Everything but the Kitchen ... Sync!
As frequent readers of this column know, we’ve spent a fair bit of time profiling organizations that are making multichannel campaigns work — Oceana and using telemarketing to convert online activists to donors, data (segmentation strategy and clusters) to target messaging, etc.
Well, that is all fine and well — you might say — but since most of your data isn’t actually synced, how on earth are you supposed to launch a multichannel campaign (let alone report on it)?
We set out to answer that very complicated question, beginning with our collaboration when we (the authors — Karin and Jeff) worked together at Defenders of Wildlife to establish a functioning data sync, among other things. From there, we asked several organizations — large and small — who was doing it right (and how) and who was doing it not-so-right (and why). We asked organizations with large and complex fundraising programs — such as the ASPCA and the Human Rights Campaign — and we talked to smaller operations like the Center for Reproductive Rights. We also chatted with experts at our respective firms. From those conversations, we came up with a formula for success, as well as a checklist of sorts to help ensure you have a seamless and cohesive data-integration process that allows for streamlined donor communication and engagement, and an integrated fundraising program that serves your mission.
To be clear, we don’t mean to imply that any of this is easy, and there may be elements important to your organization that aren’t outlined here. But integrated data systems are critical to enabling constituent-centric communications across channels, which, in turn, is key to your relationship with donors and fundraising results.
People, process, technology
Not surprisingly, this mantra heard in the for-profit world applies to data syncs in the nonprofit space, too (another example of where nonprofits can learn from the for-profit community). Aligning the right people (and the right number — not too many and not too few), establishing and mapping processes (what field goes where), and making the best use of technology (software, hardware, automation, etc.) yield a streamlined, well-functioning enterprise. Makes sense — but how?