IT Guy to Fundraisers: Partner With Us
And what about the rest of the organization?
Is the fundraising campaign run by a small group of staff with very clear goals, deep expertise and fantastic connections? All the while this small staff is isolated from the work, communications and involvement of the rest of the organization. I would agree that these experts can be effective and critical, but you are missing out on a couple of key opportunities. Those opportunities include empowering all of your staff and your constituents to do the ask.
I suggest fundraising, technology, marketing and communications need to lead a collaborative effort to:
- Create a communication plan leveraging social media, Web sites, e-mail, person to person, phone and print media that incorporates fundraising, news, storytelling, promotion, etc.
- Challenge everyone to excel by leveraging the expertise of each department. Marketing might bring design, segmentation and media connections. IT staff can offer process improvement, tools and project management. These skills could exist in your fundraising staff, but there’s power in differing opinions to improve and implement a plan.
- Spend some time finding out what interests people. IT has some great tools to help you collect, analyze and make decisions based on data. Too many fundraising staff gather transactional and personal information about donors but never use it. IT staff can be your friend to make data your friend as well. With new visualization, mapping, targeting and publishing tools, you can enhance every part of fundraising.
- Shift the ownership of fundraising to all staff and your biggest supporters. Keep those fundraising experts, but let them drive the strategy and people instead of acting as the single campaigner.
This might all sound like fluff and dreams, but it can be reality. I have approached this at a very high level and made it simple. But as I have been told, doing something simple isn’t always easy. As fundraisers, I encourage you to reach out to your technology staff and form a real working relationship. We are here to be your partner, not just provide the tools.