Omnichannel vs. Multichannel
FS: How does an organization move from a multichannel approach to one that is more omnichannel?
DL: The key, as I have seen it, and I am by no means an authority on how this is happening throughout our vast industry, is the willing unification of fundraising and external relations. I've watched this most closely, and participated in it most directly, with the International Rescue Committee, which adopted this structure three years ago, and with Compassion & Choices. Parenthetically, I've had a number of industry colleagues talk to me about wanting their next jobs to be heads of this kind of department because they see it as the only way to be fully effective within every option in an iPad screen.
FS: Will there be resistance?
DL: Development and external relations departments are both key pillars of a nonprofit organization. There has been a lot of freedom within each, some owned-and-operated turf, and things have worked pretty well on that basis for a long time. Now, they are bumping up against each other in the marketplace too often to be wholly separate. And the turf that each department is after is getting harder and harder to grow. But I think the opportunity to work and brainstorm around the same table will elevate everybody's sense of what their responsibilities and opportunities are.
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