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In this episode, Amber Kaney, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Dream Springing, talks about their approach to using technology to overcome challenges in scaling impact for underrepresented communities. She emphasizes the importance of analyzing donor journeys and addressing pain points through technology while staying open to changes. Dream Springing also adapts to pandemic challenges by providing self-paced options for donor engagement.
Amber Kani is an experienced professional in the field of stakeholder engagement and philanthropy. She currently serves as the Head of Stakeholder Engagement at DreamSpring, where she has successfully implemented comprehensive business development and stewardship strategies to advance the organization’s mission. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Scaling Impact:
- Dream Springing is a nonprofit that provides small business owners and entrepreneurs underrepresented in traditional banking access to capital, education, and resources.
- Technology is key to scaling impact by reducing friction points for clients and donors alike, enabling Dream Springing to capture data to improve outreach for clients and fundraise more effectively beyond traditional networks.
- Map out the existing workflows to identify challenges and select appropriate technology
- Unstick stakeholders by adding a touchpoint into the process and identifying needs to hire appropriate staff
- Know your process and deploy your team intentionally.
- Crafting innovative solutions using the resources available.
- Technology enables stakeholder engagement to be more impactful.
Connecting with Amber Kani:
Connecting with Sean Boyce:
- 09:12 – “And by leveraging technology we’re able to take our digital assets, client features, videos, things that tell our story better than I ever could face-to-face or in a letter and get them in front of people that go beyond the networks of anyone on your fundraising staff. You know, capacity is always a challenge for nonprofits, and leveraging technology can let your fundraisers and your partnership builders and your executive teams do what they do best. And it also enables your clients to have a voice in the process.”
- 11:24 – “I mean, the great thing about technology is you’re constantly getting data on what is working and what isn’t, and it enables you to pivot and change as you need. And it would take a long time to figure that out with face-to-face and meetings, certainly at the scale that we’re trying to do it.”
- 11:45 – “Because in terms of cost-effectiveness, I’ve seen a lot unfortunately of nonprofit organizations that have developed amazing local programs but then they kind of collapse, or they stall under the weight of the growth that they want to try to achieve as they’re trying to scale because they haven’t taken into account just how expensive time-consuming, how much effort is going to be involved and what it’s going to be like trying to manage that at scale.”
- 19:36 – “Because you’re expecting the process that worked yesterday to work for the process of tomorrow’s world. That’s unlikely to be the case, even if it does, it’s going to be significantly less effective. So you’re going to need processes to improve those as well too. It isn’t like they’re going to have to adapt, they’re going to have to evolve, and your tools should evolve with you as well too.”
- 13:27 – “Sean: You’d alluded too as well to the data that you’ve used to kind of better understand where to apply technology, software, any of these other tools that can help you with scaling more efficiently. What does that look like? What is DreamSprings’ process for that? Like how do you know where to apply it next that would also be good for, you know, other nonprofit leaders to learn from in terms of what you’ve done successfully?”
Amber: “Yeah, I think the first thing is you need to put your head down before you can put your head out. And you know, we really looked internally at who are our donors and partners, and aspirationally who are we trying to attract? Because like you said, the folks who are supporting you in your backyard and your community are absolutely essential.”