Oracle League Podcasts

Free Wheeling Interviews with Fundraising Leaders Powered by The Eight Principles

In any field of endeavor, there are a precious few who, by their accomplishments, insights or force of will, distinguish themselves as singular and unique. In the world of philanthropy, we call that group of people, the Oracle League. Taken from the name of the Oracle of Delphi, the source of wisdom in ancient Greece, the Oracle League is our name for that group individuals who have made and continue to make fundamental achievements in philanthropy and fundraising.

Twice each month, Larry Johnson, Founder of The Eight Principles, interviews leaders and changemakers from across the globe. Podcasts are available here, distributed to our Eight Principles family, and on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music. If there's a particular person you'd like us to to interview, let us know. Email





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10 July 2023

Scott Hutchings

My interview in this episode is with Scott Hutchings. Scott is a father of 4, partner to 1, and a business owner working to make a difference in the world, once cent at a time. Global Coin Solutions is focused on helping charities with their fundraising initiatives by enabling them to be able to collect left over foreign currency: Any Currency, Any Amount.

Further, it Scott’s goal to employ people; the more charities they help, the more funds are raised, and the more people it takes to do the work and they do this while paying a “living wage” to their staff, ensuring they don’t need the services of the charities they are supporting

19 June 2023

Kevin Cowl, Nonprofit Veteran

Kevin is a 25+ year veteran of non profit organizations with diverse missions and constituencies, including international education, foreign policy, aging, housing, alternative energy and more. His background includes fundraising, operations, finance, strategy, advocacy campaigns, and membership development. He has worked in the US and Europe and in addition to his professional pursuits is active as an artist and musician exhibiting and performing in the Mid-Atlantic region.

10 May 2023

Russell James, The Professor and Researcher

My interview in this episode is with Russell James. Russell is a professor in  the School of Financial Planning at Texas Tech University where he directs the on-campus and online graduate program in Charitable Financial Planning (planned giving).

He graduated, cum laude, from the University of Missouri School of Law where he was a member of the Missouri Law Review and received the United Missouri Bank Award for Most Outstanding Work in Gift and Estate Taxation and Planning. He also holds a Ph.D. in consumer economics from the University of Missouri, where his dissertation was on charitable giving.

Prior to his career as an academic researcher, Dr. James worked as the Director of Planned Giving for Central Christian College in Moberly, Missouri for 6 years and later served as president of the college for more than 5 years, where he had direct and supervisory responsibility for all fundraising. During his presidency the college successfully completed two major capital campaigns, built several new debt-free buildings, and more than tripled enrollment.Dr. James has published research in over 75 peer-reviewed scientific journal and law review articles and has been quoted on charitable and financial issues in a variety of news sources.

27 March 2023

Maryanne Drench, Removing Barriers

My interview in this episode is with Maryanne Dersch. Maryanne is the CEO and Chief Excitement Officer of Courageous Communication, LLC.

Maryanne Dersch specializes in helping nonprofit organizations easily increase their influence and connect with new donors so they can raise more money without feeling rejected, ineffective or pushy.  She has spent almost thirty years working in the nonprofit world helping organizations communicate more effectively internally and externally.

From her years in the biz, Maryanne understands that you can’t change how your organization communicates without changing the culture that supports the communication. And it takes good leaders to mold that culture. Courageous Communication helps you understand your gifts and value, and help others around you do the same. From board to staff to volunteers to clients, you will have a culture that embodies authentic communication. You will operate with confidence about what will happen instead of fear of what might happen.

05 October 2022

Elie Rubinstein

My interview is with Elie Rubinstein.

Elie is the Executive Director of EMERGENCY USA and President of The Blue Card. Elie Rubinstein is a non-profit professional and humanitarian with more than 20 years of leadership experience working for the advancement of underserved individuals, families and children, locally and internationally. A skillful fundraiser, Elie Rubinstein most recently served as the Executive Director of H.E.S., a community center in Canarsie, Brooklyn. Under his leadership, the agency’s annual operating budget rose from $4,000,000 to $6,000,000. Elie Rubinstein earned his BA from Belorussian Polytechnic Institute in Minsk, Belarus, his MA in Management from the Heller School, Brandeis University, and most recently he started Horizons University’s online Doctor of Business Administration program. In his spare time, Elie likes to play chess and run marathons.

13 June 2022

Gabe Cooper

My interview is with Gabe Cooper.

Gabe Cooper is the Founder and CEO of Virtuous, a Responsive Nonprofit CRM & Marketing Platform helping nonprofits build lasting relationships with their donors. He is also the author of the top selling book Responsive Fundraising. After serving in a leadership role at a large nonprofit, Gabe went on to help build a series of successful software products in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. His team’s products have been featured in Wired, USA Today, NY Times, and Apple’s WWDC. His drive stems from a passion to create market-defining software and help charities re imagine generosity.

02 May 2022

Ben Stroup, Master the Pivot

My interview is with Ben Stroup.

Ben Stroup is Chief Growth Architect and President at Velocity Strategy Solutions, a next-generation business strategy, and management consulting firm focused on helping ambitious leaders align teams, reduce complexity, eliminate friction, and drive revenue. He is a futurist, disruptor, and data champion having served organizations from $5MM to more than $500MM in revenue for more than 18 years.

Ben’s written and edited dozens of books on leadership and growth and is a frequent speaker, podcaster, and guest for business and industry groups. His most recent book, Master the Pivot, was published in 2020. Ben and his wife and two boys live in the Nashville, Tennessee area.

11 April 2022

Dan Mansoor, Behavioral Technology and Fundraising

My interview is with Dan Mansoor.

Daniel Mansoor is president of his nonprofit consulting and philanthropy advisory firm, GoodWorks, based in Cleveland, OH. From senior development positions at Cornell and Brandeis Universities to his 25-year career in private consulting, Mansoor has improved the fundraising and development efforts of diverse nonprofit institutions and advanced the development resources and professional skills of his employers and clients.

GoodWorks focuses on fundraising consulting, capital campaign advisory services, and solicitation and development training. The mission of GoodWorks is to build internal development and fundraising capacity enabling clients to enrich meaningful relationships among prospects and donors and demonstrate sustained philanthropic growth.

He chaired the Council on Foundation’s Family Foundation Conference (2004). In 2000 he helped found the Community Foundation of Tompkins County (Ithaca, NY), now with assets of $25 million.

My conversation with Dan is like going to see Dr. Freud for fundraising advice.

28 March 2022

Brad Parnell, Technology And Then Some

My interview is with Brad Parnell.

Brad is the Founder of Genie Rocket, an all-in-one CRM that will allow you to easily maintain and grow every area of your organization from one screen.

This CRM allows you to reach more clients, stay organized, and generate reviews for your practice. Now you can manage your client follow-up, build funnels that convert browsers into buyers, and autopilot your client nurturing.

My conversation with Brad is like delving into an adventure novel with giving back as the theme.

14 March 2022

Sandy Rees, Avoiding the Nickel and Dime

My interview is with Sandy Rees.

Sandy is a self-described “do-gooder” but not the intrusive, goody-goody we often associate with that term. As founder of Get Fully Funded she has helped hundreds of small nonprofits go from “spaghetti-on-the-wall, nickel-and-dime” fundraising, to achieving 6 or 7-figure bottom-line results.

Her mantra is making fundraising, fast, fun, and productive.  We welcome her into the Eight Principles community!

When she’s not working, Sandy lives on a small farm in rural East Tennessee with 2 dogs, 6 cats, 2 horses and the occasional miniature donkey fosters. She also volunteers for Project Linus, making quilts for kids in need.

My conversation with Sandy is like delving into an adventure novel with giving back as the theme.

28 February 2022

Sherry Quam Taylor, Take No Prisoners Fundraising Success

My interview this month is with Sherry Quam Taylor.

Sherry Quam Taylor, CEO of Quam Taylor, LLC, works with Nonprofit CEOs.  But not just any CEO.  First they have to prove themselves to her that they are ready for a change.  Really ready for a change.  The change? Going from never enough to more than enough.

Once a nonprofit executive have proved themselves to her, Sherry breaks then and their teams free from the black hole of transactional fundraising and helps them reimagine their entire approach to revenue generation

Once done, nonprofits who emerge from this reimagination, go on to achieve dramatic organizational and fundraising success.

Sherry attributes the success of her business to her passion for modeling radical confidence to the future CEOs in her house – her two teenage daughters.

Sherry is the no-nonsense and can-do gal.  I found her articulate, driven and an honest delight.  Once you listen to our conversation, I think you’ll agree.

14 February 2022

Travis Johnson, When Giving Back is an Adventure Novel

My interview this month is with Travis Johnson–no relation but I’d be delighted to claim him!

Despite numerous obstacles he’s had to surmount, Travis is a successful giver in every sense of that term.

His humble beginnings include 36 moves before graduating high school at 17, 6 states, 5 foster homes, and surviving 2 murder attempts. Although this was very rough, there was always a person, group, or church willing to help him and his family. Now that he’s in a position to give back, he’s made it his mission to “Help the Helpers”.

Travis shares his perspective as the former vice president of Books by Vets; a board member at the S.H.I.N.E. foundation; he’s donated over $30,000; volunteered over 1,500 hours; raised more than $500,000; helped start 6 nonprofits; event coordinator; and published author.

My conversation with Travis is like delving into an adventure novel with giving back as the theme.

24 January 2022

Sheryle Gillihan, Technology for Positive Impact

My interview this month is with Sheryle Gillihan.

Sheryle joined CauseLabs in 2010 and has grown with the company as a leader, strategist, and cultural ambassador. Growing up with her own poverty story, she has found her purpose in creating social impact for others. She fuses her hope for a better, brighter future with over 15 years of leadership, operations and technical management experience.

My conversation with Sheryle explores the weft and weave of technology and ideas.

13 January 2022

Shawn Olds, Creating Relationships through Digital Engagement

My conversation this month is with Shawn, Olds. Shawn is a technology and communications thought leader currently serving as the CEO for boodleAI, an AI-powered Enriched Analytics and Advertising solution that has been used to significantly lift conversion, engagement, and retention rates among current and prospective donors. Shawn is a military veteran who served on active duty in the 82nd Airborne Division. After September 11th, 2001, he elected to work with the U. S. Department of States’ Office for Counter-Terrorism and in 2020, was appointed and currently serves as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army.

Larry’s conversation with Shawn explores the weft and weave of technology and ideas.

14 December 2021

Becky Endicott, Using the Power of Authenticity to Connect

My conversation this month is with Becky Endicott, co-founder of We Are For Good.  Becky, in her words, is a “storyteller, kindness champion, philanthropy celebrator, justice seeker, humanity endorser, envelope pusher, people lover and just a general awkwardness embracer.”

She believes so firmly in authenticity to drive a narrative, she often shares the most self-deprecating things about herself in the process, because she understands connection isn’t simply derived from the joy-filled moments – they’re found in the messiest ones too.

Her life and work is truly Principle 2 of The Eight Principles®:  Begin at the Beginning™ in action.

Becky values the power of words and the personal connections among each of us. She believes both are critical to stitching together the fabric of every powerful experience leading to giving. When combining the right tenor, pacing, and word choice by a courageous storyteller, she believes a story can unfold to move the hearts and minds of a large population who want to do good. This is transformational philanthropy at its finest, and it’s her passion to set it in motion.

Larry’s conversation with Becky is truly a delight.

18 November 2021

Tricia and Scott Roseveare, Creating Relationships Through Digital Engagement

Truly a “dynamic duo”, Tricia and Scott are a husband wife team that combined their skills and experience to create a digital fundraising platform that makes it primary benefit authentic donor engagement.  Tricia is a nationally known brand marketing and strategy expert who complements Scott’s 25 years of experience in the technology sector.

Their company, Z Give, is a one-of-a-kind digital auction platform that creates authentic donor engagement, thereby becoming a gateway for new donor-investors into an organization.

Z Give builds on innovative online platform and methodology that redefined the way organization utilizes donor insights for design and engagement development.

Larry’s conversation with Tricia and Scott explores the weft and weave of a ground breaking product created by two immensely talented individuals.

26 October 2021

Cami Cotton,  When the Job Comes Calling, Cami Gets Working

Cami was serving at the Tucson Museum of Art when the pandemic upended—practically—everything.  Cami, never one to be outdone, rose to the occasion.  Not only did the museum weather the storm, it prospered.  Thanks, in large part, to Cami’s dedication and entrepreneurial spirit.

A native of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Cami had a solid record of effective fundraising in nonprofit management and fundraising when she arrived in Tucson.  She’s always at the ready with additional experience in electrical contracting and administering a big-rig training school.

Larry’s conversation with Cami is a true delight.  Larry will tell you that we need many more Cami’s in the philanthropic world.  Her refreshing can-do and pragmatic candor are a clear cool morning breeze

14 September 2021

Afam Onyema, When Philanthropy and Service is a Family Affair

Larry’s interview with Afam speaks to his personal story as well as the heart of philanthropy.

Born in the United States, Afam has always felt the pull of his family’s ancestral homeland, Nigeria.

Taking his undergraduate degree at Harvard, Afam had a brief tenure in corporate public relations then began studying law at Stanford.

Family influence was strong, however, as his father, a physician, had devoted his life to a medical mission in his homeland.  During his studies at Stanford, he co-founded the GEANCO Foundation.  The Foundation’s name is taken from the initials of his siblings, mother and father.

Afam had found his calling.

GEANCO’s mission is to save and transform lives in Nigeria. GEANCO leads complex surgical missions to Nigeria. It runs an innovative program to fight anemia and builds modern maternity clinics to help poor, vulnerable pregnant women deliver healthy babies.

In its short history, the Foundation has been tremendously successful in both it’s mission and in its building of support

Afam’s fundraising for the Foundation subscribes to the true definition of philanthropy.  It’s two persons coming together to accomplish what neither can do alone.

16 August 2021

Marc Stein,  It’s About Trust

Larry’s interview with successful Marc demonstrates that whatever endeavours you undertake sustained success always comes down to trust.

Marc is the chief development officer of Jews for Jesus.

As co-founder of The Global Center for Nonprofit Excellence® and co-Inventor of OpX360®, Marc is an avid entrepreneur.

His previous roles include Vice President and Executive Team Member of Joni and Friends International Disability Ministry, President of Gospel Light Worldwide, and National Director of the International Bible League.

Marc’s work in advancement and business is characterized by the desire to create trust between stakeholders.

19 July 2021

Louis Diez, Getting to the Heart of Annual Giving

Louis Diez could be considered a polymath.  A thought leader in annual giving, he is the host of the. Donor Participation Project.

Louis is also an accomplished musician, and recognized authority on investing in the tangible assets of musical instruments.

Louis took his Ph.D. in business from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos and his master’s in musical performance from the University of Tennessee.

He currently serves as the Executive Director of Annual Giving at Muhlenberg College.  He writes about philanthropy in his blog.

In his conversation with Larry, Louis shares his innovative and groundbreaking ideas on the parameters and dimensions of annual giving.  With Louis, it’s fundamentally about renewed relationships with donor investors.

15 June 2021

Guillaume McMartin and Finding Your Way Through Giving

Guillaume was a firefighter and fire investigator for eight years in his hometown in Quebec, Canada.  After letting others push him around and walking on his feet since he was a child, he got a point where he lost all his self-confidence and passion for living.  He had to choose, to give up, or to find his purpose.

Since choosing to find his purpose, Guillaume has been on a journey of protecting those who cannot defend themselves including people, communities and all living things.

Through his journey through spirituality, social entrepreneurship and by listening to his heart, Guillaume founded Planet Karma with friends to inspire people around the world to do good around them by creating inspirational videos.  Generating good karma by doing good deeds for others and our planet.

Planet Karma is quickly becoming a video/TV production company to create shows to both entertain, inspire and educate humanity so that we can all live in harmony with ourselves, each other, our planet and all living things.

In his conversation with Larry, Guillaume shares who he is and where he’s going.

17 May 2021

Sally Bryant and the Recruiting Dance

Sally Bryant serves as the president and CEO for one of the nation’s leading search firms specializing in recruiting and training advancement professionals, BRYANT GROUP.

Sally brings something often promised but rarely delivered in the recruiting world.  True relational integrity and respect for both client and candidate.  This quality has brought Sally to the pinnacle of the profession.

In this wide-ranging interview, Sally shares how she navigates between the perceived needs of her clients while delivering to them a match they might have never considered.  With her one-year guarantee, her ability to beat the odds and place candidates who often stay for a decade not months, shines bright.

What makes a top fundraiser?  What are the qualities which are in high demand but short supply?  Sally offers her candid assessments in this thoughtful session.

In her conversation with Larry, Sally describes what she sees in the future and how fundraisers and organizations alike can prepare.

05 April 2021

Pete McCown and Community Foundation Impact

Pete McCown is a man on a mission.  With a successful portfolio of experiences in fundraising and higher education administration, destiny came calling ten years ago when he was asked to lead the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, Indiana.

His mission?  To demonstrate the primal force a community foundation can be in the lives of others.  He’s succeeding admirably.

In ten years, Pete has grown the foundation’s assets five-fold.  The Elkhart County Foundation is now one of the nation’s top 100 community foundations.  No mean feat.

For Pete, it’s about much more than money.  The Foundation isn’t the collector of donor advised funds with “nowhere to go.”  Rather, it’s a vibrant organization that is actively improving and enriching the lives of those it touches.  He’s taken leadership positions in the area that bridge philanthropy with business development.

In his conversation with Larry, Pete describes that he sees in the future and how the Foundation can become the model for community foundations everywhere.

17 March 2021

Lisa Greer and the Philanthropy Revolution

My interview this month is with Lisa Greer.  Lisa is the author of Philanthropy Revolution: How to inspire donors, build relationships, and make a difference.

She also writes the blog, Philanthropy 451.

Lisa is what I call the “accidental philanthropist.”  Someone who has always supported her charitable passions but, through a combination of unexpected events, was thrust into a whole new level.  Lisa and her husband, Josh, live in Los Angeles, California.

We talk about her experiences, passions, struggles, and frustrations to effectively engage with nonprofit organizations.

She also shares what donors, like her, REALLY want from the nonprofits they support.  And it isn’t slavish praise or chotskies.

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