Article from the Growth & Co Blog | Posted on January 14, 2022 by Larissa
The world isn’t black and white, and neither is the work we do in it. This complexity is true for nonprofit organizations with multiple people responsible for marketing to and soliciting funds from donors. There is often overlap between the communications and fundraising roles at charities, and nonprofit leaders must clarify who is responsible for what.
When there is no clarity on who communicates to and solicits donors in an organization, staff experiences will suffer from a lack of clear direction and wasted time. Donor experiences will also suffer from infrequent, too much, or too little communication.
An example of this would be when the communications staff sends monthly newsletters to all stakeholders but doesn’t include a donor section because they assume the fundraising staff sends a donor newsletter. The fundraiser may only be sending donors information infrequently when important news occurs, assuming the donors are all on the general stakeholder newsletter mailing list. As a result, donors receive infrequent communications about particular news items. They do not regularly receive information about the organization’s mission, current projects, people their donations have helped, and other ways to get involved. As a result, the donor may not feel ready to give when asked since the impact of their past contributions has not been communicated.
There are a few simple things you can do to clarify the roles of the fundraising and marketing staff.
- Review your fundraising plan, stewardship plan, and fundraising task list. On the fundraising task list, check the boxes in the ‘communications staff’ and fundraising staff’ columns for the tasks that may overlap or depend on the marketer.
- Develop Standard Operating Procedures for those tasks. List all the steps that need to occur to get the job done.
- Meet with the fundraising staff, marketing staff, and whoever oversees their work to discuss overlapping tasks. Bring your draft standard operating procedures to the meeting to co-edit. Be ready to build a positive relationship between the fundraising and communications staff, discuss job descriptions, and improve standard operating procedures that will enhance role clarity.
- If your communications colleague has a communications calendar, review it to see if additional fundraising tasks need to be in your fundraising plan and task list! Ensure donors are included in communication plans to understand what engagement they experience and when.
By reviewing the fundraising tasks that overlapped, creating standard operating procedures, and meeting with fundraising, communications, and leadership to determine who’s responsible for what, staff and donor experiences related to donor communications will improve.
If you need help creating your fundraising plan, master task list, or standard operating procedures, don’t hesitate to get in touch to see if we can assist!
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