Pulling It All Together: Operational Processes that Give the Non-Profit a Leading Edge

June 15, 2020by Kara Steffen

Pulling It All Together: Operational Processes that Give the Non-Profit a Leading Edge

The coordinated nonprofit is the successful nonprofit. That begins with smart data management and analysis, which can inform a smart communications calendar.

No leader in the not-for-profit sector needs to be told the organization he or she runs is a complex organism. They live it every day. For them, there is a complex matrix of stakeholders to serve, external factors that affect everything, development to keep in sync with the mission – and data analyses associated with all of these things.

But let’s not let that last item, data, feel like a burden. In truth it’s one of an organization’s best resources. Data is just a shorthand word for “information of a type” that empowers us (when we have it, of course). Development directors understand very well the importance of donor data management, which has risen to such a level that customer relations management, or CRM, has advanced considerably in recent years. Knowing the details about where money comes from is the lifeblood of funding the cause.

Still, it’s the management of data that matters most. There’s no point to having information if that information doesn’t inform smart processes. Again, the development function illustrates this well, although it can apply to administrative management and service delivery just as much.

In fundraising, the use of data into an integrated process is well illustrated in an annual communications calendar. That means taking into account each of the following, sometimes to a granular degree, in a coordinated way:

  • Email newsletters: Content, frequency, audience segmentation
  • Social media posts: What to whom, when and where
  • Website content: Google search engines know how old your information is, so it makes sense to refresh it with new content just to improve your search optimization, but also to simply deliver that new information to existing constituencies
  • Blog content: Regular and timely releases of background information in a blog format also improves the web search dynamic while providing useful information
  • Sharing client testimonials: Gather these and share them via whichever media makes the most sense. It’s what you do and people need to know it.
  • Media releases/earned media: The news that should be shared as well as be placed in the public archives
  • Paid media (advertising): When a controlled message reaching new audiences might yield a bigger database

It’s not hard to see how each of these has a touch point with donors – small, medium, large and new. With new fundraising initiatives, it’s possible to test messages and programs on a sampling of segments before making necessary adjustments and taking it to the full database.

So with an operational process that steers these communication functions within a well timed, strategically messaged calendar, it’s easy to see how the yield on the resources put into these communications tactics can be optimized.

Need to know more about how to engineer a cohesive operational process? Call in a third party expert who can objectively review existing methods and offer fresh thinking on the realm of the possible.

Kara Steffen

Kara Steffen

Kara Steffen is the founder and principal consultant of The Change Up Group. She posesses more than 12 years of leadership and consulting experience in the nonfproit sector.

ABOUT THE CHANGE UP GROUPHelping You Change the World
The Change Up Group is a solutions-based small business and nonprofit consulting firm that provides strategic counsel, accessible solutions and strategies in order to build sustainable and high-performing organizations working to drive social change.
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ABOUT THE CHANGE UP GROUPHelping You Change the World
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