In this episode, we sit down with the senior vice president of development services at PBS Betsy Gerdeman to learn from her 20 years in public television. Hear her expert insights on managing a large network of affiliates, adapting to an ever-changing sector, and balancing suppor for hundreds of chapters that each have their unique challenges. You’ll see why Betsy believes a core message doesn’t change, only the way it’s articulated.
In this episode, Shannon McCracken, chief development officer at Charity Navigator, discusses how the roles of the fundraiser and marketer have transformed over the past two decades, and how the modern donor expects to be engaged. Learn how connected data creates stellar donor experiences, Shannon's tips for nonprofits whose impact can be difficult to explain, how experiments impact their fundraising success, and more.
How Heifer International’s Director of Influencer Marketing and Brand Partnerships Activates Power Players
Before joining Heifer International, Linda Rogers oversaw the corporate social responsibility arms at two companies you might have heard of: Disney and Coca-Cola. When it comes to corporate partnerships, she’s a seasoned expert that has sat on both sides of the fence—and she’s using her wealth of knowledge to engage influencers. Learn how to identify a strong partner and steward them from start to finish, create ambassadors of your brand, conduct change management, and more.
From Apple to The Salvation Army: Lessons From the Southern Territory’s Director of Digital Strategy and Engagement
As the director of digital engagement at Oxfam America, Mason Weintraub shares how they built a digital team that thrives on a culture of collaboration, creativity, and empowerment. As a leader, they know that their team environment translates directly into the success of their digital efforts. You won’t be afraid to try bold, new ideas after listening to this episode.
Why does fundraising have to be so hard? It’s a question that guided Scot Chisholm as he transitioned Classy from a neighborhood fundraising event into a leading SaaS company in San Diego. Learn about his serendipitous journey from pizza parlor to CEO, how he handled challenges building an organization from scratch, how the for-profit and nonprofit worlds can work together, and how to create a work environment that drives professional and personal growth for employees.
In this episode, former COO of charity: water Rod Arnold discusses their emergence as a premier nonprofit brand and his years of experience as a nonprofit consultant. Tune in to discover what led to their success, how to leverage inbound marketing to capture target audiences, and Rod’s expert advice for tackling growth as a nonprofit organization.
The Karam Foundation began when Lina Sergie Attar and her friend started holding social events with a humanitarian spin for Chicago’s Arab-American community. But when the Syrian Civil War created the largest humanitarian crisis of recent times, Lina (a Syrian-American herself) and her team were called to move from small-scale funding to on-the-ground programs. Learn how they stay grounded with a mission of immense scale.
In this episode, Lina shares how Karam adapts their fundraising strategy in response to current events, how her expertise in architecture and design informs Karam’s web presence, where she finds inspiration and motivation to keep going, and more.
In this episode, the CEO and founder of The Honor Foundation discusses the unconventional mindsets and practices that grew the organization’s online revenue by 191 percent in one year. Tune in to discover how to stay close to your mission through growth, overcome challenges unique to founders, and hire the right team to take you to the next level.
Jim Ziolkowski left a plum job at GE to start buildOn, a nonprofit organization that breaks the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education. But his lofty mission was met with a string of rejections and setbacks. Find out how this failure powered Jim and his team to develop the humility and grit to keep going.
In this episode of the Classy podcast, Jim shares:
- Why he couldn’t walk away when failure seemed certain
- How an executive assistant gave buildOn a chance
- Why he shares their methodology with other organizations
- How risk-taking created this 25-year-old international nonprofit
- Why buildOn is not a charity
Brad Ludden has spent the last 16 years taking young people with cancer on epic adventures around the world. His work has transformed the lives of hundreds of participants, including his own. Join us as we dive into his journey from working as a professional whitewater kayaker, to founding his nonprofit First Descents at age 20, to recently being honored as a CNN Hero.
In this episode, Brad shares:
- Why the right board of directors is instrumental in your early days
- The formula for locking in the right corporate sponsor
- How to measure the impact of outdoor adventures on participants
- How he conducts critical check-ins to reevaluate how he provides value as a CEO
Two Forbes 30 Under 30 stars are building successful social businesses to address food access in two very different ways: Noam Kimelman through healthy meals on-the-go in Detroit, and Shobhita Soor through insect farming in Ghana. What they have in common is a keen sense for establishing a solid revenue stream for their budding nonprofits and re-aligning the way work shows up in their personal lives.
In this episode, Noam and Shobhita share:
- Their founding stories building Fresh Corner Cafe and Aspire Food Group
- Why they opted for a new revenue model outside the traditional nonprofit route
- How they’re working towards financial self-sustainability
- The business advice that influenced their early days
- How this generation accepts entrepreneurship as a way of life
- What they stand for: rebelliousness and opportunity
At 26-years-old, Paula Schwarz is a serial entrepreneur working on the frontlines of the international immigration crisis. This Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree is developing innovative solutions to the unique needs of refugees, and then testing them in camps around the world through her company, StartupBoat.
In this episode, Paula walks us through her leadership strategies and how to stay focused in the face of adversity. She shares:
- How to attract partners like Facebook, UBS, Bayer, UNICEF, and Aspen Institute
- Advice for assembling a team of lifelong learners
- What the international immigration crisis really looks like
PLUS, stay tuned for a guest Q&A between Paula and Classy engineer Morgan Snyder, another Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree.
It’s been a whirlwind year for Jeffrey Martín. In February he signed his first big client deal, in May he brought on a team of interns, in September was his big fundraiser, and in October he won the Forbes $1M Change the World Entrepreneurship Competition as part of the Forbes Under 30 Summit. He always said starting his organization honorCode was a risk for him, until things started to fall in place at the end of 2016.
honorCode is a new social enterprise that’s feeding K-12 classrooms in Atlanta web development training and curriculum. As the CEO and Founder, Martín envisions Atlanta becoming the Silicon Valley for the South and is closing opportunity gaps with modern technical education. He wants Atlanta's next generation to be educated as coders and able to compete for lucrative jobs in their hometown.
Born into poverty, Martín is the epitome of the students he aims to empower today. With education from the Wharton School, grad studies at Brown University, teaching for Teach for America and a stint at Goldman Sachs, he’s now lived many lives. His experiences converge into one timely interview, as we speak to Jeff on his 26th birthday.
In this episode, Jeffrey shares:
- The growth levers that took honorCode from an idea to a business
- How to attract lucrative corporate partners, like Google and Forbes
- The data points you need to use to validate your startup
- Why you should apply to competitions and accelerators, and advice on how to do it right
In Classy's first ever podcast panel discussion, and in honor of World Water Day, we speak with two cutting-edge leaders in the WaSH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) sector, Jason Kass and Natalie Relich.
Natalie is the Executive Director at O’Horizons, a nonprofit developing solutions that are characterized as Low-Tech, High-Thinking. Most notably, they've created a wood mold bio-sand filter that makes it cheaper, faster, and easier to get safe drinking water. Jason is the president and founder of Toilets for People, a social enterprise that designs and manufactures waterless bathroom products and trains NGO partners in the developing world how to build, install & maintain them. Their signature sanitation solution is an affordable, self-contained waterless toilet that uses technology to safely treat human waste.
In this episode, Natalie and Jason share:
- How to stay forward-thinking at your own social startup
- Tips for collaborating with like-minded organizations
- Tactics for incorporating low-tech, high-thinking solutions into your nonprofit programs
- Why lean startups like theirs are poised to drive significant change for the international development community
- How low-tech, high-thinking solutions are a more sustainable approach to today's world problems
- An insightful approach to the definition of "social innovation"
Erica Williams Simon grew up watching her father transform people’s lives through stories. It didn’t take long to realize that she had a similar calling.
Today, after a stint in politics, dozens of TV appearances, numerous conferences, advising the White House and several Fortune 500 companies, and serving as Creative Director for Upworthy.com, Erica has honed her voice and built a platform that uses storytelling to affect change across generations, with a particular focus on millennials.
In this episode of the Classy Podcast, Erica shares the work she is doing to create and share messages that help generation Y thrive and radically change the world. She revisits the experience of discovering her strengths, the moments and people that shaped who she is today, and how she approaches journalism and storytelling in very different ways.
In this episode, Erica discusses:
- How to have a great personal and working relationship with millennials
- Tactics to get outside your “filter bubble” and listen to news objectively
- How to get “un-stuck” in your career path
- Why it’s important to distinguish journalism from storytelling
- Why it’s ok to not settle for just one professional title
- The #1 challenge for anyone creating content today
- Why her go-to power pose has more to do with her heart than her physical presence