What if you stopped all communication? | npENGAGE

What if you stopped all communication?

By on Jul 30, 2010


What would happen if your nonprofit organization stopped all communication?  And I mean all of it.

No phone calls, direct mail packages, event reminders, renewal notices, thank you letters, pledge statements, magnets and pins, bogus renewal notices, employee giving forms, calendars, gift cards, volunteer SMS alerts, membership card mailings, smoke signals, birthday cards, magazines and newsletters, grant proposals, website updates, email messages, Google ads, advocacy action alerts, status updates, or tweets. Stop all of it.

Who would notice? How long would it take anyone to notice?

What would they complain the most about not getting?

What do they say they miss the most?

What would this tell you about how you communicate with constituents today? Would you change anything?

Frequency and value of communication are not to be confused. In a world of over-messaging the most valuable ones still work.


Steve MacLaughlin is the Vice President of Data & Analytics at Blackbaud and bestselling author of Data Driven Nonprofits.

MacLaughlin has been featured as a fundraising and nonprofit expert in many mainstream publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, USA Today, The NonProfit Times, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Bloomberg, and has appeared on NPR.

He is a frequent speaker at events including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), American Marketing Association (AMA), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association (DMFA), Giving Institute Summer Symposium, National Association of Independent School (NAIS), Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC), Institute of Fundraising National Convention (United Kingdom), Civil Society Conference (Netherlands), International Fundraising Congress (Netherlands), Ask Direct Fundraising Summer School (Ireland), and a keynote speaker at several conferences across the social good sector.

Steve previously served on the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Board of Directors and is currently an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University.

He is a frequent blogger, published author of a chapter in the book People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities, and is a co-editor of the book Internet Management for Nonprofits: Strategies, Tools & Trade Secrets. His latest book, Data Driven Nonprofits, became a bestseller in 2016.

Steve earned both his undergraduate degree and a Master of Science degree in Interactive Media from Indiana University.

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