A Summer of Inspiration: Powerful stories from the Nonstop Nonprofit Podcast

A Summer of Inspiration: Powerful stories from the Nonstop Nonprofit Podcast

October 14, 2020
36 minutes

Tune in to stories of donation dreams-come-true and nonprofit nightmares, tales of passion, purpose, and profit intersecting, and predictions from nonprofits shaping the future of fundraising.


Ten meaningful segments from the Nonstop Nonprofit Podcast's full-to-bursting Summer 2020 season. Ten of our best, most enlightening, inspirational conversations, organized in brief, to-the-point clips. Hear Jason Russell, Co-founder of Invisible Children, discuss redefining charity and Jeremy Courtney, CEO of Preemptive Love, provide perspective from the front lines. Listen as Ramy Nagy, CEO and Creative Director of MADEO, reveals the hidden program your nonprofit never knew it had. All that and seven other stories from nonprofit influencers with inspiration.


2020 has been, well, for lack of better words, a hot mess! I can't think of a time where we all had to rethink everything we do and find ways to thrive in challenging and frustrating times. Now, more than ever, we need inspiration from others in our various industries to help lift our spirits and carry on. It has been so refreshing to be able to sit down and have conversations I've had with some amazing guests this year. This past summer, we were able to have a new guest nearly every week speak about the innovative and creative ways they contribute to the nonprofit space. I had the chance to sit down with some of the brightest minds in fundraising, marketing and much more. We covered a wide range of topics from crypto donations to viral fundraising campaigns. As we transition to the next season of Nonstop Nonprofit, I'd like to take a moment and re-share some of my favorite segments over the last couple of months. Let's dive in!

All right. Well, thanks for tuning in to our first ever, best of, greatest hits, mashup collection of some of my favorite moments of this past summer. Let's jump right in and start with Chris Hammond from Corporate Giving Connection. Chris talks about his deep roots in peer-to-peer fundraising before it was the digital strategy giant it is today. I love his focus on the importance of compelling storytelling for online fundraising and how stepping back to take an analog approach can really aid the success of campaigns.

Chris Hammond You know, as I mentioned at the beginning, you know, my original background had always been in events. It was you know when I first got started at the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, you know, at its core, our biggest fundraiser for four every year was our run-walk. It was the run-walk to break the silence on ovarian cancer. And at the time, we were doing peer-to-peer fundraising and I didn't even know it was called that. Right. And it was something where I saw not only the sheer power of the community coming together, developing these teams, but I also saw the importance of competition. And I saw the importance of developing templates and showing appreciation of the fundraisers that were leading these campaigns. And I was doing this, we're talking in 2011, 2012, but we were able to have an organization that didn't have a huge funder prospects, but they were raising $300,000 for these run-walks and was all through the community. It was all through a shared story, a shared goal or really, really harnessing those personal experiences to fundraise and do it effectively. And, you know, here I am now eight years later and we're in the middle of a global pandemic where those, you know, one on one meetings are no longer as easy to take place or putting together an event is no longer a viable option. And here I am seeing that peer-to-peer fundraising, once again, it's still just as powerful as it was then than it is today. And where I think the innovation on the fundraising end, where it's shifted, is it no longer needs to be centered around an event. It can be something that can happen virtually. And if you had the great storytelling, if you have the great marketing and messaging and the strategy to execute it, you can really put together an effective campaign. And I really see that over these. Next few years, especially in the short term, peer-to-peer fundraising is going to be very important. And that's something that we have really focused a lot of our efforts is, not only educating our current clients on where there is clear opportunities to put together these digital peer-to-peer campaigns, but also making sure that we're partnering ourselves with different fundraising softwares that have the peer-to-peer capabilities and making sure that people have the right platform, but also the services needed to get the most out of their campaign.

Justin Wheeler I love what you said, especially in the beginning about... because, I do remember several years ago there was this conversation around, you know, just being fatigue with peer to peer fundraising. And a lot of people were felt like that it kind of had hit its peak. And I think it's because it was so single-channel focused at the time. But what we're starting to see and as you've pointed out, is it's becoming a much more omnichannel approach as it relates to peer-to-peer funders. It doesn't have to be tied to a specific run-walk event, it'll actually be much broader and more, you know, virtually focused.

DAFs, you love them or hate them? But hundreds of millions of donation dollars are flowing through them each year. That's why I knew I had to speak with the Founder of Millie, Rachel Klausner, who is on a mission to democratize DAFs and how a philanthropist of any giving size can plan their giving for a year. Here are the golden nuggets of what we discussed.

Justin Wheeler so can you maybe talk a bit more about kind of the inspiration behind that and why that's an important part of your company?

Rachel Klausner Yes, this is something I'm a big believer and I could talk about it for hours. But yeah, the philanthropy world has been really interesting for me to navigate. I feel very new to it still. Right. And I feel like I'm only a year and a half in and I'm learning a lot. But really, what opened my eyes to it was when I started learning about donor-advised funds, because originally I was like, oh, everything's equitable in the world, not everything. But, you know, like we're just it's just a word philanthropy, that scares people. And then the second I actually started talking to some really, really generous philanthropists here in the Boston area, they all started bringing up donor-advised funds. And I was like, what is this thing that you guys, everyone's telling me donor-advised funds? And I realized, you know, when they would talk about it, I was like, why is it something I haven't heard of? My friends haven't heard? I would bring it up at, like parties. I'd be like, oh, you've heard of this thing. No one knew what it was. And doing research, I realized that they just have these really high minimums. It was really inaccessible, even like I was like, oh, before, you know, Millie turned into a DAF thing. I was like, oh, let me just open up like a fidelity charitable account. And like A, did not have the minimum amount, you know, to be able to donate. Like, I could not afford the, you know, $500-$1,000 initial donation right then and there. But then also it was a super cumbersome process. I had to get on the phone with someone in order to actually create the account. There was like definitely some manual processes in place, and I was like, oh, this is so silly. Then I start looking into the laws around them. I was like, oh, is there a minimum legal amount that you need to have in there? Nope, no, legal minimum. So it ended up being this really interesting exploratory kind of conversation that led into, wait a second, there's actually this tool that almost every kind of wealthy donor in America is using and every kind of average donor in America has no idea it exists. And even like I think back to folks, you know, people in my family who, you know, for what they've done in their life, have been just, I've always thought of as very generous people, like just would never qualified for that amount of money. And so whenever they would tell me about their giving, it was like always so one-off. And they weren't able to really plan it. And the ones that did, they did it in spreadsheets and it was super, you know, cumbersome to track. And so it was just really an interesting. What I felt like wasn't, you know, it's like inequity. And so that's when we started talking to donor-advised funds across the country to try and get a partner and say, listen, we'll build a platform on top of whatever kind of more old school or whatever donor-advised fund back-end you have. And so that ended up being great. We ended up finding one here in Boston. And it was just, it was a wild experience because I had no idea what donor-advised funds were. And then the next minute I was like trying to track down donor-advised funds that were way above by my pay grade. So it was great.

Justin Wheeler So I think the other sort of benefit you're adding here is, you know, aside from the making it more accessible to the average donor, is just the efficiency, especially at like end of year, like when you're filing taxes. Right. Like, you don't have to go track down one hundred receipt's or 25 receipts, depending on how many different times you've given. You've got it all centralized in your... through your DAF. And that's, that's super interesting.

When you think about award-winning websites, you don't always think about your favorite nonprofit. Ramy, Founder and Lead Creative at Madeo, a creative agency helping nonprofits not just tell their story but visualize it, is leading the charge and what it means to prioritize your digital presence. Working with some major brands like Nike, Apple, the NBA and more, he teaches nonprofits how vital their website is to the donor's journey. Madeo recently won a Webby Award for its work on the Equal Justice Initiative's website and has helped many other nonprofits realize their own website is not just a project or property, but rather a program vital to fundraising success.

Ramy Nagy It might sound weird and people might think, well, because I work in this industry, that's why I'm saying what I'm about to say. But I really do think nonprofits should care even more than for-profit companies about their brand, about their websites specifically. When you think about it, if you are a big, if you're a major brand, you thew website is just one piece of what you get to spend your money on an investment. But you also have many ads on TV or a significant budget of ads online. You have a huge budget maybe through events. I mean, Covid-19 aside, you'd be spending a lot of money on events, even nonprofits as well. But like, you spend a lot of money on a lot of other things and people will know your brand through a lot of different ways. But when you're a nonprofit, having a website, when you think about it in those terms, your website, is kind of, has thousands of people coming across, coming through it. The only parallel move for a nonprofit is the size of their gala. And it's not even of the size of the gala. Sometimes it's like a football stadium of people that are coming to you. So in that sense, kind of the most efficient way for a nonprofit to be engaging with that number of people on that scale. And without having to rely on staff being there in the room, every single time, I mean every development person that spends their day on the phone and talking to potential donors or essential partners, if they get to have better conversations and let the website do the heavy lifting of the initial kind of introductions and awareness about what the brand is about and the organization is about, then it's just like a, a very smart way to approach it. I think to your point, why do we have still a lot of, you know, nonprofit executives or just in leadership? That approach is just that there's a cost or is an expense. I think, generally speaking, that's an issue within the nonprofit space of kind of people being very self-conscious about investing. Investing to begin with. I think like the culture that if every dollar that you get, you're not directly spending it on the programmatic work that you're doing, then you're not really efficient in a certain way. But I think it takes an investment and kind of a, really a vision. And that's what you rely on, really wanting to partner with the great nonprofits, with that kind of vision that you sure can spend every dollar through directly through the work that you do, than maybe will always be stuck, only being able to help 10 people at a time. But if you were to invest in your infrastructure and all this kind of, these different types of work that are intended for you to be able to scale your work to do bigger and better things, then you're sure it's gonna be a little bit more expensive at first, but you're going to be able to help not some people, but a hundred or a thousand or ten thousand one hundred thousand. And I think that's the kind of strategic vision that is so important. And I think, you know, all of us need to just continue to talk to leadership at nonprofits and kind of try to educate and inform about the value and importance of digital work, which is, people just don't feel it when there's, if there's one hundred thousand people, go through your website. It's not the same if they look out their window and the one hundred thousand people in front of them that are supporting them. So it takes that kind of conversation and education to visualize it.

As I think back to my conversation with Anne Connelly from Singularity University, I'm still trying to pick up my jaw from her brilliant perspective on the way nonprofits need to be thinking about growth. She flips our normal way of thinking about growth on its head by challenging us to think about it from a multiplier perspective instead of a percentage on paper. This conversation made me rethink a lot about the industry and how we should dismantle the 80-20 focus nonprofits have.

Anne Connelly So essentially, the way to look at it is when you look at many nonprofits today, they're taking a problem out there in the world and every year they make it 10% better. You know, it's this very marginal increase on improving that problem. And that's great. But the problems that we're dealing with today, when you look at Covid, when you look at climate change, these problems are enormous and 10% improvement is just not good enough to actually solve the problem. And so what we do at Singularity University and where this whole mantra comes from, is getting people to think more in a 10X instead of a 10%. So if I said to you, you know, how would you make the room you're sitting in better? Most people might say, well, I'd have a more comfortable chair or there'd be more light. But if I said, how would you make the room 10X better? The type of thinking that you use to come up with solutions is totally different. You'd say, well, maybe there would be a hologram of my friend who can't be here today beside me, or maybe it would be inside a helicopter and I could fly this room anywhere in the world. And so it's all about how do you take that mindset and then use technology to be able to scale the applications that you're working on. So, for example, when you look at Moore's Laws, is the classic example where, you know, computing power, it doubles about every 18 months. And so if you're building an application to solve a problem using today's technology you know that's fine. You'll get that 10% improvement you're looking for. But if you build an application or come up with an idea, that uses the technology you know you're going to have five years from now, once you hit that point in five years your scale and your impact is going to rise exponentially. And so you'll be able to impact so many more people or create so much more change because you've been able to scale it a pace that you normally wouldn't be possible if you were using, kind of, that 10% type of thinking.

Justin Wheeler Sure. And I imagine this sort of thinking would also need to flip the conversation of, you know, overhead ratios on it, on its head, because if you're talking about scaling impact, you know, in five years from now instead of this year, that's where a lot of nonprofits kind of like make this decision for 10% vs 100%+ you know, growth is the cost of investment to scale and grow is not necessarily or usually realized in that first year of the work that you put in. And so that year will look expensive compared to maybe the actual outcomes. And so you need to have a long term mindset. I think that's why we see so many nonprofits kind of, you know, teeter-tottering between the two and most deciding on the incremental sort of growth and impact wins at their organizations.

Anne Connelly Yeah, I mean, this 80-20 concept is it's such a broken concept and it's very, unfortunately, become a bit of a mantra in the nonprofit space when really like if you were looking at a highly successful startup, let's say they wouldn't be making money at all for the first, you know, five or 10 years. They would be investing in all the infrastructure that they need to then when that moment hits, scale exponentially and create infinite levels of impact and change. And so I think that's a bit of a mindset that I'd love to see in the nonprofit space, where if you have a really amazing concept, you know what, put 100% of your money into establishing and building what that's going to be for the first couple of years. And then what you're going to see is that your ratio will go to 99 and one after that where, you know, you're only spending 1% on administration because of the structure of your project

Virality is not a happy coincidence. It's predicated on a history of impact and proof. So what would you do if your campaign went viral, like really viral? Normally in eighteen hundred dollar fundraising goal would be nice, but could you imagine if that goal was crushed and you ended up raising over $20 million dollars? Where do you go from here and how do you sustain moving forward? This is exactly what the conversation with Lizz Dunn, Chief Development Officer at RAICES and I talked about in her episode.

Liz Dunn The number one reason I would say that Facebook fundraiser was possible is because RAICES had always been there doing the work. We weren't reacting to the public outrage. The public was finding us. And so, you know, it's important not for people and organizations not to try and find a cause and like force themself that square peg into the round hole. Do what you're good at doing, but make it relevant to people with what's happening in the world and people will show up.

Justin Wheeler Totally. So a lot of concerns people have with Facebook fundraising and we work with so many different nonprofits across the spectrum all around the world. And one of the major objections we hear why people don't want to use Facebook as a platform is because of the donor data. They don't get enough information. I imagine most organizations rather have $20,000,000 than zero dollars and no data anyway. So I think that, like Facebook is an amazing platform that has a viral effect. If it's the right place at the right time. What would you say to fundraisers in your position who discourage their teams from using Facebook? Is it a tool that you think should be utilized more or do you have your own concerns with it?

Liz Dunn So there are a lot of feelings out there about Facebook as a fundraising tool. One of the interesting aspects for us is that the couple who started the fundraiser, they met while working at Facebook.

Justin Wheeler Oh wow.

Liz Dunn So one of the key ingredients in this story is that a lot of the tool that we use today in Facebook actually was frankly improved upon during the summer of 2018 when this fundraiser happened. There used to be a cap of like ten thousand or fifteen thousand on fundraisers and that is no more. And I think we were very, very fortunate to be in the hands of what I call super volunteers who knew who to call, who had the connections. And so they were able to kind of push through some of that corporate bureaucracy to be able to improve upon the platform and raise a lot of money. Yeah, we all struggle with the data side. I see the cost of acquisition of data on Facebook donors as a bit of a replacement to the fees that are associated with other platforms. And so...

Justin Wheeler That's a good point.

Liz Dunn I think it can be a bit of a wash when we look at our budgets. What I have found is that donors who give through Facebook identify as donors, even if they've never signed up for your email list, even if they've never gone to your website. You know, I've gotten emails or calls from people related to the world that they're seeing. And what they're hearing about RAICES on social media and I'll go to look them up in our CRM database and they're not there. And it's because we've never received their data through Facebook but certainly they're identifying as a donor. And so I would say make the most of it. Donors are going to go to this platform. It's already got a user experience fairly built out. So embrace the fact that you don't have to build a lot in terms of code or in terms of graphics like it's all there. People know how to use it. And so, yeah, we embrace it. It's not the core of our fundraising revenue. Certainly not something that we're trying to prioritize or necessarily push people to with a lot of force. But we really do try and embrace it as a part of now our comprehensive fundraising strategy.

Artificial intelligence. This can sound like a scary concept and for many nonprofits, they won't even tip their toes into it because of that. West Moon from wisely came from a nonprofit background and found workarounds within the industry to build better technology tools to help create change for the better. He reminded me during our talk that this technology is not an option, but instead it's an inevitable tool you'll need as a fundraiser in your tool belt, to be effective as a 21st century nonprofit.

Justin Wheeler I'd love to hear your thoughts around what is a fundraising team missing out on by not adopting A.I. Into their practice. I mean, it's very straightforward. Like what am I missing out on by not, you know, leveraging A.I. for our fundraising activity?

Wes Moon If you're today not using A.I., you're going to fall behind. That's the very simple truth. And maybe the best way to describe it, Justin, I don't know if you're old enough to remember not having even MapQuest, for instance.

Justin Wheeler I remember printing MapQuest, you know, or printing directions. I think that was MapQuest, right? You got the directions and you printed them and you took them in the car with you because you couldn't have them on your phone.

Wes Moon Totally. So before MapQuest, you used to go to AAA, the Auto Club, and they would do the map for you and print it out. And then MapQuest came out and it blew everyone's mind. I used it to drive to San Diego, from Toronto. MapQuest. Printed out. It was amazing. And then now, we would never think of doing that. Our phone is actually telling us turn by turn, where to go. Avoiding traffic. And not only that, it's telling us when to leave. And when we think about using A.I. and fundraising, it's the same thing. We could get to our destination. But what we need to do is elevate ourselves for higher-level activity. If we're using this car analogy, how do I get there safely? How do I know I'm getting there on time? Do I have everything that I need? And then it also removes a giant burden from you on the administration. So when you think of how that can have an impact on an organization, you start to really say it's almost an essential for you. Banks are going crazy with this. Like large organizations are and have been investing in this for quite some time. It's half of Amazon's business. It's half of Google's business. It would be naive to think that we shouldn't be looking at this and finding ways to short cut our way through our businesses.

Justin Wheeler Yeah, I think that the analogy, the car analogy is so right on.

Community, this was the bedrock to Invisible Children's success. It was truly a blast from my pas to sit down with Jason Russell, the Co-Founder of IC, to remember what it was like building up the organization together as it pioneered new tactics that eventually led to Kony 2012, the most viral video on the internet, at the time. Here's some insight on how we built a movement that completely redefined charity.

Justin Wheeler How did Invisible Children have such a wide impact even before the internet was, you know, played an important role in and taking the organization even more viral?

Jason Russell I think you probably could answer it yourself, to be honest. I think it was really, really based in the word, community. Which is not enough of a word to encompass what was happening at Invisible Children, the friendships were so intense and an integrated and I've actually like asked a lot of former interns and roadies, like, why did you come and, like, raise money to basically work for 15 hours a day, sleep in the van, eat pizza and burgers. And, you know, it just seems like torture in a way or like really hard. You know, maybe torture is too strong of a word, but like it was just really exhausting. But all of them right now, including Lisa Dougan, the current CEO of Invisible Children, said that was the best time of their whole life. Like there like it was genuinely, I've never felt such purpose and drive and excitement and meaning in my friendships. So it was really this community that, like, if you were in the offices at any point in time, over the 10 years plus, you felt that energy. You felt people on the phone. We were so dialed into doing what we were doing, we weren't joking or playing around. We were there to help end this conflict and provide education and everything else. So, yeah, I think it's just a community. I really do built around a strong mission.

Justin Wheeler Yeah, definitely agree with that. I remember when I left Invisible Children I think was like 24-years-old or something like that and someone asked about the experience and I said I peaked at 24. Like there's like no other experience that can ever match this.

Would you be brave enough to change your nonprofit's gift acceptance policy? Ettore, coming from a marketing background shifted careers to help improve on Save the Children's gift acceptance policy. He's been with the organization for over 15 years and is always on the hunt for the next new thing that will help his nonprofit accelerate their growth.

Justin Wheeler What would you say if you can share, since 2013, how much would you say you've raised through crypto? Do you have you know that off top of your head or is it something you're able to share?

Ettore Rossetti Yeah. So hundreds of thousands of dollars. We hope that it will become millions of dollars. But to your point earlier, if you don't accept cryptocurrency as an organization, then you will receive zero.

Justin Wheeler Yeah. No, that's exactly what I was...

Ettore Rossetti So the sum is no larger than zero. The processing fees of course behind it but just with any type of currency, credit card or otherwise, there are processing fees. So it's we treated it as a, essentially a cash gift, but almost like a, you know, intangible asset, like a stock. And we do accept stock gifts also. Some of those donors prefer to remain anonymous, but for those who would like to reveal themselves, we would gladly collect their information and keep their information secure in private. So I think for us, you know, the lessons learned around the Pineapple Fund, regulations change with regularity. And there's both federal and state regulations governing cryptocurrency in the United States. I'm a marketer, not a lawyer. But what I can tell you is that the state of Connecticut requires a money transmitter license if you're going to accept cryptocurrency. And so we formerly were with BitPay. But during that pineapple fund, a year-end gift, we realized that we were no longer able to accept donations from BitPay because they weren't licensed in the state of Connecticut at the time. So we had this gap of a few months where we couldn't accept cryptocurrency and it happened to be the same timeframe...

Justin Wheeler Oh no!

Ettore Rossetti Of the Pineapple Fund. So we scrambled to find a source and we landed with Gemini Trust Exchange out of New York. The Winklevoss twins and I'm an identical twin. So there is some good karma there as well. And they used row and Southport and we were based in Westport, so these, these are the guys, right? This is the firm. Yeah. So we went with them, but one of the challenges we experienced is we, our finance team had to go in and do the exchanging themselves and be equivalent to accepting a stock gift and then having to sell it and having that sort of expertize in house and the agility to be able to respond to that for us wasn't a long term viable solution. So you manually did it for a while ourselves, but then were approached by The Giving Block, and for us it was the perfect solution because essentially we could just use our same Gemini account and yet on the front end of this great widget, which sort of automatically made the transfers and the exchanges, and now it's grown to more than just Bitcoin. There's a handful of cryptos that it accepts. So that kind of a middle process and also the consultative services around it, as far as tax advice and so forth, that sometimes donors have questions. It's really helpful to have allies in your corner as you're trying to be what I call an intrapreneur at a rather large organization.

Marketing is undervalued by many nonprofit executives and honestly by many for-profit companies as well. It can look like a cost center, which I think is absolutely the wrong approach. Lisa Bowman refers to herself as a marchitect,” someone who builds at the intersection of purpose and profit. She's the former CMO of United Way Worldwide who launched the award-winning Joined the Fight Creative Campaign and an alumni of U.P.S. who led the brand rollout of the U.P.S. store. We talked shop about our outlook on marketing within nonprofits and how organizations need to prioritize more spend in this area themselves.

Justin Wheeler Something that I've seen working with a ton of nonprofits is that often marketing isn't given the resources or is it necessarily, when looking at the bottom line, is a lot of times executives look at it more as a cost center than something that actually is enhancing the experience, enhancing donor loyalty and trust. For some reason, marketing is by many executives not treated that way. Has that been your experience or are large nonprofits different?

Lisa Bowman If you look at what's happening right now with the economy and the cuts that people are making, I do believe that marketing is often seen as an undervalued asset and a cost center. The two things that generally get cut when there's a financial constriction are marketing and investment people, right? Training programs seem to get cut, development programs get cut. And I think that for the nonprofit sector marketing, at least from my experience and my purview, was always one of the areas that was definitely underresourced, looked at as a cost center because there's nothing that you can do necessarily for free. It all costs money, right? Whether you're doing PSA is and putting out media, whether you're working with influencers or celebrity ambassadors. There's a cost to all that. And so I do think that the perception sometimes is that marketing is a cost center. Marketing is actually the most critical thing that I think you need when you're trying to raise funds. Right. You have to keep that brand front and center in front of people. You have to make sure that it's relevant. And more than anything, marketing has the responsibility of knowing the customer through customer insight, but answering for the customer the why. The why is this nonprofit my why? Why is this who I'm going to give to? Right. Because it's making investment in a nonprofit is just like buying candidly any other product or service. You do your research on it. You need to make sure that there's a value proposition and you want to ensure that you're going to get a return on that investment. It's just that with nonprofit, you're getting a social return on the investment, not always that tangible return on investment that you would get necessarily with a product or service.

Justin Wheeler I appreciate that sentiment so much because a lot of times nonprofits, you know, they believe that they're not always... they believe they're not competing with for-profits. And, you know, to some extent, depending on like the donor demographic, that could be true for the younger donor, you're absolutely competing for the dollar against other brands and products and things. And so being able to tell your story, being able to share your why, being able to compel someone to give is that person saying no to something different. And marketing is the storytelling behind that. The reach that marketing can have is absolutely critical.

Although Jeremy's organization, Preemptive Love, is an international operation, it was birthed from his real-life experience of living on the ground in the country his work began in. At scale, this is hard to replicate. So hiring talented people who can carry on the vision or advance down the field is incredibly important. As a fan-boy of this organization for many years, I was excited going into the conversation and let me tell you, he did not disappoint. Here's Jeremy Courtney speaking about how his team vitally contributes to the organization's success.

Jeremy Courtney I mean, build a great team, I think is really what it comes down to. And so you can continue to care and obsess like an owner or a founder cares and obsesses over the details of things. The localized dynamic, that you articulated, that I'm not far removed from the work that we do. That I'm in it or proximate to it, even though it is, at its core, an international organization, I think is important. Obviously, there's going to be limits to that. We've expanded into other countries. I'm not living in Syria and living in Mexico and living in Venezuela all at the same time, obviously. So you do what you can to a certain level, but at some point you have to let the child grow up and go off to school on its own, so to speak, you know, so hiring great people and always it's the combination of keeping an eye out for top, top talent. On the one hand, knowing how to cultivate and build internal talent and promote internal talent, on the other hand. And how to set vision and goals and standards so that people can realize their highest ideals and expressions of what it is that we're trying to do here is.

Justin Wheeler Yeah.

Jeremy Courtney That's that's a challenge of leadership. That's a challenge of growing up as an organization, not feeling like it has to be my thing to do or my thing to win or my thing to advance down the field. Sometimes we've gotten it right. Sometimes we've gotten it woefully wrong. But I appreciate the vote of confidence, you know. But ultimately, it comes down to the team.

If there's one thing we have learned from these episodes, it is that the nonprofit sector has some of the most brilliant minds that are innovating at lightning speed for the good of humanity. I have truly been inspired by these mission-driven people and can't wait to bring on more like-minded individuals. Until next time, happy fundraising!

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