Marketing + Fundraising = Great Communications
Over 1,400 people attended Fundraising Day New York this year, the annual conference for the Association of Fundraising Professional’s New York City Chapter. It’s surely the biggest gathering of fundraisers at any local event I’ve ever seen. But as I walked around and chatted, what struck me was how many of the show’s attendees weren’t fundraisers or even fundraising consultants- many were people with titles like ‘VP, Marketing’ or ‘Communications Associate’.
People like Nadine Dillon, the Program Officer, Communications at New Visions for Public Schools, or Kathryn Glass, the VP of Communications at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, are turning up more and more at conferences like Fundraising Day to learn the basics of fundraising so they can do their communications jobs better.
Over a dozen years ago, I decided that my company, Big Duck, should focus our efforts entirely on helping nonprofits communicate better. Within 6 months it also became apparent that if we were going to do that we had to speak the common tongue of nonprofit communications; fundraising.
Over the years, I’ve become more and more convinced that it takes a solid foundation in fundraising to truly help a nonprofit communicate well- even if you’re also doing outreach, membership, client recruitment, or social marketing. After all, the development people need to be on message, consistent, and able to put the organization’s best foot forward in order to fundraise. Without that, most of the rest of it ain’t gonna happen.