Pulse: Communication Is King
Think about it like dating. If you can't have a conversation, then your relationship won't ever develop.
A third primary reason — and one faced even by organizations that see marketing as a core organizational strategy — is message development is often overlooked as a primary communications strategy.
All too often nonprofit communicators skip over this crucial strategy to select channels and design "look and feel." But none of that matters if the messages aren't right.
The fourth main reason for this struggle is that even those nonprofit staffers who champion strategic communications (connecting goals with the right communications approaches and audiences) are too often so pressured by time and/or budget constrictions that they "just do it."
The survey findings showed that even though 16 percent of nonprofits rate their messages as connecting well, the majority of respondents report working extremely hard to hone their communications. That tells me many nonprofit communicators are tired and frustrated. Needless to say, "just do it" outreach campaigns don't generate much giving or much loyalty.
FS: Since many nonprofits admittedly struggle in their communications, why do so few change the way they
NS: I'd say this issue is based in both resource limitations and cultural hurdles. Nonprofit communicators are too frequently delegated to a support function — which means they're seldom part of the decision making on shaping a new program or launching a first-time fundraising campaign to a new audience group. So they frequently aren't heard.
In addition, changing a core communications tool like organizational messaging is tough. Although many of your colleagues assume those messages have been (and will be) there forever, they probably haven't ever given them much thought. That means it's likely that it's going to be difficult to get the budget or support you need to craft effective ones.