which funders? 10 in total…And here are just a few of the names: Bank of America Private Bank and Centreville Bank. The Champlin Foundation and the Van Beuren Charitable Foundation. And more!!!!

Visit the AFP RI Chapter website. There you’ll find event details and the ticket link.

September 5, 2019

Notes from my dorm room

Notes from my dorm room… A recurring series that I’ve done for years…after my summer teaching at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota…Masters Program in Philanthropy and Development.

A few new bumper stickers:

Be a person of significance, NOT a person of success.

It’s not the money!

Both of these are from Derek in Cohort 27. Thanks!

August 19, 2019

Part 2: I’m thinking about new stuff…

Part 2: Last week was Part 1.

So my conclusion from last week’s Part 1… What more can I do? Well, I thought about that – and here are some topics I’m going to talk about.

1. Organizational culture: Business theory notes that “culture eats strategy for breakfast and lunch.” What and why. Importance. Developing, supporting, and measuring. Culture of philanthropy – special subset for nonprofit sector. I developed this curriculum for AFP ICON 2019, San Antonio. How about this topic for your professional association, your organization, a product for your community foundation…whatever…

Make sure you read the big read thing below! Skip the first 6 if you wish!! The big red one is really BIG!!

2. Leadership: In-depth probing. Theory and practice. How to develop yourself and others. Creating a leadership development program for your organization and its staff. Maybe a series for your organization or your association or your community…Or just a 1/2 mini session or who knows…

3. Trends and emerging issues: So much is happening…happened…will happen. And you and I have to cope with it. This is sooooo far beyond an organization’s mission or a particular sector. How do we build staff and organizations and processes to watch, monitor, anticipate, recognize, prepare…How do we build foresight? Yes, this is a strategic planning fundamental. But I’m also interested in operationalizing this into day-to-day operations.

Maybe read the big red item below first!!! The first 6 are definitely cool. But wow…the red one after #6.

4. Fundraisers as organizational development specialists: I wrote and talked about this beginning in the late 90s. I think it’s still a major weakness of fundraisers. The best fundraisers are not just great technicians. Writing the best direct mail…hosting the best events…securing tons of grants…All important stuff. But without understanding how everything in an organization fits together…like #1,2,3,5,7…and so much more!…you’ll have a tough time with fundraising.

I’m doing the red item first. I’m thinking 2020…fall or spring. What do you think?

5. Enabling others to do: People can’t just read a book and then be able to do the thing. Leaders enable others to learn and understand, anticipate and preempt, get the stuff done well. The CEO has to be the best enabler. The CDO better be darn good at enabling. And you can learn more about enabling in the handout in my Free Download Library on this website. You really have to learn this. Sequential sessions? Simulation? Daylong. What do you think? 

Here it comes!!! The BIG RED ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6. Measuring “strange things”: Enough with measuring only money! Let’s measure ROI in various areas. CRQs (effective use of cage-rattling questions). Donor-centric quotient (DCQ). Board member performance (and that’s not not not gift size and $ raised!)  When you ask me to speak, think about this topic!

THING I WANT TO DO FIRST…THE WAY WE SHOULD APPROACH GOOD GOVERNANCE Maybe you think this is old news…But I’m telling you that doing good governance well is still a frigging mess. And I’ve been playing in this arena since 1975.

Most boards are mediocre at best. Some are simply dysfunctional. And too damn few are really good. And this holds true no matter the “sophistication” of board members, the organization’s budget size, or the supposed experience level of board members. 

PLEASE PLEASE LET’S FIX THIS! And not with “governance training for the board.” This is not the answer.

Who should be the governance expert in any and all boards (and I’m focusing on the nonprofit sector at this moment)? The ED/CEO. Because that’s an official (mostly) paid position. And as a professional, that individual in that position is expected to be well-trained and well-educated in the business, a lifelong learner, and an expert in management…and hence an expert in governance, too!

Who else should be an expert in governance in your organization? Anyone who works closely with board members or board committees…for example, the chief development officer!!

I teach a 30-hour course in governance in a Masters Program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. I see the change in people’s understanding.

Topics would include: Organizational culture and development. Enabling. Conversation as a core business practice – which is different than discussion. Distinction between the board (collective) and board members. (Damn it! The terms are not not not not interchangeable!!!!!!!!) Relationship of board committees to the board itself – and to staff. Distinction between governance and management. Your board is not a fundraising team! Role of the board chair – one of the biggest messes in the field. Performance expectations of all board members. Power dynamics – like wealth, gender, race/ethnicity, etc. Identifying and recruiting candidates. Enabling the board, its committees, and the individual board members. And, when absolutely necessary, firing lousy board members.

This is a session for staff. This would require 2 days – like we’d all meet live in one place. Lots of great materials. Interactive lecture. Small group work / assignments. Simulation. Articles. My book Firing Lousy Board Members – And Helping the Others Succeed. Follow-up coaching. Undoubtedly points for CFRE.

Let me know what you think. Add a comment to this blog. Send me a personal email to spjoyaux@aol.com. You could even call me if you wished. 401.397.2534.

 

 

 

 

Simone Joyaux, ACFRE, Adv Dip, is an internationally recognized expert in fund development, board and organizational development, strategic planning, and management.

© Joyaux Associates 2005-2018     Privacy Policy

10 Johnson Road, Foster, RI 02825      T: 401-397-2534 (USA)      spjoyaux@aol.com      Site Overhaul/SEO by Dianna Huff      Design by cre8d