Nonprofit Leadership
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Real stories from real leaders making a difference today.
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Nonprofit Leadership Podcasts

Can you help fund a nonprofit and also get a “return on your investment”?

Funding is absolutely critical for all nonprofits and there’s a growing group of investors who want to invest in organizations and people who are really changing the world for the better. Is it possible to both fund the mission of a nonprofit, but also give a return to investors at the same time? On the surface, this seems to be two very different and contrary purposes. However, there is one organization, a nonprofit no less, whose sole mission is to both fund social changemakers while simultaneously providing a return on their donors’ investment through an innovative funding model. 

Jasper van Brakel, CEO of RSF Social Finance

Rob’s guest today is Jasper van Brakel, the CEO of RSF Social Finance. RSF has supported more than 2000 social entrepreneurs since 1984 and provides loans for profit and nonprofit and social enterprises in the United States and Canada, and also works as a donor-advised fund sponsor with individuals on their individual giving strategies. 

Jasper sheds light on the differences between for-profit and nonprofit organizations, and why for-profit organizations must be purpose driven. He explains RSF’s involvement in the alternative ownership movement and why they support new ways for for-profit entities to provide shareholders some economic benefit. On the same note, he shares how RSF helps nonprofits with growth capital and why he believes more businesses will focus on aligning with customer values by establishing a foundation or social enterprise. Jasper also breaks down RSF’s quarterly community pricing gatherings and how they work to resolve tension surrounding financial returns. He discusses mission drift and why tough conversations around cash flow and financial health are necessary and the importance of alignment commitment for organizations to keep moving forward. Finally, Jasper highlights how RSF chooses projects to invest in and their relationship-driven and collaborative approach to decision making to ensure RSF stays true to its mission of helping to create an economy rooted in equity, healing, and interconnectedness.   

Links to Resources:

RSF Social Finance: https://rsfsocialfinance.org/

If you have questions or want to come on the show, email Rob at rob@ccofpc.org
To be added to the monthly email update, go to http://nonprofitleadershippodcast.org/

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Nonprofit Leadership Podcasts

How can you preserve what’s best in your organization while still striving to innovate?

Good to Great by Jim Collins is a fantastic leadership book that discusses how great companies each have a common trait of finding a way to continue growing and innovating, year after year. And according to Collins’ research, one of the key ways these companies achieve greatness is by preserving the core while stimulating progress. How can you do the same so that you might have a great organization? Rob’s guest today has successfully implemented this into her leadership experience at the Ronald McDonald House Charities. 

Rob’s guest today is the Ronald McDonald House Charities President and CEO, Kelly Dolan. The Ronald McDonald House Charities programs help alleviate some financial burdens for families with sick children and provide nearly $772 million in hotel and meals expenses.

Kelly shares her transition from Chief Marketing and Development Officer to CEO, and the long term benefits of succession planning and promoting from within your organization. She breaks down the importance of coaching and mentoring the talent you have, regardless of the size of your organization, and outlines the 3 core programs of the Ronald McDonald House Charities and the full continuum of care they strive to provide families and communities in need. Kelly discusses why communication, strong relationships and trust are vital for any nonprofit or organization to build a solid foundation that actually allows them to innovate, pivot and continue services in times of crisis like the current pandemic. In addition, she recalls how she navigated her most challenging leadership decisions and why she believes a calm presence and empathy are crucial when it comes to leading in this new normal. Finally, Kelly describes why staying current on politics, pop culture and reading biographies are her top choice to broaden her awareness as a leader.       

Links to Resources:

Ronald McDonald House Charities: https://rmhc.org/

If you have questions or want to come on the show, email Rob at rob@ccofpc.org

To be added to the monthly email update, go to http://nonprofitleadershippodcast.org/

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Nonprofit Leadership Podcasts

The baton of leadership has been passed at the YMCA

Almost everyone is familiar with the YMCA, especially because of the Village People’s infamous song. But many don’t know that the Y, with all of its nationwide affiliates, is actually one of the largest nonprofits, not only in the US, but in the world. 

Kevin Washington, past President and CEO of the YMCA of the USA

Rob’s guest today is the current but retiring President and CEO of the YMCA of the USA, Kevin Washington. After 43 years of service, Kevin is handing off the baton to the next leader to take the YMCA to the future. YMCA of the USA is a federated organization that manages 800 federate associates as part of their national network. There are 2,700 physical YMCA branch locations across all 50 states, with programs in over 10,000 communities serving 22 million members and counting. 

Kevin recalls his own experience of how the Y found him and his journey from being a member to becoming the organization’s President. He explains how COVID forced the YMCA to quickly pivot and why collaboration with the newly formed federal coalition to support nonprofits was vital to continue providing services for communities. Kevin describes the barriers they’ve had to overcome during the pandemic and why working together is always key, regardless of political beliefs. He also highlights the importance of trust and transparency, and how long term relationships with donors helped secure unrestricted funds when it mattered most. On the same note, Kevin discusses why he believes nonprofit leadership requires significant levels of humbleness, empathy, innovation and boldness and the willingness to risk going against the status quo if it means moving your organization forward. Finally, Kevin shares the greatest opportunities and challenges the next CEO of the YMCA will face, and how the “Summer of George Floyd” and believing in our youth has bolstered his hope for the future. 

Links to Resources:

Kevin Washington

Kwashington@ymca.net

Meet the new CEO through this link.


YMCA Website 

https://www.ymca.org/

If you have questions or want to come on the show, email Rob at rob@ccofpc.org
To be added to the monthly email update, go to http://nonprofitleadershippodcast.org/

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Nonprofit Leadership Podcasts

How one nonprofit is ensuring that diversity and inclusion are informing the way we create and establish play spaces around our country

Diversity, equity and inclusion are on the hearts and minds of every nonprofit leader today. After the events of last year, we started having conversations about these topics like never before. Rob’s guest took the helm of an organization that for the last 25 years, has made equity and inclusion the very focus of their mission efforts.

Lysa Ratliff, CEO of Kaboom

Rob’s guest today is Lysa Ratliff, the new CEO of Kaboom. Kaboom brings kids and communities together to design, imagine and dream about what their play space should look like. Kaboom then brings them together along with volunteers and community members to make their vision a reality in order to achieve play space equity.

Lysa describes how her own childhood experience influenced her current passion for play space equity and how solid partnerships and focusing on kids has led to Kaboom’s steady growth over the last several years. She explains why kids are always worth investing in and the importance of unifying resources to tackle problems that can’t be solved alone. She describes Kaboom’s core values and why data around these values is critical to decision making, understanding where the need is greatest, and helps hold themselves accountable for the outcomes of their work. Lysa discusses how the pandemic forced Kaboom to view their work in new ways, shift from project level work to system level change, and tap into resources to build partnerships. She talks about how and why they adjusted policies to be more aligned with their core values and ensure they have an approach that really centers on community and equity. Finally, she details how to build collaborative relationships and the most important leadership skills she’s learned along the way. 

Links to Resources:

Kaboom

https://kaboom.org/

Kaboom on Twitter

https://twitter.com/kaboom

Race Equity Journey

https://media.kaboom.org/docs/KABOOM!-Race-Equity-Journey.pdf

Lysa Ratliff on Linkedin

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lysa-ratliff-47094411/

If you have questions or want to come on the show, email Rob at rob@ccofpc.org
To be added to the monthly email update, go to http://nonprofitleadershippodcast.org/

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Nonprofit Leadership Podcasts

How can you turn a dysfunctional board into a healthy one?

The relationship between a nonprofit’s board and a nonprofit’s staff can often become the demise of many nonprofits. To start a healthy relationship for any nonprofit board, it’s crucial to have a solid and clear relationship between the CEO or Executive Director of a nonprofit, and its board, especially the Board Chair. Rob’s guest addresses how to turn a dysfunctional board into a healthy one. 

Rob’s guest today is James Mueller, who’s had extensive experience in the nonprofit sector and is the President of a consulting firm that works with nonprofit boards. James is also the author of a new book entitled Onboarding Champions: The Seven Recruiting Principles of Highly Effective Nonprofit Boards.

James Mueller

James shares what an effective and equitable board looks like and the first step to building one rooted in core values. He believes using criteria like how is one’s decision making, creative thinking, character and openness to a diverse culture as being critical for board selection rather than relying solely on business acumen. James explains why more nonprofits must draw a clear line between governance and management while providing education in board governance, strategic recruitment and robust onboarding. He recommends focused sessions that address a range of issues from diversity, equity and inclusion to fundraising, in order to prevent boards from becoming dysfunctional. Finally, James shares what conversations are really important to have for a healthy board, the core responsibilities of board leadership and why board members must shift their thinking from “you” to “we”.            

Links to Resources:

James Mueller

https://jmuellerassociates.com/

Onboarding Champions: The Seven Recruiting Principles of Highly Effective Nonprofit Boards

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QKY8HLW/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

If you have questions or want to come on the show, email Rob at rob@ccofpc.org
To be added to the monthly email update, go to http://nonprofitleadershippodcast.org/

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