The Difference: Nonprofit Fundraising in a For-Profit World-logo

The Difference: Nonprofit Fundraising in a For-Profit World

Business & Economics Podcasts

In every community, nonprofits compete for a narrow pool of supporters. Many struggle to stand out and make their case the most compelling a funder will hear. What is the difference that will allow your nonprofit to reach fundraising goals and ultimately achieve financial sustainability? That's exactly what this podcast will address! In each 15-20 minute episode, we'll interview fundraising industry experts from all sides of the table and discuss what has made the difference in major investments, feasibility studies, and successful capital campaigns. We hope to provide you with tips, trends, and topics that make you think and help your nonprofit grow in 2020 and beyond.


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In every community, nonprofits compete for a narrow pool of supporters. Many struggle to stand out and make their case the most compelling a funder will hear. What is the difference that will allow your nonprofit to reach fundraising goals and ultimately achieve financial sustainability? That's exactly what this podcast will address! In each 15-20 minute episode, we'll interview fundraising industry experts from all sides of the table and discuss what has made the difference in major investments, feasibility studies, and successful capital campaigns. We hope to provide you with tips, trends, and topics that make you think and help your nonprofit grow in 2020 and beyond.




The Blueprint for Economic Triumph: Insights with Chuck Sexton

Join us for an insightful episode of The Difference, featuring Chuck Sexton, the dynamic CEO of The Next Move Group. In this engaging conversation, Sexton unravels the intricate aspects of successful economic development. Explore the importance of a clear vision, collaboration among stakeholders, strategic planning, and adaptability in the pursuit of economic growth. Gain valuable insights into the significance of resources, investment, and effective marketing strategies. Discover how regions can leverage these key factors, as highlighted by Sexton, to create thriving economies and enhance the overall well-being of their communities. Tune in for a comprehensive exploration of the essential elements that make a difference in economic development!


Crafting Innovation: The Manufactory Collective Journey with Debbie Irwin

Join us on The Difference as Debbie Irwin, co-founder of the Manufactory Collective, shares the dynamic evolution of this unique shared space for makers and entrepreneurs. Discover how a strategic shift from seeking funds to exploring creative solutions attracted investors and led to collaborations with JMU for a rapid prototyping center. Learn about the crucial role of John Downey's certificate program in the collective's success and the broader vision of fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in the Shenandoah Valley through shared workspaces. Tune in for a concise yet insightful discussion on shaping the future of entrepreneurship in the Shenandoah Valley.


Empowering Giving Through Blackbaud's Impact

Discover the dynamic world of corporate philanthropy on The Difference! Join us as we chat with Matt Nash, Executive Director of Blackbaud Giving Fund. Learn how this 501(c)(3) charity revolutionizes workplace giving through donor-advised funds and diverse charity options. Uncover the crucial link between executive engagement, a company's purpose, and employee participation in social initiatives. Tune in for insights into driving meaningful change through purposeful giving!


Empathetic Leadership Unveiled: Navigating Nonprofit Challenges with Beth Napleton

In this episode of The Difference, Beth Napleton, a seasoned leadership coach, shares key insights on leading with empathy and achieving success in nonprofit organizations. She identifies challenges in external factors, team dynamics, and personal struggles. Beth emphasizes the use of personality assessments like Myers Briggs and StrengthsFinder for self-awareness and team improvement. From leadership strategies to fundraising tools, she provides practical advice. Drawing from her experiences, Beth stresses the importance of seeking support as a nonprofit leader. Her expertise offers a concise guide for navigating recruitment, retention, board engagement, and fundraising challenges. Tune in for a power-packed conversation on elevating nonprofit leadership and driving impactful change!


Valley Visions: Jay Langston on Economic Evolution and Workforce Challenges

In this podcast, Jay Langston, Executive Director of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, shares his rich background in economic development and discusses the profound changes witnessed over the past four decades, accentuated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jay highlights the growing significance of quality of life in decision-making and explores how the Shenandoah Valley, despite its rural setting, has experienced both economic and population growth. He emphasizes the importance of educating educators about job opportunities and underscores the region's success in talent attraction, challenging stereotypes that young professionals need to migrate to metropolitan areas for career growth. The episode provides a concise yet insightful narrative on the evolving dynamics of economic development and talent acquisition in the Shenandoah Valley, offering a fresh perspective on the region's untapped potential.


Building Rural Prosperity: A Conversation with Susan Norris

In this episode, we had the pleasure of speaking with Susan Norris, the director of the Pierce County Economic Development Corporation in Nebraska. Susan shares her experience with economic development and rural communities. Susan's insights into how the residents of Pierce County view economic development shed light on the unique perspectives of rural America. She reminds us that it's not all about wealth creation; in rural settings, it encompasses community placemaking, parks, recreation, and fostering social connections. Join us as Susan Norris discusses the true essence of economic development in rural Nebraska, focusing on building not just financial capital, but also social capital within these tight-knit communities. If you're curious about the heart and soul of rural America, this episode is a must-listen.


The Difference: Simplifying Planned Giving with Tony Martignetti - Insights from a Planned Giving Evangelist

Discover the art of planned giving fundraising with Tony Martignetti, a 26-year veteran in the field and the driving force behind Martignetti Planned Giving Advisors. Tony shares why planned giving remains remarkably stable and discusses how even small nonprofits can launch successful planned giving. Is planned giving really that complicated? With all these myths floating around, it might seem like a tricky road to navigate. Delve into the podcast to have these myths debunked and complexities unraveled, as Tony clarifies the misconceptions surrounding planned giving. Tune in to gain actionable insights and embark on a transformative journey into the world of planned giving.


Redefining Homelessness and Fundraising Challenges in the Social Services Sector: Insights from Dan Rogers

In this episode of The Difference podcast, Dan Rogers, Senior Project Director and Consultant at Convergent joins us for a discussion on redefining homelessness as a humanitarian crisis. Discover why this shift in terminology is significant and gain insights into the challenges nonprofits face in the social services sector when it comes to fundraising. Learn from Dan's experiences coaching nonprofits and how his insider perspective informs effective fundraising strategies. Tune in for an enlightening conversation that explores the intersection of social issues and fundraising.


Unlocking Financial Success: Strategies for Funding Independent Schools: A discussion with Convergent Consultant Michael Papa

Join us on this episode of "The Difference" as we engage in a captivating conversation with Michael Papa, consultant at Convergent and Head of School Emeritus at Bayside Academy. With an impressive tenure of over four decades as an academic leader, Michael Papa possesses a profound expertise in formulating effective funding strategies for independent schools. In this enlightening podcast, we will delve into crucial subjects such as the fundamental pillars of strategic planning, maintaining a steadfast trajectory towards achieving objectives, and optimal approaches to fundraising. Discover the significant role that seemingly humble school bake sales play in bolstering the financial resources of independent schools.


Discover Best Practices You Can Use to Engage Youth and Help them to Build a Career in Your Community: A Discussion with Economic Development Leader Horton Hobbs IV

Join Convergent Nonprofit Solutions for a discussion with Horton Hobbs IV, Vice President of Economic Development for the Greater Springfield Partnership. As a highly successful economic development leader, Horton has helped to guide Springfield, Ohio through a dramatic revitalization. Thousands of jobs have been created and that’s created an increased need for workforce development and attraction. As an organization, the Greater Springfield Partnership decided to begin by engaging youth in middle and high school. Listen to their strategies, best practices, and how the plan is working. Horton also discusses, at a high level, how economic development has changed and how The Greater Springfield Partnership has tackled issues like child care and housing.


An Interview with Author David Thornell, An Economic Development Guru & Champion of Regionalism

Join Convergent Nonprofit Solutions for a discussion with David Thornell, author and expert in economic development, as we discuss his newly released book Small Town Solutions. In this podcast we discuss strategies from Thornell’s new book like how to network your small town, along with his thoughts on new challenges small communities are facing and how to overcome them. Also find out why David Thornell himself prefers to live in small towns.


Discover how community branding is the key to workforce attraction

Join us in a discussion with John Hull, Executive Director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership, as we discuss workforce attraction. Is your community struggling to find its brand for workforce attraction? Then this is the podcast for you. In this conversation with Convergent Principal Jay Werth, he explains the importance of finding your community's brand and how that helps to bring in businesses and workers. John Hull also talks about the importance of attracting workforce through the “boomerang effect”. John Hull talks about his own experience and programs that Roanoke offers to help with talent attraction.


Tom Ahern, a Copywriting Genius, Shares How to Raise More Money Using Storytelling & Dynamic Communication

Is your communication strategy leading to significant donations for your organization? If not, Tom Ahern, a noted nonprofit copywriting genius, may have the solution you’re looking for. In this conversation with Convergent Principal Jay Werth, Tom explains how to shift your copywriting to deepen donor relationships, turn donors into investors, and how to avoid the “7 deadly sins of writing the appeal or case statement.” He also elaborates on the power of storytelling and how nonprofits can use stories to create connections and engage an investor audience. If you have anything short of a 100% success rate with your donor communications, this podcast is for you!


Improving Your Community's Quality of Life

Quality of life initiatives are essential in defining a community's sense of place and attracting and retaining residents. They are also crucial for attracting business investment - a key goal for any economic development organization. Convergent recently partnered with economic development marketing agency Golden Shovel on a whitepaper titled Strengthening Your Community's Competitive Potential By Improving Quality of Life. This episode dives further into this topic with Convergent Principal Andy Coe and Golden Shovel CEO Aaron Brossoit. We discuss successful examples of quality-of-life improvements, their importance, measuring their impact, and proving their ROI to investors.


Fundraising During Economic Uncertainty

Two former nonprofit and chamber of commerce leaders who are currently in the field fundraising for major organizations join Jay to discuss the FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) that so many are feeling today and how it is (or is not) affecting their funding efforts. Dan Rogers and Doug Croft provided excellent insights in this episode on what investors and stakeholders want to know about a nonprofit in order to fund its future. We talk "worry fatigue" and close with a great analogy on how a nonprofit can weather this economic storm.


Supply Chain Disruption

From steel to a gallon of paint or even the tires for your car, supply chain disruption is being felt all over the country. We welcomed Chris Gullickson, Director of Development and Transportation Policy for the Port of Virginia, and Dennis Fraise, CEO of Lee County Economic Development Group and host of the popular DevelopThis! podcast, to discuss this issue in this episode. Chris and Dennis offer their viewpoints on how communities and businesses are dealing with the friction points in the supply chain. How did we get here? What went wrong and what will help bring about change?


Recruiting Talent and Being Recruited

We are joined in this episode by Tina Winner, CEO and Founder of Winner Partners, an executive search and recruitment firm in the economic development, chamber, and nonprofit space. Tina and Jay discuss the importance of being a "super collaborator" and activating relationships as a leader in your community. Tina also shares her experience with the changing face of public-private funding and how that is affecting leadership today. And, of course, we had to dig in to Tina's favorite recruiting questions and how she would answer them!


What Makes People Give?

Tim Kachuriak joins us in this episode for an interesting discussion on Why People Give. Tim is the Founder and Chief Innovation and Optimization Officer for NextAfter, a fundraising research lab consultancy and nonprofit training institute. He has spent his entire professional career digging into this question. Hint: he thinks it's an irrational decision that doesn't make sense. Tim is adamant in his belief that human connections are at the core of philanthropic donations, and there is ONE thing that leads to more donors and higher levels of investment.


A Leadership Framework for your Nonprofit

Antony Bell started his consulting firm, Leadership Development, Inc. after noticing that there were more than 64,000 books on leadership and yet still so many of the CEOs and leaders he was working with were struggling. He has consulted for Nike, Bank of America, the Girl Scouts, March of Dimes, the US Treasury, and more. In this episode, he tells us about his leadership framework that applies systems thinking to help drive success at any level, in any environment. It starts with two buckets that encompass everything about being a good leader: Competence and Character. Listen to Tony tell us more!


Solving Workforce Shortages

Bethany Quinn, VP of Content and Strategy from Golden Shovel Agency, joins us to unpack the topic that is on everyone's mind these days: workforce shortages. Golden Shovel has helped hundreds of EDOs and Chambers shape and tell their stories through services including branding, marketing, strategy, web development, and online communications. Workforce shortages are a primary concern for their clients today. Bethany talks about some new solutions she's seeing in tackling this issue from mobile learning labs and virtual reality to using local ambassadors to spread the word about your community.