When Marketing and Fundraising Collide | npENGAGE

When Marketing and Fundraising Collide

By on Jun 2, 2009

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We see it all the time. Marketing sees the Web as part of its overall communication strategy. Fundraising sees the Web as a place to engage donors at lower costs and reach out to a broader set of constituents in new ways. Ultimately, they both want to achieve success for the nonprofit. But initially, they usually knock heads when trying to pick the right online solution.

The Standoff
Marketing wants to use the Web to build awareness, improve communication, reinforce the organization's brand, and drive people to donate by using compelling messages and stories. Fundraisers want to provide a variety of online giving options, receipt and steward donors in appropriate ways, build relationships to encourage repeat giving, use online ask ladders to assist with a moves management plan, and acquire new donors at lower costs than traditional fundraising channels. Sometimes marketing gets too caught up on what they can't do today. Sometimes fundraising gets too caught up on how they do things today. This leads to a standoff between the two groups and the creation of lots of silos.

Breaking Down Silos
Nonprofits that operate in silos needlessly waste time and resources maintaining those silos. Sometimes those silos are political or territorial. Sometimes those silos are systems or resources. One group owns the data or another group owns a group of donors. One group owns the CRM or another group owns the content. And these silos get created or reinforced by choosing or keeping fragmented systems. If your supporters only knew what went on in the silos, then I suspect they might not be so supportive.

Leadership Must Lead
Leaders in the organization can be the difference. They can take a hammer to the silos. They can remind people to focus on the goals and needs of the entire organization instead of those of individual departments. That isn't always the easy answer, but it is the right one. And when you break down the walls the view of what needs to happen becomes much clearer. You will quickly find that marketing and fundraising have most of the same goals and audiences in common. Imagine that! The successful nonprofits have leaders that aren't looking for short-cuts or clinging to silos. They are challenging the silo mentality and making changes that are making a measureable difference. What are you doing?

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