Thursday, September 15, 2011

BIG’s Blog: “You Don’t Have To Share Your Secrets”

A few weeks ago, I got a call from the fund raising Operations Director of a large faith-based organization. The Director had been to one of our all-day seminars entitled The Coming Transformation of Fund Raising and was bringing us in for an assessment of their fund raising organization as a way to see how their current practices stacked up to where fund raising organizations were headed. This is typically the first step before a nonprofit engages us . . . or not.

The Operations Director had not been to our seminar and was quickly trying to get up-to-speed on what BIG was about. He asked me, “Can you send me some information about your company, but you don’t have to share any secrets.”

I told him that most of his questions could probably be answered by going to our Web site but I also suggested he check out our blog. I told him we have no secrets and we write everyday about all pertinent topics involving this fundamental shift that is going on in nonprofit direct marketing fund raising and if he had a particular question to call or email me anytime.

Why would we basically tell you everything we know and not charge you? Because we are in the information business and information is growing faster than one individual (or nonprofit organization) can keep up with it and do their job. 

I learned this in my former direct marketing agency where we did exactly the same thing. Our clients were the largest retail banks in the U.S. We would be onsite once a month for three or four days with every client and the first day was always training day on something new in the industry. Several of the Marketing Directors for these large banking companies would ask me why we were training them and one went so far as to say, “Mike, if you teach us everything you know, pretty soon we won’t need you.”

I laughed and told him that in our experience that is not the way it works. Marketing is constantly evolving with new tools, technologies and practices coming along. And that is also the way it is today in nonprofit fund raising. If our clients weren’t up to date on today’s state-of-the-art, how is it going to work when the next tool or technology comes along? They needed to trust us that we kept them cutting edge and it helped us keep their ROI growing by being a leading edge marketing department. 

The nonprofit direct marketing fund raising world is going through a huge change. Frankly, if they don’t begin to alter how they do direct marketing fund raising, they will soon find themselves raising fewer and fewer dollars. Rare is the nonprofit fund raising organization that can navigate and orchestrate this transformation without outside help and counsel.

That’s what we do – we help.


Welcome to BIG’s Blog and yes, by all means forward our blog to your friends and co-workers. 

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