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 173: Good Fortune, Celebrity Philanthropy, and the Quest to End Poverty

with Jessica Seinfeld

What happens when purpose and celebrity status join forces? Join me as I sit down with Jessica Seinfeld — bestselling author, founder of the powerhouse nonprofit, Good+ Foundation, and wife of comedy legend Jerry Seinfeld to find out!

Ep 172: How Public-Private Partnerships Create Real and Lasting Change

with Chelsea Peters

Tune in as collaboration evangelist and Walton Family Foundation CSO, Chelsea Peters and I uncover the power of public-private partnerships. Spoiler alert: it’s all about combining your superpowers!

Ep 171: True Confessions of a Nonprofit Volunteer

with Eileen Opatut

A very special guest joins me in this episode to share her journey from burned out realtor to ignited volunteer. Tune in to learn how to find volunteer opportunities that fuel you.

Ep 170: The Top Nonprofit Sector Trends and Takeaways of 2022

with Stacy Palmer

What were your biggest takeaways from 2022? Tune in as Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and I discuss some of the nonprofit sector’s biggest headlines, trends, and takeaways of 2022.

Ep 169: When Your ED Has a Low Appetite For Fundraising

with Kishshana Palmer

Does your organization have an ED with a low appetite for fundraising? Tune in to learn how strengthening the partnership between your ED and development director can help!

Ep 168: Hamza Khan’s Recipe for Preventing Burnout

with Hamza Khan

Feeling the heat lately? You are not alone… burnout impacts many of us in the nonprofit sector. Tune in to learn best-selling author and global keynote speaker, Hamza Khan’s strategies for preventing burnout.

Ep 167: For the Love of Strategic Planning

with Robert Raben

In this episode, my guest compares strategy to love — tune in as Robert Raben and I dig deep into the topic of nonprofit strategic planning and how the right approach can help promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Ep 166: Uncovering New Nonprofit Funding Sources

with Ann Mei Chang

Are there nonprofit funding sources out there that are not being sufficiently taken advantage of? According to my guest, Candid CEO, Ann Mei Chang, the answer is yes. Tune in to learn more.

Ep 165: Eye-Opening Tales of a Board Nominations Committee Chair

with Daryl Messinger

Getting the right people on your nonprofit board is no easy task. Tune in to this episode to learn how one nominations committee chair helped her org build the board of its dreams!

Ep 164: A 7-Step Succession Planning Process for Nonprofits

Want to leave your nonprofit in good hands even after you move on to your next adventure? Tune in to discover the 7 crucial steps to a successful succession planning process.

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 nearly 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.