The Podcast

Nonprofits are messy

Answering the most pressing questions faced by nonprofit leaders around the world, my podcast is created for the heroic leaders in our society who commit themselves to public service – executive directors, senior staff, heads of school, development professionals, board leaders, and many more who provide service to the nonprofit sector.

Our goal is simple. We aim to find just the right expert to answer the questions on the minds of our listeners. And in so doing, we offer a conversational forum that will inform, entertain and inspire.


Subscribe on Apple Podcasts
Subscribe on Android
Subscribe on Google Podcasts
Subscribe on Spotify

Ep 197: Stop Calling It Microaggressions: A Call To Action To Intercept Subtle Acts Of Exclusion

with Dr. Tiffany Jana

It is a misnomer. There is nothing ‘micro’ about microaggression. What is the real meaning of microaggression, what should it truly be called, and how can a leader recognize and take action to tackle it? Dr. Tiffany Jana shares her insights, why she has stopped using the word ‘crazy’, and what organizations can do to create a culture of awareness.

Ep 196: How Risky Is AI For Nonprofits?

with Beth Kanter

Organizations around the world are using artificial intelligence to improve processes, delegate tasks, and drive progress. What do nonprofit leaders need to know?

Ep 195: Conflict Resolution and Finding the Third Ground

with Ken Cloke

World-renowned conflict resolution expert, Ken Cloke, shares his secrets for overcoming conflict using proven strategies from his mediation practice that have brought “impossible” conflicts to peace across the world for 4 decades.

Ep 194: Leaders of Color in Nonprofits: Challenges and Opportunities

with April Frazier Camara

In this episode, I chat with April Frazier Camara about how diversity is the secret sauce in nonprofit leadership. Her insights? Eye-opening. You’ll see our sector in a whole new light.

Ep 193: Is “Martyritis” Killing Your Organization?

with Kishshana Palmer

In our sector, time often feels like a scarce resource. You’re likely juggling countless tasks, believing that maximum productivity is the key to fulfilling your mission. But what if we’re approaching time all wrong?

Ep 192: Embracing Our Finite Time

with Oliver Burkeman

In our sector, time often feels like a scarce resource. You’re likely juggling countless tasks, believing that maximum productivity is the key to fulfilling your mission. But what if we’re approaching time all wrong?

Ep 191: How to Build Amazing Work Relationships

with Michael Bungay Stanier

Great work relationships lead to greater job satisfaction and higher employee retention. Michael Bungay Stanier shares with us his recipe for designing our work relationships to thrive.

Ep 190: Nonprofits Turn Cities Into Communities

with Mayor Ras J. Baraka

In this episode, Mayor Ras J. Baraka of Newark, NJ shed light on a beautiful partnership dance between city government and nonprofits. These organizations, he shared, often handle tasks the city can’t, challenging local governance to aim higher, do better.

Ep 189: Is a 5-Star Development Director a Needle in a Haystack?

Organizations often stay with a subpar development director because they don’t believe they could get someone better. Let’s explore this assumption.

Ep 188: Can A Teen Be Your Next Executive Director?

with Sarah Hernholm

How do we ensure that the next generation of nonprofit leadership is prepared? Sarah Hernholm shares her groundbreaking work with WIT.

Find an Episode

Required Listening


No one should attempt to work at or lead a nonprofit (or maybe any company) without Joan! Always timely and relevant.”

Thank You!


“I run a national nonprofit, large in reach and impact, but small on budget. I’ve been gobbling up resources and at times feel like I’m boing an ocean as I click through the hyperlinks on Google docs, looking for the answer on how to lead and do the right thing in a global pandemic! Joan kindly reminds the listener that the answers are within us and are core to our leadership attributes, and coaches the listener on how to focus and pivot with great suggestions and resources. Thank you!”

Best Thing Ever!


“This is my new favorite podcast! Joan knows her stuff and she had a great guest who also knows their stuff! Every episode is interesting and informative. I highly recommend this podcast to anyone working in the nonprofit!”

Best Nonprofit Podcast!


“Real, in-depth interviews that provide tangible steps and tools to nonprofits!”

So Informative!


“I just started listening to this podcast and I have already learned so much that I can immediately apply to my job and my organization. Thank you for the extremely relevant and practical information and discussion. It has already made me see my job in a new light!”

Nonprofits Are Messy is typically listed as #1 in the nonprofit category on Apple Podcasts!

Want to learn more? Download our one-sheet.





Request your invitation

The Nonprofit Leadership Lab

With more than 5,000 active members, the Nonprofit Leadership Lab is the world’s most effective
and supportive online membership program for board and staff leaders of smaller nonprofits.