Looking Back a Year: A Big Reminder on American Cancer Society's Bold Move
● The marketplace is more demanding, competition is tighter and expenses are increasing. FACT
But, what is not a fact is that organizations have to just stay the course. Peter Drucker once said, "The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence — it is to act with yesterday's logic." The American Cancer Society has stepped out and has made a bold decision which, at minimum, has caught the industry's attention.
● Can anyone really predict what will happen? NO. Agree with American Cancer Society or disagree — that is your individual prerogative — but one thing is for sure: Our industry can learn from this. The real impact of this decision will be talked about in terms of years, not months — but that also means the organization has time to create new, innovative ideas on how to reach audiences and communicate messages differently than last year.
● Do I believe this was risky? YES. Do I believe it was brave? YES. The more our industry pushes these tough questions to the top of the agenda, the better we will get at answering them and creating the best strategies for tomorrow and beyond.
Do I believe what the Society did is the only option with direct mail — no, but I believe change is an inevitable part of the success of this channel. I was asked the other day on a webinar if direct mail was dead. I stepped out and gave an honest answer: If you are thinking of direct mail as a stand-alone program, get ready to plan the funeral. But if you are thinking of direct mail as a technique within an overall integrated communication and fundraising strategy, there are many more birthdays ahead.
Join me over the next several months as we continue the dialogue with the American Cancer Society and understand how its decision around direct mail impacts the organization and brings about new opportunities in strategies.
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.