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MarComm and Dev: A Magical Combination

Imagine that you are a donor.

You receive an email from one of your favorite organizations, the local zoo. They are having a koala birthday celebration and you’re invited to a weekend of fun, games, and special demonstrations. With excitement, you RSVP for the event as you pick up the mail. In the stack of letters is one, also from the zoo. Upon reading the contents, you are alarmed to learn that the habitats are in danger. The zoo is over 60 years old, and the dens are eroding. You are told that the zoo is in desperate need of help and you’re asked to go online to make a gift or send it in the enclosed envelope, immediately.

Not surprisingly, your excitement has vanished. You’re left feeling confused, panicked, and rather annoyed. Perhaps you won’t go to the event after all. Who wants to see the dens crumbling around those poor, sweet koalas. And on their birthday weekend, of all things!

What has happened here? A clear case of two departments, siloed. The lack of communication between marketing and development has resulted in a damaging donor experience that may take years to repair. This scenario is far more common than we care to admit. So, how can we change things?

This week, at the Create Good Conference in Durham NC, I will be taking a deep dive into solutions that will help departments come together to create magical campaigns. It will allow marketing and communications to continue to promote and celebrate organizational programs while giving plenty of space for development to use intentional urgency to solicit support from the community.

Here is a taste of what we’ll cover:

Department Priorities

Every individual, and individuals within a team, and teams within a department, have goals and objectives. We’ll talk about coming together to communicate what they are, how they intersect, and how to map them on a calendar to avoid the disastrous situation above.

Creating a Guiding Star

We’ll examine the growth funnel as a guiding star to help us put structure around our collaborations. It will allow marketing to excel in acquisition and engagement and allow development to focus on support, retention and stewardship into a seamless donor journey that will excite and inspire our audiences.

Brass Tacks

When discussing new fundraising campaigns, we’ll talk about the most important MarComm questions including branding decisions, value propositions, copy for mail and emails, and content for landing pages, social media, paid ads and autoresponders. We’ll outline all of these tactics at the growth funnel levels. And, I’ll share a giant campaign planning calendar that demonstrates the implementation of a comprehensive campaign.

Why This Works

Of course, we’re in the nonprofit world so we can’t leave without analytics and testing to prove our theories! We’ll examine reports from NextAfter, Ballantine, and DMAW which all show the benefits of multi-channel fundraising.

Magical Examples

I’ll share some “magical” examples of successful campaigns that bring all of these elements together like this Ardently Austin campaign, a 24-hour live- streaming telethon, and a whole bunch of PBS Nerds.

Recognizing that the Create Good conference is only days away (at the writing of this post) and you may not be able to make a trip to the lovely town of Durham, I’m happy to share that I can bring this presentation to your organization! Contact me for details. (And yes, I use the unicorn stickers in this presentation, of course. 🦄)

Do you have my book? I cover this topic in Chapter 4: Shake It Up – Navigating Org Charts, Silos and Lanes and Chapter 7: The Funnel Flow – Grow Your Audience, Deepen Relationships. You can also find tips in Section 4: The Perfect Pour which includes tactics for engagement and revenue campaigns along with tips for prospecting and engagement.

In a word: MAGICAL.