If the first three installments of Joe’s discussion with Laura Solomon, Esq, haven’t convinced you that all not-for-profits need a qualified lawyer, this podcast should do the trick. In this final episode, Solomon offers up some cautionary tales that delve into why all charitable organizations must have competent council. If not, the results could be catastrophic.
Did you know that charitable organizations are subject to taxes?
In the third installment of Joe’s interview with Laura Solomon, Esq., they embark on a fascinating discussion about how organizations can – and should – diversify their funding sources. Solomon’s keen insight of tax law shows how fundraising tools like special events and commercial co-ventures can often be a case of diminishing returns – and could even saddle your organization with a tax bill. Listen to learn about tips that can help any organization diversify, while growing funding sources.
Once again: Joe sits down with noted non-profit lawyer, Laura Solomon, Esq. While tax benefits and bottom line considerations often fuel gift giving, there are other – often neglected – reasons that prospects choose to give.
In this SECOND of FOUR installments, Joe and Laura discuss the art of building and maintaining relationships. It is often this sort of connective tissue that allows an organization to create stronger bonds with prospects and donors – leading to robust giving programs and a bright future.
This week: Joe sits down with noted lawyer, Laura Solomon, Esq. Solomon and her team at Laura Solomon and Associates work exclusively with not-for-profits, providing legal advice throughout the complete lifecycle of a nonprofit — from formation through merger or dissolutions — while providing much-needed legal support for day to day operations. Their clients engage them for their expertise in tax and corporate matters, charitable trusts, real estate, and finance.
In the FIRST of their FOUR part discussion, Joe and Laura talk about the often neglected – yet vital – tool known as an organizational gift acceptance plan (GAP). Informative, and chock full of real world information, this podcast series is a must for anyone working in development today.
What can churches do to be better prepared to accept and solicit planned gifts?
In this podcast, Joe sits down with Randy Nyce, an Everence Charitable Services Representative with Mennonite Foundation, for a wide ranging discussion geared towards answering this – and other church-related – giving issues. They touch on concepts of “need v. vision,” pastoral care, endowment policies, transformational gifts, how to gift plan and more.
We all get put on hold.
Some of us listen to the music. Others use that time to think.
Like many in our business, I was on hold today waiting for a conference call to start. The hold music was the 1962 classic soul/funk tune “Green Onions” by Booker T. and the M.G.’s. With all due respect to Mr. T. (Who is obviously NOT a fool and whom I never pity), the song was driving me crazy. You know the tune. A repetitive organ riff laced in between a walking bass line that just walks…and walks…and walks. It’s monotonous. To me at least.
I wondered how a song so simplistic could be such an enduring, recognizable smash hit – especially since it reminded me of something a grade school garage band would play. For those who don’t know, I’m a jazz musician and can, on occasion, be very critical of pop music. My first reaction when I hear songs like “Green Onions” – with its elementary chord changes and repetitive melodies – is “who wants to listen to this?” It’s so monotonous and boring”. I caught myself going into critic mode, when I thought: “What is good about this song?” What is it that other’s hear that I am missing?”
The answer was a plain as the funk on the phone: Things don’t have to be complicated for people to connect with it.
Consider it a momentary lapse of reason. As we all know, one of the cardinal rules of road bike safety is a simple one: Stay off the sidewalks.
But this week, as I was out on my early morning ride, I made a decision that nearly cost me a trip to the ER. It was early, sort of dark and the traffic was beginning to flow, so I decided to ride on the sidewalk of a busy road until it got a little lighter. My thinking: SAFETY! I thought I was playing it safe. Bad move. The “no sidewalk” rule exists for a reason. My thin road bike tires provided very little stability on the bumpy sidewalk. Tires that easily roll smoothly on pavement, can get stuck in ruts and sidewalk cracks. Just like mine did on this “safe” early morning ride. Going too fast, my front tire caught the side rail of the sidewalk and, before I knew it, I was sailing over the handlebars – incurring a bruised elbow (and ego) in the process. Tour De France? Not exactly. Sure, I landed relatively “safely,” but by trying to play it safe, I opened myself up to additional risk.
So allow me to make a gentle comparison. Like my early morning ride, we fundraisers often play it “safe” at work: We sell raffle tickets, golf foursomes, ad space in program books, anything to avoid sitting down with a donor and engaging them in a conversation about an outright or planned gift. In a one-on-one setting, too much could go wrong, we think. Wrong. We’re good intentioned, of course. Thinking we’re safely plodding along in our cultivation efforts, but this sort of deliberate approach actually hurts us long term. HERE’S HOW:
IN THIS PODCAST, Joe and Matt talk language. What you say is just as important as how you say it. It’s a we thing, you understand. So stop talking and listen – it’ll do your program some good.
It’s morning, you rise (and sometimes shine) and start in on your daily routine: Brush your teeth, take a shower, comb your hair. The usual ritualistic tasks that you undertake daily. You don’t skip these things because you’re too busy or don’t feel like it. They’re part of your daily routine (hopefully). They’re non-negotiable.
So why not make picking up the phone and calling current and probable donors a part of your daily maintenance routine? It should be a non-negotiable part of your everyday. HERE’S HOW:
Ever heard the name Tony Alessandra? If not, listen up. Alessandra publishes a lot of great content including The Power of Listening. There are plenty of books and content related to presentation and speaking, and those are the marquee topics we tend to focus on. But the flip side of that is far more important to our jobs. After all, we spend to vast majority of our workday engaged in verbal communication. Whether it be on the phone with a colleague or one-to-one during one of the many donor meetings we always seem to have on tap, we spend a great deal of time listening.
But is that time spent actively?
We make our living listening, and it’s one of the things we – as development professionals – consider a strength. Of course we’re good listeners. We have to be. It’s fundamentally essential to our work. We listen to develop relationships and further our organization’s mission. But according to Alessandra, most of us are not exactly overachieving. “The normal, untrained listener is likely to understand and retain only about 50% of a conversation, and this relatively poor percentage drops to an even less impressive 25% retention rate 48 hours later.”
That’s good, but certainly no where near great.
Which leads up to the obvious: “How can we be a great listeners?”