Hi everybody. I’m excited to share Episode 3 of Fund the People’s podcast.
First, a few things are on my mind. I want to wish you health and well-being during this pandemic, during the unrest and violence happening in our society. And I want to encourage you as much as possible to stay safe, and to keep your head up during this difficult time. And don’t be afraid to speak out, protest, demonstrate for the issues you care about!
I want to encourage you to keep your tank full. By that I mean stay inspired. Stay on your mission. Keep your eyes on the prize. Keep looking toward that North Star. Keep striving toward where you’re headed and where you want society to head. What is your purpose and mission? Keep with that – it’s a long haul, so you’ve got to keep your tank full. You’ve got to stay fueled-up, and not let the situation drag you down. Get the support you need from family, colleagues, mentors, your supervisors, and friends.
Also, as we head into the final stretch before the election (we are one month out, essentially), I want to encourage you to get involved in the civic duties of our country. We are given a ton of rights and freedoms, and that comes with responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to remain engaged in the civic life of the country. Personally, I’ve gotten involved in some phone calling for a campaign that I’m supporting. So I’d encourage you, no matter who you’re supporting, to get involved and help out.
In this episode, I sit down with Frances Kunreuther and Sean Thomas-Breitfeld, the Co-Directors of Building Movement Project. I look up to both of these people individually, and to their organization. Frances has been working on interesting, provocative, important research for over 20 years, and it’s something I’ve tracked through my career. Her research on generational change was really influential and helped to shape Fund the People. Sean has served on the Advisory Council for Fund the People since it launched. He’s been a terrific advisor, strategist, and thought partner who has helped to shape the organization. I thank both of them for that work and for their time today.
As you’ll hear in the conversation, we have slightly divergent views about this bottleneck on the nonprofit highway. In fact, I think we are talking past one another a bit. They’re interpreting the highway to be about moving up in organizations positionally, whereas I think of the highway as a career highway, with lots of people on the road, but they’re all on different journeys, changing lanes between organizations; developing skills and leadership inside organizations, but also beyond organizations and particular jobs. I wanted to share that because it may help you to understand the second part of the conversation.
More broadly, I think it’s critical that we’re talking about racial and generational barriers to advancement in the nonprofit sector. Understanding the overlap or intersection of issues like race and generation is critical and doesn’t happen enough. So here’s my conversation with Frances and Sean.
Listen in to hear more about:
- Frances Kunreuther and Sean Thomas-Breitfeld
- Building Movement Project
- messages and findings of Race to Lead Revisited report
- the need for healthy generational change and transitions in nonprofit
- how generational change and racial equity (along with gender, sexuality, class, etc.) interact in the nonprofit workforce
- how investments can and should help organizations to address them together
- Building Movement Project website
- Race to Lead website
- Race to Lead Revisited report
- Race to Lead Report on Executive Directors (based on 2016 data)
- Structuring Leadership Report (on alternative models)
- The Leadership in Leaving report