Product Thinking
Exploring Product Management in Nonprofits with Steve MacLaughlin
July 20, 2022
Melissa Perri welcomes Steve Maclaughlin to this episode of the Product Thinking Podcast. Steve is the Vice President of Product Management at Blackbaud, a cloud computing provider that serves clients within the social goods community. Steve shares his insights on what good product management looks like in nonprofit organizations, product managers as decision makers, the importance of benchmarking, and what it means to operate as a data-driven nonprofit.  Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Steve talk about:  Steve talks about his induction into the world of product management and why he started to help nonprofit organizations with product strategy. [2:04] Melissa asks Steve how to set product strategy and OKRs for nonprofits since they're not working towards increasing revenue but towards the greater good. He responds that the main objective as a product manager of a nonprofit is to "get revenue, keep revenue, grow revenue, and reduce cost". [4:42] To have a successful product that achieves your goals, you need the trifecta of time, talent, and treasure. [10:01] In today’s digital world, the product is the whole experience – it must be a holistic experience for the consumers. [13:43] Despite opposing opinions and ideas on strategy, product team members must ultimately make a decision that takes all perspectives into account. [18:50] Steve explains how he was led to the field of data-driven nonprofits and his journey to becoming a best-selling author with his book, "Data-Driven Nonprofits". [20:34] Data health, data quality, underlying technology, and data science are all important, but the most important thing is the culture surrounding the data. [22:18] Benchmarking is crucial in the nonprofit space: your organization can compare their progress to their competitors’ and determine how to replicate success. [24:42] It may be difficult to stay true to your original mission and vision while ensuring you’re progressing towards your goal, when running a nonprofit. Steve advises using data and benchmarking to measure your progress; more importantly, choose a goal that people would be interested in and build on it over time. [28:11] Melissa asks Steve how to balance keeping the long-term mission in play while ensuring that you're not just over-optimizing for revenue. Steve responds that best practice is to be "very firm on vision and very flexible on details". Once you achieve your vision and mission, it does not matter how many times the fine details of your plan change over time. [31:32] Resources  Steve MacLaughlin on LinkedIn | Twitter 
Melissa Perri welcomes Steve Maclaughlin to this episode of the Product Thinking Podcast. Steve is the Vice President of Product Management at Blackbaud, a cloud computing provider that serves clients within the social goods community. Steve shares his insights on what good product management looks like in nonprofit organizations, product managers as decision makers, the importance of benchmarking, and what it means to operate as a data-driven nonprofit.  Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Steve talk about:  Steve talks about his induction into the world of product management and why he started to help nonprofit organizations with product strategy. [2:04] Melissa asks Steve how to set product strategy and OKRs for nonprofits since they're not working towards increasing revenue but towards the greater good. He responds that the main objective as a product manager of a nonprofit is to "get revenue, keep revenue, grow revenue, and reduce cost". [4:42] To have a successful product that achieves your goals, you need the trifecta of time, talent, and treasure. [10:01] In today’s digital world, the product is the whole experience – it must be a holistic experience for the consumers. [13:43] Despite opposing opinions and ideas on strategy, product team members must ultimately make a decision that takes all perspectives into account. [18:50] Steve explains how he was led to the field of data-driven nonprofits and his journey to becoming a best-selling author with his book, "Data-Driven Nonprofits". [20:34] Data health, data quality, underlying technology, and data science are all important, but the most important thing is the culture surrounding the data. [22:18] Benchmarking is crucial in the nonprofit space: your organization can compare their progress to their competitors’ and determine how to replicate success. [24:42] It may be difficult to stay true to your original mission and vision while ensuring you’re progressing towards your goal, when running a nonprofit. Steve advises using data and benchmarking to measure your progress; more importantly, choose a goal that people would be interested in and build on it over time. [28:11] Melissa asks Steve how to balance keeping the long-term mission in play while ensuring that you're not just over-optimizing for revenue. Steve responds that best practice is to be "very firm on vision and very flexible on details". Once you achieve your vision and mission, it does not matter how many times the fine details of your plan change over time. [31:32] Resources  Steve MacLaughlin on LinkedIn | Twitter 

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