The Intricacies of a Successful Sandbox
But the agency model for direct marketing was often one agency doing it all to create a streamlined approach to fundraising direct mail. This model also created opportunities for the nonprofit because it took less staff to manage one agency.
But then things started to change. There are lots of reasons why people think it changed ... perhaps it was the introduction of additional channels, the heavier focus on analytics or the fundraising challenges that seemed to occur every few years that wreaked havoc with our results. Whatever it was, a lot of nonprofits started looking at multi-agency relationships. This brought a whole host of changes to the scene. The staffing model at the nonprofit had to adjust to manage multiple agencies. Risk was perceived to be spread out but only if you still had "the best" in each of the areas you were managing. And there was the overarching benefit of new ideas brought to the table by having multiple partners thinking through your business challenges and opportunities.
Sounds good, right? Well, believe it or not, it can fail miserably. Over the years the industry has seemed to shift back and forth between the "agency of record" model and the "multi-agency" model with different players at the table.
One thing is for sure though, with the multi-agency model came a whole new set of requirements for both the nonprofit and the agencies. Nonprofits had to become master integrators. Agencies had to put aside a lot of feelings and ideas that were engrained from the past and be open to a new level of sharing and collaboration.
Let's be real though — not everyone plays well in a sandbox! So, here's my list of things for each side of the table to take into consideration to make it as successful as possible in that sandbox.
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.