For most nonprofits, Integrated Fundraising can be difficult to implement, but it doesn’t have to be that way for your organization. Here are five ways to overcome some common barriers to true integration.
1. Leadership must embrace integration.It’s easy for teams within nonprofits to get out of alignment with their strategy and each other. Leadership must build integration into the organization’s structure, from personnel to communication calendars, before they can successfully combine their marketing and fundraising strategies.
The lack of a unified effort among executive, development, marketing, and program teams toward shared goals results in wasted investments and missed opportunities.
2. Clarify the who, what, how, and why of the campaign.Too many organizations launch a fundraising campaign without first taking the time to clarify what they’re trying to accomplish through the campaign, who the target audience is, what tactics they’ll use, and who’s responsible for those tactics. Your ultimate objective should drive your goal and inform the metrics you use to report results.
3. Make sure you allocate the necessary resources.Fundraisers often point to limited resources—people, time, and money—as a key reason their efforts fail. Frequently, those resource allocations are as fragmented as the fundraising.
4. Use detailed data on constituents’ interests and preferences.Data, together with an effective system to manage the data, will help you craft an informed strategy. It’s important to verify or disprove assumptions and move past relying on intuition, because even “what worked before” may not actually help you take full advantage of opportunities available today.
5. Take risks.Regrettably, the nonprofit industry is not designed to innovate. Organizations aren’t equipped with large research and development budgets. With limited resources, many nonprofit leaders are doing everything they can to either simply maintain or take small steps toward growth. As a result, many nonprofits fear falling behind should they take the time to restructure their strategy. They may avoid going out on a limb with a new strategy due to a lack of confidence that the risk will produce the expected income in the short term.
Despite, these challenges to integration, they are by no means unbeatable! By implementing these five steps, we’re confident you’ll begin to see the results you want.