July 8, 2021

In July 2021, we partnered with ProInspire to bring you the "Talent Matters Remix," a joint 3-part series of episodes on the Fund the People Podcast! 

Talent Matters Remix, revisits Talent Matters, a 2014 series of essays on the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) blog. These special episodes are co-hosted by yours truly and Monisha Kapila, ProInspire Founder and Co-CEO. Monisha helped to curate and write the Talent Matters blog series, and our conversations will feature three of the other authors of those posts.

A lot has changed in our society in the seven years since 2014, when those blog posts appeared. We've had seismic changes in our politics, economy, society, and the nonprofit sector and philanthropy.

In the series some terrific guests.

  • First up is Trish Tchume from the Sterling Network at the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation. Trish was National Director of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN), and has also worked at the Center for Community Change, Building Movement Project, and idealist.org.
  • Then we're joined by Stephen Bauer. Stephen is the COO at Public Allies, which is one of the most amazing AmeriCorps organizations out there supporting the development of leaders of color young people in communities, working towards social change, and he's just a terrific leader holding down the fort at public allies at the national office. When I met him, he was working at a group that's now called the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. And while there he helped to develop the Nonprofit Workforce Coalition.
  • The third part of our series featured Michele Booth Cole. Michele is a long-serving Executive Director at Safe Shores, The DC Children's Advocacy Center and Michele is just an exemplary executive director. She wrote in the Talent Matters blog series and speaks with us about, how she’s intentionally created an organizational culture at Safe Shores that supports and develops the staff.

I'm really excited for the Talent Matters Remix -- both to partner with Monisha and ProInspire, and to talk with the three amazing colleagues who are our guests.

If you want to know more about Monisha, I encourage you to take a listen to Season 1 Episode 8 of our podcast, "Activating Leaders at all Levels" when Monisha first appeared on the show. She talks about her journey into the sector and into ProInspire, what motivates her, and what they're trying to accomplish at ProInspire. 

Mid-Season Review

I also wanted to also share a few thoughts on Season 2 of the Podcast so far -- and give you a bit of a preview of what's coming beyond July.

On Season 1 of our podcast focused on framing the problem that faces the nonprofit workforce. We defined that problem as a chronic deficit of investment in our workforce. 

In Season 2, we've pivoted to focus on what are some solutions for addressing this problem.

  • Episode 1: I spoke to you to introduce the concept of talent-investing and the talent-investing cycle. And the following episodes have focused on a couple key themes, principles, and practices of talent investing.
  • Episode 2: We talked about the "Social Justice Talent Boom". We spoke with Deepak Bhargava and Gara LaMarche about the flourishing volunteer and professional leadership among young people in social justice nonprofits, and coming in through social justice movements that are happening today in our society. And we question if, how, and when funders will invest in next-generation talent to ensure that we don't lose the opportunity to support and develop these leaders, but rather take full advantage of that opportunity.
  • Episode 3: We built on this theme when I spoke with Libby Landles-Cobb of The Bridgespan Group. Bridgespan has been an important player in framing what's the problem facing the nonprofit workforce. And Libby has really helped shift that defining framework, from the idea of a 'leadership deficit' in the nonprofit sector to a 'deficit of leadership development'. We talked about that journey at Bridgespan, their research, the writing and research that Libby has done and the consulting practice and services that she is providing out of Bridgespan to help funders and nonprofits to invest in staff folks at nonprofits.
  • Episode 4: We shifted to another theme for the next couple episodes. I spoke with Heather Parish of the Pierce Family Foundation and Lisa May Simpson of Forefront about "Sharing the Wisdom of the Nonprofit Crowd". The idea that nonprofit professionals and workers and leaders have so much of the knowledge and skills that we all need already in our workforce, and then, if funders and others invest in creating the opportunities and the incentives to share knowledge and skill within and across the nonprofit workforce, that will be a really beneficial way to maximize the wisdom of the nonprofit crowd. I think kind of underlying that conversation was the idea of nonprofit abundance, that we have so much of what we need, that we already have so much of what we need.
  • Episode 5: I spoke with Nell Edgington, she’s the consultant behind the blog Social Velocity and the author of the new book called Reinventing Social Change. And we talked about embracing, nonprofit abundance, some simple tips and tools that Nell shared for helping nonprofits folks claim their own power and shift from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset.
  • Episode 6: I spoke with Caroline Altman Smith of the Kresge Foundation and she shared with us how a team of folks within Kresge are investing in leadership and talent supports for key grantees, and how this program is intentionally fueling leadership development with a racial equity lens. We also speak about being a white program officer working on racial equity.

So that's the ark we've been on so far in Season 2. And that leads us right into our partnership with ProInspire looking at leadership and equity issues in our upcoming Talent Matters Remix bonus episodes.

We’ll be taking August off from podcasting, and we'll return in September with another round of Season 2 episodes! We've got Roger Nozaki lined up. Roger is the Vice President at the Barr Foundation in Boston, and he's a long-serving, very smart leader in the nonprofit and philanthropic world. He has led several corporate foundations and been a dean at Brown University, and has a plethora of experience and some important insights to share about investing in leadership in the Greater Boston Area and in the nonprofit sector as a whole.

We’ll have other amazing guests lined up for you, sharing perspectives from inside foundations, nonprofits and elsewhere. So listen to our episodes of July, take a break in August, and then be sure to be here with us in September when we begin the next segment of Season 2!

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