Skip to main content
Nonprofit Lowdown

Nonprofit Lowdown

By Rhea Wong
This is Nonprofit Lowdown where I review and recommend the best ideas, resources, tools, tricks and tips to run your nonprofit like a pro!
Listen on Spotify
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Castbox Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

PodBean Logo


RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Stitcher Logo


Currently playing episode

#106-Delusional Altruism with Kris Putnam-Walkerly

Nonprofit Lowdown

#197 - Nonprofit Mergers + Acquisitions with Jess Cavagnero
Most people think that when you merge nonprofits, or you’re making any significant changes in a nonprofit, it means that there’s terribly wrong that has happened. Right? But in this episode, my guest, Jess Cavagnero, a partner of SeaChange Capital Partners, dispels some of these misconceptions. Jess and I will talk about the hows, whys and whats of mergers, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships.  This is a must-listen for leaders who are looking to lead with “strategery” To connect with Jess: Resources Mentioned in the Podcast: SeaChange Website - SeaChange LinkedIn - Sustained Collaboration Network - —--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- QUOTES “Over the last 10 years, the trend has really shifted, where nonprofits are pursuing mergers… There's a whole spectrum of partnerships that we should be talking about.” - Jess Cavagnero “So there are best practices from the investment banking side that can be a disservice to nonprofit mergers or collaborations… because they're played out in the wrong moment in time.” - Jess Cavagnero “So there's something called the Sustained Collaboration Network, which if you're a fundraiser listening to this, you should write down because it's a network of all of the funders who actually make grants to support this work.”  - Jess Cavagnero “Nonprofits who came out of this period in the pandemic have so much extra cash because they were able to really shrink down to their essential costs and had so much emergency funding come in… This is a good opportunity to grow.” - Jess Cavagnero “If you're looking to become part of something, what's your offer? What's the value of your program team? Who's on your board?” - Jess Cavagnero “So what's the challenge or the opportunity or the thing that you're trying to solve for? And it's important to know it upfront because you will fill the space that you have.”  - Jess Cavagnero “The analogy that is most often used when people talk about nonprofit mergers is dating and weddings. I think it holds here. You can't go out looking for a long-term partner if you aren't totally solid in who you are…”  - Jess Cavagnero “When two organizations are working together, even if they do the same thing in the same place, and they have overlapping staff, they might put their yogurt in a different place, in the fridge. That is going to create friction that needs to be addressed early and continually.” - Jess Cavagnero TIME STAMPS TOPIC: Talking About the Concept of Mergers and Acquisitions 02:31 - 03:48
August 08, 2022
#196 - Cracking the code on Junior Boards with Peter Goldwasser
How many times have I seen the idea of junior board rise and then fall like a rock?  Join me and Peter Goldwasser, the Founder of the PNG Group, as we talk about his experience of finding the Young Eagles, which is the junior board of the Brooklyn Public Library. Join me and Peter as we discuss some of the pitfalls, time allocation, infrastructure, and the staff support junior boards need to thrive and grow. To connect with Peter: Resources and Websites Mentioned in the Podcast: PNG Group - Brooklyn Public Library - Website: LinkedIn: —--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TIME STAMPS TOPIC: Talking About Peter’s Life and His Career in the Nonprofit and Government Fields 00:58 - 03:02 TOPIC: Talking About the Origin Story of the Young Eagles 03:05 - 05:16
August 01, 2022
#195 - Bridging the Generational Divide with Leslie Short
Hey Gen X Leader: confounded by your millennial and Gen Z staffers? At a loss for how to make an organizational change and DEI happen in my conversation with Leslie Short, the President and the Founder of the CAVU group. We discuss managing the generational divide in organizations, acceleration of DEI, the difference, and the snapshot of today's generation who are entering the workforce. For more about Leslie: To connect with Leslie: You can also follow her on: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest - Resources and Websites Mentioned in the Podcast: The Cavu Group - Marshall Goldsmith - K.I.M. Media LLC - (Leslie’s Book) Expand Beyond Your Current Culture - —--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- QUOTES “If you can communicate the big picture of the focus, mission, values, and how this is going to be executed, then you wouldn't be stuck with every generation that asked him for all these other details…” - Leslie Short “There's much more communication that's expected. To give a quarter and say, go and do this without the context of the bigger picture, that doesn't work for this generation.” - Leslie Short “For the younger generation, you have to understand that you have talent, but you also have a huge talent that hasn't been released yet that maybe needs to be cultivated…” - Leslie Short “Culture… You have to cultivate. That's the expectation of how you expect people to work, how you expect people to show up, how they should be trusted when they show up, how you handle meetings, what your branding, your mission, your values, and your vision is, and how you make that come alive every day.” - Leslie Short “That's why visibility and not transparency are important… That you all are up-to-date on things that are happening.” - Leslie Short “Don't assume that everyone understands the mission. Even though it's printed somewhere, make sure you're clear on the mission, make sure you're clear on the values. Values are very big to this generation.” - Leslie Short “Understand that everyone doesn't work the same way.” - Leslie Short “Be aware of who you're working with, in their strengths and their weaknesses from leadership all the way through…” - Leslie Short “Understanding your strengths and your weaknesses, you have to know what that is in order to be a leader.” - Leslie Short “In order to manage someone else, you have to know what you're good at, and what you're not so good at. And you have to listen, and you have to build trust.” - Leslie Short “You have to build trust, and trust is action. It’s not just always a conversation.” - Leslie Short TIME STAMPS TOPIC: What Led Leslie Short to Found the CAVU Group 00:36 - 02:10 TOPIC: Talking About the Ways in Which DEI Has Changed in the Last Three Years 02:32 - 04:37 TOPIC: how do we balance the sort of complexity of the organizational change with the demands of this young workforce 09:29 - 11:24 
July 25, 2022
#194 - Racial and Economic Justice includes Nonprofits buying POC with George Suttles
Join me and George Suttles as we talk about the opportunity that Diana Noriega and he have seen together in making a coalition to look for ways in collecting data to build some kind of marketplace where nonprofits were able to procure services from BIPOC vendors, contractors, or consultants and do business with them. This is an interesting topic as you will learn how to begin to organize other nonprofit leaders and not just think about how you spend your money, but really attach it to values that make a big difference in the community. To connect with George: Resources Mentioned in the Podcast: The Laundromat Project - Good Shepherd Services - Common Fund - MWBE - ttps:// —--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TIME STAMPS TOPIC: Why Are Trying to Gather Data About How Nonprofits Purchase 02:21 - 03:49 TOPIC: Talking to People in this Space to Learn More About the Best Practices 07:01 - 08:29 QUOTES “It really came into clear focus for me, both at the height of the pandemic and the racial reckoning of 2020. We had all of these nonprofit organizations that were doing deep DEI work, and they were looking at their organizational, programmatic, leadership practices, and things of that nature. So a lot of us in the sector that the next sort of natural step would be, we'll look at where nonprofits are spending their money.” - George Suttles “It's important to understand how nonprofits are thinking about procurement.. the opportunity to procure from BIPOC vendors, consultants, and contractors.”  - George Suttles “Here's an opportunity to elevate the conversation, not just thinking about how we spend our money but really attaching it to values that were connected to racial and economic justice… opportunities to not just impact communities that we cared about through our programmatic and organizational activities, but our economic activity as well.” - George Suttles “The fact of the matter is we just want to try and create tools that will be easy to use and highly impactful. Whether that looks like a digital marketplace, where buyers and sellers in the nonprofit ecosystem can connect, then we'll try our best to sort of manifest that.” - George Suttles “These ideas aren't new. Really smart folks like you and others have been thinking about this and trying to build marketplaces in trying to build connectivity around procurement and supply chain for many years.” - George Suttles “I think there's this new appetite to try and do this work, understanding that racial and economic justice is incredibly important. And it's going to help us sort of rebuilding New York City…” - George Suttles
July 18, 2022
#193 - Donors of Color with Hali Lee
Let’s dispel the myth that you can either have donor diversity or donor wealth, but you can’t have both.  In this episode, my dear friend  Hali Lee, the founder of Radiant Strategies and the Asian Women Giving Circle, and the co-founder of the Donors of Color Network, talks about the results of her study of high-net-worth donors of color, entitled “Philanthropy Always Sounds Like Someone Else: A Portrait of High Net Worth Donors of Color.” Join me and Hali as we discuss the implication of this study.  You will also learn some opportunities that nonprofits should be thinking about as they engage these high-net-worth donors of color.  To connect with Hali: You can also follow her on: Twitter - Resources Mentioned in the Podcast: Radiant - Asian Women Giving Circle - Donors of Color Network - Asian Boss Ladies - TargetSmart - The US Trust Study Philanthropy Always Sounds Like Someone Else: A Portrait of High Net Worth Donors of Color - —-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TIME STAMPS TOPIC: Talking About the Report of the Study: Philanthropy Always Sounds Like Someone Else: A Portrait of High Net Worth Donors of Color 06:03 - 07:37 TOPIC: The opportunities that the nonprofits should be thinking about as they engage in these high-net-worth donors of color 22:53 - 24:25 QUOTES “Trust is really important in doing this kind of work. And peer to peer is the only way this works like we found people who connected us…” - Hali Lee “The country is changing. The communities of color in America are just growing in influence and affluence. And the philanthropy sector is a little bit lagging behind the other sectors…” - Hali Lee --- Support this podcast:
July 11, 2022
#192 - Lesson Learned From A Capital Campaign with Sabrina Walker Hernandez
Capital campaign.  Sounds scary, right?  Doesn’t have to be!  Join me and Sabrina Walker Hernandez as she walks through how she raised $12M for a capital campaign in the third poorest county in the US.  We get into all the details and spill all the tea on how she did it, even as a newbie “accidental” fundraiser. To know more about Sabrina’s Supporting World Hope: To connect with Sabrina: Resources and Websites Mentioned in the Podcast: Boys & Girls Clubs of Edinburg RGV - Supporting World Hope - QUOTES “I was able to increase my operating budget from $750,000 to $2.5 million and complete a $12-million capital campaign in the third poorest county in the United States.” - Sabrina Walker Hernandez “I've always acknowledged that I am very strategic in building relationships. So I surrounded myself with people who helped me along my journey…” - Sabrina Walker Hernandez “One of my things is building relationships. I would not have been and still to this day would not be successful without people, like building those relationships are critical.” - Sabrina Walker Hernandez “I had to change my mindset because what I valued thinking what I know about fundraising, I valued the ask. I wanted people to go out and ask. That's what I thought.” - Sabrina Walker Hernandez “Going to conferences and professional development and learning more about fundraising, I finally figured out the secret sauce is relationships.” - Sabrina Walker Hernandez “We lost some people. You have to be willing to lose some people and it's okay… Because, then, they're just not the right fit.” - Sabrina Walker Hernandez “It's not necessarily using people because they are not asking for money. You have to educate them and explain what fundraising means to us.”  - Sabrina Walker Hernandez “And it's the cultivation, it’s the stewardship and all of that… What role will you be willing to participate in this process, removing that fear of asking for money?”  - Sabrina Walker Hernandez TIME STAMPS TOPIC: The Story Behind Hitting the Million Dollars and Embarking on a Capital Campaign 08:45 - 11:30 To know more about Sabrina’s Supporting World Hope: To connect with Sabrina: Resources and Websites Mentioned in the Podcast: Boys & Girls Clubs of Edinburg RGV - Supporting World Hope -
July 04, 2022
#191 - Board Conflict Resolution with Jonno White
Conflict is inevitable in the workplace or in any organization when people with different backgrounds and work styles are brought together for a common business purpose. Conflict is part of dealing with humans. So join me and Jonno White to discuss healthy versus toxic conflict and how to manage it when it (inevitably) comes. We cover basic rules of engagement so that conflict does not have to mean destruction. On top of that, you will also learn the importance of setting up proper expectations and communication among people in the company or organization. Also, Jonno has a delightful Aussie accent! To get to know more about Jonno White, you can follow him on: LinkedIn (Jonno’s Account) LinkedIn (Clarity) - Facebook - Twitter - You can visit Jonno on his website: Resources mentioned in the podcast: Blue Ocean Strategy Book Step Up or Step Out - How to Deal With Difficult People Even If You Hate Conflict Clarity Jonno White TOPIC: Talking About The Perfect Recipe For Conflict 04:53 - 08:50 Rhea Wong TOPIC: Setting Up Proper Expectations and the Importance of Communication 08:56 - 10:20 --- Support this podcast:
June 27, 2022
#190 - How Fundraising Accelerator Levels You Up with Rosemary Ellis, Drine Paul and Noelle Andreano
In this episode, I will be interviewing three alums of the fundraising accelerator program. We have Noelle Andreano, the Director of Development at The New School of Northern Virginia, which is a small Independent School in Fairfax, Virginia. Drine Paul is the Executive Director for Breakthrough Providence in Providence, Rhode Island. And Rosemary Ellis works in New York City. She’s the Interim Executive Director of the Doula Program to Accompany and Comfort. The three of them have pretty different roles and pretty different nonprofits. Drine Paul found out about the accelerator program and was really eager to grow her skills. At first, she thought that it wasn't something that she was good at before taking the role. She just spent a lot of time in the program to take advantage of the opportunity, resulting in her being inspired as one single woman of color who leads it. On the other hand, when Rosemary Ellis faced various challenges in her role, she reached the point when she needed to figure out which donors she should talk to and find donors where they didn't exist and do an end-of-year campaign and even understand how to frame the organization's story in a way that would resonate with people. To learn more about the fundraising accelerator program and the inspiring stories of Noelle, Drine, and Rosemary, please head on to the podcast. Together, let’s discover how their journey started, the reason why they joined the program, and how they've reached this far in their career. Ever wondered if the Fundraising Accelerator is right for you?  Join me and three alums to discuss my Fundraising Accelerator program, who it's right for and what they've gotten out of it.   To get to know more about our guests, you can follow and connect with them on: LinkedIn (Noelle Andreano) - LinkedIn (Drine Paul) - Resources and Websites Mentioned in the Podcast: Free masterclass enrollment and more details - The New School of Northern Virginia - Doula Program to Accompany and Comfort - Breakthrough Providence - Episode Highlights TIME STAMPS TOPIC: Guests Introduction and How Did the Three Find the Fundraising Accelerator Program 01:11 - 05:36 TIME STAMPS TOPIC: The Reason Why They Joined the Fundraising Accelerator Program 03:02 - 08:37 Support this podcast:
June 20, 2022
#189 - Women of Color Fundraisers - Yolanda F. Johnson
Yolanda’s journey in philanthropy had very interesting inception. It all started when she was in college. She was part of one of the first programs at school that dived deeper into fundraising and philanthropy. In her whole life, she has been seeing generosity and creation, and whole communities come together to raise young people and send them on their way. Yolanda, certainly, was the beneficiary of that sort of community. So seeing that, she has always been philanthropic, looking back over it standing on the shoulders of giants. Yolanda was still hearing the voices of women of color in the sector who wanted to meet space for the unique experience of being them. So she decided to create that and never looked back. Moreover, Yolanda said that when you're building your team, make sure that you have an environment that is attractive to a woman of color. Don't make assumptions about it. When she's looking at the opportunity, is it something that's really going to be attractive, where she's going to flourish, where she's going to thrive. Anything more about it, please join me in today’s episode as we talk about women of color in fundraising with our guest Yolanda F. Johnson. She is the founder of Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy, along with being the first African-American president of the Women in Development. Let’s hear it from her as she shares how she gets started on her own journey and dives deeper into fundraising and philanthropy. Let’s find out how she makes use of being a person of color to achieve her goals and be successful in life. To get to know more about Yolanda, you can follow her on: LinkedIn - Resources mentioned in the podcast: Committee on Civil and Human Rights Radiant Leadership Institute
June 12, 2022
#188 - Four Frameworks to Living Liberation with Trish Adobea Tchume
In this week's episode, we speak to the amazing Trish Adobea Tchume about her thoughtful piece in the Nonprofit Wakanda Quarterly about what it means to live liberation.  We define terms and discuss four useful frameworks to help us understand how to liberate ourselves, liberate others around us and to liberate our organizations.  I loved this discussion for its practicality and tactical bend to help all of us live free and to help others do so as well. To read Trish's piece: To connect with Trish:
June 06, 2022
#187-Making Big Asks with Adam-Michael Royston
[Updated--was a snafu with original upload] Join  me and expert fundraiser Adam-Michael Royston as he unlocks the vault  on some of his secrets.  He's raised serious money for capital campaigns  and annual campaigns and he shares some of his stories from the  trenches.  We dive deep on details on how he prepares for the ask, where  he does it and what happens when things don't go his way.  The big  takeaway here is that Adam-Michael knows that his job is to prepare and  to swing at the ball, not to get too in-his-head about the outcome. For more about Adam Michael, check out:
June 01, 2022
#187-Making Big Asks with Adam-Michael Royston
Join me and expert fundraiser Adam-Michael Royston as he unlocks the vault on some of his secrets.  He's raised serious money for capital campaigns and annual campaigns and he shares some of his stories from the trenches.  We dive deep on details on how he prepares for the ask, where he does it and what happens when things don't go his way.  The big takeaway here is that Adam-Michael knows that his job is to prepare and to swing at the ball, not to get too in-his-head about the outcome. For more about Adam Michael, check out:
May 31, 2022
#186-The Energy of Money with Mallory Erickson
Y'all!  This episode is fire.  My friend and new BFF Mallory breaks down how we embody energy that either attracts or repels money.  We talk about the different types of energy, how to harness the energy and, most importantly, tips that you can employ to help you get out of the funk.  This is one of my favorite conversations with Mallory (who has amazing energy btw:)  Check it out! For more about Mallory:
May 23, 2022
#185-The Courage to Claim an Edge with Michelle Jackson
In order for someone to remark on something, it must be remarkable.  Michelle, Executive Director of the Human Services Council, and I talk about their last video campaigns.  In it, they had the courage to claim an edge and to use humor to make their point.  Facts: we don't need another boring, canned nonprofit video.  In this interview, Michelle talks about the creative process, how the videos have been received and how they have made a point using humor.  The takeaway: the work is serious, but you don't have to be.  Listen to this as inspiration and courage to plan your next campaign. To see the videos: To connect with Michelle:
May 16, 2022
#184-The State of Nonprofits with Andrea Espinola Wilson
Andrea is a Managing Partner at BDO which releases an annual State of Nonprofits report.  Join us as we discuss trends from 2020-2021 and opportunities and risks for 2022.  Will individual and foundation giving trends persist?  What risks should leaders be aware of and how can we mitigate them? What is the role of technology in the future of nonprofits.   For more about Andrea, connect: To read the report:
May 09, 2022
#183-Disrupting Fundraising with Stella Billings, Santana Moreno and George Suttles
Join me and my friends as we tackle the big questions: what does "disrupting" fundraising really mean in theoretical and practical terms?  How do we develop our own theories of change and operation beyond the frameworks of "donor-centric" versus "community-centric" fundraising?  This trio is a masterclass in asking important questions, practicing fundraising as justice and daring to dream of a just future for all.  I am blown away by my guests and their thoughtful approaches to fundraising for a more equitable world.   For more about my guests:
May 02, 2022
#182-Keys to Unlocking Institutional Funding with Gabe Scheck
Join me and my long-time friend Gabe Scheck to talk about how to successfully open, cultivate and solicit gifts from foundations.  Gabe has raised money for Teach for America and New Leaders among others and shares his top tips for raising major money.  He shares some early lessons learned, his guidance for how to network in order to get a warm intro and how to get the lead funder in.  Gabe is a fount of knowledge and a whole lot of fun. To connect with Gabe:
April 25, 2022
#181-The Case for Endowing Black-Led Nonprofits with Darren Isom
Join me and my friend Darren Isom as we discuss the case for endowing Black-led nonprofits.  Darren published a thought-provoking piece in the Stanford Social Innovation Review on this topic and we do a deep dive on how we can shift the conversations from the myths and unhelpful narratives that keep Black-led nonprofits from growing endowments.  In this conversation, Darren offers up helpful tips on how we think about funding partners, shifting the conversation and elevating the conversations to trustees.  Instead of surviving, endowments help organizations to thrive. For more about Darren: To read Darren's whitepaper:
April 18, 2022
#180-Life Lived Wild with Rick Ridgeway
Join me and adventurer, writer, environmentalist and former Patagonia executive Rick Ridgeway as talk about his many adventures and his experience in building Patagonia's famous corporate culture.  We talk about the hows and whys of his decades at Patagonia and how his adventures have informed his leadership.  This is a really fun conversation and I hope it inspires you to go outside and have fun in nature. For more about Rick, visit:
April 11, 2022
#179-Tips for Building Strong Networks with Hilary Doe
Did you know that 5% of your supporters and responsible for 100% of your word-of-mouth referrals?  Do you know how to engage and activate your best supporters?  What is the role of a CRM system in engaging your supporters?  Join me and Hilary Doe of Nationbuilder to talk about how to start, nurture and leverage networks on behalf of your nonprofit.  We discuss common misconceptions about worrying too much about your brand and the fine balance between structure and freedom to take your network to the next level. For more about Hilary, visit: For more about Susan Fiske:
April 04, 2022
#178-Government Grant Funding with Patrice Davis
#realtalk: I never pursued government funding for my nonprofit because I was always so deterred by the administration.  It all seemed so complicated and bureaucratic that I never invested the time and energy to pursue it.  Enter Patrice Davis.  Patrice is a government grants expert who demystifies the process and has valuable information about new money through the America Rescue Plan Act that presents an UNPRECEDENTED amount of money to qualified nonprofits.  You literally cannot afford NOT to listen to this one. For more about Patrice, visit: For more about ARPA:
March 28, 2022
#177-Get That Money Honey with Rhea Wong
I've turned the keys over to my designated driver Patrick Kirby.  Patrick and I talk about my new book Get That Money, Honey.  We talk about my origin story, why I wrote the book and what to expect when you read it.  Patrick is a ton of fun and we have a blast shooting the sh*t about book-writing, fundraising and being in this sector.   To buy the book, visit: Get That Money, Honey! To learn more about Patrick:
March 21, 2022
#176-Email Marketing Essentials with Christina Edwards
Do you freak out when people unsubscribe to your newsletters?  Are you overwhelmed with marketing on different platforms: Facebook, email, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, oh my?  If so, this episode is for you.  Christina, email marketing maven, walks us through some actionable tips on how to clean up your lists, increase your opens and conquer email for conversions to donations. Get Christina's free email clean-up tips: To connect with Christina:
March 14, 2022
#175-Your Brain + Fundraising with Cindy Wagman
I've met my Canadian sister from another mister!  Expert fundraiser Cindy Wagman and I talk about brain science and how it trips us up in fundraising.  By unpacking the ways in which the brain works, we can unlock the power for good.  We talk about heuristics, how your fear keeps you from living your best life and why we're so messed up about money.  This is a good one for the reluctant fundraiser. To connect with Cindy: Some of the resources we mention: Atomic Habits by James Clear Raise it! by Cindy Wagman Soul of Money by Lynne Twist Generosity Network by Jennifer McCrea
March 07, 2022
#174-The Board Clinic Laser Coaching with Olympia Ammon
My new BFF Oly and I have a blast answering all of your questions about boards. Listen to our take on hot topics like board fundraising, changing your board culture and loving board members right out the door. This is a fun, high-energy interview about a not-always-fun topic. To learn more about Oly, visit: To download my training about sourcing board members and donors via LinkedIn, visit:
February 28, 2022
#173-The Science of Fundraising with Greg Warner and Dr. Russell James
Friends--this episode is a veritable smorgasbord of insights.  Greg, a master marketer, and Dr. Russell James, an academic, break down the data and practices of major gift fundraising.  If you're looking to make bigger, transformational asks, this episode is for you.  We break down the framework and power of story, the ways to add value before an ask and how to overcome the chasm of distrust.  This is a must-listen. To get FREE copies of Dr. James's books, visit: To connect with Dr. James: To connect with Greg Warner:
February 21, 2022
#172-5 Myths about Black Board Members with Derrick Coleman
In this episode, Derrick Coleman and I discuss some of the top myths about  Black board members.  Some of the top myths: they're not out there, we  can't have diversity AND financial capacity, we don't know how to find  them...etc.  Derrick and I talk about concrete ways to find, attract and  retain Black board members for your nonprofit.  This is a highly  actionable and straightforward conversation that anyone looking to  diversify their board should listen to ASAP. For more about AABLI: To connect with Derrick:
February 14, 2022
#171-From Homepage to Hero Page with Boris Kievsky
What are some of the biggest mistakes that people make on their homepages?  Are you guilty of it? Join me and my friend Boris as we discuss fundamentals of good marketing, how to use storytelling as a tool and how to take your homepage from snoozefest to sizzle.  Boris, a former coder turned actor turned nonprofit marketing strategist, shares helpful insights into how to make your marketing efforts more effective.  He also offers a number of free resources on his site.   To check them out, visit:
February 07, 2022
#170-Tales of a Black Foundation Executive with Otis Rolley
Otis Rolley, Senior Vice President at the Rockefeller Foundation, discusses his career in government and philanthropy.  We talk about how the Rockefeller Foundation has implemented DEI through its practices, how Otis has been at the forefront of equity at the foundation and his views on the trends in philanthropy.  This is a thoughtful and insightful conversation from a philanthropy insider. To connect with Otis:
January 31, 2022
#169-The Power of Small with Masami Sato
Sometimes, we're overwhelmed with the enormity of solving problems in the world that we forget small actions can make a difference.  Join me and Masami Sato who is the founder of the global Buy One Give One business model that helps businesses big and small make impacts on nonprofits.  It's a reminder that we can all do something. To learn more about Buy One Give One, visit: For nonprofits, visit:
January 24, 2022
#168-Influence, Money and Power with Christine Lai
When we're in the role of fundraisers, there is so much that is unsaid and lurking just below the surface.  Join me and my dear friend Christine Lai to talk about how to approach philanthropic partners from a place of strength ("Who deserves to fund you?").  This is a wide-ranging and energizing conversation about creating culture, the value of white space and how to Christine designs her life.  She's a sage among us. For more about Christine:
January 17, 2022
#167-DIY PR with Rebekah Epstein
Let's face it: PR and marketing are the first to get cut in a budget.  And yet, you're still the best kept secret in your city?  What gives?  Rebekah walks us through actionable strategies and tips for small nonprofits on a tight budget and even tighter labor market.  You can't afford NOT to let the media know about your work, and Rebekah shows us how to do it ourselves. For more about Rebekah, visit:
January 10, 2022
#166-Get $$$ Through Tax Credits with Chitra Ayar
Happy 2022 y'all.  This pod is here to help you start off the new year right by getting money through the door.  Join me and my dear friend Chitra Ayar as we talk about how to get money back from the IRS for all those payroll taxes you paid during the pandemic.  If you're like me and the word taxes creates a twinge of anxiety, listen up to this podcast where Chitra explains all.  You could be eligible for up to $26K per employee thanks to these tax credits. For more info and to get in touch with Chitra, visit:
January 03, 2022
#145-The Art of the Ask with Laura Fredricks
This is a rebroadcast of one of the most popular episodes of 2021 and one of my personal faves.  Happy new year, friends! Podcast fans, if you listen to only one episode of NPL, this should be the one.  Join me and Expert on The Ask Laura Fredricks to talk all about the ask.  She breaks down her five-step formula for an ask, how the getting the ask out of your mouth IS the win and how we can support our boards to ask.  Laura's advice is smart, effective and actionable.  She's raised hundreds of millions of dollars for charities and it's easy to see why.  This is a must-listen for those of you who need to ask for anything (which is everybody). For more about Laura and to purchase her book, visit:
December 27, 2021
#116-Engaging Your Board in Fundraising with Jay Frost
This is a rebroadcast of one of our most popular episodes!  Happy holidays fam! Happy 2021 to the Nonprofit Lowdown family!  Let's get this 2021 party started off right.  Join today's conversation with expert fundraising consultant and board whisperer Jay Frost to activate our boards to bring resources to the table.  We discuss juicy topics like defining a give/get for board members, whether "access" counts as a contribution (spoiler: it doesn't) and how NOT to recruit board members.  This conversation was both educational and uplifting: the work of the board is the work of leadership and inviting people to be part of something that is personally meaningful to them.  In 2021, let's make an agreement to work towards unleashing the potential of our board members for the good of our organizations. For more about Jay, visit him at:
December 20, 2021
#165-Attracting First Generation Wealth Creators with Esther Choy
As my guest Esther points out, vilifying and stereotyping wealthy people is the last acceptable prejudice.  Join me and Esther Choy as she discusses her research on first-generation wealth creators and how they might be different than your assumptions.  For example, did you know that most wealthy people in the US are self-made and don't come from money?  By challenging our assumptions about wealthy individuals, we can learn how to be better fundraisers.  After all, you know what they say about when you assume... For more on Esther, check out her whitepaper: For Esther's recommended books: We Need to Talk by Jennifer Risher Philanthropy Revolution by Lisa Greer Strangers in Paradise by James Grubman
December 13, 2021
#164-Confessions of a Donor with Rob Lapidus
This interview is a goldmine, y'all.  I interviewed my friend, Rob Lapidus, who should rightly be considered a major donor by most measures.  He's also incredibly forthright and I ask him all the questions that fundraisers wonder about all the time.  He gives a no BS, no holds barred interview about the worst fundraisers he's ever encountered, how he and his wife make philanthropic decisions and the secret to success ("We're all in sales--don't take it so personally.")  This interview will shed light on how some of your major donors think and it's worth a listen. For more about Rob:
December 06, 2021
#163-How to Start Your Major Gift Program with Rhea Wong
This is a solo show where I'm spilling all the tea on how to get started with your major gift program.  It's not rocket science and it's not magic.  Tune in for actionable tips and tricks for how to identify the 20% of donors who will support 80% of your operations.  My two favorite words in the English language: unrestricted gifts!  Tune in to this episode to help you build your major gift program for the future. For more information about my Accelerator:
November 29, 2021
#162-Giving Tuesday with Asha Curran
Ah, Giving Tuesday for fundraisers: it's like Christmas, Tax Day and Lunar New Year all rolled into one.  Love or hate it, my friend Asha Curran (CEO of Giving Tuesday) shares her perspective on it.  She offers some best practices, advice on what to avoid, surprising stats and how to inspire generosity year-round.  This is a really important and full-hearted interview for any (read: all) fundraisers who are thinking about participating in Giving Tuesday and joining the global generosity movement.  Top quote: "People don't get tired of giving just like they don't get tired of loving."   For more about Asha and Giving Tuesday:
November 22, 2021
#161-Donations of Crytocurrency with Pat Duffy
Y'all: the time has come to consider a crypto strategy for fundraising.  Join me and co-founder of the Giving Block, Pat Duffy, to discuss some of the misconceptions and benefits of accepting crypto for your nonprofit.  We discuss how to deal with volatility, some of the common misunderstandings and misgivings about crypto and some of the mistakes (i.e. don't put all your eggs into a crypto basket).  This is a really insightful and interesting episode for those looking for bigger donations and to engage younger donors.  Get it! For more about the Giving Block, check out:
November 15, 2021
#160-5 Tips for Digital Fundraising Campaigns with Suhailah Waheed
It's  Q4, y'all!  How many times can I say it?  You gotta get in the game!   Today's interview is with Suhailah Waheed who walks us through the top  five tips she has for how to launch a successful digital fundraising  campaign.  This includes warming up your audience, ignoring your vanity  metrics and realistic goals (i.e. you're probably not going to go  viral).  This is a must-listen for all the EDs and fundraisers trying to  make the most of year-end giving. For more about Suhailah, visit:
November 08, 2021
#159: I have an email what? with Adora Drake
Join me and communications expert Adora Drake as we talk about some of the do's and don'ts of nurturing your email list.  We talk about content strategies, how to move your audience from social media to your newsletter and how to do it without overwhelm.  As we head into year-end, Adora talks about how to plan for the new year.  Adora also has a freebie for Nonprofit Lowdown listeners available below. To get your freebie, visit:
November 01, 2021
#158-Preparing for Year-End Fundraising with Jess Campbell
Join me and Jess Campbell to talk about how to end your Q4 with a "W".  I always say that Q4 is the Superbowl of Fundraising and Jess walks us through how to make the most of it.  Jess talks about how to avoid the most common mistakes, how to embrace progress over perfection and ways to do year-end without making you crazy.  We also talk about "magic" words and why direct mail trumps all.  This is a must-listen unless you hate money.   To reference Jen Shang's work: To get in touch with Jess:
October 25, 2021
#157-Leveraging Social Media with Shanthi Blanchard
Join me and my dear friend Shanthi to talk about social media.  Shanthi is a social media strategist and communications expert who walks us through the nuts and bolts of social media.  More than just a "necessary evil," Shanthi tells us about where social media should fit into our fundraising strategy, how to connect with your audience and realistic ways to do social media without a dedicated team or burning out. To connect with Shanthi, visit:
October 18, 2021
#156-Working While Black with Tosca Davis and Cedric Smith
Join me and filmmakers Tosca Davis and Cedric Smith to talk about their award-winning documentary film, TO BE US: To Work.  In this interview, they share their experiences of interviewing the experience of Black people at work and the harm and trauma experienced in predominantly white settings.  We discuss the relief of knowing you are not alone, of naming white supremacy at work and how to be an ally to our Black colleagues.  This is a critical conversation for all of us working towards equity and justice.  For more information about the film, visit:
October 11, 2021
#155-Why Corporate People Join Boards with Lee Crockett
I bemoan the fact that there is so little understanding between nonprofit people and corporate people.  Join me and my friend Lee Crockett as we explore the motivations that corporate folks have for joining nonprofit boards and how to make sure it's a fit on both sides.  Lee talks about ways to attract, recruit and utilize corporate people on your board.  Also, we share tips on how to use LinkedIn and to find the ever-elusive corporate board member of color.   For more about Lee, check out:
October 04, 2021
#154-Revenue Generation through Productizing with Brenna Vaughn
Have you ever considered developing a product to support your revenue goals?  Listen in to this conversation with Brenna Vaughn, founder of Mercantile for Good as we talk about the considerations for productizing.  She shares some successes and lessons learned from nonprofits that have gone to market with their products.  We cover how long to expect an ROI, what you should do (and not do) and how to know when to kill an idea.   For more about Brenna:
September 27, 2021
#153-Connecting with Your Purpose with Yutaka Tamura
The nexus of generosity is where mission and donor purpose meet.  Listen in to my conversation with nXu founder Yutaka Tamura as we talk about his work in unlocking and connecting humans with their purpose.  Why does purpose matter?  Turns out, it drives everything from emotional well-being, community and even fundraising.  Yutaka shares actionable tips for us and asks some really evocative questions about purpose and why we're here. For more about Yutaka and nXu:
September 20, 2021
#152-Black Philanthropy with Karene Richards
Listen in on my conversation with Karene Richards as she talks about her experience as a philanthropist and board member.  We directly confront myths about the lack of Black wealth and Black philanthropists and she shares some of her tips for engaging philanthropists of color.  Ultimately, it's all about relationships, people.  Karene majored in math, is a former banker and launched her own fitness consulting business.  When she's not helping people to pump iron, she models in bikini competitions and gives back to her community.  Seriously, check out the befores and afters from her biz. For more about Karene, visit:
September 13, 2021
#151-How to Grow your Fundraising Through Partnerships with Adili Kea
This interview was a total delight.  Join me and my friend Adili as he walks us through how he doubled his budget in one year via strategic partnerships and Facebook fundraising.  He shares how analysis of his competitive advantage led him to partner and generate revenues from bigger partners and the value of making others "the hero."  Adili is warm, knowledgeable and an all-around mensch.   To connect with Adili, visit:
September 07, 2021
#150-Lessons Learned from Revamping an Organization with Carole Wacey
If organizational change is hard, try doing it with a 100+ year old institution.  Join me and my friend Carole Wacey as we talk about how she bravely took the reins of WCC in NYC and took on the challenge of revamping its mission, its board, its staff and how it does business.  Listen in on the details of her cultural change efforts, how she dealt with dissenters and even an attempted coup (!). Carole is smart, straightforward and doesn't pull any punches.  This is a must-listen for EDs who are driving change. To connect with Carole, visit:
August 30, 2021
#149-Optimizing Paid Ads for Growth with Rishi Malhotra
If you are like me, the world of online marketing and paid ads is just head-spinning.  Join me and my pal Rishi to talk about how to get started with a paid ad strategy, how to use your (FREE) Google ads grant and what paid ads are for.  If you have found your prospect pipeline and email list a little dry, then paid ads might be a strategy for you.  In this interview, we talk about WHY paid ads, how to best use them and what metrics we can track to know if our time and money are being put to good use.  We also dispel some misconceptions about paid ads (no, you probably won't get donations rolling in the door).  This is a really helpful primer for those who are new to paid ads. For more about Rishi, check out:
August 23, 2021
#148-Engagement Fundraising with Greg Warner
Ever get the sense that your fundraising efforts are not driving forward your results?  Ever feel like you're experiencing paralysis by analysis?  Join me and Greg Warner, Founder and CEO of MarketSmart, to talk about how to use new technology to support the fundamental basics of fundraising.  How can you use surveys to start a conversation?  How do you lead with questions to build trust?  How are you the Yoda to your donor's Luke Skywalker?  This is a juicy conversation that overturns a lot of our assumptions about fundraising. To learn more about Greg, check out: For a free copy of Engagement Fundraising, click here
August 16, 2021
#147-Leading Change (without pain) with Nancy Murphy
This episode will save you organizational change agents a lot of time and grief.  Have you ever been charged with leading change?  Ever wondered why the path was never as smooth as the plan?  Short answer: humans.  Nancy helps us to identify some of the major blockers of change, and how we reframe it.  She talks about empathy as the "Swiss Army knife" of change and how one little acronym (SCARF) can unlock your understanding of working better with humans.  This episode is chockfull of useful advice! For more about Nancy, click here: Some of Nancy's favorite resources: Influence Pre-suasion SCARF Model Nonviolent Communication
August 09, 2021
#146-The Joy of Fundraising with Mark Neidig
Have you felt your fundraising mojo drain a little?  Do you dread fundraising?  If so, this interview is FOR YOU.  Join me and my new friend Mark as we discuss all the ways in a little change of perspective can make you go from "ugh" to "Yasss!"  We talk about how to put your own positive energy towards fundraising, how to make it real for your donors and, most importantly, how to have fun with it.  It's your calling--let's try to find some joy in it. For more about Mark, visit: 
August 02, 2021
#144-How to Rock a Start-Up NPO with Evin Robinson and Jessica Santana
Join me and my two friends, Evin and Jessica of America on Tech, to discuss their success as start-up founders.  Evin and Jessica are best friends and co-founders of a fast-growing organization that scaled from idea to national nonprofit in only seven years.  They discuss their lessons learned, what they wish they had done differently and how they were able to build hype from the beginning.  Learn how they their background in tech informed their start-up strategy and what is next for this dynamic duo.   For more about America on Tech, visit:
July 19, 2021
#143-Systemizing Your Fundraising with Duane Rohrbacher
This is a super-fun and nerdy conversation about how to systemize your fundraising systems as a small shop.  We also chat about specifics in major gift fundraising, Duane's favorite hacks and how to manage your time effectively (timeblocks!). Duane, a Director of Development at UC Irvine, shares his clear-eyed strategies on how to implement the habits and tools to be an effective fundraiser in a small shop.   For more about Duane, visit: Duane's list of favorite books: Atomic Habits Ultra-Learning  Deep Work
July 12, 2021
#142-Social Media Marketing with Steve Larosiliere
Are you overwhelmed with all of the different social media platforms?  Do you feel like social media is just one of those things you "have to do," but don't really know how to monetize?  Join me and my friend Steve Larosiliere, Founder of Stoked, to talk about his social media strategy and how he's been able to build followers, parlay his social media into donors and corporate sponsors and how to not get overwhelmed.  Steve is one of the most gifted and creative people I know in nonprofit. For more about Steve and Stoked, check out:
July 06, 2021
#141-Keys to building and managing corporate partnerships with Daniel Horgan
Daniel is speaking some truth!  Join me and my friend Daniel Horgan to learn more about how you effectively develop corporate partnerships for your organization.  Spoiler alert: it's all about relationships.  Daniel shares some tips and best practices about how to use corporate volunteerism as an on-ramp, how to align your values and goals with your corporate partners and how to break down silos across your organization.  This is a must-listen for anyone looking to increase their corporate revenue. For more about Daniel, check out:
June 28, 2021
#140-Creating Equity in Philanthropy with Kerri Forrest
So often, when grant-seekers apply for funding, it can be a black box.  Who makes the decisions, how and why?  The process can be particularly opaque for BIPOC-led nonprofits who don't have a network to access privileged information.  Join me and Kerri Forrest, Director at the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, to share some of the changes they have made to make their funding more equitable.  From being an open space for grantees to drop by to simplifying grant applications, hear some of Kerri's advice to fellow foundation staff. For more about Kerri, visit:
June 21, 2021
#139-Optimizing your Board for Fundraising with Lucretia Gilbert
This was seriously a masterclass on rebuilding a board.  Lucretia headed up fundraising for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and helped to revamp the board to reach their $100M fundraising goal.  Whether you're raising $100K or $100M, your board is key to your success.  Lucretia provides key insights from her experience, which includes how to recruit and orient new members, how to make your board members feel the TLC, and how to plan for the long-term.  This is a must-listen and make sure to have a notebook handy. To find out more about Lucretia, check her out here:
June 14, 2021
#138-Community Leadership with Mino Lora
Join me and my friend Mino Lora as she talks about what it means to truly lead with a community.  Mino is the dynamic co-founder of People's Theater Project, proud New Yorker and candidate for City Council.  Mino's irrepressible spirit, commitment to service and relentless optimism will give you hope for the future of New York.  She is a true leader for the people and exactly what we need right now.  NY, don't forget to vote June 22! For more about Mino:
June 07, 2021
#137-Get Your Board Excited About Fundraising with Marti Fischer
Ok, ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts because we're taking a ride on the #realtalk train.  Join me and master communicator and coach, Marti Fischer, as we tackle the #1 problem most Executive Directors face.  Listen in to these gems like how to identify WHY your board isn't fundraising and tactics for dealing with it.  Some other juicy topics we explore: how to make your board meetings less boring, how to deal with the age-old question of give/get limits and how to measure what matters.  If you need some inspo about motivating your board to be your top fundraisers and cheerleaders, listen to this episode and prepare to take notes. To find Marti, visit her website:
June 01, 2021
#136-5 Steps Towards Being Comfortable as the Face of an Organization with Jeany Park
I'm the first to admit it--I HATE seeing my face on video.  As the face of an organization or company, our jobs might include being the public face, but many of us don't like it.  Join me and Jeany Park, actress turned video producer, to talk about how to come across your best in video.  We discuss why it's important to have a video strategy, how to improve your video presence and other tips to look your best (and give yourself some grace).  Also, we coined a new phrase: RDF.  Listen in to find out what that is! For more about Jeany and her company, visit:
May 24, 2021
#135-Fundraising for 501c4s with Steven Choi
For a career 501c3 ED such as myself, I thought of 501c4s as a mystifying entity.  I thought, they're like us...but different.  In this conversation with veteran nonprofiteer, Steven Choi, he pulls back the curtain on the differences between the two from a fundraising and policy perspective.  If you've ever considered a 501c4 arm of your current nonprofit, this is a valuable episode.  We talk about how to fundraising differs, how 501c4s can be effective in politics and with elected officials and how to set it up alongside a 501c3. For more about Steve, visit:
May 17, 2021
#134-Lessons in Leadership with Rich Buery
Join me and the iconic Rich Buery to talk about all the lessons he's learned so far.  Rich has founded organizations, headed up some of the most influential in New York and been the deputy mayor of New York City.  He has maintained his commitment to serving children and leading with humility and grace through it all.  I was humbled by this wide-ranging conversation.  This is a must-listen, especially for those working in youth development. To connect with Rich, check him out on LinkedIn:
May 10, 2021
#133-Centering Communities in Grantmaking with Shruti Sehra and Hassan Brown
Join me and my pals, Shruti Sehra and Hassan Brown, to learn about how venture philanthropy firm, New Profit, has re-designed giving for equity.  We talk about how community proximity IS expertise, how they redesigned proposal processes to be more accessible and equitable and what questions they are asking of themselves and the field.  I really enjoyed this wide-ranging conversation with two insightful, thoughtful and equity-minded philanthropy leaders. For more about New Profit, visit: For more about the framework for changing behaviors, visit:
May 03, 2021
#132-Fundraising While Black with April Walker
My friend and colleague April Walker has worn many hats: funder, consultant and development director.  In this honest and engaging interview, we discuss the problematic dynamics of traditional philanthropy, how she, as a Black woman, navigates predominantly white funder spaces and what we can all do to de-center white supremacy in philanthropy.  April is insightful and drops all the truth bombs.   For more about April and to read her weekly column Ask April, follow her here:
April 26, 2021
#131-What Sales and Fundraising Have in Common with Ramon Basie
Join me and my new pal Ramon to talk about similar best practices in sales and fundraising.  Ramon and I explore how bad salespeople and bad fundraisers give us all a bad name, the power of relationship and the need to invest in yourself to succeed.  Some key takeaways: Bringing the right energy and being in the right headspace are key to fundraising and sales. Invest in yourself to increase your skills--don't wait for someone else to give you permission. Focus on building the relationship and the rest will follow. Believing deeply in your product (or mission) to improve your client's (or donor's) life will drive success. I really enjoyed this wide-ranging conversation and it was an eye-opener for me to realize how similar sales and fundraising are (and how they're different in important ways!). To connect with Ramon, check him out on LinkedIn:
April 19, 2021
#130-Your Adventurous Life Awaits with Maryann Remsburg
With the pandemic lockdown, are you dreaming about open roads and exotic vacations?  Join the club.   Listen in to today's interview with Maryann Remsburg, a certified coach, mom of four, author and co-founder of Adventurous Life. In this conversation we talk about how we get so caught up in obligations, "should-ing all over ourselves" and fear that we forget to experience joy and adventure.  Maryann reminds us that we don't need a plane ticket around the world to live an adventurous life--it's all a state of mind.  Learn how to regain the sense of fun and adventure that you had before life (and the pandemic) got you down.  Bonus: you might avoid a mid-life crisis.  You don't need a Lambo and an inappropriately aged boyfriend to enjoy your life! For more about Maryann, visit:
April 12, 2021
#129: Fundraising Like a Banker with Stephen Lasser
This episode is not for the faint of heart.  Join me and my friend Stephen Lasser to talk about how to generate leads and income with zero BS.  Stephen's clear-eyed, plain-spoken approach to fundraising is refreshing.  We talk about how to use your boards effectively (don't expect everyone to do everything), how to approach donors and how to meet donors where they are.  As a former banker, Stephen's cool-headed approach to money and how to fund your important mission will help you to be the best fundraiser you can be.   To connect with Stephen, check out his LinkedIn profile here: 
April 05, 2021
#128: Banishing Scarcity Mindset with Nell Edgington
"We can't afford that."  "There's not enough money."  "There's not enough time."  "Must be nice to have enough staff." Any of that sound familiar?  As a sector, we live under constant pressure for resources, exacerbated by the pervasive scarcity mindset that plagues us.  When we live in scarcity, we are stressed with "never enough" and that mindset affects our work, our staff, our clients and our peace of mind.  Join me and Nell Edgington to talk about how you know if you have scarcity mindset and what to do about it.  (spoiler alert!) We start with resourcing ourselves and asking different questions.  As they say, if you change your questions, you can change your life. For more about Nell (including buying her book), visit:
March 29, 2021
#127-Sales and Revenue Generating Strategies with Lizzie Honan and Brian Joseph
"What about fee-for-service?"   If you've ever heard this in a board or staff meeting, then this episode is for you.  We talk with Brian Joseph, Co-Founder and CEO and Lizzie Honan, Regional Director NYC of RevJen about how to think about launching a fee-generating venture within your nonprofit.  We discuss the internal decisions, how to staff and train properly and how sales is unlike fundraising.  This is an insightful and thoughtful interview that sheds light on the mysteries of fee-for-service. To learn more about RevJen, visit: To download their Infinity Model, visit:
March 22, 2021
#126-Dating Your Donors with Jonah Halper
How is fundraising like dating?  From first meeting to courtship to finally "sealing the deal" Jonah and I take a humorous perspective on major gift fundraising.  Learn how to avoid the most common pitfalls (i.e. talking too much about yourself) and learn why I call major gift fundraising the "jazz" of the development world.  Remember, people, it's not about the money--it's about the relationships!  Jonah is smart, experienced, insightful and fun.  You'll enjoy this energetic conversation about how to romance your donors so they keep coming back for more. For more about Jonah, visit: To get a free chapter of Jonah's book, visit: 
March 15, 2021
#125-Keys to a Successful Virtual Gala with Benjamin R. Nathan
It's a whole new gala world where fundraisers are online, formal wear means your house slippers and hosts are the size of your screen.  The pandemic has made the entire gala industry pivot in ways we couldn't imagine.  Join me and Benjamin Ryan Nathan, founder of All of Us Films, as we discuss some of the successes and failures of virtual galas.  Ben runs a production company that did eight virtual galas from March to December and he shares some of his lessons learned.  We talk about how much we can expect to raise, where to really spend the money for a quality gala and some pitfalls he's experienced.  For all of you planning virtual galas, this is a must-listen. To find Ben, check out: To download the virtual gala checklist, click here or
March 08, 2021
#124-Real talk about starting a nonprofit with Kenneth Brown and Andrea Ortega
This one is for all of you aspiring nonprofit founders.  In this episode, we serve up a hefty dose of reality about what it takes to found and run a successful nonprofit organization.  News flash: running a nonprofit is actually running a small business.  We speak with new founder, Kenneth Brown, about everything he's learned in the first year of his nonprofit and Andrea Ortega who helps founders establish 501c3s.  We chat about how much time is spent on fundraising, how to deal with rejection and the reality of funding (spoiler alert: grant money will not fall out of the sky into your lap).  This is an important one if you're thinking about starting up a nonprofit of your own.  
March 01, 2021
#123-What Stand Up Comedy Teaches about Nonprofit Communication with Carlos Maestas
True story: on top of my nonprofit work, I'm an aspiring stand-up comedian.  And, lemme tell ya, it's rough out there for a comic.  Join me and fellow stand-up comedian and Chief Story Smith Carlos Maestas to talk about how to be a better communicator.  We talk about how to find your own story, why it's a good idea to not take yourself too seriously and how to get out of pitch mode and into real connection with funders.  This interview was a ton of fun and jam-packed with value bombs for those looking to be better storytellers, and communicators. For more about Carlos and to get his book, check it out here: To see Carlos's very funny work for the Human Services Council, check it here:
February 22, 2021
#122-Leadership Transitions of BIPOC with George Suttles
Join me and George "In the Mix" Suttles to talk about a very important topic.  We discuss the myths of the lack of BIPOC talent, how to set BIPOC leaders up for success and how to celebrate leadership reclamation.  This is a hugely important topic for the sector because if we say that we want to center Black and brown leadership, then we have to be prepared to do business differently.  This conversation is honest, bold and asks important questions that will challenge the status quo. For more about George, connect with him on LinkedIn:
February 15, 2021
#121-Finding Effective DEI Consultants with Naté Hoover
This summer, after George Floyd's murder, everyone started looking for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) consultants for their teams and organizations.  Not coincidentally, all of a sudden, there were a whole bunch of people calling themselves DEI experts.  Join me as I chat with Naté Hoover about how to assess whether a DEI consultant is actually skilled, how to know when your organization and its leadership is "ready" for it and how NOT to do equity work.  Naté is a long-time DEI consultant and HR expert who shares valuable insight.  This is a must-listen before you hire your next DEI consultant. Here is the article that Naté referenced: To connect with Naté, here's her LinkedIn profile: For more about Mckensie Mack Group:
February 08, 2021
#120-Leading After a Founder with Anne Eidelman and Elandria Jackson Charles
Ah, founders...they are the stuff of legend.  The ones who birth a nonprofit, nurture it through its infancy and watch it grow.  But, what happens when founders move on?  Today, we're talking with Anne Eidelman, CEO and Elandria Jackson Charles, VP of Development and External Affairs of Blue Engine about what happens when a charismatic founder moves on.  What are some of the lessons learned for Anne as she stepped into the role and forged her own path forward?  How did she manage board, funder, staff and client expectations and how did she become her own kind of ED?  We talk with Anne and Elandria about what went well, what they wished they had done differently and how to help an organization to thrive after a founder leaves. For more on Anne's perspective in SSIR:
February 01, 2021
#119-Telling Your Organization's Story through Video with Rachel Jellinek
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what's a beautiful video worth?  We're visual animals and there's nothing more inspiring than beautiful visual stories that can move us.  Join me and expert Rachel Jellinek to discuss the art of vulnerable storytelling, what three stories your nonprofit should be telling and how to veer away from the poverty porn that is so embedded in our nonprofit culture. To find Rachel, check out her website: Here are links that Rachel mentions in the interview:
January 25, 2021
#118-Beyond Anti-Racist Statements with Tracey Allard and George Hsieh
Summer 2020: everyone is putting out anti-racist statements on their websites and blacking out their IG feeds.  Fine, but what does it ACTUALLY mean to start the journey of being an anti-racist organization?  What does personal and professional DEI work look like for organizations?  Expert consultants Tracey Allard and George Hsieh talk about their experiences of their anti-racist DEI work at Community Resource Exchange and how they help other nonprofits to do the work.  We talk about fighting the urge to rush through the process in order to be "done", how to have uncomfortable conversations with your boss, board or funders about DEI issues.  This is such a timely and rich conversation that all of us need to have now. For more about CRE's statement: For more information about our sponsor and to sign up for The Louder Pledge, visit:
January 18, 2021
#117-#RealTalk about Time and Money with Rhea
Hi folks, Today's episode is a brief solo show about time and money.  I've gotten a real bug up my butt about the scarcity mindset that we see in nonprofits.  It shows up everywhere from the way we talk about time and money.  What would it take for us to tell ourselves different stories and how could we shift our relationship with time and money to one of intentionality and abundance?  Let me know if this resonates with you and, if so, I'll be doing future podcasts on this topic.
January 11, 2021
[Encore Episode]#45-Major Gift Fundraising and Your Board with Heather Malin
Join me and my buddy Heather Malin as we talk about her transition from a dog-enthusiast to a major gift fundraiser.  We talk about some of the common mistakes of fundraisers, how to turn your board into your biggest fundraisers and advocates and why people wait too long to ask.  Need some inspiration to go ask for that $$?  Listen to this one!
December 31, 2020
[Encore Episode]#92-How to Be Anti-Racist with Benny Vasquez
Join me and my friend Benny Vasquez, long-time educator and current Chief Equity Officer at the KIPP Foundation, as we discuss what it means to be anti-racist on a personal and organizational level.  Benny offers his perspectives as a lifelong educator and passionate DEI activist.  In this conversation we discuss: The role of white people in dismantling racism. Specific tips for anti-racist hiring practices. The benefit of white affinity groups and why we don't have time for white fragility. Future visions of Black liberation, Black joy and transformation for all. To get in touch with Benny, check out his LinkedIn profile: Also, here is a helpful blog post: Benny-recommended resources: Rubric of anti-racist organization continuum: My Grandmother's Hands Emergent Strategy This Bridge Called My Back Anti-racist training: Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Randy Clancy
December 24, 2020
#115-5 Ways to Turbocharge Your Media with David Hoffman
Join me and my friend David Hoffman as he shares five ways that your nonprofit can up your media game.  He walks us through his engagement funnel and gives us the keys to creating media (video, photos) that grab your donor's attention and get results.  His advice is actionable and effective to make your message stand out from the crowd.  In this podcast, you'll understand the difference between being interesting and being boring.  Some other stand-out gems include lead with the heart, not with stats.  This episode is packed with value-bombs that will help you attract and engage your desired donor. For more about David, check out:
December 17, 2020
#114-Staying (Happily) Married as an Executive Director with Hollie Chambers
Note: This episode contains some *adult* content so listener discretion is advised unless you want to have some very interesting conversations with your children. We know what being an ED or a nonprofit executive is tough.  We're called to work miracles on shoestring budgets.  Add COVID on top of that and it's a recipe for burn-out.  What happens when we let work take over our lives and forget our partners in all of it?  Join me and couples therapist Hollie Chambers to talk about self-care, making time for intimacy with your partner and new terminology like, "Thrupple."  You're welcome.  Carve out time to slowdance or give your partner a performance review (they'll LOVE that).  This podcast reminds us all that putting out fires at work isn't always the most important thing.  Do something nice for yourself and your bae today.  Bonus points: you can hear me blush over the sound waves. For more about Hollie:
December 10, 2020
#113-Your Business Processes with Adi Klevit
Organizing and documenting my business processes was about as high up on my list as scheduling a root canal.  Or writing the Great American Novel.  Yeah, yeah, totally one of my goals, but there are a million other things that get in the way.   Then, one day, you realize that it's mayhem and you're running ragged because "Nobody can do it like me!" or one of your key staff members has just given notice.   Don't be that person. Join me and Adi Klevit as we talk about the importance of and process to start documenting your systems, processes and procedures.  Want to get some time back in your life?  Want to scale?  You need to start doing this now.  It's like being on a diet--you start slow and steady and eventually you see the gains.  As the ancient Chinese proverb goes, "The best time to document your processes was 20 years ago.  The second best time is today."   We go through simple and actionable steps you can take today to set your nonprofit up for success so YOU are not at the center of your processes and you can bring on other people to get the work done. For more about Adi: 
December 03, 2020
#112-Black leadership + Equity in NYC with Rahsaan Harris
What does the future of NYC look like if we re-imagined it through the lens of equity and diversity?  Who's at the table and, more importantly, who isn't and why?  Join me and Dr. Rahsaan Harris, CEO of Citizens Committee for New York as we talk about our love of New York, Black philanthropy and how to build a more equitable New York after the twin pandemics have passed.  Listen in to two unapologetic New Yorkers and folx of color who have both had the experience of being the "onlies" in many rooms.  Rahsaan is thoughtful, insightful and doesn't pull punches. For more about Rahsaan, check out:
November 19, 2020
#111-Building Your Nonprofit Brand with Mike Kim
It's not often that my socks get knocked off, but believe me when I tell you Mike Kim knocked. My. Socks. Off.  In fact, I haven't even WORN socks since I recorded this episode. Realtalk: Mike drops value bombs aplenty about how to move prospective donors from zero awareness of your cause to becoming a donor (hint: it's a learnable framework), how to tell a memorable story (hint: it's a framework) and the three stories that all organizations must have.  Seriously, do not miss this one if you raise money, raise awareness or want to invite partners to your cause.  So, basically, everybody. You're welcome. I've been a long-time fan of Mike's: Follow his podcast: Brand You Podcast and the Fully Funded Podcast
November 12, 2020
#110-Lessons in Humble Leadership with Phil Weinberg
What a week it's been.  For those of you looking to take a break and find a moment of calm, I invite you to listen to this interview with Phil Weinberg.  Phil, a lifelong teacher, principal and, most recently, the Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at the NY Department of Education, shares his thoughts and philosophies about leadership.  By taking an educator's approach to leadership, he talks about how we can create safe spaces of learning for students and adults, the paradoxes of leadership, and where he gets his best ideas.  Talking with Phil is like taking a deep breath. For more about Phil:  
November 05, 2020
#109-Training Your Board on their Fiduciary Responsibilities with Tosha Anderson
Join me and the Charity CFO, Tosha Anderson, to talk about all of the finances.  Though this may not be the most thrilling topic, being responsible for fiscal oversight is one of the most important jobs for a board member.  Tosha and I talk about the differences between for-profit and nonprofit accounting, how to get the board focused on the right things and at the right level and how to have those sticky conversations about fundraising.  We answer questions about what first-time board members should be asking and how to set up good financial systems from the start.  This is a must-listen for those of you who are not finance experts and need to make sure you are dotting your i's and crossing your t's. For more about Tosha:
October 29, 2020
#108-5 Strategic Planning Mistakes with Carol Hamilton
Ah, strategic planning...a generative process an exercise in frustration or a little bit of both?  Join me on today's pod as we talk with expert strategic planning consultant Carol Hamilton about her perspectives on strategic planning.  What are some of the most common mistakes she's seen?  How do you know when an organization is ready for it?  How do you pick the right consultant?  And, most importantly, how much is it going to cost and how long will it take?  If you're planning to tackle strategic planning anytime soon, this is a good one to listen to. For more about Carol:
October 22, 2020
#107-Telling your nonprofit's story on your website with Chijo Takeda
Full confession: my personal pet peeve = clunky, TMI nonprofit websites.  Everyone trying to tell their whole life story complete with annoying pop-ups asking for my email, bad photography and hard-to-read fonts are just NO BUENOS.  Websites are like dating profiles--providing just enough to invite engagement.  Join me and website expert Chijo Takeda as we talk about ways to improve nonprofit websites.  We also do some website critiques (with lots of love and respect!).  Chijo drops some major value bombs that will help you to improve your website right away!  Pro tip: try winnowing your site down to one page.  Mind blown! For more about Chijo: If you want to follow along on the website critiques:
October 15, 2020
#106-Delusional Altruism with Kris Putnam-Walkerly
This episode comes with a warning label: Could trigger flashbacks of bad funder memories!  Join me and Kris Putnam-Walkerly, philanthropy advisor, to talk about her new book Delusional Altruism.  In this episode, we get into the minds and behind the scenes of funders.  Surprise!   Philanthropists: they're just like us!  We discuss how fear and scarcity hold philanthropists back from achieving their vision of the world and what happens when funders and nonprofits scrimp money on the wrong things.  I really enjoyed this refreshing episode with Kris, which shed a light on some of the more baffling philanthropic practices. For more about Kris, check out:
October 08, 2020
#105-From Founder to Sustaining ED with Elizabeth Green
Founder's syndrome is a thing, y'all.  As many of us have seen, founders can struggle once their organizations grow and scale because the skills set and mindset of starting an organization is different than managing it.  Join me and Elizabeth Green, CEO of Chalkbeat, to share how she grew her passion project into a multi-city, multi-million dollar national nonprofit.  She's one of the rare people who knew exactly what she wanted to do when she grew up and doesn't struggle with control issues (like so many of us founder-types!). She is real and authentic about the challenges of growth, her own learning about building inclusive work environments and how insecurity can wreck a leader.   Here are the resources Elizabeth mentions: How Teaching Works: Building a Better Teacher Heavy Range
October 01, 2020
#104-Secrets of a Fundraising Whisperer with Guadalupe Nickell
I've been a long-time fan of Guadalupe Nickell since Day One.  Lupe is a master fundraiser, fellow Californian and high school classmate (Go Toads!) who has found her calling in fundraising.  In this episode, we talk about how she found her purpose in fundraising, how to masterfully manage a relationship between EDs and Directors of Development and advice she would give to her younger self.  I have long admired Lupe for her insight, integrity and intellect.  Also, she's just a ton of fun.  So, pour yourself a glass of your favorite beverage and take a listen.  I dare you not to scream, "YASSS girl!" during this interview.   My big takeaway: do not let your worth be determined by anyone other than yourself. Here's the report that Lupe mentioned:
September 24, 2020
#103-Black Womxn Entrepreneurship with Nakeia Drummond
You know you want's whispering to you...start your own your own boss...On this week's pod, I'm talking with Nakeia Drummond, founder of NLD Strategic and the WELL, a group of Black womxn entrepreneurs.  In this fascinating and fun chat, we talk about getting paid, how to overcome your fears of being an imposter and being homeless by the side of the river, and the joys of being the boss.  We also talk about the inequities and access to capital for Black womxn and how we need to ask for more.  I recommend this podcast for anyone thinking about starting their own venture.  Nakeia is fun, fearless and FIERCE.   For more about Nakeia: For more about the WELL:
September 17, 2020
#102-Building an organization with grassroots fundraising with Khafre Jay
The best part about having a podcast is all the learning I get to do with new friends and colleagues.  Join me and my new friend Khafre Jay, ED of Hip Hop for Change, about how he grew his organization from scratch to a $700K organization with grassroots canvassing as the backbone.  He has about 18,000 small-gift donors who he met on the streets of San Francisco and Oakland.  Learn how this strategy may help diversify your revenue base, how Khafre deals with rejection, and what he's learned canvassing on the streets.   For more about Hip Hop for Change:
September 10, 2020
#101-Perspectives of a Black Fundraiser with Marvin Vilma
I loved, loved, loved this conversation with Marvin who is an Annual Giving Officer at MIT Sloan School of Management.  We talk about the mental shifts he has made to be an effective fundraiser, how his job is more "philanthropic advisor" than "salesman" and what it's been like for him to be the  "only" in many rooms.  Marvin's wise, generous and insightful take on fundraising and his fundraising career will inspire you.   To learn more about Marvin, check out:
September 03, 2020
#100-The Healthy, Happy Nonprofit with Beth Kanter
Holy moly!  It's my 100th episode!  Thank you so much to everyone who has listened.  When I started this, I never thought we would be at 100 episodes or that I would be talking to the One and Only Beth Kanter.  Beth, nonprofit goddess, talks about her long career in nonprofit and nonprofit tech and her recent book The Healthy, Happy Nonprofit.  We talk about how to take care of yourself and your team in these unprecedented times.  Beth offers some great tips on how to create boundaries between home and work (spoiler alert: stop sleeping with your phone), how to make sure that you and your colleagues are on the same page and what the next big crisis is going to be. For more about Beth:
August 27, 2020
#99-Decolonizing Philanthropy with Jennifer Ching
Join me and Northstar Fund's Executive Director Jennifer Ching to discuss decolonizing philanthropy.  In this hugely important conversation, Jen shares how the work of the Northstar Fund is actively working towards dismantling white supremacy and power and centering the work and decision-making of BIPOC activists.  By recasting our own relationship and assumptions about money, we can engage in becoming resource mobilizers, not "fundraisers."  We also touch on the nonprofit and philanthropic industrial complex that is predicated on power, control and lack of transparency.  What does it mean to be a community-led, community-centered philanthropist?  How can we meet this moment at the intersection of race, power, money and action in our own lives and as leaders of organizations?  This is a thought-provoking and high-octane conversation with one of my faves! For more about NorthStar Fund: For more about Decolonizing Wealth:
August 20, 2020
#98-5 M's of Building a Fundraising Program with Rhea Wong
It's the first solo show in a while.  In this show, I walk through my 5 M framework to building an effective fundraising program.  The five elements are: mindset, message, market, methodology and management.  Take a listen to figure out how to tighten up your nonprofit program.  Also, I've just launched my group coaching program for folks who want to do a deeper dive on these topics.  Registration will close on Friday, August 14 at midnight and is limited to 12 people, so check it out: If you want to get in touch, hit me up at rhea[a] To register for the Group Coaching Program: For more information about the Bain Elements of Value, click here:
August 12, 2020
#97-Executive Coaching for BIPOC Womxn with Erica Hamilton
Erica Hamilton: mother, wife, social justice warrior, leader.  For those of you who missed Erica's previous podcast episode, I'm thrilled to interview her again as she kicks off her newest adventures.  Erica is passionate about social justice and supporting BIPOC womxn who may struggle to thrive in environments that were not created for them.  In this interview, we chat about some big things, including: 1) Womxn of color and their relationship to money and wealth-building 2) How to know if an organization is truly down for the cause or simply doing "performative wokeness." 3) How Erica's new coaching business focuses on supporting womxn of color and how to give them the space to exhale. Listen in on this important convo that feels like friends just hanging out and talking about the Important Stuff.   For more about Erica (and to get coaching from her!) check out: To apply for the Institute for Nonprofit Practice:
August 06, 2020
#96-Building a nonprofit brand that sparks OBSESSION with Emily Heyward
Hey.  So, my pal, Emily wrote a book called Obsessed.  She also happens to be the branding genius behind household brands like Casper, Boxed, and Allbirds.  So, yeah, she knows a thing or two about branding.  Listen in to this episode where Emily drops huge value bombs like: 1) How to simplify and streamline your message (literally, NOBODY needs to know about the mind-numbing details of your mission) 2) Why a five-minute elevator pitch is actually a massive failure 3) How to use qualitative research to WIN 4) How the fear of death will help you to clarify your message 5) How good branding is about the emotional experience of your end user and what Danny Meyer knows better than anybody. Listen and learn!  To learn more about Emily, check her out here: To buy Obsessed, click here:
July 30, 2020
#95-Anti-racist education and parenting with Maureen Yusuf-Morales
What a treat this interview with my dear friend and soul sister Maureen Yusuf-Morales is!  Mo and I worked together at Breakthrough New York and she has gone on to become an expert educator, school founder and principal and DEI trainer.  In this interview, we talk about examining and unpacking the racist practices of schooling in America, how to be an anti-racist parent and what educators and parents can do to dismantle racism.  This is a fun, whole-hearted and thoughtful interview from one of the most talented educators I know. For more about Mo: To check out anti-racist parenting resources, click here: For more about the conference Maimuna mentioned:
July 23, 2020
#94-How to run masterminds with Jenn David-Lang
Join me and my long-time pal Jenn David-Lang to discuss how to start and run a mastermind group.  In this podcast, you'll learn: 1) What is a mastermind and how can I use it to up my game? 2) Tactical tips on how to run the group 3) How masterminds are effective in reinforcing learning and adopting new behaviors. 4) How to deal with that pesky Imposter Syndrome For more about Jenn, check out:
July 16, 2020
#93-Your budget=Your values with Chyla Graham
Join me and CPA Chyla Graham to talk about how to deal with your nonprofit budgeting and money management during this crazy time.  Chyla drops a ton of value bombs like: Why women of color may shy away from the finances. How to train your board at the appropriate level of financial oversight. Benefits of zero-based budgeting How to align your budgets with the stuff you care about and value. Chyla brings over a decade of experience as an auditor and CPA in the nonprofit sector to the conversation.  She's also a trapeze artist! For more about Chyla, check her out here: To download her board meeting dashboard, visit: To download her cash flow projection tool, visit:
July 09, 2020
#91-Talking about race with your board with Martha Haakmat
Oh, our boards.  In this time of BLM and the broader conversations around racial equity, it can be hard to know where to begin with your board.  Boards are often more conservative, wealthier and less diverse than our staff and clients so how do we get them on their DEI path?  In this really important conversation with DEI consultant Martha Haakmat, we talk about 1) How to get boards to understand the continuum of DEI development and what that looks like on a policy and practice level. 2) Creating a DEI culture on the board through norms and recruitment. 3) Creating a sense of shared responsibility for DEI across board and staff. To get in touch with Martha, check out: To get in touch with Morty Ballen for some free DEI support: List of resources that Martha recommends: Benaji and Greenwald’s book called Blindspot (about implicit bias) Dolly Chugh’s book called The Person You Mean To Be Jennifer Eberhardt’s book called Biased Ibram Kendi’s How To Be An Anti-Racist Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility Eloquent Rage - Brittney Cooper Anything by Ta-nehisi Coates Podcasts - Code Switch, Seeing White, Race Forward Anti-racism Resources for White People: a compilation of resources for white people and parents to deepen our work in anti-racism The rubric that she uses in work with leadership teams and Boards:  
June 25, 2020
#90-PR and Thought Leadership for BIPOC with Vanessa Wakeman
Today my guest Vanessa Wakeman, founder of the Wakeman Agency, discusses PR in the nonprofit sector.  Why do we need it and how do we demonstrate an ROI?  We also discuss how to elevate the voices of women and folks of color as experts and thought leaders in the field.  Vanessa shares a step by step playbook on how to be recognized for your ideas, how to show up as your whole self unapologetically and why she has dedicated herself to elevating the the profile of BIPOC in nonprofit.   For more about Vanessa, check out: For more about She Roars, check out:
June 18, 2020
#89-How to be a white ally with Karen Fleshman
In this tumultuous time, we are all asking ourselves what we can do to support racial justice and equity (and if you're not, why are you even listening to my podcast?).  Join me and Karen Fleshman, founder of Racy Conversations, to learn about the history of white women's role in holding up white supremacy in America, how you can start to have hard conversations about race with white family and colleagues and what it would take for us to decolonize wealth.  I invited Karen, who is a white woman, to talk about her work with white people about how to be "woke," which is not the burden of other people of color, specifically Black people, to take on.   For more about Karen, visit: For resources that Karen mentions, visit:
June 11, 2020
#88-Political leadership and representation with Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou
Hot off the press!  Join me and today's guest Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, New York State's ONLY Asian-American female Assemblymember representing Lower Manhattan (Lower East Side, Chinatown, Financial District, Battery Park and South Street Sea Port). In this conversation, we discuss the recent protests, how Asians can be allies to the Black community, what the impact of Asian under-representation is and how to shed the shame and silence in our community.  This is an important and timely discussion for the moment we are in. To support Yuh-Line's re-election campaign, visit:
June 04, 2020
#87-Driving that Hustlebus with Kishshana Palmer and Brooke Richie-Babbage
In the midst of a pandemic, there has never been a better time to think about starting that side-hustle or that full-hustle.  Join me, Kishshana and Brooke to talk about making the leap from nonprofit executives to small business owners.  We talk about what is hard and what is joyful about owning your own business, how to feel the fear and do it anyway and how to stop comparing yourself to others.  In this podcast, we share our hard-won wisdom about starting our own ventures.  Some takeaways: 1) Build a community of accountability partners and friends who can support you. 2) Never stop learning. 3) But don't let procrasti-learning keep you from taking action. 4) If you're lazy about stuff you don't want to do, hire others to do it so you can focus on your Zone of Genius. For more about Kishshana, visit: For more about Brooke, visit:
May 28, 2020
#86-Building a More Equitable New York with Dianne Morales
My friend Dianne Morales is running for Mayor of New York.  She is the first Latina to ever do so and the very first woman in this mayoral race.  Listen in as she shares her platform positions on racial equity and justice, access to mental health and how her brand of female leadership would transform New York for the better.  Dianne is aligned with many of my personal values and I hope that this interview will convince you: DIANNE MORALES FOR MAYOR. To support Dianne's campaign visit: She needs your support by the end of June!  Help a sister out!
May 21, 2020
#85-Addressing anti-Asian racism during coronavirus with Dr. Peter Keo and Carlyn Cowen
The documented rise of racist attacks against Asian-Americans is real and hits particularly close to home for me.  Join me, Dr. Peter Keo of UCLA and Carlyn Cowen of the Chinese American Planning Council to explore the historical roots of anti-Asian racism in the US, how to avoid upholding racist stereotypes of the "model minority myth" and how to be an ally.  This is a really deep and timely discussion that unearths the erasure of Asian-Americans and asks how we disrupt racism both externally and internally within the Asian community.   For a list of resources, link to:
May 14, 2020
#84-Advice from a Foundation CEO on Coping with Cynthia Rivera Weissblum
Join me and my friend and mentor Cynthia Rivera Weissblum for some sound advice and comfort on leading your nonprofit during these tumultuous times.  Cindy has been both an Executive Director and now oversees the Edwin Gould Foundation as CEO.  Her advice comes from a thirty year history in the sector coupled with her deep empathy and wisdom.  Some takeaway thoughts include: How and what to communicate to funders. How to remain calm and centered as the leader. The unique role of the nonprofit sector and how we can position ourselves to serve and to elevate our brand. How to raise money for the immediate needs and for the future. For more about Cindy, please visit:
May 07, 2020
#83-Communicating Effectively as a Leader with Minna Taylor
In this interview from our webinar series, we're talking with Minna Taylor, Founder of Energize Your Voice, about how to effectively communicate with your team via Zoom, how your content is the LEAST important thing that you're communicating and how to harness your breath and body for impactful communication.  This is a must-listen for leaders who want to maximize their impact, especially in a remote environment. For more about Minna, visit: To see some of Minna's training videos:
April 30, 2020
#82-Leading towards the future with Dr. Lisette Nieves
We are all going through a challenging time right now, but it won't be forever.  Dr. Lisette Nieves is one of the kindest, wisest and most effective leaders I've had the pleasure of knowing.  Listen into a recent interview with her where we talk about how to both hold space for people's emotions while also looking at the opportunities ahead of us.  She provides both truth and hope in this tumultuous time.   Some takeaways: "What does it mean to be both high tech and high touch?"  "Right now, your budget may not reflect your values." "Put yourself on a news diet."  This is the perspective you need. For more about Lisette, check out her LinkedIn profile:
April 23, 2020
#81-Calling forth the Warrior Spirit with Kaya Henderson
Today's guest is none other than the phenomenal Kaya Henderson.  Among many accomplishments, she was the former Chancellor of DC Public Schools, Executive Director of Teach for America DC, and a Spanish teacher in the Bronx.  Kaya knows a thing or two about leading through challenging circumstances and this chat was both a warm hug and a fire in the belly.  Kaya shares her perspectives about being a humble leader, filling up your own cup and when it's time to let your warrior spirit lead.  If you need a little bit of a respite, take a deep breath and listen to this interview. For more about Kaya Henderson:
April 16, 2020
#80-Fundraising in a Crisis with Kara Logan Berlin
As fundraisers, this COVID-19 has presented more than a few challenges.  Join me and master fundraiser Kara Logan Berlin to talk about what savvy development directors are doing now, what to communicate to your funders and how to come out stronger when this ends.  Kara has raised millions of dollars and is passionately committed to teaching people how to do development well.  We are in this together and Kara provides her best advice and guidance to help you through with actionable tips and lots of support. For more about Kara and her firm, check out: To download Kara's top tips, visit:
April 09, 2020
#79-Answering the Call to Leadership with Jennifer McCrea
“Leadership is accepting responsibility for enabling others to achieve shared purpose in the face of uncertainty” -Marshall Ganz Now more than ever, we are facing uncertainty.  We all have a choice to make: will we grow and rise to meet the challenge and lean into this moment to create grace and community or will we let fear lead us to make ourselves smaller?  Join me and master fundraiser Jennifer McCrea as we explore making sense and meaning out of this extraordinary moment in our planet's human history.
April 02, 2020
#78-Self-care for empaths with Dr. Gabrielle Francis
I know you're stressed out, worried about what's happening now and uncertain about the future.  In the midst of all this COVID-19 madness, don't forget that you need to take care of yourself.  Join me and my naturopathic doctor, Dr. Gabrielle Francis, as we discuss strategies to take care of yourself, especially as an empath in this work.  We talk about signs of adrenal fatigue, dietary changes that can boost your immune system and how to clear your energy.  I've personally benefited from her help while living that #EDlife and Dr. G is a miracle worker! For more about Dr. G, check her out here:
March 26, 2020
#77-Fundraising in the time of COVID-19 with Heather Malin
I invited my pal Heather Malin to talk about the state of fundraising in these challenging times.  Heather is an expert fundraiser and we talk about strategies that fundraisers can implement right now, how to survive and how to move forward in the face of recession.  With obstacle comes opportunity and those who adapt will survive.  Take a listen and let me know what other supports you need.  Stay safe and fight on!
March 19, 2020
#76-DAFs and Bridge Loans with Sam Marks
Join me and my friend (and first boss!) Sam Marks to understand the financial side of nonprofits.  As the new CEO of FJC: A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds, we talk about what exactly a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) is, how nonprofits who need a loan to even out cash flow can get one, why it's important to get a handle on your expenses and what he's learned from over twenty years in the social sector.  He's good people and it's an elucidating conversation about financial aspects of running a nonprofit. To learn more about FJC, check out:
March 12, 2020
#75-Fakequity=Fake Equity and the Social Justice Space with Erin Okuno
Fakequity= Fake equity.  Like when you're in a meeting and someone repeats something a person of color said and takes credit for it.  Or when "These people need..." or "They need to..." is said.  Or when someone misses a previous meeting and then questions the decision made.  Or when being short on time is used to justify NOT asking the community that is impacted.  Or when someone tries to shift the conversation to class from race because race is just too uncomfortable.  Or when someone "doesn't see color."  When you're working in a social justice space and you feel like you're at the Mad Hatters Tea Party, this episode is for you.  Join me and Fakequity Founder to talk about racial equity and nonprofits. To learn more about Erin and to play Fakequity bingo, check out:
March 05, 2020
#74-Unlocking Your Board's Potential with Cindi Phallen
If I had a nickel for every time an ED complained that their board was not raising money, not engaged or not working, I'd never have to fundraise.  Join me for this chat with Cindi Phallen to learn about how to re-invigorate your board, avoid a bored board, recruit according to your organizational goals and why staff members should never be on a board meeting agenda.  Cindi brings a wealth of experience in unlocking the power of boards. To learn more about Cindi, check here out here:
February 27, 2020
#73-Nonprofit Mergers and Acquisitions with Daniel Rabuzzi
Ever wonder why mergers and acquisitions are not so common in the nonprofit world?  Ever wondered about the nuts and bolts of leading a merger?  Join me and my friend Daniel as we discuss the nitty-gritty of a nonprofit merger.  Daniel has been a long-time nonprofit executive and, most recently, the Executive Director of  Under his leadership, Mouse successfully merged with another nonprofit and he shares his lessons learned.  He also started his own consulting practice to advise on partnerships, collaboration and mergers between nonprofit orgs.   For more about Daniel, check him out here:
February 20, 2020
#72-Reflections on Leadership with Iris Chen
Join me for this incredibly candid and vulnerable interview with Iris Chen.  Iris was one of the founding members of Teach for America and has built her career in education and social justice over the last twenty years.  We talk about perceptions of Asian-American leadership, what we have learned the hard way and what drives Iris after all these years.  Iris reflects on the ups and downs of leadership over the last twenty years through the early days of education reform in New York to today's more culturally aware nonprofit environment.  
February 13, 2020
#71-Barriers to Fundraising for Social Entrepreneurs of Color with Liza Mueller
For folks of color who are trying to do big things in the world, fundraising can feel like pushing an endless rock up a hill.  Join me and Liza Mueller, VP of Knowledge at Echoing Green, to hear the data that backs up the lived experience.  Not surprisingly, women and folks of color raise significantly less funding than their white male counterparts.  Interestingly, this disparity starts even before the ask.  Here's hoping this conversation starts a deeper conversation for funders. For more about Echoing Green, click here:
February 06, 2020
#70-Advocating for Latinx and Black Tech Talent with Karla Monterroso
Join me and my new friend Karla Monterroso to talk about her important work as CEO of Code2040.  In today's high-flying tech economy, Code 2040 is committed to dismantling racial barriers that keep Latinx and Black tech workers from the highest levels of leadership.  Karla shares the work that she does with the tech community and beyond to help break down the systemic barriers to racial equity in many different industries.  We talk about actionable things that leaders can do to start to build an equitable system, why most DEI initiatives suck and how you can know where you are on the spectrum of racial equity advocate.  Plus, there's a quiz!   For more about Code2040, visit: To take the quiz, visit:
January 30, 2020
#69-How to slay on Instagram with Brandy Henry
Instagram--it's a lifestyle choice.  Join me and my new bud Brandy Henry to talk about how and why nonprofits should be all over Instagram like white on rice.   In the sea of confusing social media choices and too much to do, Brandy breaks down some easy steps to get started with IG and how to not get overwhelmed.  The best piece of news: Brandy is willing to help you out for FREE so contact her to get your IG game right and tight. To contact Brandy, visit here: To download her worksheet HOW TO SAY IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA, click here
January 23, 2020
#68-Growing up from Founder to Mature ED with Jai Nanda
Founders: they are among the most amazing and maddening people.  Many founders struggle as sustaining Executive Directors because the skills that helped you to start a nonprofit are different than the skills needed to be an enduring leader.  It takes a lot of reflection, maturity and grace to move from founder to mature ED.  Join me as we chat with Jai Nanda who has gone from a founding ED to a tenured ED of over 20 years.  Along the way, he's built an amazing organization, Urban Dove, and changed his leadership and perspective.  This is a must-listen for founding EDs. For more about Jai, check out:
January 16, 2020
#67-Fierce Conversations with Susan Scott
You guys--this convo BLEW MY MIND.  I usually try not to fangirl, but Susan Scott is so unbelievably amazing.  She shares insights from her top-selling book Fierce Conversations and Fierce Leadership to help you have the fierce and necessary conversations with your employees, your family and your friends.  This conversation is truthful, honest and whole-hearted.  I felt changed afterward and I hope you will too. Some tidbits from our chat: "We are always having conversations and sometimes we include other people."  “Remember that what gets talked about and how it gets talked about determines what will happen. Or won't happen. And that we succeed or fail, gradually then suddenly, one conversation at a time.” For more about Susan, check out her company here: To watch Susan's TED talk, check it out here:
January 09, 2020
#66-Taking care of YOU in 2020 with Liza Baker
Happy 2020, friends!  Today's podcast is my hope for your 2020.  I hope and wish you good health.  How many of us sacrifice our health and well-being for the cause?  Join me and my friend Liza Baker, recovering nonprofit executive and health coach, to get tips about how to start taking care of yourself through food, exercise and little habits that can make a huge difference.  She provides actionable tips that are not painful.  Start 2020 out with making sure that you are the best you can be. For more about Liza, check her out here:
January 02, 2020
#65-Prepping Your Org for Next Level Funding with Suzi Epstein of Robin Hood
How many of us would love to be funded by Robin Hood?  Ever wondered if you've hit a ceiling with your fundraising efforts?  Today my guest is Suzi Epstein, Managing Director of the Robin Hood Foundation who discusses a free program for nonprofits at Robin Hood to up their game, some of the mistakes that she sees on proposals and what it takes to qualify for Robin Hood funding.  Please note that the deadline for the Robin Hood GRIT program is January 17, 2020 so get it while the getting is good! To apply, visit:
December 19, 2019
#64-The Mindset and Psychology of Major Gift Fundraising with Kara Logan Berlin
This episode is coming in HOT!  As we head into end-of-year fundraising, Kara breaks down how we need to flip the switch in our own minds about fundraising.  We talk about the mindset and psychology of an effective fundraiser, how to shake it off (hint: it's not about YOU), the power dynamics for fundraisers of color and how to retain our fundraisers.  Kara is funny, direct and an expert in her field.  It's a fundraising masterclass! For more about Kara's firm, check her out here: Also, check out her super-awesome TED talk here:
December 12, 2019
#63-How to be awesome on social media with Julia Campbell
For the busy nonprofit executive, it just feels like social media falls to the bottom of your very long to-do list, amirite?  It's all so overwhelming--so many platforms, not enough time.  Join me and my guest Julia Campbell to talk about how to leverage social media effectively to build community for your cause, how to stop using it like a billboard and how to avoid common mistakes (spoiler alert: answer your comments!)  For the forward-thinking nonprofit, it's time to get on the social media bus or get left behind.  Julia is smart, insightful and realistic about how much the average nonprofit can really do on social. For more about Julia, check out her website:
December 05, 2019
#62-Attracting and Sustaining Women of Color Fundraisers with Kishshana Palmer
Happy Thanksgiving y'all!  It's particularly fitting that today's post is with my friend Kishshana: truth-teller, inspo and fundraiser extraordinaire.  I'm thankful to have people like Ms. Kishshana in my life.  Join today's no-holds-barred convo about the unique challenges that women of color (especially Black women) face in major gift fundraising, what happens behind closed doors and how to get that DEI party started at your organization.  Ms. K drops ALL the truth bombs like it's hot and she's funny as hell.  We're speaking truth to power and making #noapologies! To find out more about this diva: To read Kishshana's latest piece in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, check it out here:
November 28, 2019
#61-Building an MVP Board with Rich Berlin
Today I'm chilling with the Big Poppa of the New York nonprofit world, Rich Berlin.  Rich walks us through the quick history of Harlem RBI that has since become multi-service wraparound school called Dream.  Rich tells us how his organization went from almost closing to its current $40M a year budget.  He shares his thoughts about board recruitment, board management and how to prepare a board to punch above its weight.  One day, I would like to be able to say "We're not talking to you for less than a seven figure gift."  Listen, learn and LOVE it.  This has got to be one of my very favorite podcast episodes (I love them all like my children.) For more about Rich, check out their website:
November 21, 2019
#60-Therapy for Fundraisers with Patrick Kirby
As we careen towards year-end, we know all you fundraisers are out burning the midnight oil.  Annual appeal, Giving Tuesday, making budget, oh my!  My guest Patrick Kirby FEELS YOU.  Take a quick 30 minutes to take a listen to this fun episode.  Patrick and I talk about why people dread fundraising, what happens when boards and executives don't know how to fundraise (spoiler alert: unreasonable much?) and how to create a culture of philanthropy in your org.  Patrick is fun, caffeinated and HERE FOR YOU. For more about Patrick, check him out:
November 14, 2019
#59-Targeting Your Fundraising with Prospect Research with Crystal Leochko Johnston
This month, as we head into the holiday giving season, we're featuring podcasts about fundraising!  This week, I'm chatting with Crystal Leochko Johnston, Founder of Eclipse Research to talk about how to identify and validate donor prospects.  Do you ever feel like fundraising is trying to find your way in the dark?  Ever hear your board tell you that they don't know anyone wealthy?  Think that you could target your current donor list for bigger gifts?  Don't miss this episode.  Today's $100 donor could be tomorrow's $100,000 donor if you have the right data. For more about Crystal click here: Free prospect research sources: NOZA Search - listing of Canadian and U.S. donation records (paid subscription) - Newspaperarchive - newspapers from Canada, U.S. and 27 other countries (paid subscription) - U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission - U.S. Securities information (free) - SEDI (System for Electronic Disclosure by Insiders) - information on Canadian insiders (free) - SEDAR (The System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval) - Canadian securities documents (free) - Federal Election Commission - U.S. political donations (free) -
November 07, 2019
#58-Leading from a Place of Calm with Shalini Somayaji
Any ED will tell you that it feels like stress and pressure are part of the job.  Constant worry and panic got you down?  Join me and my buddy Shalini as we talk about strategies and tactics to make the time for self-care, how to use that four-letter word "H-E-L-P" and being responsible for your own energy.  Shalini is, like me, a recovering Executive Director and coach to leaders.  Make yourself a cup of tea, give yourself a little break and hang with us.  We FEEL YOUR PAIN, y'all! For more about Shalini, check out her website:
October 31, 2019
#57-Reimagining Math Education and Building for National Scale with Joel Rose
This week, I'm interviewing CEO and Co-founder of New Classrooms Joel Rose.  Joel started his career as a math teacher and created an organization that is re-thinking the classroom experience with technology.  While building New Classrooms, he shares his lessons learned about building an organization, the single most important practice for his team and the importance of being useful over being right.   For more information about Joel and New Classrooms, check it out here:
October 24, 2019
#56-Going the Distance with Daniel Oscar
Daniel Oscar: educator, nonprofit exec, marathoner.  Listen in to Daniel's gems of wisdom for staying the course in the nonprofit world.  Daniel helped Wendy Kopp build Teach for America and has been in various roles in the nonprofit/education reform sector since then.  He shares his tips on how to run the marathon and not the sprint, how to prioritize self-care and his best advice to young people starting out in nonprofit.  My favorite takeaway: focus on being helpful instead of being right. For more about Daniel and Center for Supportive Schools, check it out here.
October 17, 2019
#55-Relationship is the Unit of Change with Jen Mayer
Have you ever walked away from a hard conversation feeling like a bomb went off and you didn't take cover?  Join me and my friend and mentor Jen Mayer, Founder of Becoming Better Together to talk about how to have hard conversations with fierceness and kindness, how to learn how to know thyself and how to be in the world even when it's uncomfortable. Jen is the queen of resources and offers this resource as thought-starters and tools for fierce conversations.
October 10, 2019
#54-How to Avoid Self-Sabotage as an ED with Ted Federici
Join me for a chat with master coach and my former Board Chair Ted Federici to discuss the common pitfalls of leaders and the mistakes they make.  The job that we have as leaders is daunting and we sometimes do ourselves a disservice by being our own worst enemies.  Learn how to tame the ego, build trust and have the meeting before the meeting.  Bonus: you'll learn some of my favorite "Federicisms" like: "Everyone caters to the craziest person in the room," or "It's just a fart in a windstorm." To learn more about Ted and his work, visit Ted at
October 03, 2019
#53-Rhea's Book Club
Happy Birthday to Nonprofit Lowdown!  Thanks, listeners, for hanging with me for a year.  It's been a blast and a JOURNEY! For today's pod, I'm reviewing three books that have really taken my game to the next level.  There's something for everyone.  For organizational design geeks, there's Brave New Work.  For productivity and people who just need to get to work, there's Free to Focus.  And for managers and leaders who want to give better feedback, there's The Feedback Fallacy: Why Feedback Rarely Does What It's Meant To and the companion book Nine Lies About Work. It's been an honor and pleasure to be in your earbuds this last year.  Let me know if there are topics you'd like for me to review and thank you for listening!
September 26, 2019
#52-Turbocharging your productivity with Emily Hicks-Rotella
We're back with our resident Technologista Emily Hicks-Rotella!  In today's pod, we talking about our favorite tech tools, tips and books for how to wrangle our to-do lists, get to inbox zero and manage our focus.  Too much to do and not enough time?  Join the club.  This is a must-listen if you're trying to get to work and for tech to work for you, not against you.   Some of our favorite tools: Airtable Sanebox Slack Trello Boomerang Freedom Zapier Streak Notion Tettra Books we love: Getting Things Done (classic!) Free to Focus Atomic Habits
September 19, 2019
#51-Grace, Generosity and Leading with Purpose with Dr. Lisette Nieves
You know how there are people in your life who inspire you to level up your game?  Lisette Nieves is one of these people.  She's an educator, a do-er, a coach and an inspiration.  On today's pod we talk about the challenges of managing a board and staff and how to make people feel USEFUL is more important than making them feel happy.  We discuss the dangers of a bored board, why you need to challenge your assumptions about who you need on your board and the emotional labor of leadership. For more Lisette, check out her website here.
September 12, 2019
#50-Organizing Your People for Max Impact with Sydney Henriques-Payne
People: your biggest asset and perhaps your biggest pain point.  Join me on today's pod with organizational strategist, human capital and DEI expert Sydney Henriques-Payne to explore some of the obstacles and opportunities with your people.  How do you spark cultural change?  How do you bring on the right level of leader for the maturity of your organization?  How do you put DEI in the center of the work and work with people at different levels of "wokeness"?  Sydney is dropping knowledge bombs like it's her job.   Also, Nine Lies About Work is mentioned on the pod.
September 05, 2019
#49-Changing Behaviors through Behavioral Design with Laura Wolff
Humans.  So complicated, amirite? Today I'm talking with Laura Wolff at Ideas42 about the work they do with nonprofits to boost positive behavioral change.  Learn some quick tips and tricks about lowering friction to desired behaviors and how to make teenagers do things.  We discuss simple changes that make a big impact from increasing enrollment to Gifted and Talented programs to decreasing community college dropout rates. To access FREE workshops @Ideas42, click here. For access to resources we mention on the pod, click here.
August 29, 2019
#48-From Passion to Professional with Paul Thallner
This one is for all you Founders out there.  Join me as I chat with my friend and professional coach Paul Thallner as we talk about the pitfalls of leadership.  How does one go from a passionate person with a start-up to an effective organizational leader?  How do you use the power of story-telling and narrative to shape culture and why does being a leader just suck sometimes?  Join us for some empathetic, good sense with Paul.  For more info about Paul, check out his company High Peaks Group if you need some coaching to level up!
August 22, 2019
#47-Asian Americans, DEI and Raising Hell with Seisei Tatebe-Goddu & Cosmo Fujiyama Ghaznavi
I don't think you're ready for this jelly.   Two of the fiercest Asian-American women I know are with me on today's pod and we're ready to torch the patriarchy. Join me and my buds Seisei and Cosmo as we discuss what it means to be an Asian-American in the social justice space, how we can use our own privilege in service to others and why the Harvard lawsuit is a wedge issue.  Also, for those of you who want to negotiate a raise for yourself, call Seisei. Click here to get in touch with these badasses. Seisei & Cosmo #rockthecasbah.
August 15, 2019
#46-Launching a Capital Campaign with Amanda Kraus
What's harder than raising $5M for operating?  How about $34M for a new building?  Join me and my dear friend Amanda Kraus, Founder and CEO of Row NY, to talk about what she's learned about launching a capital campaign for their beautiful new Harlem-based boathouse.  In this convo, we talk about how to know when you're ready, how to avoid cannibalizing your annual fund donors and tips she's learned from Rich Berlin.  Also, can you check out this gorgeous boathouse?
August 08, 2019
#44-Launching Your Own Consulting Biz with Tammy Dowley-Blackman
You're not bossy if you are the boss. Today I'm talking with my friend Tammy Dowley-Blackman about her journey as a leader, the challenges faced by folks of color in the development field and how she went from Executive Director to launching her own consulting firm.  We talk about the strategy of scaling, how to think about the business and why motherhood inspired her to be an entrepreneur.  This is a must-listen for those of you who are thinking about striking out on your own.
July 25, 2019
#43-Supporting Fundraisers of Color with Judy Levine
In today's pod, I'm talking with Judy Levine, Executive Director of Cause Effective.  Judy and her team just released an important white paper about the state of fundraisers of color in the nonprofit industry.    Some value bombs: The single most important factor of success for a fundraiser of color is a supportive Executive Director. People who make the transition into senior development roles often jump orgs to find their right fit.  You can't afford NOT to listen to this episode. Get your hands on the report here.
July 18, 2019
#42 Asians are POCs and How to be Your Own Boss with Caroline Kim Oh
This is the original bosslady.  On today's pod, I'm talking with former CEO of iMentor and Executive Coach Caroline Kim Oh.  We're spilling the tea on all the things including being the Only Ones in rooms, how Asian Americans have been misused as the "model minority" and how to start your own biz.  As more EDs are leaving their positions, listen to one former ED's story of how she set up her business to work for herself (and conquered her fears in the process!) For more information, check out Caroline here.
July 11, 2019
#41 DEI Recruitment, Hiring and Retention with Judy Pryor-Ramirez
Happy July 4th!  Free yourself from the tyranny of white supremacist hiring practices!  Join me for a great conversation with consultant Judy Pryor-Ramirez about how to source, hire and retain folks of color.  Some value bombs: 1) how to assess your current practices 2) how to question white supremacist paradigms in hiring 3) what "Real Talk with Judy" means. For more information about Judy, check her out here. For Judy's recommendation on white supremacist culture, download it here.
July 04, 2019
#40-Leading and Managing Like A Marine with Lt. Colonel Bill Wroten
So, fun fact: I've always secretly wanted to be a Navy SEAL.  Or a Marine.  Join me on today's pod with my friend retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Bill Wroten.   Here's a value bomb for you: You lead people and manage processes.  Once you talk about managing people, you've reduced them to processes and that's why they don't feel ownership. Boom!
June 27, 2019
#39-Applying Behavioral Science to DEI Hiring Practices with Anthony Barrows
How much of a pain point is hiring for you?  Are you looking to diversify your pool, make your process more equitable and inclusive and retain a diverse workforce?  Duh, aren't we all?  Join me as I chat with Anthony Barrows, Managing Director of Ideas42, as we talk about how they have redesigned their process to mitigate implicit bias.   For NYC-based nonprofits, check out their Behavioral Design Center. For implicit bias test, click here. For Iris Bohnet research, click here.
June 20, 2019
#34-Lessons Learned in Scaling Too Quickly with Morty Ballen
Today we're chatting with my buddy, Morty Ballen, who lived through the go-go days of charter school expansion.  As the CEO and Founder of Explore Schools, Morty oversaw the replication of three schools in an eight year period.  He shares his lessons learned (spoiler alert: it's the people!) and what is on the other side of leaving after 20 years of being the CEO.  Morty is humble, insightful and good-natured and I enjoyed this conversation immensely.  
June 18, 2019
#38-Leading and Balancing Like a Boss with Jane Martinez-Dowling
Join me on today's pod as I talk with veteran nonprofit leader, Jane Martinez Dowling.  In today's chat, Jane discusses how her experience as a first-gen college-going, Dominican-American woman has influenced her leadership.  She's been in the top job in three different organizations and also touches on how to be a boss and a mom.  Spoiler alert: leave the guilt and judgement behind.  Jane was a joy!
June 13, 2019
#37-Spirituality and Tech with Emily Hicks-Rotella
Today, we're speaking with our resident Tech Goddess, Emily Hicks-Rotella about how technology and spirituality are connected.  This conversation is a little more whoo-whoo than others we've had so feel free to skip it if it's not your jam.  We talk about what it means to have a single source of truth, how technology can connect us to our purpose and clarity and how you don't have to go sit on a mountaintop to achieve peace.   Click here for more about Emily.
June 06, 2019
#36-Upgrading Your Organizational Operating System with Sam Spurlin
So. Many. Truth. Bombs.  This interview with The Ready's Sam Spurlin.  I reached out to Sam because I'm OBSESSED with the book Brave New Work by Aaron Dignan.  So often in organizations when things aren't working, when communication breaks down, when we're having meetings about meetings--well, it just makes you crazy.  Sam talks about how our approach to organizational change might be about identifying and fixing the operating system one experiment at a time.  We talk so much about culture, but culture is created by organizational operating systems.  Tune in to this very educational interview with Sam.
May 30, 2019
#35-Why Payday Loans Suck with Clara Chow
Usually, we feature episodes that help nonprofit executives to run their nonprofits better.  Today, we're talking with Clara Chow about her work in creating pathways to financial sustainability and a product that can help low-income Americans from falling prey to payday loans.  I've seen what financial instability and predatory lending practices have done to families.  Take a listen to Clara's take on how we can help hard-working Americans to access capital and build strong financial foundations. To learn more about this or to get into the pilot, email Clara here.
May 23, 2019
#33-The Emotional Side of Founders Transitioning Out with Dr. Kerry Ann Rockquemore
Today I'm chatting with Dr. Kerry Ann who was Founder of the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity.  As a young African-American professor, she founded her organization to mentor and support women and faculty of color in their academic careers.  We talk about what happens when it's time to move on from your organization and what life looks like on the other side.  Kerry Ann is wise, warm and wonderful.   To find out more about Kerry Ann's adventures, check out her blog:
May 09, 2019
#32-How To Be More Tech-Driven Without an IT Department with Emily Hicks-Rotella
I'm so pleased to welcome back my friend Emily.  Today, we're talking about how small nonprofits that don't have a big IT budget or IT department can take steps to become more data-driven and tech-forward.  Emily will be a recurring guest so if you have tech/data questions, email them in at
May 02, 2019
#31-Breaking the Rules with Offor "Ify" Walker
"I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man." Get ready to jump because we're setting this house ON FIRE.  Ify Walker is the founder and CEO of Offor, which is one of the nation's top talent broker agencies in the country.  In today's episode we talk about the war for talent, especially for leaders of color, how to find the courage to run your own company and change the conversation about race, access and getting to the C-suite.  Ify is telling the truth about building her business, creating power brokers and why you need an FU fund.   Find Ify and her team here.
April 25, 2019
#30-Intentional Leadership with Erica Hamilton
Joyful.  Thought-provoking.  Truth-telling.  Join me for this wide-ranging conversation with Erica Hamilton.  Erica shares her wisdom and perspective as an expert leader, manager and "nonprofit whisperer."  We talk about the women of color tax, the benefits of saying NO and how to survive and thrive as a nonprofit executive.  A must-listen for current and aspiring nonprofit execs!
April 18, 2019
#29-Leading as Women of Color with Dianne Morales
Hold onto your hats because Dianne is about the blow the roof off.  #Realtalk: we're addressing some of the elephants in the room about why it can be so exhausting to be a woman of color in the top job.  Dianne is the Executive Director and CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods and has been wildly successful in her role.  So, what did she do when she was told she was "flying too close to the sun"?  What emotional labor does it take to do the work every day?  Please let me know your thoughts and feedback in the comments.  
April 11, 2019
#28-History of Philanthropy with Micah McElroy
I LOVED this interview with Columbia University doctoral candidate Micah McElroy.  Micah is pursuing his PhD in the history of philanthropy in the US and we delve into all sort of interesting historical examples of philanthropy in America.  What cycles of wealth and philanthropy are we seeing today?  Can we expect Jeff Bezos to lift the rock upon which he stands?  Let me know what you think in the comments!
April 04, 2019
#27-How to Create a Data-Driven Culture with Emily Hicks-Rotella
We all talk about it, but how do you achieve it?  Join me in my conversation with Emily Hicks-Rotella of Make Tech Work For You.  Get control of your data and digital life, slay those tech phobias and find actionable ways to become a data-driven organization.  
March 28, 2019
#26-How to Prep for an Audit with Howard Cohen
What to expect when you're conducting your first audit?  If you're like most EDs, dealing with the financial side is just a wee bit mysterious.  Join me as I chat with Howard Cohen CPA, Partner of Mazars to learn about how to prepare for your audit, what best practices you can implement in a small shop and how to be BFF with your accountants.  Click here to get in touch with Howard for your next audit.
March 21, 2019
#25-Communicating with Clarity with Leah Bonvissuto
Did you know that 93% of all communication is non-verbal?  How do you incorporate feedback about your communication and still stay true to yourself?  Join me as we talk with Leah Bonvissuto, founder of Present Voices to learn about how to communicate with power and intention.
March 14, 2019
#24-What We Wish We Had Known with Brooke Richie-Babbage
Join me and my dear pal Brooke Richie-Babbage for this super-intimate and #realdeal convo about what we wish we had known before becoming Executive Directors.  Brooke was the Founder and Executive Director of the Resilience Advocacy Project for ten years at the ripe old age of 28.  We talk about the emotional labor of leadership, what we learned the hard way and some of our biggest lessons learned.  This is a must-listen for new leaders!
March 07, 2019
Episode 23-Board Management and Raising $$ with David King
Today I'm chatting with David King, President of Alexander Haas, a fundraising consulting firm.  We discuss how to build and manage a giving board, how to hire development staff and some future trends in philanthropy.  David brings a wealth of experience to the convo along with some good ol' Southern charm. Check out Alexander Haas here.
February 28, 2019
Episode 22-Your Purpose and DEI work with Jovian Zayne
This is a wide-ranging conversation with Jovian Zayne, leader, activist, coach and DEI expert.  Diversity, equity and inclusion are top of mind for so many leaders, but how do even get started?  Don't miss this episode! #DEI #nonprofit #leadership
February 21, 2019
Episode 21-Taking Your Brand to the Next Level with Emily Heyward
DO NOT MISS THIS ONE!  I'm sitting down with my pal Emily Heyward, co-founder of Red Antler to talk about launching iconic brands.  Emily is the genius behind Casper, Birchbox, Allbirds, to name a few.  What can this brand whisperer teach the nonprofit community?  You will rethink your brand after this chat.
February 14, 2019
Episode 20-What Funders Think with Carol Argento
Join me in today's conversation with Carol Argento, VP of the Charles Hayden Foundation.  What are program officers really looking for?  How important are connections in getting funded?  What makes a great site visit?  
February 07, 2019