Episode 106 – Building a Thriving Organizational Culture with Skyler Badenoch
[00:00:00] Stephanie Skryzowski: Hey there. If you’re looking for the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast, you’re in the right place after a hundred amazing episodes, we’re changing things up to serve you the most inspiring content in a fresh new way. Thanks for being here and keep listening.
Welcome to the prosperous nonprofit, the podcast for leaders who are building financially sustainable and impactful nonprofits and changing the world. I’m Stephanie Kowski, a Chief financial Officer and founder and c e o of 100 Degrees Consulting. My personal mission is to empower leaders to better understand their numbers, to grow their impact and their income.
On this show, we talk to people who are leading the nonprofit sector in new, innovative, disruptive, and entrepreneurial ways, creating organizations that fuel their lives, their hearts, and their communities. Let’s dive in.[00:01:00]
Hey everybody. Welcome back to the prosperous non. I’m super excited to be here with you today. Do I say that every single time? I think I do. I think I tell you every single time how super excited I am to be here with you today because I really do have such amazing guests. So today I have on a very good friend of mine, Skylar Badnock.
Skylar and I met over 13 years ago, and we were working together at a nonprofit and he was working in a few of our program countries and I was working in finance in those same countries and. We have just been friends and kind of following along on each other’s journeys ever since. So Skylar is an incredible leader.
He’s a C e O of an organization called Hope for Haiti, and I just really look up to him for his creativity and his innovation and the way that he leads. And so what we talk about today on the show is we talk a lot about [00:02:00] organizational culture because when I think about. All of the things that are not great about the nonprofit sector, none of those things.
I’m really seeing it hope for Haiti. And so I think a lot of that can be attributed to Skylar’s leadership and the the organizational culture that he has built there. So I’m excited for you to hear today some of the elements that he talks about that really helped make up. The organizational culture that they have at that organization and how they’ve been able to be so impactful in the work that they’re doing in Haiti.
And I think you will see, like he just weaves it throughout, how attached he is to the organization’s core values. And the mission and the impact, and he really weaves that through everything that they’re doing. And so we talk about organizational culture and we also talk about fundraising. And he told me all about his upcoming capital campaign, which is super exciting, but also some of the unique ways and some advice that he would have to maybe a new executive director who is now tasked with [00:03:00] fundraising and maybe hasn’t been before.
So there’s a lot of good stuff in. As usual, I could have spent like the next three hours talking to Skylar, but try to keep it short for you all. So before we get into the interview, let me just read you his bio so you can hear exactly what. He is all about Skylar. Badnock is the c e O of Hope for Haiti, an organization that works to improve the quality of life for the Haitian people, particularly children Hope for.
Haiti currently serves thousands of children, parents, and grandparents in Southern Haiti through direct investments in education, healthcare, water. Infrastructure in the economy. So they have, um, this is like side note from Stephanie. They have five main pillars of the work that they do. And one of the things that we talked about today was around experimentation and pilot projects and failure.
And I think that’s a really interesting conversation in the nonprofit sector because it’s not something we talk about very often. And so I’m excited for you to listen more about. Skylar joined Hope for Haiti in [00:04:00] 2017 and has been a supporter since 2008. Under his leadership, the organization hopes to double the number of children it reaches through its programing.
With cash resources just under 5 million. Skylar’s signature issues at Hope for Haiti include education and learning outcomes, infrastructure development, social business investment, expansion of their clean water portfolio and monitoring and evaluation. And prior to joining Hope for Haiti, Skylar worked for Build On Where he spent 10 years managing participatory school construction programs in Haiti, Nicaragua, and Ma.
And during that time, he helped raise over 10 million to support global education and the construction of more than 500 schools in rural villages around the developing world. He’s a global board member at buildOn. Where he advises senior leadership on key partnerships and development, and he was a Peace Corps volunteer in KO Deir, and he tells us a little bit about that today and how that really started his journey.
He’s got his undergrad degree in economics from the University of [00:05:00] Arizona, a master’s in International Development Studies at George Washington. He lives in Scottsdale with his wife Sahara and his two daughters, Lillian and Layla. So I am very excited to dive right into this episode with you. I think you’re gonna love it.
Hey everybody, welcome back to the show. I am super excited to be here with my friend Skylar Badnock. Skylar and I have been friends for, It’s 13 years. I think it’s, I mean, it’s pretty crazy over a decade, but I know, I know. Skylar, welcome to the show.
[00:05:37] Skyler Badenoch: Thank you. It’s, it’s really great to be here. Thanks for having me on, Stephanie.
[00:05:41] Stephanie Skryzowski: Yes. So I would love if we could just kick things off by you telling our listeners a little bit about what you do, what your organization does, and then maybe a little bit about the journey that led you to where you are.
[00:05:55] Skyler Badenoch: Great. Yeah. So I’m Skylar Badnock, the Chief Executive Officer at Hope for Haiti, [00:06:00] and our organization focuses on poverty alleviation in the southern part of Haiti.
And we do that by partnering with communities and leaders in Haiti to improve systems of education, healthcare, access to clean water, water sanitation, hygiene. And economic opportunity all at the same time. All in all in the same region. And we’ve been doing the this work in Haiti for more than 34 years.
So we have a great deal of experience implementing programs, making a collective impact, partnering with government and non-government organizations, working and navigating through all of the challenges that people hear about in Haiti. Our organization’s been able to do that and. Currently, our staff size overall is 160.
We have 160 full-time team members. We have 150 team members in Haiti. They’re doctors, nurses, educators, administrators. They’re really implementing our work. We have another 10 people here in the United States who focus on fundraising and admin support and, [00:07:00] um, administration and finance and marketing communications, raising the money and the resources that our team in Haiti can do the work.
Um, so that’s, that’s hope for. Um, in a nutshell, a high level overview. And then myself personally, my, my background, I always start with Peace Corps cuz that’s really what got me started in this field. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ko Divo, west Africa. I was a water sanitation volunteer and when I left Peace Corps, that really set me off on the path.
To, uh, be involved in international development and pursue a career in international development. I went to graduate school at George Washington University for International Development Studies, and then got hired by, uh, by buildOn, the organization and where we, we met and I worked at buildOn, helping run international programs for five years.
And mostly in Haiti, Nicaragua, and Malawi. And then transitioned over to fundraising, uh, where I spent another five years at Build On helping align resources for the development team. And then moved over to Hope for Haiti as the c e o. And [00:08:00] so, um, you know, these last six years at Hope for Haiti have been a really.
Incredible part of my professional journey. I’ve learned so much. I’ve been able to work with an incredible team, dynamic board of directors, very sophisticated, thoughtful donors, and, um, and like we, well, I’m sure we’ll get into, I’ve been able to innovate and have some autonomy to, to really, um, take the organization in directions that, that, um, I had hoped to when I started six years.
[00:08:27] Stephanie Skryzowski: First of all, thank you. I can’t believe you’ve been at hope for Haiti for six years. I feel like, I don’t know. I feel like we were just talking about you moving over there and, um, super exciting. But that kind of leads right into my first question. You know, you mentioned that hope for Haiti has been around for over 30 years, and I know at least for quite some time, the founders were very involved in the organization and that can often, for a new c e o or a new executive director be kind of a tricky situation to come in.
Really bring some new ideas to the table and innovate, but you’ve really been [00:09:00] able to do that and do some exciting things. How has that been for you? How has that been possible to come into this existing organization? Founders very involved and come in and really innovate?
[00:09:12] Skyler Badenoch: Well, I, I actually, I love that question because, When I started working at Hore, Haiti, the Keener family, Joanne Keener, the founder, and Tiffany Keener, who was the c e o before I was the c e O, and then who became the board chair.
They had a vision and their vision was to really transition a lot of the management and leadership away from. Being family run and, and that was something that they committed to. It was something that they adhered to. And ultimately Joanne stepped off the board and became a board member emeritus status.
Tiffany stepped off the board and became board member emeritus status, but we worked together to really implement a plan of. Of a transition in leadership at the board level. And I think that combined with just [00:10:00] their vision, that hope for Haiti was going, if it was going to be an organization that continued to grow and, and carry on with their legacy, was gonna have to be an organization that, that had a different leadership structure.
And so they were very intentional about that. They were very intentional about, in many ways, stepping away and giving me the space. But one of the things that I think was, was transformational in my ability to come on and, and help lead the organization, at least through my first three years, was this transformational gift we got from the Ray and Barbara Dalio Foundation.
And this gift to, in my mind, was something that really provided me with an opportunity to not really come into a position and try to fundraise out of a position of desperation. And what they did was they provided a 1.5 million grant over three years for just for the trans to support the transition of the new c e o, which was, which was me.
And so [00:11:00] $500,000 a year of direct, uh, of general operating support. Gave me the, the resources that I needed to not feel like I’m gonna be, you know, uh, drinking from a fire hose and trying to fundraise, but I had those resources on, on hand so that then we could, we could, you know, go about a SWOT analysis and we could do a strategic plan and think about what we wanted to, what we wanted to change, and what we wanted to improve, and what opportunities we wanted to take advantage of, and what threats we wanted to mitigate.
And I, I’m talking to all this cuz we were looking, I was just looking back at our 2000 and, uh, 17 SWOT analysis, much of which is no longer relevant because we did mm-hmm. So much of it, we, we were able to, you know, change some of the branding. We were able to invest in a new website. We were able to invest in some new leadership.
One of the things that we did as an organization was get together and collectively be together in the same room. We invested in that. We used the, the [00:12:00] funding that we had to actually be together and plan and, and develop relationships, and I think that was a game changer. It was really a game changer. So it was a combination of having the right funding in place and that was one of the best to me in, you know, in philanthropy, I think of that as one of the most thoughtful forward thinking gifts that propelled our organization because gave us the resources.
So the resources combined with, I think, the intention of the founding family to. To help make this transition because it would, it just seemed very seamless. And then we know that it’s not always seamless when, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re working with a, um, you know, a, a founder, uh, transitioning out of leader leadership position.
[00:12:42] Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, I feel like every executive director and c e o listening is like, okay, how do I ensure that I’ve got 1.5 million to over three years to come into an organization?
[00:12:54] Skyler Badenoch: Well, that, that, that was really Tiffany and, and obviously the, the Dalio family, but they really talked it [00:13:00] through and came up with this very thoughtful idea.
And it was, I’ll tell you, like I was kind of on the fence. It’s always nerve-wracking changing jobs, especially at a place I had been there bit of build on for 10 years. Mm-hmm. I was having a lot of, you know, doubt. And it was hard for me to, to make that move. But then knowing that I had that, you know, that cash coming in was exciting.
Mm-hmm. So that, that definitely helped me say, And it’s, it’s, it’s a hard thing for for sure to have happen, but I definitely wish more philanthropists and I wish more foundations would see that as a really important way to make a transformational impact through giving.
[00:13:40] Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, because I bet that you could think about the past six years and what you’ve been able to do at Hofer, Haiti as c e o in terms of programmatic impact, but also like fundraising.
And a lot of that is, I’m sure like sort of tracing back and potentially attributed to [00:14:00] the fact that like, like you said, you weren’t drinking from a fire hose from day one. You had the support and you had the backing to like, You know, build a foundation, start to build the relationships. And like you could probably, I’m like, okay, how could we turn this into a grant proposal?
I’m like, you could probably attach definitely numbers and metrics to like what that 1.5 million was able to do over the last six years and beyond. Like that’s incredible. And I feel like one thing in entrepreneurial space that we’re always taught as CEOs of our own businesses is. We need to make sure that the, the company can run without us.
Mm-hmm. And so I think for, you know, Joanne and Tiffany Keener to be thinking of like, how can this organization run without us? Like that’s very strategic and very smart and I feel like it’s something, maybe we don’t, I feel like it’s something I don’t see all the time is like, how can we set this organization to run entirely without us?
[00:14:55] Skyler Badenoch: love. And in some ways they set the culture because it made me think of it too, [00:15:00] you know, and, and the reality is, at some point I’m not gonna be working at hope for Haiti. I don’t know when that’s gonna be, but, um, my intention that, you know, following the lead of Joanne and Tiffany and the board is how do, how do we build.
A dynamic group of leaders who can help take this organization through, um, you know, turnover of key positions, tumultuous times, maybe a down fundraising year. Like when, I think one of the things I’m most proud of, Stephanie, is that when, when I started at Hope for Haiti, our, our coo, you know, left and, and went to do other things.
And so it was really just me in the, in, in the C-suite, right. Today we have. Chief Operating officer, chief development officer, chief marketing Officer, chief Financial Officer. We have an entire C-suite of leaders who are leading this organization. And I have no doubt in my mind that if any of us, you know, went on to [00:16:00] pursue something else, we we’re gonna be okay.
We have, we have a, a bench of deep leadership and leaders who know what to do if they’re required to step up, um, in their role. So that’s something that I think. Has definitely trickled down from Joanne and Tiffany’s, uh, leadership and thoughtfulness in their transition away from leadership positions at Hope Heat.
They’re, by the way, still involved. They, you know, we, we talk, um, you know, occasionally, and Joanne was just at our, uh, event, big event in Naples, and Tiffany went to our Brooklyn event and, and so they, they’re, they’re definitely still supporters and, and huge cheerleaders for the organization, but they definitely set the.
And that is, that has been a driving force, uh, for our growth over the last few years.
[00:16:47] Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, I love that. And I think that’s so important. And so for anybody listening, like the goal is to not have you at the center of the entire organization. The goal is to build that culture, build that team, build those [00:17:00] systems so that the organization really can run without you.
And that’s sustainability. That’s what is gonna ensure that this organization is around. Long after you and continuing to have the impact that you wanted to have. And you talked a few, um, like a couple things you mentioned about culture. And I happen to know that many of the people in your C-suite have grown up through the organization and were not hired as chief whatever officers.
Right? And so, I think that alone says a lot about the culture of the organization and I personally know many members of your team and, and the culture at Hore, Haiti is so strong and I would love for you to like share a little bit more about that. Are there some things that you have brought to help sort of build that culture internally?
What do you think? What is your secret sauce for having such a strong internal culture?
[00:17:51] Skyler Badenoch: Yeah, I think, yeah, there’s a couple things. At the end of the day, we’re about impact, right? We we’re about making things [00:18:00] happen, making life better for people in, in, you know, different, in difficult situations and, and in Haiti, um, improving the quality of life.
And so that is, that, that’s always top of mind, but sometimes, I think you have to think about, well, who’s actually doing that? Right? Like, who’s actually out there on the ground doing the work? And, and the answer to me is, and you said it before, it’s the people, it’s the team. And so what drives sustainable, scalable impact?
I always think to me, for in, in, in my role as I’ve seen it, it’s the people. And so there are a couple things that I think are really important. Number one, We want people who can be autonomous in their roles. That’s not saying they’re just gonna go off on their own and do their own thing and like, you know, there’s no system that they’re working in.
But I think telling people and agreeing, working with people and saying, okay, here are the goals, here are the objectives, here are the tactics. [00:19:00] Use your own ability to, to get there. And there’s always, there’s always several different ways to get to the end result. But I’ve felt that it’s important that people do that on their own and they’ve, they go through their own process of figuring out what works best for them.
And I think that’s worked at Hope for Haiti. The second thing is, and I’ve, I feel very passionate about this, is that, that people are clear about their trajectory and their growth trajectory, and they feel like they’re part of something that’s important to them. That the, the impact is happening. That they’re also fairly compensated.
Like that’s a, that’s a, that’s a big thing for me. That, that we we’re, that we are, we’re looking. Compensation across the board in our sector, and that we’re fairly compensating people and that we’re competitive around it. And then I think third is that people feel as if they’re growing, that they’re, they’re developing their skillset, that they’re getting better, that they’re improving.
When I think of the, the team [00:20:00] members, we just had our board meeting, right? We went around the table, everybody introduced themselves and it’s like, how long have you been at Hope for Haiti? Six years, seven years, eight years, 13 years. And that to me is, that’s incredible that, that people have felt like this is a place they wanna stay.
They feel like they can grow, they have autonomy. And they’re not just growing, they’re not thinking about this too. They’re not just growing, uh, professionally, but it’s been amazing to see, um, people grow person. And being able to work for an organization that benefits people in Haiti, but also that they can do well in their own personal lives.
That, that to me is, is important So that we, there’s, it’s something more than just a, you know, a transactional work professional experience, but that we know each other, we cheer each other on. We’re, we’re, you know, passionate about each other’s success and. For me personally, that’s been one of the most rewarding things working at Hope for Haiti.
You can think about, you know, building a school or providing healthcare to hundreds of thousands of people who are [00:21:00] definitely in need. Those are all inspiring moments for me, but I’m also. Equally inspired and get, get almost emotional when I, when I hear about, when I get to see my colleagues grow, uh, personally and professionally because I know that they’re the type of people who care just as much about the mission and that they’re gonna help propel our organization, um, to new heights.
And, and so I guess to your question about how do you create culture, I think, you know, part of it is creating. The right dialogue around it and making sure that we’re clear around core values and we’re clear around mission and vision. That’s important. Part of it is autonomy. Part of it is leading by example.
I think that we all have to, you know, admit that, you know, As a leader, leading by example is a really important, uh, strategy for creating the right culture. I’m a personal fan of humor, so keeping things light, like our work is hard enough [00:22:00] in, in Haiti, you know? Mm-hmm. It’s, it gets pretty heavy, especially during times where we we’re dealing with, you know, natural disasters and earthquakes and par like crushing poverty and gang activity and things that are just really hard to deal with.
I, I’ve, I’ve developed this principle that you have to be and stay humorous and, and even in some of the hardest situations be appropriate obviously, but like we gotta be able to, to find levity in situations and, and amongst ourselves. And I think that’s kept things light at hope for Haiti. And so those are some of the things that I think about when I think about our culture.
Yeah. And then there’s accountability. So then there’s like the, like, are we actually doing what we say we do? You know, and we have to be accountable to our donors. We have to be accountable to our audit, you know, our auditors and our board members, and our, our ourselves. And, um, and so that accountability piece is also, uh, incredibly important.
[00:22:58] Stephanie Skryzowski: Oh my gosh. I have like 50 follow up [00:23:00] questions. Um, um, one thing that I feel like we often see in the nonprofit sector is like, we’re wearing all the hats or like there’s a sense of like, martyrdom, we’re martyrs to the mission and. I don’t feel like I see that wearing all the hats type thing at hope for Haiti.
And does it, does it feel like that for you or do you feel, or does it not, I mean, I hope it doesn’t, but it really doesn’t seem like I see that at all in your culture.
[00:23:28] Skyler Badenoch: No, and I think that was something that we set the tone really early on that I often like to hear. The solutions to problems from anybody on our team.
Um, in fact, when somebody, we, we created this, this part of our culture, when people would come, you know, with a problem. I think when I first started, people were like, well, we’re just gonna ask Skyler cuz he’s gonna, you know, and, and my f like my first question was, well, what would you do? You know? Mm-hmm.
Mm-hmm. And I, I did that because I, I do that because first of all, most likely the answer. [00:24:00] The same, like we would, we would come up with the same solution. Mm-hmm. But mm-hmm. But sometimes not. And, and so I think just being able to hear different perspectives on solving problems, um, has been incredibly important to me.
And to your point. I’d much rather prefer having a team of people who can, um, take the leadership role in certain areas in development, in marketing, in finance, um, and that I get to be a, a collaborating partner. That’s not to say, Stephanie, if I don’t have a, if I have a strong opinion about something and I think we should go in a different direction, I think I have, I, I know I have that ability and I’ll do it.
Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Most of the time it’s just, we know that it’s gonna lead to the same end result. So when it comes to, to an important decision, I, I’d much rather have, um, use a collaborative leadership. Possible, and sometimes it’s just not possible. But, but most of the time at Hope for Haiti we’re, we’re, we’re making [00:25:00] decisions collaboratively.
And it feels better that way. It feels like more people involved. I think our team feels that and they feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves and they get to be part of the decision making process. And that’s really important to me. Yeah,
[00:25:14] Stephanie Skryzowski: well before you mentioned like everybody’s aligned on the core values, so if you know, if you’re aligned on the core values and you’re aligned on the mission, you’re right, like the end decision is probably going to be the same.
And I love that you Yeah. You have specialists in each, like in the C-suite that are. You know, they have the autonomy to kind of drive things their way. When you mentioned before about, um, the first thing that you said in terms of creating this organizational cultures around autonomy and what, what, we all make mistakes, right?
And so I’m thinking like autonomy. If somebody has the power to kind of do things their way, they’re gonna make mistakes. Um, and what is like the organizational culture at Hope for Haiti around mistake?
[00:25:57] Skyler Badenoch: Well, uh, yeah, we, we, we don’t have, [00:26:00] we, we don’t have, um, any sort of set rule, but definitely mistakes are made.
And they’re, they’re made at different levels. We don’t wanna make the mistakes there. There are certain mistakes that I think are, are unexcusable, especially at our stage as an organization, you just don’t make. Um, and, and so those are mistakes that, you know, those are pretty clear cut and dry mistakes, but when you’re innovating and you’re trying something new, Inevitably you are going to be making mistakes.
Inevitably, you might fall short of where you thought you were gonna be. And so what our mentality has been, let’s just say for example, if we’re gonna try a new program, right? We wanna try a new program. We did. We implemented this new program as a pilot program last year. We were, uh, providing digital cash transfers to 300 women in our nutrition.
But we were doing it in partnership with cryptocurrency companies. Um, and you know, the donors were Coinbase and cello and our [00:27:00] implementing partner with Emoji. And we knew for sure there were gonna be pain points. And I think as a leader, I had to set the example and say, Hey, it’s not gonna go the way we think it’s gonna.
But it’s important mm-hmm. That we do this. It’s important that we go through this exercise. It’s important that we iterate and the mistakes will happen. And I think if you just embrace it, and, and, and also I think it’s important that there’s no like, blaming of anything. There’s no, if it went wrong, we didn’t, we weren’t leveraging our whole organization’s reputation on this thing.
We were piloting it. Yes. And so that, that, I think, I think we, we were willing to make mistakes. In the pilot. Mm-hmm. Now, if it was this big, huge program that we had a lot riding on it, I think we want to be a lot less, we wanna be, we wanna be more flawless. You know what I mean? Mm-hmm. Like we wanna be Yeah.
Really, really dialed into what we’re doing. Um, and of course, you know, things don’t always go [00:28:00] right. But, um, as when we’re talking about piloting or trying new things, like that’s, that’s fair game. You know, we can, we can Yeah. Make mistakes and learn. And that’s been a part of our work, work culture for a long time.
And, um, I think people appreciate it. You know, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve heard some feedback from our colleagues. You know, somebody, one of my colleagues, Sarah Porter came to me and she’s like, I wanna do, I wanna do a, a, a VR activation virtual reality. Mm-hmm. And, uh, we wanna raise money and we thought, you know, maybe we can raise.
Some really good money and to date, yeah, we haven’t, we haven’t, we actually haven’t converted to revenue, but I’m okay with that because of what we’ve learned along the way and who we’ve met and the people who have come into our, our sphere of, of communication now. Like that, the story’s not done. And, um, yeah, so I just think, you know, we, we, we have to be, if we’re gonna innovate, especially in this field, I think we have to be [00:29:00] welcoming of the mistakes and the things that go wrong.
[00:29:04] Stephanie Skryzowski: I think that’s awesome because again, like in the entrepreneurial space, we’re taught to like try new things all the time. Just keep failing. Just keep failing, keep trying and you know, you’re eventually gonna land on, you know, whatever that big thing is. But I feel like. That same, um, that same idea to just like, keep doing things, keep trying, keep failing, because that’s the only way you’re gonna get to, like, whatever that point be, is it’s just, it just doesn’t feel the same.
And, but I feel like I see you and hope for Haiti. Trying different things, and I like that you had that distinction between like, yeah, let’s try, let’s like be open to failure for like a pilot project. Let’s not, you know, let’s not risk our, like, core programming or like some core fundraising or like,
[00:29:50] Skyler Badenoch: let’s innovate with our eye, you know, like No.
Yeah. To do that. I’m just gonna, no, we’re gonna, no, we’re gonna follow, you know, best [00:30:00] practices. And do that the right way. Exactly, yeah.
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I feel like another quality that [00:31:00] I see a lot in hope for Haiti is your transparency. And I share this all the time because I know that, I don’t know if you still do this, but you definitely have before, but you s when you get your audit back, when you get your audit report, your audited financials, you proactively email that to all for, to your whole list.
Um, because I’m on your list, I’ve gotten your emails before, like, Hey, well
[00:31:22] Skyler Badenoch: it’s coming out. We do it during tax season. That’s kind. I love it.
[00:31:26] Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah. And it’s like most organizations, okay, we get the audit done, like, oh, thank God it’s done. Let’s just like throw it up on our website. Let’s not think about this again.
Um, but you’re like, no, we’re gonna proactively share it with everyone cuz this is something that we’re really proud of. I don’t see a lot of organizations doing that. Is that something I hope for Haiti has always done? Did you start doing that? What’s the like, impetus for that?
[00:31:48] Skyler Badenoch: I, I think I, I think it sort of came.
And I did, I I definitely pushed for that, um, for us to be more proactive in sharing our audit financial statements and our nine 90. [00:32:00] And I actually remember one of our board members, like, why are we doing this again? And then she’s like, wait, this is amazing. Um, and I, I love because it, it was this realization that there’s a so much mistrust in.
Philanthropy and international development, and then go even deeper. There’s so much mistrust of organizations working in Haiti because of what happened during the tour after the 2010 earthquake. And so I, I particularly was like, well, what can we do to be more transparent? Well, let’s, let’s push this out.
And you know, a lot. Organizations on social media and through their email list are, you know, we’re gonna show a video, or we’re gonna show a picture and we’re gonna do testimonial. But my thought process was, what about for those people who are like, yeah, but, but can we trust them? You know, can we, mm-hmm.
Can we really, and I say, then kick the tires, dig into the nine 90, look at the audit financial statements. And we don’t wanna just put it on our website and be passive about [00:33:00] it, but we want to be proactive about it and get it into the hands of all of our donors because, That’s information that if they, if.
Some donors are, they, they’re gonna always look at the picture and they’re gonna, they’re gonna see the impact and they’re gonna, they’re gonna donate because of that. But some of, of those donors who are on the fence, and those people who are on the fence, they may, they may ultimately say, look, hope for Haiti’s an organization that I support, not just because of the impact they make or the leadership team that they have, but also because I’ve looked at the financials, I’ve looked at their audit financial statements, I’ve looked at their nine 90, and it all checks out.
Mm-hmm. And so that’s, mm-hmm. That’s just one thing. I thought it was an easy lift for us. So we just filed our nine 90 and we’re gonna be doing, uh, we do it all, we always do it in the month of April. Um mm-hmm. And so that’s, uh, a little foreshadowing. It’s gonna be coming out and we’re gonna be sharing that with our list and our donors and over social media and, uh, making sure that people have a chance to see our financial state.
[00:33:58] Stephanie Skryzowski: that. I do. So [00:34:00] anybody’s listening, like not a lot of organizations are doing this. So this is one way to really like make yourself stand out, um, is by sharing this information. Cuz it is, it is really impressive. I feel like, as a donor or supporter to not have to go digging for it. Um, because you know, the information’s there.
Like, I can go find your nine 90 without you emailing it to me. But for an organization to proactively be like, Hey, here’s our numbers, check it out. We’re really proud of like, This last year we’re proud of our audit results. Um, I think is really impactful. And again, not a lot of organizations are doing this.
I wanna shift gears a little bit and talk about fundraising, um, because you have a lot of experience in fundraising, I feel like you are so creative and also, you know, like literally everyone in every sector, everywhere around the world. I feel like if anybody, like, if I feel like if I need to like make a connection with somebody in this like very niche thing, you know, somebody or you know, someone who does, I feel like that is a very.
Um, useful [00:35:00] trait in the fundraising world. But I would love to talk about your capital campaign because number one, we haven’t talked about this like just, you know, chatting as friends. Um, but I’d love to hear about what y’all are doing at hope for Haiti with your capital campaign.
[00:35:13] Skyler Badenoch: Yeah, so it’s, it’s in the very early stages, but, um, you know, unfortunately in 2021, uh, the southern region of Haiti experienced a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that destroyed.
The livelihoods of people in the region, it, uh, impacted the lives of our team. Um, it destroyed schools and healthcare facilities. Um, you know, we run a healthcare facility in the capital city of the Southern Capital city of Lake High. Um, that, you know, at the. Before the earthquake was treating about 25,000 patients a year, which was a lot for us.
And we had one building that we built in like 2015. Uh, finished in 2000, yeah, the [00:36:00] 2015. And we had two other auxiliary buildings that were used for public health and then also for, you know, admin, those two buildings that were built, um, you know, many years ago. I became involved with Hope for Haiti. They, they were, they were totally destroyed in the earthquake.
And at the same time, uh, other healthcare facilities in the southern part of Haiti were totally destroyed. So we were fully operational as a team. We had a big team in place. Some of our facilities were compromised. The land itself, um, had some, some definitely was compromised during the earthquake. It’s also very close to the, So we’re worried about, you know, tropical storms coming through again, as frequent as they are these days.
And, um, our board has agreed to put in motion the purchase of a, of a piece of land, eight acres of land in southern Haiti. Um, just had a phone call today about it with the owners of the land. [00:37:00] And, um, our intention is to build a green and sustainable healthcare campus that will include, uh, a main healthcare facility.
Um, mostly it will be outpatient, so people who are coming in for chronic care, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, um, women and children will have a, a, a strong focus on maternal and women’s health. Um, we’re gonna have a dental component to the work that we do there, and. That will help us meet the capacity that we’re seeing now.
Right now we’re seeing, you know, we, we, our team, our healthcare team saw 110,000 patients last year. That’s up from, you know, 25,000 so fourfold, right. And mm-hmm. The reason that we’re seeing that is because the, the healthcare system has been really, um, taxed by the earthquake by. Um, the social and political situation in Haiti, many healthcare facilities have fallen down or, or not even operational.
And [00:38:00] so here we are sitting in a place where we’re seeing. An overflow of patients. When I was there in dec, in Haiti, in December, I walked in and there’s 250 patients. You know, moms would, oh my God. And it was, I’d never seen it like that even after the earthquake. I’d never seen so many people. And it’s because, um, you know, we’re still operational, so we need to build something that would, that’s gonna help us.
Uh, meet the, the needs and building on the place where we are now. Uh, our team, our board felt like would be a, um, a risk because of the land, because of the proximity to the ocean. And so the, the idea is to build out, um, a little bit outside of this, the city in a, in a little bit more of a rural area, but not, I mean, it’s like maybe, um, two miles, uh, away from.
It’s a mile away from mm-hmm. Anyway. Mm-hmm. Um, we’re gonna be building a depot as well to [00:39:00] help us import and distribute. Millions of dollars of medication and medical supplies that we get into the, the country. Wow. Our intention is to build a, a new guest house in administrative buildings and then also focus on community wellness.
Um, you know, there’s, there is something to be said about the amount of trauma that people have gone through over the last few years in Haiti with the natural disasters and also with the political and civil unrest. And so we believe that there’s going to be a need for more holistic healthcare, and so we’ll be designating some of our resources to that.
And then, um, some administrative, most likely a guest house, depending on where the funding, uh, level, uh, comes in. My initial estimate is about 5 million it’s gonna take to, to build this new facility. And this new compound, and it’ll probably cost us another $2 million a year annually to run, uh, which is where we’re at now.
Um, and so it’s, [00:40:00] it’s, we, the good news is we know what it takes to run a healthcare facility, an outpatient facility that treats hundreds of thousands of patients, cuz we’re doing it and we can look at, mm-hmm. We can look at those budgets historically. And we can look back five years and look at the growth.
We can see, you know, what the staffing levels are and the maintenance and the, you know, the, the energy needs are. Like, we have all that information, which I think puts us in a really good position to make a very educated decision on, you know, what it it take to, um, to run. Run the facility. So that all said, we are going to be buying this land, we’re gonna be raising the money, we’re going to be building the facility, and then we’re gonna staff it and run it and operate it.
And my hope is that it stands as a, um, you know, as a, as another, uh, testament to our. Our commitment in the southern part of Haiti in a place that has been just hit hard by natural disasters and unrest. And so I’m ex, I’m really excited about it. I think it’s the time the timing’s right for our organization to do this.
Um, we have the right leadership in place and, and so, um, it fits well with, [00:41:00] with our mission, our experience, and what we are trying to accomplish, uh, with our.
[00:41:06] Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah. That’s so exciting. I am, I’m really excited for you. So what is the time horizon? What’s the timeframe of the capital campaign?
[00:41:14] Skyler Badenoch: Yeah. I’m guessing we’re most likely gonna be moving into a silent phase here in the next, um, I would say three to six months.
All the while doing, you know, designs and plans and budgets so that we at least have that, that we can share with potential donors and investors in our work. And then, um, you know, I think. Once we have a pretty good idea of, um, how much cash we’re gonna have, we’ll at least start with the new, uh, facility, the, the main facility, the outpatient facility, the other buildings like the public health space and the guest house, and, you know, all that stuff.
We, we could take a phased approach, but it’s just gonna depend on, you know, where we end up with the capital campaign and how much we’re able to raise. Um, but I think we’ve, we’ve [00:42:00] got, I think we. Definitely our, we’re, we’re within reach of raising the, the amount that we need to, to build the first facility, which is the, the outpatient facility, which I think is one of the most important parts of it.
And then we could incrementally sort of build out from there. Um, I’d much rather do it all at once, you know, because I think that would be, that would be, uh, that would be huge for us. And the, the region needs it. Mm-hmm. Um, so I would say the build is probably gonna be about 12 to 18.
[00:42:31] Stephanie Skryzowski: Gotcha. And are you approaching this, um, I don’t know if you’ve done a capital campaign before, but are you, like what kind of like fresh or innovative or new approaches or ideas are you bringing to this?
I’m sure you’ve got
[00:42:44] Skyler Badenoch: some. I just a few. I think there’s a couple of things that I’m really excited about. Number one is that I think now more than ever, uh, we have the ability to harness green technology. So solar panels and even biodigesters, um, [00:43:00] on, on the, the property. Um, I’m also a big proponent of agricultural nutrition, and so with the amount of land that we have, eight acres, I would love to see some sort of community.
Uh, gardening going on as well as some tree reforestation. To add to the, uh, I’d, I’d like to make sure that our, our facility is carbon neutral and so, you know, we’re, that we’re planting trees and producing tree seedlings and, um, that we’re harnessing as much, um, renewable energy as possible to run the operations.
That’s really exciting to me. I think the other piece of it is that, Because we’ve seen so many facilities damaged or destroyed, one of the things that we would love to build as part of this facility is a trading center. And that’s not just a training center for hope for Haiti and a place where we can meet as a team cuz we’re 150 strong.
But it’s something that we can open up to the community, we can open up to government [00:44:00] partners, we can open up to non non-government, uh, organizations that are working in the area so that it can be their facility too. Um, you know, collaboration is such a, it’s one of our core values and it’s such an, it’s been an important part of our success.
And I think building something that can be used by other organizations, including our own, would be, um, incredibly beneficial to the entire community and to the system. And so that would be a second thing that I’m really excited about. Um, and then third, you know, I think there’s, there’s an opportunity We’re, we’re.
We’ve been talking about the importance of telehealth, um, and with, um, some improvements in internet. Um, you know, I think there that it’s going to be inevitable that we’re gonna be able to do much more telehealth in the rural areas where we can get people. Um, you know, face to face with doctors before they have to jump on a motorcycle or a bike and spend all this money to get, to get [00:45:00] somewhere they can, they can have at least an initial consultation.
So I think if anything, maybe I think telehealth would probably be another important component of this.
[00:45:10] Stephanie Skryzowski: That’s very cool. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for sharing. Um, we’re excited. I have two. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot to be excited about. Um, I have two more questions for you. So my first. My second to last question.
So you mentioned like, going back to kind of your history, you started working in programs, um mm-hmm. In international programs and then shifted over to fundraising. Yeah. Um, and I know probably a lot of our listeners have sat in different roles in organizations before. Um, fundraising is hard. Like how did you, what were some of the things when you made that shift and then you were responsible?
Not just making sure schools were built, but now you’re responsible for, for bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars to [00:46:00] ensure those schools are going to continue to be built. How did you make that transition? Like what were, if you were thinking, you know, if you were sort of giving, um, a new fundraiser or maybe an even a new executive director or c e o, a couple tips on really how to sort of like get that ball rolling when it comes to fundraising for the organization, what would you.
[00:46:21] Skyler Badenoch: Yeah, there are a couple things and, and early, even early on e in my, in my nonprofit career, uh, I started at this, this organization, um, called the Apple Seed Foundation. It was an. Small, medium size nonprofit in DC and the executive director at the time will never forget it. She, you know, gave me a shot at my first job at a Peace Corp and I watched her fundraise as a, as an executive director and she was re not relentless, but she was just, All over the place, doing meetings, meeting with foundations, getting grants, and, and that, I think just watching the way that she embraced fundraising, [00:47:00] um, was a great lesson to me.
And I, I think about her. All the time and what she was able to do and bring in and, and, and the way that she went about, um, accepting her role as a fundraising executive, as the executive director. And I’ve always taken that to heart. And so when I, even when I had jobs and programs, I was thinking like, well, how can I bring in a little bit of ex like, so I think first for me, While I was in charge of managing programs and making sure that schools got built, I was al always thinking, you know, I have a pretty good line to, um, have a conversation with a funder because, You know, we’re out here in the country.
I remember I was, we were in Nicaragua once I was out in the countryside, and I met with the Embassy of Japan and remember that. Mm-hmm. And, and we ended up working with them, but it, it really started with a conversation and I was like, Hey, let’s build like 10 schools together or something like that. And you just have to have that mentality.
Um, and so that mentality has always been part of, you know, my [00:48:00] work mentality. Um, This role is so different though, because I think as a C E O or you know, if you’re the executive director, I think you, you have to have the mindset that it is your responsibility. To go out there and find new donors and, uh, cultivate donors and steward donors and, and be, um, a major part of the fundraising team.
Um, and you just have that, that, that’s, that’s the starting off point is, is just having that mindset. Um, and if you don’t like it, figure out ways that you can, you know, that, that, that it’s enjoyable to. Here’s a great example. I’ve e even, you know, in. I did a lot of fundraising for Build On and now at Hope for Haiti for six years, and rarely will I sit in front of somebody at a table and tell them and explain to them that we need their support and we [00:49:00] need their $10,000 donation.
I’ve just, that’s not the way. Some people are really good at that and I can do it, but that’s not personally inspiring to me. And so I had to find my way, my personal way of, of fundraising. And so one of those ways that I found was to bring people along. Bring people to, to Haiti, bring people to, to, to go see the work and understand the mission.
You can’t always do that with everybody, but that definitely did two things for me. It helps create an advocate, somebody who saw the work in a very intimate way, and they believe in it, and then they’re gonna go back and share with their network. Why it’s important to, to support the organization, they’re also gonna donate themselves.
So having a set group of people that you’re always sort of bringing along in an, in an intimate journey when you can. That’s, I love that. Not only that, then I get, I get closer to the impact too. So I’m like authentically inspired by that, that kind of relationship. So I think as a leader, As much as you can do [00:50:00] what?
What gives you joy and passion? For me, it was let’s go out to the field, let’s go out to Haiti and, and. And talk to teachers and let’s go interview students and let’s go see a healthcare facility or a mobile clinic, or let’s go see a school getting built. Let’s go inaugurate that school. Like all of those ways were really great, great ways for me to not have to sit in front of somebody and say, we need your $10,000, you know, check so we can make payroll.
And, and that’s just, that’s been very helpful to. The other thing is I love, I love fundraising research. Like it’s just become a passion of mine and it, it’s, it started from that first job in DC at the Apples Sea Foundation. They’re like, go find, go to go to Foundation Center and do a bunch of research.
On what organizations, you know, support our kind of work. And I’ve, I’ve always done research and we have people on our team who are in charge of grant writing in charge of research, and I, I particularly enjoy it. So I carve out a little bit of time and I do research. And a [00:51:00] great example of how that paid off was I was doing research around who supported relief from recovery efforts after the 2010 earthquake.
I, um, recognized that the embassy of Qatar, um, had made a 10 million commitment, but they, and I found out that they had 2 million basically unspent, and it was close to the 10 year anniversary. And I did that research and I made a. Couple inroads there and I, I made a pitch and said, look, we can help you spend that down by the 10th anniversary and mm-hmm.
That was a game changer for us. But that, yeah, I love that research. And then, and then, you know, the stewardship of the donor and then once they said yes to the money, one of my favorite parts was seeing our team just like, blow it outta the water, but we’re gonna do 50,000, you know. Uh, we were like, we are gonna do this many medical consults.
I think it was like 50,000. And we, we’ve crushed it. Our team crushed it. And that, that just, I think, [00:52:00] um, Was so inspiring to me. But then that also creates a cycle. So we’re able to go back to other donors and say, Qatar founding the, uh, Qatar, Haiti Fund gave us 2 million and look what we were able to do and here’s the proof.
Mm-hmm. And so that type of fundraising has always been, um, That’s, that’s been more interesting to me than the, you know, the transactional stuff. And then the last piece is just, it is so relationship driven. Um. Mm-hmm. And what I’ve learned, Stephanie, is that. You know, I, I’m, I’m out here in Arizona, but I can’t just be out here in Arizona, so I’ve gotta go mm-hmm.
To, um, traveling is a big part of what I do. So as, uh, breaking bread with people and, you know, we had a former colleague, mentor of mine, mark Friedman, and he was always like, you gotta break bread with people. You gotta eat, eat a meal with somebody, get to know who they are. Mm-hmm. So, That’s, I love, first of all, I like eating food.
Second of all, I like learning about people and mm-hmm. Having those [00:53:00] conversations, like that’s, that gives me energy and so, Um, building that relat those relationships has been so valuable. And, you know, I’ve, I’ve been so fortunate to make now lifelong friends, people who, um, you know, they’ll support hope for Haiti.
But, but it’s, it’s, it’s now a relationship. Transcends hope for Haiti. Um, you know, we support each other’s lives and our aspirations and our, you know, we become friends. Sometimes. We had a vacationing together and that mm-hmm. That all that, all that makes this job, joy. And I think I said it earlier, like it can, the work can is hard enough, so we gotta find ways to be, find joy and humor and all that stuff.
And so those are just a few things that, that I think, um, have helped me along the way. Yeah. So.
[00:53:47] Stephanie Skryzowski: I love that. And I think it’s, you know, like what you said, it’s about finding that, that way that works for you and it’s the building relationships and having meals with people and getting in front of them and getting to know [00:54:00] them and, and I think what that does is that, I mean, you have like the biggest network of anybody I’ve ever met and it’s because you do this, you take the time to do this, and you.
You know, you’re generous with your time and so in return people want to support you and people want to then connect you with other people who want to support you. So it all like, yeah, it’s this like beautiful ecosystem, but I love the advice that, to just find the way that it’s going to work for you because not, you know, maybe some people do wanna sit down and just be like, Hey, can I have 10 grand for our mission?
Yeah. Um, but you know, others that may feel very uncom. So I love that. I love that advice. I
[00:54:37] Skyler Badenoch: have this word that I kind of developed and it’s always stuck in my head. It’s a philanthropic fiduciary. Um, and I, I think about it a lot because. More than just having somebody support hope for Haiti. I really want people to, to donate and give back to what they care about.
Mm-hmm. And so, you know, I might be, I might [00:55:00] meet with somebody who I think is a good donor and they’re like, really in, interested in like animals, you know, like, I’m, I’m, I’m not gonna try to try to fit that square peg into a round hole. I’m gonna be like, well, let’s find a really great, you know, Uh, donkey rescue, like I’ve met somebody, like passionate about donkeys.
I’m like, then let’s figure that out. Yeah, yeah. I mean, because people’s experience amazing. It’s what they experience. Maybe they grew up on a farm and they love, you know, they had a favorite dog. Like that is not outside the realm of any conversation that I’ve had before. And, and I think, believe it, think it’s really important to be the fiduciary if you, if we’re in this world.
So I can be like, well, let’s figure it out. Like what’s the, mm-hmm. What’s the place where you can get involved and you can give back and serve and donate like, It doesn’t always have to be hope for Haiti. I think that, that, that’s always been, I’ve been fortunate to be in that position and I, and it always feels good when, um, you know, I remember I had, there was a guy who came, he was really into music and [00:56:00] wanted to, and we had a great, we had a great relationship and I helped him, helped connect him to some places to give back through music and he’s still 10 grand.
So it was nice. It was, it was like, you know, What that person was passionate about, but also, you know, he was willing to step up and, and help support our organization and he donated to support our water program. That’s awesome. But that, that building that community, I think, um, it pays off in the long run.
It really does. Mm-hmm. Just being authentic about
[00:56:29] Stephanie Skryzowski: Absolutely. So. I love that. Well, I feel like I could keep talking to you for about three more hours, but I have one final question cuz we are just at about time. So I, my final question is, what does a prosperous nonprofit look like to you?
[00:56:46] Skyler Badenoch: Yeah, it’s such a good question.
Um, I, I think it’s, it’s not just one thing, right? Like being a prosperous nonprofit. There’s a multi-dimensional answer there, but I think [00:57:00] for me it’s number one that you have core A, a set of core values, a mission and a vision. Have to have that. And then you have to have the right people, the right leadership and governance structures like that is, that is non-negotiable.
Um, I. Uh, you also a prosperous nonprofit has to have diversified revenue. If you are. Beholden to one donor or a s small group of donors that would, that would raise a lot of red flags for me. So a diversified revenue stream. And then I think a prosperous nonprofit is an organization that doesn’t just work in a silo, but it’s an organization that lifts others up in their ecosystem, in, you know, whatever field they’re working in, that they’re, they’re helping.
Other organizations, they’re helping support community. And so those are some things that come to mind when I think of a prosperous [00:58:00] nonprofit.
[00:58:01] Stephanie Skryzowski: I love that, especially the part about the community and I think that just speaks to like your abundance mindset that there is like enough to go around for all of us.
It’s not like if you support somebody else, that means you. Are getting less support somewhere else, you know, like, I, I love that. So Wonderful. Well, I thank you so much for your time. Thank, I’m so grateful for you and, um, yeah, super excited to have you here, Skylar. Where can our listeners, if they want to learn more about Ho for Haiti and or find you on social media, where, where can we.
[00:58:37] Skyler Badenoch: Yeah, hope for haiti.com is our website. Um, you can follow us, uh, on our social handles, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, hard to do TikTok, but all, that’s all hope for Haiti. Um, I’m not on TikTok yet, Stephanie, so. No, not yet. Just not yet. Um, and then myself personally, um, all my social media handles are Skylar Badnock, [00:59:00] S k y l e r B a D E N O C h.
[00:59:03] Stephanie Skryzowski: Awesome. Well thank you so much everybody. Please go check out Hope for Haiti, follow along with their amazing work, Anna with Skylar as well, and get on their email list because you will see very soon their email coming out with their audited financials gonna get perfect example. Yeah, get into those numbers.
Exactly. Awesome. Well, thanks so much Skylar. I appreciate
[00:59:20] Skyler Badenoch: you. Thank you Stephanie.
[00:59:25] Stephanie Skryzowski: Before you go, I just wanna thank you for being here. To access our show notes and bonus content, visit 100 degrees podcast.com. That’s 100 degrees podcast.com, and I’ll see you next time.