Category Archives: education

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Episode 28 – How Nonprofits Can Drive Results Through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion — With Cynthia Primo Martin



Focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is more than just the “right thing to do.” It can help your nonprofit make better decisions and achieve greater results.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Cynthia Primo Martin, founder of the Trustees of Color initiative. They discuss actionable strategies to create diverse investment committees, overcome common DEI challenges, and leverage DEI initiatives to achieve your core organizational mission.

You will learn:

  • Top recruitment and selection practices for nonprofit boards and investment committees
  • Why nonprofit leaders should be intentional with their DEI efforts
  • How “board readiness” helps you overcome personal biases & become more accessible
  • How diverse committees are more likely to achieve better investment returns
  • And more!

Tune in to gain valuable insights into how DEI plays an important role in charitable organizations.

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Cynthia Primo Martin on LinkedIn | Contact Cynthia: (302) 540-0196 or CPrimo@comcast.net | “Handbook for Nonprofit Leadership: Recruiting, Training and Engaging Trustees of Color” by Cynthia Primo Martin | “Diversity of Asset Managers In Philanthropy” by Global Economy Group | “Madam C. J. Walker’s Gospel of Giving: Black Women’s Philanthropy during Jim Crow” by Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman | “Focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” by Devon Francis

About Our Guest:

Cynthia Primo Martin is the founder of the Trustees of Color initiative, whose mission is to ensure that nonprofit boards are inclusive of people of color. Cynthia has served as a director and trustee of many nonprofit organizations, including the University of Delaware, Delaware Symphony Association, African-American Endowment Fund at DCF, and the Waterson Family Foundation. Earlier in her career, she served as human resources and equal employment opportunity director for a major insurance company. Cynthia is also the author of “Handbook for Nonprofit Leadership: Recruiting, Training and Engaging Trustees of Color.”


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Episode 27 – 403(b) Retirement Plans Optimized for Nonprofits — With Vin Smith



Nonprofits seek to attract, retain and reward great people – an attractive retirement plan is part of the solve. 

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Vin Smith, partner and practice leader of the nonprofit defined contribution practice at Fiducient Advisors. They help nonprofit leaders better design their 403(b) plans, create efficient investment menus, and evaluate their existing fee structures to remain relevant.

You will learn:

  • How retirement plans for nonprofits have evolved, and how to optimize yours
  • How to create a fee structure that is fair for all plan participants, and helps avoid litigation
  • Best practices to optimize both governance and fund selection for 403(b) plans
  • Ways to incorporate ESG investing into your 403(b) plan 
  • And more!

Tune in to learn how you can help your nonprofits remain relevant in the 403(b) landscape!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Vin Smith on LinkedIn | Email Vin Smith

About Our Guest:

As a Partner and Senior Consultant in our Boston Office, Vin services institutional clients by providing advice and counsel on all areas of fund oversight including policy, asset allocation, manager research, portfolio structure, portfolio rebalancing, performance monitoring and overall investment policy. He serves on the firm’s Defined Contribution Business Council and the Defined Contribution Discretionary Committee. Vin joined Fiduciary Investment Advisors, LLC in 2011, which combined with Fiducient Advisors in 2020. Prior to joining the firm, he was a senior member of the consulting teams at Cammack LaRhette Consulting and Longfellow Advisors. He earned his BSBA from Stonehill College and is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary®. Vin serves on the Board of Directors for Mentor Rhode Island, an affiliate of a national organization focusing on creating quality youth mentorship programs. His personal interests include running and fishing.


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Episode 26 – Endowment Investment Considerations for Today’s Market — With Brad Long



If you’re looking for investment strategies that help your nonprofit stay relevant in today’s ever-changing markets, then this episode is for you.

In this show, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Brad Long, CFA, partner and research director at Fiducient Advisors, who oversees the firm’s global public markets. They discuss crucial investment considerations for endowments, such as active versus passive investing, portfolio diversification, and mission-aligned investment.

You will learn:

  • How to construct an optimal portfolio using both active and passive asset management
  • The need to diversify, especially now – and how allocation strategies can evolve over time
  • How your nonprofit can achieve mission-aligned investment objectives
  • Tips for investment committees to overcome emotions and make rational decisions
  • And more!

Tune in to learn how you can help your nonprofits prosper by making prudent investment decisions!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | BRAD LONG BIO | Brad Long on LinkedIn | Nonprofit Investment Stewards, ep. 24 – The Benefits and Pitfalls of OCIO Endowment Management — With Matthew Porter

About Our Guest:

As Partner and Research Director at Fiducient Advisors, Brad Long oversees the firm’s Global Public Markets research efforts with responsibility for global equity, global fixed income, and global real assets. He is also a voting member of the firm’s Investment Committee, member of the firm’s Discretionary Committee, Research Forum, Capital Markets Team, and Mission-Aligned Investing Committee. In 2019, Brad was named a “Rising Star” in City Wire’s annual Professional Buyer publication for his contributions in the investment manager research industry.


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Episode 25 – How Storytelling Can Benefit Your Endowment — With Park Howell



Oftentimes, the best way to communicate your nonprofit’s core values and mission to your audience is through storytelling.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis are joined by Park Howell, founder of Business of Story, brand storytelling strategist, and international keynote speaker. As the world’s most industrious storyteller, Park discusses how charitable organizations can craft and leverage compelling stories to communicate their investment strategies, exceed their fundraising goals, optimize their mission-aligned message, and ultimately amplify their impact.

You will learn:

  • How storytelling can improve your message to your endowment stakeholders
  • The ABT (And, But, Therefore) narrative that adds meaningful context to financial data
  • How storytelling turns your nonprofit into a purpose-driven brand that resonates strongly 
  • Why stories are a crucial component of ESG investing
  • And more!

Tune in to learn how you can help your nonprofit prosper using the art of storytelling!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Park Howell on LinkedIn | Business of Story | The Business of Story Podcast | The ABT’s of Selling™ Course | Brand Bewitchery: How to Wield the Story Cycle System™ to Craft Spellbinding Stories for Your Brand | The Narrative Gym for Business: Introducing the ABT Framework for Business Communication and Messaging | Nicholas Kristof’s Advice for Saving the World | How To Make Your Investment Committee More Effective

About Our Guest:

Park Howell is the founder of Business of Story, through which he has helped thousands of purpose-driven leaders master business storytelling and grow through a crystal clear vision and mission. As the world’s most industrious storyteller and a 30+ year veteran of branding, marketing and sales, Park works internationally with brand leadership, their marketers and sales teams to help them craft and tell endearingly authentic stories that sell. In addition to being an expert storytelling coach, Park also hosts the popular Business of Story podcast ranked among the top 10% of downloaded shows in the world.


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Episode 24 – The Benefits and Pitfalls of OCIO Endowment Management — With Matt Porter



With limited resources and staff, it can be difficult for investment committees to focus on both endowment management and the advancement of the organization’s mission.

This circumstance has compelled many nonprofits to consider the Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) model.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis are joined by Matt Porter, managing partner and head of endowments and foundations at Fiducient Advisors. Matt explains how an OCIO might help your investment committee optimize decisions, reduce administrative burden, and more efficiently approach portfolio management to better focus on your nonprofit’s long-term goals.

You will learn:

  • The key differences between an OCIO model and traditional investment consulting
  • Specific duties that can be offloaded by nonprofits through an OCIO approach
  • Major advantages and pitfalls of OCIO endowment management
  • How to outsource various responsibilities while still maintaining decision-making authority within your organization
  • And more!

Tune in to learn how the OCIO model can help today’s nonprofits optimize their investment management!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | MATT PORTER BIO | Matt Porter on LinkedIn | Investment Office at Fiducient Advisors: Creative and Flexible Management Solutions for Today’s Nonprofits

About Our Guest:

As Head of Endowments and Foundations, Matt Porter challenges firm members to think about and embrace innovation and knowledge development. As a Senior Consultant, he advises institutional clients on a variety of topics, including asset allocation, investment manager relations and portfolio rebalances. Matt is the Chair of the Investment Committee, which sets all investment policies for the firm, establishes the framework for asset allocation and reviews and approves investment managers.  Matt also leads the firm’s Endowment & Foundation Business Council and is a member of the firm’s Research Forum and Discretionary Committee.


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Episode 23 – Endowment Management and Operational Efficiencies: How Can You Achieve Both at the Same Time? — With Jeffrey Bethke



Amidst financial planning and endowment management, it’s common for institutions to underestimate the impact that operations can have in sustaining a nonprofit.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis are joined by Jeff Bethke, managing partner at Ingenuity Advising, to help your nonprofit optimize both financial and operational planning. Jeff draws from his experience as former executive vice president and CFO at DePaul University to explain how educational institutions can overcome common investment challenges while developing operational efficiencies.

You will learn:

  • How to tackle the looming demographic crisis facing higher education
  • Effective endowment management strategies for schools
  • Ways in which your nonprofit’s finances and operations directly influence each other
  • Proven best practices for institutional governance and investment committee structures
  • And more!

Tune in to learn how you can achieve both financial and operational competence within your nonprofit.

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | FOUR SMART MOVES FOR INVESTMENT COMMITTEES | Jeffrey Bethke on LinkedIn | Ingenuity Advising | DePaul University | Niagara University | Navy Pier | Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) | Four Smart Moves for Endowment Investment Committees

About Our Guest:

Jeffery Bethke has more than 20 years of higher education and not-for-profit finance and operations experience and a decade in consulting and corporate management roles. Before launching Ingenuity Advising in 2021, Jeff served as executive vice president and chief financial officer at DePaul University, one of the nation’s largest private universities, where he oversaw the institution’s finance and budgeting functions, facility operations, human resources, information technology, internal audit, public safety, student housing, dining operations, community and government relations and other operational areas.


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Episode 22 – Achieving Your Charitable Mission Through Private Foundations — With Adam Newell



For high-net-worth families who are charitably inclined, private foundations are a great way to make an impact while maintaining control over your investments.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Adam Newell, partner at Fiducient Advisors and director of consulting at The Wealth Office®. Adam helps charitable foundations overcome common challenges, shares investment strategies used by successful families and discusses how foundations might avoid getting flagged by the IRS.

You will learn:

  • Portfolio management tips to help your foundation meet the 5% spending requirement
  • How private foundations differ from donor-advised funds
  • Tax considerations to keep in mind while making investment decisions
  • Ways to involve future generations in your nonprofit’s charitable mission
  • And more!

Tune in to learn how you can successfully manage your private foundation with Adam Newell.

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | FREE GUIDE: 6 Tips to Managing Nonprofit Investments | ADAM NEWELL BIO I Adam Newell on LinkedIn

About Our Guest:

As a partner at Fiducient Advisors and director of consulting for The Wealth Office®, Adam Newell, CFA®, CFP®, is responsible for the oversight of the firm’s Wealth Office® consultants and setting the strategic direction for the group’s consulting business. He also provides investment expertise to a number of high-net-worth families, private foundations, and nonprofit clients. Adam is a voting member of the Investment Committee that sets investment policy, establishes the framework for asset allocation and approves investment managers.


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Episode 21 – How Independent Schools Navigate Challenges and Manage Endowment Funds — With Jeffrey Shields



In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis talk to Jeffrey Shields, president and CEO at National Business Officers Association (NBOA). Jeff shares insights into the challenges  independent schools face including enrollment and optimizing their endowment funds.

You will learn:

  • Ways to contend with major financial challenges faced by independent schools
  • The impact of tuition pricing on enrollment demand
  • The important role an endowment plays for private schools
  • Best practices for private school investment committees 
  • And more!

Tune in to learn how independent schools can thrive in the post-pandemic world.

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | FREE GUIDE: 6 Tips to Managing Nonprofit Investments | Jeffrey Shields on LinkedIn | National Business Officers Association | American Society of Association Executives™ | National Association of College and University Business Officers | Business Intelligence for Independent Schools (BIIS) | The Enrollment Management Association | Four Smart Moves for Endowment Investment Committees

About Our Guest:

Jeff Shields, FASAE, CAE, has been the president and CEO of the National Business Officers Association (NBOA) for over 10 years. NBOA is the premier national association serving the needs of business officers and business operations staff at independent schools. Shields also serves as a member of the board of directors at the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and a trustee for the Enrollment Management Association (EMA). Previously, he served as a trustee for One Schoolhouse, an innovative online school offering supplemental education to independent schools, and Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC. He holds a B.A. from Shippensburg University and an M.A. from The Ohio State University.


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Episode 20 – How To Use Data and Rigorous Evaluation to Help Achieve Your Nonprofit’s Goals — With Annie Duflo



Regularly assessing the impact of your nonprofit’s initiatives and even its mission is more important than ever to all stakeholders including your donors.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Annie Duflo, executive director at Innovations for Poverty Action. Together, they explore the steps involved in using effective data that fits your organizational needs, analyzing it to identify the core issues and investment opportunities, and making more informed decisions that help you achieve your nonprofit’s mission.

Annie discusses:

  • How data-driven decisions can help your nonprofit achieve significantly higher returns on investment
  • Ways to ensure that your data is not under-utilized
  • How IPA conducted extensive research on microcredit to study the impact on poverty
  • Tips to help you adapt your initiatives and programs to a larger scale
  • And more!

Resources:

Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | FREE GUIDE: 6 Tips to Managing Nonprofit Investments | ”Activist Annie Duflo Uses Data and Incentives to Fight Global Poverty” by The Wall Street Journal | Centre for MicroFinance | Ultra-Poor Graduation Programme by BRAC | Innovations for Poverty Action | Connect with Annie Duflo

About Our Guest:

Annie Duflo is responsible for leading the strategic directions of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), the implementation of its strategic plan, and the day to day operations. Prior to joining IPA, Annie was the Executive Director of the Centre for Microfinance (CMF) in Chennai, India. Annie holds a Master of Public Administration and International Development degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Master in Social Sciences from EHESS (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales)/ ENS (École Normale Supérieure) in Paris


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Episode 19 – Senior Living Communities and Their Unique Financial Considerations – with David Bordonaro



It is projected that by the year 2025, more than 50% of the population will be aged 65 and older.

Leadership at senior living communities must keep up and adapt to changes in the industry to be financially prepared for the future of senior living.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis sit down with David Bordonaro, president of McLean Senior Living Community, as they talk about the senior living industry, its opportunities and its financial challenges. David shares how McLean has updated their business model to reflect changes within the sector, and how they manage their investments. 

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The changes McLean has implemented to better serve their community
  • The various investment pools that fall under the McLean umbrella
  • Which services offered by McLean have had the greatest growth
  • How inflation could impact the senior living industry as a whole
  • And more!

Tune in now to discover how McLean evolved their business model and how their investments could impact the next generation of seniors!

Resources: Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | David Bordonaro | McLean | Episode 17: 10 Habits of Effective Investment Committees