Home/The Nonprofit Exchange, The Nonprofit Exchange Archive/Making Your Organization Attractive for Cause Marketing Collaborations

Making Your Organization Attractive for Cause Marketing Collaborations

Watch the Interview

Making Your Organization Attractive for Cause Marketing Collaborations

Sheryl GreenSheryl Green is a writer, speaker, and animal rescuer. She is the author of four books including her most recent, Do Good to Do Better: The Small Business Guide to Growing your Business by Helping Nonprofits. Sheryl also serves as the Director of Communications and Cuddling for Hearts Alive Village Animal Rescue in Las Vegas.

There’s a way to position yourself so that businesses want to work with you and help you raise money.

 

 

Read the Interview

Hugh Ballou: Happy first of the year! It’s 2020 when we’re recording this. Russell is in Denver. I’m in central western Virginia, the commonwealth of Virginia. Sheryl is in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada. Sheryl, welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. Tell people a little about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

Sheryl Green: Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited. The why I’m doing it I think is the most important to start with. In 2008, I went through a very difficult divorce and moved out to Las Vegas for a fresh start. Went through horrible divorce, horrible bankruptcy. Did not know anybody here besides my parents. Ended up in a pretty serious depression. At that point, my step-mom dragged me off the bathroom floor, where I was curled up hysterically crying, and she said, “Go do something for someone else.” And it was the best personal advice, and it turned out to be the best business advice that I’d ever gotten.

I found my way to animal rescue. I started out doing small adoption events, and eventually I worked my way up to creating 5,000-person events. I put on a festival and started as the director of communications (and cuddling) for Hearts Alive Village Las Vegas. Even though this has been a volunteer role pretty much the entire time, and I’ve been on the board, but it started to dawn on me just how difficult the nonprofit world is. Anybody that has spent any time in there, you have spent half of your life with your hand out, begging for money and begging for help. It took a while to put that together. I started my own business with speaking and writing and things like that and realized that if a nonprofit could actually connect with a business, and even more importantly in my world, a small nonprofit could connect with a small business, we could make some real differences in our communities. That is what got me on this path.

Hugh: Whoa. What a novel concept. I have worked with nonprofit leaders for 32 years. Russell has a whole history in various forms of working in nonprofits. It spans more years than that. I am in the saddle as the president of the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra. Doing stuff inside of an organization is different. I developed my methodology working inside of organizations. I have been working outside for so many years. It’s good to go back inside and see both sides of this. I’m pleased that all the systems we created actually work. There is a funny relationship that organizations have with businesses. Businesses don’t understand basically why it’s good for business to be active and to support nonprofits. When you first have a conversation, do you start with a nonprofit or a business?

Sheryl: It depends on the situation. I was going to say that I start with the nonprofit, but you know what? Now I am starting to work closely with small businesses, showing them, going beyond the obvious “Yes, you should help, and we should change the world together,” going beyond that and showing them the benefits to their business of helping, getting in front of a new audience, attracting those who believe in the same things as you and really branding yourself as someone who cares about more than just money.

Hugh: Triple bottom line.

Sheryl: Yes.

Hugh: People, the planet, and the profit.

Sheryl: I like that.

Hugh: It is. There is books behind you. Are any of those books created by you?

Sheryl: Those books are all by me. I’ve been writing. I started out with fiction back in 2009. I have a degree in forensic psychology. I never actually got to hunt down serial killers, which is what I wanted to do. Instead, I decided to write about them. Those books have not yet seen the light of day, but they will.

I moved into writing nonfiction probably about four years ago now. And started out with a personal development book about my own experiences. Then moved onto how can I help businesses and nonprofits improve their organizations.

Hugh: Wow. I’m sure we can find those on Amazon. I will put them on the interview. SherylGreenSpeaks.com is your main website. I believe it’s on the page we set up for this interview.

A little more. How does the book connect you in the world? Does the book have a functional reason? Is it just you telling your story?

Sheryl: That’s a longer story. My journey in speaking has been circuitous. I started out not knowing what I was an expert in because in the speaking world, you’re not a speaker, you’re an expert who speaks. I realized after my divorce and the hard knocks I’ve taken that I was really good at getting kicked and getting back up stronger and being that resilient, learning how to teach resilience. I started out on that path. It took a little while to realize that wasn’t necessarily where my heart was. I moved into realizing I’d been writing content for businesses and nonprofits for a couple of years at that point, and I realized that I’m a storyteller. It started out when I wrote fiction and moved onto when I was actually writing for businesses. I realized I could teach businesses and nonprofits how to communicate what they do and how to share that story so that they can really better serve their clients and donors.

One of the stories I wish I could tell you exactly where I came across the term “cause marketing.” I don’t remember. I suspect there were angels in a bright light. When I realized that there was actually something in place for nonprofits and businesses to work together, that became one of the stories that I recommend we tell. You’ve got your why story, which most people talk about their origin. You have success stories, and that you’re actually doing what you say you do. The cause marketing story goes beyond that for me. I like to call it selling warm fuzzies instead of widgets because for the business, it becomes less about what they actually do and what they sell and more about who they are and what they stand for. It evolved from there.

I started studying cause marketing and learned more about it. I realized it could make a huge impact in how nonprofits and businesses operate and in the cesspool of disaster that our country is in. I’m sorry. That wasn’t positive, was it?

Hugh: It’s realistic. You didn’t blame anybody.

Sheryl: No, no. It’s just a mess. We won’t go into that.

Hugh: Fascinated by going back to ancient stuff. Going back to the Bible, in Ecclesiastes, he says, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Back when they wrote those books, they are dealing with the same kind of stuff we have right now. It seems like in all these years, we could have progressed civilization.

Sheryl: Just a lot less social media back then, so it wasn’t as painful.

Hugh: People had a way of getting things out. There are several points of connection that come to my mind. One of our guests gave us a different word, for-profit and for-purpose. Nonprofit is a dumb word because you have to make a profit, but it does identify the segment. The business can be a donor to the nonprofit, which is philanthropy. The business can be a sponsor, which is their marketing money. The business can provide in-kind support. It could be printing, volunteers. People in the company might want to be of service. If it’s a food bank or a free clinic, they could go down and serve on a regular occasion. We have donors, sponsors, in-kind contributions. Those are very different. And then there’s making space available. Sometimes companies have meeting rooms or event spaces and planning and implementing skills. There are those kinds of connections. Are there others? Do you want to talk about those and how they benefit both sides?

Sheryl: While I use the term “cause marketing,” I want to give this brief statement that it’s not just cause marketing. That term has been pigeonholed for the buy one/get one, the pin-ups in stores, where it’s transaction-based. While that is wonderful and definitely one of the approaches that you can take, I think there is a lot more that we can do, from the small business standpoint, in terms of standing for a cause. So that it’s not just if you buy this, I will donate, which is great, and you should do it. But there is also spreading awareness, sharing your audience with that nonprofit. Creating awareness around the cause. A lot of people don’t even know what issues are out there. I don’t know how this is even the case, but I was at a fundraising workshop a few months ago, and she said that some people don’t donate because they’re not asked.

Hugh: That’s right.

Sheryl: They’re clearly not on my Facebook page because I am asking for donations all the time for the rescue. Creating that collaboration, and I will not say partnership, gives you the ability to bring your customers into that world, into that cause, and gives them an easy way to support it.

The reason I say that is because there are so many different things. You touched on a bunch of them. The easiest way to look at that is time, talent, and treasure. You can donate some of your time or your employees if there is a specific job that needs to be done, and treasure, your money, your in-kind services. You mentioned real estate, giving space. The large organizations, the large businesses, they know this. They have got this down.

A lot of my examples will be from the animal rescue. PetSmart donates space all the time for local rescue groups to come in. It’s no skin off their back because they have the space anyway. They are getting more people into the store. They have a higher footprint in there. If you get a dog or cat in PetSmart, chances are you will buy some supplies in there. You won’t turn around and go to Petco. Again, they get that benefit, the halo effect of we’re just not about making money, we want to find those pets homes. We know that our audience, our customers care about that cause.

It’s something that the larger businesses have known for years. I think the larger nonprofits have known for years. But when it comes to the small businesses and the small nonprofits, who I think get left out of the conversation because they don’t have that staff. It’s just a bunch of dedicated people who are giving up their weekends and spare bedroom to work for a cause.

Hugh: There’s another channel, which I did leave out, which is board members. People in the company can serve as board members. I’m thinking as you talk about cause marketing, it’s because marketing. It’s because it provides value to humankind. Because it’s good for business. Because, because, because.

Sheryl: That was almost the title of the book.

Hugh: Was it? I want to toss the interview to Russell, who has some thoughtful questions. This is very helpful, Sheryl. Thank you for sharing today. Russell, what are you thinking?

Russell Dennis: I’m thinking I love her approach. When you get a good idea, write a book. That way people know about it. It creates accountability for yourself because you publicly went out and said things. Large organizations do have a little bit more bandwidth on the marketing front. You have businesses of all sizes. Some of the larger ones may have in-depth plans. Talk a little bit about ways that small nonprofits can get on the business’s radar screen. On the flip side, talk about some ways businesses can identify some of these smaller organizations that are doing work that is In line with their corporate social responsibility programs.

Sheryl: I think first, from the nonprofit standpoint, even the small ones, you are building a business. The small ones that survive and eventually grow larger, they understand this. The ones that are just a bunch of gung-ho people who have huge hearts and really want to change the world, they’re wonderful and amazing, but they’re going to burn out. If you don’t look at it as a business and creating a sustainable organization, you will fall flat. One of the biggest things that I’ve seen—of course there is the whole debate on overhead—a nonprofit that turns around and waves a flag proudly, saying, “We don’t pay anybody. Everything goes into our programs 100%,” it’s fantastic for the first three to six months. After that, it’s not sustainable. Thinking about it as a business is that first step.

The second one is building that brand. Realizing just like a business, you need to be raising awareness constantly. You need to be building your social media footprint and your email list and making yourself attractive so that somebody would want to come and say, “Yeah, I want to work with you. You have 10,000 followers. You have an email list of a couple thousand people I would love to get in front of.” From the nonprofit standpoint, it’s being able to communicate what you do very clearly. What is the benefit you bring to the marketplace? Even though it’s for purpose, you’re still in a marketplace. Communicating that and raising that awareness constantly. For lack of a better term, keeping your nose clean. Keeping that reputation up. News travels fast. It really does. There are great quotes out there, none of which are coming to mind right now. A reputation can be destroyed in one Facebook post, one conversation, one argument that you have, or one bad-mouthing of another organization. Making yourself attractive is about you have to look good before you can attract someone. That sounds so bad. Building up your group, your brand.

Being easy to work with. I talked about this in my book. We had an e-cig company that reached out to us and wanted to do some fundraising for us. I asked her what she needed. How can we help? Logos, promotion. What can we do? She said, “No, you’re fine. We’ll tell you when we have the check.” They brought the comically large check, and we did the photos and everything. She thanked me for being easy to work with.

And it blew my mind because they want to give you money. Why are you making it difficult? If it’s a good match, do what you can, and I understand. We’re understaffed. Some are not staffed at all. Find that person who is willing to be that point of contact. Sometimes they don’t want to do what the rescue or the organization does. I don’t go into the shelters. I don’t pull animals out. I can’t do it. It hurts my heart. But I can do this. Find those people. Find the people who want to be the go-between, the media, the connection. Did that help?

Russell: When you’re talking about getting people involved, I love time, talent, and treasure, that’s what I talk about, it’s hard to confuse it. People who give you one will generally give you the others if you ask. It’s astounding how many people don’t ask. There is something about asking, which speaks to a concept of value, I think. Value is a word that gets a different angle placed upon it by a business. What you’re doing when you’re trying to create or grow something, you’re actually providing value. When it comes to looking at a nonprofit, and you talked a little about overhead, people don’t think of the value of those types of things when it comes to a nonprofit. Businesses are rewarded by higher-end marketing geniuses coming up with campaigns and investing in making their people better so they can provide better service. There is some sort of resistance when it comes to charity work to the idea of having a nonprofit invest in these things. How do you flip that conversation around in the minds of people who write a check? As far as having the infrastructure to actually deliver value.

Sheryl: The first thing that I do, I’m a huge fan of Dan Pallotta. His TED Talks should be mandatory watching material for every human being. In my book, and I took a smart-ass approach to it because that’s how I am, I invited business owners, and I did about three pages on this. I said, “Hey, I have this great opportunity for you. I would love for you to come work seven days a week, ten hours a day, and I’m not going to pay you. I want you to bring all of your employees with you. We’re not going to have a roof over our head. It will be cold while we’re working. But it will be okay because you will have that inner feeling that you’re changing the world. Don’t worry when your bills come, when your mortgage arrives in the mail. You just write, ‘I’m changing the world’ on it, and they will zero out your balance.” I went for about three pages. One of my beta readers stopped in the middle and didn’t like it. She got to the end and was like, “Nope, you needed every single bit of this.”

It was about changing the mindset from both the business’s point of view and the nonprofit point of view. My founder actually waited to file the paperwork for the nonprofit because she didn’t want to spend that money on paperwork and business when she could be saving a life with it. We all have that attitude going in. You have to realize that it’s not self-sustaining. You’re not going to get far ahead. As Dan Pallotta talks about putting a marketing flyer on the laundromat wall for a bake sale, and you bring in $200, and everyone is doing a Snoopy dance, but when you actually put money into this intelligently and properly and not just throwing money around like many businesses probably do, but you actually invest in improving and in growing and in spreading that awareness. I think it’s just a mindset shift that businesses need to make, but nonprofits need to make first so they can help them.

Russell: It definitely is when you start talking about value. If you get someone who is working for a human services agency, they can talk a great deal about how they sit in front of people and how it’s important to move people from where they are to a better place, which is what an organization is set up for. When it comes to talking about value, that is something I think that nonprofit leaders need to have- That’s the other mind shift. They have to be able to talk about that and couch that in terms that are valuable to their supporters. It’s about finding out the right language to use. There is a process for each of them to get connected with one another. It’s a little different. Talk a little bit about the process the business goes to find a good project. Same thing for the nonprofit, and where you see the most common disconnects for each one of them when trying to get connected to the right people.

Sheryl: I want to speak about value for a second. Then I will jump to that. There is that value that you need to communicate to the community, what we do for the community. There is also the value you inherently have as an organization to communicate to the business. We have these people following us. We have this space.

When it comes to finding that partner, the best thing I have seen is once you’ve identified what you care about, there is a couple different ways that businesses can go about this. This is what I care about as the founder or CEO because I have this history with it. There is let me find out what my employees care about. There is also what makes sense for my business, my industry. If you are a restaurant, you might want to work with a food bank. If you’re a home builder, you might want to work with someone who provides housing for less fortunate people. There is always that match-up. That can go horribly wrong. Choose wisely.

But then when it comes to choosing the actual nonprofit, this is why reputation is so important. There are people who will go out there and look at IRS records. You can spend half your life reviewing different nonprofits and seeing what their score is. Or you can just put it out to your people and say, “Hey, we are going to be supporting a nonprofit. Which ones do you like?” I think that’s honestly for me the best way to 1) spread the word early that you will be supporting a nonprofit, even before you start, so it gets the word out and gets people excited about it. 2) It gets people involved. They now have a say in what you’re going to do. You’re way more likely to go along with something if you have a say in it. 3) Learning that reputation. Who is actually good out there? Who is doing what they say? Who is messing around and not going to be around for very long? I think that’s the best way for a business to look.

What was the other part of that question actually?

Russell: How should that nonprofit look? What is the disconnect? What is the most common thing they overlook in their efforts to identify the best partners in the business world to work with?

Sheryl: From the nonprofit standpoint, your reputation as we’ve said is important before. Your reputation is important after. Collaborating with a business that has some shady practices, maybe they’re in an industry you don’t want to be associated with. We get so excited. We need the money. We need the funding. You will give us some money! Thank goodness. We don’t care who it comes from. But when you do create that collaboration, when you do work with a business, you are taking on their garbage. Let’s put that nicely. Really realizing what are those values that you want to continue upholding as an organization? What businesses fit those values, fit the industry, make sense, because the halo effect, that business is going to get something from you. You want to make sure that what you get from them isn’t just money and then damages your reputation.

Russell: One of the toughest sentences for a business or nonprofit to digest is “No.” That word is a full sentence. I don’t think a lot of people wrap their mind around that. There are times when that is the appropriate response. When you’re talking to either a business or a nonprofit, and that word comes up when you get that match, somebody says, “No,” how do you help people look at that? How do you help them have the proper perspective on that in these situations? Sometimes people shut down when they hear that word.

Sheryl: You have to think about it like dating. Everybody that you go out with is not the right person for you. That’s okay. It doesn’t speak badly about you. Most of the time, it doesn’t speak badly about them. It’s just not a good fit. In the nonprofit world, we are so passionate about what we do, and we care so deeply about our cause that many of us will do it for free. However, not everybody cares about your cause. It’s hard to hear, but when I was just hitting the street asking for small donations from businesses, I started out my conversations after a while with, “Hey, are you an animal lover?” I’m not going to waste the next 10 minutes and my breath in the whole spiel of why we’re amazing and saving animals if you don’t care. Figuring out is that their cause, is that something that matters to them. If not, it’s going to be okay. You have to pick yourself up and move onto the next one.

Same with the business aspect. Realizing that nonprofits are not just crawling around begging. They are building their own brand and reputation. Depending on what you do, it might be an industry they’re not wanting to connect with. Or it could be something you’re doing. It could even be what you’re offering. That’s one of the most difficult things that we run into from the nonprofit side is businesses approach us and say, “We want to give you this.” That is awesome, but we don’t need that. They want to bring 60 people down to have a wonderful volunteer event. That’s amazing, thank you. We literally with fire code can’t have 60 people in there. So it comes down to is it a good fit culture-wise, values-wise, but is it also a good fit? Do they want what you have? Do they need what you’re offering? If not, it’s nothing against you. It’s not just a good fit. It’s all in the mindset of can you accept that and move to the next organization? If not, you have to fix things on your end.

Hugh: You’re singing the song that Russell sings. He has this point of clarity that we never really find out by listening what people are interested in and what their passion is, whether it’s board members or donors or corporate collaborations. I’m wondering, talk about the responsibilities on both sides. We get a sponsor. Great, boom. There is some responsibility because that is marketing money. We have to be careful when we make a pitch in nonprofits. The call to action has to go to a home page. There are some requirements there. A good example I refer to a lot is Viking Cruises on public television, Sunday nights with Masterpiece Theatre. They show a sizzle for more information. That is a clear demonstration of how sponsorship works for both sides.

Sheryl: This was something I learned on the journey of writing the book. I had no idea. I was as guilty as organizations putting out, “Hey, go buy this because we will get something out of it.” It’s actually funny. I was reading Cause Marketing for Dummies. They mentioned an attorney in Las Vegas who specialized in cause marketing. One of my best friends is an attorney. After I got over the why would you need an attorney fantasy world, I reached out and actually was connected with him within a week. We sat down, and he told me all about this responsibility, which I don’t think small nonprofits understand. You cannot act as an advertiser for these businesses unless you want to kick off an UBIT (Unrelated Business Income Task). I’m not an attorney. I’m not a tax accountant. By all means, please find someone who knows more than I do. But it is realizing that you can’t be that advertising firm for a business no matter what they’re doing for you. I like how you put that, you can’t have the call to action.

Hugh: When you do a call to action, it kicks in that dynamic. Russell knows more about it from the IRS. There are complete guidelines. You do present the brand, and they resonate. Viking Cruises is a great example. They are in the hour where when the people who can go on cruises are on TV. They show the boats and the great stuff, people having fun. There is some clear guidelines there. It shows that this business is supporting really high-quality entertainment on television and this nonprofit. To me, there is a win-win.

Just as we’re talking, I thought of a fifth connection. There is what is called earned income, like an Amazon Smile account, or a grocery store that gives 5% to charities when you shop. Most companies have a residual, where they take money and make a donation to the charity. There is ways you can register. That is generated income. All of these have very strict rules around them. There are lots of reasons to have conversations in business. Why don’t charities have a conversation with business about any of these topics?

Sheryl: Honestly, I think it comes down to the perceived value of the nonprofit and their own perceived value, not thinking they have anything to offer. I go through all the different ways to do an inventory on your business and your nonprofit to see what you have to give, all of the things you mentioned and more. When you realize that value, you’re more likely to approach, to say, “Hey, we would like to work with a business. We know we can offer them” the brand, the audience, and even just saying, this is where those rules kick in, just saying, “Hey, thank you for the support to XYZ business. Check out their website and see how they’re helping us.” Putting that out there. Great, you gave us money, and moving on with your day.

When you talk about responsibility of the nonprofit, I believe that one of the biggest responsibilities the nonprofit has is to educate the business. When you see these pin-up campaigns, the point of sale at a register, you go in, and if it’s active, the cashier is actually saying something to you, it’s like, “Would you like to support childhood cancer?” They’re dead. They’ve said it 4,000 times that day. They have no idea what the organization does. Instead of saying, “Oh, cool, you want to raise money for us? Great, go ahead. There is information on our website,” if you could take the time to, if you have a facility, give a tour. If you do not have a facility, talk to the employees and explain what it is you do, why it’s so important to the community you serve, and what their donation does so that they can have the conversation with a customer if they ask. But they can be excited about it. It’s not just Day of the Walking Dead there with zombies spouting out that same line time and time again. There is passion behind it. “You know what? If you do this, we get to help kids with cancer!” How cool is that? They have that fire in them.

Turning it into not a partnership, but the attorney made it very clear that he can’t call it a partnership, or he pops out from somewhere and yells at you. When you collaborate with someone, you make it that true collaboration. Here’s what we do. Here’s how you get involved. Here’s why you’re important.

Hugh: It’s a win-win situation.

Russell It is important. It is valuable to have that common language. The point of overwhelm for both sides is, Ok, we have to come up with this type of thing. We want to save X dollars on taxes. We want to raise X dollars. Then it’s throwing something against the wall to see what sticks. How important is it for them to be focused? What kind of steps can they take to identify organizations that are a better fit so that when they start prospecting, they are actually in a better position to get a Yes because they’ve done a little bit of homework?

Sheryl: I think one is identifying exactly what you need. If it’s $6 million, you’re either going to go to a lot of small businesses or shoot for a larger organization. If it is maybe just some donations that you need or some help, you need an accountant to come in, really identifying what it is you need before you approach anyone else. That’s a huge part.

Respecting their guidelines. I learned this unfortunately very early. Some of the larger casinos and corporations don’t see the value in animals. They do wonderful things in the community, but they are strictly focused on human services and things that affect humans directly, like food, home issues. When I walked in there all excited to explain how animals are the best thing ever and rescuing them is amazing and how that impacts humans—anyone who has had an animal understands that—but it’s not within their guidelines. So if it is a larger organization, realizing that they might just not be focused on you. Beyond that, if they do have guidelines, checking those out. Also finding out where they have donated in the past. What do they care about? Where do they put their money? What do they expect in return? Is this a true collaboration where they are expecting marketing help? I almost want to back out of that statement. What are they expecting out of this pairing? That’s important.

One of the other things, and this is why I focused on small businesses and small nonprofits with the book, is if you are a small nonprofit and you reach out to the largest business, the huge corporations, you’re not even on their radar. Unfortunately, they want to work with the large nonprofit. We see that even at the local level where they are the biggest nonprofit in town. They are who the businesses want to work with. Go with the small guys. If you’re a small guy, it’s okay to work with a small guy. It means more to both of you.

I did one interview where she just kept saying, “If you want to go to the big corporation, who do you contact?” I was like, “You don’t want to do this.” Start out with a small business. Start out at the grassroots community level. You will get more attention, more help, and more funding for your time invested.

Russell: It is. What are some things that a small nonprofit needs to look out for? On the flip side, what are some things that a business needs to look out for when they are considering doing these types of collaborations?

Sheryl: Once you have done all of your homework, once you have researched their reputation in the community—and I can’t say that enough just how important it is to know who you’re dealing with and whether they are an amazing organization, nonprofit and for-profit organization, do other people see them that way? Unfortunately, it comes down to you can be the best organization on the planet, but if someone decided you weren’t and smeared your name, do you want to add that danger to the situation?

Once you’ve done your homework and watched out for all those earning signs, trust your gut. It sounds trite to really rely on your emotions here. I know everybody is so numbers-focused. When you are getting into a situation, either as an individual or as an organization that you are not supposed to be getting into, when you look back on it six months, a year, six years later, you can go, “That didn’t feel right. The hair on the back of my neck was standing up.” You go that icky gut feeling, that feels professional. Look for the icky gut feeling. Pay attention. I think, and I’ve gotten into some situations like this in my business. When I look back and think about that first meeting and those first conversations, “That wasn’t good from day one.” You ignored it because you were excited about money coming your way. Do your homework, and trust your gut.

Hugh: We tend to forget, especially in the nonprofit side, the touchpoints that are so important, not only with sponsorships, but donors. You want to update them with messages telling them what is happening. Like you talked about earlier, we are going around with our hand out all about the money. Well, it’s not. It’s about the impact of the results of our work. Everybody shares in that. Putting together a win-win, but also having somebody in the organization who is dedicated to that messaging, any of those types of connections. You want to stay in touch.

Sheryl: I think that it’s something that a lot of organizations struggle with. Having somebody handle that, but also remembering. Saying “Thank you” is easy. Being grateful is very easy. Looking at this is how many lives were saved, these many children got shoes, and these many homeless people were fed or served. Whatever that may be, whatever that impact is, it’s not just the appreciation that keeps donors and businesses coming back to help over and over again. It’s knowing that they’ve actually made an impact. That’s a great point. I don’t even know if I addressed that in the book. It’s going in the second edition, courtesy of you.

Hugh: Also, you want to continue to focus on the value, and you want to keep that thread going. I was touched that you said that. It seems natural. We’re winding down this thoughtful interview. You mentioned Dan Pallotta. He has some good paradigm shifts. We tend to dumb down. His TED Talk is “The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong.”

*Sponsor message from SynerVision’s online community for community builders*

Sheryl, what is your final thought? Is there a particular challenge or tip or thought that you would like to leave people with? Russell will close out this helpful interview.

Sheryl: Final thought. I think that working together, there is nothing that we can’t do. Without getting into any government stuff, there are a lot of problems out there that the government is not fixing. It’s up to the nonprofits and the for-profits to get together and find a way to make this world a better place. It might sound cheesy to put it that way, but we all have that responsibility. When we lean on each other and work together to make it better for everybody, that’s better for everybody. Oh, and spay and neuter your pets.

Russell: I think Skittles will enjoy this interview. It is important. Thank you so much, Sheryl, for coming and sharing your wisdom with us. Do Good to Do Better: A Small Business Guide to Growing Your Business by Helping Nonprofits. This book will go on our list. 2020, we are going to have lists of books that nonprofit leaders should read that we will be highlighting. This book is one of them. There are other books. Another one is Asking Rights by Tom Ralser. These are books that can help get that conversation going so that we can collaborate to do more good in the community.

Leave A Comment