Can We Talk About What 'Not Interested' Means?
I've spent the latter half of my career helping nonprofits design and deploy new fundraising visions and strategies. I have spent countless hours talking about long-term improvement versus short-term improvement. As you can imagine, I've also heard every excuse in the book to not try anything new or make a change. But the one that always stumps me is the generic, "We're not interested." And, for anyone who knows me, you know that generic statements are just the start of the conversation for me.
On days when I'm in a particular snarky mood, what comes out of my mouth is, "So, you're not interested in increasing your performance or net revenue?" OK, I admit, I don't often have the guts to say that. But I'm just concerned by the ease with which people in our industry say "no thanks" to new ideas, new information, new insight, etc. This can become very dangerous for not just organizations but marketing teams, as the "safe way" can prevent growth and positive movement for programs and strategies.
Here is my assessment of what can hold us back — and what we can do about it.
1. We are afraid of analytics at times
No one wants to admit it, but our industry is known for loving our comfort zones and our traditions. Traditional strategies are not a bad thing, but for sure we can get stuck there. It's easy to be afraid of something we don't understand.
But the fear that I'm talking about is the one where the new insight or new analytics might point out something wrong with the way we've been doing things. We need to shift our thinking and think of analytics as new information — and information is power. If there is information available that could help our fundraising work harder or more efficiently, why would we run from it? If there is information available that could improve performance — response rates, average gifts, etc. — why would we ignore it?
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.