Nonprofits & Java Guest Cheat Sheet

Thank you for agreeing to appear on the Nonprofits & Java podcast to have a conversation about your work in the nonprofit sector. I take your time commitment seriously, so I want to make sure things run as efficiently as possible during your scheduled time. Please read below to find out what Nonprofits & Java is about and how I can help you sound as impressive as possible on the podcast.

What Nonprofits & Java is About

Nonprofits and Java evolved from an idea that developed while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many aspects of our day-to-day we can very easily accomplish from home. For me, a missing piece turned out to be a significant part of my day - connecting to the community around me and learning more about what’s going on in the nonprofit, community organizing, grass-roots world – not just in my home of Milwaukee – but around the state of Wisconsin.

Nonprofits & Java is a conversation with people from all different walks of the social sector – the arts, public health, social justice, philanthropy, and more – to find out what we can learn as we explore the passion behind our communities. This podcast aims to introduce listeners to the nonprofit world - and the people who work so hard behind the scenes to support and build the communities around us.

Intentions With the Podcast

Nonprofits & Java hopes to help people understand that the nonprofit sector is an established and professionalized workforce. It's about clarifying the myths surrounding this kind of work and providing information on the nonprofits in our community and how they affect change and impact lives. Our goal is to help people think about the nonprofit sector as more than just charity work and understand that this work touches our lives in so many ways that may not be apparent at first glance.

By taking this approach, I aim to make the conversation as approachable as possible. I try not to use jargon (although I understand and see the need for it in fine print sometimes), so let’s avoid it as much as possible.

Flaunt Your Stuff

I want to help you share your story and information on your organization (or project) in a way that connects with our listeners. I know you do meaningful work and have an interesting perspective to offer, which is why I thought you’d make a great guest!

Interview Format and Questions

Nonprofits & Java is not an "interview-style" podcast. Instead of just asking you a bunch of questions, I try to engage you in a conversation alongside our audience. I do have questions and talking points, but don't think of it as you having to do a sales pitch, be an "expert" or being put on the spot. It’s all far more casual than any of that.

Our goal is to have a 30–40-minute conversation, though I'll schedule an hour time slot so that we can get any tech issues out of the way and answer any questions you may have.

If we haven't finalized a recording time, here's a link to our calendar. If those times don't work, please email us yours (or a few times when it's best), and we will sort something out.

I believe the best conversations happen naturally, so I don't want to rush you. That said, I will be giving you an outline of what to expect during our conversation so you can ponder on any talking points.

Here are some general topics/questions I try to cover in every episode:

  • Personal stories relating to how your nonprofit work and life intersect. What led you to this career path?
  • What is the most important thing you/your organization/your project brings to the community?
  • What have been the most important lessons you’ve learned along the way?
  • What have been some roadblocks?
  • What are some resources/support that people can look for/go to?

And finally,

  • What do you do best? I ask this of everyone as a closing question. I find a heads-up is usually a good idea. :)

I may ask some follow-up questions:

  • Why?
  • What was important to you about that?
  • How did that feel?
  • That’s interesting – can you tell me more?
  • What else should I know about that?
  • I may also interrupt to clarify terms and jargon that the casual listener may not immediately understand. Please don’t take offense!

Let's Make You Sound Great!

Modern technology is fantastic, but it's not perfect. If you've been on podcast interviews before, you may be aware of tech glitches and issues.

Here's what I've found works best:

  • I record our podcast episodes using Zoom. You'll receive a link ahead of time. It's best if you join promptly at the start time (or 5 minutes before) so we can figure out any tech issues before we begin recording.
  • Just in case, here's a video tutorial for how to use Zoom: https://youtu.be/hIkCmbvAHQQ 
  • Please use headphones during our recording session (earbuds work great, too!). Without them, you run the risk of sounding echo-y or having your mic pick up my side of the conversation too.
  • If you have a microphone, please use it. The built-in mic on your laptop can pick up a lot of background noise and may not sound as straightforward as possible. If you have them, use your headset/earbuds. Just make sure it's not swinging or have your hair/jewelry brush up against it as it'll pick up a lot of noise also.
  • You can also use your smartphone and download Zoom there. It could help you sound better if your mouth is as close to the receiver as possible.
  • Go somewhere quiet and reduce as much background noise as possible. I've had people close themselves in a closet (seriously – it works!). 
  • Turn off all notifications from your phone or laptop. We don't want to hear dinging sounds throughout the interview.
  • Finally, if you can, close down all other programs and plug in the cable from your modem. A faster internet connection is best and closing programs can help Zoom (and your computer) run more efficiently.
  • Be aware that afterward, I may edit out parts of the conversation. I'm the worst at "ums" and "uhs," losing my train of thought and taking the deepest breaths I know. Don't worry – I've got your back!

That's it! Again, I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me on Nonprofits & Java. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach me at nonprofitsandjava@gmail.com.

Looking forward to connecting soon,

Bryce Lord