Unleash Your Donors’ Generosity, Raise more money online today

Raise more money online today

Unleash Your Donors’ Generosity with Brady Josephson

Raise more money online today

Unleash Your Donors’ Generosity with Brady Josephson

by GoldenburgGroup

We all want to know how we can increase our donations, and these days we especially want to know how to increase our online donations. According to Brady Josephson with NextAfter, this all starts with understanding why donors give – – – and why they decide to not give. Join us for today’s discussion about why donors do (or do not) give and get actionable tips that can help you unlock your greatest online giving potential.

Listen to the Episode Here!


NextAfter’s Website

NextAfter Discounts

NextAfter’s Twitter

NextAfter’s LinkedIn

NextAfter’s Facebook

MECLAB’s Heuristic


(1:45) Improve your online donations by understanding your donors

(3:23) Improve your online donations by including these 4 things in your messaging

(6:40) Get more online gifts by avoiding these HUGE mistakes 

(15:43) Lose fewer online gifts by using this framework for building your online giving experience 

(20:17) Target the right online donor by finding your target audience


Dolph Goldenberg (00:00):

Welcome to the Successful Nonprofits® Podcast. I’m your host, Dolph Goldenberg. Online fundraising is essential to nonprofits’ survival now more than ever. So I’m going to get straight to today’s guest, Brady Josephson, who is a fellow charity nerd. And I’m not throwing stones because I’m a charity nerd. And I’ve actually watched YouTube videos where he has called himself a charity nerd, as well. So not throwing any stones. Brady specializes in digital marketing and fundraising and is a blogger, writer, speaker, professor, entrepreneur, and he’s also a podcast host. He has been featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Huffington Post, and NPR. These days, you can find Brady at NextAfter where he is the managing director. NextAfter strives to help nonprofits understand why their donors give and then help them use that information to increase their fundraising potential. Brady performs that research, develops evidence-based resources, and provides data-driven training to help his clients raise more money online. So please join me in welcoming Brady to the podcast. Hey, Brady, welcome. How are you doing today?

Brady Josephson (01:13):

Thanks so much for having me. And I should say, in that introduction, I only do a little bit of that. I don’t do all of those things. I’m involved, but it makes me sound like I’m doing a lot more things than I actually do. So just want to make that clear.

Dolph Goldenberg (01:25):

I will say that when we check out your website, I can clearly tell there’s a lot of other people that are involved in NextAfter, but I also get that you’re kind of the driving force behind it. So in one way or another, you’re kind of doing it. I was kind of hoping for the launch point of our conversation today, you could maybe share a little bit about the common reasons that you find donors are giving.

Brady Josephson (01:45):

Yeah, you bet. So that’s the fundamental mission: to decode why people give. And I think, fundamentally, we in the nonprofit space haven’t done a great job of actually understanding why donors give. This is why donor rates and donor retention rates have been low. This is why the number of people giving, both in my native Canada as well as the U.S. Where we do the majority of our work, are declining. And we think the fundamental reason is that we haven’t really uncovered why people give. So that’s really what our research and testing is trying to figure out. Because if you can unlock the biggest question that we all face, which is why does someone actually give, then you can unlock or unleash the greatest amount of generosity.

Brady Josephson (02:27):

So it’s a bit of a challenge because a lot of people come to us saying, “How do we improve our emails and how do you optimize our donation pages?” And there’s absolutely tons of room and opportunity to do that. But the biggest thing that moves the needle is what we call the value proposition, which is how you answer this one question in the mind of the donors: Why should I give to you as opposed to another organization or not at all? Whether you’re sending an email or you’re having a phone call or you’re face-to-face, fundamentally this is the question that we are all trying to answer in the mind of our donors. And it’s the hardest question for us to answer, but it’s the most important and imperative thing. So that’s what we spend a lot of our time actually trying to focus in on and research and test. So a lot of our focus is on these two different forms of research to try to figure out why people give. And if we can decode that, then we can do better job in terms of emails, landing pages, donation, pages, all that kind of good online digital stuff. So that’s really what we’re trying to answer and try to figure out.

Dolph Goldenberg (03:23):

So the $64,000 question I obviously have to ask because my listeners are going to be upset if I don’t, is what is that case that a charity makes for why a donor should give to my charity as opposed to the other charity that maybe does something really similar?

Brady Josephson (03:39):

So there’s two frameworks we use to try to score in, process, and understand that question. The first, when it comes to answering the value proposition, is to look at four different factors that you can use to answer the question. One is appeal. Does someone even like what it is that you’re doing? Do they identify with your cause? It’s something that’s normally pretty ingrained within them. Two, exclusivity. What makes you different? What makes you unique from the organization down the street or compared to any other number of organizations? Three, credibility or trust. Do people actually believe in you and what you say? Is there a third party validation that can say, “Yes, this is a quality organization.”

Brady Josephson (04:19):

And the one that I think is actually most important and most useful for most nonprofits is clarity. Clarity is the thing that we often look at and often clarity trumps persuasion. So you can build a value proposition that touches on things like why someone should identify with your cause, why someone should trust or believe you, what actually makes you unique. Fundamentally, we do a poor job at just being simple and being clear. I always tell the story about one of the first organizations that I worked for. It was a microfinance organization, international development. And I loved the model of microfinance. I was a bit of an international development nerd, that’s why I got into the whole nonprofit space. I love the model. I love the sustainability. I love the numbers. And so my love, and a lot of our major donors’ love, led to our communications being pretty sophisticated and high level.

Brady Josephson (05:09):

And if you’d actually step back, you’d be like, “What the heck do you even do? Great. You’ve got low repayment rates. And you help women. But, fundamentally, what is the clear, simple, tangible thing that you do?” And we helped women get out of poverty, right? And so our message, and nonprofits do this all the time, was so complicated. There are so many different voices: the board member, the E.D., the focus groups, the consultants. And it ends up being very vague statements. “We provide hope and healing to kids.” It’s like, “Great. I still don’t know what you do.” So clarity is the one that we see as often most lacking when it comes to answering that question. So that’s one framework for people to look at.

Brady Josephson (05:49):

And so we’ll actually run research projects where we’ll contact a nonprofit by phone, social media, their website, and email and ask them these questions. We’ll say my partner and I are looking to make a gift and we’re just wondering why should we support you today? If we catalog and classify the different responses, including whether or not they get back to us at all because a lot of organizations don’t, and then we can look at how that answer change across channels. And it’s absolutely fascinating to see different people within the organization answer the question differently. And generally speaking, how unprepared and weak the answer to that question of “why I should give to you today as opposed to another organization or not at all” actually is across the organization. It’s pretty surprising. Because that’s the biggest question and that’s the thing that we all need to be answering. So that’s one of the two frameworks I can talk about the other framework, but that’s one of the ways that we go about answering that question or look at answering that question

Dolph Goldenberg (06:40):

Before we get to that second framework, we’ve really got to drill down and unpack this just a little bit. You said a lot of charities don’t even return your call. If you were to give me a ballpark, what percentage are we talking?

Brady Josephson (06:51):

33%. Ish.

Dolph Goldenberg (06:53):

A third! Wow! And have you pulled their 990s? Are they small? Are they large? Are they across the entire spectrum? What’s the deal?

Brady Josephson (07:01):

The majority of our research has focused on slightly larger organizations; that’s who we typically serve. So the median revenue of nonprofits in our study is about $100,000,000. I’ve been doing these studies for two and a half years and it’s pretty consistent that we can’t complete donations to about 20% of organizations. A form is broken. Something’s impossible to find. It’s just not loading or refreshing. But there’s about a 15 to 20% of leakage that where we just can’t complete donations, which is absolutely crazy. And then for a research study we did last year, we signed up for email newsletters and made a donation to the same organization using two separate email personas but signed up at the exact same time. We were only able to get an email back to both personas from 48% of organizations.

Dolph Goldenberg (07:51):


Brady Josephson (07:52):

Yeah. Most of the brokenness was on the email signup form side of things. We’re only monitoring the user experience side of things in this research study, so we don’t know what’s broken necessarily on the other side. It could be a broken form, could be a broken process, could be a broken integration between two tools. We don’t know what’s going on. We just know that we said, “Please send me your emails” and we did not get them. And so one of the interesting things about that research is realizing that we can spend time talking on podcasts or doing conferences about AI and predictive giving behavior, and there’s some really cool stuff. But at the same time, we can’t even make a donation to 20% of nonprofits.

Brady Josephson (08:36):

And we can’t even get email communication when we asked for it; we got email less than 50% of the time. Or less than a third of organizations aren’t getting back to us. So that’s very, very simple stuff that is not being done. And we have to get that done first. Otherwise AI means nothing, right? So it’s one of the byproducts of our research that initially we weren’t seeking out. It just kept slapping us in the face every time we kept doing these research studies. So anyway, about a third of organizations did not reach back out.

Dolph Goldenberg (09:13):

And then you said a significant portion of those that did reach back out could not easily and concisely explain why you should give to them. Can you categorize those in any way?

Brady Josephson (09:30):

Yeah. We would score them on those four different factors. Most score higher on appeal. It’s generally easy to say why should you care about kids or animals or civil rights or whatever it is that you’re working in. That’s generally the easiest part and organizations will score a little bit higher on appeal. Credibility some organizations don’t do at all. You ask “Why should I give to you” and they answer “Because we help kids.” Okay. That doesn’t mean much so you ask “But why should I trust you? There’s a lot of organizations that help kids.” So even saying something like “We’ve been doing this since 1963 and we’re a gold member of GuideStar” is something. And that’s a whole different discussion, whether GuideStar and Charity Navigator are really valid or not. But they are trust indicators. But few organizations add in credibility.

Brady Josephson (10:12):

A lot of organizations really struggle with explaining their exclusivity, what makes them unique, because there’s a lot of very similar organizations. But even one of the things that we tell clients is that if you’re the Denver rescue mission, one of the things that makes you exclusive is that you work in Denver. So in your answer, talk about Denver. It’s such an obvious thing, but people will actually remove things like location or specifics about the population they serve. An extra level of specificity or clarity or tangibility is the thing that’s most often lacking. And what’s so damaging about that is that tangibility is one of the main things that actually helps nonprofits get donations. There’s a clear link between tangibility and generosity. And so when nonprofits are lacking tangibility or clarity, it’s not just confusing to us as researchers, it’s actually hurting the likelihood that someone is giving to the organization.

Dolph Goldenberg (11:16):

I think you are saying that really nonprofits have to niche down to their donors. And so, for example, if you’re that Denver nonprofit, you might be scared to say, “Oh, well we are exclusively Denver” because you think you’re excluding everyone who doesn’t live in Denver. But that’s a problem. They’re not niching down to their donors.

Brady Josephson (11:39):

Yeah. That’s exactly it. And what’s tough when working with nonprofits, as I’m sure you know, is it’s filled with so many optimists. If you’re not optimistic, why would you go work for a nonprofit? Our causes, our missions, are so difficult. So you have to be an optimistic person. But unfortunately that also bleeds into the fundraising discussion: Who is our donor? Everyone can be our donor! I was actually doing consulting work with a chiropractic association up in Vancouver. And we were going through this branding process and we asked who is your donor. And they said, “Anyone with a spine.” I said, “Well, that’s not super useful for us when it comes to targeting. Facebook doesn’t have a do-you-have-a-spine button.” But that’s often the sentiment. And the thing that we try to get to is, if you’re in Denver and you talk specifically about, Denver rescue, then that’s who your ideal donor is.

Brady Josephson (12:30):

And in that question, we really talk about ideal donor. It doesn’t mean you can’t get donors from Santa Fe, New Mexico or whatever. Your ideal donor is someone who cares about Denver. So talk about Denver. And it’s a simple thing, it’s a communication, it’s a branding thing. But I think that optimistic side of a lot of nonprofits comes out and they wonder if they are leaving people out. And that’s a great philosophical mindset to be inclusive. But when it comes to actually marketing communications, it’s not a benefit. It’s a weakness.

Dolph Goldenberg (12:57):

It’s interesting. I think that’s something that the nonprofit sector can really learn from the for-profit sector. Because those of us in for-profit sector, like my consulting practice which is a for profit company, we really do understand that we can’t speak to everybody. And we know that we’re going to turn off some prospective buyers because we want to get our ideal customer the same way that a nonprofit wants to get to its ideal donor.

Brady Josephson (13:23):

Yeah. And another way to ask that question, and we’re doing this process ourselves, is to ask, “Who you not for?” Because sometimes that’s actually even easier. You know who are you for. It’s a big chunk of people. But maybe who you are not for is smaller and that can help get you a little bit narrowed in. So again, I think that’s one of the challenges: people try to speak to all different types of groups, which is what leads to a lot of vagueness or lack of clarity. And what we’ve learned time and time and time again, is that clarity trumps persuasion. Specificity is absolutely paramount. And so that’s probably the biggest thing that we see as missing from kind of that value proposition answer.

Dolph Goldenberg (14:01):

Very cool. And so as organizations work toward getting that clarity and that uniqueness and improving their value proposition, what can they do to actually improve their online fundraising? Besides of course, as you said, they’ve got to make sure the link works and as someone reaches out to them, they’ve got to make sure they reach back out.

Brady Josephson (14:19):

A couple of things. One, again, the message is the most important thing. So that’s what we spend a lot of time testing. What’s cool with digital is the rate of learning is amazing and the cost of learning is so cheap. So you can use something like UsabilityHub to throw up a website, send it to a hundred people for $1a person, and get some feedback. And do a five second test. Show the website for five seconds, take it away and ask, “What did you remember? What did you think?” And just get some sort of external feedback and validation.

Brady Josephson (14:46):

I’d say external rigor is another thing that, generally speaking, nonprofits are actually really, really poor at. We’ll use anecdotal evidence from a major donor or a board member. Or we sent out an email and this one person replied back and said we emailed too much. And then we’ll put the pause button on the email because we think we’re emailing too much. When actually we send emails to 10,000 people and only one person complained. This is such an outlier case! So we often cater so much to the outliers. And so why we spend so much time focusing on numbers and statistics and significance is there needs to be some element of rigor for how we use external data sources. And ideally it would be actual actions through experimentation and tests. But absent that, surveys, focus groups, and customer calls. There’s this whole element that I think we’re generally fairly weak at and that’s one way to help improve messaging.

Brady Josephson (15:43):

So in terms of improving overall online fundraising, it actually ties into that second framework that I mentioned. So a research firm in Florida is called MECHLABS and we borrow it a lot of their optimization methodology and apply it to the nonprofit space. They came up with a conversion heuristic which is like a guide of sorts to think about why people make decisions and take action online? And this kind of heuristic, or equation, is: 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) – 2a. This means four times someone’s motivation, plus three times their understanding of the value proposition, plus two times the total of their incentive minus friction, minus two times their anxiety. It’s not great to do this on a podcast. Normally there’s a visual.

Brady Josephson (16:19):

But what’s useful about it is that it shows that someone’s innate motivation to give to your cause is by far the most important thing. If I don’t care about dogs, fundamentally, you can have the best dog focused organization in the world and it’s just not going to appeal to me. It’s back to this idea of who is your ideal donor and what is their motivation. That’s what you need to find, because it’s really hard to move someone’s innate motivation too, too much. That’s who the human is. It’s so deep seated. But let’s say I am a dog person and I have that motivation. Next, do I understand why I should give to your dog charity? That’s the message side of things, right? Then incentive minus friction. Incentive is things like swag bags or a special campaign like Giving Tuesday. There are different forms of incentives that add some urgency or extra reason to give today. Friction is anything that stands in the way of a donation. It could be confusion friction like not knowing where to go. Or it could be decision friction like you offer too many options and the donor doesn’t know what to choose. Or it could just be form friction like the donor wanting to know why you ask for their birthday on the donation form. There’s all different types of friction that we add to the online giving experience.

Brady Josephson (17:31):

Last is anxiety, which is things like why the donor should trust you and concerns over their information staying secure. This isn’t all the reasons why someone donates, but I think it’s a useful framework for thinking: motivation, value, incentive, friction, anxiety. And then when we talk about the easiest way to optimize giving experiences we work back to front. So someone’s anxiety: Is their information secure? Are you a trustworthy organization? Do you show a lockbox on the credit card area so they know it’s secure? Do you have a Trustmark or testimonial? Just something that makes them feel secure. Can you then reduce the friction? Can you reduce the number of steps and the number of form fields? Is it possible on a mobile? Then can you add a little incentive? These are lower level things, but they’re generally easier to fix. And then you get into value proposition, which is one of the hardest things to fix, but it’s the most important. So often we look at this equation, moving back to front, when we look at optimizing. And again, it’s a framework for you to think about your online giving experience and where can you improve.

Dolph Goldenberg (18:31):

This is purely anecdotal, which you’ve already said is a terrible thing to do. But as I think about this purely anecdotally, I think the two items that organizations have the most control over are friction and finding motivated donors.

Brady Josephson (18:47):

Yeah. What we found is actually really, really varied. So sometimes a lot of the friction is in the donation tool. Clients will say, “Well, we can’t control whether it’s three staff or whether there’s a fake confirmation screen.” And we always respond that using that tool is a choice. If you’re using a crappy donation page, that’s your choice to use that crappy donation tool. So don’t put your hand up and say there’s nothing we can do. You can change it. There’s nothing stopping you from changing. Sure it costs time, et cetera. But this perception of, “Oh, we’re stuck with this tool” is not helpful. So we see a lot of organizations getting hamstrung with the tool that they have.

Brady Josephson (19:25):

Then the message. This is another reason why we focus a lot on the message. Normally there’s your page or what you put before the donation page or what you put in the email. You control that message. Now, the form and how that email is delivered is where tools come into play. But you almost always control what it is that you’re saying, and to your point, to who you are targeting. And that’s where, again, the tactic side of things is relatively easy. We’ve learned enough about user behavior and user experience online that we know what works, where you need to spend. Most of your time is figuring out who the audience is, how you find them, and the message. That’s really the most difficult part. And that’s the heart of marketing and fundraising. But so many organizations spend so much time with just figuring out tools and steps that they can’t get to the bigger question or the bigger issue.

Dolph Goldenberg (20:17):

I know our Listeners are going to want to know how do they find those prospects that get it?

Brady Josephson (20:22):

Yeah, it’s a really good question. I know there’s a bunch of different ways that people would answer that. Some people would say doing a lot of qualitative research, donor persona building, or customer interviews. I think that’s really, really useful. And there’s some things we’re not equipped to do, we’re not the best people to do that. Where we always err is testing and tracking. So we’ll build donor life cycle dashboards and look at things like multi-year donors, recurring donors, lifetime value of donors, and where revenue actually comes from. That would be either donor source or channel or medium. like online. And then ask how you find more of those same people.

Brady Josephson (21:01):

Audience building on Facebook is so key. You upload your best donors and tell Facebook to find other people that look like them. And Facebook uses all their creepy data to come back and tell you people that look more like your own donors. And that’s really where we try to find time and testing. Because we found, again, qualitative research can only get you so far. It’s useful, but it just gets you a more educated guess at the end of the day. It’s still just guessing. So the more that we can actually track the better. We targeted this type of person or this group of people, and here were the results in terms of their giving. And ideally it would be more long-term giving, not just who gave, but how much they gave over time. And then once you figure that out, then you can try to say, “Here’s what that person looks like. Here’s how we know that they give. Now find me more of these people.” It’s really a data and tracking issue.

Dolph Goldenberg (21:53):

I think you just offered such an incredible suggestion for some of the organizations out there. I literally cannot count the number of organizations I know that are paying to boost Facebook posts, but they’re not uploading some basic demographic data like their top donors and saying to Facebook, “Go boost it to people who are like this.” Instead, they’re like, “Oh look, we got this boosted and it was seen by 3,000 people!” When, if it was seen by the 30 right people or the 300 right people, you might be more excited about.

Brady Josephson (22:24):

Yeah. That goes back to a lot of how we view digital and even metrics to a degree. Reach metrics are sometimes vanity metrics. How many people visit a site? How many people saw something? How many people opened an email? How many clicked? A lot of those things can be very misleading. Fundamentally, your job is to get a donation. So did those people actually go through and take an action? Or in the email example, great half the people opened your email but zero people donated. Is that really a great fundraising email? So it’s actually thinking about what is the end goal. And then if you start by really tracking and measuring that, then it gets a lot easier. Absent that, then great! 3,000 people saw this post. 4,000 people saw this video. And it sounds cool. But unless you can tie that action into the conversion you want of a donation, an email signup, whatever it might be, then you could very well be measuring the wrong thing.

Brady Josephson (23:17):

And we see that all the time in our research. Shorter emails, more visual emails, emails that use video, all those things typically give you more clicks. But longer emails, no visuals, raw, no buttons, no design, what we might think of as ugly emails, end up getting more donations. Most of the time, not all the time. But very, very often. And so if you’re optimizing for clicks, it’ll keep pushing you down a certain path. Whereas if you optimize for donations, it actually puts you down a different path. So I think that’s another challenge that nonprofits have: it comes back to data and understanding what we are tracking. Because you can’t optimize that which you can’t measure.

Dolph Goldenberg (23:57):

I said this to someone else today. I started working just barely before email entered the workplace. And so really before there were email solicitations to anybody, because there was really no email other than the military. And back then the four page letter and the six page letter worked so much better than the two page letter. And board members and executive directors would be incredulous and want to send a two page letter. And you would say, “Look at the data! The six page letter works better!” And they’d say, “But people aren’t going to read that.” And you would say, “But the people who are going to give will and that’s who we’re writing to.”

Brady Josephson (24:36):

And you know, what’s so funny is that we have to relearn almost all of those same core principles that we learned in direct mail testing all over again on the web. Now, there’s obviously some differences. But so much of what we learned in direct mail is actually true online. And that’s because really good testing doesn’t test channel, it tests human behavior. And people that can actually connect with a message, especially emotionally, are the ones most likely to give. So cool. That’s short. They clicked it. If there’s no strong emotional connection, they’re not going to give. You probably need a little bit more time, a little bit more copy, a little bit more message to actually connect someone. And similarly, 80% of new donors won’t give. And so instead of worrying about why that 80% aren’t they giving, we need to do a better job at understanding that 20% who are. Why did they give? Why did they give again? And then do more of that right there. Those are the two sides of the coin. And I think we spend so much time on the loss side of things that maybe we don’t spend enough time really understanding those who are actually giving and figuring out how to get more of them. So again, a lot of this comes down to your approach or structure or data or what you actually attract and optimize for.

Dolph Goldenberg (25:49):

I think that’s really actionable information for everyone to think about: to think about those 20% who are continuing to give and figuring out how you’re going to find more committed donors like that and not worry so much about the one-time donors where you spent a lot of money but didn’t make that much.

Brady Josephson (26:03):


Dolph Goldenberg (26:04):

Very cool. Well, Brady, I have got to stop here because we need to make time for the off-the-map question. And you know, the off-the-map question just lets listeners get to know you a little bit better. Now you had shared with me before we recorded that you had about five days’ notice that you were going to be a parent. Most people have a lot more time than that. So I think I need an explanation.

Brady Josephson (26:28):

Sure. At one level we had two years or so to prepare, but the reality is, we had five days. So for whatever reason we weren’t able to get pregnant. And we started going through the testing process and it was inconclusive. And then before we went to the next rung, we paused and said, “Well, why don’t we just adopt? We talked about adopting before we were even married, actually. We just thought maybe we’d have a few of our biological kids and then adopt. But, you know, your greatest plans are just gone!

Brady Josephson (27:09):

So we said, “Well, forget this. Instead of testing and going down that path we’ll just adopt.” And I know people go down that path, but it wasn’t for us. It’s a long path. If you know anyone who’s gotten on the adoption path, it’s a long journey. There’s courses and certification. And the irony is we had to pay money and get certified and go through social workers. Whereas people who don’t adopt, they just get knocked up and have a kid. It’s so funny, the hoops we had to jump through compared to the non-hoops that biological kids and parents don’t have to go through. So anyway, we went through this relatively quickly. It took about a year for us to go through the process in terms of being eligible to adopt. And then it’s often a 9, 12, 18 month wait. It really varies how long it takes before you actually get placed with a child. We were adopting locally in Canada and we were relatively open in terms of age and gender, so we had a better chance. But basically we got a call within two months, which is really quick. We were driving back from the mountains and in and out of cell reception, so that’s very stressful. So we pulled over and our agency said, “Hey, we got a call from this other agency on Vancouver Island and they need a match quick. And we think you might be matched. Can we share your information with them?” And we’re like, “Yes! Of course!” So that was Wednesday. They called us back Friday and said the couple had chosen my wife and I and asked if we could get over to Victoria.

Brady Josephson (28:37):

And we said, “Sure!” So we came over to Victoria on Sunday. Met our son Hendricks, well he wasn’t our son at the time, but we met him on Monday. And we took him home on a Wednesday. So within a week we went from, early thirties, living our great life, two income, no kids to having an 11 day old. That’s a shocking transition for sure. So that’s the short version of the story. And what else is interesting is they tell you in the adoption courses to not paint the baby room because it could take a long time and it’s really heartbreaking to walk by an empty room that you have prepared; it can be a reminder of what you don’t have. And so they tell you be kind of prepared, but not really. And so luckily we had family and friends in the area who gave us all their used stuff and we were able to get things set up pretty quick. But yeah, it was a pretty big life change in a small time period.

Dolph Goldenberg (29:37):

Really. Good for you and your wife are adopting. I have a niece that was adopted actually out of the Department of Family and Children’s Services. And people who adopt children are saving lives. They really are. And they’re building adults and they’re building a better world. And just mad respect for you. Mad, mad, respect.

Brady Josephson (29:55):

Thank you. Yeah. It was interesting when we went down that path initially, it was nothing about trying to be great people or saving lives or any sort of calling. It was a small component, but honestly it was more that we’d like to start a family, we can’t, and this is one route to. And then what changed through that was our interaction with the birth mom and the birth family and the impact that we actually have on Hendrix’s life. That’s taken on a lot more meaning for us as we’ve gone on. The importance and the gift and blessing and how do you steward that? But that really wasn’t a part of the process early on. So I appreciate the respect and there’s a lot of people that adopt and it is difficult and they do deserve a lot of respect, but for us, it was really just a way to start our family.

Dolph Goldenberg (30:47):

Again, I just have mad respect. My husband and I obviously cannot biologically have children. Well I guess we could you have a surrogate. But the two of us by ourselves cannot biologically have children. So it would be an intentional decision on our part. And we talked about it for about five seconds: Do you want kids? No. Do you want kids? No. And that was it. But even though we don’t want kids, just mad respect for anyone who raises kids and certainly anyone who’s very intentional about raising kids. And when you adopt it as the most intentional way to get a child, so really good for you guys.

Brady Josephson (31:20):

Thank you. Yeah. We could talk on and on and on about adoption and the process, but I know we’ve got other things to get to. So yeah, that was a bit of our journey.

Dolph Goldenberg (31:27):

Well, Brady, thank you so much for sharing that. And thank you for coming on the podcast today. Listeners, if you would like to learn more about Brady and NextAfter’s research and how you can use it to improve your own organization’s fundraising, then make sure you check out NextAfter’s website at nextafter.com. At that website, you can find out more information about memberships and courses that you can take that ,again, will help you improve your fundraising. And if you go to nextafter.com/pod, they have a special landing page with discounts for memberships in those courses. Finally, be sure you follow them on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Hey, Brady, again, thank you so much for coming on today.

Brady Josephson (32:11):

Thank you so much for having me and thank you so much for the work that you do.

Dolph Goldenberg (32:15):

Even though those URLs were pretty easy, have no fear if you missed them, Dear Listener. Just head over to our website at successfulnonprofits.com and we will link to those. We’ll have a transcript, we’ll have timestamped highlights, everything that you’ve come to expect from our show notes. You will find there at successfulnonprofits.com. And if you enjoyed today’s show, I’ve got an ask for you. Sign up for our weekly email newsletter. It’s funny because Brady was just talking about signing up and then not getting anything. And, admittedly, the newsletter has been on hiatus for about five or six months as we’ve had some staffing changes. But we are relaunching it. So make sure you sign up for it. And let me just say the podcast is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the great content we produce and share with our Listeners. So if you want more, sign up online at successfulnonprofits.com for our newsletter. And that is our show for the week. I hope you have gained some insight to help your nonprofit thrive in a competitive environment.

Dolph Goldenberg (33:14):

I am not an accountant or attorney and neither I nor the Goldenburg Group provide tax legal or accounting advice. This material has been provided for informational purposes only, is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. Always consult a qualified, licensed professional about such matters.


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