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065 How to Rock Giving Tuesday and Self-Care Part 3

Are you participating in #Givingtuesday? This week I'm going to talk about why you should care and how to make it work for your organization. This is also the third part of our three-part series with Paul and Shelley Gadola on how to self-care once your busy season is over. #GivingTuesday is a worldwide day of giving (this year taking place Nov. 27), fueled by the power of social media. It is celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the US, and after the widely recognized shopping events...


064 Cultural Transformation And Self-Care

In this week's episode, I'll walk you through the seven things that my board and I did to change our organization's culture and we'll hear part 2 in the 3-part series on self-care during your busy season. Please visit for full show notes and links to resources.


063 Tools 2 And Pre-Season Self-Care

This week I'm re-visiting the tools I use to stay productive as a nonprofit leader: Network for Good, Trello, and the Pomodoro Technique. I'm also starting a 3-episode series on self-care with the owners of Iron Mountain CrossFit, Paul and Shelley Gadola. Get more detailed show notes on


062 Board Orientation 2

Just had Board Orientation for my org this past weekend, and thought we were due for an update here on the podcast. If you'd like to download my Board Orientation Checklist, just visit and sign up to get it.


061 Where To Spend Your Money

Nonprofits are notorious penny-pinchers. We are expected to solve the world's problems--problems, which, by the way, the most powerful governments on the planet can't seem to fix, but we're expected to do so with some string and a paperclip. But saving money isn't always about what you don't spend. It's also about spending in the right places, where you'll get the most impact for your investment. Some things are worth their price. Skimping on these things is a false economy, because you will...


060 Five Questions To Ask Your Donors This Week

When it comes to fundraising, I teach two key principles for success: match your organization's brand with your prospects' and do not try to sell the unsellable. When you do these two things you save yourself a lot of time and frustration, and your prospect list can more easily come into focus. However, this mainly applies to corporate sponsors, so what about individual donors? This week I'm talking about a 5-question strategy to ensure that you match your organization's values with your...


059 Why Your Year End Fundraising Could Flop

If 30% of your organization's fundraising comes in at the end of the year, shouldn't you start giving year-end fundraising 100% of your effort? This week I don't mean to scare anyone. My goal is to share with you four of the ways my own year-end fundraising has flopped, so that you can learn from my mistakes. Those mistakes were: poor planning, starting late, horrible time management, and a lack of commitment to the process. There's even a little history lesson and a big productivity tip in...


058 Parenting A Dreamer

Warning to everyone who might be listening with littles or in the open air: There is some adult language and few f-bombs this week. You are warned. This week on the podcast is a rare treat: I interview my mom! What I thought would be a discussion about how to parent a dreamer--someone who eventually ends up working at a nonprofit--turned into a little family history, what it looks like to support your kid who is in the arts, and I reveal a secret about my college life. (It's not that...


057 Be Seen

This week's podcast is a quickie because I bit off more than I could chew this week. I began not one, but three challenges to kick myself into high gear: the Fundraising Intensive, a fitness challenge at my gym, and the "Be Seen" challenge with Jenn Scalia. In this episode, I share a quick outline for opening communication with potential funders and partners. If you want to join a future "Be Seen" challenge with Jenn, here's a link to her website:


056 Put The FUN Back In Fundraising

Using Shawn Achor's "The Happiness Advantage" as a jumping-off point, this week I talk about how and why you might want to put the FUN back in your fundraising efforts. This week's links are: Accountabilibuddies episode: Training Magazine article: The "don't sell the unsellable" episode:...


055 Gearing Up For Year - End Fundraising

Something that will be on your radar soon if it isn't already is year-end fundraising. This week I'm sharing more tips on how to get yourself ready for the big year-end push, why it's important to your organization, and a quick event fundraising tip to add a few extra dollars to your bottom line. Links below. Infographic on year-end fundraising: Ep. 8 Fundraising Prep:...


054 Why Fundraising Might Feel Hard Right Now

Something that I noticed this year is that fundraising has been HARD. Like a LOT harder than usual. This week I'm talking about why that might be the case, how to put the fun back in fundraising, and I answer a listener question about last week's episode on rallying around a colleague in crisis. Here's why your fundraising may feel harder than usual: 1. Your list is old and outdated 2. You're trying to sell the unsellable 3. You're approaching fundraising from a place of desperation Here's...


053 How to Rally Around a Colleague in Crisis

We've seen it before: a sudden divorce, a death in the family, a catastrophic illness, or maybe it's even a national tragedy... Something horrible is requiring your colleague's attention and they are ... not handling it well. Here is how you love on them and support them through this. 1. Plan for them to miss deadlines. 2. Lighten their work load for however long they need and your team can handle it. 3. Ask them what they need and then give it to them to the extent you can. 4. If it is...


052 How to Recover After a Big Event

I've heard it said (though I can't cite a source) that it takes a full day of rest for every hour of event time to fully recover. Now, I know none of us has that kind of time off available, but this week I'm going to talk about ways to speed your recovery after a big event.


051 War Stories, or as I (apparently) like to say, "Hunh"

True tales from the 70th annual Virginia Highlands Festival, including a legit funny new nickname for one of my board members. I talk about the fires that needed putting out, the joyful moments, and what it means to redefine success as "significance."


050 Event Debrief Festival Patrons Concert and Reception

Every now and then I'm going to share an event debrief so we can learn from each other's mistakes and successes. If you have an event debrief you'd like me to include in an upcoming episode, email me becky at Virtual executive director dot com. This debrief is on the Virginia Highlands Festival's Patrons' Event. I'll talk about what the event is, what the goals were, and where we succeeded and failed in meeting those goals.


049 How to Deploy Self Awarness

It's one thing to be self-aware. It's another thing to put that self-awareness into practice. This week on the podcast I share a super embarrassing moment from last week and how I'm deploying self-awareness to make sure it doesn't happen again.


048 Herding Cats and Moving Food

OK show of virtual hands. How many of you when someone asks you what you do, say something like, "I work in nonprofit. It's like herding cats." In this episode, I talk about a better approach than "herding" people towards a goal. This show has a special 5 minutes of meditative silence at the end. (This is why I need an editor!)


047 Making the Most of Organizational Downtime

In the summer, my nonprofit is insanely busy, so I tend to assume that *everyone* is insanely busy. But I know there are lots of orgs that may be in a bit of a summer lull. So this week, I'm talking to you and wistfully daydreaming about my own organizational lull in a couple of months.


046 5 Red Flags When Interviewing for a Nonprofit Job

This week I'm talking specifically to people who are interviewing for jobs at a nonprofit or who are conducting the interviews for these jobs. Everyone wants to put on their best face for a job interview, so you have to be vigilant in looking for these red flags. And if you are the interviewer, you have to discuss frankly the challenges your organization faces. Here are 5 red flags that I've seen pop up in an interview situation. Let me know what you'd like to add to this list.