External relations – fundraisers and marketers working together
Challenges arise when multiple departments build separate relationships concurrently with the same stakeholder resulting in an organisation having varying tones of voice, and / or sending mixed or conflicting messages. This AMA conference 2014 session led by Stephen Pidgeon, fundraising consultant and visiting professor of Direct Response Fundraising at University of Plymouth, looked at how successful external relations require the whole organisation to work together to build strong relationships with a range of stakeholders. Stephen shared his experience and explored tools used to identify shared audiences and techniques used to work in harmony to successfully align relationships and messaging.
When you write your fundraising letters I bet you don’t think about ‘me, the donor’, you think about; ‘we have a great theatre here, we need this amount of money for …’ You say to me, the donor; ‘Stephen, let us tell you about all the work we are trying to do …’ I couldn’t care less about the work that you are trying to do – I want to know what I can do with my money. So you must tell me, not about what you do, but about what happens when you do it. What is the outcome? The thing that I’m paying for?