Patrick: Hello, everyone. This is episode 102.
We're in the century land now and operating under a new brand. If you haven't heard, the Jinks Perspective is now The Leader's Perspective and go back to episode 100 and hear all about that if you missed that and what that was all about. But now we're cruising into our next chapter and work and just leveling up. And our guest today is going to you're going to love this. If you are a nonprofit leader or even on the board of a nonprofit, you're going to love this content and you're going to want to bookmark it and share it with all your colleagues because in my coaching world, this may be the biggest challenge. It is certainly in the top three biggest challenge that nonprofits face, and that is how do we raise money? How do we figure out this fundraising puzzle and all the challenges of finding good development people and getting our board involved and really inspiring the community and planning for it and how it aligns with everything. And it's just a really tough environment. And so I'm just going to say we're bringing on an expert in that field and someone who has not only just the philosophical or academic or practical frameworks, but a deep level of experience.
We've got Darian Rodriguez heyman on the show.
His work is helping people help. He has led the Craigslist Foundation, where he founded their hugely popular nonprofit Boot Camp, grew it to its largest not to the largest nonprofit gathering in the Bay Area, San Francisco area, out in California, and did that really only in a year. And we're going to talk about how that happened. We're going to talk about his work at the Newme foundation and at Gender Smart and number of other things. He's got an active consulting practice helping companies, philanthropists and nonprofits maximize their impact primarily or at least largely through fundraising. And Darian, I was so glad that we connected because this is the stuff that I can tell you right now when we put this out on our email lists as to the topic, I'm anticipating this to be one of our bigger listenerships. So thank you for coming on. Been looking forward to our conversation.
[00:03:09] Darian: Likewise. Thanks for having me.
[00:03:10] Patrick: I'm just going to turn it to you. I gave the general know off the sheet the stuff you're supposed to say about someone when you're bringing them on, but I want you to get us to really know you. Tell us about the journey. What is helping people help? Why are you here? How did you get here?
[00:03:28] Darian: Yeah, it's been an interesting journey for sure, and it's had a couple really poignant chapters, professionally and personally.
I guess the start is really I started out in college and studying engineering halfway through, decided that wasn't for me and thought I was going to become a teacher in the process, sort of resigned myself to a life of poverty and grew up. My mom was a teacher for my whole life, and then right before I graduated, I wound up deciding to start a company with some of my college buddies, and that turned out to be one of the first digital advertising agencies. And it was wildly successful. We grew that company to almost 400 people in over 20 countries. We had 22 married couples come out of that company, so it was very much a family, and we sold the company, and then the economy collapsed and it really stopped being as much fun. I was a young idealist, fresh out of college, thought we were a family, and realized it was a business. I got disillusioned. I went on what turned out to be my first sabbatical. I've done three six month sabbaticals and just traveled the world, not so much to come back to something, but to reflect on my purpose and my professional journey and what I wanted to do next. And that was also when September 11 happened. And so it was a pretty powerful time in my life. And in that process, I made a very conscious decision to devote my career and my life to philanthropy and social impact. And that's ultimately the work I've been doing since I came back to California. And at first I was just organizing fundraisers around different cultural themes. They got bigger and more successful. And then an old buddy of mine from the.com days who was on the board of the sort of defunct or dormant Craigslist Foundation said, hey, you're doing all this great work with nothing behind you, no name, why don't you breathe some life into this empty vessel and board? Hadn't even met in a couple of years, and I did a sort of deep listening tour to find out what was out there. What could the Craigslist Foundation really focus on? And ultimately what I landed on is that Craigslist at its core was about people helping people, and the foundation should be about helping people help and take that similar sort of egalitarian, not playing favorites, really focusing on the little guy and connecting people to the resources that they need. But instead of a date or an apartment, it was about the resources needed to build a better world. And so that took the form, as you mentioned, of a program I launched, a conference called nonprofit Boot Camp, sort of La Palooza for nonprofits. One of the things I really heard loud and clear, two things I actually heard loud and clear as I was talking with a lot of nonprofit leaders before I dove in was number one. It's a hugely fragmented sector. There's lots of people sort of reinventing the wheel. There's all these amazing capacity building and support resources out there, but there's no sort of front door to the movement for all those resources. And the other thing I heard is that there's a lot of abstract concepts and theories and big ideas out there, but not enough tactical practical tips and tools. Do this, don't do that, here's how to and so the boot camp was really the answer to that in the form of, like I said, kind of nonprofit la Palooza, where we had 100 partner organizations sort of all under one roof so you could get connected to all these resources, all these leaders. It grew to be seven educational tracks covering all aspects of starting and running a nonprofit. And it was not just abstract concepts and theories. It was really in the trenches by and for practitioners the how to practical and tactical insights that frontline leaders need on a day to day basis. And so that was really successful and that was sort of my first or really my second career, but first in the social impact space and then over time, I've done a couple of different things. Did a deep dive into the green economy and climate change, did a deep dive into gender inequality and impact investing and more recently really decided on my third. And I kind of knew it would be my last sabbatical in 2015 because I wanted to settle down and have a family, which I now have, and realized I wanted to be a full time Dabbler and sort of sprinkle the fairy dust in lots of places instead of focusing on one cause or organization. Really help uplift the effectiveness and the capacity of the whole sector. And so now I do that through helping people help. Where I've done some large scale consulting engagements. I don't have a set bench of consultants. We kind of have a unique boutique approach where I'll pull together handpicked teams based on the unique needs of the clients. Typically focused on strategic planning. Fundraising and boards are really the big areas, but also nonprofit finance, HR, you name it. And then I also do a lot of executive coaching where I work directly with mission led leaders, typically nonprofit CEOs and neds board chairs, but sometimes with philanthropists with mission led CEOs, et cetera, and really help them to do real time problem solving. I know you mentioned know a trained coach, and I have a bit of a unique approach to coaching, at least here in California. There's a lot of folks who sort of have this fundamental belief that leaders have all the answers they need inside of them. And your job as a coach is to sort of ask questions and tease that out, even though you're in south Carolina. I like to joke and say I'm from the east coast version of coaching where I've been down the road before. And I'm going to tell you, it's a much more prescriptive approach of do this, don't do that. Here's how, you know, here's where the pitfalls are that I would encourage you to avoid. And even though they might not always take my advice, my clients never wonder what I'm thinking. So I'm pretty forthright about how I would suggest they address their problems and challenges.
[00:09:12] Patrick: That's good. That's fair.
We just call that consulting.
But I get it, okay.
You unpacked a lot there. And I think that one of the things our listeners are going to know already be feeling is, wow, this guy is experienced on a scale that we're not used to, a small community, local nonprofit, and maybe a CEO who has not had that kind of global look and that large look at nonprofits. And yet I think the issues are very much the same. And I'd like to start with unpacking this, and I know you do a lot of things, including the executive coaching, but since we're focused on fundraising here, you mentioned in your introductory remarks that you knew that where you wanted to go next was the space of philanthropy and social impact.
I'd love to hear your take, and maybe we can just have a conversation about how that reconciles against fundraising. And I'll tell you what I mean by that.
I grew up in the united way world, and at the time when I first started with united way, we were fundraising. In fact, we had the fundraising machine. We had the workplace campaign, and we had a monopoly on the workplace, and it was fundraising. And of course, everybody knows the stories of how organizations will lose their relevance if they don't keep up with how things are going. And so now it's less fundraising and more product selling. It's getting people to invest in the product, getting people to invest in the value promise of we're improving early childhood. We're making our community better. We're ending homelessness. You're investing in a result. You're investing in an effort. You're not just giving money to a charity so that you feel good about it. And I've always sort of differentiated fundraisingcharity with philanthropy and social impact. And so in your work with fundraising, how do you align those two? And I may not have explained it enough, it's kind of my own bent in philosophy. But how do you align where fundraising fits into philanthropy and social impact? How are they?
[00:11:41] Darian: Yeah, so first of all, let me just quickly address the comment you made about my background, and I would actually say it's sort of the opposite, that my tribe and the types of organizations I work with are typically the smaller grassroots organizations that are zero to half a million dollar budget. I've worked with hundreds of millions of dollars with the UN and other groups, but that's more the exception versus the rule. So I typically have to translate the stuff upscale versus downscale.
[00:12:10] Patrick: Okay.
[00:12:11] Darian: But the other thing is that I actually think I have a fundamentally different viewpoint than you do about the needing to separate or sort of bifurcate fundraising and philanthropy and social impact. Because to me, at least the way I see it, that is actually the single greatest problem and challenge that I see in fundraising is that I think of fundraising and as money as the ball bearings for social change, we can't pursue any mission without that. And ultimately as a passionate fundraiser, as someone who does a lot of work building fundraising capacity. In my mind and in my experience, the single greatest challenge and obstacle that we as a Sector face is that all too often we have this sort of begging for arms approach to fundraising where we feel like we have to hold out the Tin cup and that doesn't feel good. It's not as effective, and it doesn't feel good to the donors. And there's a really short story that I always like to share whenever I talk about fundraising, because to me, it sort of brings this idea home in the alternative, which is that there was a young man who'd go, on to become a renowned philanthropist and celebrity. But when he was younger, he was the first in his family to go through not only college, but go on and get his master's degree. And he was in this philosophy class with 200 master's and doctorate students sitting around for an hour and a half. And the professor gets up in front of this lecture hall and holds up a glass of water and says, class, is this glass half full or half empty? We've heard this before, but you've got 200 philosophy students talking in circles for an hour and a half. They don't solve the age old riddle. He's super frustrated and walks home kind of despondent. And his grandma Gertrude is there waiting for him when he gets back and says, how is class today? I don't want to talk about it. He blows her off, but she presses him his grandmas are prone to do, and says, no, really, I want to know. He says, well, it was really frustrating. We had 200 masters and doctorate students sitting in this philosophy class for an hour and a half, and all we did is talk in circles about whether the class is half full or half empty. And his grandmother, with a second grade education, mind you, without missing a beat, says, oh, well, that's easy. It depends on whether you're pouring or drinking.
Pouring or drinking. And the point here and the connection of fundraising, is that when we take this tin cup approach to fundraising, it is rooted in this misconception that we are the drinkers. Because financially speaking, yes, it's true, we rely on the charitable contributions of other people and organizations to do our good work. But the important thing to remember is that nothing could be further from the truth. And in fact, we are not the drinkers. We are the pores. We are the nurturers of society. And what nonprofits, what this global movement with a capital M does is we connect people and organizations with resources to the change they want to see in the world. And we are a channel, we are a conduit for that impact. And when you can paint that picture and articulate it in a way that overlaps with the goals of that philanthropist, of that organization, it is organic. It's natural that they want to support you. And I've had donors and funders thank me for the opportunity to help them build the world that they're dreaming of, that they can't build on their own. And to me, that's sacred work. It's a privilege to do it. And we need to hold our heads high when we do this work and think of it less as an ask and more of like an invitation to a party where we're going to throw this party anyway. We're going to climb this hill. Who's with me? And if they're not, that needs to be okay. Otherwise, frankly, you're not doing it right. But when it does align, it's a beautiful thing, and it happens naturally and organically.
[00:15:46] Patrick: Darian, you have got me really backing off of my stance on this. I just haven't liked the term fundraising for years.
I don't know why. I don't know. I won't go much further into it, but you just reminded me that it's not so much whether or not it's fundraising. It's how we do it, and it's how we frame it, the pouring or drinking and the charity. And you actually remind me of the United Way worldwide president a number of years ago, brian Gallagher. When he first got on board, he's no longer with the organization, but he was there for ten or so years. And when he first got on board, I remember him saying, we have to approach our CEOs of our companies differently than we've been doing, instead of going and saying, mr. CEO, thank you for your $10,000. Things are worse.
So we're trying to raise 5% more this year. Would you give 5% more? And he said that the way we need to be asking is, Mr. CEO, thank you for the $10,000 you gave us. Here's what we were able to do with it. We have so many more things we believe we can accomplish, so we're doubling our goal this year, and we're hoping you'll double your gift.
And what a far more inspiring way to frame the way that we invite people to be a part of that doubling, as you say. So you brought me right back to that and put me back on track with this fundraising term. I've pushed back against it a lot, but thank you for reminding us that it's in the framing and the mindset.
[00:17:31] Darian: Yeah, my pleasure. And I think the way that I think of what Brian was talking about with that story you just shared, and I absolutely agree with the sentiment is in general, nobody likes to be part of a sinking ship. We want to be part of a winning team. And listen, there's definitely something to be said for crisis based fundraising. We have natural disasters. There's other humanitarian crises. And that creates a sense of urgency that can really motivate donors and funders. And in between those crises, we don't need to create more of our own making. And it is more about, thank you so much. And because of your support, we were able to achieve these types of impact.
And as we move forward, we're going to build on those successes and impact even more. People take our efforts to the next level. Won't you stand with us as we do this?
[00:18:20] Patrick: Yeah, so good.
I have a number of things that I thought about I wanted to make sure we cover while we're here. And I'm going to dive, I think, right into one of the things that I know you spend a lot of time with organizations with, and that is, how the heck do I get my board engaged in fundraising? And should I? Are boards supposed to raise money or are they just supposed to help us think strategically about fundraising?
We're not a working board. We're a policy board.
Or our board says that they'll do fundraising, but they won't. We can't get them off dead center.
I'm going to just kind of turn this to you and give us maybe some of the tenets that you find organizations struggling with that you can help them with the most in terms of what is the board's role and how do we draw that out?
[00:19:15] Darian: Yeah, I think that's a great question, Patrick. And I feel like I won't just say it depends. What I'll say is there's sort of a lifecycle that I've seen across many, many organizations, and what can be very common in the very early days is, hey, the IRS says I need three names on this form, so will you join my board? And it's friends and family, and you kind of have an in name only board to get started.
And a lot of people don't recognize that over half of the 1.8 million nonprofits in this country have a budget underneath 100 grand. So they are all volunteer led. And oftentimes when you're in that state, it's that in name only, and it's one person doing everything. Then you kind of punch through, and now you have some staff, but you don't have enough staff because the mission is huge. And so you have what you called a working board, which is the same term I would use, where essentially the board is an extension of the staff. Where I find Patrick, that the real challenge for many of the nonprofits I've worked with is as they punch through that quarter million dollar, half million dollar a year budget mark, where now they're actually decently staffed, never adequately.
Never from an abundant like we have too many people because the mission is always huge and bigger than our resources almost by design but we have enough to kind of get the job done on a day to day basis. And at that moment, the role of the board ideally evolves from a working board to a strategic a governing a fundraising board that ultimately, from my point of view, should be focused on really two major things. One is hiring and firing the ed and setting his or her compensation. And the other is setting the vision and strategy and programmatic priorities for the organization and helping to marshal the resources to execute against that. And the real issue in my experience is how do you sort of level up your board from level two working board to level three, strategic and fundraising board? And what I find almost always is the staff just sort of assume that the board should know what's expected of them and they're not doing their job, even though they've never been told what their job is. They've never agreed to roles in fundraising. And if they have, it's just been sort of ad hoc or in an email or a conversation and they're not given the tools and support. Right. And so fundamentally, the first thing to remember is that you need to embrace a commitment to a graceful transition. What you don't want to do is say thanks for your help with the working board, our needs have changed, see you and now we're moving on. You want to really frame it as an exciting inflection point and it's typically helpful to frame it in terms of the board member. And thanks and gratitude to them. Thanks so much for your tireless leadership and vision and your commitment to this mission. Because of you and the board, we now find ourselves at this really exciting inflection point where we're going to start raising a lot more money, we're going to start impacting a lot more people and we couldn't have done it without you. And does it make sense in the context of us taking this step forward into this bold new chapter of impact and development to revisit what is the highest and the best purpose of the board in this new environment? When you frame it that way, they always say yes and they're always excited and they feel good about it, which is what we want. And then it comes to diving one level deeper of okay, well, what does that really mean? And the way I like to frame that is as we move forward, as we start raising a lot more money, as we start getting celebrities and CEOs or other big wigs on the board alongside great leaders like you, would it be helpful to be a lot more concrete and explicit about what exactly is expected of each and every board member? And how do those pieces fit together? Would it be helpful to take a more intentional approach to board recruitment and refinement? And would it be helpful for us to make infinitely better use of our meeting time? So instead of just giving you a bunch of FYIs and updates, we get those out of the way in the first five or ten minutes and spend our time in dialogue, problem solving, brainstorming, and moving the mission forward instead of just bringing you up to speed. Once again, when you frame it that way, they always love it and say, yes, darian.
[00:23:34] Patrick: Again, so much to unpack there. Can you point us quickly to where could people turn for tools? And obviously they can go to your website, but what kind of tools or practical things have you either put together or found to help organizations think through this lifecycle that you just described?
[00:23:53] Darian: Yeah, so once they're sort of bought into the why, then that creates a clearing or an opening to talk about the tools and the how to.
What I found is there are a couple tools that are sort of my go to because I do a ton of work with helping nonprofits better engage their board. And fundamentally what I found is that when the board has a deeper sense of connection to the mission, instead of just being brought up to speed, so they're effective ambassadors in meetings, but they can actually move the mission forward, they naturally have a deeper sense of connection and ownership and that organically translates into expanded fundraising engagement. So what this looks like, tactically speaking, and once again, I'll keep kind of drilling down, starting with the big picture. And then even once we get past that level of sort of the overarching framing, I like to start with the why for each of the tools. So the first tool is a board member agreement, which is really designed to create a clear and uniform expectation of board roles and responsibilities. And instead of it being ad hoc or in an email or conversation, it's a very simple contract. It's an agreement. And usually you'll find something in your bylaws written in legalese, buried hundreds of pages in that say something nebulous about board roles. But no, let's put it on two, three pieces of paper. It's uniform, meaning if and when adopted, everyone on the board would sign it. And it just lays out in black and white terms what exactly does the board feel? Because this is not forced upon them. This is a board led exercise and discussion, as are all these tools. What does the board believe as we move into this exciting next chapter, is reasonable to expect of each and every director as it relates to fundraising, participating in meetings, committees, staying connected to the mission, et cetera?
[00:25:48] Patrick: Yeah, and I'll tell you what, even if you have that the time to communicate, that is when you're prospecting and recruiting a board member, because I can't tell you how many phone calls and lunches I've seen or witnessed where the expectation is, hey, we got a seat open on our board, your name came up. We meet twelve times a year, but our bylaws only require you to come to seven of those. And we do have some committees. We'd love it if you would serve on a committee, but if it takes you a year or so to get up to speed, we're cool with that. We just really want your name on the board.
Your company is important to us and we think you'd be a good addition, period. And we tell them all the things they don't have to do and how easy it is to serve on this board and then they come on and.
[00:26:32] Darian: Then they don't fundraise and then you get upset with them and then we're.
[00:26:35] Patrick: Like, right, but they doing exactly what we said they would need to do. So you just got that expectation has to be up front.
[00:26:45] Darian: Yeah. And it has to be explicit in black and white. It's not you'll make a good faith effort to show up to board meetings, you'll show up to 75% of meetings. It's not minimum. We hope you're going to fundraise, but everyone's going to make a capacity gift. Everyone's going to make three introductions to potential supporters a year. Everyone's going to view fundraising as critical, right, things like that. And I've got a template that I'm happy to email out to your listeners of helpful. So that's really the board member agreement, which is the first step that I find is really helpful to level set what is the job of the board. Right. And I also find it helpful to frame it as like when we recruit a CEO or celebrity along with heads of state like you, anytime you can treat the board as a head of state and think of it, my mantra is low touch, high value. With a minimal amount of time, they should be able to have a transformational impact on the mission. So it's incumbent upon us to figure out what that looks like. So that's really step one, step two. And you touched on this with board recruitment is the board matrix and this is a bit more of a common tool. A lot of groups have this in place. I find all too often they're too extensive and in my mind sort of less is more is the approach I take with all these tools is never mind the nice to have how we're going to fill out reporting around our board diversity for an application. This is like the critical must have, at least as far as the management tool version. There might be another version archived for our census or whatever, but that's actually going to move the work forward is let's come up with the 15 to 20 characteristics that it would be. Impossible for us to fulfill our potential as an organization unless we have every single one of these represented somewhere on the board over the next decade. And I like to think of it in terms of expertise and capacity. That's where we have we need someone who knows fundraising and governance and a lawyer, an accountant. We're a food security group, so we need that kind of expertise. Capacity is typically time and money. We want a few people that have more time that can lean in. We want a couple of high net worth folks that can write big checks if they're so inclined. So expertise and capacity connections is pretty clear. Connections to money, to partners, to like minded organizations, elected officials, and finally, diversity, which is not just ethnic and racial diversity, it's about representing the community you serve. And that could look like age. It could look like sexual orientation, gender balance, race and ethnicity. It could look like lived experience.
We're a homeless organization. Maybe we need someone on the board that has lived experience to bring that into the most senior level of leadership. And so the Matrix is a really helpful tool, especially if you revisit it anytime someone enters or leaves the board. The goal of the Matrix is to get the board into consensus around what are our top three recruitment priorities at all points in time. So that, to your point, instead of saying, hey guys, anybody knows someone we should recruit to the board, you get the board to say, we're looking for a Latina accountant with good foundation connections. Does anybody know someone that has passion for our mission? And the likelihood of you finding someone and them being the right candidate goes up exponentially.
[00:29:52] Patrick: That's really good. And I'll share something with you. I don't think this is going to be unfamiliar to you, but a lot of times I frame this a little bit from the other end of an even bigger picture or top end of the funnel. There's a book early to mid 2000s by Chate and Taylor called Governance as Leadership. And this is the book that talks about a board going from fiduciary to strategic to generative and being able to live on all three levels. But the other thing that the book talks about, that a lot of people don't talk about, we studied this in my doctoral program. This book was sort of seminal text for us, I can imagine. And that was the types of board capital.
And I have found that it's useful for organizations to make that at least a part of their matrix. And they talk about four kinds of board capital. So before you start thinking about do we have an attorney, marketing, an accountant, a banker?
Back it up a level and ask, do we have the following types of capital on our board? Do we have social capital on our board? People who are connected to other people who know a lot of people who can engage people who have not only connections but relationships and engagements. Second, do we have on our board reputational capital where maybe it's the company that they represent, but because this person's on the board, somebody goes, wow, that's saying something. Third, do we have political capital on the board? And that's not necessarily the Republican Democrat kind of political, although that too people who are connected with policymakers and agency heads and legislators or know the political landscape of the community and this banker is not going to talk to that lawyer. Do they know the politics? Fourth one that they talk about is intellectual capital. And that really is where all your do we have an attorney and accountant? Do we have people with certain intellectual capital, including the issue that our nonprofit is facing? Do we have the one that understands the early childhood arena or the housing arena? There's a fifth kind of capital that they didn't include in the book and I added it on there.
[00:32:11] Darian: You didn't mention financial capital.
[00:32:13] Patrick: That's it. Yeah, I read that and I thought why would they leave out financial capital? Because you want people who either have a wherewithal to make significant contribution or they can get it.
If you take those five kinds of capital across your board matrix along with all of the other socioeconomic and demographic factors that you're looking for, for that traditional diversity, then you start to really think more strategically about your board. What do you think of that high level look at a matrix?
[00:32:47] Darian: I think it's a helpful framework. But as I mentioned in my introductory remarks, what I find that nonprofit leaders sort of crave in their day to day work is the tactical practical tips and tools. So to me it's about how to operationalize that framework. And so yes, that reputational capital is critical and let's put it on the matrix as we need someone with a good reputation in academia or we need someone with financial capital or we didn't talk about time as a type of capital. And I also would think of lived experience as a type of sort of strategic capital and that's the ivory tower. But the point is sort of coming up like operationalizing and being more specific about what do these kinds of capital look like to our organization so that they fit into one of these three dimensions.
[00:33:41] Patrick: I love the lived experience as a form of capital because that absolutely experiential capital.
[00:33:49] Darian: One just really quick factoid or statistic on that front is only 8% of the 1.8 million nonprofits in this country have a board member under the age of 50. And how many youth services organizations do you know out there? Right? So there's just a mismatch with not representing the community we serve. And I think that that is critical to me. That is the diversity lens through which I look at the board matrix. And then Patrick, the final tool I wanted to mention briefly that speaks directly to this idea of how do we transform our board meetings, because I've been to lots of board meetings, what I find in 80% to 90% of them is 80% to 90% of the time is spent in monologue. The staff has spent hours and hours preparing PowerPoints. And if you look at the agenda, almost every item has the word report or update in it. And we spend our whole time bringing this incredible group of board members that we bring together, talk about capital from a standpoint of that time, and all we're doing is updating them on our progress and impact, answering a few clarifying questions and sending them home. But we're not moving the mission forward. We haven't answered any questions that I, as the staff, have before the meeting. And when you turn that on its head and the tool to achieve that is typically called a consent agenda or a docket agenda. And it's actually a three part tool, but board members absolutely love this tool. Eds love this tool. It is the most transformational tool I've put into practice as an Ed, a board chair, a board member and a consultant. And it's sort of this three part sandwich that is designed to streamline all of those updates. And if you ever saw The Matrix and how he learns Kung Fu in like 5 seconds, it gets all of your FYIs and updates out of the way in the first five to ten minutes of the board meeting. And the way this looks, tactically speaking, is the front page of the sort of integrated PDF that someone's going to get a board member is going to get along with the agenda a week before the board meeting. Hopefully the first page is an organizational dashboard, just a one page heads up display, just like when you sit in your car, you know, if it's going to run out of gas or overheat.
Show me about a dozen metrics or key performance indicators, each of which has a green, yellow or red flag right next to it, not tagged to annual targets, although those are there for reference, tagged to year to date targets. Don't tell me we're at 13% of our revenue goal. Tell me we're at 102% of where we thought we'd be at this point in time, right? And at a glance, that's going to tell your board how we're doing, not just operationally and financially, but programmatically as it relates to our impact targets. We're mission led groups. That has to be front and center. The meat of the sandwich is the executive summaries, and that's where anything, with very few exceptions that had the word reporter update in the title, it gets put in writing. And the key is it's limited to no more than two paragraphs each. So this is where we talk about treating your board like heads of state and giving them a dossier where it's like, okay, fundraising update, financial update, facilities update, board recruitment update, program, one update, whatever it might be. Any FYIs, put them in writing, keep them to two paragraphs Cliff Notes version. Just tell them what they need to know.
And don't just tell them the what. Tell them the so what. Don't just tell them that we're underperforming on revenue. Tell them why and is it a concern and what are we doing about it? Right, so that's the meat of the sandwich. And then finally, to kind of keep the tool familiar, is that it includes the minutes from the previous meeting. But they're streamlined minutes. And if for whatever reason you want to keep ten pages of minutes with he said, she said, and what time we adjourned and who was present, fine. Put those in a dropbox and archive them for those purposes. Again, I'm concerned with management tools. It's two to three pages, and there's only three things that we're focused on in these streamlined minutes. One is any key takeaways or insights that were unearthed and discussed in the meeting. Two is any votes that were taken. I like to put them in bold italics so they jump off the page. And three, and most critically, and this is what will become increasingly important as you move forward and use the tool, is any action items or commitments that were shared and each person or group that made any kind of commitment gets a different highlighter color. So I can see that I'm purple, green, and red because I'm Darian, and I committed to sending out the minutes next week. I'm on the finance committee, and we committed to sending out updated financials by the end of the month. And I'm a board member at large, and everyone in the board agreed to make three calls to invite people to our gala next month or whatever it might be. But that creates a gentle form of accountability so that people remember what their homework is. And if they see that before the next meeting, it's a reminder for them to say, oh, I got to make that call or send out those financials. So. Really helpful. And this is also where fundraising is actually explicitly taken on, is in the slate of these three tools, especially in the board member agreement where historically there's a lot of folks doing give or get targets that I find to be fundamentally wrong headed. But we're being upfront and explicit in a board led discussion about board fundraising responsibilities.
[00:39:07] Patrick: I love it, and I've been a fan of the consent agenda for years. And here's my caveat to the consent agenda.
There's a second half to this, right? So the consent agenda basically removes a part of your typical board agenda in meeting. You still have to replace that old design with a new one. So now with the consent agenda, how are you spending your time in your board meetings? I did some research, and you've seen research by board source and others in the studies that I've seen and even conducted one of them less than half of a board's time on the average is spent at what again, Chate and Taylor would call the strategic and generative levels. They're talking about why we spent more on copy paper this month than we did last month because they think they're supposed to ask questions about the budget and so they're spending their time there, which by the way, average number of board meetings a year is six. Average amount of time of meeting time, not including meals, is an hour. So we're talking about so that's 6 hours a year. And if less than half of that less than 3 hours a year that the governing body of the organization is spending on strategy and generative thinking because they're stuck on these reports and things. So you still have to replace the old design with the new one. And the way that I always like to say it is absolutely create an agenda of objectives, not topics.
We have these bullet points. The finance.
The golf tournament is just a bullet. It just says the golf tournament as if the objective is to talk about something. We need to talk about the golf tournament. Okay, let's talk about it. Good. We achieved it. We talked about the golf tournament but what do you want to walk out of the board meeting having achieved is a different question. So I love the consent agenda but I still know a lot of organizations who use one and then come right back to their board meeting and still behave the same way with more reports. Yeah, I mean other reports.
[00:41:11] Darian: First of all, I think 50% is being really generous. In my experience it's more like 20% with typical nonprofits.
[00:41:18] Patrick: Well, my study said less than 50. So what they said was, yeah, that less than 50. So we don't know how much less in that particular study but we know it's less than 3 hours a year.
[00:41:28] Darian: Again, I think that's being generous even at that number.
I think part of it there's sort of two key things to keep in mind. One is how that tool is adopted and implemented. And in my opinion, it should be the standing first order of business at all meetings, possibly with the exception of a mission moment where you have a client. One of the people that you've changed their lives. Get them. In front of the board and get them out of the ivory tower and let them feel the pulse of the impact and the mission in action. But notwithstanding that, it's actually as funny as it sounds like handing out the hard copies of the consent agenda. Hopefully people have read them and done their homework. But I don't actually expect or require that they do because the first five minutes of the meeting is spent in silence as people read or hopefully reread the packet. Then you answer any clarifying questions. So that's the whole, like, I see we spent $5 more on this or that, but those are really quick clarifying questions. And then once that gets voted in, like you'd normally approve the minutes. Now that matrix upload where they've learned their kung fu for the board is complete. And now to your point, we've got time for all of these key objectives, these generative discussions, and the main criteria, in my perspective, is that they should be dialogue driven.
And it is, like I said, it's about answering the questions that the staff don't have the answers to before the meeting. So to your point, maybe it's, hey, guys, we have this golf tournament coming up. We would love your thoughts on how to raise more money through this platform. Or does anybody know any strategic partners or in kind providers that could lower our expenses? We don't know the answers, but it's that brainstorming problem solving. We're at a fork in the road. Should we go left or right? Here are the pros and cons. What do you think?
[00:43:23] Patrick: Yeah. Well said.
[00:43:24] Darian: Yeah. And tying it back to fundraising.
One of the smartest things I've ever heard about fundraising is that if you want money, ask for advice. If you want advice, ask for money. And when you do that with your board, again, they have a much deeper sense of connection to the cause and the mission, and it naturally translates into expanded fundraising engagement.
[00:43:43] Patrick: I'm picking up so many things to take and plagiarize when I walk out of this episode.
[00:43:48] Darian: All open license.
[00:43:50] Patrick: Yeah. Well, so is this. I'll tell you a quick story, and then we'll move on from the board stuff here. I got three other areas that I want to explore with you just a little bit before we wrap up.
I tell this story a lot. In fact, I bring this to boards all the time. When I was at what my good friend calls baby CEO School at United Way years ago, we got asked a question by one of the facilitators.
He said, okay, case scenario. Here you have the Acme nonprofit organization, and the organization is a fairly small one, but it does have a staff, a small staff. You have an executive director, CEO, you have a development director, you have an administrative director, and you have a program director who is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the organization has the resources it needs to accomplish its mission. And that was the question we were asked. And I know you know the answer to this. It tripped us up a little bit because it was kind of a trick question, because the right answer is not one of the options.
The answer is the board is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the organization has the resources it needs to accomplish its mission. And yes, you have a staff who has responsibilities in that, but the accountability falls on the chief steward or the board. And that is always a big eye opener for boards because they go, well, it's the development Director, because that's why you have a development. No, it's always the CEO. The buck stops the CEO. Nobody wants to say no. The governing body of the organization is ultimately accountable for ensuring in a number of different ways that the organization has the resources it needs to accomplish its mission.
You're free to disagree with it if you have a different take on it.
There's always other angles on it.
[00:45:52] Darian: Yeah, there's two things I would share. So number one is I agree with you from sort of like what the textbooks say it's supposed to be. But in my experience working with groups on the front lines and grassroots organizations in particular, they're largely staff led. Again, a lot of my work is helping get the board more engaged. But ultimately the fundraising responsibility tends to lie with the staff and with the Executive Director, who could be supported by a Director development or other staffers. But they're the sort of lifeblood that is driving the organization, making sure it hits its numbers and ensuring that the board has the resources it needs to contribute to achieving those targets. So in my mind, it's sort of the Ed is the tip of the spear from a standpoint of that responsibility and maybe to a lesser the accountability, but usually the Ed is really the driving force. What I also think is an interesting question, though, because in that Acme example, that's a pretty top heavy four person organization where everyone's got a director title.
The experience that I've come into contact with many times is a relatively small organization. Maybe it's the three person organization that doesn't have any dedicated development staff and they come to me and sort of start talking to me about we really need a Director of Development. And what I find 80% of the time, especially with small to mid organizations under a couple of million bucks of revenue, let's say, is that they are almost always better served starting out with the bottom of the pyramid, starting out with junior level support staff than senior level staff. And I've gone through this as an Ed myself. When I was running Craigslist Foundation, where I was out there raising all the money myself, we finally got to a point where we could start to staff up. At first I talked with this nice high powered consultant that I thought I was going to do a brain dump. She was going to create some materials I would bless, and then she would disappear, reappear with big bags of money and set them on my desk, just like we think our board is going to do. Didn't happen. Then I hired a director of development. Similar expectations also didn't happen. And sometimes I think it's 20 or 30% that Director Development, which is more expensive and much harder to find, will pan out. But there's a much bigger variation there, as opposed to what ultimately worked best for me. And what I've seen work for many of my clients is hiring a development coordinator, development manager, who wasn't there to drive fundraising. She was there to backfill me. And ultimately the executive director or the founder is typically one of the best people to be the frontline fundraiser because they have the passion, they have the vision, they have the historic context, and they have a lot of the relationships. And so rather than trying to outsource or offload fundraising, she was able to make sure I was calling and thanking the people I needed to call, setting me up to have the meetings, drafting my emails and proposals and taking the stuff off my plate that a junior person or increasingly, artificial intelligence technology can do for us, that allows us to focus more of our sort of special sauce, those relationships that we build, which is really where the big bucks get rigged.
[00:49:11] Patrick: Do you subscribe to the notion that the CEO is really the CDO, the chief development officer?
[00:49:20] Darian: I think it depends.
[00:49:22] Patrick: I've heard it also said the Glorified chief development officer.
[00:49:26] Darian: Yeah, I really think it know I had an epiphany that led to my departure from Craigslist Foundation about the fundamental nature of leadership. And what I recognized, it was actually this time of year, and I was doing this it's actually a Jewish tradition called Tashli, which comes around the new year, where you walk down to a body of water and sprinkle some bread in the water. And as we were walking down to the beach, we were in this silent meditation, thinking about what we wanted to leave behind in the previous year. And somehow I started thinking about leadership. And I had this really visceral image of a weightlifter come to me and you know, those sort of Olympic weightlifters with the huge weights. And what I recognized is that in our culture, we think of leadership in very monolithic terms, where sort of over time and as you get more experience, you become a better leader. And what I recognized in this moment is that there's actually different kinds of leadership. And there's the leadership that you use to do the heavy lifting to get that weight off the ground, these sort of entrepreneurial muscles, and then there's the leadership that's up here when you're sort of maintaining that weight. And that's the managerial muscles. And what came to me in that moment was I'm sort of naturally gifted, more experienced. I have a natural sort of connection to the heavy lifting, the entrepreneurial muscle set. And I'm great at that stuff that ties into fundraising and ties into vision and partnerships and a lot of the external stuff. But I'm not nearly as talented and gifted up here. I'm not as experienced. It doesn't come naturally. It's sort of the opposite. And what I recognized in that moment is even though I'm gifted, with the heavy lifting. I was living on the managerial level now that the organization had evolved, thanks to all of our work and my contribution, but also the board and the staff. And that's why I was struggling, is I was trying to prove to myself that I could be a great leader by being a great manager. And that wasn't where my skill sets lied. And so now that I've had the experience of working with hundreds of different nonprofits, I've seen some leaders that are the visionary external fundraiser, natural extrovert and relationship builder, comfortable thinking extemporaneously.
And then I've seen the managerial, the process positive types, I've heard them called. And every once in a while you get someone who's at the middle of the Ven diagram that can do it all. And those are gems. I'm not one of those. Right. I've had to learn a lot of the managerial skills that I've developed over time. So I think the answer to your question is it really depends. And as long as that function and this is where the board can be helpful, as long as that function is addressed and held somewhere so that it is achieved and it is centered and presenced in the work of the organization, that's what matters. Whether it's the board, whether it's the staff, whether it's the CEO. But what you can't do is just sort of expect one person to thrive in all different aspects of leadership if that's not their personality.
[00:52:32] Patrick: Yeah, one of the things I like about what everything you're saying is the nuances and the flexibility. There's not a one size fits all. There's not a single answer to these things.
I'm hearing you say it depends on a lot depends on the size and scale of the organization, the point in the lifecycle of the organization, the kind of leader it has, the appetite that the board has. I mean, there's a million different layers that come into this and sometimes we approach these problems and go, what's the right answer?
And it's, well, what is an effective answer for you is really where it.
[00:53:13] Darian: I agree that every organization is different and unique. I have also over the last 25 years, identified one or two things that I think are sort of almost always true, especially as it relates to fundraising. I talked about that you want money, ask for advice thing before.
We talked about the notion of recognizing we are the poorers and not the drinkers, the critical importance of recognizing it's our responsibility to engage our board in fundraising. But one of the other things I'd like to share is I do feel like there's a bit of a fork in the road between institutional giving and individual fundraising. And I've definitely had experience with both and have helped a lot of groups with both and done both. And in my experience, the individuals, the major gifts, the grassroots donations, in most cases, that's largely relationship driven and it's emotionally driven. Right? So it's about the personal connection I gave because my budy or my relative asked me to, or I gave because I had a personal connection to that cause. You told me a story that inspired me and I wanted to join you and support your work. The institutional giving, I think we all too often assume that the same thing applies and there is some overlap. Relationships play a huge role. Being able to really clearly convey your work and your impact is also critical. But in my experience, the fundamental sort of key determinant of institutional fundraising success is in the for profit world. It's thought of as consultative selling. In fundraising, in my mind, it's really about understanding the goals, the objectives, the metrics and indicators that that person and that organization which they represent are looking to achieve. Typically in institutional fundraising, you're not talking to the CEO, you're talking to a program officer. If you're lucky and that person has a job, they've got a board to report to a committee that has to approve the grants. And so your job is to figure out what is their job and how can I help them view funding us as helpful to their goals. And so it's a bit more of framing it in the context of what they care about and specifically what their agenda is, if you will. And when you can align those interests, then the fundraising happens much more naturally.
[00:55:33] Patrick: Yeah, that resonates with me largely because of my time with the United Way. United Way, as a movement, had to learn in many cases the hard way that we had institutional relationships at the expense of individual relationships within those institutions. And when the workplace became the workforce and not as much place based and all the era of downsizing and all that, those people go on somewhere and we don't know who they are. We'd collect 1000 pledge forms from a manufacturing plant, and the human resources director would collect the pledge forms, put them in, tell us how many donors there were and what they are, but wouldn't always share with us who those donors were. So we never had the relationship with the individuals, we had the relationship with the institution. And furthermore, it was a transactional relationship, more than an engagement relationship. And of know, many United Ways have figured that out and are doing a great job. One of the dilemmas, dichotomies, whatever you want to call it, that I hear a lot from organizations in fundraising is what's the optimal balance between events fundraising and relationship based fundraising?
And I know they overlap. They can or they should. But there's a lot of organizations who the gala, the golf tournament, the run for the Cure, versus really finding a few high wealth donors or institutions who have a CSR platform that aligns with what you're doing. And what's your experience on that?
Are you finding some kind of optimal balance between. Events and relationships. I'm working with some organizations that are trying to shift actually from heavy events to more of the relationship side. What's your take?
[00:57:36] Darian: Yeah, I mean, I think that's incredibly common nowadays because getting people together physically has changed fundamentally since the Pandemic.
I think connecting the dots to that discussion we just had about sort of what is true about fundraising in almost all cases.
When I went through the process of writing the Nonprofit Fundraising 101 book, and I interviewed about 50 of the top fundraising experts in the field across every aspect of fundraising you can imagine.
It's interesting because there's one thing that I heard in literally every interview, whether it related to direct mail or online giving or major gifts or grassroots or whatever it might be, and it was that nobody wants to be treated like an ATM. And I think to your point about transactional versus relationship fundraising, one of the things that is really hard for underresourced organizations to do is to reach out when they don't need funds and when they're just saying thank you or building and strengthening that relationship.
One of the stats that I was kind of bowled over when I first heard from Bloomerang was that if a first time donor gets a thank you call from a board member within two days, within 48 hours of their first gift, their lifetime value to that nonprofit goes up by 50%.
[00:58:55] Patrick: I believe that.
[00:58:56] Darian: And in the business world, we say it's seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to maintain one. I've heard in the nonprofit world it's eleven times as expensive. And so it's that gold standard of that you should map out seven touch points between asks. That's a challenge for most of the groups I work with, but can you pick out the top 5% of your donors and add a little one liner to the newsletter when you forward it to them? Or send them an impact update and make a little quarterly reminder to yourself to touch base with at least a couple of the most important folks? And again, here's where junior staff and AI can be helpful down the road.
The events question that you're bringing up is really interesting because we already started to see the role of online auctions and sort of hybrid events, and now with sort of the future of work arguably being expedited by ten or 15 years because of COVID there's a lot less of a focus on events. I'm also a conference organizer, and I see the transformational potential of getting a community together in person and really reaching people on a deeper emotional level.
And so I think it does depend in terms of that ratio, because it really depends on is it a relationship or is it a transaction? If you're only getting in touch when you're asking them for money, and you just asked them two months ago, and now you're going to ask them to buy a ticket to your gala doesn't really feel great. If you have a relationship and you're in touch and only 12% of your communications are leading with an ask, then it's okay to sort of pepper in some updates about our crowdfunder or our RunWalk ride or our gala or whatever it might be. And it can offer a powerful point of connection. One of the things that tends to make crowdfunding campaigns and run walk rides most successful, for example, is you never want to have an empty tip jar. Like, there's been a lot of research done, and if you walk into a cafe, you'll never see an empty tip jar, because when it's empty, nobody gives. And so you always want to launch a campaign with at least 25, 30% of that. Thermometer filled united way is the one that wrote the book on this. Right. And so how do you do that? Well, you start with your board. You start with some of your biggest donors. And that ask should actually feel like an invitation to sit at the table of honor. As one of our most loyal supporters, we wanted to let you know that thanks in part to your contributions, we're moving our work forward. We're going to launch this ambitious campaign to impact 10,000 more youth. And we've heard that the campaign is much more likely to be successful if we lead off with 30% in the tip jar. Would you consider an initial gift before we take the campaign public? Oh, thank you for asking. I'd love to sit at that table.
[01:01:46] Patrick: Right.
[01:01:46] Darian: That's where fundraising and relationship building can tie hand in hand.
[01:01:50] Patrick: Man, that's really good. I want to go back to something, a more simple, practical thing you said a while ago about a board member thanking a donor. So if you're with an organization that is struggling getting your board engaged in fundraising, there's an easy little runway right there. It's easy. There's no pressure. We're not asking you to cold call, but it is a fundraising role to thank somebody for their donation, and that's something a board member can do, and again, feel very special that they were asked to make that. Thank you. So I love that particular practical tip.
[01:02:26] Darian: Yeah. And what's interesting is if you dig into board members who sort of resist fundraising, what I almost always hear is, I don't like fundraising. I don't like to ask people for money. Right. I don't want to ask people for money. That is almost always the reservation that directors have. And to your point, that is rooted in a misconception that fundraising is all about the ask. And I like to joke and say that's like saying dating is all about the proposal for marriage. There's a lot of work that leads up to that, and there's a lot of work that comes after it. And what I find to be most helpful to sort of get board members to sort of support. Fundraising is to help them recognize that it is more about a process, more about a relationship. And every board member must view fundraising as a critical role and must support it in some way. I like to be explicit in that board member agreement and say if you're not comfortable asking for money, we won't force you to do that. It's not going to be effective, it's not going to build a relationship so staff or someone else on the board can do that. I also like to lay out the expectations around the personal capacity gift and opening up doors, what's historically bundled together as a give or get that undermines diversity.
But the other thing is, aside from having that sort of rapid response donor acknowledgment committee in that 48 hours I just talked about, you can at any point in time organize a donor. Thankathon and you can invite the board over to the office, get some pizza, give them a little call script and just have them call all or at least your top donors and just say hey Bob, this is Darian from Numi Foundation, I'm one of the board members here. I saw that you gave $200 for our annual campaign list here and just wanted to let you know that thanks to your support we were able to feed 6000 families during COVID do this and that and we just wanted to say thank you for that support. Click.
[01:04:20] Patrick: That's good.
[01:04:21] Darian: There's no ask, there's no invite. And how does the board member feel more connected? How does the donor feel more connected? What's going to happen next time it's time for an annual campaign or an appeal. That donor is probably much more likely to give and give more. And then when you follow back at the board member and say hey Darian, thanks for calling bob, I don't know if you remember, but he gave $200 last year. He just wrote us a check for two grand and now that board member is feeling like, hey, this fundraising thing is not so hard after all.
[01:04:45] Patrick: That's so good, we don't have time to unpack this one a lot, but I'd like maybe a tenant or two, donor fatigue, community fundraising fatigue, we'll even put it that way in a bigger sense. I hear this all the time. How do you stand out? What in your mind are one or two things that over and over you see that the ones that stand out, the ones that make it past the noise, what are they doing differently?
[01:05:17] Darian: I think the two things I would say is number one is investing in those relationships which we've already talked about extensively. The other thing is, and here's where technology and social media can be powerful, is recognizing that you don't want to be the person in the cocktail party that's only talking about themselves and sucking up all the air in the room. And especially as it relates to social media. I launched the first conference series devoted to social media for social good, and a lot of nonprofits were trying to figure out, how do I fundraise through Facebook or Instagram or whatever it might be. And what the research shows is if you're just looking at it from a pure ROI standpoint, it's not a great investment of resources. Where you can actually use social media as a very effective fundraising tool is by first and foremost thinking of it as a thought leadership tool. And what that looks like is at least half of your post to any social media platform should not be about yourself, your impact, your needs, the fact that you're hiring, the new report you just put out, they should be about the issues that you represent. If you're a breast cancer organization, share new research or reports or articles or events other groups in the space are putting out, and be the one that is pitching that big tent. And then less than half of the time, talk about yourself, a portion of which is fundraising appeals. But that way you are establishing yourself as a leader in the field. And when it comes time, 30% of all giving happens the last month of the year, a third of which happens the last three days of the year. And people have their checkbooks and they're thinking about, oh, who do I want to write a check to in the breast cancer space? Oh, those guys who are always putting out really good content and educating me. That's where the real fundraising opportunity happens, through social media.
[01:07:06] Patrick: Darian, I want to thank you for all the practical.
This is people would pay for this as a webinar or a conference breakout. This is the stuff I think people need.
Part of what you're sharing is ideas, and I'm sure you have a billion of them, but part of what you're sharing and more of what you're sharing is this is not complicated.
It's actually pretty simple when you break it down. And I'm just sort of sensing that as I listen to you. And I think that should give our listeners and the organizations out there struggling with this whole fundraising piece, just get down to what you're talking about here are really some of the basics. I think over the years, we maybe have lost just some of the basics, the things that make that work. And so much of it is related to sales, the same thing that corporate sales stuff. Some of the principles are the same. But I really appreciate all of the practical tips that you're providing on this too. I think this is one of those that I'm going to have to put in my email when I'm promoting this podcast for people to get a pen and paper as they listen to this one, because they're going to want to take notes.
There are two questions I like to ask all my guests before we wrap up. Darian one is I love stories from people, successful people like you.
I love to hear the stories of people who have impacted them. And I always hear these unique ways that people have impacted their view on leadership. As a leader and a coach to leaders and a helper to leaders who's someone that just comes to your mind. As someone who had a great impact on your philosophy of leadership or your ethic or your approach to leadership, who is that and why?
[01:09:01] Darian: When I think about my sort of especially in the fundraising space, my mentors and one of my Shiro's, I think a lot about Kay Sprinkle Grace, and I don't know if you've ever had her on your podcast, but she is incredible. She's an author, amazing public speaker, and she's someone that has clearly committed her life to this line of work. She's inspired so many other sort of emerging leaders, especially as it relates to fundraising. She is the voice in my head as I think not only about the critical importance of relationships versus transactional fundraising, the critical importance of not expecting every board member to make an ask. She has her three A's approach, but she's also got these little amazing poignant things like people don't give to you, they give through you. You're not raising money for yourself or even your organization. You're raising money for the clients that you serve. They give to you not because you have needs, but because you meet needs. And those kinds of little nuggets are things that I really keep in my back pocket. And the fact that she just brings such passion and vision to this work and unwavering commitment after so many years is a big part of that as well.
[01:10:12] Patrick: Love it.
I'll have to look into her work.
If you had a megaphone on top of a mountain and all the leaders, people who consider themselves leaders, are on the ground beneath you, and you've got 20 seconds to give them the most important message for leaders to hold on to the thing that you believe is the darian tenet of leadership, what would that be?
[01:10:46] Darian: Seek first to collaborate and only then to lead.
And I got to see former President Clinton speak once he shared that. And I think in the nonprofit sector, all too often we are passionate people, we're compassionate people. We want to run out and impact a cause. And far too often we don't take the time to really survey the landscape, see who else is out there, how we can support their efforts. And only after we've done that, if we've identified a unique path and a gap that needs to be filled, should we be looking to create something new? How can we really support one another? Because ultimately, the rope is stronger than the threat. And that's the fundamental tenet of my work.
I'm glad that this was practical and helpful for me. Anytime I'm talking to a group, I like to say that if they leave my comments inspired, that's great, but it means I haven't done my job. My job is to inspire people to action and really to give them tactical, practical tips and tools. So if they want to come to the site, I'm happy to not only offer up templates for those board tools I mentioned, but as a standing offer. Anytime I give a keynote or write a book or speak on a podcast like this, I always offer up a free pro bono coaching session and connect with folks for 1520 minutes to find out about their specific challenges and connect them to some resources and contact. So I'm very much at the service of your listeners, and I just want to thank them as I wrap up. Thank them not only on behalf of myself and on behalf of the podcast, but thank them on behalf of the thousands of people that they collectively serve and impact every day.
[01:12:21] Patrick: Man such good stuff. Again, thanks so much. And by the way, Helpingpeoplehelp.com is the site, so if you want to get in touch with Darian, and I highly recommend it, helpingpeoplehelp.com will get you there. And if you want to go to Amazon and check out, one of the things that Darian may be best known for is his writing nonprofit Fundraising 101 and Nonprofit Management 101, both of those on Amazon, both chock full of tenets and foundations and principles just like this. So, darian. Thanks again. I hope our listeners reach out to you and certainly check out your stuff. Great offer on the pro bono coaching session, and thanks for everything you're doing. That's it for this episode, folks. Lead on.