Dec. 17: where donor insight hero Lesley almost is an hour late but then inspires everyone deeply instead❤

*Beate added Lesley Pinder to the chat*

Lesley

See you all in an hour!

Cartoon lobster flexing muscles

Beate

You mean…in three minutes?

😂

Lesley

Um.

I thought it was 5.30 my time!

Simon

lol off to our usual start

Jen

Fucking timezones. Such a calamity. Every. Time.

John

ha

Lesley

Is it on three mins!? That’s cool too. I’ll go find somewhere to sit!

I thought I was being so good popping in an hour before so you knew I was on it

Just logging in to WhatsApp web 🙂

Beate

clever guest this one§

Lesley

I’m in!

LETS DO THIS

Beate

Ok – **chat is on**

Hello lobsters and guest lobster!

Jen

Hellllloooooo!

Lesley

Hiya pals!

John

welcome Lesley!

Lesley

I am honoured to be here

Jen

Thank you for joining us!

Simon

Lesley. Welcome.

Beate

This is the politest intro we’ve ever had

Lesley

I was about to ask if I can swear…

Beate

Fuck yes

John

fuck yes

Jen

Fuckin right you can

Beate

hahaha

Lesley

FUCK YEAH!

Ahem. Sorry mum.

Simon

Is your mum a fan of Lobster Chat?

Lesley

She will be I’m sure.

Jen

Imagine! “Lesley, what are you doing with these brutes?”

Beate

okay so enough chit chat. I invited lesley so we could talk about donor insights!

wanna tell the chatcast what it is you do?

John

i TM’d “chatcast” Beate so now you owe me $5 every time you use it

Lesley

Aye! So, I’m at Head of Supporter Experience at the British Red Cross.

Our team’s job is to help ensure our supporters have a great experience. In a nutshell!

Beate

Very Cool Title

Lesley

It is a bit. I blush whenever I say it. I feel very lucky.

Simon

Start by letting them out of the nutshell

Lesley

Oh simon.

Simon

Downhill from here

Beate

🙄

Simon

But still…that must be one of the most impressive fundraising titles in the UK

Jen

I actually think it’s a lovely title, and much better than some kind of officer or senior adviser which makes me think i might get arrested

Lesley

Oh cripes, I guess! It definitely feels like a huge honour and opportunity. We have the chance to do something really great I think. Which is both exciting and terrifying!

Simon

Do people forget you’re a fundraiser?

Lesley

I think sometimes people might think supporter experience isn’t about raising money as we don’t directly fundraise. But it’s EVERYTHING about raising money

And I always refer to myself as a fundraiser.

Beate

🙌🏼

John

AMEN to that

Jen

Sing it sister

Beate

Lesley had my favourite slide of the whole IFC this year

Slide from presentation with headline That Henry Ford Quote: If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, A faster horse!. Followed by explanation, Ford's customers didn't say that they wanted a safer horse or a more comfortable horse. They said the wanted a faster horse. They were perfectly clear about what they wanted, speed

Beate

I HATE THAT QUOTE!!!

Lesley

Ha!!

Beate

So much shit is justified using that quote

Your take on it was music to my ears

Simon

And I always think that if you asked the horses they would have said ‘cars’

Lesley

I hear the phrase “People say one thing and do the opposite” ALL the time to justify not ever speaking to supporters or doing research. And that quote is used all the time to back it up

Beate

That’s the difference between “insight” – using what you learn to form some kind of knowledge and “well they said so so I must blindly abide by it” 🙄

Jen

“Supporter Experience” anchors the conversation around the donor/volunteer/helper, not around the business end of the charity

Simon

Conversation is a key word there right? People say something intially but theres always more to it. Not the opposite. Just more

Jen

And then there’s the “well how do I measure if this works if I haven’t involved a statistician and analyst”

Lesley

When I think of insight, for me it’s about understanding what you want to find out and then working out the best way to find it out.

Sometimes your data will tell you all you need to know if it’s about how donors currently behave.

But if you want to understand how people feel about something or why they behave, you probably need to speak to them.

Jen

Insight! Love it.

Lesley

And if you want to know if something works, then you need to test it!

Insight comes from many places, not just 200 page decks from research agencies

Beate

How many donors would you say you speak to on a regular basis?

You or your team, I guess

Lesley

Not as many as I’d like!!

Jen

GOOD ANSWER

Lesley

Every month we have some sort of supporter conversations happening I guess in different forms…

Last month we used an online panel to deep dive in to how supporters felt about our 2030 vision for supporter egagement. It was three days of online discussion and activities. FASCINATING

That was 24 people giving deep emotional response.

Jen

😭

John

i’d be curious to know what are some recent insights that really surprised you and your team Lesley?

like something that caught you off guard

Lesley

That piece we just did….I confess, i wondered how much our supporters would engage in a 10 year conceptual vision but they COMPLETELY got it.

And explained it back to use using such clear, concise language that connected to how it made them feel.

Jen

Wow. Goes to show you that if you are authentic and open in the way you ask people to dig in and dive in, they will!

Beate

So what is your “2030 vision for supporter engagement”?

Jen

This chatcast(TM) is restoring my faith in humanity!

John

haha

Lesley

Ha, well, that bad boy I can’t share yet as it’s part of our whole organisational ten year strategy that hasn’t quite yet been signed off yet!

But, the fact that our supporters are built in to it is so exciting, and they’ve had the chance to feed back

Jen

Ahhh the cold hand of “approvals”. Fair point.

Simon

Does much get revised/rewritten based on what supporters say?

Like how much should charities let supporters guide them?

/Tell them what to do

(Also feel like there’s a Labour party comparison we should bring up here as you’re the only British lobster)

Lesley

Our approach is to use supporter insight to guide the experience not dictate it. We tend not to ask thing like “what do you want” but more “what have you felt before” “How do you want to feel”

Jen Love

#allthefeels

John

asking donors emotional questions… imagine….

Simon

“How do you want to feel” is very heavy

Lesley

Ha, yes, there are ways of exploring that without sounding like you’re interrogating people!

I would never ask a donor “How many times do you want us to email you” or “Do you want to be thanked”.

Simon

Well that’s an interesting discussion…people often say we should be asking donors how many times they want to hear from us, which I’m not a fan of. Would love to hear your thoughts

Jen

“Without interrogating” says the Norwegian!

John

LOL

Beate

What? the Norwegian did not say that

Simon

Jesus imagine a Norwegian focus group

Jen

That’s what I was thinking

John

lol

Gif of Ashton Kutcher yelling BURN into the camera

Beate

The norwegian ONLY interrogates people.

I demand to know!

Actually, we’re all super evasive and no one wants to speak to a group so it takes forever

Simon

Norwegian focus group has no questions. It’s just someone shouting how right they are.

Jen

GOLD! Waiting for L’s brilliant answer but this is amazing.

Beate

Tss, we don’t need to shout it, we know we are so we can just softly say it.

Lesley

I’d love to get you to do some insight interviews, Beate. You’d be brilliant!

Beate

Thank you for being the nice one in this group

Lesley

So, to answer your question Simon, here is how i’d approach it….

Jen

Even in the survey work we do we are always careful about asking questions we don’t want answers to. (Also helpful for parenting teenagers)

Lesley

We found out what people cared about and what inspired them. Then designed an email journey for them. Our hunch was that if the content was relevant to them and interesting, then the frequency wouldn’t matter so much.

But the only way to test that really is to send the emails! And ideally a/b test frequency

And ask for feedback in the moment, not months after!

Jen

BING POT!

Simon

*preach giff*

Lesley

How do you feel about the emails we’re sending you?

Not, how many do you think you might want

Beate

Can you say a little about hwhat kind of experiences you have for your donors today? I like that this is coming from a big charity – so often we hear “we have too many supporters to do that” from the larger ones.

Simon

I’d actually say the bigger ones seem to have just as many excuses. We have too many supporters

Lesley

Or can you remember that thing you did 12 months ago amongst all the other things you’ve done…

Well we do have our Supporter Celebration Week which we piloted this year.

That had the dual purpose of championing our supporters internally but also we had the chance to thank some amazing people.

Beate

ooh, nice

Lesley

We reaching 110.000 supporters by email, and 900 with hand written cards and 1000 or so with phone calls

So no, not all our donors. But better than none!!

Simon

Yeh that was something you said at Fundraising Everywhere that stuck…

Start somewhere

John

Jen

❤ ❤

Beate

💕💞💕

Simon

💚🍑😳

Beate

Sigh.

Lesley

I think for small orgs, or any fundraisers actually, people think you need research and insight specialists to do insight

In big orgs that means fundraisers delegate understanding supporters to researchers

And in small orgs they think they can’t do it at all

NOPE

We can ALL speak to supporters and ask good questions of them.

Simon

Like the resources scale up with the size

Jen

What a jolt of inspiration you are. Mama-to-Lesley you should be SO proud!

Beate

What’s your favourite question to ask a donor?

Simon

Oh good question

Lesley

Oh man.

So, a great one is “Can you tell me a time that a charity has delighted you.”

It tells you SO MUCH

And is often really depressing.

Jen

Oh my goddess that must be devastating…

Lesley

That’s why i was so excited by this role. I’ve heard SO MANY donors talk about how disappointed they are in different charities

It’s not good enough. And i couldn’t ever understand why they didn’t listen

Jen

And so many of us as fundraisers AND donors know and see and feel the epic disconnect

Lesley

It’s not in the least bit suprising to me that people are disollusioned

Jen

(another Brexit segue? or North American politics?)

Simon

Why is it so easy to recognise from the outside but feels so hard for insiders to change?

Lesley

Oh man Simon, that’s a topic for a whole other lobster chat!

Jen

When the Chatcast(TM) sorts that out, we’re on fire

Lesley

Also, my fave question is “Can you tell me how you feel about the Red Cross”

*insert own charity*

Beate

One thing is the financial side of all this. But on a human level, it just makes everything so much more worth it when you know you’ve made a difference to someone’s day/life ❤ That’s why we’re all fundraisers, to change the world. Small scale and big.

Lesley

And that’s why people give. Quite aside from ensuring you can give better experiences and do better fundraising, speaking to supporters is SO INSPIRING

It makes me feel better about the world.

Or should I say, They make me feel better about the world.

John

Jen

😍

Lesley

If fundraisers don’t ever speak to their supporters they are missing out SO HARD

Simon

Heck yes

It’s seen as such a junior role sometimes…to talk to donors

Lesley

Next year we’re going to test ‘back to the floor’ activities. So every fundraiser has to meet or speak to supporters throughout the year.

Simon

Like Undercover Boss

Beate

I love that

Lesley

It’s simple, but if you’re disconnected from your audience you won’t fundraise as well. Facts.

Simon

Wasn’t there a charity that did Undercover Boss I think? So fucking useful

Beate

My favourite activity as a fundraiser when I worked for the cancer society was whenever we had events and I could be on the streets with a collection tin and talk to people. Loved it.

Lesley

PREACH!

Get on the phone with supporter care, volunteer at an event for another team, do research calls for us. That kind of shiz

Beate

Well guys. We could do this forever.

But time flies

It’s been half an hour already!

Simon

wtf?

Lesley

Crikey!

Simon

I thought these were an hour

Beate

They’ve never been…

Jen

Norwegians…so abrupt

Lesley

I’m enjoying this insight in to your cultural idiosyncracies

Simon

Focus group has mixed answers on how long these usually are

John

lol

Lesley

Ha. Simon, how does that make you feel?

Beate

We’ll do Part Two when lesley has her Managerial Approval™ to share the 2030 plan!

Jen

And no one can hear our adorable accents!

Beate

Lobster fact time:

Simon

I accidentally private messaged Lesley a reply like a creep

Lesley

Weirdo.

Oh man, i meant to bring a Scottish Lobster fact. Sorry lobsters

Beate

once every 50 million lobsters, one is born that is half female – half male. And then they look like this!

Half blue, half brown lobster

Jen

that’s a nightmare come to life

Simon

Like you Jen

Beate

hahahha

John

HAHAHAAH

Jen

(bowing) that was amazing

John

they have lobsters in scotland?

Simon

It’s ok according to Beate all lobsters are same nationality

Jen

Oh good fucking lord. Scottish Lobsters. IMAGINE!

Lesley

As long as you don’t call Scottish lobsters english…

Beate

John would lose it if he found out about scottish lobsters

Simon

Scottish lobsters staying in the EU

Lesley

Well.

This was an experience! Thanks for having me

Simon

This has been helpful Lesley…and totes not enough time

Jen

👜

Lesley

I tried to say a lot. Sorry for slow responses!

Beate

I found something special for you though! I know how you love bicycles and now lobsters…

aaaannnndddd….

Look at those!

Screenshot from google images showing lobsters on a bike

Lesley

BA!

hahahaha

That is niche.

Simon

Lesley Prawnder

Lesley

Shit, why can’t i think of a seafood pun for Scriver?

I hate me right now

*Beate removed Lesley Pinder from the chat*

Dec. 3: What else is there to talk about than #GivingTuesday🤷🏻‍♀️

*Beate added Clay Buck to the chat*

Beate

Alright, everyone here?

Jen

Here!

Clay

Present!

Simon

Here! Just arriving home

Beate

I’m running around like crazy, I’ve got ten people showing up for cakes and mulled wine in an hour 😄😬

A big pot on a stove, filled with red wine with oranges and spices

Jen

Oh my goddess that looks tasty

Clay

Are cakes and mulled wine a traditional Norwegian Giving Tuesday celebration?

Beate

No, this is my getting-in-the-christmas-spirit tradition, which pre-dates Giving Tuesday by many years!

But – that’s a good cue, because Giving Tuesday is what we’ll be talking about today

woop?

Jen

Who has made donations today?

OK I’ll talk with myself. I made a donation to the ROSA project here in Canada.

Beate

Clay seems to be typing an essay

We have another mark-situation

Clay

I think some of the ancient scriptures include references to Giving Tuesday “And, lo, the spirit of the Giving came upon them and Gandalf said unto them Send Forth the voluminous email and the counting of the gifts shall be double”. That’s a fact, you can look it up.

Beate

Hahah😄

Simon

I haven’t donated. Weirdly I have had very few mails from charities. Maybe I’ve unsubscribed a lot this year of maybe GDPR or seomthing

Jen

I must be getting your email Simon

#totaloverflow

Beate

I actually haven’t had that many either this year!

I think I’ve had one or two

Actually both from outside my country

Jen

Well Canadians are not fucking around. Many, many MANY emails

Clay

I’ve had exactly two emails. I’d like to think they’re being sensitive to West Coast timing but nah that can’t be it.

Simon

Maybe we’ve finally defeated the beast?

Beate

Well, it’s just getting started here – this is only the third year of givingtuesday in Norway

Clay

Facebook is 100% GT posts

Beate

same

Jen

I was also getting “Giving Tuesday is coming” for about a week

Simon

Oh yeh I’m also off Facebook so that helps

Clay

But didn’t you hear they’re matching $7M – oh wait it’s gone

Beate

hahah

Maybe they’re waiting to send emails until the evening to see if their facebook stuff takes off?

Jen

And a bunch of the GT emails I’m getting (including one that I drafted for a client) is about gift matching

Simon I know you were talking about that yesterday with the #quicktip

Simon

HAHAHHAHA Jen wrote a GT email

Jen

Yes, and it was pretty fucking good.

Simon

Yeh gift matching…the only reason to celebrate GT

Jen

NOT about Giving Tuesday, but about making magic happen for sick kids

Beate

It’s really late this year though – maybe that has something to do with it? Most charities are surely deep into their christmas appeals already?

Simon

“You might like to give on Mondays and Wednesdays, but let me tell you about a very different campaign…”

Jen

I heard something very interesting which I hadn’t considered before. Saying that charities who aren’t talking to their donors on GT are sending a message they don’t need our help.

Simon

Oh peer pressure

Like wearing a poppy

Clay

Jen – let’s not gloss over your support of ROSA – your championing that and the National Day of Conversation is such an import dialogue in the sector.

Jen

Thank you, beaufriend! (Unfortunately this is a better thank you than I got for my gift)

Beate

Oh no🙈

hmmm… do you really think anyone notices not being asked by one of a hundred charities?

Jen

Good question Bea

Beate

I think it would be easily forgotten at least.

like by the next time you write them to tell them you DO need their money

Jen

But I do think that if there is a charity you LOVELOVELOVE and they didn’t ask you on GT, maybe you would notice

Beate

maybe

Simon

I guess it’s plausible that someone loves a charity loads and they are aware of giving tuesday and they kind of think…huh I wonder why they never mentioned it

But cant imagine being put out

Jen

Right? makes sense. No idea if there is data to back it up — I heard it from someone who heard it on a webinar

so basically could be anything

Beate

ANd if you really love them, you already know they need your support

Simon

“…someone who heard it on a webinar.”

The new urban legend

Beate

I think another reason we’re not seeing that much GT-emailing this year – at least over here – a LOT of charities are doing anti-black friday stuff so everyone might already be a bit tapped out?

And using GT for other stuff than giving. A lot of Norwegian charities are using GT to give back rather than ask

Simon

I could get behind giving tuesday if it was more of a war on black friday

Rather than a ‘give us whats left over’

Jen

My goddess, Black Friday, Cyber Monday… all so much consuming

Simon

Yeh there’s defo a movement from asking to thanking

Gratitude Tuesday

Clay

It’s a good question. I honestly think we should lift out ongoing donors from Giving Tuesday. Like send them a thank you and acknowledge it but at “You’re good, Boo, we love you.”

Beate

One of my clients, the Norwegian Parkinson Association uses two days to call every one of their donors throughout the year and jus say thank you.

Jen

Gratitude Tuesday is what we hint to clients about

Now that I think of it I wrote a number of GT emails, but mostly were #donorlove and VERY soft ask

Clay

I think that was the INTENT of Giving Tuesday and it’s been interpreted and implemented as Asking Tuesday

Beate

I talked to about 50 donors yesterday, it was amazing

Jen

WOOT! That’s awesome Bea

Beate

And their secretary general is taking the day and evening today to call too

Simon

Jen are you a GT Consultant now?

Jen

HAHA. I always was. Wolf in sheep’s clothing

Beate

great experience for staff and donors

Clay

Bea – that’s awesome! Talking to donors?!? #Innovate

Simon

haha

Beate

I know, right??

😂

Jen

Just got one. Subject: Your Giving Tuesday gifts matched. Preview: We need 1,000 gifts today. Can you help?

And it goes to “Dear Supporter”

Beate

Shit, I burned the cake 🙁

Clay

Somebody – who is it? – does a thing on phoning – saw it at a conference once.

Icing. Cover it in icing nobody will know. Cake is just a delivery system for icing and/or ice cream

Jen

I second this.

Simon

I get charities mentioning Giving Tuesday, but wish they’d stop putting it front and centre over their own cause and brand

Beate

You are both north americans and your opinions on any food, particularly sweet ones are NOT valid for the rest of the world.

Jen

#bitchplease I gave you butter tarts this summer.

Clay

I JUST GOT MY FIRST “DEAR FRIEND” GT email thanking me for being a loyal donor. As we speak.

Think is – I set up this org’s data. I KNOW they have salutations. Or they did. They just hammered this together on the fly.

Beate

That’s true. Butter tarts are gooooood.

“Help us reach our goal” is not really the amazingly inspiring superstar fundraiser message I like to get behind..

Simon

Ugh…this day is a such a bummer

Clay

*Googling butter tarts* hold please

Beate

hahaha

Simon

It’s like a showcase of everything wrong with fundraising

Beate

oh man, Clay – you have missed out (as had I until this summer)

Yeah, it’s just lazy fundraising.

Because it’s giving-day is not really a strong emotional case for support

Jen

But let’s be real

It’s not lazier than usual, it’s just a volume thing. We rarely see so much lazy fundraising in such a short time

Beate

Yeah, you might be right.

Have we seen anyone doing it well?

Jen

Funnily enough

Someone doing it well I found through @fundraisingdogs

Clay

Really?

Jen

yah i’ll find it hang on

Simon

This seems set up for you guys to promote fundraisingdogs

Beate

hahaha

I won’t include a fundraising dogs link.

(i will)

(i love dogs now)

Jen

Chewie and Tux are finn guuts

Here it is:

Screengrab of a tweet from PKD Charity saying Huge thanks to Mike and sue for donning their Christmas jumpers this GivingTuesday in support of people with PKD. A photo of a smiling man and woman in ugly Christmas Sweaters is attached

Jen

How sweet is this?

Clay

My dogs put up their tree this wknd

Christmas tree with many, many coloured bulbs, and dog puns like deck the paws and other dog related decorations on.

Beate

thaaaaaat is christmassy!

Beate

So what’s the campaign, thanking people who put on a christmas sweater and donate today?

is that the gist of it?

Clay

Lovely!

Jen

Mind you I only have what’s on their Twitter feed, but it feels very fun and festive and grateful

Screengrab of a tweet from PKD Charity saying Big thank you to Jake for putting on his festive best to support PKD Charity this GivintTuesday, 14 of 10 the goodest boy. A photo of a perplexed looking dog with christmas baubles hanging from his collar is attached

Clay

Oh my dogness!

Simon

It’s cute

But I still dont get this day

Does it make people more likely to give?

Clay

It made me want to look into them and I’m jaded and bitter . . .

Beate

Well, it has urgency when it’s just that one day

Jen

Simon you’re right. Nothing to do WITH the day, but making good use OF the day

Here’s another consideration

Lots of orgs in Canada raise tons online in the period between Christmas and NYE

Beate

and offline I’d say

Simon

Urgency like theres no tomorrow

Jen

So I wonder whether this kind of Gratitude Tuesday/soft asking helps lift that too

Simon

Like that canadian org that said “#GivingTuesday is almost over, and there’s no “Giving Wednesday.””

Beate

hahahah, they said that??

Jen

I wrote that one you prick

Beate

ahahaha

Jen

(kidding, obvi)

Simon

Yeh…that’s a copy and paste tweet

Simon

Like there is a Giving Wednesday

There’s a giving every day

Clay

Again, I get the intent – a global generosity movement. But like so much fundraising it’s been convoluted into a transactional faux send of urgency and disingenuousness.

Beate

I have one email today talking about christmas and not mentioning GT at all. And then I have one asking “Why are you so amazing??” which is cool and it’s filled with videos of donors talking about why they give. With a very soft ask to give something, love, time, hugs or money.

I liked that one.

Clay

Is disingenuousness a word?

Beate

it is now

Simon

Yeh, like at midnight we all become assholes again

Jen

Greedy, consuming assholes

Simon

I actually got an appeal today that didnt mention GT today too

Clay

Wow, Jen, how do you REALLY feel? 🤪😘😜😇

Simon

Wonder if they’re doing my split test idea

Jen

I guess it’s what Jen always comes back to – authenticity and good stories. And having the giving-day kind of makes people forget that and focus on explaining the day itself instaead

Simon

Yeh it’s a distraction

Jen

Authenticity and good stories. Yay!

Beate

Btw guys, this is fun but time is running out and my guests are showing up soon for the burnt cake and mulled wine.

We have a request lobster fact before we quit!

Simon

The only thing I really like about it is it gives some charities the courage to ask for the first time

Beate

Hava Goldberg on twitter wants to know if it is true that lobsters are monogamous or if Friends lied to us.

Jen

Oh niiiiice I was hoping someone would respond to this. Heyyyyyy Hava! ❤

Clay

I signed up for an online class the other day and got an email confine that said “Dear Incredible Clay, welcome to our tribe of knowledge seekers and curious minds . . . “ made me want to re write every thank you I’ve done ever.

Jen

amazing!

Beate

That’s some sweet stewardship

Back to lobsters: And, according to the New York times, male lobsters are assholes.

“As it turns out, lobsters don’t mate for life,” explained Mr. Wheir, a video editor in New York. Actually, male lobsters in particular are rather promiscuous. “Lobsters do have a monogamous bond, but it only lasts for two weeks,” said Trevor Corson, the author of “The Secret Life of Lobsters”

Beate

So there you have it. Friends disappointing us, once again.

Jen

And men too

Clay

And men being jerks in all species

Jen

OK Bea’s cake is burnt and no one is drinking her mulled wine

Beate

So, any words in wrap-up before we go out to celebrate this glorious giving day?

Clay

Charities need you on a random Tuesday in July as much as they do on Giving Tuesday

Jen

I have a great butter tart recipe for Clay, legit a Love family tradition.

Simon

Yeh disperse GT over the other 364.25 days

Simon

Can you post it?

Beate

hose tarts are amaaaaazing!

Clay

I can’t wait! (Bracing for the “I’m gonna send it and instead getting booted outta the chat)

Jen

Right? Loves don’t fuck around

Jen

Here it is:

Link to Love Family Butter tart recipe

*Jen removed Clay Buck from the chat*

Simon

lol

Nov. 26: Where they talk about sexual harassment in the fundraising sector

Trigger Warning: This chat will contain talk about sexual harassment and violence.

Today is a different kind of #lobsterchat. November 26th is the National Day of Conversation (#NDOC) in Canada, a way to start and sustain conversations about sexual harassment in the nonprofit sector. Thank you to Liz LeClair and Wanda Deschamps for starting this important initiative.

For #NDOC, we have a special guest, a brave guest lobster who has gone through the process of speaking out about sexual harassment she experienced. She wants to stay anonymous, and so we have been allowed to borrow @MsRuptNow‘s name for her today.

Jen

Today’s chat deserves a trigger warning. We are talking about sexual harassment in our sector, and if you find that difficult, you might want to skip this one. If you are experiencing harassment, know that you are not alone.

Jen

And I want to welcome our very special guest, an anonymous fundraiser here to add their voice. They will appear here as Ms Rupt Now. Welcome, Ms and thank you.

Simon

We thought about getting Mr. Rupt but he was 30% more expensive for some reason

Beate

Hah!

John

welcome MRN

Jen

Simon, getting started like the clumsy jerk

Ms.RuptNow

hi everyone

Beate

Yes, today’s chat is a bit different. Less fun and games, more real life important issues. thank you for coming to share, Ms!

Simon

That’s me. Welcome Ms Rupt, thank you for making time for lobsters

Jen

Ms, can you start by telling us about your experience?

Ms.RuptNow

The #MeToo and #AidToo discussions of last year prompted me to come forward with others for a common perpetrator.

This triggered a workplace investigation (big lesson learned: whether we wanted it or not!)

And we’re now on the other side.

Jen

Did you know what would happen when you came forward?

Ms.RuptNow

No. And nor did the org as it turned out.

Simon

What did you want to happen?

Or did you know?

Ms.RuptNow

I wanted the perpetrator removed from any access to vulnerable people: women and especially beneficiaries

that was my concern. his access to beneficiaries was a worry (though I had no evidence he was a danger this way, sadly there are of course instances of beneficiaries being sexually exploited by aid workers).

#Aidtoo

I wasn’t thinking of myself necessarily when i came forward (which isn’t great)

Beate

I guess this is some of the problem with having this discussion in our sector, right. We know that when we speak out, we risk harming the very causes we care about.

So we (historically) choose not to believe – or act on – it.

Ms, did you have any thoughts in that direction? If so, do you want to share some of your thinking?

Ms.RuptNow

Though that was my thought process (protecting others), what’s the most surprising thing of all this is the impact it had on me.

I’m a pretty resilient person, but this incident with my perpetrator caused years of panic attacks, which I didn’t trace back to it until I came forward. My message to everyone is – men and women – is honour what’s going on with your mind and body. It’s real. Loolking back, it probably was larger than the incident. It’s despair at the system and structure of power and patriarchy.

Beate

How does it feel now that you’re on the other side of it?

Ms.RuptNow

Confusing.

Beate

How so?

Ms.RuptNow

We succeeding in our goal – and it was unprecedented – that we had the perp removed from the wider org

But, here I am, still anonymous. Why? After all, i technically ‘won’. i even remember the phrase used to notifiy me: they (the investigators) used a really rather cold phrase: something like they found “on a balance of probabilities” that i was telling truth

Simon

I’ve heard that a lot – abuse victims seek ‘justice’ but when they get it it’s not the closure they thought it might be

Because I guess that’s not full justice or something?

Simon

Like it never undoes it

Ms.RuptNow

You know what would help? A “we believe you”. Dare I say, “we’re sorry”. #nope

Simon

From the org?

Ms.RuptNow

Yes.

Simon

Yeh…”on the balance of probabilities” is not exactly human

Beate

That is a horrible way to speak to someone who might be traumatized.

Jen

Let’s talk more about the language involved in this whole process

Ms.RuptNow

For one thing, throughout the whole process, he was referred to as “the respondent”. I was “the accuser”. WTF?

Jen

Ugh.

Ms.RuptNow

also, during my time giving evidence to the lawyer the org hired, he was referred to as “Mr. x”

I couldn’t even.

so asked they identify him by his first name

John

WHAT? youre fucking kidding

that’s such a pile of bullshit

Simon

Let me ask what should language have been…in a world of innocent until proven guilty?

I dont mean to sound like a dick

Playing gods advocate

Beate

good question

Ms.RuptNow

in such instances, the starting point for the process should be “trauma informed”

this was the opposite

the cards are stacked against the accuser

Beate

Tell me more about trauma informed – what does that mean?

Ms.RuptNow

1. that the org takes less than a month to acknowledge a letter of complaint. That was the worst part – wondering what was going when i didn’t hear back

Jen

Trauma-informed, survivor-centred… even that language is jargon but means that at least you shouldn’t need to hear your abuser referred to with his honourific

Ms.RuptNow

I was always referred to with my first name. Not Ms [Last Name].

Beate

😬

Simon

Woah

Ms.RuptNow

2. the very fact that the organisation was the client, not me

Beate

So it was you against the organisation all of a sudden?

Simon

Businesses behave in the way that’s best for the business

Board members are lovely warm human beings until they sit around a boardroom tale

Tabel

Table

Fuck

Jen

Such an important part of this whole conversation. We are told to “go to HR” but HR serves the corporation, not the employees.

Simon

YES!

HR tells you they’re there for staff welfare. They are there to minimise damage to employer

Ms.RuptNow

so complicated. Yes, the org hired a third-party, impartial law firm. This gave me great great great comfort.

Simon

A lot of these abuse issues stem from us giving organisations…businesses…the church…more rights than humans

Beate

I’ve told that bit about to many and it’s almost funny – responses always fall in one of two categories: “Yes, xxx happened to me/my friend and HR screwed me/them, never go to HR”, or “What? I never even thought of that. My god that is so true”.

John

💩

Ms.RuptNow

This law firm had recently gotten a high-profile case in front of the highest judicial body in our country

So: good.

Bad:

It was some of the angriest, hopeless, painful four hours of my life to be questioned by the lawyer.

Simon

I always wonder whta they think you’d gain by lying about that

Jen

“She’s just doing this to get attention” Motherfucker PLEASE!

Ms.RuptNow

I was offered to bring a support person, but declined.

I stand by this, because I thought having a support person would make me soft-pedal my responses. That’s what women do, right?

Beate

Yeah, you might not want to hurt or disturb the support person

Ms.RuptNow

correct

Beate

which is riddiculous but hey, that’s what we’ve been conditioned to.

Jen

Oh man that truth hurts… You wanting to make your support person feel better… minimizing for the people around you

Simon

Oh!

John

soft pedal your responses? is that really what women do?

Beate

ALL. THE. TIME!

Simon

Me and John are like what??

John

do i sound like a big white privileged dude for even asking this?

fucking hell

Simon

I’m on same page as you John

Beate

Have you ever heard a grieving woman on the phone with someone who called with their condolances?

She will spend all her time on the phone trying to make the person who called feel better.

Simon

I’m lying in bed with a sniffle, and just told you guys that I’m dying

Men ham it up

Ms.RuptNow

I came out after four hours into the sun. Full panic attack. Swooning.

The org did offer psychotherapy which I took. So there was good responsibility there.

Simon

I’m glad you did

Ms.RuptNow

I was so angry at the female lawyer!

Beate

Did they treat you as a suspect?

As if you were lying?

Ms.RuptNow

always with respect (except for not acknowledging my original letter) but with indifference. This was problematic because of the relationship I have with this org. I fervently believe in its mission, as do they.

And another note on how this was not a trauma informed process: I was told by the lawyer that the perp would have his questioning done in the town I live in (he does not). I was so afraid to run into him!

So tie up this thread, I commend both the org and the lawyer for accommodating a support person, if wanted. I didn’t want. I know myself. I wanted to speak unhindered.

Simon

Can I ask why you’re still anonymous? I spoke to Liz LeClair and she said sometimes she felt frustrated (my word, not hers) that there were so few people who were public.

I mean I know there’s lots of reasons. But what are yours?

Ms.RuptNow

I’m wrestling with this.

I’m ashamed of this.

why am I anon?

1. afraid of repercussion

2. afraid – as women are – of “taking up space”

3. I’m a person of privilege. I believe others should have the voice.

4. I want to continue my voluntarism with this org: would I be black-listed?

Jen

When I asked Ms. to join us, we talked about this at length. And I see a real strength in the anonymity here. I don’t think it’s cowardly or shameful. I think it removes the ability for anyone to comment or judge why you are coming forward or what your agenda might be. You could be anyone, from anywhere, and the focus should be on your lived experience, not on why you are public or private…

Simon

I’m sorry you’re managing all of that

Ms.RuptNow

5. I’m ashamed for people to know that I was the inspiration for an “obscene sexual act”

Jen

oh my goddess. point 5 breaks me

Ms.RuptNow

that’s it for all of us, isn’t it..

no question mark.

Beate

It really is. I think most women, myself included, have stories we don’t tell for that exact reason. Somehow it feels like our fault. When it is really not.

What you say about shame for staying anonymous though, that’s another one of these things women are conditioned to I think; feeling bad for not doing more when you have MORE THAN done enough! Don’t be ashamed please. You don’t owe anyone being the public face of something like this. It has to be wholeheartedly by choice if you do

Jen

well said Bea

Ms.RuptNow

I’m proud that we removed this horror from the system. The bigger challenge: how to fix the system?

Jen

I’m also proud. Very proud.

Simon

If you keep picking pieces of shit out of your sandwich eventually you have a sandwich

Ms.RuptNow

I literally have no idea what this means

Beate

hahah

😂

John

youre trying to hard simon…

Simon

lol

Beate

On fixing the system: Based on your experience, what advice would you give to anyone who’s in charge of handling this in an organisation?

To make it easier for people to come forward?

Ms.RuptNow

well, I came forward and it worked!

Simon

And people see that it worked

Ms.RuptNow

NO

they did not see that it worked (except for this chat cast)

Simon

Wow

Jen

That’s the real kicker here. Ms. got the outcome she wanted. But no one will ever really know.

Ms.RuptNow

I chose to have one tangible outco me: remove this person from the system. I stand by this, but I’m also also human and compassionate.

I don’t talk about it or who or what happened, that’s out of character for me. As i said, i’m ambivalent about this. I feel like a shitty feminist.

so the thing is, in the end, the org had to announce that “sanctions” were brought against one of its members because of an investigation.

that (understandably) rattled the members who don’t know who it is and why

Simon

Sanctions

Ms.RuptNow

Sanctions

Simon

Inhuman language

Jen

Right? The cold dead truth of the language we use…

Ms.RuptNow

You know, I’m a year out of receiving the findings. I thought I would have (as I normally do) built upon this experience with more advocacy etc.

from an impact POV, it’s been the opposite.

I stopped the psychotherapy bec I felt guilty that the org payed for it. I’m a donor too!

Beate

oh my god, that is …such a profound example of why this is so difficult!

Ms.RuptNow

I’m also usually an outspoken person and I’m afraid – to my core – that as a female outspoken person I would do great disservice to #MeToo if I talk about this now. It’s been so long, and I don’t want to be seen as adding more noise, you know? It doesn’t make sense, i know

we’re supposed to just get on, ya know?

Jen

I know you and I love you, Ms, and I also know that it came at big personal cost

John

Beate

Isn’t the whole point of #metoo (or some of the point at least) to disprove that though? it happens to the strongest of us, and it affects them to!

Ms.RuptNow

I’ve never felt old before. But as a middle-aged fundraiser, I straddle those days when I wore pantyhose (!) and these days where I have no fucks to give.

Jen

I want to acknowledge the emotional labour, re-traumatization and triggering impact. We are grateful for your honestly and your candour. You are opening doors for others. Thank you.

Beate

Thank you❤

Simon

Thank you 🙁 xxx

Ms.RuptNow

I too have been that major gift fundraiser that went on all those lunches because that one donor kept inviting. It was good for the activity reports, right?

John

thank you Ms. Rupt… im sorry that YOU or anyone has gone through anything like this… but thanks for sharing your story

Jen

So, no easy way to segue into our weekly lobster fact — so here’s the awkward transition…

Simon

lol

Read the room Jen

Beate

haha

Simon

But this is first and foremost a lobster fact chatcast

Jen

anyway

John

here we go

Jen

Did you know… that when boiling lobsters, if you boil only male lobsters, you have to use a lid because the males will climb on each other and build bridges so that some of them can escape

Simon

We totally do do that

Jen

But if you boil only female lobsters, they hold each other down, so that no one will be able to escape

Beate

is this for real???

John

🤯

Ms.RuptNow

if we eliminate the species, we eliminate the bullshit

Beate

I am shook. That is too symbolic

Jen

BAM

Simon

That’s going to haunt me

Beate

So, wrapping up – Jen, do you want do say something about #GDOC and how people should get involved?

Wait

#NDOC

Simon

lol

Google Docs

Beate

fuck

Simon

Well done to everyone involved with #NDOC

Jen

Thanks friends!

For #NDOC, what anyone can do is learn more about the Rosa Project by visiting wearerosa.com

And anyone who wants to join the Agents of Good in making a donation to support this amazing work, go to canadianwomen.org/rosa

John

Jen

And keep the courageous conversations going!

Simon

Lots of love to all of you x

Nov. 19: Where branding and shit fundraising is the topic and Mark types reeeaally slowly

*Beate added Mark Phillips to the chat*

John

So… should we get this party started?

Beate

Yes!

John

As we all know, Simon is in the middle of hosting the AMAZING – Fundraising Everywhere conference – happening right now

Jen

(and killing it) <3

John

so he can’t be ‘here’… so we’ve invited Mark Phillips to guest lobster today

Beate

Welcome!

John

And

we are going to talk about EVERYONE’

s fav topic

BRANDING!! YIPPEE

Mark

Luck comes in many shapes and forms

John

Do we need to introduce mark?

i mean – we know he’s world famous but…

Mark

My name is Mark and I am a fundraiser.

John

ok. moving on

Beate

Mark is the guy who said “I’d be bloody delighted.” when I asked if he’d like to guest lobster the episode about branding and shit fundraising

😂

Jen

And we’re bloody delighted to have him! THanks for joining this gongshow

John

I want to start with defining what we think “branding” means…

i’ll let our guest go first

Beate

how organised

John

lol

did we just meet Beate?

*Mark is typing*

Jen

Welcome Mark!

From left: John Lepp, Mark Phillips, Beate Sørum, Simon Scriver and Jen Love stand in front of a craps table in Vegas

*Mark is typing*

John

VEGAS BABY!

Beate

Now shush so Mark can answer his question!

Mark

Ok. My thoughts. Many charities look at branding as the corporate identity.

*Mark is typing*

*Mark is typing*

Jen

Is he searching for the right GIF?

John

We should have tested Mark on his keystroke count before we asked him to join us

Beate

😂

Mark

The logo, colour palate, name, copy style, but in many ways that is wrong. Branding is a way to distinguish a charity in a market

It’s all one finger tapping.

John

oh sweet jesus

we only have 30 minutes here Mark.

Mark

I’ll try

Jen

I think branding is how your donors experience your charity

how they feel when they hear from you, what you say… but too often we focus on the logo.

John

I always suggest that ultimately… Branding is how your donors experience YOU… The stories you share with them, the problems they help you solve, the way they feel when they give to you…

Mark

And it’s the donors experience that can define that.

John

that was my line Jen… lol

Jen

i was clarifying! i know it’s your line. you basically taught me everything i know and care about branding

John

Mark – ultimately… it’s it ALL fundraising?

doesnt it feed all the same beast?

in other words – it ISN’T – branding > fundraising

Mark

That’s all people focus on.

Yeah, John, it does. But it’s so easy to do a new brand and ignore all the soft stuff that really matters.

Beate

Branding gets a bad rep, but really – it’s like the air in a conference room, you only notice it when it’s bad. When it’s good you don’t notice, it just makes everyone inspired and alert.

John

thats a good way to look at it Beate

Jen

VERY well said Bea!

Glad we have this written down

Beate

Thank you, I was quite pleased with that metaphor myself

😁

John

Why do you think that is Mark?

just go the “soft stuff” isnt very sexy?

Mark

Because branding normally borrows from the commercial sector.

In the commercial sector a brand is a guarantee. A guarantee to wash clothes whiter, or to make your car go faster or to make you smell better.

*Mark is typing*

*Lobsters wait in suspense*

*Mark is typing*

It’s says you can depend on us. Whereas in our sector, a brand needs to say we depend on you.

Beate

oooh

Jen

YES-so we are starting from the wrong place being commercial > connected

John

i fucking love that

Beate

that. is. smart!

Jen

Good lord he types slow but it’s brilliant when it gets here

Beate

HAHAHA

John

lol

do we want to talk about branding done right?

an example of who does it right?

Mark

So comms teams take the approach and talk about how great the charity is.

John

yes… and they get really offended when we point it out to them

Mark

Our values are innovative, forward thinking, blah blah.

And the donor doesn’t bloody care about that b

John

there seems to be a historical US vs THEM thing with FUNDRAISERS vs COMMS folk

Mark

They get offended because we are challenging their view point.

John

often is becasue they are attacing ours too

Attacking

Mark

They take a commercial view borrowed from commerce. We are fundraisers. It’s completely different.

John

saying that the charity “WE” is more important than the donor “YOU”

Mark

commercial brands are about how great we are b

It doesn’t work in fundraising.

Because it is designed for people who are 79+

John

so – should we NOT have branding at our orgs?

(a ridiculous question)

Jen

And a HUGE part of it is the misalignment between your average marketing director who wants to like the work they do, and the donor who isn’t there

meeting donors where they are is hard when you want to focus on specific logo/brand etc

John

i mean – ultimately – as 4 fundraisers… what do we think the role of branding at our orgs should be?

Mark

Wally olins defined branding as seduction.

Jen

Making sure our stories are consistent in the way they look and feel (both the way they actually look and the way they make donors feel)

Mark

Not a million miles from ‘love’

John

ooo sexy time…

Go on..

Jen

#donorlove sounds nicer than #donorseduction

Mark

It’s an inappropriate term. But at its heart it’s about understanding what the other person wants.

John

in this case.. what the donor wants

Jen

YES-totally agree with that Mark

Beate

Have you guys read Jeff Brooks’ book on charity branding?

John

yes. it’s a brilliant book

Beate

My favourite example from that book (if I remember it right, it’s been a while), is a charity that rebranded their name from something to do with leprosy, to the formal name of the disease. And then stopped showing any photos of obviously sick people or talking about their challengs, and just started showing happy people who where quite fine.

Mark

There are so many charities all doing the same thing.

Beate

Which, yes, is the reality of many people who live with whatever the current name for leprosy is. But it’s not going to raise any money for fixing what is still a problem. –

Mark

We see the Leporasy example all the time. The name doesn’t fit exactly what we do so we have to change it.

They forget about the thousands of donors who feel part of the org.

And become something different.

It’s like a new charity coming along and retrying to win the donor from the old charity.

Beate

Basically fundraising from “cold” donors all of a sudden

Mark

Yes!

Beate

and then being surprised when fundraising tanks

Mark

Yes!

Donors don’t realise you have changed.

And are waiting to give to you

The new org is a cagickeceithout any soul.

Beate

hahahahahha

cagickeceithout

Mark

Vehicle without soul.

John

but sometimes… changing your name to something that makes more sense vs something that is more abstract needs to happen too, right?

Mark

Why?

John

i’m just asking the question

Mark

Look at wwf

World wide fund for nature.

It used to be world wildlife fund

John

hold up chief

it’s “world wide fund for nature” now?

🤯

Mark

Bp used to be British petroleum. Bp doesn’t mean tgat any more.

Yes. It changed its name but kept its soul.

Beate

Mark

Same logo. Same initials.

John

how did i fucking miss that memo?

Beate

Because you weren’t meant to get it!

Jen

Because it doesn’t matter!

John

LOL

Beate

Halleluja

🙌🏼

*Mark is typing*

Jen

The strength of the brand is that it’s still wwf and the panda and what you know they stand for

John

RIGHT!

nailed it JLo

Mark

Yes!

Beate

They didn’t try to put new meaning into a brand

Mark

Clever, kind, respectful.

Beate

Not pushing away everyone who believes in the “old” brand

Mark

So when an organisation changes from “YWCA” to “Platform 51” the arse falls out of the fundraising.

Beate

ahahhaha

Mark, is that a real example??

Mark

Yes, it’s a real example.

Have a google.

Because “51% of the population is female”.

Brandicide.

Organisation basically died over the next few years after a few more rebrands.

Beate

Wow. That is alarming.

Mark

The brand has to show dependency on the donor v

It’s not customer dependency on the brand.

John

it has to be donor inclusive

i shake my head at the times i see branding that is VERY donor exclusive

no room for them in the story

Jen

And that’s not a weakness it’s a strength to have your donors right there with you

Mark

Yes. It’s a strength. We need you!

All renaming hurts the charity. Sometimes fatally.

Tgat rebrand killed the ywca in the U.K.

I’ve never seen one actively boost income.

John

do we have an example of one that REALLY GETS IT

Mark

WWF is a great one.

Beate

I think it must have boosted their income

Jen

As much as I’m not a fan of it, the Sick Kids VS is definitely raising way more money for them

maybe partly because it IS controversial

And because it’s part of a capital campaign that is underpinned by a strong need

John

it’s feel good markting

merketing

jfc

i actully know how to spell y’all

Beate

And, when I worked for the Cancer Society we rebranded with a new logo and colours etc to unify the brand. That also worked, like two weeks later someone had the new logo tattooed on them

But the brand was still 100% recognisable with the old one.

Mark

Imperial cancer research and cancer research fund became cancer research uk

Change colours or logo and it’s not too negative

But don’t change the name.

Beate

And not too different

Mark

Best book on branding is “don’t fuck with the logo” by Jon edge and Andy Milligan

*Mark is typing*

John

i think we could chat a lot longer about this

but we are almost out of time and Mark types WAY too slow

Mark

Sums it all up.

Beate

Next time, we’ll tell him that he CAN access whatsapp on a laptop and not just his phone

Mark

Sorry. Can we do a proper podcast next time?

I am a Luddite.

John

LOL

No, Mark.

John

anyhow – we tend to wrap with a lobster fact

and i have a good one

true story: LOBSTERS WILL EAT EACH OTHER GIVEN THE CHANCE

Beate

Not these lobsters

John

they’re fucking cannibals! IMAGINE!

Jen

oh wow

So dark.

Imagine.

Mark

Not witnessed in the wild. Normally only happens in lobster nets or tanks.

Beate

Mark. Bringing reason and fact to the discussion once again

John

ok gang. i gotta BOUNCE! thanks everyone.

Mark

It’s society forcing unnatural change. Just like branding!

Beate

badum-tsssshh

John

haha

Mark

That’s. Bye. X

Thanks

Jen

“proper podcast” HAHAHAH

Beate

oh mark you’re going to come off like such a boomer with all those typo’s and the slow typing

John

*hits stop on recording*

Mark

I only have one right thumb.

Glad I wasn’t a complete waste of time. I’ll download the what is up? application on my personal computer if I ever get another invite. So I can be faster.

Beate

HAHAHAH

Jen

Oh, I have another great example, but it’s literally happening right now

A really well known charity is going through the exercise right now

And we happened to see a sneak peek

I’ll share it here but you guys can’t show anyone else

lobster cone of silence is real

Mark

Who?

Promise!

*Jen removed Mark Phillips from the chat*

Nov. 12: where they basically just talk about Dan Palotta (Hello Dan👋🏼!)


*Jen added Clay Buck to the chat*

Simon

Hello lobstery fundraisers x

Jen

Hello Dublin, Oslo and….. VEGAS!

Simon

Surprise guest from Vegas…Clay Buck (because John is at the gym or something)

Beate

*London

Looking out a bus window at a red double decker bus in London

Simon

*Birmingham

I’m waiting for my flight back to Dublin

Beate

Hahaha great start

😂

Simon

Is anyone where they’re supposed to be?

Beate

John I guess

We should all be at the gym

Simon

Haha

Clay

Well technically I live in “Enterprise” so there’s that?

Beate

You live in a place called enterprise?

Simon

That’s a place? Does Amazon own it?

Jen

Hello, Enterprise!

Beate

That is the most American thing I have ever heard!

Clay

Morning side-eye before coffee

Dog giving sideeye

Simon

Do you know who is in Dublin that I’m missing?

Simon

Dan Pallotta

Beate

Oooh!

Simon

The way Jen thinks about where we live is dead wrong

Clay

He will be in Vegas on Friday (not Enterprise) so he’s really racking up the miles this week.

Jen

We all know how much I suck at maps

Clay

Bea – what’s truly American is that the Las Vegas Strip is technically in a township called Paradise. There’s your random trivia for the day.

Simon

Clay are you going to see Dan Pallotta?

Wait…do you know him? You’re both American

Jen

🙄

Clay

Yes

Ha!! Yes I will see him. No I don’t know him.

Beate

And what’s he doing in Dublin?

Simon

Do you ❤ him?

Clay

I don’t know how to love him.

Simon

He’s running a better boards thing or something. Training fundraisers and people who hate fundraising to present their stuff

Basically just cruising in and being a celebrity

Beate

Much like yourself in Birmingham

(badum-tssssh)

Simon

He’s A-List

I’m Z

Jen

I saw him speak years ago at Congress in Toronto. Right at the beginning of what is now the Dan Palotta conversation

Clay

You should do a TED talk, Simon!

Clay

Oh. Wait. #Nugs.

Beate

I saw Dan do a plenary at the IFC years ago too. His message resonated well with the crowd there

Technically he’s saying everyone who’s a fundraiser should get paid more and not feel bad about it so no wonder a lot of fundraisers love him😂

Jen

If you guys could describe Dan’s work in a few words, what would you say?

Simon

I do love Dan…maybe ‘slick’

And ‘smart’

And ‘factual’

Clay

He is definitely a crowd pleaser. I’d say “thought provoking”

Simon

But also…I do feel like it was a ‘this is going to change everything’ moment…and I’m not sure anything changed

Clay

Right. His TED talk is from 2013 – has anything changed? Are charities or the public thinking about overhead differently?

Jen

I think he did give lots of people language about charity overhead which we desperately needed (and still need) — and he also gave us permission to have tough conversations about the structures of fundraising

Beate

I think it changed some attitudes within organisations. But it’s certainly not done overnight to change the public’s opinion on overhead

Simon

I am on such shitty wifi. Birmingham airport…the capital of England…youd think they could maintain a decent connection

Jen

Well, we’re talking about it! We weren’t in any meaningful way before that

Simon

Oh my god 2013

The summer of apathy

Beate

Wow time flies

Jen

I was going to make a lame brexit joke

Clay

Several Foundations have since stated they will fund overhead.

Simon

Fair point

Beate

Yes! I think like Jen says, it gave us language. And courage to state the obvious; overhead is part of doing a good job.

Clay

But has it caused fundamental shift “in the trenches”? Was it supposed to?

Simon

His book and talk helped me get it straight in my head I think. He gives us confidence

Jen

Good questions Clay. I think it has inspired confidence

yah, what Simon just said

Simon

I guess it’s unfair to expect a seismic shift. He’s not the messiah

He’s good for our sector

Jen

And it’s also allowed us to see things from the other side: “what? we pay this dickhead $250,000? no way he’s worth that…”

Simon

Is that how much Dan’s paid

😉

Jen

haha, no i mean charity CEOs… but good one

Clay

I had a CFO get rather angry with me, finger pointing, angry words, the whole bit and “instruct” me to cancel the remainder of the year’s DM/digital program to focus on major gifts and events because it was irresponsible spending. She was wearing an “I Am Overhead” t-shirt.

Simon

Hahahahaha

Beate

Jesus, THAT is irresponsible!

Simon

Have to say, it’s also good that he’s a successful, white man saying this…so he doesn’t get called out for being jealous or whatevs

Beate

I don’t think it’s changed much for Average Joe or Joanne. Not sure it ever will – or wether it’s that important. I think that’s something that comes way down the line. What changes is our attitude, letting us ask for overhead funding, defend ourselves properly in the media. And then maybe, maybe, in 20 years retired millennials will think differently..

Jen

I also think the part of his message around asking for more, having bigger dreams, is important

Simon

Yeh…he’s an icon for the sector…and his message gives us a voice which charities then (slowly) get round to supporters

the stuff he says about expectations and what our sector is capable of is great.

Beate

what’s stuck with me since his talk at IFC is the origin of the words non-profit.

Beate

It literally means “no progress”

Clay

It’s a great thing to have fundraisers and NP leaders walking around going “Yeah! We should invest more!” But until it REALLY gets to leadership and becomes part of culture – implementing proven results, investing in infrastructure, etc – sound/fury.

Jen

Oh man Bea I hadn’t heard that non-profit = no progress. OUCH.

Beate

Yep, from latin (ep1 call back🙌🏼)

Simon

You know he commented on my blog once?

Beate

Haha, really? What did you write? What did he say?

Simon

He disagreed with me

Beate

Vehemently?

Simon

But it was a clickbaity blog post about the problem with Dan Pallotta

So fair play to him

No he was cool…but I still stand by it

Beate

What did you claim the problem was?

Simon

Cant remember exactly what I said but it was basically in his TED talk talking about people earning less than $100,000 and the divide there

And what I was saying is that the message could get lost on loads of people

Because the average salary is like $20-30k

So majority of people in America and the world are still like, what the fuck are you talking about?

Beate

Mhm, fair point

Simon

Like that the message we’re talking about is still excluding the 90%

My point was put together much better than that of course

Beate

Of course

Simon

It was an amazing point. But dont go confirm that by reading the blog

Beate

I will link to the blog for everyone to see

Simon

Oooof

Beate

And the TED talk

Yours and his

Simon

This wifi disconnects every 5 minutes

Jen

I also think that part of the conversation he encouraged was about how we create our fundraising programs based on reducing expenses by 5% and increasing revenue by 10% without a plan

That the structural part of how our charities work is broken

Simon

The way I think about wifi is dead wrong

Clay

LOL

Simon

I actually must watch the TED talk again…it’s been a while

Beate

Clay, what’s Dan doing in Vegas

Clay

Lack of planning and then investing in the right resources to execute the plan – agree, Jen!

Simon

Do you think he’ll just go round telling casinos they’re dead wrong

Clay

His Bolder Board training.

Simon

Oh same thing as Dublin!

Really interested to hear how you go. Live tweeting?

Clay

It’s like you’ve never met me.

😂😇

Simon

Hahaha

Beate

Hahah

Jen

Should be, Bea, Be Bold Bolder Boards

Beate

Today I ate at b-bakery. True story!

Simon

Get a photo with him. And do a secret signal in the photo for me

Clay

Oh, that is ON!

Jen

I don’t know much about what he says about boards…

Might need a report back from Clay!

Clay

I am actually really looking forward to it! I’m curious to hear what he says

Simon

I’m going to commission an artist to paint a last supper recreation with Dan Pallotta, Scott Harrison, Vu Lee, Kishana Palmer, etc

Jen

OH MY GODDESS

Simon

Yeh I’m really interested to hear how he confronts boards and changes their mind. Obviously the problematic people are those not in the room….but still…it’s not what I’ve seen him speak abotu before

Beate

Based on title alone, I would guess don’t be afraid to invest and believe in fundraising? Definitely report back Clay!

Clay

I want that supper IRL tho!

Beate

We’ll invite them all and serve them lobster

Simon

Oh by the way…

Did you know lobsters have tiny brains?

Like the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen

Jen

Not these lobsters!

Simon

…like Jen

Jen

Come on, man!

Beate

#LobsterJen

Clay

Sidebar – it is now Kibble Time in Vegas so officially multi-tasking – Fundraising Dogs Feeding Time waits for no one…

Simon

Well OK I’m going to get a cup of tea anyway

Beate

And I’m stepping off a bus and into a meeting

Simon

Let’s wrap it up and boot Clay out of this whatsapp group

Love to you all

Jen

Lots of lobster love, except to Simon for the roast

Beate

Simon

Clay…y’all come back soon, y’hear?

Clay

You guys are awesome! And dogs are eating! All is good!

😘😘😘😘😘

Simon

OH SHIT CLAY! I forgot to tell you something really important!

Will change your life!

Clay

I’m giddy with anticipation

*Simon removed Clay Buck from the chat*




Nov. 5: where they awkwardly try this out and John and Jen have a fight.

Beate

Alright, everyone’s here, let’s awkwardly get the conversation topic started!

How was California and Storytelling Conference?

John

this isnt awkward at all

california is awesome. suits me just fine. sunshine, rose, palm trees, beach…

Jen

California was sunny and breezy and glorious

And the storytelling conference was awesome. Such a great community/family feel there

Beate

Were there really a thousand people there?

John

yah they had over 1,000 people. great crowd of enthusiastic learners!

gone form 250 to over 1000 in – what? 5 years?

Simon

Any surfing?

John

only on the web

Jen

Surfing? No, but lots of boats and planes

(air force town)

what’s happening in oslo and dublin?

Beate

Mittens and hats mostly

John

im really not ready for winter.

Beate

okay so you had fun but did you actually learn anything new?

Jen

One amazing thing about this conference was the dedication to donor care AND self care

John

i learned that comic sans could be the new courier

Beate

Crap

😬

Jen

the workshops were all about tactics and practical stuff you can use right now

but the plenaries were all about caring for you as a person: imposter syndrome, writing your own manifesto, vulnerability (particularly keen on that one)

Beate

what kind of tactics?

Jen

Tammy Zonker did a session about “what is the story your calendar is telling you”

about how we plan our time…

Beate

I feel like in the last ten years you haven’t been able to go to a conference without bumping into storytelling left and right. What’s left now that we’re kind of done with the buzz?

Jen

Ugh. I get a version of this question a lot. “Aren’t we “post storytelling”?

I do think some people feel that way… And until I see charities really telling stories well, that donors see themselves in, I’ll keep banging this drum

John

there is certainly more to our work than just storytelling. i agree beate. just like there is more to our work than an obsession with digital…

Beate

Well tell me what the core is, what are people doing wrong – what aren’t they doing – and what should they do to tell their stories right?

John

agree with Jen. it’s like #donorlove…

people ask if we are past that now… um…. NO

Jen

Part of it is structural. We say “time to do the year end appeal” let’s look at last year’s, “swap in a new story” and make it 5% cheaper and increase the target by 10%

Instead of saying “what’s the right story, right now, and who is the right voice for that story”

John

or – this is why we need THIS donor right now…

this is what we need them to do… this is why they might care…

all of this is hard work that goes against the grain of our check box-y society

Beate

And since Direct Mail is dead, that should happen only on digital platforms, right?

John

rrrriiigggghhhhhhtttttt

Beate

haha

Jen

it all won’t matter when AI controls us and we pay in cryptocurrency

Beate

oh god

Simon

Its just always looking for something new because we get bored. But our donors dont get bored if its good.

Jen

i say that all the time, quoting you, simon. no one complains about good fundraising, it works. donors complain about crap fundraising.

Beate

yeah, it’s like how we throw out perfectly good stories because we’re sick of them. But most of our donors did NOT see that facebookpost you put out three months ago

🙄

John

as i was talking about in San Diego… a good offer is potentially more important than a good story…

everyone is running around looking for great stories but

Beate

What do you mean by “a good offer”?

John

not sure what the story needs to do to make it a GOOD story

like – simplisitically… you $1 today will buy 3 meals for a family that needs it

$100 will send a kid to camp this summer

donor sized problems and fixes

Jen

(an offer that is made 1000000x better with a story) — john and I throw down on this issue

i agree with donor sized problems and solutions — but a good offer sits too close to “an elevator pitch” to me and makes me feel yucky inside

John

it’s not really a throw down. i’m trying to keep people focused on what makes for great and effective direct response.

Beate

hahahaha

🔥

Jen

disagree

Beate

shots fired

Jen

Jen Love: see? throwdown

Beate

Didn’t mean to start a fight😂

John

it’s not a pitch. I’m giving the donor what they need to help.

Jen

done right, it’s perfect. in the wrong hands, it’s “orgsplaining”

John

most orgs have zero idea what a good offer is or how to express it…

Beate

Moving on: Was there any talk at storytelling about how the way we communicate with our supporters might be changing?

Simon

Do they talk about different mediums?

Or is it just people raving about stories for 2 days?

Im jealous because i wasnt there

Jen

Like we hear around the world, multi channel, integration…sharing stories in different places and voices

Beate

Simon and I not being at storytelling

gif of man looking enviously through a window

John

yah – our pal Reuban talked about orgs can use video

i talked about direct mail and some digital

Jen

and there are more sessions on events too than at other conferences

so people are understanding “live storytelling” in ways that I don’t experience at other conferences

Simon

Storytelling at events?

Jen

Yep. A couple of sessions dedicated ENTIRELY to event storytelling

Simon

What does that look like?

Who is the M Night Shyamalan of nonprofit stories?

Jen

Our gal Shanon Doolittle is the expert on this, and her approach is to make sure that at every event there are natural, authentic stories being told and how that experience carries through the event follow-up, stewardship and future solicitation.

Beate

what does that mean? What’s an example of that well done?

Jen

Mark Rovner always surprises me when I hear what he’s going to say and then how he actually creates the session experience…which I guess is kinda M Night

Mark was the one a few years ago who did a whole session on “the backstory”

The day after the US election when Trump won, he asked us all to write a backstory in a paragraph or less that explained The Donald.

so is this working? is this what we wanted from this experiment?

John

lol

Jen

i feel like me and john blabbed and fought

so i guess, that’s on brand

Beate

Feel like we’re still warming up a bit

😂

Simon

I think we are finding our feet but im finding you guys interesting

Beate

haha

Okay but seriously before we all pack up – mediums – is anything changing in the way we connect with our audiences?

Is everyone starting a podcast now?

John

God.

Jen

Definitely not starting a podcast

Simon

Podcasts are peaking

John

me neither.

people hardly know how to use the channels they SHOULD be using to talk to their audiences…

i guess it’s easier to give up and go do something else?

Jen

I wish we could shift the overall conversation from channel to authenticity

i don’t give a fuck what channel you are using

but try to be real, open and authentic and you’ll raise money and be a happier fundraiser

Simon

As a podcaster I can confirm they are dumb. But also they really suit me and others sometimes depending on what we are doing. I like listening to them in planes

But i never listen to them at home

Beate

Are they though? My parents aren’t listening to podcasts yet, I’d say it’s about time for the late adopters which frankly are most of our donors

not that i’m advocating you should shift your fundraising budget into podcasting

Simon

Totes Jen. Medium is not the motivator

I mean peaking for people doing them

Its like everyone is starting one. But novelty will wear off

But audience will grow for remaining consistent podcasts

Jen

Your podcast is authentic and lovely. More like that please

Simon

Authentic = unprofessional and unedited

And thank you

❤️

Beate

podcasting and digital is the future. I think that’s a good wrap-up!

Simon

….

John

authentic = i’m showing up to be seen and i want people to see me. that is fundamentally out of line with how most people are online and offline

Simon

Whats next after digital?

Beate

My guess: No-one wants to give you their data.

John

offline

Simon

Whats next after offline?

Jen

authentic = i’m showing up to be seen and i want people to see me. that is fundamentally out of line with how most people are online and offline

Jen

AI

Simon

Or any kind of intelligence

Jen

YES!

oh goddess yes

what’s next is intelligence

Beate

LOBSTER FACT: Apparantly they pee out of their faces.

Simon

Like Jen

Jen

Every time! No matter the lobster fact

Beate

that is neither kind nor intelligent

Jen

Title of your sex tape?

Beate

hahahaha😂

100 %

Okay, anyone have any closing remarks or funnies before we call it a night / day?

Simon

I love you all

Jen

I’m here for all this

Beate

❤️

John

i need a sandwich

Beate

bye.

Oct. 26: Where they come up with an idea, Simon does a funny and Beate falls for it.

Beate

Guys, I just thought of something. Random idea. You know those conversation-y blogposts that for instance FiveThirtyEight do? It’s kinda almost like a written podcast. We should do those! Like a weekly lobster chat around whatever topic, remove all the worst offensive stuff and then publish it as a regular blog post. Yay!

😁

Like this:

Simon

Is that the new podcast? A written conversation?

Simon

That’s a really good idea.

Beate

Yes. Let’s get it done, starting Sunday night

💪🏼💪🏼

Simon

YESSSSSSSSSS

John

Awesome

Simon

Im excited about it

Beate

How’s your Sunday afternoon /evenings John Lepp, Jen Love ? It’ll obviously be earlier in the day for you two..

John

That day we’ll actually be in San Diego, that’s the night before the Storytelling Conference. Sooo that’s three hours in the other direction.

Beate

Further away from us time wise? Sounds like that might be a good time then?

Jen

Sundays are not going to be ideal for me this weekend or going forward. There will always be family and hockey and and and

Jen

But IN for the idea

Beate

Ok, we’ll find another day. What would work best for you two? It’s always going to be in a somewhat inconvenient time if it’s going to be possible at all unfortunately..

I’m thinking like 30 minutes

Simon

Lets start every episode with a fact about lobsters

Beate

Yesssss

John

LOL

Beate

Rotating responsibility for bringing a lobster fact

Jen

If we make it consistent every week there would be lots of options… I would say we pick a day where it’s morning here and afternoon there…?

John

i can make time most days… so im retty easy

Jen

Random suggestion: Tuesdays!

Beate

Tuesdays

👍🏼

Simon

Tuesdays are literally my best days

Beate

Can the Canadians do like 11-12? get me out of my meetings and client days first

Jen

this works for me

John

i could wrangle 1130-12 on a regulasr basis – i work out 10-11 on tuesdays…

Beate

Peeeerfect! I’ll send out a meetinf planner.

Jen

if we want to start this week it can’t be 8AM PST because I’ll be doing a keynote for 1000 people and losing my shit

John

1000?

Jen

Yep, apparently it’s 1000 people or so for the plenaries

Beate

That is SO GOOD! You’ll smash it out of the park and everyone will love you 😍

Jen

thanks sweet bea

John

Holy shit

Jen

maybe Steven is fucking with me but that’s what he said

John

they must have really grown it… it used to be a 300-400 person confernece

lol

Simon

1000, that’s like M in Latin

Jen

(exceeeeept that the 19th and 26th of November, both Tuesdays, I know John and Simon are both booked. And the 12th of November I’m on a flight to Alaska)

ok maybe not simon on the 26th but that’s congress

Simon

3 of us can cover for 1

Jen

Fair enough

Simon

Shake up the dynamic

Shake it like a protein shake

Should me know how to write the number one in Latin?

Beate

I

Simon

Sorry

Should *I* know

John

lobster FACT:

Lobsters are thought to never stop growing and if they live long enough, they can reach up to 1m long!

🧐

Simon

That fact doesnt make any sense

John

of course it does

they can get fucking big if i dont eat them first

Simon

If they lived long enough they’d be up to infinity M long

Beate

Simon, it’s “I”

John

🧐

Simon

I KNOW! WAS A TYPO! But should I know how to write the number one in Latin?

Beate

A feast for your eyes: A snack eating a snack. Seth says hi

Seth Piper eating fruit

Simon

Babeception

Jen

#swoon

John

lol

Beate

is this latin thing a skit

Simon

Yes

John

my whole life seems like one big improv show

*calendar invite pinging in*

Screenshot of calendar invite

Simon

SLACK?!

Jen

FUCK SLACK

Beate

Hahahahaha

Well it’s going to have to be in some kind of format where it’s easy to get it off the platform and onto a blog platform

John

Sigh

Beate

This conversation though: Lobster chat preview.

I’m publishing it

Jen

oh my goddess between recording the video for fundraising everywhere and trying to understand what the fuck is with this podcast/written blog and having to look over the top of my glasses to see any of this I feel like I am 1000 years old and i’m going to have a glass of sherry and lie down on a fainting couch

Simon

Should someone say something about fundraising?