A Conversation on Integrated Marketing and Fundraising, Part 1
[Editor's note: This is part 1 of a three-part conversation on integrated marketing and fundraising with members of the fundraising sector's newly formed Integrated Marketing Advisory Board.]
Last month, 12 key players in the fundraising sector joined forces to create the first-ever Integrated Marketing Advisory Board (IMAB). With integration engulfing every aspect of life from retail to communications to nonprofits, the participating organizations — Amergent, Avalon Consulting Group, Barton Cotton, CDR Fundraising Group, Convio, Donordigital, Grizzard Communications, hjc, Merkle, Russ Reid, SCA Direct and Thompson Habib Denison— are committed to pooling resources and providing a sounding board for fundraisers and organizations of all shapes and sizes to address the issues that arise around creating a truly integrated experience.
Here, FundRaising Success speaks with IMAB Chairman Michael Johnston, founder and president of Hewitt and Johnston Consultants (hjc), and IMAB member Sara Spivey, chief marketing officer at Convio, about the role of the IMAB and the importance of integrated marketing and fundraising in today's landscape.
FundRaising Success: How did the Integrated Marketing Advisory Board come about?
Michael Johnston: The practical spark came from Convio founder Vinay Bhagat reaching out to partners and collegial friends to say there's a gap in knowledge around integrated marketing in the sector — would people want to come together and collaborate on creating new material, filling in gaps? That's the practical spark. … I was talking to Steve MacLaughlin from Blackbaud, and he wanted to hear how and why this was happening. His quote I think is true: "The alternative is zero."
In the commercial sector, there's the acronym IMC [integrated marketing communication], integrated marketing approaches, there's been an MBA in integrated marketing in the commercial world for a number of years. But in the nonprofit sector, and it makes sense — we have limited budgets, limited resources, only so much time to put together business rules and best practices — organizations just haven't been able to create good curriculum to help and guide organizations to do this better.