Advancement and Collaboration Produce Synergy and Greater Fundraising Results!
Fundraising is not marketing.
That is sometimes a tough — yet at the same time simple — concept to understand.
It has come to light recently that a friend has had her successful development program merged under a nonprofit's marketing umbrella. The challenge — an ongoing battle with the marketing wing of where direct appeals and Web giving are housed and credited.
The combination of fundraising, marketing and communications, along with alumni relations, is the proven college advancement model. According to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE):
"Advancement is a strategic, integrated method of managing relationships to increase understanding and support among an educational institution's key constituents, including alumni and friends, government policy makers, the media, members of the community and philanthropic entities of all types."
We have encountered this before. A client was focused on events and direct appeals — rather than the resources it placed in that area. The events and direct-appeals responsibilities were in marketing, where there were four staff members compared to one in development who worked on major gifts and grants. The difficulty was that as donors were brought into the fold through events or an appeal, most of them left before having been identified or cultivated for major gifts. The marketing department refused to give up "its" donors or "its budget." We recommended restructuring with an integrated advancement model and focus on a dramatically increased bottom line versus two smaller but protected budgets.
Another client — a zoo — faced the same battle. The membership side was protective of members, yet the correct strategy and implementation of sharing information would yield far greater results, as many also could have been major donors.
This week I met a very sharp and successful owner of a marketing firm. He shared that his firm had been helping a foundation with its capital campaign. No research. No study. No campaign plan. No board or major donor engagement. The sole strategy: direct mail.
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.