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Lessons Learned from a Non-Profit Leader

Download our For-Profit Leadership Lessons from a Nonprofit Leader resource today! This distilled bulleted list of takeaways from our conversation with Bob Rodgers is not one to miss. 

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About This Episode

We all know 2020 had a profound impact on organizations everywhere, and nonprofits were no exception. With resources tight and fundraising down, nonprofits struggled to have a positive outlook on the future, unsure of how they’d still make an impact on the causes they’re passionate about a decade from now.

 

Joining us today is Bob Rodgers, the CEO of Street Grace, an amazing nonprofit that continues the fight to completely eradicate sex trafficking, a multi-billion dollar illegal global industry. Bob does incredible work, and he’ll share his story with Tricia and Lisa, what it’s been like leading a nonprofit through a pandemic, and what the future holds.

1. Businesses and nonprofits can learn from each other.

It’s too easy to think that businesses and corporations only focus on the bottom line while nonprofits don’t think about that as much but only on making an impact. But, the truth is, the best businesses and nonprofits think about both. Nonprofits who focus on impact while also paying close attention to profit/loss have the best opportunity to make a real difference. And businesses who choose to focus on both can do the same.

2. Tell stories.

One of most effective strategies, whether you are a nonprofit or for-profit, is to make sure you are telling stories about the difference your organization/product/service is making. This is a great way for your customers and clients to connect with your vision and mission and get on board with what you are doing. Always tell stories, not from your perspective, but from the viewpoint of the people and community you are trying to help.

 

3. To get more involved with nonprofits, spend time thinking about the issues you’re most passionate about.

What issues make you stop and think? Water shortage? Sex trafficking? Homelessness? Almost any issue will have people who are working to help somewhere in your city or state. Spend some time thinking about what really stirs your heart and emotions – and that’s exactly where you can start focusing your energy in the nonprofit space.

 

What have been your experiences with nonprofits in the past?
What are some nonprofits that you believe are making the biggest difference in the world?
What can businesses learn from nonprofits, and vice versa?

Identify what brings life to you, reach out to the people that are doing it, and engage.

Bob Rodgers

Be intentional about relationships and a good steward of what you’ve been given.

Bob Rodger

It’s important to plan and prepare your business to scale in an exponential way, rather than just one step at a time.

Bob Rodgers

One of the hallmarks of not-for-profits is passion.

Bob Rodgers

Bob Rodgers on LinkedIn and Street Grace’s official site

Tricia Sciortino on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Lisa Zeeveld on Instagram and LinkedIn

BELAY’s staffing solutions

(01:55) Bob talks about whether or not he names his cars.

(03:52) Bob shares his story and talks about what led him to become so passionate about ending sex trafficking. 

(10:09) What led Bob to Street Grace?

(12:27) How does Street Grace tell the story of sex trafficking victims in a delicate nature that shines light on the issue?
(15:26) What is the landscape for nonprofits now versus what it was in 2019?

(19:15) The nonprofit needs didn’t go away when the world shut down. They increased dramatically, but the nonprofits were more unprepared. 

(20:07) How did Bob continue reaching out to donors and volunteers during the pandemic, especially considering so many people’s income and free time were greatly affected?

(24:48) In the nonprofit world, has anything changed that will never be the same again…what is new and different?

(27:05) You can be just as passionate about a job in corporate America as you can with a nonprofit, as long as you keep the focus on impact. 

(28:33) What are some ways our listeners can work with nonprofits and get involved to make the world a better place?

(33:59) This week’s one next step: Go download this valuable resource – For-Profit Leadership Lessons from a Nonprofit Leader, which is a distilled bulleted list of some takeaways from our conversation with Bob Rodgers.

Bob Rodgers:

I think the first thing anybody can do is just ask themselves what resonates with me. It may be food insecurity. It may be homelessness. It may be education, health care. It could be sex trafficking. But what makes you sit up a little bit straighter and lean in a little bit more? Wherever you are, there’s somebody or somebodies in your community that’s doing that.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to One Next Step, the most practical business podcast in the world. Helping you get more done, grow your business and lead your team with confidence with tips and tools you didn’t get in business school. Here are your hosts, Tricia Sciortino and Lisa Zeeveld.

Tricia Sciortino:

Welcome to One Next Step. The practical business podcast that helps you run your business so it stops running you. I’m Tricia.

Lisa Zeeveld:

And I’m LZ. Today we’re going to talk about a topic very dear to our hearts, nonprofit organizations.

Tricia Sciortino:

Bob Rogers is the CEO of Street Grace, an amazing nonprofit who continues the fight to completely eradicate sex trafficking, a multi-billion dollar illegal global industry. Some of the stories you read about this issue are heartbreaking and I love that Street Grace is taking this head on and really making a difference.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yes, me too. Bob is doing incredible work and we can’t wait to talk to him about his story. What it’s been like leading a nonprofit through a pandemic and what the future looks like for nonprofit organizations. He has some valuable insight that I know we will all learn from. So let’s get started.

Tricia Sciortino:

Hey Bob, welcome to the One Next Step!

Bob Rodgers:

Thank you. Delighted to be here.

Lisa Zeeveld:

We are super excited to talk to you today. We have so many nonprofit listeners out there so I know that all the information you are going to share is just going to be a bunch of golden nuggets for them to take away. But before we get down to business we like to have a little bit of fun. I have kind of a silly question for you.

Bob Rodgers:

Go ahead.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Do you believe in car naming? Have you ever named your cars?

Bob Rodgers:

Okay. I feel like I’m going to start on a bad note, but no, I do not. I do not. Anything you name you become too attached to and a car serves a purpose for me. While I enjoy them and while I love them and while I am particular about them, I have never named one.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Okay. So you would just be like, hey, I’m going to go take the blue car or my car. Is it your car?

Bob Rodgers:

It’s my car. And I mean, I guess it started as a boy. I mean my first car was the Smokey and the Bandit black Trans-Am with the golden eagle. I feel like anything that anyone did to ever name that would only diminished the muscle power of the vehicle. I guess I got started that way and I could never do it.

Tricia Sciortino:

I actually have to confess. I’m with you. I don’t name my cars.

Bob Rodgers:

Good for you. That’s funny. I have a son and two daughters and all three of them named theirs. I don’t know why.

Tricia Sciortino:

Same. My daughter names her cars Joscelyn.

Lisa Zeeveld:

I’ve gone in seasons. So before I have been in a season where I named it. I think it’s because I named them when they’re not very pretty. And they need some help.

Tricia Sciortino:

Pity naming ceremony.

Lisa Zeeveld:

I think so.

Bob Rodgers:

Pity naming is a whole other dimension.

Lisa Zeeveld:

It’s a whole topic. But now I feel like none of my cars have names. It’s just the car. So I’m with you, but it depends on the feeling and the pity naming for me.

Bob Rodgers:

Fair enough.

Tricia Sciortino:

Fair enough. Okay. So to get them to get down to the real juice here, Bob, before we get started, would you mind sharing a little bit about what led you to join Street Grace as their CEO? What were the events, how did that happen? What’s your story a little bit about joining Street Grace?

Bob Rodgers:

Yeah. It’s a really interesting question and if anybody ever took the time to look at my resume, they would probably think that I had serious ADD or I just was very confused. I spent a little time doing at waffle house for about nine years and then I owned a retained executive search firm. And then I’m going to say I stumbled, but I feel like the steps were ordered into the presidency of a graduate university that had a campus here in Atlanta and a campus in Chattanooga. In the course of doing that, we would graduate 65, 75 master’s level counselors every year. They were always prepared for their licensure and the internships and so they were very appropriately certified and licensed in the state, but they had additionally taken other courses and other certifications. One of the things as we also did that is that we opened seven or eight counseling centers and mental health crisis centers around Metro Atlanta and in Tennessee.

Bob Rodgers:

In the course of doing, that everywhere that we went, this issue of sexual trauma in some way, shape or form seemed to always bubble to the forefront. You couldn’t turn your head, you couldn’t get away from it. It was just a reality that existed. As we continued to dig more into that, to learn more about trafficking and sexual exploitation, we had 60 or 75 PhD professors that we could get out in the community and engaging with the medical profession and things like that about how to look for signs and symptoms of things like this. It became a big issue to the school. It became a big issue to me, it became a big issue to the university and we got more and more involved. One day I was walking down the campus in Chattanooga and was headed to lunch, saw that we had a guest organization and a guest speaker in from human trafficking.

Bob Rodgers:

And I thought, well, I’m going to do the good presidential thing and I’m going to stick my head in the back of the room for 10 minutes, because this is important to us and then I’m going to go to my lunch. 55 minutes later I was still standing there. I don’t remember the question that was asked. I just remember the answer. The guy from the not-for-profit was telling a story about a sting operation that had just taken place in the Metro area and how Homeland security, FBI, local and state law enforcement were all in the room. And in a rare turn of events, a trafficker actually delivered and drove someone who’s being sold for sex to the hotel and dropped them off to come upstairs. They had cameras everywhere at the property so they saw him, they arrested him before he got off the property, brought him up to the room and he was cuffed and waiting on transportation.

Bob Rodgers:

The law enforcement folks knew him by name. The not-for-profit guy asked if he could have a couple of minutes to talk to him and he said, yeah. And he walked over and said, Hey, these folks all know you by name. They said, you’ve been arrested three other times for drug trafficking. If you’re successful, air quotes, successful at that, why would you start in get involved in human trafficking? The guy wasn’t mad, he wasn’t angry. He wasn’t bitter. He just looked up and he said, because I can sell a bag of drugs once. I can sell a 13 year old girl six or eight times a night. I just remember standing in the back of the room and I’m embarrassed to say that I was in my mid forties at that time and it’s the very first time that the thought went through my mind, oh, this isn’t a cause, this is evil.

Bob Rodgers:

It’s just evil. I have two girls and I have a son and it just weighed. And so I went through the rest of the day, went to my meetings and appointments, got back to the hotel room that night in Chattanooga, 9:30, 10 o’clock, was laying in bed, the TV off, the lights were out. I’m just this grown man laying in a hotel bed and I’m crying. I called my wife and I said, I don’t know what’s going on with me today. I think my midlife crisis hit and I need a motorcycle. And I won’t tell you what she said, but it wasn’t exceptionally kind. Something like grow up and come home.

Bob Rodgers:

And I did, but it started a year and a half journey of really trying to say, okay, now I know. What am I going to do? And I could never ever shake that question. Now you know, Bob. What are you going to do? I wrestled. I wasn’t courageous. I didn’t run, get dressed and run into the fight. I wrestled with it because not for profits, you don’t offer three-year contracts and company cars. It was this decision that just took a period of time and it took a number of people speaking into my life. And finally, one day I said, okay, my wife’s name is Melinda. I said, if you’re serious about this, I’m serious. I think that I would rather try it and be wrong than stay comfortable for the rest of my career.

Bob Rodgers:

And she said, I think you were made for this. And I said, well, be really careful because I’ll resign tomorrow. And she said, Bob, I think you were made for this. And so I met with the board, worked out a 15 month transition plan so that we could get a new president in place. I didn’t know where I was going to go or what I was going to do. I just said, I feel like I’m going to do anything I can to help in this space of human trafficking and specifically the sex trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children. And the board was loving and kind and supportive and fantastic and said in a very loving way, not in a critical or demeaning way, they all they said, people don’t leave this to go do that. And I said, I know and it terrifies me. But I feel like I have to do it. So that’s my unexpected, but what feels like very intentional pathway in.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. I love that. I love the detail. How did you get to Street grace, specifically?

Bob Rodgers:

In the trafficking field, you have just nationwide or globally 90 something percent of the organization it feels like work on the restorative care. We critically need that. If someone has been harmed by sexual exploitation or trafficking, I’m sure there are wounds that go as deep, but I don’t know wounds that go deeper. They need the best gold standard care that we can provide anywhere in the country. Medical, healthcare, mental, job skills, training, parenting, all of that. But I didn’t want to do that because it doesn’t in any way, please hear, it doesn’t in any way diminish that. That is critically important. But I wanted to go after the demand. I wanted to do something different and I wanted to think about how we can do it. And we will never end sex trafficking by following it around and trying to put the broken pieces back together. Again, critically important.

Bob Rodgers:

But I wanted to target two things. I wanted to target education and prevention with children and teenagers in that 12 to 18 year bracket. And I wanted to target the buyers of sex and the traffickers because they live in our neighborhoods. They go to our schools and they play and coach our sports teams and they live in our communities and I wanted to target them. Because when somebody has to stop before they purchase illegal sex and pause and say, there’s a one in three chance I’m going to end my career, my family, my reputation in the community and can spend some time behind bars if I make this next step.

Bob Rodgers:

That’s when we’ll push this tide back and we’re getting there, but I wanted to be on that side of it, the demand reduction side. And so I connected with some folks at Street Grace, met the previous CEO and in a series of conversations over about six months or so, it just seemed like it was the appropriate and natural fit. And candidly, I remember going home and telling my wife, if somebody can’t do something significant with the board that is assembled at that organization, it’s their own fault. That’s the kind of organization I wanted to be connected with. I’m thrilled to be here and have not looked back.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. I love that. Well, effective of non-profits always have the ability to tell stories about causes they champion, but how does street grace really tell the stories of sex trafficking victims in a delicate nature that shines light on the issue?

Bob Rodgers:

That’s a great question. I think it’s a really important question because candidly, our philosophy on it is the stories aren’t ours to tell. And again, I think that’s a little unique in our approach. Our broader philosophy is that resources follow impact. Our job is to have an impact and stay focused on the mission. That’s a later conversation, but specifically I think one of the ways that you can tell what’s the DNA of an organization and are not-for-profit in the trafficking space, but probably across the board, is how they honor the people that have been victimized by this. How do they honor the survivors? One of the things that we do is that survivor stories are not ours to tell. We engage with, and we have a survivor advisory board in every city where we have an office.

Bob Rodgers:

In fact, today we were shooting some videos with four members of the survivor advisory board where they are talking about not just the horrific part of their story, but the hope part of their story, the healing part of the story, the redemption part of the story, because that’s far more powerful than the harmful part of the story. And candidly, once somebody who’s been victimized by this or sexual exploitation starts the journey of healing, that’s the hardest part of the story because that’s when you have to look face to face with the stuff that you’ve been running from. And so we let the survivors tell their stories, we help and equip and support them in every way that we can. And then we spend our time talking about the how and together it’s a really nice approach and it engages and it connects us at the hip so that everything that we do is survivor informed and it is based on lived experiences from people who have walked this journey, not just our thoughts or our opinions.

Lisa Zeeveld:

I love that. Storytelling is so compelling.

Lisa Zeeveld:

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Tricia Sciortino:

I can imagine if we look back at the landscape of the world we live in just in the last year, 18 months, 2020 was a year, pandemic. What is the landscape you’re seeing now? Has it changed? What is different today maybe than it was back in 2019?

Bob Rodgers:

Yeah. I really think that the pandemic was, aside from the fact that it was a global tragedy, I think it was a very helpful thing for at least us and many not-for-profits and probably even corporations because a year ago now, people were panicked. And they were panicked and they pulled back, or they were panicked and they plateaued, or they were panicked and they prospered. But we all took a collective deep breath and said, is this really just going to last two weeks and if not, what’s it going to look like and when’s it going to end? I think the folks that were panicked and pulled back, and there were again appropriately so. A lot of not-for-profits and corporations as well, immediately went into self preservation mode. How do we scale back?

Bob Rodgers:

How do we cut back? How do we get in survival mode and make sure that we can weather the storm? Some said, we’re going to hang on to what we’ve got. We’re going to grip it tight. And others said, how do we take something like this and figure out how to make us better, how to improve and fine tune and hone in on our strategies and our deliverables and focus? Maybe we’ve got to tweak outcomes, but let’s don’t abandon outcomes. And so I think as a result of taking the third choice and Street Grace was very fortunate. I won’t even say it was strategic. We had begun for two years prior to that really embracing technology out of the philosophy that we said, we’ll never defeat this one arrest, one prosecution and one rescue at a time. Every day that we do that, the bad guys get a little further ahead of us.

Bob Rodgers:

So how do we use technology to really lean into this and disrupt the illegal business model? As a result of that, it was an easy pivot for us. And again, I don’t say that because it was a strategic decision. We didn’t know a pandemic was happening or coming, but it was helpful. When we went into it, we sat down organizationally, we said we have three goals. One of them is we’re working from home. We’re not just at home. We’re working from home. The second one is, we’re going to be more strategic and more intentional about building beneficial and productive relationships than we were the month before the pandemic hit. And we were very intentional about it. And the third one is, we need to build an appropriate reliance on technology to scale up. The philosophy was that when we come out of the pandemic, we are prepared to scale and advance in an exponential way, rather than just one more step at a time.

Bob Rodgers:

It’s been really productive and really helpful. Sadly, the need had increased so much as the entire world went online and children around the world and especially in the US we’re, not just went online, they were forced online before any of them, any of us and any of our parameters were prepared. There was a dramatic spike in online inappropriate activity. The technology and the works and the things that we do where we’re very active and we’re very productive and it has prepared us to move into this time. And as we’re now able to start getting out and about and move amongst our partnership continue to grow and our partnership with corporate America continues to grow and that’s been the biggest part of the growth that we’ve experienced over the last two or three years.

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah. I love that because I feel like just in my conversations with friends and peers who work in the nonprofit space, that the need didn’t go away when the world shut down. The needs increased dramatically, but yet it was almost like the non-profit world was the least prepared for it. And so I love how you unbeknownst to you, had some foresight that you were preparing so that you could take that opportunity to continue to enhance the program that you had already created to really combat this in a way that when everybody was allowed to go back to some sort of normalcy, the new normal, that you were ready for that because like I said, the need is there. How did you continue to really reach out to your donors and to volunteers? Because that’s another thing that I’m hearing is that there was so many people out of work or their work changing, their free time changing, that a lot of nonprofits right now are struggling with donors and with volunteers. How did you guys combat that?

Bob Rodgers:

Yeah. For it was two things. One is, our need for volunteers did virtually dry up. The opportunity to get out and serve went away for probably a good nine to 12 months. It is just now slowly coming back. So from that end of it, we felt it just like others did. What we decided not to do though, is to allow that to be a reason that we don’t communicate to volunteers. Folks that were engaged and involved with us on the front end of 2020, they were as well-informed, if not more so at the end of 2020 than they were going into it. We also had some quarterly calls that we would invite donors and volunteers onto. We also did some advanced donor training. I’m sorry volunteer training. Advanced donor training might be a good idea. But we were, again, very intentional about the communication.

Bob Rodgers:

And what we also said was we were in a position financially when we went into this that we had been good stewards. And so during the pandemic, there were a couple of opportunities that came along for us to absorb some other organizations that had very similar DNAs so there wasn’t this cultural challenge, and they had very similar or missional alignment with the work we did and how we did it. We were actually able to absorb and grow financially and numerically and broaden our impact during the pandemic. That continues today, I think just because the foundation and the steps were put in place. It’s been interesting. Again, I think a lot of it has to go back to our board. We have a board and there’s probably nothing more important to a well run not for profit than a high functioning board.

Bob Rodgers:

There’s also probably nothing more detrimental to a not-for-profit than a board that isn’t well run. And so our board puts wind in our sails and they are a governing board but they are in engaged board and it’s allowed us to do exponentially more than we would have thought that we could have accomplished. They leaned in, our donors leaned in. Like others, we had donors that shifted and said, Hey, during this time we feel like this is an unprecedented time and we’ve got to respond in an unprecedented way over here because of the pandemic. And then as soon as you would hang up that call and you would sit back in your chair and take a deep breath and say, what are we going to do? The next day somebody would call and say, Hey, we just kind of assumed that during this time there might be some normal funds that you all have become accustomed to that were being diverted to other things and we wanted to lean in and see if there’s anything we could do to help.

Bob Rodgers:

I’ll give you an example. Literally just two or three months ago, we were a finalist for a very large grant that would have helped us roll out a program in a school system that we were really stoked about. It was going to be a high impact program. We got the word back that because we weren’t frontline response to the pandemic and things like that in their minds, that the grant went to another organization. We celebrated with them and then we also like, ah, shoot. Within 24 hours, we received three separate phone calls from the same location that this grant, same state that this grant was going to come from, that gave us 20% more money between those three phone calls than the large grant that we would have. Within 48 hours we were right back on track. That’s because we were intentional about relationships and in our situation, it’s also because I think we’re very intentional about trying to make sure that what we do is honoring to God and that we’re good stewards of what he’s provided.

Lisa Zeeveld:

With all that. First of all, that’s an amazing testimony to what you guys are doing. But do you foresee that anything has really now in the not for profit kind of arena, is anything changed forever, that will never be the same again? What’s going to be new and different in this industry?

Bob Rodgers:

I think two things specifically and there’s probably more than that. One is the use of technology. If you would’ve asked me a year and a half ago if I could have effectively raised money through virtual conversations, if I would have answered, I would have had a smirk on my face and probably then walked away. I would’ve said no way, not going to happen. It just can’t. A, that’s not true. I thought it was not true, but just because I thought it was not true, doesn’t mean it was not true. That can be done very effectively. And folks, because of the broad way that this hit us all, folks became very open and very accessible through technology. The second thing is, I think not for profits that weren’t, are really wrestling through the process right now of how to not just be passionate. One of the hallmarks of not-for-profits is passion.

Bob Rodgers:

But how to be passionate about good data and appropriate outcomes. Don’t lose passion, but focus the passion. It’s got to be built on good data and there have to be appropriate outcomes. I think those are going to be really healthy. I do think it’s going to continue to create some consolidation corporately and in the not-for-profit world. But I think those two things, if we can walk away with a better use and idea of how to use technology to scale up and how to be passionate about good data and the right outcomes. I think those are game changers for us. I also think I was reminded during the pandemic and talking to a number of friends that have businesses or run businesses that I’m guilty of saying probably in times past, now that I’m in the not-for-profit world, I couldn’t imagine going back to corporate America.

Bob Rodgers:

I think that’s wrong. I think that’s a shallow statement. I think not-for-profits tend to focus on people and learning and not always do their due diligence and the profit and loss. It’s a P and L, but it’s a different one. I think business tends to focus on the P and L and not always focus on the people and the learning that can take place. I think that was my own fault. I think I could be as passionate about a job in corporate America as long as I was allowed to focus again on impact and not just the financial component of it alone. I think as you do that and people understand your care and compassion and concern, I think that’s where they engage with you in sustainable ways, not transactional ways. I don’t think you have to be in the not-for-profit world to care about people or impact their lives. I don’t think you have to be in the business world to run your organization well and be good financial stewards.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. You’re preaching to the choir here because that’s what T and I talk about all the time. That’s the vision that we cast. That’s what we like to remind people is that you can have a mission and a passion and phenomenal core values and be a very profitable business. You don’t have to exchange one for the other. Similarly, in the not for profit world, you won’t have any business for-profit or not-for-profit if you don’t pay attention to the dollars and cents.

Lisa Zeeveld:

If you’re really passionate about a cause and about changing the world with a not-for-profit, you also have to understand what a P and L looks like and how to engage donors and how to use your funds wisely so that your ultimate mission, you’re accomplishing it. I love how you said that. One last question before we end here. I know that not every listener is owning or running a not-for-profit. But I can almost guarantee that every single listener out there wants to do good in the world and they want to work with not-for-profits and helping to make this world a better place. For those of us who just are looking to kind of put our money where our mouth is, boots to the ground, what can we do right now in this unprecedented time to help out our favorite nonprofits?

Bob Rodgers:

I think that’s great. Fortunately, that’s becoming a fairly common question. I think the pandemic has kind of caused that. That’s another upside to the pandemic if you allow me to say it that way. I think the first thing anybody can do is just ask themselves what resonates with me. What rings your bell? What makes your heart beat a little bit faster? It may be food insecurity. It may be homelessness. It may be education, health care. It could be sex trafficking, What makes you sit up a little bit straighter and lean in a little bit more? Wherever you are there’s somebody or some bodies in your community that’s doing that. Google it, come up with a couple of organizations, read the mission statement and a couple of lines below that and see if that still resonates.

Bob Rodgers:

If it does, reach out. I tell people all the time, identify what brings life to you, reach out to the people that are doing it, and then pick one to engage with. So often when you hear about so many of these things, you think this is such a huge or a massive problem. I don’t see how I could make a difference. You may not be able to individually. But when you reach out, you’re connecting to a much larger group of people that are all standing arm in arm. And one of the things we say in trafficking all the time is, if you just focus on demand, or you just focus on education, or you just focused on restorative care, or if you don’t focus on training law enforcement and you don’t focus on the school systems, it’s like swerving around a pothole in the road.

Bob Rodgers:

You’re not that significant. But if we come together and we lock arms, there’s a comprehensive approach. It’s kind of that red Rover approach. We lock arms and we move forward and that makes a meaningful difference and nothing breeds life into a not-for-profit more than somebody reaching out saying, I’ve been stirred by the cause. I’ve looked at the work that you do and I’d like to figure out how I can get engaged. And engage. Don’t be scared. The word engage isn’t a code word for money. It can be, but that may not be your gift. We have people that do pro bono attorney work for us. We have the largest advertising firm in the world that does pro bono work for us. All of those things make us exponentially better. Everything that we measure doesn’t have a dollar sign beside it.

Lisa Zeeveld:

I Love that. Well, Bob, this has been so enlightening. I appreciate you sharing really what you’re seeing on the landscape for the not-for-profit businesses, but also encouraging those of us who, again, don’t run our own one, to get out there and to find something that makes us set up a little straighter and lean in a little harder. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Bob Rodgers:

Honored to be here.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Thank you for all the work that you are doing to stop human trafficking, to really change specifically here in Atlanta, but all across the world. So thank you.

Bob Rodgers:

Thank you. Really appreciate it.

Tricia Sciortino:

Thank you, Bob.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Wow. Talk about inspiring. Gosh, I love what they’re doing over there at Street Grace. That was really good to hear what’s happening in the not-for-profit world through the pandemic.

Tricia Sciortino:

Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. He was very powerful. The whole topic is really powerful. For me, I really loved how he talked about, and I literally wrote notes, how he talked about non-profits not forgetting that they should say focused on good data and outcomes. At the end of the day the outcomes matter. They’re they’re trying to serve a purpose, help a community and being able to make incremental progress in whatever area they’re focusing on is important. I love that. I think it’s very relevant to a lot of our listeners who may just be business owners. We get that and we align with that conceptually.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. Absolutely. I think it’s also important, nonprofit or for-profit, for you to remember to tell stories. We do that here a lot at BELAY because we want our team members to feel connected to what our mission and our vision is. We become great storytellers. I think that not for profits also need to remember to be great storytellers, but to tell it from the perspective of the community in which you’re trying to help. I like how he said the individuals who’ve been a part of this human trafficking ring are the ones who are telling their story. I think that, that’s so powerful. If you can get, perhaps if you’re a for-profit, get your client to tell the story about how they’ve been changed through your product or service. Or if you’ve got an employee or a contractor who can do that. I think that, that goes a long way.

Tricia Sciortino:

I totally agree.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. Such good stuff from Bob today. Well, as always, we have a download for you so you can take your one next step. This week’s download is for-profit leadership lessons from a nonprofit leader. A distilled bulleted list of some takeaways from our conversation.

Tricia Sciortino:

Yes. It’s going to be a good one. So text the phrase one next step to 31916, or visit onenextsteppodcast.com and you’ll get access to today’s resource to help you keep moving forward. Thank you for joining us today. We will see you next week for another episode of the one next step.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Start by making today count.

Tricia Sciortino:

Come back to the podcast next time when we’ll have Executive Coach, Amy Balog on to help us lead byeond on circumstance so we’re not thrown off our game by the ups and downs of leadership. Here’s a clip from our conversation.

Amy Balog:

There’s been a lot over those years, we’ve written about executive presence and, you know your mojo, you’ve got a strong, solid voice. You come in, articulate, but there’s relational presence to be able to go in and be aware that I have to be calm and at peace with myself with I’m going to introduce tension in this room. I’m going to pull somebody in the conversation that might not want to be pulled in all of those things. You have to be in your center.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for listening to one next step. Be sure to subscribe on Apple podcasts or follow us on Spotify. Then join us next time for more practical business tips and tools to help you get more done, grow your business and lead your team with confidence. For more episodes, show notes and helpful resources. Visit onenextsteppodcast.com.

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