The challenge we face:
The COVID-19 pandemic flipped many workplaces upside-down and uncertainty has become a normal part of our fundraising world. There has been no shortage of professional development suggesting how we need to continue our work during this time, but what I felt was missing were discussions about how to lead in the current climate and in future occasions of uncertainty and stress. How can we reassure our internal team while keeping people motivated, how do we account for changes in expectations while not diminishing the need to raise funds, and how do we learn from this crisis to be better prepared for the next one.
As successful nonprofits see record fundraising numbers, how can their leadership choose the messaging to share with donors to continue to inspire belief in their mission and what can other nonprofits learn from that, how do you retain top talent when jumping off points are everywhere, and how do you find the stories to share that capture the impact of your efforts when you might be removed from the direct service work of your organization?
Lou Nanni discusses leadership during the time of COVID-19, how to motivate a team during times of great uncertainty and times of great success, the importance of adaptability, what are the greatest pressures on leaders today, how to hire people who will be “other focused”, and how to find and tell the great stories that connect people to your mission.
In this episode we discuss:
- How do we inspire teams when we’re facing circumstances we’ve never faced before?
- How can outside the box ideas help institutions to focus campaign communication on the impacts they can have?
- How can you continue to motivate a team and stay grounded during periods of tremendous success?
- What opportunities come out of crises and how can you seize those opportunities?
- How can you keep your benefactor and prospects aware of your actions when circumstances are changing on a daily basis?
- How do you emphasize the need for effective and efficient work during COVID-19 while being understanding of changed circumstances for staff and donors?
- What are the most important skill sets to emphasize for your employees during times of crisis?
- Where do you find the information and stories to share with your internal time during times of stress and crisis?
- What makes for stories that motivate your benefactors?
- How do we find the best stories that best convey the mission of our organizations when our operation might look different now than it has in the past?
- What makes for a great vision for your organization?
- What are the greatest and most important pressures on leaders today?
- How do you identify great hires who have the values your organization desires?
How you can help your colleagues and friends in the field today:
- If you know someone who would enjoy our show or benefit from hearing today’s episode, please share our episode through your podcast player, by passing along the link to www.thephilanthropypodcast.com, or be a great friend and teach them how to subscribe to podcasts and just make their life better all around!
Learn more about this episode’s guest: Lou Nanni
Louis M. Nanni is the vice president for University Relations at the University of Notre Dame. In this role he oversees the University's efforts in development, advisory councils, special events and the Notre Dame Alumni Association.
Prior to joining Notre Dame in 1999, Mr. Nanni had served for eight years as executive director of the Center for the Homeless in South Bend, Ind., establishing the center as a national model in addressing the complex issues involved in homelessness. As a leading authority on those issues, he addressed Congress during its debate of welfare reform measures and led training sessions for thousands of community service workers across North America, all the while continuing to form close personal relationships with the center's guests.
Mr. Nanni graduated from Notre Dame in 1984 with a bachelor's degree in government and the Program of Liberal Studies. For two years following graduation he served as a lay missioner working in a Santiago, Chile, shantytown as part of the Holy Cross Associates program sponsored by Notre Dame's founding religious order, the Congregation of Holy Cross. He then entered Notre Dame's pioneering international peace studies program, earning a master's degree in 1988.
Mr. Nanni became director of the world mission office of the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, Fla., in 1988 and worked extensively in the Dominican Republic on issues of pastoral support and economic development. He was elected to Notre Dame's Board of Trustees as a three-year, young alumni member in 1990.
Mr. Nanni and his wife, Carmen, a 1993 Notre Dame graduate, were presented one of three national exemplar awards by Notre Dame as part of a special University observance in May 1997. He previously served on the advisory council for Notre Dame's Institute for Church Life and in 1994 received the Notre Dame Alumni Association's Dr. Thomas Dooley Award for Humanitarian Service.
The Nannis have five children, Isabela, Louis, Katia, Gabriel, and Sofia.