Nonprofit Nation with Julia Campbell

Long-Term Planning in a Short-Term World with Cherian Koshy

May 04, 2022 Julia Campbell Season 1 Episode 35
Nonprofit Nation with Julia Campbell
Long-Term Planning in a Short-Term World with Cherian Koshy
Show Notes Transcript

Long-term planning - right now??? If this concept seems foreign or unattainable to your nonprofit, especially with what we've gone through in the past two years, then listen up. 

Enter Cherian Koshy, Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP), & AFP Master Trainer. He spent over 25 years in nonprofits, mostly as a fundraiser. Cherian is a nonprofit investment consultant and principal at Endowment Partners, an investment management firm that solely focuses on nonprofits, foundations, and endowments. 

He currently serves on the global board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is the Chair of the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (Volunteer Iowa) as well as eight other boards and commissions.

Here are some of the topics we discussed:

  • The importance of investments and long term planning
  • Charitable giving and emergency situations: striking the balance between urgent need and long-term solutions
  • How nonprofits can deal with risk & uncertainty
  • The concept of the "Ulysses Pact" to ensure foundations and fundraising staff are still around to help future generations through their emergencies.
  • Common obstacles to long-term planning and ways to overcome them

Connect with Cherian:
https://twitter.com/cherian_koshy
https://www.linkedin.com/in/cheriankoshy/

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About Julia Campbell, the host of the Nonprofit Nation podcast:

Named as a top thought leader by Forbes and BizTech Magazine, Julia Campbell (she/hers) is an author, coach, and speaker on a mission to make the digital world a better place.

She wrote her book, Storytelling in the Digital Age: A Guide for Nonprofits, as a roadmap for social change agents who want to build movements using engaging digital storytelling techniques. Her second book, How to Build and Mobilize a Social Media Community for Your Nonprofit, was published in 2020 as a call-to-arms for mission-driven organizations to use the power of social media to build movements. Julia’s online courses, webinars, and talks have helped hundreds of nonprofits make the shift to digital thinking and raise more money online.

Connect with Julia on other platforms:
Instagram: www.instagram.com/juliacampbell77
Twitter: www.twitter.com/juliacsocial
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/juliacampbell
Blog: www.jcsocialmarketing.com/blog

Take Julia’s free nonprofit masterclass, ​3 Must-Have Elements of Social Media Content that Converts

Julia Campbell:

Hello, and welcome to nonprofit Nation. I'm your host, Julia Campbell. And I'm going to sit down with nonprofit industry experts, fundraisers, marketers, and everyone in between to get real and discuss what it takes to build that movement that you've been dreaming of. I created the nonprofit nation podcast to share practical wisdom and strategies to help you confidently Find Your Voice. Definitively grow your audience and effectively build your movement. If you're a nonprofit newbie, or an experienced professional, who's looking to get more visibility, reach more people and create even more impact than you're in the right place. Let's get started. Hello, everyone. Thanks again for tuning in to the nonprofit nation podcast. I'm your host, Julia Campbell. And today we're going to talk about long term planning, strategic planning, and all the things related to that. And I have my very special guest, Tyrion Koshi. With me today. Tyrion is a certified fundraising executive. That's the CFRE label, chartered advisor in philanthropy and AFP master trainer. He spent over 25 years in nonprofits mostly as a fundraiser. And right now, Tyrion is a nonprofit investment consultant, and principal at endowment partners, which is an investment management firm that solely focuses on nonprofits, foundations and endowments. He currently serves on the global board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and is the chair of the Iowa commission on volunteer service, as well as eight other boards and commissions. And he has three kids and travels all the time. So I'm not sure how you do it. Tyrion, do you sleep?

Cherian Koshy:

I don't sleep a lot. That is for sure if the case but who does you don't sleep a lot do you? I do on and your world domination work like

Julia Campbell:

people think that I don't sleep but I actually try to I try to sleep at least seven or eight hours a night. Can you believe it? I read the Arianna Huffington book, and it kind of changed my perspective on sleep. And then also when I had COVID that we were just talking about this, I found that I desperately need sleep more than ever. So I'm just like, You know what, I'm tired at 9pm Going to bed. So I want to hear about how you got into nonprofit work, and sort of a little bit about what you're doing now.

Cherian Koshy:

Oh, yeah, absolutely. So my first job was at the Minnesota zoo, but not in fundraising. It just happened to be a nonprofit. I was a food service person. So I did that very early on. And then right out of high school, I started doing canvassing work. So if you have listeners who are in the UK, they call them chuggers there, which is I think, a cooler name. But we went around neighborhoods and ask people for money for the Sierra Club, or human rights campaign or these other things that we worked at. And then I went out east and did that work as the state director out in Boston, and then Connecticut, for that work and and really got bit by the bug of like this nonprofit thing is really interesting. So fast forward, kept working in nonprofits and different roles and got into really fundraising as a big piece of what I did. And as the Development Director for kind of small, and then midsize, and even sort of larger organizations, to build out systems and strategies and did that all the way through the pandemic. And I guess we're still in the pandemic. But as the last organization I was in started emerging and was very strong. I had the opportunity to use you mentioned I'm on a bunch of different boards, we had some access capital on one of those boards, and we're trying to figure out where to put it because there's really no place to put it. That made sense. And I got connected with this group, endowment partners. It's a women owned firm, which is less than 2% of all wealth management firms in the US. And they were really smart about adapting techniques to nonprofits started talking to them a lot. We invested with them and then started some conversations. They're like, Hey, would you like to? Is this something you would like to do? And I was like, Yes, this would be awesome. So I get to keep working with all of my nonprofit friends, I get to keep supporting consultants that are my friends because we do the investment management side and if they don't have a consultant, we can help them with that. Or I can be like, Hey, have you met my friend Julia? So it's all good stuff and and I love being part of it and stretching a kind of new muscle for me.

Julia Campbell:

I think that's so important. And I love that you have the board and commission perspective now, especially having been You're on the frontlines in the trenches as a fundraiser. And you can bring that perspective. I'm not sure if a lot of board members have that perspective.

Cherian Koshy:

Oh, good point. Yeah. I hadn't thought about that. I don't know that my wife agrees with the eight board meetings and three kids. All in the mix component. A

Julia Campbell:

lot of a lot of zoom meetings at 7pm. I would imagine. Yes,

Cherian Koshy:

yes. Yeah. Yesterday, the kids are like, where are you going today? And like, so the call today?

Julia Campbell:

I serve on the school board here. So I sympathize. Oh, I

Cherian Koshy:

feel free. Yeah, I

Julia Campbell:

sympathize. A lot of meetings. A lot of, you know, where are you going today? What what's happening today? Like, are you going to be home for dinner? Because now we meet in person, actually, we've been meeting in person for a while. So it is a lot of a lot of Miss dinners. But it's worth it because we're making change. And that's what we're talking about today. We're talking about long term planning, which unfortunately, I think is something that seems foreign or unattainable to many nonprofits. And what I want to ask is, is long term planning relevant now, especially with what we've seen, in the past two, two and a half years, you know, where our best laid plans kind of went out the window?

Cherian Koshy:

Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, obviously, the answer is yes. And even even better than that, I think it's more important now than it ever was before. So I want to separate first and foremost, the fact that we are currently living through all these things that are truly tragic, right? I mean, first and foremost, that pandemic, and loss of life and people's illnesses and whatnot, but then you compound that with the economy and inflation and, and how that affects people's day to day lives. And then, of course, this terrible war in Ukraine, and the loss of life and loss of security instability there in the world. And of course, that impacts them significantly, and everyone else as well. We are living in these times where it can feel paralyzing. And I think that's what a lot of nonprofits here in the United States and all over the world are feeling and continue to feel is we've made these plans and none of our plants make any sense anymore. I mean, how do we, how do we even kind of think through what happens tomorrow, much less 345 10 years from now. But, you know, first and foremost, we have to take care of ourselves and our staff and our beneficiaries as best we can, during this time, but it can be very tempting to put our heads down and focus only on that. And what becomes very scary, particularly for small and midsize organizations, is you get sucked into essentially playing whack a mole, like dealing with these immediate problems. And you never kind of lift your gaze to the horizon to see there's a longer game at play. And that's why think long term planning is so so important, even in the midst or especially in the midst of tragedy and disaster to say like, how do we first and foremost, make sure that this never happens again? How do we make sure that we can continue to do the good work that we know is so important, despite the environmental circumstances that will come in the future. So I know this is really, really hard to say, or even think about, but this will not be the last pandemic, it will certainly not be the last recession slash bear market, it will not be the last war that we face. So it's really important on leaders to really think about what's that long term plan? And how do we address that, but also to have the mindset to say, with that long term plan, we know that the day to day will change, maybe a lot. But we've got to keep our eyes focused on what we need to accomplish in the long term, to be able to structure our plans in a way that help us accommodate what we need in the short term. Right. So do we have the people do we have the resources? Do we have the other infrastructure to make sure that we can continue to deliver on the services that we do?

Julia Campbell:

Exactly. And I know that in the business world, which I'm not really in the business world, but I know that there is an extreme focus on short term gains, cutting costs, sort of shareholder gains. Do you feel like the nonprofit sector, there's too much of a focus on short term gains, versus long term investments in planning? And how can we get away from this? What are some steps we can take?

Cherian Koshy:

Absolutely. And I want to be very careful and thoughtful about the circumstances of the small nonprofit, small and mid sized nonprofits that you know, I'm on the board of and that I work with a lot. There is absolutely this sort of overwhelming need that organizations are facing or mitigating right you know, whether it's homelessness or hunger or disease, you know, all of those type of frontline issues that are so important. I love the analogy that you used about business because a lot of small and midsize businesses, they fail within the first five years. And that's because they get so worked into that short term mentality that they ended up making poor decisions. And the analogy that I would use is there are people that I know that live paycheck to paycheck, and because of that, they don't have the ability. It's not because they lack the desire or the knowledge, but they don't have the ability to make purchases in their individual lives, that would enable them to grow and sustain themselves. The simple example is, you know, the pandemic happens, and everyone's buying toilet paper dollars, or, you know, hoarding resources, whether it's at the grocery store, or whatever. And that does a disservice to them, right, you're spending more money on a smaller item, where it's like, if you went to Costco or Sam's Club or something like that, you could get a lot more toilet paper for a lot cheaper price per unit. But it also does a disservice to the community because we, you know, when everybody's hoarding those limited set of goods, then not everyone can take advantage of them. And I don't mean that in terms of donations, I just mean that in terms of like, how are we thinking about collaboration? How are we thinking about working together to provide those benefits to the people that need them? So when it comes to the short term thinking, This ultimately has so much to do with who we are as people, right? We are by and large, short term thinkers, all the time in our lives. There's this great study about kids. And then like having the Oh, the marshmallow, or the cookie? It's marshmallow. Yeah, I don't know that it stands up to the test of time. But I've definitely placed marshmallows in front of my kids to see

Julia Campbell:

this one word. And I bet they all do think something differently.

Cherian Koshy:

They do. Yeah, each kid tends to think differently. But I mean, kids love marshmallows. So if they're so for those of you who don't know, the marshmallow study, that idea is you put a marshmallow in front of a kid, or they did. And they said, you can either have this marshmallow now or two marshmallows in 10 minutes. And the kids that waited that have that patience, the argument was that they had a greater kind of long term potential because they had this understanding of, you know, what they could get in the long term. And whether that study is true or valid or not, is not necessarily the point there is an absolute behavioral science around present is our our bias towards things that are happening in the short term versus things that are happening in the long term. We can't get into that today, or that would be a whole other podcast, I guess.

Julia Campbell:

Hey, give us some books to read on that after? Yeah. I mean,

Cherian Koshy:

there are lots of great resources out there on that stuff. And you can, you know, Google short term bias. But the fun part, I think, or the challenging part, I guess, is that nonprofits, because they're run by people. They have that short term bias, you know, what did we do this year. And a specific example is, you know, when it comes to fundraising, I had this happen to me all the time. They're like how much money we're gonna raise this year? Well, those donors may not be ready to give until 13 months from now, or 16 months from now. So we definitely need to start pulling apart these artificial timelines and start thinking about what does it mean to do good in whatever the appropriate amount of time is, because a lot of the work that we do is messy, and it doesn't have a fixed timeline. And I guess really, the other thing that some nonprofits struggle with is like a lot of them want to work themselves out of a job, like, we don't want to continue to do this work, look far into the future. And I think that's a laudable goal. I think it's good to kind of think that way in some form. But maybe this is the like, realist in me coming out. But I feel like there's some nonprofits like arts and culture, nonprofits, which will always need to be there. We always need to, there's no good economic reason to produce new stories and new plays and new music and things like that. You've got to have philanthropy for that. But even things like hunger and homelessness, maybe we can minimize the time that people spend in hunger or homelessness, but I don't think we'll ever be able to eliminate them. Star Trek tells us we figured it out. But yes. I don't know if that's going to be true for us, at least probably not in my lifetime, unless something dramatically different changes. But I think there's always going to be need a need for nonprofits to do important work that governments won't do or businesses won't do. So we got to be mindful of how that works out.

Julia Campbell:

There are no nonprofits in Star Trek The Next Generation. I didn't think about that. But yes, exactly. That's the optimal future. And I haven't watched the new season of Picard but I don't know if it's all Yeah,

Cherian Koshy:

no, I just saw the trailer I haven't started yet.

Julia Campbell:

So that's The future we aspire to. But I agree with you. The realist in Me, says, you know when people say we want to work ourselves out of a job, or it's usually not the nonprofits that say that its donors or reporters or the general media or or people that have never worked in nonprofits say, Don't you want to work yourself out of a job. And to me having worked in domestic violence and rape crisis and poverty eradication and racial equity, you think the work is never going to be done. But like you said, I think it could be done in different ways. And maybe the time, there could be different approaches. But exactly like you said, nonprofits will always be there to kind of fill in the fill in the blanks and do the work that businesses and government either won't do or can't do. So I think we will always be here. But so I was looking at your blog. And what I found really interesting was that you do have a lot of actual solutions in your blog. So you don't just write about, here's the problem, and what can we do about it. And I love that. So it's really striking to see a blog that actually offer solutions, and I have a blog or two. So I get into that as well. But you wrote that in one of your posts. That was about striking the balance between urgent needs and long term solutions, that we need a what you call a Ulysses pact, to ensure foundations and fundraising staff are still around to help future generations through their emergencies. So can you tell me a little bit about this idea?

Cherian Koshy:

Yeah. So I mean, a lot of this comes from my work in environmental justice, where, you know, this sort of next generation concept or a future generations concept is obviously really more prevalent, I think, but I think it applies to all organizations, or almost all organizations. I mean, maybe it's possible that we like I'm a Rotarian. I'm on the board of Rotary, and we're all about like ending polio. I have a cousin who has polio, and we've we've very much minimized it. But it's still technically exists, right? There are still a few people that have it. And so the Ulysses pact is this kind of concept from ancient time where like, our own desire is to run into danger, right, like are hardwired into making essentially bad decisions. But Ulysses, knowing that that was going to be the case, told his shipmates to bind him to the mast, so that when he heard the siren call, he would he could hear the siren call, but he wouldn't make the bad decision. And I think that's what we really need to think about as nonprofits is how do we bind ourselves to the fact that there will be future generations potentially, of people who who need help? And how do we make sure that we individually can work in that space and make sure that we are the best contributors as possible and matter. That's things like mental health and self care, and all the things that like Ian Adair talks about. And it's also all the issues about burnout and turnover in organizations that so many other people talk about as well. So that's one component of it. But then, you know, what does it look like to have a place in our discussions that is future focused? So one of the recommendations that I've given before is having someone at the table who just puts on the hat of saying, I'm the future focus person, I'm the person who's going to be asking the question of what does this mean, five years from now, or 50 years from now. And when you designate a person doesn't have to be the same person all the time, but they're wearing that hat in these strategic planning conversations, so that you sort of forced the perspective, and then you shift to the conversation to saying, well, that doesn't make sense, or, you know, we don't have to worry about that today, but actually forcing the discussion to grapple with the issue, and to at least acknowledge that that issue exists. And what we found, you know, an actual future planning discussions is that it's really helpful to have that perspective at the table. But it's not something that most strategic planning conversations include. It makes a big difference in the shape and flow of the conversation.

Julia Campbell:

Do you think that Foundation's more than a traditional like social service nonprofit does have long term planning on the forefront?

Cherian Koshy:

I think some do. I mean, I think you know, with any type of organization, whether it's a nonprofit or a foundation, the different people and the different makeup of the organization are very different. I am a proponent of the fact that foundations a should distribute more money than they're currently distributing, based upon the existing need. But foundations are uniquely situated to be funders, and have the capacity to do things that nonprofits can't necessarily do. So understanding They are different and potentially have a different time horizon. I mean, some of them sunset, but they have the ability to look long term and be able to fund things long term. So, for example, if you have a $10 million Foundation, which a lot of foundations are around that kind of amount, if they took that $10 million and dropped it on an organization that addressed homelessness in Massachusetts, for example, that would only go so far. And then 10 years from now, what do we do with that foundation doesn't exist anymore, but the problem still exists? So how do we address that? And there are very few entities like MacKenzie Scott or you know, you can continue to to drop those kinds of dollars. So

Julia Campbell:

life changing game changing kinds of dollars, really?

Cherian Koshy:

Yeah, absolutely. And, and we're so grateful for the work that she's doing. But the the neat thing is the way that she's managing her assets, she can continue to do that, right? Yes,

Julia Campbell:

exactly. Because she's planned long term.

Cherian Koshy:

Precisely. So if we have 100, McKenzie, Scott's out there, imagine the type of solutions that we can have. Because that source of revenue for the nonprofit incubator who's innovating and addressing not I don't want to get too much into like, you have to do this cool, new fancy thing, as much as like organizations that are on the ground, dealing with circumstances that are near and proximate to them, right. Like, those are issues that need funding, and they need those that funding in the long term. So how do we work together, I wrote this piece for the Center for effective philanthropy as well, like, we need to work together to figure out how to make this balance make sense, so that nonprofits get the dollars that they need today. But they also know that there's a long term funding piece so that they can continue to do that good work without having to worry about laying off staff or not being able to be competitive in terms of salaries and benefits and programming to serve their beneficiaries. So it's all this very complicated thing that a lot of times on Twitter, you know, gets boiled down into something that nobody really agrees with, and doesn't really make sense, you know. So that's sort of the point is, we really need to think long and hard. And I don't think there are easy solutions to any of it. I think, honestly, solution, a solutions based framework is probably my own Western bias coming into play like there's a problem solution. And here's the neat tidy bow. And that's probably not the right answer.

Julia Campbell:

Well, speaking of short termism, which is something that you also talked about in this blog post, something you said just really made me think about how funding in the sector works. And I remember being a grant writer, and a development director, and struggling to get grants that were more than one year. And foundations would say, Well, you have to be sustainable. Well, okay. How can we be sustainable in just one year? And yes, we need to look for other funding sources. But these needs are always going to be here, or at least they hopefully we will reduce them, but they're always going to be here. So how do we make foundations, funders, corporate sponsors, understand that these are long term investments, if you will?

Cherian Koshy:

Honestly, truly, if I had the answer to that, I would be

Julia Campbell:

like, if we did, we would we would own the world,

Cherian Koshy:

right? Let's figure out the answer to that. And then we will like, we'll have books and you know, speaking gig and all the things, I'd start with the fact. So this comes back to a CP blog I wrote, I think the primary element is shifting the mindset of foundations, and even boards. So one of the reasons why I'm on a lot of boards is because I think it's really important to shift the mindset of boards, because a lot of times these people come from a corporate background, a business background, they've made some money, they want to do good, hopefully, kind of imputing a culture of philanthropy Ohana a lot of these. These folks, I think for a lot of people, there's good intention, but they come from the intentionality of leveraging the least amount of capital for the most amount of gains. And that mentality is problematic when it comes to true, you know, social impact work, where it isn't inexpensive to do this work. It isn't something that truly needs to be aligned with efficiency, and ultimately laying out the least amount of capital to do the most amount of work and that scalability complex I think, again, Mark Pittman and I wrote a wrote a journal article on this and hopefully it gets published soon, where there's truly an influence that has been centuries in the in the making that has driven nonprofits into this, this way of thinking and that's infected. Infected I use that word on purpose infected boards and infected funders, and what foundation leaders corporate donors, like any funding source, individual philanthropists need to understand is that this work really only works if there's long term funding. And we need to do the hard work of having those conversations about partnership about long term partnership and about saying, you know, if this is a change that you want to see in the world, this is a tree that you are going to plant that you may never sit under the shade of. And we need to cast that vision to donors and funders to say, Your goal here isn't to solve one tiny microcosm, it's to have a system change approach, and system change elements, we're never going to, quote unquote, solve the problem, right. But we're going to get closer and closer, I talked about it as like an asymptote, and math where we get closer and closer to justice, we're never going to get there. But because there's where people and we're going to have all of these messy interpersonal relationships, but the closer that we can get is the goal. And that's a long term play. It's one that's going to outlast our children and our grandchildren. I think I wrote about that at one point, like, you know, when my daughter is, at four, it will be the turn of the new century. And she's going to be facing some of the same issues.

Julia Campbell:

Hopefully we'll have a woman president by then we don't know. That's a

Cherian Koshy:

whole different. But my hope is that the way in which they're thinking about these problems, those mindsets, will have at least shifted enough to really focus on kind of the long term approach to funding things. But really like to your point, the one year funding and we're only going to fund the new element that you're doing that's so it's terrible, bankrupt funding approach? Because it incentivizes absolutely the wrong behaviors, right. Like we we shouldn't be in the business of new fangled things, we should be thinking about what are the right solutions, and funders need to realize that nonprofits are on the ground, they know best, how to address the need that's happening. And you know, to be honest, I think nonprofits can benefit from some elements of what funders have in terms of knowledge and resources and whatnot, and coordination. So the trust element does go both ways. But really focusing on funders saying, this is something that we really care about. And we're going to move this strategically forward through a long term investment in this. And that's why you see things like MacKenzie Scott and Melinda Gates doing strategic philanthropy right there, they're moving big pieces forward in a concerted effort.

Julia Campbell:

And then there's the emerging trends in philanthropy, which are the YouTube stars, I can think of a campaign, Mr. Beast, I don't know what his real name is, millions of followers on YouTube, millions of followers on Twitch, and he started a campaign called Team trees. And it's $1 or $1, to plant a tree. And then he started team seas $1, to get one pound of trash out of the ocean. And they raised millions and millions of dollars from small dollar donors that were $1 $2. And really encouraging people to understand the cause, and again, involved, you know, in any way that they can. So I think in terms of that, like philanthropy is definitely changing. And I think that, you know, we have to look at the foundation perspective, but also the, you know, the individual giving perspective, because to me, I don't know if you see this too, I think the new next generation of donors, they don't have a lot of trust in institutions. They care about the cause they care about the problem you're solving, they care about the issue. They care about the stories, and your annual report, your operating budget, your overhead, quote, unquote, they don't know that they just see okay, is this something that is moving the needle forward? Do I feel like this is something meaningful? Am I excited about this?

Cherian Koshy:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, all this social media stuff, and that's totally your wheelhouse. And I don't know that I'm, like, I'm certainly not the trendsetter on any of that stuff, or even follow the trends as much as you would, for sure. But I do think what you said is really important for for listeners to hear, which is the institutional piece is has to become less important. It really has to be about connecting donors with a cause that they already care about, and getting out of their way to facilitate that generosity. And that's what I think we as fundraisers do. But I also think the key component is really thinking through how do we reach people with those stories that helped them understand how they can make a difference. And a lot of what I do like all the speaking that I do all of the sessions that I do a total open book, here are all the things that I did. Here's the literal script of what you can do because as fundraisers, I believe in anyone a nonprofit is in some way in a fundraiser. But what I believe is that we need to be encouraging generosity generally. Because the more people that care about the stuff that's happening to all of us, the better off we all are. And a lot of times nonprofits get in their own way of saying, like, those are my donors, and I need to grab as many donors as I can, it comes back to this hoarding mindset. And Jim Langley uses this analogy of like, some organizations are just grabbing as many apples as they can, off the apple tree, and others are ramming a bulldozer into the tree to collect as many apples as they can. And what I think nonprofits should be doing is planting orchards, all over the place, just planting orchards of people who will become more and more generous to whatever it is, right. Like, there's so many, unfortunately, there's so many social, you know, environmental, economic problems, like there's so many things that people should get involved with. And there are too many things to leave up to the sister, two thirds of government, especially right now, with the divisiveness that we're dealing with, that, you know, can move funding from one direction to another, like on a daily basis, honestly, that we just need to have people who care and people who roll up their sleeves and say, I will spend my time I will spend my money, I will dedicate myself, you know, like you do on the school board, like we're going to be involved because our communities matter that much. And we want to get engaged to make a different world for ourselves, for our kids for future generations, whatever it is.

Julia Campbell:

The next time someone talks to me about donor fatigue, I'm going to give the analogy of planting an orchard. I think that's absolutely beautiful. We shouldn't be ramming the trees with bulldozers, and forcing the apples to fall off. We shouldn't be picking the tree dry so that it can't produce apples the next year. And we should be cultivating and growing and nurturing an orchard that I love. Absolutely love that. I think that's fantastic. Well, we could talk forever. I do have one more question. Just a quote that that you wrote that I love. You wrote innovation is closer than you think. But your old maps will not help you find it kind of reminded me of the Goonies To be honest, when I think of maps, but how do we get rid of these old maps and create new ones?

Cherian Koshy:

That's a great question. And it really is a deep dive into how do you think about the issues that you're facing? And what are the resources available to you? I'm a big fan. Like, if you look at my background, it's this weird alchemy of random things, which some people are like was this make sense? And I think it really is about putting very disparate pieces together and seeing like, how does technology interact with philanthropy interact with finances with, you know, all these other pieces, and we are very much conditioned to look at one set of blueprints are one one map that has been the map for 100 years, and it's tattered, and it's torn. And it was written by someone who didn't have the knowledge or insights that we do have today. So I think this is a clarion call for diversity on your boards, diversity in your staff diversity, and what you're reading and what you're listening to, and how you're thinking about things and bringing in a whole bunch of different perspectives, and saying what conditions need to be right, in order for us to move in the direction that we need to go in? A lot of times, we're we're saying that's not how we've already done, how we've done things in the past. And that's scary. And that won't work. And if we change the mindset again and say, What would need to be true? What would need to be true in order for those things to make sense? Or how can we look at this problem through a different Kaleidoscope prison. I know I'm mixing metaphors now. But it really is redrawing the map from scratch, take everything that you know, throw it out and say, let's start drawing it a different way. Use those pieces to put the new map together. But the most important thing Giulia is never assume that the map is finished. Never assume that the map is finished. Because what we've done for decades is say this is the map, this is the way that we get from point A to point B. And what I feel like we've learned, you know, in the last several years is the map is continually changing. So how can we continue learning continue growing, continue getting new perspectives, to iterate both on the journey and in the destination so that we can all do better?

Julia Campbell:

What it reminds me of is that episode of The Office where Michael Scott has his GPS on and the GPS actually takes him into a lake and he drives into Lake he like doesn't question the map. He doesn't question the GPS he drives into Nashville lake. And I think that that analogy actually, I think that's pretty powerful because a lot of have us do that. We say, Well, this is the way we've always done it. This is the way you know, this is the map. This is the these are the directions, and then we're driving ourselves into a lake. So I love what you said about that. And then how can people find you? They can you know, what's your website? Where are you active on social? I know you're on Twitter.

Cherian Koshy:

Yep. I'm on Twitter and LinkedIn, and I've pretty unique name. So it's just my name.com. And then the firm's name is endowment. partners.com.

Julia Campbell:

Fantastic. We'll link to all of that in the show notes and cheery and I will see you at an in person conference sometime soon. I'm so thrilled. And I'm just so happy to have you on the podcast so we could talk for hours. So you have to come on again.

Cherian Koshy:

Thanks so much for having me. I love it and love talking to you. And you're the best I can't wait to see you.

Julia Campbell:

Okay, good luck with all those kids. Well, hey there, I wanted to say thank you for tuning into my show, and for listening all the way to the end. If you really enjoyed today's conversation, make sure to subscribe to the show and your favorite podcast app, and you'll get new episodes downloaded as soon as they come out. I would love if you left me a rating or review because this tells other people that my podcast is worth listening to. And then me and my guests can reach even more earbuds and create even more impact. So that's pretty much it. I'll be back soon with a brand new episode. But until then, you can find me on Instagram at Julia Campbell seven seven. Keep changing the world. Nonprofit unicorn