Alignment of non-profit communications and development teams has posed significant challenges in the past but seems to be getting better according to 2017’s Nonprofit Communications Trends Report. Of the 1100 communications and development leaders that Nonprofit Marketing Guide surveyed, 49 percent said collaboration between marketing and fundraising improved in 2016.

Most nonprofits said that collaboration with comm teams & program staff got better in 2016.

While collaboration may have improved, many data points in the report highlight the lack of alignment between the two teams. For example, only 34 percent of communications staff say they are consulted often or always about fundraising decisions, while 55 percent say they consult fundraising staff often or always about communications decisions.

Improve effectiveness: increase collaboration between comm and fundraising staffs.

Interestingly, most nonprofit communications teams indicated “Brand and Reputation Management” was a high priority and that “Internal Communications” was not. This is surprising as the lack of alignment of internal communications has a direct effect on a team’s ability to manage the nonprofit’s brand reputation.

If you were to ask 5 co-workers what your nonprofit’s brand story is, would you get 5 different answers?

If marketing serves fundraising activities, then it is also true that the development team must be willing to serve. Collaboration is key – and it starts with recognizing the mutual goals.

Current overlap and shared purpose is a great place to start to formalize new levels of collaboration. To help you get started, here are 5 mutual goals and functional efforts for non-profit marketing and fundraising teams.

  1. Reach and engage external audiences
  2. Get a consistent outbound message
  3. Take advantage of similarities in audience segmentation
  4. Stay connected to key supporters and participants
  5. Increase the share of mind for the organization

By aligning your organizational goals and insights across your marketing and development teams you can craft a simple and clear brand story that will connect consistently and authentically with your target audience.

Alignment of marketing and fundraising is critical to a nonprofit’s success in effectively engaging donors and driving growth. Creating a compelling donor experience relies heavily on your NPO’s ability to align goals, share audience insights, and tell a clear, compelling brand story across marketing and development departments. Download our latest whitepaper for NPO leaders and learn how to Strike the Right Balance Between Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising Teams.