Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Stop Putting Your Development Team on the Sidelines

We've talked before about taking your social media managers out of their silos. After all, how are they supposed to tell the world what's going on in your organization if they don't know? Let's take a moment to consider the other outward-facing department in your organization: development. Turns out, Development Directors suffer the same silo problem as social media managers.

Ask yourself: "How is my Development Director supposed to illustrate our work to potential donors if he or she isn't kept up to date on the organization's activities?"


Put yourself in the Development
Director's shoes.
Put yourself in their shoes. There you are, having lunch with an individual who has the power to provide a major grant to support your organization's mission. Everything is going well, when suddenly they ask about the day-to-day activities inside the organization. This person understands the mission and the work you do; they are looking for evidence that the organization is powered by people passionate about the mission, dedicated to serving the organization. They want a look inside so they can get a feel for how the organization is run. If nobody communicates with you, how are you supposed to answer that in a positive light?

The great thing is that opening the lines of communication has benefits that run both ways. By opening the lines of communication between your development department and other areas, you give the Development Director an opportunity to turn all employees into major advocates (follow the link to learn how) for the organization. This will support your social media efforts as well. In fact, it will support all efforts in every department across the organization.

In a communication-based world, donors receive messages from many departments in your organization. Ensuring open communication and unified campaigns creates a cohesive voice that donors can understand.