Sacred Cows: Battling Ourselves
Similar to programs, sometimes these can be emotional decisions because volunteers are involved in these communications. How many of you have been in a discussion about a newsletter that is run by a volunteer committee? And how many times has the answer been, “I’m not sure we can really change that because XXXX owns it, and he/she has managed it for years”? On the flip side, avoid letting communication decisions only become financial discussions. We’ve also all been in meetings where someone says, “Wow, I cannot believe we are spending $XXXX on a newsletter. We should cut that budget — it doesn’t do anything for us.” For these types of discussions, don’t keep something for the wrong reason, but don’t kill it for the wrong reason either.
Communications should be reviewed relative to their ability to deliver something that the constituents want or need from the organization. Value is measured by whether the constituents feel they are receiving something of value. Yes, that’s right, you need consumer input for this one. But it doesn’t stop there. At some point, when the value to the consumer has been identified, the organization needs to understand whether it is the right investment. Questions that should be answered include: Does constituent behavior change because they are receiving this communication? Does this communication deliver direct revenue to the organization? Does this communication drive greater retention or indirect revenue to the organization? It can’t all be about the constituent — it must make financial sense as well. But after reviewing it from both of these angles, it is no longer a “sacred cow.” It’s a proven communication that is a good investment.
Leaving audiences behind
This is an area that many organizations struggle with time and time again. It is a classic example of an organization making a decision that is best (or easiest!) for itself and not based on what the market or constituents need. Many organizations have a broad mission.
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.