Gretchen Colón, Cramer & Associates, Senior Consultant
Your Development and Marketing Teams may be on opposite sides of the building or on different floors, making it hard to communicate and work together. But, these two departments should be constantly in sync.
Collaborating, integrating and solving problems together elevates your organization to a higher level and creates dynamic strategies to expand your donor base, increase awareness, serve more clients and recruit new board members.
Take these first 5 steps to break down silos between these 2 departments:
- Find a Roundtable & Actively Listen: Pull the Development and Marketing Teams together around a roundtable for a 40-minute meeting every week. It’s a simple agenda of discussing what the teams are working on; priorities for the next week; upcoming events and announcements; dashboard metrics from your website, social media, e-communications; and positive achievements from the week prior. Most importantly, spend the meeting actively listening.
- Define the Marketing & Fundraising Lingo: When your 2 teams start meeting regularly, write down new language that each team uses and ask for definitions or clarification. Start learning the different terminology used in each department to create a cohesive message. These may might include LYBUT Donor, SYBUNT Donor, unique visitors or open rates. It’s important everyone understands each others’ unique language and phrases for better communication and outcomes.
- Learn Your Team Members’ Strengths: As you meet together around the table, you will begin to learn different strengths of each team member. Call out strengths when there’s a celebration or win on either team. Noticing and naming these will help you begin to work together more collaboratively on projects and strategies down the road. Bonus Tip: For a small fee, take the Strengths Finder 2.0 test to find the strengths of your team.
- Create a Collaborative Environment: As your Marketing and Fundraising Teams begin meeting, make sure to create a collaborative environment where ideas can be shared, individuals feel like they are heard, questions can be asked, and it’s ok to be vulnerable and not know everything. Learning to work collaborative will be a significant benefit when the 2 teams begin building awareness and fundraising strategies together.
- Laugh Together: Don’t forget to laugh and have fun! Learning new things about your co-workers is rewarding and makes working together easier. Share stories and experiences with one another and you will soon realize that you can tap into these conversations down the road.
Meeting together regularly every week is the first step to integrating your Marketing and Development Departments or areas in your organization. Entering into these waters may be unique and a big change, but by practicing patience, actively listening and collaborating when you meet, you’ll soon be swimming together and moving in the same direction.
Don’t forget to download Cramer & Associates’ One-Pager on Marketing & Fundraising Integration and pass them along to a co-worker!
Cramer & Associates is a nationally recognized philanthropic consulting firm that has been serving nonprofit organizations, corporations and foundations since 1987. Our full-service firm offers clients a wide range of services, including feasibility studies, campaigns, strategic planning, board training, development audits, events, executive searches and much more. The Cramer Team identifies organizations’ strengths and opportunities and develops campaigns that succeed, empowering organizations to impact their communities. cramerphilanthropy.com