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Giving Women Room to Fail, with Rachel Renock

Giving Women Room to Fail, with Rachel Renock


Episode 129: Giving Women Room to Fail, with Rachel Renock

Having creative resources is one of key components for non-profits to reach large audiences. Unfortunately, many non-profits do not have access to these resources. That’s why Rachel Renock co-founded her start-up, Wethos, which connects non-profits with creative talent. The CEO discusses her story of Wethos reaching one million dollars in venture capital funds and why it is important to give women room to fail. She also shares her experiences with sexual harassment and discrimination when fundraising and approaching investors, her story around being a lesbian woman in the tech start-up industry, and how these efforts carried her to New York Times, Forbes, and to Washington, DC as an advocate.


Episode Transcript

00:12 Kristy Wallace: Hello and welcome the Ellevate Podcast. This is your host, Kristy Wallace, with my co-host Maricella Herrera. How's it going, Maricella? Except for that noise in the background, do you here that noise?

00:24 Maricella Herrera: I hear that noise.

00:25 KW: To our listeners, apologies for the noise. We are experiencing some, I think, some construction work outside, but we will just mesmerize you with our voices and you will quickly forget about it.

[chuckle]

00:39 MH: Either that or take it as the white noise when you're falling asleep, a white noise machine you can have to actually get you sleeping.

00:47 KW: Yeah.

00:48 MH: I've tried all those things lately, because my sleeping is not getting any better.

00:53 KW: Yeah?

00:54 MH: Yeah.

00:55 KW: That's not good.

00:56 MH: It's okay. Kristy, I can't stop staring at your glasses. I really like them.

[laughter]

01:03 KW: Yes. Well, I've had contact since I was, I don't know, like 10 or something. And so, it's so weird to me to wear glasses, but I'm trying to give my eyes a rest, so.

01:14 MH: I really like them. I think they look great.

01:17 KW: I have to say it was... I was speaking on a panel recently at an HR Women in Tech event, and I had posted a picture of me and my glasses and I felt very, not insecure, but self-conscious about it, 'cause I wasn't used to wearing them. And then everyone on our team at the Ellevate team, was responding to the post and saying how awesome it looked and how much they liked it and I was like, "Oh, that's why you need a good squad, like a good crew, they really lift you up at times when you need it the most, when you don't even realize you need it. So, it was great to hear all that before I took the stage.

01:50 MH: Yeah, it's important.

01:52 KW: Yeah. I'm excited about our guest today, Rachel Renock, who's just... She's just a power house. She's amazing. I really enjoy all the work she's doing. Not just as the founder and CEO of Wethos, which is a fantastic company, really looking to disrupt the non-profit creative space and do some great things there, but also just her work outside of that within the tech community and advocating for women equality and just being a strong voice in that movement. And we need those strong voices who are bringing those perspectives to the table and fighting the good fight. So, it's a conversation on the podcast today, just chock-full of many different levels of discussion and different topics. But it was a lot of fun.

02:44 MH: She sounds amazing.

02:45 KW: Yeah.

02:46 MH: She really does.

02:46 KW: Yes, Rachel is great. And Maricella, I have to say, it's been really fun recently, I was at another conference that I was speaking at in Florida, and one of my other panels came up and she said, I listen to your podcast all the time.

03:02 MH: Really?

03:02 KW: With my daughter. We listen to it in the kitchen while we're cooking, and her daughter's two, and so it's just so great and it's really great to hear your voice, and your stories and what you're doing. So, it was this total surreal moment, and I just wanna say thanks, thanks to our listeners. It means a lot, your support, your kind words, all of the ways that you're really getting the message out there about what we're doing here, which is sharing stories of women who succeed, who fail, who come from all different walks of life, who have so many different voices and perspectives, but a huge part of how we all continue to move the conversation on equality forward, to move the conversation around women and power and business and leadership, and sharing these stories, giving them a space to be heard and listening and taking action. So thank you to all of our listeners for your support. It's pretty fantastic.

04:00 MH: Yeah, it's great. It's really, really exciting, and thank you everyone for tuning in for listening in, for reaching out, everyone who reaches out via email to podcast@ellevatenetwork.com or via social media, EllevateNTWK on Twitter, it's great to hear from you, it's great to know what you guys want to talk about, want us to discuss, and that you're there engaging with us online.

04:28 KW: So before we get to the interview, I wanna call out that in the month of September, many of you know from listening to us over the years that we sometimes do promos on membership. So in September, we have a promo, and that's really focused on helping women get back to school, if you will, kick off your career, invest in yourself and move forward. So if you use code, we know her. When you register for Ellevate, you'll get 20% off membership and we hope that you'll join us this month, because we've got some pretty spectacular things in the works, some really fun new programs, products, as well as the tried and true excellent resources within the Ellevate community and the women that are all here committed to supporting you. We've got your back. So, we know her, join Ellevate in September and we look forward to having you part of the community.

[music]

05:33 KW: Rachel, I am so excited to have you on the Ellevate Podcast today. I wanted to start off as we typically do just hearing a little bit more about you and your career journey and how you got to where you are.

05:47 Rachel Renock: Sure, yeah. Thanks for having me by the way. This is awesome. So, basically, when I left college, so I went to Syracuse University, I got a degree in communications design, which is essentially a fast track to advertising. And when I left college, I got a job, my first job working as an art director on CoverGirl, doing a lot of social digital stuff. At that time, people were doing, and they still tend to do this, but handing sort of the digital creative over to the youngest, most junior person on the team, and letting them run with it. So I actually got to do a lot of really cool stuff with them.

06:21 KW: Is that the typical like, "I'm not cool and hip anymore, so let me give it to the cool and hip person."

06:28 RR: Kind of, but I actually had an amazing creative director. My first boss was incredible, and she guided me and gave me a lot of really awesome opportunities. And one of those things was kind of running the Instagram and I got to shoot a lot of those assets and have control over those things. And I think it just was one of those things where content is king now. And so you have to produce a lot of content constantly. And so the juniors tend to do that, and I used to joke about dying in a 1000 pixel by 1000 pixel grave. [chuckle] But anyway, from there I ended up leaving and going to another agency, working on a couple of different accounts there. Hershey's for a while, about a year, and then KY, which was fun and weird.

07:10 RR: Shot a few commercials and did more social digital stuff, a little higher level there. Basically in 2016, height of the political season, I was actually freelancing outside of my advertising job for non-profits here in the city, mostly LGBT focused ones, shooting their events, doing websites, things like that. And they were just constantly asking me for more resources, you know, "Do you know any developers, or grant writers or social media people?" And at the same time, I was in advertising, and I had this incredible circle of creative people who wanted to solve problems that mattered. And the golden goose in advertising is to work on ad council or do something that really drives a huge impact. And it kind of shocked me that these two worlds were not uniting more. And as it turns out, for us, on a macro level, unfortunately, we judge non-profits based on what they spend in overhead. So big or small they are trying to keep their staff as lean as humanly possible, which can be really hard and it's essentially like trying to run a function like a bootstrap startup forever.

08:13 RR: And with that, they tend to outsource a lot, so they tend to use a lot of contractors, a lot of consultants, and they need a lot of help there. And there was really no centralized place for that. And on top of it, for us this really became a place for people to find more meaningful work, and that was sort of the lens in which we looked at everything through. And for us, Wethos is a freelance platform and we help freelancers find work that aligns with their values. And so, I ended up quitting my job in advertising with my two co-founders, Claire and Kristen, who I 1000% would not be here without, because they are two of the smartest people I've ever worked with. And we launched a beta a month before the election. As timing has it, the election went the other way, [chuckle] and with that we really weren't sure how that was gonna affect things. And from a very heartening standpoint, when the government tends to slash resources to the public, the public tends to step up and the way that they do that is by donating to non-profits. And in our darkest hours, it's the non-profit sector that steps in and saves us.

09:20 RR: With the election happening, we ended up garnering about 100 freelancers and about 200 non-profit organizations over the course of a couple of months, which led us to raising our first round of funding, which you are a participant in and thank you for that. Having faith so early on. And we ended up raising $1.1 million in both venture and angel funding for that round, and then we ended up launching a new platform, because I had found and gotten a developer to build the first iteration of platform. I met him in a coffee shop and it was breaking a lot. And we raised that money to build the new software, and we just launched that in January and we launched a couple of new initiatives as well. And that kind of got me to here, and it's been a wild a couple of years. And at one point, we were a team of eight or nine, I believe, we scaled back a little bit since then, and I think we're at a sweet spot here here now with about 5 or 6 team members. And I love the size of the company right now, and I'm embracing it before we scale again.

[chuckle]

10:25 KW: Yeah. It's an interesting company size, because everyone plays such a key role. You'll have to be scrappy, and you just have to work well together. Independently, but as a team, which is fun. The early days are fun.

10:41 RR: Yeah, we found that if you have too many people... We found that we accidentally created red tape and we didn't need to. I think part of that is coming from a very traditional agency background and all we really knew was bureaucracy.

[chuckle]

10:57 KW: Sure.

10:57 RR: And so with all that removed and the mindset like, "Oh, we can do this better." We did, we hired a lot and we ended up scaling back and became 10 times more efficient. Our sales tripled, our developers are moving much faster. And I think there are just certain thresholds in which you have to hit in order to effectively scale up, otherwise especially from an engineering standpoint, you're having too many people trying to paint the same painting, and that's very frustrating.

[chuckle]

11:26 KW: I really love your story, and looking at it through the lens of a consumer, say, we know that it's the bright shiny new that catches our attention. It's the really well put together social media feeds or ad campaigns, the clear messaging, and that's something traditionally that non-profits don't have, the resources to commit to. Because they're putting all their time and resources into actually serving the end user in doing the work and fulfilling their mission. But they need the funding, they need the awareness to help support all of that, and so it's kind of connecting. What I honestly believe is such a critical piece is creating the ability to tell the stories, and to connect with consumers, donors, in a way that then is really telling the story of the mission and the company.

12:20 RR: Yeah. Absolutely, and I think what is so interesting about this is, we don't just do creative, but it's our biggest request, hands down, creative and tech. And you're right, it's because those are the types of things that they don't have on staff, and that's the type of stuff that again, unfortunately, the public would cry out about, somebody hiring a developer for $100,000 at a non-profit, but it's wildly necessary in 2018. And when we launched the company in 2016, at that point 73% of non-profit websites were non-mobile optimized. And it's just so frustrating, because that could just drive so many exponential donations. And on top of it, you had executive directors who were incredibly intelligent and knew their problems in and out, and how to solve a lot of these societal issues, trying to open Photoshop. And it was a waste of their time. And so by just enabling people to connect better with these organizations and giving them that access to things, we were really able to create an environment in which, "Hey, let us take that off your hands and let our freelancer sort of take care of some of the stuff, it's gonna get done faster, it's gonna get done easier and you can get back to focusing on what you started out to do, which is to fix this problem."

13:33 KW: We're at such a key time right now, where you're seeing millions of dollars being spent marketing cars or serial makeup, yet, do you have a consumer base, a population that is caring more and more about social impact?

13:51 RR: Yeah.

13:52 KW: Right? I want to invest in women-owned companies or in companies that are good for the environment, that are good for local communities, that are doing more. I don't want to just be spending all my money on junk and whatever that is. And so that's where there's this imbalance, where you see so much money in resources being put into a very narrow subset of our economic ecosystem, and that's not having a proven positive impact. And so you're creating this ecosystem that's changing, that that's kind of offsetting the consumerism, and it's more about the social impact, it's more about how do we really start to create a more meaningful way for social impact?

14:46 RR: Yeah, absolutely. And you know, it's interesting, when I worked in advertising, many of the pitches that we were putting together were playing into that idea. Because at the end of the day if you're standing in the island, you see Clorox next to Lizol, you don't have a brand affiliation with either one of those things, you don't care if... They're both killing 99.9% of germs, [chuckle] they both do the same thing. And at the end of the day, if your brand is not tied to some sort of higher mission or higher values, you're gonna lose consumers that way. And some of the best ad campaigns that have run in the last five years have been exactly that, Under Armor taking a chance on women and athletics. And we used to... Any time we sourced any of these campaigns that was sort of like the go-to, which is like, "We need to say something. If you're not saying something, you're saying nothing." And then beyond that, I think business in general has been so male dominated forever, that there's this old way, this very almost old school way of thinking, which is, "Let's appeal to the selfishness in people, and let's treat our employees as if they only care about their own self-interest."

15:50 RR: And I don't believe in that. And I think that for maybe many decades that worked and I don't think that's gonna work anymore. And so, for us, what we try to do is appeal to the selflessness and we think that that is much more powerful. I think it's much more powerful to motivate somebody to feel good than to try to play into bad feelings. And in the end, that pours more money into the economy, right? When you do something that lifts people out of poverty, you're putting more money into the economy. When you put money back into the hands of your consumers or into your workers by paying them fair wages, by doing all these things, you're going to innately build an economy up. And so by separating our classes, the way that we have so far and all these really old, old, old school way of thinking, like very Wall Street, very selfish way of thinking and hoarding all that power and money at the top, eventually something's gonna give. And I think we are at that tipping point now, where consumers are taking a stance and I think that many business leaders and politicians and other people in power have forgotten how powerful people can be when they band together, and when they wanna change something. And that's sort of how we see this vision on a larger level, I guess.

17:05 KW: Yeah. Was that scary starting your own company?

17:09 RR: Yes. It was, but not like an all-encompassing daunting moment, I guess, like you would maybe picture. I think there were moments where you're like, "Oh my God, what have I done?" [chuckle] But I had amazing support from my parents, my mom was always an entrepreneur and she... I called her first, my dad tends to be a little bit more straight edge. I called her first and said, "I have this idea. It's taking off and taking client calls while I'm working at work, and I wanna try to pursue it and see what happens." And I knew if it didn't work out, advertising would take me back, I could call my old creative director, I could get back in. It wouldn't be an end-all be-all. And I think that's one of the things that I hear a lot from female founders in particular, who are not sure if they're gonna take the leap or what they're gonna do.

18:00 RR: No decision you make is permanent. And when I kind of started to understand that and believe that, then it's freed me up from a lot of that fear, a fear of the unknown, fear of what people might think is a big one, that I think holds a lot of people back. And at the end of the day, when you start to shed those things then you start to realize like what's the point of all this, if I'm not gonna live the way that I want to live then what is the point? And so my mom's very... Had that mentality very much, and my dad was very supportive, they helped me out through the first six months, after that I freelanced and my co-founders bar-attended and worked at a coffee shop. Actually, one of my co-founders served before we were funded, served one of our old advertising colleagues in the coffee shop and that was certainly a low point speaking of what people think. And we were like, "Oh boy, dude, take the rest of the day off." [chuckle] But at the end of the day, none of that matters, right? And six months later, we came back swinging and we were in Forbes.

19:04 RR: Not every story ends that way, and it doesn't really matter though. What matters is that we were doing something that we believed in and so yes, it was scary and it still is scary, and there're still moments where I don't know what I'm doing. And I think it's just being able to get yourself past the point in which you feel paralyzed to just get started is the best way to sort of move out of that state of fear. I'd rather try and fail than think about trying.

19:37 KW: How was fundraising? There's been so many horror stories around women entrepreneurs that are trying to raise money, and kind of there's this huge actual imbalance where you look at the gender right down of the VC and investment community, and then you look at the number of women that are starting companies and it's huge and it's outpacing male founders, but then there becomes this big disparity between who's getting funded and why. So how is that experience for you?

20:11 RR: It's been a little bit all over the place. Obviously we had an experience with an angel investor pretty early on who was horrible. Making very crude comments about my sexuality, being a lesbian is like a whole other thing. That's just like constant.

20:30 KW: Yeah. Saying like women and men is way understanding the nuances and identity. You know what I'm saying.

20:36 RR: Yeah, I mean in general, women are already sexualized, when you put two women together, it's like hyper-sexualized and that's really all people are taught about it. So LGBT women are, I believe, this is... You could say is twice as likely women of color, especially queer women of color, like three times as likely to be sexually harassed. It's insane, the statistics. But anyway, we had had that experience, and he was making a lot of very crude and horrible comments about my co-founder. Just really uncomfortable and we ended up getting to the point where he wanted to invest half a million dollars and we walked away. Which at that moment in time when Claire is bar-tending from 4:00 to 3:00 in the morning and then taking investor meetings with me from 8:00 to 4:00 [chuckle] and Kristen is slinging coffee on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, so she can work Monday through Thursday on Wethos. It was a really, really, really hard decision to make, and we walked away, we didn't wanna get into a 10-year-long relationship with this person who didn't align with our values and if we were gonna do it again, why are we gonna do it somebody else's way?

21:45 KW: Yep.

21:45 RR: And so with that, obviously there's a redemption story for us there, which a lot of women unfortunately don't get to experience a lot of times. That experience will drive people straight out. "I'm done with this." There's nothing more heartbreaking than putting so much time and energy into something and taking yourself seriously and your idea seriously, and your ability to execute seriously, only to walk into a meeting and get hit on or dismissed or be told that your idea is not viable because it's not understood. And I think that's a very frustrating experience for women. Although I will say on the flip side, I've met a lot of incredible, incredible people in the New York ecosystem investors who are extremely supportive. And I can tell the moment I walk into a room, whether or not I'm gonna be taken seriously, and that is just an innate feeling I think, that is hard to put on paper, it's hard to create data around and we can record conversations to realize some things. But the best way that it's been described to me is that men are funded on potential and women are funded on proof, and that is at an early stage company, like...

22:54 KW: Yeah.

22:54 RR: It's impossible. You simply don't have the data, you are making a bet on whether or not you think I can get this done. And so, our experience has been pretty much all over the place, [chuckle] after that went on to raise venture backed funding which was incredible. And again, in those moments when you're making those decisions you're like, "I don't know how this is gonna net out, and I don't know how it's gonna pan out, but I know that I'm doing the right thing here." And then you just sort of keep going. And that's kinda how we ended up getting the round together. But I think as women, that experience is just... The best way to describe it is it's complicated. [chuckle]

23:31 KW: Yeah. It is and these biases, conscious or unconscious that go into decision making and especially when we're talking about investments, it's a split second decision. They're looking at a million deals, they're not spending a lot of time. It's like yes or no. And if you have any inkling of a, "Oh, whether I'm conscious about it or not, if that's a woman I don't think they can do it." Then you're just gonna say no. And look how much money you're leaving on the table. Because recently, a statistic shows that startups founded by women are yielding a much higher ROI.

24:08 RR: Oh, I'm sure of it. [chuckle] Honestly... I recently went down to Congress to address sexual harassment in the work place.

24:16 KW: Yeah, I wanna talk about this definitely.

24:18 RR: But one of the things I think that was part of my address to them, is how much opportunity is lost, and how much money is lost. This is a seriously missed business opportunity, and if you have managing partners or funders or whoever else who is actively ignoring 50% of the population, that's a bad business decision. I would fire that person. It's a really, really poor business choice, you're losing money for me. If I were an LP, I would be furious with that. And I would be furious if it were the other way around, if we were only funding women and no men were getting funded, that would be a terrible business decision. So it's one of those things that comes down to... I think women in particular want to... Of course they wanna be taken seriously, they wanna be known for being more than just a statistic, and they want to solve problems. And all of these problems get left unsolved because we don't fund them, we don't give them the chance to fail, frankly. It's less even about giving them the chance to succeed, 'cause women are held to an insane standard, and if you fail once, that's it. And I think it's giving women the same room to fail, that we give men, and if you don't allow women to fail, and not destroy their careers over it, then they're gonna be much less likely to wanna try.

25:37 KW: Yeah.

25:38 RR: And that's, I think, fundamentally a huge problem and something that I have to keep telling myself over an over again, whenever we think about launching a new thing, or taking a new risk, or doing something that's never been done before, or whatever else. Is giving myself the room to fail, and saying like, "You know what, I'm gonna try and then I can sleep at night." [chuckle]

25:57 KW: Yeah.

25:57 RR: And I think a lot of that came from my mom, as well. I think I grew up with the room to fail, and try again then, instead of my parents I think were in the camp of, "Well, get up." They dusted me off, and they said, "Get back out." And I think having that kind of mindset, and also watching my mom, my mom was just so unapologetic, in general. [chuckle] Like about just taking up space, and food came out of the restaurant that wasn't quite right, she'd send it back, and little things like that that used to annoy me as a kid that I think about now, and I'm like, she just wasn't afraid to ask for what she wanted, and to say that, "I deserve to take up space, and I deserve to get what I asked for." And I think being around that presence, innately, whether or not I understood it at the time, really really influenced me into understanding what I deserve as a person. And I think having that influence was definitely a huge driver.

26:49 KW: Yeah. How did you end up on the cover of the New York Times, and speaking in front of Congress?

[chuckle]

26:57 RR: How did I end up at Congress? Yeah, I know, seriously, my parents said the same thing.

27:01 KW: It was like, I knew you, and then all of a sudden I saw you in the news. And I was like, "What? What's going on?"

27:07 RR: Oh, God. Sometimes life makes decisions for you. No. [chuckle] The thing is, when we first came forward in the New York Times, I don't think we understood the gravity of what we were doing. I don't know that maybe The Times understood the gravity of what they were doing, because when our article came out, I remember it was July 4th weekend of last year. I remember that very specifically because it came out that Friday afternoon, and I was like, "Oh." And I just suddenly started getting all these texts from people, that they open their New York Times up, I'm like there I am. And we had no idea that we were gonna be the cover of that. I know they got a lot of push back putting three white women up there, which I completely understand. We had no choice in the matter and I believe from what I understand, they did try to not do that, but a lot of women of color just didn't wanna be the face of it. And I understand that, because they get online... I just can't.

28:04 KW: Yeah, I mean the harassment.

28:04 RR: I can't even... Yeah, the harassment is above and beyond. It's unbelievably racist and horrifying. It's absolutely horrifying, So I actually do not blame those women for not wanting to do that. And so, anyways, because of that, and we were honestly a smaller part of the story. We didn't name any names, only because I don't have paper trail. Otherwise I would, definitely. But after that, it just sort of snowballed from there, and it just became this huge thing and we were getting inundated with requests. We went on NBC, I did Politicos, Women Rule event, which I got to meet and sat on a panel with Tarana Burke, who is an incredible person. Any by the way, is the ED of a small community non-profit, yet again. [chuckle] And any of these activists... All the activists that went on red carpet, I think it was at the Oscars, or I don't remember. Those were all executive directors of non-profits.

28:58 KW: Yeah.

29:00 RR: So I think, again, the lens in which we see a sector made up of 74% women is to not take them seriously, when in reality like those are the women dealing with our toughest problems. Anyways, so one thing led to another, And I met Congresswoman Speier on that panel at Politico and they reached out the Women's Caucus, which is a bipartisan caucus, made up of Congressional members who were trying to tackle sexual harassment across all industries, so they were talking to iron workers and construction workers and people in tech.

29:32 KW: Hotel industry which is...

29:34 RR: Yeah, hotel industry... Yeah they've been horrible. They've been holding these hearings, and essentially hearing people testify. And so I believe Congress recommended me for it and it happened really quickly. Again, like within a week, I had to write something and go down to DC for just a couple of hours, really, 'cause I couldn't really afford to be out of New York for that long and kinda say my two sentences, and one of the biggest things that I wanted to address there was non-disclosure agreements and forced arbitration, which is widely a big problem for any kind of employee, but especially as it pertains to harassment and discrimination. And so that's really something that I went down there to address specifically that our congressional committee or our government can do something about.

30:20 RR: That's how I ended up there. And the living is like you see this with the Parkland students, right? They didn't wake up one day and decide to be gun reform activists, they got shot up which is horrifying and people died, and then they decided to take that and turn it into action, and that's how a lot of these stories start. And as a society, it's interesting to watch me go from a thing happened to me to, oh, you're the expert on how to fix this thing now. And that's a very jarring transition to go through, especially at 27, and I spent a lot of time researching and reading thought pieces, and numerous things because in my opinion you don't just like add hawk something like this. So I think that in particular has been really interesting for me to think about, going from, "Oh something happened to me." To now, "Alright, I'm supposed to be an expert in this area and I'm not. How do I figure out what it is that I wanna fight for and what it is that I wanna say? And that's been a really, I think, interesting growth period for me in the last year or so.

31:28 KW: Well, thank you for doing it. And thanks for all that you're doing with Wethos, and just being on our podcast and the blogs you're writing and just putting so much of this out there because I think it's a really important conversation just about how we are activists, how we have a social impact, how we just care about our world and whatever it is that you care about if it's the environment, or if it's under-represented populations, if it's poverty and socio-economic and on and on and on. Just do something right? So can you just share a little bit more, what about Wethos? How anyone can get involved?

32:07 RR: Sure.

32:08 KW: 'Cause it's a powerful platform.

32:10 RR: Yeah, absolutely, so from a non-profit perspective, essentially the way that Wethos works is we do a couple of different things, mainly we match people on a one-to-one basis. So if you need a graphic designer or a developer or a grant writer, social media person, we match you with those people and then we actually take a 15% fee from the freelance side, so it's completely free for non-profits to use and hire through. Beyond that, we actually just launched a new model for collaborative freelance, which is essentially little teams of three, multifaceted, they're remote, they essentially act as micro agencies.

32:50 RR: If you have a larger or more ongoing initiative, if you have an RFP something like that, that maybe you have a big website overhaul or a big marketing campaign, they essentially act as that. And so we assemble these custom teams per whatever the non-profit needs and then we help actually manage that team, so it feels a lot like working with an agency but it's about 50% less than what a traditional brick-and-mortar setup would be. On the freelance side anybody who wants to get involved, we source projects across many, many skill sets, pretty much anything you can think of except bookkeeping and legal. And only because I have no idea how to vet an accountant. Maybe we'll get there someday, but so pretty much anything, whether it's creative tech, whether it's more non-profit focused in terms of fundraising and development, we do a lot of those types of projects, corporate sponsorships, things like that.

33:41 RR: So you can come on, you can sign up, there's an application process to be on the platform fill that out and then we will send you jobs right to your inbox. And the idea here is that you'll only get work that is within your skill set within your price range, and with an organization that you have some personal connection to. So we match people to work based on what they care about and their skills. And then if you wanna be part of the collaborative freelance model that's in beta right now. So you can shoot me an email directly, rachel@wethos.co. [chuckle] If you wanna be part of that beta. And I think, again, for us, the core mission of this is that we believe that people solving our toughest problems, deserve the best talent, and we believe the best talent has a desire to solve problems that matter.

34:26 KW: Well, thanks so much, thanks for joining us today.

34:29 RR: Yeah. Thanks for having me [chuckle]

[music]

34:34 KW: Thanks so much for listening to Ellevate, if you like what you hear, help a girl out, subscribe to the Ellevate Podcast on iTunes, give us five stars and share your review. Also don't forget to follow us on Twitter at EllevateNTWK, that's Ellevate Network, and become a member, and you can learn all about membership and all the great things that Ellevate Network is doing at our website, www.ellevatenetwork.com. That's E-L-L-E-V-A-T-E network.com. And special thanks to our producer, Katharine Heller, she rocks, and to our voiceover artist, Rachael Griesinger. Thanks so much and join us next week.


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