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Ryan Ginard thinks about rejecting the status quo for nonprofit planning



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 Ryan Ginard, author of “Future Philanthropy” and “Nonprofit Moneyball” to discuss:   

  • Living in England, Australia and the U.S. with differences in nonprofit spaces (4:06) 
  • Learning new tech strategies during the pandemic (11:14)  
  • The people who influenced him to write his books (16:40)  
  • Implementing the Moneyball thesis and sports mindset into the nonprofit sector (21:04) 
  • What traits people should look for when hiring fundraisers (28:02) 


Meet our guest 

Ryan-Ginard Ryan Ginard 

Author of the “Future Philanthropy” and “Nonprofit Moneyball” 

“The most dangerous thing right now is leaning into the status quo of fundraising because it's not getting us the solutions we need. And, you know, we're just blaming each other. We're blaming the tools; we’ve got leadership blaming the fundraisers, and that's not what fundraising culture should look like.” 


Podcast Transcript 

Justin: Welcome to Group Thinkers. I'm your host, Justin McCord, and Ronnie, you're with me, first of all, so welcome to you. 

Ronnie: Here I am. 

Justin: Here you are. So, very provocative conversation here that we're gonna have, for a few reasons. Ryan Ginard, our guest, he is dialing in from the land down under. He's dialing in from Australia. So, we avoided the temptation of asking him how the weather is tomorrow since it's the afternoon for us and early morning for him. But Ryan's a fascinating cat. His second book’s coming out shortly, and you're gonna tell us a little bit about that. Give us a little of, a framing on this chat with Ryan. 

Ronnie: Sure. So, Ryan, he'll take us through his story, but he, you know, he started growing up in England, moved to Australia, got started in government a little bit and moved to the United States, and now he's back in Australia, and he's the founder of Fundraise for Australia, and he's written two books, and they follow a similar theme, and we'll get into a lot of it in the episode here, but the first book was “Future Philanthropy,” and the second book that's just about to come out is “Nonprofit Moneyball: How To Build and Future Proof Your Team for Big League Fundraising.” And we didn't get into this in the episode, but just for any of our listeners who aren't familiar with the concept of Moneyball or haven't seen the movie starring Brad Pitt, just wanted to unpack that a little bit, and it's all about, in baseball in, kind of, the late nineties, the Oakland A's were a team that had the lowest payroll in the league and the least amount of resources, and they were just desperately looking for some sort of edge to keep up with the big league teams. And so, they really leaned into data and analytics and were the first to kind of figure out things like how many RBIs you got and what your batting average was was less important than getting on base, and there was a correlation between getting on base and scoring runs, and it's a whole, a whole story behind that, and it's really fascinating. But the point of it is that they were able to think about it differently and bring in something that wasn't being done at the time. And that's really, to me, what Ryan's kind of getting at in his book. He's, he's trying to think about fundraising differently. 

Justin: Yeah. You know, he's gonna say this: Ryan is positioning himself in the posture that I'm not thinking three years down the road. I'm trying to think ten years down the road and work backwards. So, you know, he describes himself as a civic connector and fundraiser but also as someone that, that constantly thinks about the future of philanthropy―that's the name of the first book―and so, really interesting guy. Very interesting story and incredibly interesting approach to connecting and trying to live out a life of service. And so, you know, listen in for those things, for those cues, and definitely would encourage our audience to preorder his book, to order it on Amazon. So, yeah, so without further ado, here's Ryan Ginard on Group Thinkers. 

Justin: So, our guest today is, is … maybe I don't know, Ryan, you might be our first global philanthropist, and I don't know if anyone's ever deemed you that. I'm deeming you that today. 

Ryan: I'll take it. I'll take it until we get to the end of the conversation, then I'll reflect. 

Justin: Then we’ll unpack it. Oh, just like, never mind, that guy doesn't know a lick about global philanthropy.  

Ronnie: Withdrawn. Withdrawn.  

Justin: Ryan, you're joining us from Australia. Thanks for making the time as it is the morning time for you. It's the late afternoon as we're recording. And I say global philanthropist because you have lived in three very unique spaces, both physical spaces, but also, like, spaces and points of time, with philanthropic crossover into your physical location. Can you just unpack, like, your journey from the UK to Australia, to the US, and then back to Australia? 

Ryan: Yeah. Definitely. I'll try to make it as succinct as possible because we can definitely drag on this one, but yeah. I was born and raised in London, in the eighties. It was a time where Thatcherism was, kind of, front and center, and there was a lot of issues with the economy. My dad was a cleaner; Mom was a nurse. So, you know, we, we felt those unique pressures. Definitely, kind of in the heart of the working-class family, household, and kind of the town we were in as well. So, growing up was interesting. It was kind of, you know, my parents stayed together.

So, that was great, but it was, there was a distance because they were always working. I've got 3 siblings as well. So, being the eldest, you either kind of really roll up your sleeves and get involved in family life and help your parents out, or you’re kind of there, drifting a bit, and I felt I was on the drifting side.

And then in ‘97, my mom got the opportunity to move to Australia and be the nurse manager of a private hospital up in North Queensland, which is, like, on the Great Barrier Reef, those tropical paradise things, but it was a very, very small city, around 180,000, and it was a very big, big culture shock, as it were. So, you know, just even going into my first day in the classroom. Right? I remember two things. One, I struggled with nosebleeds. So when it got hot, my nose would just kind of gush. So that was embarrassing from the start. And then, two, someone told a student to sit down, and he told them to ‘f’ off. So I'm like, okay, culturally it’s different as well.

So, there's gonna take some adjusting, but moving to Australia was a great opportunity to realign where I wanted to go and, kind of, really take education seriously. So, I reckon if I was still in England, I'd be working, you know, a nine-to-five factory job. And, you know, that's okay. And, that definitely contributes to the economy, but I believed it was the second chance. I, kind of, really leaned in and then finished high school and then moved to Brisbane, which is the capital of Queensland. It's where the Olympics is gonna be in 2032. So as a kind of mid-tier city, really evolving, and then went to university there. I was the first of my family to go. So again, kind of breaking through barriers through an early age, knowing that you could be anything you wanted to be. I got involved in the student union and was running that for a couple of years; got involved in the politics and got to learn a lot in our federal parliament. But burnout, like, I was really involved in that community. I started up a soccer team, which I guess we'll get on to, kind of, the sporting analogies on that soon. And it's now, kind of, one of the biggest clubs in the city. I created it about 15 years ago, and it's got, like, over 1,200 players, from little kids up to, kind of, seniors, and it was a community-based club, but there was a big flood in 2011. And I just burned out. Like, it was, it was tough, but our district office, kind of, all the phones were redirected to me. So I had very difficult calls in the evening after, kind of, slogging away, helping clean and recovery efforts, and I just decided to go travel Europe, and I met a girl in Rome, and that, kind of, dragged me over to the U.S., and I did the political jump, got involved in one of the presidential campaigns and was based in California and then never left. But when you never leave, and you're in politics and you're a foreigner, you can't get jobs. So my girlfriend, who's now my wife, she basically said, you're 30 years old, so you gotta stop knocking on stranger's doors, especially when they can't understand you. And that was, kind of, one of those hacks at my accent, but she was right. And luckily, during the campaign, I met a few people that were involved in philanthropy, obviously―that extension of being a funder and, kind of, like, giving to the community―and, they got me an interview at the San Diego Foundation, which is about a billion-dollar endowment now. And it was a stage where they wanted to do civic engagement. And so, I came in and led the civic leadership fund and then went on to lead the actual, kind of, civic engagement arm. And, yeah, just fell in love with philanthropy, to be honest. It was very refreshing going out to the community and saying, “How can we help?” And instead of canvassing and votes to make sure you could help in a legislative sense, it was about building resources. And it wasn't just a funding thing. But I guess the MO for that center for civic engagement was to connect with the community that was changing so much, like, even during my time, San Diego changed from a majority white community to a majority people of color. And so, kind of, seeing that transition was really interesting, given I wasn't born there. I wasn't, you know, even in Australia during my formative years, I wasn't born there. I had a, a more curious and critical take on what the communities were, and how they were being filled up, and how they could help and how I could be supportive in that rather than take the lead. The great thing in philanthropy, I think, with growing up, and probably one of the biggest take-homes, is that I could be selfless. So, I could really be a connector and advocate on their behalf because I didn't want anything in return. It was, you know, I was kind of finding myself in the community And, yeah, as I said, then became a student of philanthropy, jumped to a small nonprofit that worked with students that were the first of their families to go, to graduate high school, then go on to college. A few of them were undocumented students, and one―this is the cool thing, there's actually a TV show made about the, the actual organization because a number of the students were actually going on to Ivy League schools, and one of them went on to represent the U.S. in squash and then got the … 

Justin: No way 

Ryan: Yeah, she got a Gates Millennium Scholarship, and she went to Columbia, and now she’s going to Harvard, and she works for Goldman Sachs. And it was on Apple TV on “Little America.” 

Justin: Okay. Right on. 

Ryan: Yeah. So …  

Justin: Yeah.  

Ryan: … definitely check that one out.  

Justin: So, then you go from San Diego, where you're working in community building, and you actually step into a role in higher education. And then that takes you from San Diego to Austin, so you had a short stint there. And so, you know, tell us a little bit about that pre-pandemic into pandemic time just, you know, 90 miles south of us here.  

Ryan: It's interesting how things go, right? So obviously, living in San Diego, it's very expensive. And, I mean, the ripple effect is coming from a family that has not much. And, you know, a very small family at that. My wife has the same on her side. You know, sometimes you gotta move in the best interests of your family and your kids and give them everything that you didn't have. It's kind of, like, I hate using this, kind of, context involving me, but you know, standing on the shoulder of giants, like, all the work and sacrifices made beforehand, kind of, benefits, that next generation. So, yeah, we decided to move to Austin. I’d spoken at South by Southwest a few years before, and we just became enamored with the city. Just the, kind of … there's just a real energy around it, and my wife is in technical recruiting. So, there was a good space, and she got relocated there. But alas, we moved three weeks before COVID happened. So, you know, that kind of really accelerated our transition back to Australia because, you know, going to one of the biggest universities and, obviously, going to where world-class fundraising occurs, and you've got the best of everything. You've got the gold standards in, kind of, CRM; you’ve got the gold standards in research, and everyone is really motivated. I mean, they're gonna end the campaign, probably, oversubscribing a $6 billion target, which is obscene, right, if you look at, kind of, the nonprofits that you come from. And it really, kind of, changed my thinking. The reason being is because I ended up in the department of computer science. And with COVID, I'm like, well, I'm not allowed to travel and meet with people. And this before Zoom really matured a bit. So, I was in that 6 months of going, you know, what do we do? How do we engage with donors? So, I didn't have a raw portfolio by any means. So I decided to invest in my understanding of the subject matter just so I could be a better advocate when we got there and started learning about machine learning and started learning about AI, even quantum computing. I took some courses on LinkedIn Learning, Coursera and stuff. I just became fascinated by it. And I'm, like, why is the nonprofit space not utilizing these technologies? And why is it being, kind of, that end of cycle, sales vertical for organizations that, you know, are really business focused. Like, why aren't we working arm and arm with folks? So yeah, just started doing coding and built a peer-to-peer much like GoFundMe but tried to gamify it so people could only fundraise after they'd developed a partnership or got enough points to unlock that ability. And yeah, then just started writing as well, and then it became kind of cathartic because, you know, we got into a much better routine with our kids in terms of sleeping, so freed up a bit more time, and then, you know, within six months, “Future Philanthropy” really, kind of, was born, as it were, in terms of the book. And then, you know, the 18 months that follows, you know, we had developers, big, kind of, foundations, regional associations of grantmakers, impact investors just bombarding my inbox, wanting to have a chat, and you know, they found it was an interesting take, looking ten years into the future, deconstructing it rather than, you know, this is the tech now, and let's evolve with it because we always are in that mindset of, well, we're behind everyone else, let's catch up. And, yeah, it was just fun, and then it ended up winning international awards. And, of course, I thought, oh great, this is gonna start a whole range of different things, but I kind of thought, where do I want this to go? And I'm like, I don't want it to go into consulting. I don't want to go and make the monetary benefits and come from a book. I want it to actually stir more conversations and drive my own growth and critical thinking and stuff. And then, I just kept on writing, and everyone really tapped into the nonprofit Moneyball thesis rather than tech things. So again, it shows that it comes down to people, right? And yeah, that, and now we're back in Australia. That's another chapter and one that we're still writing. 

Ronnie: Ryan, before we jump into that chapter of Australia, first of all, I'm always fascinated by what people did during their time of COVID. You know, there was downtime, and we had free time, and what people choose to do with it. For me, like, this little Lego stadium back here took up a lot of my time. But you decided to invest and learn and advance yourself in, in all the sort of technology and AI you were just talking about. I'm curious, as you were writing the book, “Future Philanthropy,” and as you were talking to people, and then after the book came out, and you started having all those conversations, who were some of the people that, kind of, stood out to you as influencing you either to write the book or have influenced you since? Then, who some of the people that have kind of shaped your thinking? 

Ryan: Yeah. Definitely, I'd say the biggest one was Trista Harris, who was over at the Minnesota Council Foundation. She wrote the book “Future Good,” and she came out to San Diego at a point where there was some evolution in the Regional Association of Grantmakers space that we’re talking more about― what philanthropy can be rather than it being civic triage; seeding the solutions tomorrow―and she came out for a conference and was the keynote, and I was the chair of EPIP at the time. So, emerging practitioners in philanthropy, she graciously gave us the night before to have a Q & A, very intimate audience, and then just started thinking, you know, what could be, and what does, the future of the nonprofit sector look like? And, you know, it kind of was aided by my CEO at the time, who just said, just lean into it. No one's talking about it. You know, if you want a VR, kind of, booth at the next conference, do it. Let's really be future focused, you know -- be our values. And we've just gone through a bit of a review of our mission, vision and values, and they are future focused. So, Nancy Jamieson was the CEO at that time, and, yeah, they're two of the people that really shaped my thinking. And it encouraged me to go into writing about it and, kind of, just ideating. But since the book came out, you know, there's a lot of people. There is Mark Hobbs, who's over at Unmetric in Canada. There's Jim Drees, who's down in Austin, who runs the AI fundraising company, Pilytix. So, he does a lot of work with UT as well. Obviously, John Gough, who leads their data analytics team; Brett Woodman, who is a chief of staff at the department, over school in computer science, and also Zach Richards, who is the Chief Development Officer for the College of Natural Sciences. Given COVID was, obviously, kind of social distance, and you're still trying to find things, it led to a lot more conversations. It took away the busyness of being in the office and just kind of going, hey, let's talk about advancing this. It's like, well, no, let's talk about what the pipeline looks like in 3 years. And let's be intentional about this time that we're, kind of, on our heels to come back out stronger, with more purpose, and let's build out cases of support for stuff that we didn't think was possible right now, but obviously, with the rapid evolution of tech due to the necessity of being able to, kind of, continue working and automating, being remote. Yeah, just again, fascinating. And it was just, people were willing to let me go down a path and, you know, just give me pointers. I think it's just a freedom to be open-minded and think towards the future we can have not the one that's three years down the track because our strategic plan says so. 

Justin: I, can't help but piece together―this isn't intended to be a therapy session for me, Ryan, just so that you know―but I can't help but piece together people's stories whenever we're having these conversations. And I'm seeing, like, this direct connection to you as a firstborn. And, you know, the role of the firstborn in terms of what that looks like of serving, maybe even reluctantly serving, their younger siblings, but also the models of service that you had and your parents also, you know, from an early age of seeing people connected to things like nursing, and what that looks like in serving others, and how that winds you through the political realm into a space of serving in a larger, civic space in terms of community. And I find that to be truly fascinating that, you know, you're on this, this train, and there's this winding that's happening, that's drawing you to who you are today, as you said, as a connector. So, where did “Nonprofit Moneyball” get the thesis for applying a sporting mindset and an avant garde sporting mindset into the nonprofit sector? Where was that seated in you?  

Ryan: Yeah. Definitely. I … what I said, it was a random chapter in “Future Philanthropy” about how we kind of tool ourselves for tomorrow, and how we bring new ideas and thinking into the space. And how the jobs of tomorrow in philanthropy are gonna, yeah, we're gonna have to find them from somewhere because we can't shoe hole the project manager in. So I started, you know, kind of looking more at culture and moving back to Australia very much So, fundraising is nowhere near like in the U.S. I used to say it's a decade behind, but it is where it is. Right? Because they don't have the vehicles, and obviously, working for a university right now, I thought, okay, the transition is gonna be, like, it's gonna be a challenge, but, you know, people will understand given the principles will get us there. But no, a lot of people were reluctant to, kind of, move things forward because now they just have a different business model here. So my thinking was really, I guess, fueled by building my own team here and there not being any talent. Like, I had to bring new people who had skills in alumni relations and fundraising, and you just do your normal searches, and you get a candidate pool of, like, three to four, and all of those are pivoting. And they just weren't suitable. So, I started actually thinking about before, back to when I wrote “Nonprofit Money ball,” and just started writing about it, you know, my frustrations and the potential of identifying new people, and understanding that AI is gonna uproot so many industries that we're gonna have to upskill people, and a lot of people are gonna have to come along to the services industry. So why not nonprofits? And especially with, kind of, Gen Z and, you know, all of the subsequent ones after that looking more at values-driven work and also building a creative portfolio rather than just having a long career at a, like, a PWC or Goldman Sachs. Right? That they will, kind of, traverse, and you know, maybe we take advantage of their talent the two years that they wanna do that pivot and, you know, help them along the way in their own journey. So, yeah, just started deconstructing stuff, and―I said my wife is a tech recruiter―so she kind of showed me the back end of a few of the platforms she uses and LinkedIn―kind of the stuff that you pay for, premium―and started doing, kind of, keyword searches and deconstructing my mind about what the qualities were. Started asking a few people what they believe the qualities were, and again, this goes to the great thing about LinkedIn, right? You can just throw something into the ether, and people can respond, and you can have conversations, and it gets you to where you need to be. So, yeah, “Moneyball” is a great movie, and I just decided to watch it again because that time from writing the first book to starting to put the framework to this book, I started to see it in a whole different light. And I think that at the end of the book, I actually have a chapter called ‘Roll the Tape’ where I actually pull out parts of the movie and how it relates to fundraising. And so, I started seeing kind of, you know, the fundraising, kind of, lead being the quarterback, and in the grand scheme of things, you know, they're not the ones that make all the arts. They like, they execute the plays. Like, the game plan is drawn up by the coaches and, kind of, the backroom staff. And that's really them doing, kind of, this strategic planning and what are the funding priorities. And, you know, the, the quarterback can score, like, they can, they can get it over the line, but they're more often gonna pass it off to the wide receivers, which could be volunteers, you know, pass it to their running back, which could just be the use of mail or automating, kind of various fundraising strategies, and, yeah, just, again, just the anecdotes come very quickly. I'm a sports administrator, so I love all the stats, and I’m looking forward to college football starting again. So when I wake up, here in Australia, I can kinda peruse the stats and see the long boards, I’m flattered to see as always. But yeah, it just, it was a very easy book to write, to be honest. I'm dyslexic. Which leans on how I write, and I have a very authentic writing style because it's basically a mosaic, but I'm trying to kinda, like, mold in what I know I want it to be. And I articulate the things I struggle to say by interviewing people that are doing great stuff in the space as well and are emerging leaders. So yeah, the thesis is pretty simple at the end of the day. Right? You know, the big, big, big nonprofits like Uniset, like Cancer Council and stuff, they have the money to employ the very best fundraisers and fundraisers, you know, in the U.S. aren’t paid handsomely. So, getting into those six-figure roles, you know, they, they jump into it, and they kind of get recruited quite quickly. So … but its nonprofits that are doing the real work in the communities, that are, you know, trying to hold on to that kind of community fabric and pull it back together are actually seeding some of those innovative solutions to, like, homelessness to social dissertation. So, like, all the things that are gonna be exacerbated through the triple effect coming out of COVID, you know, we should be doubling down on them. So I'm saying to them, you can have the best fundraisers out there. You just gotta get out there. Be very intentional in who you recruit and understand that people can be a barista one day―Starbucks started as a fundraiser; the next day, you can scale them up, and then their ceiling is sky high. So, you know, it's just finding talent and fundraisers, really. It's personal skills. It's, kind of, the ability to story tell, the ability to sell, so kind of core selling comes into it. And it's just being able to make the ask and having strategy around it. That's why I love, I just love recruiting marketers. I love recruiting political staffers. Because they know how to work hard, and they know how to sell a message to people and convert hearts and minds. 

Ronnie: That's actually the question I was just about to ask you, Ryan, was … I noticed in both books, there's a real focus on bringing in the right people in order to, kind of, spark that innovation and that evolution and building this team and changing a culture. So, like, what should people be looking for? You just, you were just talking about storytellers, marketers. Are there certain traits people should look for? Is it a communication ability? Is it flexibility to learn new things? What sort of traits are the ones that we should go after?  

Ryan: Yeah. I think, really, you've kind of outlined a lot of it. I think, kind of, we're starting to see a lot of work in LQ now. So, kind of, that evolution from EQ, it's, you know, their ability to learn, to kind of adapt, to pivot. The reason why I learned so much in my time during COVID was I wanted to learn enough to be dangerous, as it were, like, to connect the dots and to hold up that initial conversation. I don't need to be an expert in machine learning or AI. I bring the experts in the next thing. So, again, it's all about strategy. It's a curiosity about the work. It's, you know, kind of, peeling; that when you're actually given the funding priorities to peel back what it looks like from, you know, a human level, like, because you're trying to inspire these folks. And sometimes, especially from research, it's quite binary, like, hey, fund this because we're looking into, you know, solving x. Right? So it's, yeah, curiosity, it's the ability to hold a conversation, and really, when you're, kind of, looking at the fit, it's really not the technical stuff. So, when I go to recruit―and it's kind of the recruiting process as well―I look for where my flaws are, and I feel them and know that I can bring up their weaknesses by doubling down their strengths, etcetera. You know, we hired a person that has no fundraising experience here. And he's just about to take a new frontline fundraising job in the College of Medicine because we just let him go out and explore and ideate. And, again, you know, just have the conversations, and a lot of people just … once they are able to handle rejection, you know, the ask becomes second nature. Again, the evolution of a good conversation, and it's all just zeros at the end of the day. So as long as you can give them the strategy and the playbook―and this is what I hope this encourages folks to do is, yeah, just be more strategic around engagement and ask them; you'll get the rewards. 

Justin: I think there's something there also, Ryan, about, approaching your resource planning through a different lens. Like, that's the, you know, that's ultimately the combination of Billy Bean and Peter Brand. What they did is, they looked at their problems, and there was a traditional lens, which was the scouting methodology. And then there was an alternate lens, which, yes, it was through the use of analytics, but too often people miss the point that the value that Peter Brand brought was a different analytic method for each problem that they were trying to solve. And so, you know, there are two things that I wanna encourage our listeners with when they, you know, two of the reasons why I love this book and that stood out to me are, one, there's a whole chapter and section on the lack of strategic planning. And thank you for saying that because I think that that's crucial. It's not that we don't engage in strategic planning, but is it truly strategic? And then the second, there's a quote midway through the book in some of the latter chapters that, Ronnie, you said this, “If we build the team and all they have are the traditional tools which have become mired in the mediocrity of some small-to-medium nonprofit fundraising shops, then this book would have been for nothing.” So yes, think about the problem, and think about it strategically and how you're gonna solve it. And then, as you've said on our time today, upskill the heck out of them, right? Continue that process of leaning into their strengths so that you can move forward and so that we can get out of this trap of execution that we're seemingly caught in. 

Ryan: Yeah. No. I appreciate that. Yeah. They don't have to go to, you know, the big … they don't need to go to AFP ICON. They don't need to go to, like, any of the case higher ed ones that cost, like, $7,000 that kind of all up when I, I would much rather send them to South by Southwest and, you know, kind of, you know, think about what could be and just be inspired by other things. One thing I have employed here is, like, once a quarter, we'll take the afternoon off and go do something complimentary to our field. So, you know, if we're looking at raising more scholarships for First Nation Students, let's go on a tour that looks at, kind of, artifacts and meet with elders in those communities and learn more about it so we can be better advocates for them. So again, just let peoples' minds wander―and, you know, I let mine wander, and I have now written a couple of books, and it's helped me transition back to Australia. So you know, just be open to where it goes because the most dangerous thing right now is leaning into the status quo of fundraising because it's not getting us the solutions we need. And, you know, we're just blaming each other pretty much. You know, we're blaming the tools; we’ve got leadership blaming the fundraisers, and that's not what fundraising culture should look like. I mean, we're all fundraisers at the end of the day, and the sooner we can instill that into an organization the better. Always, always lean on, kind of, when JFK went to Houston. So, we're getting closer to Dallas. So, we've been in Austin and now Houston. When he went to NASA, right? And he asked one of the janitors there, “What's your role here?” And he said, “I help fly people to the moon.” That's just a powerful, kind of, you know, anecdote to everything we do. And it'd be great if the receptionist could go―when someone comes in and says, “Hey, I'd like to make a gift”―that they could have a conversation at that moment. They don't stress out until they have to get a fundraiser, and it's just an evolution. Right? Even when you jump onto the website, you can be talking to a chatbot that can answer all the questions. And then when it gets to something that is a bit more nuanced, then they can, you know, be transferred live to a fundraiser who's sitting on their computer. You know, there's so much we can do, and we just gotta be brave. And I love how you, the quote you used about Peter because, at the end of the day, he did bring something different, but it was leadership who backed him, who backed him to go, well, it's not working. So how do we really compete? And, you know, I want people to win, and winning isn't a kind of sporting thing here. 

Winning is you know, getting food to someone that is, you know, going hungry. It's like, kind of, tackling poverty head on. It's, you know, philanthropy can see the solutions. And that's, kind of, I feel I'm getting more back into government because systems change only comes from changing the laws. But it doesn't mean that we can't inform that. And that's why I'm in higher ed fundraising. That research can really, kind of, move the needle of the society en mass.  

Justin: That's awesome, man. That's awesome. So, the book, “Nonprofit Money Ball: How To Build and Future Proof Your Team for Big League Fundraising,” it is on preorder now. You can get a preorder on Amazon and other places. And so, we encourage our listeners to dive in and preorder that. “Future Philanthropy” is available, so you can get both of those. And so, Ryan Ginard, what we really appreciate, man, is that you're, you're being brave right now in stepping up and saying these things. We agree with you and want to affirm you in saying those and, and even though we now find ourselves on opposite sides of the earth, that we align in so much of the way that we think. And so, thank you for doing that. And thank you for being a part of this time here today. 

Ryan: No. Thanks for amplifying voices like ours. Like, there's a lot of me's out there, so let's listen to them. 

Justin: Right on, man. Right on. Thanks for being here. We certainly appreciate it. 

Ryan: Alright, thanks guys 

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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