Developing Relationships For Winning Partnerships with Barbara Jaynes
Barbara Jaynes is the founder of Positively-Funded. A Business Development firm focused on making nonprofits THRIVE. Barbara came to the nonprofit sector after having spent over fifteen years in large scale commercial real estate development. Bringing with her savvy negotiation skills and durable relationship development between the private and public sectors. Positively-Funded assists nonprofits with creating authentic community allies. Engaging for profit partners in nonprofit missions to increase their revenue, decrease employee turnover and create sustainable resilient communities. Barbara focuses on winning relationships for the long-term.
More about Jayne http://www.positively-funded.com
Read the Interview
Hugh Ballou: Greetings, folks. It’s Hugh Ballou in central western Virginia, where today the flowers are coming out, the sun is shining, it’s absolutely a gorgeous day. These are the old mountains in the Appalachians. You got all the young, pointy mountains out there in Denver, Russell.
Russell Dennis: We haven’t filed them down yet. We have a lot of them, too.
Hugh: You have a lot of them. We have a good guest that you actually talked to and got her on board today. It’s an important topic people don’t talk about globally, or even around the corner in their own communities. There is a lot more we can do. Barbara Jaynes, welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange.
Barbara Jaynes: Hello, Hugh. Hello, Russ. Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Hugh: Tell our listeners a little bit about Barbara, your history, and why you’re doing what you’re doing now.
Barbara: I’d love to, Hugh. Thank you. In 2006, my family and I moved to Superior, Colorado right outside Boulder. Before that, I lived in Cleveland and did inner city redevelopment. I worked in some of the toughest neighborhoods in the country and did urban renewal. I did some hospitals, large scale, ground up shopping centers and grocery stores. I loved what I did. It was my vocation. When I came to Denver, it wasn’t as old, and people weren’t as interested in my vocation and developing strong communities. So I decided to go to the nonprofit sector and take my vocation and business skills there.
I went to one of the most well-known nonprofits in Denver. I would bring them these incredible partners. They didn’t know how to develop the relationships. They just wanted the check. You can’t do that. Target doesn’t want you to burn through a gallon of milk one time; they want you to do it 1,000 times. Nonprofits need to start thinking like businesses. I realized that. They needed to learn how to develop these relationships and know they are a value add. That’s how Positively Funded was founded.
Hugh: Positively Funded. That’s your business and website?
Barbara: It is. Positively-Funded.com.
Hugh: What’s that about?
Barbara: I wanted nonprofits to think of a positive way to fund themselves. What I do is beneficial to both parties. It’s not about give me, give me, give me. It’s about going out and developing relationships that work. In the business sector you find your community allies and ask, “What is it that you need? Are you having a hard time engaging millennials? Are you having a hard time keeping employees? Do you need a better market profile? Do you need sales increased?” You work with the nonprofit to benefit yourself to help your business grow and benefit the nonprofit at the same time.
Hugh: Russell, did you hear that? There is a synergy between for-profit and for-purpose businesses. What did you hear in that, Russ?
Russell: It’s all about collaboration. We had a great discussion on that. I have been wanting to get Barbara on the show for a while. We just started having discussions. There are people I am meeting all over the place right here in town that Barbara and I will be talking with soon. It never ceases to amaze me how when you are vibrating at a certain frequency, people start to turn up. I had a good friend who did therapy for veterans who is recently retired. Just ran into her this morning. We were having coffee. She said, “What can I do?” That is somebody Barbara needs to meet and other people around here need to meet. We can get a lot more done together. The traditional models of each thing don’t seem to fit. I am starting to see people who are creating hybrid businesses, socially responsible businesses. They are taking their for-purpose enterprises in new directions and looking at mission-based revenue. It’s all exciting. It starts with partnerships and being able to talk to each other.
Barbara and I met for lunch one day. She is so easy to talk to. It could be that we are vibrating on the same frequency. It could be a mild form of group psychosis. Either way, the results will be the same if we collaborate. Barb’s masterful at putting these partnerships together. She is from my hometown. It’s not surprising.
Hugh: It’s the thin air there that helps inspire you, I’m sure. Russ, we preach the song of working together, of collaborating. The town where I live, Lynchburg, the University of Lynchburg, is launching a center for nonprofit leadership around the theme of collaboration. We have lots of nonprofits that distribute food to hungry people, and some who provide meals in addition to that. There is no overarching umbrella of how they can work together. If somebody is hungry on a Friday night, none of them are available for food. If someone is bound at home and can’t use transportation, there is no way they can get to this food bank. We are putting together an umbrella organization for people to know that other ones exist, and where can we have a meaningful conversation?
Barbara, let’s start from the beginning. We have these different entities. From where I sit, I’ve been in history longer than you guys, today it’s more important for the work of our nonprofits, whatever we call ourselves, our work is more important today because the world is so splintered and fragmented and toxic. We do the substantive work of doing good. But really, it works better if we work together. Where is the starting point? Suppose the scenario I have just outlined. There are a bunch of medical facilities that are free clinics. How do you start this conversation? How do you paint this paradigm of benefit? How do you take people who are interested and make them allies?
Barbara: Hugh, the scenario that you put out is very common. One nonprofit does this, and another one does that. The nonprofits need to come together and collaborate as well. They need to look at where are the gaps that we need to fill in. We both do amazing things. No one nonprofit can be everything to the world. You might take a scenario and take those gaps and go out and find a community partner. Say, “We have this need. Here is what it is. We are not serving-” Take your example on a Friday night. While we both have food, we’re not available to serve them. We don’t have the infrastructure. We don’t have the bodies to do it ourselves. How could we work with you to help solve this problem? Ask for the mentorship from those companies.
When you work with a company, it’s so important that you are working from bottom to top, top to bottom, hitting everyone. So go to their development people, their operations people, their finance people in the C-suite and say that you need mentorship in these areas. We have this problem. Help us solve it. Go to their new employees. Say, we could use some volunteers. The company you work for is amazing because they are helping to support the community and feed those who are hungry. We need your support as well. Talk about employee retention and the mental health benefits from volunteering. And engaging millennials. Millennials don’t just want what’s in the envelope at the end of the week. They want a purpose and a reason to be there. You the nonprofit can help give them that purpose.
Hugh: Connecting those dots is essential. There is this fear factor where we have our group of volunteers, and we don’t want people to take them. We have our group of donors. Volunteers commonly work with several organizations, and donors donate to a bunch of organizations. Speak to this fear of having these conversations. How do we get people to the table to even explore the potential?
Barbara: That is so true. When it comes down to donors and volunteers and corporate champions, suddenly everyone turns into 12-year-old mean girls. You have to stop that mindset. You cannot come from the mindset of scarcity. You have to come from the mindset of, I am a value added. Don’t you want volunteers and donors who are passionate about what you’re doing? If they’re not passionate about you, they’re not really your volunteers or donors. They might just be there for the day. Don’t you want someone for the long haul to create an authentic long-term relationship with them? Shouldn’t you find the right people for your mission that have the passion for it who are truly going to become your partners?
Hugh: Russ is thinking on that one. He is bubbling up.
Russell: You have to get the right people on the bus. That involves speaking to them in a way that resonates with them. It’s finding that spot where you connect, and they get that. One of the things we were thinking about is running an organization, when do you come to the realization that you need allies in the community?
Barbara: I’ll tell you my life philosophy, which is how I raised my girls. The strongest trees have the most branches. I gave my girls a lot of branches. We don’t have family here in Colorado. We moved to the other coast away from everyone. I gave them branches at church. We have branches in the neighborhood. They have branches at school. They had branches at sports. They had a lot of strength because they had a lot of different people in their lives to help nurture them because it does take your village.
You should look at your nonprofit the same way. Do you have enough branches? Are you a strong four-legged stool? Do you have grants? Do you have community allies? Do you have individual donors? Do you have a fundraising program? You can’t just rely on one leg to be a strong stool. You need a little bit of everything. If you think about how you diversify your personal financial portfolio, we’re all told to do that, do that with your nonprofit funding. Is your portfolio diversified? Do you have four strong legs to hold you up? Or are you one grant away from closing your door? If you don’t have those four strong legs, go out and make partners. Go out and find community allies. Bring the for-profit sector in to you and share your passion and your story.
Russell: What does that process look like? People realize they need partners, but how do I start figuring out which ones I need and how to go about getting them?
Barbara: That’s a great question. For a lot of people, that is a conversation stopper. They’re like, I know I need partners, but I don’t know what to do. Then someone comes to your door and needs help, and it ends right there. You have to take some time out to focus on yourself and care for yourself and nurture your own nonprofit before you go the way of blockbustering by the dinosaurs. Look at your board and tell them, “We have this winning partnership idea that we want to collaborate with the for-profit sector for. Can I look at your LinkedIn contacts and see there might be someone there who you could introduce me to?” I am making it perfectly clear that I am not calling that person to ask for a check. I am looking for a true, authentic business partnership where I can increase their brand and community power, and they can help support us.” That is one starter right there.
Russell: That is going right through the table and doing something for them first. Where can we add value? That is what a partnership is all about. It’s not one-sided. It’s about people bringing value. A lot of nonprofits have trouble looking at things that way when they are speaking with donors or potential donors. It’s not a hat in hand kind of thing. We can together provide a value that is going to make a change in our community. If we can do that, then we will be able to make some impact. In terms of allies or partners, what qualities do we look for in a good ally, and what do we do to make ourselves good allies for people we want to partner with?
Barbara: One of the things I always coach nonprofits on is look at the mission statement. Look at the values of the company. What they’re doing right now, before you approach them. We really seem to have similar thought processes here and similar value traits. That would be someone I can approach. Look at their press releases. What are they growing? What are they talking about? When you do reach out to them, you can say, I read that press release and heard this, and this. That really aligns with what we’re doing, too. Maybe we can help each other get where we want to be.
Russell: You can do that. The difference isn’t necessarily- if you have two or three organizations, you multiply your resources exponentially instead of sequentially.
Barbara: Absolutely. That’s important. When you go out and start this, my philosophy where I found, whether I was doing real estate development or nonprofit business development, is the 30/10/3 rule. I am going to call 30 people. 10 of them want to talk to me. 3 want to say yes, I like that, let’s talk some more.
Hugh: That’s a great ratio. 30/10/3. Talk to 30. 10-
Barbara: Call 30. 10 will want to talk to you. I hear about this. 3 of them want to bite into it and say, “This is a good idea. I can see where this is helpful to me and helpful to you. Let’s talk.”
Hugh: That’s an important routine.
Russell: Talk to ten for every one you want to secure. That works for any customer base: donors, volunteers, potential board members. I love the idea of making sure that you check that alignment. People like to talk with people who have done some homework and know a little bit about their organization or them as a person. You start asking questions about them. LinkedIn is a good platform. Everybody’s favorite subject is them. They’re their own favorite subject. It’s finding a way to lift them up, and not blowing smoke. People can tell if you’re just blowing smoke. If there is an authentic connection, leveraging that and talking about that.
Hugh: This is what we call ROR, Return on Relationship. That 30/10/3 rule is ongoing. I hear people say, “I talked to an organization about it, and it didn’t work.” I talked to an organization. I say, “I tried working out one day last year, and it didn’t work either.” Underneath what I’m hearing you say, there is a continuity. You have to stick with it. There is persistence. Speak to that. We think we’re bothering people. No, we’re not. We’re giving them an opportunity. Help reverse that paradigm, would you?
Barbara: You need to have tenacity, just like a business would. I want this. I know I’m making a difference. I know my product is helping the community. You need to have the tenacity, the passion to go out with that and know you’re not bothering people. You don’t know what problems that business has. You have something to offer to help them with those problems. Do people know your brand? Do you need brand recognition? Do you need a new platform? Are you struggling in the hiring process? You can put a letter from us in your New Hire packet so when people interview with you, you’re right there to talk about it. In your follow-up emails, we are right there to say how amazing you are in a video. We’re your partnership in everything from sales to hiring. We don’t know who we know who might want your products in their stores. Truly embed yourself in that culture. Make it a give-give.
Hugh: Russell, do you have your head around what Barbara Jaynes does? Can you explain it for people who are listening to her for the first time?
Russell: What she does is bring people together from multiple sectors to solve social problems and put good systems in place and help people have conversations. The conversation that we rarely have, when you’re talking with people in nonprofits, is about value, the dreaded V word. That’s what we’re all bringing to the table. It’s helping people understand that they bring value, and to quantify that in terms that makes sense to other people. She helps in bringing business systems. Thinking of your organization as a business, as a producer of value, and approaching it from that place so that you’re out there offering everybody you come in contact with something of value, whether they are donors, providing pro bono work, a socially responsible business looking to support a cause, or a nonprofit looking to get support. It boils down to a couple of things: money and people. If you are short on either, at some point, you’re going to fold.
Hugh: Barbara, how did he do?
Barbara: He did great. He is true. I am called the connector. That’s important because I connect for winning relationships. He is right about the value add. I like to play the game, “Bigger and Better” in business. Did you ever play the game as a kid where you start off with a paper clip and go door to door? I have a paper clip – what will you trade me that is bigger and better? Then you go to the next door with what they give you and trade for something else.
I do the same thing, with my nonprofits and business partnerships. I had a nonprofit I was meeting with and said, “A church came and built our fence a couple weeks ago.” “How did you thank them? How did you follow up?” We are going to send them a letter. “No, no, no. They have parishioners. You go and ask their pastor, ‘We want to thank your congregation in person. Could we have five minutes to stand up after your announcements and personally thank them and let them know what building this fence meant to us and talk about your charity?’” You have a captive audience of 300 or more people. Don’t walk away from that. That’s not a thank-you letter. Go get them.
Hugh: Whoa. Did you hear that? Maybe we should do that.
Russell: We have to work on this. When we do get you here to town, we will take you to McDonalds. Then we will swap that from Morton’s or something like that. That is too far. The idea is now firmly planted. It’s like toothpaste. It’s not going back in once it comes out.
Hugh: You know who your friends are, don’t you? Russell, I heard her talk about installing or teaching business principles to nonprofits. I’m not sure that all businesses have those skills either. They think they do. They have some cash flow that masks their ignorance. That’s what Russ and I spend our life doing: helping nonprofit organizations think in terms of cash flow and budgeting and marketing and all the things businesses need. I find sometimes that even businesses that donate or buy sponsorships for nonprofits don’t know how to get the benefit of that sponsorship. They donate, but they don’t know how to say, “What’s this money going to create? What difference will it make?” They don’t know how to ask that. When they make a business decision to use marketing money to sponsor an event, they don’t know how to get a return on that investment. Is that part of what you help both sides explore?
Barbara: It absolutely is, Hugh. It’s so important because I teach this to both sides. You need to say, for every $10 we bring in, we provide a box of groceries to a family that will feed them for a week. What nonprofits do with money is magical. For every $20 we can take care of 10 new dogs in our shelter. When you quantify it like that, it lets the business know, Oh, I am donating $5,000. It translates to 500 dogs. This is what I can do.
On the nonprofit side, you should always be talking numbers. Numbers ring true with millennials and with businesses. When you say to someone, “This is what $50 can do,” I didn’t know you could do that with $50. I would have donated $500; I didn’t realize I would have upped my ante. Let them know from the beginning, if you’re doing an event, this is how much we want to raise. This is what it breaks down into. For every $20 increment, this is what it will change.
Same on the business side. Let people know, Hey, this is what we did last year for nonprofits. Here is the impact for each one of them.
Hugh: There is a lot in the ask. I served a church in Atlanta of 12,000. The preacher raised $18 million for the next phase of the building program, to double the size of the facility. He did that in 14 lunches. I was sitting in his office one day, and he had the cash before they dug any dirt. He is reading the newspaper where one of the people he had talked to had given $4 million for a building at one of the local universities. He called that guy up and said, “I’m sorry I asked you for such a small amount.”
Russell: When you hit that sweet spot, we underestimate ourselves. It’s important to set those expectations. What is it that you want? I think the way to do that would be approaching a foundation or corporation is to look at it that you want to try to get, but find out what they want. Barbara is good at helping them find that because they don’t always know what they want to get. She sits with them and works with them and asks them what they want to try to do. You can’t get goodwill out of a Madison Avenue magazine spread. It comes with being connected with people, making a difference. If everyone is clear on the common goals, you can set some measures. With donors, it’s important to keep in touch with them. After they have written a check, let them know what the money is doing. The money should be quantified not just numerically, but in terms of story, in terms of people who are getting your services. How far those dollars are going. Thanking them. Highlighting some of them. This is what your support is making possible. They hear from you much more frequently than when you need money. if the only time they hear from you is when it’s time to write a check, they will run for the hills.
Barbara: You are so right. That is not the thing to do. It shouldn’t be, I’ve gotten my check. Life is beautiful. Make that relationship true. Ask them, Can we do a quarterly updated video for your staff? Every quarter, let’s update them and let them know the impact and what is going on. You want to triple their Rolodex, and they want to keep your employees. You want to embed yourself into the culture to support them and support your nonprofit. You do a video that goes out in an email link to every employee, thank them, let them know what you have done with their money. It’s amazing we have these wonderful programs, and we are able to serve so many more people. Last month, we had 50 people come in with this problem. We have to figure out how to solve this. Will you roll up your sleeves and help me solve it? You engage them beyond money. Sweat equity, mentorship, be there for me.
I want to hit on something Russ said before about knowing who your audience is. I firmly believe you don’t just go out and throw stuff against the wall to see what sticks. So many people will say, “You’re a big company. Write me a check.” You have to have a reason. Start with a why. I really researched you. I know what you do. We have the same vibe. We’re good for each other. Let’s talk about this.
Russell: A lot of that goes into the psychology of their branding. You have Nike that says, Just do it. If your message resonates with something along those lines, you get an idea of you look at who is in their commercials. Who are the people they are trying to reach, attract? How many of those people are in your tribe? They want that exposure, that goodwill. It’s important to look at that to see how we align with them. Just as importantly, to use language that resonates with them to start a conversation.
I think the conversation starts with trying to find the right person. That may not always be somebody with a sponsorship label. It may be somebody in marketing, or have another title. They have different pockets of money. Only a certain number of dollars are earmarked for sponsorship. They could support you elsewhere. It’s having that conversation and asking them questions with what you have in mind, and bouncing something off of them. It’s trying to dig up information that’s not in their literature to get a feel for the person and start building that relationship. After you have an idea of where they’re going in that particular point in time, then you tell them about your project. After you have gathered enough information, you ask if it’s okay to send a proposal. But these folks are busy. You want to get a 15-mintue interview. Nothing will annoy them more than asking questions that are on their website that they spent money to make. Doing that homework is important. That is what Barbara is masterful at helping you do.
Barbara: They have to know that you know who they are. They have to know why. Why have you called me? You need to have a good answer.
I went to a meeting with one of my clients. The owner of the company across the table said, “Why did you call on us?” I could tell them exactly why. You belong to this association, and this technology association aligns with what this charity does. He’s like, Thank you. You know who we are. We walked out with a check. It made the difference in the world. To take that time, to know who you’re talking to, and why you’re talking to them.
Russell: You don’t always expect to walk out with a check on the first visit, but if that’s the end result, be open to receiving that.
Barbara: My client was very happy. It really opened their eyes to the way that I do my things. I relaly want my clients to learn from my playbook and to be able to run with it and do it on their own. I don’t want to be there permanently from them. As your community needs change, you will be able to go out and meet those needs.
Russell: We get back to this discussion on value. A lot of businesses quantify that by their products and services. How can a nonprofit do that? A lot of people will sit there and actually have a limited view of what’s valuable to other people? What are some things they can do to demonstrate value?
Barbara: Know your data. Know who you’re helping and how many people you’re serving. When you are meeting with that person, you have your numbers and alignment. When you ask that company what they need, do you need us to write a thank you letter that you can send to your vendors to let them know what a community ally you are and support you are? Do you need us to do a video to your vendors to let them know what you’re doing? It triples the Rolodex for the nonprofit and puts new eyes on them as well as help the business. Do you need us to do a video for your customers so when they purchase something and get the receipt, I am there to thank them personally and let them know how important you are in the community? They are not getting a pair of shoes; they are getting someone who makes a difference in the world. That’s who they’re buying from. Tell us what you need.
Russell: You mentioned vendors, and I don’t know that people think that. Part of the value of your board of directors is the relationships they have. I don’t know if people think in terms of we don’t have a relationship with XYZ, but we have people on our board who have relationships with W company who is a vendor of XYZ. Do you frequently find that is a good way to approach an organization?
Barbara: It is. Using vendors is important. They want that winning relationship with their internal customers. It creates even greater synergy. It gives the company that you want to ally with a better story that they can tell to their vendors. We are not buying copy paper from just anybody; we are buying copy paper from the company that does this. You have their community story, and you have their back. Make sure you are wearing each other’s jerseys.
Russell: What do you think of that, Hugh? Are you ready to go out and buy a Cleveland Browns jersey and a Denver Broncos jersey just in case it all goes sideways for the Redskins?
Hugh: I gather those are football teams. I am not much of a football fan. I am a NASCAR guy. I am in the South.
This is intriguing. Let’s talk about your organization, Positively-Funded. How did you come to that name?
Barbara: I wanted to change the way that nonprofits thought about funding. Not to think that you have to go out with your tail tucked between your legs and grovel and I gotta go out and beg because the lights are getting turned off. No. You have a value add. You have something positive to give to the business world beyond the community that you provide services for. Get out there and be positive with it. I have something to offer. I want to be your partner. I want to make your business thrive so that my community thrives also.
Hugh: It’s a win-win proposition. I heard Russ say earlier in the conversation about finding out what other people want. It’s something that he introduces to a conversation on finding board members or donors. It would occur to me the same thing would happen here. Find out what the business is interested in. You had done your homework, so you walked out with a check. You had studied what that company was about. I can’t tell you how many times that doesn’t happen with companies I know. They misspell the person’s name in a pitch. That is not a good start. How did you get the name for this company? How did you think of that name?
Barbara: It’s what I just came up with. I wanted to make a difference in the way and change the mindset of how nonprofits felt they needed to be funded. You don’t need to beg. This is a positive thing. You are offering something positive to those financially investing in you, sweat equity investing in you, pro bono. You have something great to offer.
Hugh: Let’s do a summary here. What are the top three to five mistakes that nonprofits make when they approach a company for some sort of connection, partnership, funding? What is the remedy to those mistakes?
Barbara: I think the very first thing is do your homework. Study who you’re going after, and know why you’re going after them. Don’t go in cold.
Hugh: The mistake is they don’t know what the company does, or who the person is. They have not honored that person at all.
Barbara: When you talked about when you’re sending out a letter and misspelling the name, I advise to never blindly send out a letter. Do not do that. I research my companies. Call them first. Have a conversation. Then send a follow-up email. Thank them for their time. If you leave a voicemail, send an email. I left you a message this morning, and I want you to know why I left that message.
Hugh: When you call a company, who do you ask for?
Barbara: It depends on what the nonprofit really needs. You typically look at who is doing their community investments? Most companies have a community investment team. They have an employee engagement team. You ask for those things. Those types of departments.
Hugh: The first mistake is know your enemy. You need to know your prospect. The problem is they don’t know who they are, know about them, know the personality. The remedy is study who they are and get educated before you even make the first call.
Barbara: Absolutely. That is your very first thing. Know your audience.
Hugh: Give us a few more. What is a mistake nonprofits make?
Barbara: The other thing is going in for the kill, and I just want the check. No. Develop the relationship. You don’t just want that check. You need more than that check. You need partners. You need support. You need a strong four-legged stool. Ask for it. I need mentorship. Your CFO, I need help with my books. I need to understand how to financially run better. Give me mentorship. I need from your operations department. We are going to replace our roof in three years. I don’t know the first thing about getting a roofing contractor. I need to start saving for that now. I need to know what to look for. What is my best roof to have in the long term? Ask for the help. Ask for the right people. Go bottom to top. Go for their C-suite. Go for their board. Know those people. Research them. Know that you need more than just a check. You need sweat equity and volunteering, too.
Hugh: Not knowing your prospects. Get to know them. Go in there thinking it’s one and done. Not working on long-term relationship. What’s another?
Barbara: Not doing your follow-up and diligence. Not keeping that relationship fire stoked. Not staying in touch and saying, What can we offer you? I see that one of your goals is that you want to hire 10 new people. How can I help you with that? Do you want a letter from us saying how amazing you are that goes into your interview packets? Do you want a video for a thank you? How can we help? Do you want an opportunity, so on that person’s first day of work, I know a person who does this, every employee’s first day of work, they don’t show up at the company. This is our charity. You will go there and stock the shelves of this food back and spend the day with them. Tomorrow, you show up here.
Hugh: That is great. That’s three really good ones. Do you want to float another one? Or is that good?
Barbara: I really think it’s important that you have your number ducks in a row. Know your numbers. Know your numbers internally. Know how they work. Know your company’s numbers. I want to know what your turnover rate has been since we have started this partnership. I want to know your brand recognition. I want to know about your sales. I want to know about your customer satisfaction. I want to know that we have impacted you in return.
Hugh: This is also reciprocal. When you are asking for money, you want to ask for a specific amount. There are some people who say, “I want $20-30,000.” That’s not specific. There is a $10,000 spread; it doesn’t sound like you’re careful with my money. It’s their money until they give it to you.
Russell: Specificity is important. The universe will hear $20,000 if you say $20-30. $20,000 will show up. That’s what you put out there. That’s what you want. It helps to be specific. It sounds like all of these things, as far as looking for ways to be of service, can help build the long-term relationship with a business or between a business and nonprofit. What are some other things? What are the most important things, say for the business to do, or for the nonprofit to do? Maybe two or three things that are important for each of them to do to make sure that you can build and maintain a long-term relationship.
Barbara: I think the very first thing in your follow-up plan is have a regular communication strategy. We’re going to talk. Whatever department is your go-to person, have a standing monthly conversation. Update each other. This is how things are going on our side, and here is your impact. Great. This is how things are going on our side, and here is your impact. Keep that communication going.
Offer to spend time with their employees. Do a lunch and learn quarterly. Talk about how what seniors need. Here are the latest stats in America for seniors. Here is their food scarcity, transportation problems. Let us come in and talk about our wisdom in our sector, and how you can overcome these things, and how we work together.
Barbara: Invite us to come to your association. Whatever your trade association is, bring us along. Let us be your dog and pony show. We’re there for you.
Hugh: That’s also part of top of mind marketing. They don’t forget you because you’re there, and you are always looking to add value to the other. There are business leaders who see nonprofit as their duty. I wrote my check, and I’m done. Rather than looking for the win-win, which takes time. I like your set of questions. Do you work just in Colorado? She has a superior attitude, Russell. I don’t know why. Just in Superior. Do you work all over?
Barbara: I go beyond Superior, Colorado. Boulder County is my home, that’s for sure. I have worked with international nonprofits. I have worked with national nonprofits. I have worked with statewide nonprofits. I work with little babies with a staff of four. Everyone starts somewhere. Everyone can create winning partnerships, no matter what your size is.
Hugh: Is there a place on your website where people can ping you and have a conversation with you to explore possibilities?
Barbara: Absolutely. My phone number is on there. My email. There is a Contact form you can fill out. Whatever medium is your comfort zone, be it phone or email.
Hugh: This is good stuff. I’m a conductor by trade. Musical conductor. Not railroad conductor. The composer/conductor Ralph Long Williams from Britain is known to have said, “Music did not reveal all of its secrets to just one person.” We can say that about funding, partnerships, leadership. It’s good. We have gotten some wisdom from a lot of people over the four years. Thank you for your time today.
*Sponsor message from Wordsprint*
The messages you have shared today are close to our heart. We wish people in every community would have some wisdom to share.
Barbara, I am going to throw it to you for a closing tip or challenge.
Barbara: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it. This is wonderful to be able to share the good news of you have something to offer. Go out and be positive in your funding. Don’t tuck your tail between your legs. I’d like to challenge nonprofits to look at your stool. How many legs do you have? How strong are they? Go find your community allies. Look beyond your traditional scope. What can I do? What do I have to offer? How can I collaborate? How can I be a good community collaborator, not only with the for-profit sector, but with other nonprofits? There is strength in numbers. Go out and be positively funded.
Russell: Thanks always, Barbara. I am looking forward to having lunch with you later this week. That is the beauty of the bonus I get, Hugh. Barbara is in my backyard, and we are going to talk to people here and do what we can to come together and make some impact.