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Dana Snyder thinks about telling your story and marketing yourself


In this series of Group Thinkers podcast episodes, our focus is on leadership. Throughout each episode, we’ll chat with leaders in the nonprofit and commercial space to learn more about their careers and the unique journeys that led them to where they are today. 

On this episode, we sit down with Dana Snyder, founder of Positive Equation and host of the “Missions to Movements” podcast, to discuss:   

  • Her career path and how it led to working for American Idol (7:36) 
  • Integrating her experience with digital marketing into the broadcast industry (12:26)  
  • Coming back to the nonprofit space and how it compares to for-profit companies (18:51)  
  • Preparing to launch her first book (26:03) 
  • Characteristics that help her teach others (29:23) 

Meet our guest 

dana_headerDana Snyder 

Founder of Positive Equation and host of the “Missions to Movements” podcast 


“So don't be afraid, for anybody listening; put your story out there. If you can be really, really authentically you, I think people appreciate it.” 

Podcast transcript 

Justin: So, welcome to Group Thinkers. I'm your host, Justin McCord, and with me, as always, is Ronnie Richard. 

And Ronnie, today's episode is a unique one. And it's unique because we get to intersect nonprofit digital marketing and reality TV. And that's rare, right? It's an interesting thing. Yeah. So, tell us a little bit about Dana Snyder, who is our guest today. 

Ronnie: So, Dana, she's the founder of Positive Equation, and she hosts a podcast called “Missions to Movements.” She's had a pretty interesting career―we'll talk about it more on the episode here―but she kinda started in the nonprofit space, and she kinda had this dream she talks about: she always wanted to work on, like, big sports campaigns in New York City, so she kinda jumped at the chance to do that, moved to New York, started working with some big brands and stuff, and then she, again, you'll see this theme of … she calls it,  her career is kind of a playground where she jumps from one thing to the next, but they're all kinda related.  

So, she then she started her own company, Positive Equation, and just sort of took a chance there, and then she soon after finds herself in L.A. She, through some connections, becomes a digital producer on American Idol, and we kinda talk about that, working in the TV space, and then she's still, you know, to this day working with Positive Equation. She's moved more into a consulting and educational role in that space, but I found it super interesting. She comes across, she's so, like, hungry to learn new things, and she's willing to teach herself new things and just take big chances on things where, you know, it's putting yourself out there. Super interesting. 

Justin: Yeah, that idea of willing to jump, there's value in that. The other thing, Ronnie, that stood out to me about our conversation, and people will hear this, is that Dana has this really unique perspective on the value of telling your own story and the importance of it. And so, you know, her story is unique, and it ties together all of her expertise in terms of how she is coaching and working with nonprofits and helping them in particular grow their social presence and grow their monthly giving presence. But it's through this lens of your own experiences, and being able to tie together how your experiences influence your perspective, that is incredibly valuable and creates this aura of authenticity that is refreshing and enigmatic. And I think that that's a way that we could describe Dana Snyder. So, without any further delays, here's Dana Snyder of a Positive Equation on Group Thinkers. 

Justin: Okay. So, Dana, we just jump right in. We don't . . .  

Dana: Perfect. 

Justin: There's no, there's no need to, like, walk into the pool. I think it's better to cannonball. 

Dana: Let's do it. Big waves. 

Justin: How does your work with nonprofits compare to your work with American Idol? That's where I wanna start. 

Dana: Hahaha. Oh my god. First time I've ever been asked that question, Justin.  

Ronnie: Just right out of the gate. 

Dana: Oh my gosh. Okay. Well, context. My role in American Idol as a digital producer was working with the talent on creating, and when I say talent, that was Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, Ryan Seacrest, Bobby Bones at the time. And so, I was creating content from the show for them to post on their social channels to, therefore, amplify and raise awareness, obviously, of the show. 

So, very different, I would say. I had never done broadcast television work. And I'll tell you, like, what's the same and what's different. 

Justin: Yeah.  

Dana: There are live events for nonprofits, and American Idol has live shows. So you are in the moment, right, capturing live, exciting content. This happens at galas, this happens at runs, this happens whatever, right? And you're trying to find and pull the stories that you think your audience is gonna relate to. So, that's the same. The show also has the whole beginning aspect―when they're doing the auditions is all pre-taped. And nonprofits have tons of prebaked content that they need to keep things rolling and going when you don't have live events. So, you're thinking about, okay, what can I capture now that I can release later? The difference, obviously, is you're not broadcasting on national television on a weekly basis for billions of views on your content weekly. And so, that's a unique pressure. 

Justin: A unique, yeah. That's, yeah. It's not that there's, yes there's less pressure, but it's not that the focus isn't on the less or more pressure. It's the different pressure. 

Dana: Yes. And another, I mean, I guess, social media and the digital team, our big goal, right, is we wanna be trending on Twitter. We wanna be having crazy amounts of views on our content to get people to watch the show. For nonprofits, you still want a crazy amount of views on your content to get people back to your website. So, it's just a different, like, medium that you're trying to direct people to, right? So.  

Justin: Yeah. 

Dana: Different entity, but similarities. 

Justin: Yeah. Well, and then, you know, you've got the wide range of characters, which is probably also a similarity, right, of . . . 

Dana: Of course. 

Justin:  . . .of people that you work with on both sides. So, I do want you to back up and give a little context as to your time and your space at American Idol. And so, would love for you to just kinda hit the high points of, you know, from graduating from UCF to getting . . . 

Dana: Go knights! 

Justin: Getting to that. And with that, like, honestly, Dana, what I love about your path is you appear to be somewhat of a Swiss army knife. And so, you know, like a multifunctional tool and, “Oh, we need a corkscrew. Dana’s got a corkscrew, you know, or nail file, or scissors or whatever.” So, like, so I wanna understand that path to get there. But I'm also just, like, super curious; when you look at someone's journey, something like American Idol stands out. And was that a dream you chased? Was that an opportunity that fell into your lap, like, just kind of shaped your path up until that point? And how now you think back on that experience. 

Dana: Yeah, and I wonder if listeners can relate to this where I think, like, my career journey is, like, a playground. I have hopped from, like, the slide, which is totally different from, like, the monkey bars, like, all over the place. But it's all somehow made some sense and a flow. 

So, to answer your question about, like, high points: I graduated, like you said, from UCF in 2010. And I think what was interesting about that time, and what leads the projectory of my career, is it's also when social was really getting its footing. 

Justin: Mhmm.  

Dana: So, I don't know if you remember this, but even when I was in college, I used fax machines at my internships. And social media was just getting started with businesses, like, Facebook was there, right? And we were creating all of our photo albums, and we were writing text in the feed and connecting with people, but we weren't using social anywhere to what it is like today. So, I grew up as social was growing up, and that plays into my career and how I just learned it naturally as it happened―which kinda leads to your Swiss army knife―is, things were thrown at us, like, “Oh, Snapchat exists. Hey,”― when I was working at digital agency―“y'all figure it out. Should we be doing this for our client? Should we not?” So, literally, things were progressing as I was in the career force, right? Workforce. And so, my first job was actually at a nonprofit in Sarasota, Florida, team of four, very small. So, I understand a lot about what smaller organizations go through and in terms of being one of many. And I did that for a couple years, and actually my dream was to move to New York City, and I wanted to work on, like, Super Bowl ad campaigns. 

That was my dream, to work in the sports world, big campaigns, big PR, and I did end up―my first job in New York was working for a company that built websites and mobile apps for mostly sports and entertainment companies. So, NASCAR, NBA, oh my gosh, Fox Sports, and randomly, on the entertainment side, American Idol. So, I grew up watching American Idol at home. We were working on, like, game, like a gamification microsite for them at this company. So, that's how I got the initial contact there. Then I ended up working for a PR firm, then in 2017, I left and decided to start my own business. I was in New York City, and my roommates and I, they were going off and doing things, so, we were gonna end up having to get our own places. And I was like, “I don’t know if starting my own business and living in New York City is a smart financial decision.” So, move to Los Angeles, Dana. Haha, also a really smart choice. 

But I’d never lived on the West Coast, and I very, very, very graciously had friends that took me in to get me started, and I was living in their house with them and just helping them out with utilities and stuff to get my start. 

And when I got there, I'd been doing Positive Equation, which is still my business now, for, like, a year and a half and, randomly, I, when I got to L.A., I just kept in contact with the idol crew. Like, when I moved there, I was like, “Hey, this is what I'm doing, yada yada, meet for coffee?” And they knew I worked in digital. And, again, just over the transfer, he was like, “Hey, I think you should really connect with this girl, Carly.” She was on American Idol, and they're like, “Hey, we're looking for a digital producer, would you be interested?” And I was like, “Uhhhhh . . .” I had done some entertainment work in the PR world, but I had never worked on a television show before. 

Justin: Right 

Dana: So, what I'm talking about, you literally just, like, dive right in and figure it out. I knew, like, use data and strategy and create reports and, like, plan for campaigns, which is so different.  

Justin: It’s agency life. Yeah. 

Dana: Yeah. So different. They, I mean, the only thing they care about are Nielsen ratings. I don't know how to take care of Nielsen ratings anymore with how things have changed with all, like, Hulu and stuff. But … 

Justin: Right.  

Dana: Yeah. So, no, it was a totally unexpected curve ball, awesome experience, and I did that for a season. And then I just went back. It was a really fun opportunity that just kinda fell into my lap, and I was not trying to work in the entertainment sector, and I've been doing Positive Equation work ever since. 

Ronnie: I'm curious. Did you, did you pick up some things and learn some things; like you mentioned, it's a very different way of going about, you know, marketing and digital content; were there some things you picked up there that you've now incorporated into what you do today? 

Dana: For sure, and I think there's also things that I took from having an agency experience that were very different. So, for example, with the talent, they had never . . . I'm always used to providing reports for clients, like, they wanna see what you've done and, like, proof of things, and so every week after the show, I would do that for each of the talent; I put together social reports. And I was able to pull all the stats for them: Where they were ranking as far as they have this available. What celebrities are the most popular on TV every week, and that created, like, Katy, Luke and Lionel get along amazingly. So, it's really funny to be like, “Hey, Katy was first. Oh, actually, hey, Luke is first this week.” Right? Or however that works? Or I don't know. Whoever is on TV as a celebrity. “He's beating you guys right now. You should post more, or this is what worked best.” So, I took that from the agency world, and they really appreciated that, of getting those weekly reports. Things I've taken from the show, what was interesting is we did a pre-live show on, I think we streamed it on Facebook and YouTube at the time. Right before the show would happen, we would go live backstage with the contestants. And sometimes talent would join, usually Ryan or Bobby or somebody, and we had a host from Radio Disney. And so, I worked on the show in 2019, and then COVID happened, right? 

So, I naturally had been running a live virtual event every week for the live show of Idol. So, when COVID happened―nowhere had I ever publicly said I could do live shows. That was not part of, like, my Positive Equation services that I'd ever thought about offering. Then, once COVID happened, I was like, “Well, I know how to produce a live show.” So, I had a blog that I put out about it. I started doing a bunch of research about platforms; put that up. That was ranking number one on Google. Got a ton of traffic for that, and people were reaching out saying, “Hey, would you produce our event?” I was like, “I guess so, yeah. I could do that.” I can together and run a show, and know how to switch camera screens, and put in effects and on graphics and all that stuff. And so, that created a whole different revenue stream that I was not expecting, but it popped up perfectly just due to what nonprofits needed at the time. 

Justin: Yeah, that's it's so interesting. I mean, I love the playground analogy of it, but it's also just, like, the finding something on the playground and then making it work in the context of the play universe that you're in in the moment. Right? Like . . .  

Dana: Yeah. 

Justin: . . . those things do, they totally build on each other. When you, okay, so when you decided to leave the firm footing of PR and agency space and do your own thing, that takes, it, that takes a significant amount of courage. And so, I'm curious, like, how did you plan that decision and who, in particular, who were the leaders or people of influence that shaped how you wanted to approach Positive Equation? 

Dana: Oh my gosh. If I'm being totally honest, I was petrified I'll never forget, our offices were on, like, 28th and 5th, and I was, I had no clients. I had, like, nothing to, like, go off of. I was, like, I just feel like this is the time to do this. I was pacing, going up to my boss, who I loved, to tell her that I was quitting to start my own business. And she goes, “Oh, like, who are you gonna be? Who are your clients?” I was like, “I have none.” 

And look, I planned, but kind of didn't. I mean, I think I had, like, 10K saved, but I also had, like, 20 grand of New York City debt at the time. Let's be real. And I just figured, I'm gonna do launch parties in the cities where I know the most people, which ended up being Los Angeles, Orlando, because I went back to UCF routes, and Sarasota, where I'm from, and, of course, like, New York people. And I did these launch parties, and I had a little, like, sizzle video about all the things that I had done, what my mission was gonna be at my company, and networked in those moments to see who could, like, strum up business. And sure enough, I did get clients from those first events, and I paid for food, and I paid for alcohol, and, like, that ten grand went real fast when you do stuff like that, especially in Los Angeles.  

Justin: Yeah.  

Dana: I don’t know what I was thinking. And the other cities I asked for friends and favors. In Los Angeles, I don't remember what the restaurant was called, but it was right next to CAA. Like, it was this bougie, I don't know why I did that, but, anyways, that one was expensive. 

That's super fun, to get people together. And who influenced it, honestly, I needed some encouragement as I was gonna go up the elevator to quit. And I remember specifically two people, one was a client at the time when I was at the agency, and it was the CMO of the weather channel. And we had gotten really close in, like, a client relationship. And I just told her what I was thinking. And I said, “Do you think I could do it? Like, do you think people would hire me?” And she's like, “Absolutely.” 

And so, she was really helpful. And then I also called one of my college professors, who was, like, my ad PR, and I told him what I was thinking. And he was in Orlando, and he said the same thing. He's like, “Just do it. Launch it.” He's like, “Honestly, what's the worst that can happen? You go back and get a full-time job?” And that was it. And I remember, I got, like, I got paid cash, the first job for, like, 500 bucks. I was, like, “Yeah, I made it!” It was wild. But . . . and, obviously, it grew from there. But that was kinda like the start. You just kinda have to say, “What's the worst that can happen?” Right?  

Justin: Yeah, yeah. How did nonprofits come into that? I mean, obviously, you started your career there, right? But then when you launched, were you intending to work as much with nonprofits as you do now, or has there been some sort of pull into that space?  

Dana: Yeah, I was always gonna be for nonprofits. When I was at the PR firm, I was―that was DKC―and while I was there, I wanted to give back. And I feel like that time was really interesting. It's before, I don't know if you remember Larry Fink, but he released an article all about purpose. And before that happened, I feel like Tom's was your main, like, one for one. So, there wasn't nearly as much of a gray line distinction of for-profit businesses that give back as there is now. So back then, I was like, “God, I'm just tired of always, like, working with companies trying to sell the next thing without, like, meaning or purpose behind it.” So, I really wanna help the nonprofit. So, at DKC, I helped launch DKC Cares, where we worked pro bono with, I think it was, like, three nonprofits at a time, and I realized all I wanted to do was work on those projects. Obviously, it doesn't work for the bottom line of a company. And so, I decided I'll just do it on my own, and I'll help do social media and digital marketing for those companies. So, it was always nonprofits and purpose-driven organizations, and now it's been, after that first year and a half when I got back from doing Idol, I went straight in for nonprofit only. 

Ronnie: I'm curious, you, coming from the agency world, you know, you worked with a lot of larger brands and such. When you started working with nonprofits, was it―one thing we've noticed is there's pretty big gap between what for-profit companies are doing and where nonprofits are in technology and, you know, digital marketing and all these things? Did you see that large gap? And was that, sort of, one of your driving forces was to kinda close it, or how did you how did you approach that? You know?  

Dana: 100 percent, yeah. Absolutely. I mean, I think the number one biggest, and I still preach this every day, is for-profit companies, 99 percent, they have a social media team, not just one person. They now have teams. On the nonprofit side, you struggle to find organizations who have just a social media manager, let alone a team that can do data, and graphics, and creative and etcetera. So, the staff part alone is a huge discrepancy between the two. And then, yeah, I mean, from website to online social tools to email marketing, such a vast difference in―and a lot of that has to do with great marketing budgets and where those dollars are spent. But yeah. And so I figured, okay, how can I help. I understand a website is your storefront as a nonprofit. A lot of times, it's the first impression that somebody gets of you, and how they usually get there is through social posts. And so, how can we help build both of those strategies? Like, A: how can we elevate what you're doing on social that's gonna make people trust you, like you, build that story, then move them and make sure when they get to that website, it's in a place where it's ready to receive somebody. It's beautifully designed, it tells the right story, the copy is correct, the online donation form is frictionless. It's not gonna take 10 minutes to fill out a form. So, it's that whole, it's that whole journey I kinda talk about because it's not just . . . you can have the best social media ads on Facebook, but then if they get to your website and they can't find the donate button, then that's a problem.  

Justin: Mhmm. 

Ronnie: Did you face challenges of, like, presenting those ideas and getting buy in? I imagine it was a little bit different depending on who you were working with, you know, different leaders and different perspectives. Was some of that a challenge? 

Dana: I would say, I mean, on the agency side, you're usually working with an RFP, right? So, somebody's requesting your work, you're putting together a pitch, you're going out and you're pitching it, and you're seeing if you get selected. So, a lot of my time, I was a senior digital strategist there, so I was in a lot of those new business meetings. So, I was an idea generator, like, all the time. It was going, and I'm sure you guys can relate, like, you're creating ideas, you're presenting it to a client, seeing if you're gonna get selected. And then selling that idea, essentially. 

And then, oftentimes, projects would move quickly because they're, like, ready to go. They've allocated the time and the budget to do it. The nonprofit side, I think things move much slower. As far as, I mean, marketing and pushing new products altogether. So yeah, for sure.  

Justin: And it kinda speaks to the resource gap, right? Both in terms of just, you know, as we've talked about budget, but also the human resource to even think about and make those decisions at times, right? And I assume that that's somewhat where you find some of your work now is, I mean, you are an extension of the nonprofit's team. 

Dana: Well, what I've done differently, actually, in the past. Positive Equation started like a social media agency because that's what I knew. So, I worked with nonprofits on a retainer basis, but then I quickly realized, I'm only one person, and I was starting to grow with a team, and hiring is one of the hardest things to do in the world. And I was doing mostly contractors, so if they got full-time job all of a sudden, like, they were gone. 

So, it was very hard to maintain that just cycle. And so, I decided when I came back from Idol that I was gonna be more of a consultant and do online courses and to do the more one-to-many approach. So now I do a lot of teaching, through courses, through webinars, through workshops, through my podcast, and then I have a mastermind where I really like sunk my teeth in is courses on social media ads, so teaching people how to get visibility, how to generate leads, how to generate donations through social ads, and building and scaling monthly giving programs through a mastermind that I launched twice a year. So, more one-to-many with a couple opportunities to work with me one on one.  

Justin: And those mastermind courses have gained a lot of traction. Like, they've gotten a lot of attention in terms of their effectiveness and your ability to connect, and, as you said, remove that friction from people both on the social media side and the monthly giving side. Those are two areas that continue to move forward, like, at a very frenetic pace. So, how do you stay ahead of the game with what's happening on those spaces to influence and impact your courses? 

Dana: Yeah, of course. I mean, when it comes to monthly giving, I am researching all the time on new reports that are coming out; I'm talking to organizations. It's something that's in the works, which is pretty exciting, I'm hoping to launch a book all around monthly giving and kinda taking people―which is the premise of my podcast, “Missions to Movements”―is taking people behind marketing strategies and case studies and exploring, like, the how behind this brilliant thing we saw, like, on Instagram, right? And I’m doing the same thing with the book. It's, like, let's go behind the scenes of the spring. Charity waters I don't think you’ve heard of it. But, like, how did you build that before it became this 66,000 person-a-month program, right? So, I'm interviewing 15 different orgs for that, so that teaches me a lot. Naturally, I mean, I listen to podcasts on social media and digital, but also, I selfishly―and probably same for you guys, you get to think about the guests that you bring on to your show and the questions you wanna ask them―and I'm always learning from the guests that I bring on and creating questions that I find really interesting and wanna know, but I hope my listeners also wanna know. So twofold. I'd say podcasts, big time. I also like to attend conferences when I can. That's kinda cutting edge in the digital space, which I haven't done in a while, and attending nonprofit ones too. 

Justin: In which, by the way, our listeners need to know that you haven't done that in a while, mostly because you've got an amazing new little one.  

Dana: Yeah. 

Justin: Like, it's not like you're, like, “Let me just go wait.” No, no. Like, you've had the space you've been on. 

Dana: New job title: Mom 

Justin: Yeah, Mom. So. 

Dana: Yes. Yes.  

Justin: And if you, if you follow Dana . . .  

Dana: Flying is a little bit more difficult these days. 

Justin: . . .you'll see. But you'll get to see at least a picture. We've seen a couple of pictures of Kennedy on your LinkedIn presence. And so  

Dana: Yeah. Yeah. She's doing great.  

Justin: That sort of thing. Yeah. Yeah. No, that's . . .and it's interesting that you say that because you're right, there is something to the idea that you're gonna learn from the company you keep, right?  

Dana: Of course 

Justin: And so, surround yourself with people who are doing things that are accelerating monthly giving, or that are accelerating social ads or that are accelerating any aspect of marketing and nonprofit, right?  

Dana: And that’s such a great point, like, from a professional development standpoint in 2021, I invested in a mastermind program myself. And it was not in the nonprofit industry. I was the only person that had nonprofit business, and it was incredible to learn from these other female entrepreneurs. It was hosted by Julie Solomon, who I listened to her podcast forever. And so, we had in-person meetings in Nashville, we got together as a group multiple times. It was, like, twelve of us. It was very intensive and incredible, and five of us from that group continue to have monthly calls with each other. So, literally to your point, and there in the group, there was a 26 year old with a, like, multimillion-dollar business. And I was, like, oh my gosh. You fascinate me! And so, you literally surround yourself with people who are smarter than you to continue learning, and that was one hundred percent worth the investment of that program and now continuing those relationships. 

Justin: Yeah. What a great group to be able to have, you know, that regular connection with. Okay, so in your role as a coach and as a teacher, what characteristics do you seek to model so that you can be effective in coaching and teaching? Like, what are some of the things that you have taken from influences in your own life that you're putting into the way that you approach these one-to-many engagements? 

Dana: Yeah. I think a little bit of empathy has to come with it, like, understanding what's the situation that somebody's coming to you, what's their experience that they're coming to you with. And then helping to guide, but also letting them have, like, I guess the best way to say is, like, prompting the questions so that they can come up with their own answer. Like, I don't wanna always give the answer necessarily to things. I want to let them think through what it should be for them and come up with that. When it comes to teaching ads, that's much more of a tactical thing, obviously, of showing a step-by-step teaching example. So, characteristics there is, I try and be extremely, like, step-by-step oriented and explain things in a very simple, easy manner. I have paid for way too many things that are, like, 30 lessons long, and all of them are an hour. And I'm, like, never! I'm not gonna get through that. Not gonna happen. 

Justin: Yeah. Yeah.  

Dana: So, I try and do things concise, simple, clear, be understanding, honestly, the way I would hope to be treated is how I hope I'm portrayed to people . . . and fun. Like, I bring my, like, full self to things. Like, you're never gonna get, I don't know, not Dana. Like, if I launched a session, I'm like, I'm sorry, I’m screaming. Like, I'm gonna tell you. I'm not gonna be here all buttoned up and be, like, oh, can they hear that? That's nerve wracking. I'm gonna fake--you know what I mean? Like, I think just showing up and being really yourself, people appreciate. 

Justin: I was having this conversation this weekend with someone from the small group that my wife and I are in, and she works for a company that was quick to get back in office. They don't have a virtual presence. We're a, you know, a virtual company. We love having the moments where we're in person, and those do still happen, but primarily, we're, you know, decentralized and remote. And so, we're navigating those aspects of building culture and retaining culture and those sorts of things. And she was asking, she's like, “Well, what does that look like when, you know, your kids, especially for the summer, what does that look like in terms of interruptions and those sorts of things?” And I said, like, you quickly have to get past that. 

Dana: Yeah 

Justin: That veil has to come down. And you have to be yourself or else people can feel it, right? And that doesn't feel so good. 

Dana: It's also really nice when, like, kids―that happened, literally, to me on a podcast I was recording earlier today. One of the, one of the interviewees that I had on, his little girl walked over close to the mic and goes, “What’s for lunch today?” He, like, quickly muted it. And I was like, it’s okay, I was like, I totally get it, and that’s adorable, and go ahead and tell her what’s for lunch. 

Justin: That see, that is adorable. As long as it’s, as long as it's adorable, you know, I was telling Ronnie earlier. 

Ronnie: I was gonna say, your note. 

Justin: Yeah. I mean, look, I've got a teenager and preteen, and so  

Dana: Oh, yeah. That might be a little different. 

Justin: Yeah. Yeah. Because the teenager comes with a gaggle of teenage friends. And so, a bunch of freshman boys, and I'm on a call, and my son comes downstairs, and he grabs a post-it note and a Sharpie and scribbles something, and then he stands back, and he holds it up. And it says three words, two of which were not spelled correctly, but that's neither here nor there. But the note says: broke couch, accident. And I did my best to kinda, like, bite a lip and . . . 

Dana: He had to tell you right then. 

Justin: He had to tell me right then. Right then. Right? And I wish I would have been videoing or recording that call because I wonder if the color of my face changed. Like, that's the part that I really wonder about, like, did I honestly, was I able to not show? 

Ronnie: We see the steam coming out?  

Justin: Yeah. The cartoon steam.  

Dana: That's so funny. That's awesome.  

Justin: So, yeah, being adorable and interrupting mom or dad's call, awesome.  Being, you know, lord of the flies and interrupting mom or dad's call is different. It's just different.  

Dana: Different.  

Justin: Yeah. Yeah. So then, you know, really, as you think about both now and what's next, I mean, Dana, a book is a big deal. 

Dana: Yeah. You know what I originally thought I was gonna do? I thought I was gonna write the book during maternity leave, I actually thought that was possible. Funny joke, Dana. 

Justin: But you get about three-hour increments of writing.  

Dana: Because they sleep. Every two hours for, like, two right hours at a time? 

Justin: Right. Right.  

Dana: No. That is not how that works. It was a funny joke. But, yes, book is a big deal. I'm very excited about it. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna self-publish. I've actually bought a course on how to help do that and structure that. And I'm actually curious, I'm planning to use AI to help me get through some of it. 

Justin: Yeah. 

Dana: So, yeah, it'll be fun. I've given myself a deadline of getting all of these interviews done by fall, with the hope of launching it in the new year. To be able to use that for workshops and speaking gigs and all that fun stuff. So, and then . . . 

Justin: Super interesting. 

Dana: . . .book number two, which will be much more personal, is, I do wanna tell my career story because there are hilarious stories from my New York days to L.A. experiences of just, like, being; telling your story is essentially the presence of the book.  

Justin: Yeah.  

Dana: But yeah. So, I'm excited. 

Justin: Okay. 

Dana: Never done before. Figuring it out. Another thing to add to my repertoire of figuring stuff out. 

Ronnie: Jump into the next thing on the playground.  

Dana: That's right. 

Justin: That's it. Just another, like I said, Swiss Army knife. What do we see when we pull this, oh, it's a can opener.  

Dana: That's right. Exactly.  

Justin: Super cool. Dana, last thing, for folks that want to learn more about the mastermind courses, they wanna connect with you, they want to have you come speak at a retreat or do something virtually, how can they best connect with you?  

Dana: Absolutely. So, I love connecting with people on LinkedIn, so you can just search for me, Dana Snyder. I like to share, if thought leadership pieces are your jam―and I do share occasional things on Kennedy, but most of the time it's, like, educational based on LinkedIn―you can head there if you like more of the written word. If you're more of, shoot me that short, 30-second, how-to video-reel scenario, I'm on Instagram, Positive Equation, and then, more longer form, marketing case studies, behind-the-scenes amazing conversations, on my podcast, “Missions to Movements.” 

Justin: I can testify to the amazing conversations. 

Dana: Thanks.  

Justin: And LinkedIn, that's how you and I connected, that's how we met. And something that I do appreciate, I want this, you know, recorded and documented, is that you are so quick to ask for feedback and not feedback in some sort of we know what we're doing or anything like that, but it’s more like a, hey, what do you think? Like . . .  

Dana: Yeah.   

Justin: . . .what's your perspective on it? And I just think that is undervalued opportunity that we all have in terms of just working together, and understanding each other and the value of other people's opinions, so. 

Dana: Thank you for that. I appreciate that. I think it's been so interesting coming back from maternity leave and so much more challenging than I could've ever expected. I've been, like, a hustler through and through. And working currently, like, two days a week and trying to get it all done, but then also having the pull of wanting to spend this so fleeting, quick, I mean, you're talking about preteens. Right? I know that goes by so fast. And so, trying to be as present as possible in this moment but also making sure the business thrives. Like, it's such a crazy hardbound. So, I am reaching out to so many people right now. And truly having powerful relationships on social, we've never met in person before, but it's, like, people just, once you put it out there, and you're vulnerable and you're authentic, like, wanna help each other. And so, I've had conversations on LinkedIn about, like, what are you doing for childcare? Like, what did you do after this period and sharing stories, and it's so, so, so helpful. So, don't be afraid, like, for anybody listening; like, put your story out there. If you can be, like, really, really authentically you, I think people appreciate it. So, yeah, I always want feedback. Holler. Let me know. 

Justin: And you should. You should enjoy every moment of this special space that you have with a little one and at each stage. And you know, even with, you know, a couch that's no longer fully functional, it's still a joy. 

And so, you know, don't ever forget about that part of it. So, Dana Snyder, you're absolutely delightful, and we enjoyed chatting with you and can't wait to see the books, plural, unfold, and the continued growth and success that you're having.  

Dana: Appreciate you both. Thank you so much for having me. 

Group thinkers is a production of RKD Group. For more information, including how you can partner with RKD to accelerate growth for your fundraising and nonprofit marketing needs, visit 

RKD Group

RKD Group is North America's leading fundraising and marketing services provider to hundreds of nonprofit organizations, including hospitals, social service, disease research, animal welfare, rescue missions, and faith-based charities. RKD Group’s omnichannel approach leverages technology, advanced data science and award-winning strategic and creative leadership to accelerate net revenue growth, build long-term donor relationships and drive online and offline engagements and donations. With a growing team of professionals, RKD Group creates breakthroughs never thought possible.

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