The Devil You Know: Your Greatest Challenge Lives Inside Your Organization

first_imgvia Nonprofit Marketing GuideLike you—and me—your people hate feeling confused. Confusion is a greedy grabber of time and attention and makes us all feel like something is wrong with us (“Why don’t I get this?”). Ugh. Worst of all, confusion undermines your campaigns. Just take a look at these startling differences in goals and preferred tactics: Ask the others to commit to quarterly reconnects and ongoing chart updates. Go get rid of your devil! I’m eager to hear where you get with this. Let us know in the comments. Development staff (along with communications directors) value YouTube more than EDs do, while EDs value LinkedIn more than you and your communications directors do. If you proceed in planning and implementing your fundraising campaigns based on the assumption that your communications partners and ED share your take, you’re likely to be surprised. When they don’t—and launch messages, campaigns, and/or programs that are different from yours—that’s confusing (if not totally contradictory) for the folks you hope will give or take another action. As a consultant who’s been the fly on the wall in so many organizations, I’ve come to see such disconnects as the norm. But in most organizations, the existence of the gap and what the conflicts are—must-knows for organizational success fundraising and beyond—remain hidden and dangerous. Because each of those players (fundraising, communications, and your ED) assumes the others are on the same page and acts accordingly. Surprising, distressing, but all too true! According to findings released in the 2015 Nonprofit Communications Report, one of your greatest challenges to fundraising effectiveness is the difference in priorities and perspectives held by you (a fundraiser) and your key colleagues—your executive director and communications colleagues. Seventy-two percent of development staff versus only 12% of communications staff feel directly responsible for fundraising goals. Make sure you have a clear understanding of key organizational goals and have shaped your fundraising goals (plus campaigns and tactics) to best support them. Document both elements. Start to close the gap and motivate more of the actions you want. Include all three inputs on a simple chart and use it as the focal point of an initial “let’s make sure we’re working together” meeting. Forty-four percent of development staff versus 65% of communications staff feel responsible for community engagement goals. Instead, dare to be different! Ask your communications director and ED to share the same.last_img