The Nonprofit Sector’s Most Pressing Issues: The C-Level Exec’s Point of View
[Editor’s note: This part one of a three-part series on a session from the 2010 New York Nonprofit Conference held Aug. 24-25. View part 2 in next week’s edition of the FS Advisor and part 3 in the Sept. 14 edition.]
Fundraisers from all walks of life are encountering many challenges these days, but what do the C-level executives see as the most important issues facing the sector? At the Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation’s 2010 New York Nonprofit Conference, three top nonprofit executives joined moderator Tom Harrison, president and CEO of Russ Reid, to discuss these issues in a two-part session, “Cracking the Shell: Open Dialogue & Discussion With America’s Top Nonprofit C-Level Executives on the Sector’s Most Pressing Issues."
Here is what Angel Aloma, executive director of Food For The Poor; Danny McGregor, chief operating officer at Greenpeace; and Atul Tandon, executive director of the International Network and executive vice president of investor relations at United Way Worldwide, shared during the first part of the session.
Harrison kicked things off by saying that “increasingly, we see nonprofits hire for-profit people for branding, which is a dramatic change from the past.” Harrison said overall this is a good thing because people won’t give to your organization unless they know it’s there. However, he pointed out that sometimes there’s a conflict between the brand people and the fundraising people. “What happens when they clash?” Harrison asked the panel.
“Very important is compromise,” Aloma said. “Data is vital as well. Use the data for your arguments. What works?”
Aloma relayed the story of a controversial image Food For The Poor had in its newsletter. The brand people didn’t want this image of a person looking like she had lost her humanity included. It was a very emotional image. Even Aloma himself didn’t think the organization could show this, but it was a powerful image.