A News Non Profits — 11 July 2016

By: Danielle K. Milner Marketing & Communications Manager, PS|PS Digital

It exists, and it is more cavernous than its name might imply.

Development and Communications are arguably two of the most important aspects of a nonprofit’s professional staff. If service is the heart of an organization, DevComm are the arms and legs – together they move the mission forward.  But two often the nonprofit body seems to be stumbling around, rather than walking upright and proud, a true disservice to the heart.

So what can nonprofits do?

Let’s look at DevComm as a different metaphor – if traditional Development is the Constitution, Communications is a stack of accelerated amendments, seemingly changing with every social media tide. This makes Development seem hesitant and Communications seem foolhardy.

In reality, neither is true. Both sides of your nonprofit are truly committed to advancing the mission, be that bringing peace, ending hunger, protecting our environment or supporting nonprofit fundraising. The bridge across the DevComm divide lies in that very similarity and a development campaign executed across all communications avenues.

Just one more metaphor to help us understand – if Development is the car, Communications is the Interstate Highway – lots of on and off ramps, and several different routes to the same destination. Executing a great fundraising campaign means sitting together to plan your trip.

Let Development decide where you’re going (fundraising goal), and what vehicle you’ll take (donor/potential donor audience). Communications will lay out the best route (channels) accounting for travel time and traffic (execution).

With any road trip, obstacles and unexpected delays may occur, as well as detours to faster routes. It is important for DevComm to trust each other and stay focused on the original destination.

That might sound easier said than done, and if so I encourage you to bring your DevComm team along to the 2016 Bridge to Integrated Marketing Conference in Washington, DC. There, you’ll find the opportunity to explore ideas together and bridge the DevComm divide.

Danielle K. Milner is an experienced marketing & communications leader at PS|PS Digital with a background in social & traditional media, brand building and public relations.

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