Change: Managing to the Inevitable
Let's face it … whether you've been around for a long time or a short time, it's not possible to have missed all the change. Nonprofits have experienced a dramatically changed climate in the last decade — yet, unfortunately, most nonprofits have not changed themselves.
The sector is largely reactive and has a "get through it" attitude versus being proactive and realigning itself from inside. The marketplace changes are far-reaching and involve a different and evolving profile of the philanthropic audience, and increased financial scrutiny by watchdog agencies and donors themselves. On top of this, new channels for communication and outreach add additional complexity — and opportunity.
As I mentioned in last week's post, perhaps even more alarming are the changes in key fundraising success indicators. When looking at the seven nonprofit sectors (health, environmental, advocacy, etc.), the numbers of new donors are down in five out of the seven over the last three years. Retention of new donors is down in four of the seven and flat in the other three sectors, according to Blackbaud. Those metrics alone should be the catalyst for organizational change.
Nonprofits have always prided themselves on consistency and the certainty that comes from being underpinned by a long history of traditional operating methods for fundraising and marketing. Alarmingly, given a new and evolving landscape, the refusal or inability to change will not only erode the security of our market positions, but degrade our ability to deliver on our critical missions.
The future is bright for organizations willing to begin the transition from the old pattern of operating in an internally centric manner to the essential new paradigm of delivering an integrated and satisfying experience to constituents.
Driving change systematically
There are critical leverage points organizations must consider in becoming more constituent-centric. Alignment in each area is necessary to begin the organization's evolution and secure its success. Of course, each organization will have unique steps to take and different priorities to set.
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.