The Intricacies of a Successful Sandbox
I've been around the block a few times, and I've been on both sides of the block. I've run programs at nonprofits, and I've worked at agencies. What all this means is that I've seen my share of agency relationships.
Are you wondering about the title of this blog post? It refers to the dynamic of multiple agencies helping a nonprofit with its marketing and fundraising efforts. Believe it or not, there are situations where the sandbox is not always a fun place to play.
But before we go into all that, let's just step back and talk about the evolution of agency relationships over the years. The first time I was a nonprofit client was in 1995. I worked for a major brand in the health charity category. We had a big program, a big budget and big goals. The term "full service" was a critical element of every agency ad and sales pitch. And, of course, every nonprofit wanted to know it was working with "the best."
I'm not going to get into how organizations made or make decisions around "who is best." (Boy oh boy — that's a totally different blog. But it's going on the list for the future.)
The evolution since 1995 when I first hit the nonprofit scene has been interesting. Back then, we were primarily a one-channel industry. Back then, data analytics was not a topic on most of our agendas — well, at least not on the first day of the meeting. And back then, we seemed to have one primary agency that did everything. When things were going great, we called it being "teamed up with the best." When things were going not so great, we often said things like, "We are worried that we have all our eggs in one basket."
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.