Monday, May 2, 2011

BIG's Blog: What is your plan?

Professional marketing and fundraising associations are all talking about multi-channel marketing tactics and the need to integrate social media channels into fundraising efforts. Their educational efforts are meant to help nonprofits. But, one area these programs have not addressed is how to create a plan for integration.

In many of the nonprofits I have worked in or supported as a vendor, the internal departments, such as public relations and IT, never met with the development office. This lack of interaction poses numerous problems.

In the past, the development office's requests of IT would include: help in purchasing a new computer, finding a database solution or uploading web content. But, things are becoming more complex—especially if video is added to the marketing mix.

Then, there is the relationship between the public relations department and the development office. The communication and development directors rarely sit down to discuss what is going on in each other’s departments. An example, the death of a priest would go to the communications director, but, not to the development office. Only weeks later would the death come up in conversation. This is a missed opportunity for fundraising.

The development and public relations offices need to work hand-in-hand to ensure that the message received through all communications is consistent with the mission. This is important for the development of constituents who may become donors to the organization.

If the organization is considering integrating DRTV, radio, Facebook and other social media channels, it is important to think through the process and determine the 'who, what, when and how' each medium is to be implemented and used.

The organization should develop a plan for integration of social media into the fundraising and public relations office. The question to ask, “Is this something you can do yourself or with your current staff”?

It is important to have leadership with the proper knowledge and skill-sets to implement new technologies. Are they capable of asking the right questions to lead the organization into the future? How will your organization communicate with constituents, not just today, but in the future? These are just a few questions to consider.

In order to develop your organization’s plan, you may need to outsource this process to the specialists. There is nothing wrong with identifying business partners to help you move your organization into the next generation of fundraising. This will provide you with more time to do what you do well while building the foundation for the organization’s future.


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