Why Can’t We Be Friends? Dreaming of a Powerful Marketing-Fundraising Team

Martin Luther King’s passion, focus and ability to motivate like no other spurred me to ask nonprofit bloggers to share their dreams for their cause, organization or the sector for the January Nonprofit Blog Carnival. I had no idea what my request would motivate and I’ll be sharing these passionate, additive, innovative AND doable dreams for us tomorrow. But first, my dream…
My dream for every organization is that marketers and fundraisers become tight friends (motivational video here): A unified, integrated marketing and fundraising team (comprised of one or two departments, many approaches work) that works in sync to build and nurture relationships with supporters and prospects. A team where team members–no matter their title–share information, ideas, challenges, problems and vision.

Here’s why realizing this dream is so important for your organization right now: The marketing-fundraising divide is one of the most significant barriers you face in meeting your mission.

Unfortunately, that’s the situation in most nonprofits where a single person doesn’t wear both hats. And when marketing and fundraising teams stand firm in their respective corners, the disconnect becomes a huge obstacle to building strong relationships with your organization’s community, and to raising the money and support you need to move your mission forward.

Let me share my dream with you, and hope you make it yours and bring it to life. Here are four steps to realizing this dream right now:

  1. Start at the top to engage leadership support. It’s the only hope for a strong marketing-fundraising partnership.
  2. Articulate shared priorities to serve as the core of a common agenda.
  3. Identify what’s working—from each “side”—and do more of it.
  4. Build on real, compelling success stories, well-honed and widely shared and discussed as the glue of your fundraising and marketing conversations.

I urge you to start your work today to make this dream a reality for all of us!

More guidance to getting there:

The Power of a Right Place, Right Time Marketing-Fundraising Campaign (Girl Scout Case Study)

 4 Steps to Moving Your Marketing and Fundraising Teams to a Productive Partnership (Case Study)

Nancy Schwartz on January 30, 2012 in Strategy | 1 comment
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1 Brendan Blaine January 31, 2012 at 11:08 am

Excellent post Nancy!  It seems like it would be difficult to work for good externally when you are having trouble working for good internally.  Fortunately here at NTEN we are a pretty inclusive and open group, particularly when it comes to working together.  I can’t imagine us being able to work effectively or efficiently it things were opposite.
-Brendan

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