One observation that has held true over the years of working with nonprofits is how siloed the development and communications teams are. Each time I bring the subject up, whether in conversation or at speaking engagements, I see people nodding in agreement.
Does this sound familiar?
The opportunity to transform organizations is too important to ignore this disconnect between development and communications. It’s what drives us as a communication consultancy. It’s why we get up each day. Because if we can strategically align communications and development teams, we can raise more money to support organizational mission. And ultimately, that makes for a better world for everyone.
So where do you start? First, you need to determine how aligned your organization is. Here are a few questions that will help you quickly assess alignment within your organization:
1. Our development and communications staffs work together to create strategic efforts:
- All of the time
- Some of the time
- Hardly ever
2. Our communications staff understands that as part of their responsibilities, fundraising and maintaining strong donors relations are:
- Very important as their primary goal
- Important as one of their primary goals
- Somewhat important as one of their goals
- Not very important as that is development’s job
3. Our development and communications staff understands and can profile the various types, wants, needs, and importance of our donor and prospect audiences:
- Completely, 100 percent
- In a few cases
4. Communications and development staffs track and can identify the effectiveness of each donor outreach effort:
- Every time
- Hardly ever
5. Our donor and prospect databases are integrated with the ability to select specific people for specific emails or invitations:
- Fully across departments
- Just within development
- Limited ability to select specific people
- Just a contact list
- No database available
6. Our content assets, such as videos, photos, logos, stories, brochures, pamphlets, banners, are available to our staff digitally without requiring new designs and new copy:
- Yes, a very well populated folder/file/location
- Yes, but limited to a few items
- Yes, but just for our logo
- No, people need to request items
You’ll find a more robust, interactive analysis here. This will let you perform a self-assessment that will show where and how you stack up.
If you’re looking for more alignment tools, you may find these other blogs on the subject useful:
- Unify development and communication teams with SMART* Goals
- Connective Impact: How optimal communications drives donor engagement
For a more detailed look at the importance of uniting development and communications, download our Connective Impact eBook.
And, you can always connect with me directly by clicking here.