When Two Worlds Collide: Why Marketing and Fundraising Should Work Together

This article was originally published in our March/April edition of the Nonprofit Hub Magazine. Sign up to reserve your free subscription today.


Which side are you on—marketing or fundraising?

If a smile is creeping across your face right, you know exactly what I’m talking about. A divide?! What? That’s craz—ok, maybe it’s not crazy.

It’s incredibly true for many organizations. And Heidi Hancock, principal CRFE for Mosaic Non-Profit Development, has the experience to prove it. As development director, she had a hard time getting her marketing director to understand and work with her.

But with experience also comes understanding, and Hancock has learned a lot.

“The marketing folks aren’t the devil,” Hancock said. “Your development department [members] are not blood-thirsty, evil-sucking hounds.”

Strong words? Don’t act like they’ve never crossed your mind. When there’s a rift and divide it can be impossible to achieve a cohesive goal.

That’s why Hancock will be teaming up with MB Piland‘s Martha Bartlett Piland for Cause Camp 2015. They’ll show us firsthand that marketing and fundraising can (and should) be one team. They’ll help us understand causes of friction between fundraisers and marketers and diffuse them. Plus, you’ll gain actionable methods to get everyone on the same page.

But you don’t have to wait until Cause Camp to start making radical changes to your marketing and fundraising departments. If you’re looking to make your marketing and fundraising initiatives mesh right now, Hancock says it’s important to get both sides on the same page.

“Sit down with whatever activity they’re hoping to do and be very clear and specific about the dual nature of the goals,” Hancock said.

Plus, Hancock says to actually write those goals down.

For example, what’s your fundraising goal? Make sure it’s measurable. And then ask your organization how you’re going to use marketing communications to help reach those goals. Make sure to set measurable goals on both sides of the spectrum and see how the departments can work together. If it’s laid out in a matter where both departments can see the importance of the other, you’ll be more likely to achieve the end result you’re seeking.

In the end, Hancock points out that we’re not all that different from the beauty queens of the world.

“We’re working for world peace here in nonprofit structures,” Hancock said.