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Episode 53 – The Secret Sauce for High-Performing Nonprofit Organizations with Jeffery Perry



High-performing organizations are characterized by strong leadership, a clear goal, and strategic investments.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Jeffery Perry, founder & CEO of Lead Mandates LLC. They discuss the major drivers of success for high-performing organizations (especially nonprofits).

You will learn the following:

  • The importance of having a clear sense of purpose for your organization
  • Evolution in asset allocation strategies and endowment management
  • The key to authentic ESG investing (and the impact of the “peanut butter approach”)
  • Personal leadership insights for nonprofit leaders
  • And more!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Jeffery Perry on LinkedIn | Lead Mandates LLC | “Authentic ESG—Not Whac-A-Mole nor Peanut Butter” by Jeffery Perry | “Great Resignation Refocused as Great Reengagement” by Jeffery Perry | “At Your Side for The Rough Ride” by Bob DiMeo

About Jeffery Perry:

Jeff is the Founder & CEO of Lead Mandates LLC, an advisory firm that helps organizations improve business and leadership performance. He is a global strategic business advisor with relevant experience that spans 20 years combined as partner at Ernst & Young LLP (EY) and A.T. Kearney. He is a highly skilled and passionate leader in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), integrations, divestitures, and business transformations, linking strategy to purpose-led leadership and execution.

Jeff is a member of corporate and non-profit boards including: Board Director, Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. (NYSE: FBHS); Independent Director (Trustee), Equitable Funds; Board of Trustees Chair, Babson College; Board Chair, Chicago Children’s Museum; Former Board Chair, INROADS Inc.; Board Director, National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Chicago Chapter; Board Director, Harvard Business School African-American Alumni Association; Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) Council of Board Chairs. In addition, he is included in Savoy Magazine 2021 Most Influential Black Corporate Directors and Financial Times Agenda Diversity 100.  

Jeff received his B.S. in Marketing/Quantitative Methods, with high distinction, from Babson College and M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.


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Episode 52 – Third Quarterly Quick Take of 2022: Key Market Updates with Brad Long



With continued market volatility, a rising US dollar, and upcoming midterm elections, it’s time for our third Quarterly Quick Take of 2022.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Brad Long, CFA®, partner and deputy chief investment officer at Fiducient Advisors. They discuss timely market and economic updates, including important portfolio implications for investors.

You will learn:

  • The deception of bear market rallies (and why you should beware)
  • The impact of a strengthening US dollar, and what it might mean for your endowment
  • Little-known benefits of high interest rates 
  • How investors can avoid “recency bias” while planning for the future
  • And more!

Tune in for timely market updates as we enter the final quarter of 2022!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | BRAD LONG BIO | Brad Long on LinkedIn | Fiducient Advisors Insights (Research, Blog, and Podcasts)


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Episode 51 – Hedge Funds Revisited With Anthony Novara



Some investment committees are reluctant to own alternative investments because they don’t understand the space well.

Or perhaps they are intimidated due to the complexity and cost.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Anthony Novara, CFA®, research director of Fiducient Advisors’ marketable alternatives group. They demystify hedge fund investing and its role in effective portfolio management, especially amidst high market volatility.

You will learn:

  • Five primary strategies used in hedge funds investing
  • Major pros and cons of hedge funds for endowments and foundations
  • Fund of funds — how they work, fee structures, and investment benefits
  • Why the notion “hedge funds are inherently riskier” may not always true
  • And more!

Tune in to learn how to navigate hedge funds and other forms of alternative investments!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Anthony Novara on LinkedIn | Anthony Novara BIO | Nonprofits and Private Equity With Matt Kaminski (Ep. 29)




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Episode 50 – Five Investing Paradoxes Impacting Nonprofits and Endowments



Did you know economic stability can lead to instability? Is it possible to spend less today in order to spend more later?

Investors encounter such paradoxes regularly, which can be deeply damaging to nonprofits and endowments.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis discuss five major investing paradoxes you must keep in mind, especially during times of market volatility and economic uncertainty.

You will learn:

  • How to overcome the “complacency challenge” and achieve long-term stability
  • Why major changes in your spending policies might be required
  • Better strategies for dealing with volatile markets than “timing the market”
  • The dangers of extrapolation in the endowment investing world
  • And more!

Tune in to learn how to tackle market volatility with confidence by understanding five investing paradoxes!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Three Top Financial Challenges Facing the Nonprofit Sector | Business Cycle Dating


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Episode 49 – Endowment Management,Fundraising, Investing, Spending and Other Key Considerations in Higher-Ed with Dr. Jim Reynolds



When raising funds for a new project, are you factoring in operating costs? What type of board and investment committee members do you recruit? How has spending and investing changed in 2022?

These are just some of the questions nonprofit leaders are asking today.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Dr. Jim Reynolds, president at Millikin University. Having worked in higher education for over three decades, Dr. Reynolds shares his experience in advancing an organization’s mission by adapting endowment management, fundraising, and spending policies to the current environment.

You will learn:

  • Why it’s important to raise for maintenance during capital campaigns
  • The role of higher-ed institutions in bridging the income gap for its students
  • How to build well-balanced committees with diverse members
  • Steps taken by Millikin’s investment committee to improve its ESG efforts
  • And more!

Tune in to unpack key considerations for nonprofit leaders today, in higher education and beyond!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Dr. Jim Reynolds on LinkedIn | Millikin University | Webcast: Mid-Year Capital Markets and Economic Update

About Our Guest:

Dr. James Reynolds is the president of Millikin University, a Decatur-based private institution with a diverse population of about 2000 students. Millikin University consistently receives recognition as one of the nation’s best colleges and is on Princeton review’s Best in the Midwest list, Forbes America’s top colleges rankings, and others. Prior to becoming Millikin’s 16th president in 2020, Dr. Reynolds served as president of Wilmington College in Ohio, where he led the creation of a new campus-wide strategic planning process. Over his career, Dr. Reynolds’ scholarly work has been published extensively and his classroom excellence has resulted in six teacher-of-the-year awards.

 




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Episode 48 – Fundraising Strategies to Increase Donor Engagement with Brian Gawor



Fundraising, both on a small and large scale, can be difficult when markets are down, and there is global turmoil.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Brian Gawor, CFRE, vice president of research at Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL) and host of the Fundraising Voices Podcast. Brian shares actionable strategies to boost donor engagement and achieve better outcomes for fundraising campaigns.

You will learn:

  • Six variables of the “fundraising equation” that nonprofit leaders should know about
  • How higher-ed institutions and other nonprofits can take a data-driven approach to fundraising
  • How this downturn is stocks might impact your fundraising and your endowment 
  • How to use AI-personalization to improve communication with donors
  • The process of turning small-scale donors into major gifters
  • And more!

Tune in to learn how you can improve your organization’s fundraising!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Brian Gawor on LinkedIn | Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL) | Fundraising Voices Podcast | Amplify Your Impact Through Strategic Philanthropy with Caren Yanis (Ep. 36) | How Can Mission-Driven Nonprofits Improve Performance in Today’s Environment? with Sally Blount (Ep. 45)

About Our Guest:

Brian Gawor is the vice president of research at Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL) with a background in student affairs, enrollment, annual giving, and major gifts. Brian leads actionable research and strategy to propel the success of RNL’s 1,900 partner clients. He’s a first-generation college graduate grateful to the donors who made it possible. Considering himself a dedicated giving geek, Brian strikes down myths about fundraising and believes that the best strategy comes from listening to donors at scale. Brian regularly presents at professional conferences, and you can also find him hosting RNL’s regular LinkedIn live broadcasts, webinars, and the Fundraising Voices Podcast.




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Episode 47 – Second Quarterly Quick Take of 2022: Key Market Updates with Brad Long



With high inflation, slowing growth, volatile capital markets, and political unrest in Eastern Europe, it’s time for our second Quarterly Quick Take of 2022.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Brad Long, CFA®, partner and deputy chief investment officer at Fiducient Advisors. They discuss the current and future outlook for capital markets, the U.S. economy, and international trends.

You will learn:

  • Portfolio positioning under current inflationary pressures
  • Market and economic ripples caused by the actions of the Federal Reserve
  • Why consumer sentiment is low despite high employment rates
  • What investors should be thinking about in the current environment (but aren’t)
  • And more!

Tune in for timely market updates as we enter the second half of 2022!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | BRAD LONG BIO | Brad Long on LinkedIn | Fiducient Advisors Insights (Research, Blog, and Podcasts)

About Our Guest:

Brad Long joined Fiducient Advisors in 2012. He is chair of the firm’s Investment Committee and a member of the firm’s Discretionary Committee, Research Forum, Capital Markets Team and Mission-Aligned Investing Committee. Prior to joining the firm, Brad worked in various research capacities at Citigroup and Wells Fargo in New York. He received a BA in Finance and Minor in Economics from The University of Colorado and is a CFA® charterholder and member of the CFA Society of Chicago and CFA Institute. Additionally, he is active with Greenhouse Scholars, a nonprofit providing financial and personal support to under-resourced college students. In his free time, Brad loves cooking and spending time with his wife and young sons.


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Episode 46 – Taking on ESG Initiatives Amidst Global Turmoil with Habib Subjally



Gas prices have spiked exponentially. Inflation is at 40-year highs. World peace is disrupted due to the war in Eastern Europe.

Amidst all of this global turmoil, how should investors think about  ESG investing? How can organizations advance mission-aligned initiatives?

Find out in this episode, as Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Habib Subjally, senior portfolio manager and head of global equities at RBC Global Asset Management. Habib shares thoughtful insights and strategies for effective ESG integration within an organization your organization and yoru portfolio.

You will learn:

  • Why the current momentum in ESG investing is here to stay
  • How ESG investing can lead to greater commercial success and financial returns
  • Ways to navigate the complexities of the current ESG landscape (and some trending investment themes)
  • How portfolio managers can adopt ESG initiatives despite a lack of standardized industry data
  • And more!

Tune in to learn more about incorporating ESG into your current investment process!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Habib Subjally on LinkedIn | RBC Global Asset Management | Fiducient Advisors’ Guide to Mission-Aligned Investing

About Our Guest:

Habib Subjally is a Senior Portfolio Manager and the Head of RBC Global Equity at RBC Global Asset Management, where he leads a team of 11 global sector specialists. Prior to joining the firm in 2014, Habib spent eight years managing global equities and building his team to its current structure. Previously, he held lead positions in small- and mid-cap equities as well as global and North American equities at other asset management firms.


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Episode 45 – How Can Mission-Driven Nonprofits Improve Performance in Today’s Environment? with Sally Blount



Every organization must take the time to stop, reflect on its performance, and ask, “Are we doing the best we can with our current resources?”

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Sally Blount, president, and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, one of the largest human service providers in the Midwest serving more than 500,000 people annually. Sally sheds light on the current environment for nonprofits and strategies to advance your charitable mission.

You will learn:

  • The process of re-evaluating and enhancing your nonprofit’s performance
  • Caveats to keep in mind while scaling your organizational services
  • Factors that lead to effective governance and ideal committee structures
  • The importance of aligning your investment portfolio with your core values
  • And more!

Tune in to learn how you can help your organization prosper in the current environment!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Sally Blount on LinkedIn | Email Sally | Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago | Episode 42: “Investment Considerations, DEI, Nonprofit Leadership and More with Mellody Hobson” | Nonprofit Fundraising and Cryptocurrencies

About Our Guest:

Sally Blount is president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Moreover, she is the professor of strategy at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she is also a proud alumna and former dean. An internationally recognized thought leader in management and business education, Blount is a highly rated professor and sought-after speaker on leadership development, board governance, and organizational transformation. From 2004-2010, Sally served as dean of the New York University undergraduate College of Business and vice dean of the Stern School of Business. In both deanships, Blount was a record-setting fundraiser, partnering with and leading teams that completed two capital campaigns that were transformational for their institutions, together raising more than $550M. Blount also sits on the board of two Fortune 500 companies, Abbott Laboratories and Ulta Beauty, as well as the boards of the Joyce Foundation and the Economic Club of Chicago.


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Episode 44 – Nonprofits in Higher-Ed: Current Outlook, Opportunities, and Challenges with Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich



This can be a challenging environment for nonprofit organizations, especially those in higher education, contending with investments, revenue, operations, and more.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich, president at Concordia University-St. Paul. They discuss the current outlook for higher-ed organizations, including major opportunities and challenges facing them today.

You will learn:

  • Latest trends in enrollment, operations, and advancement in the higher education space
  • Reasons to focus on sustainability and long-term results while overseeing endowments
  • The impact of rising interest rates on an organization’s finances
  • Tips to help achieve greater alignment among committee and board members
  • And more!

Tune in to learn about the current opportunities and challenges for nonprofits, especially in higher education!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Brian Friedrich on LinkedIn | Email Brian Friedrich | Concordia University, St. Paul | Endowments & Foundations Consulting at Fiducient Advisors

About Our Guest:

The Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich is the 10th president of Concordia University, St. Paul. Prior to returning to his alma mater, Friedrich served as President of Concordia University, Nebraska from 2004-2019, holding several positions in development and administration. He was appointed as vice president for institutional advancement in 1997 and was named the president of Concordia Foundation, Inc. in 2003 before being named president in 2004. Friedrich is a vice president of the Concordia University System, member of the Colloquy Committee of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, trustee of Mill Neck Foundation and Lutheran Friends of the Deaf boards, a director of the Council of Independent Colleges of Nebraska, a director of the National Association of the Council of Independent Colleges and Universities, a member of the Seward Rotary Club and St. John Lutheran Church.