I just got back from the DMA 2007 Annual Washington Nonprofit Conference, where I was able to dip into a session on integrated fundraising for “nonprofits only.”I was struck by one discussion, in particular, which was sparked by the session facilitator asking “What division owns the web in your association?” As various organizations started division-bashing, I’m sure I frowned.For me, it’s the over-arching communications strategy that should be defining how we communicate online and off…and that strategy should be consumer focused and supported by each division (in unique and various ways). People in this session were actually saying things like…”we don’t issue emails to our email contact list because of political reasons within the organization”…and “we stole the communications division’s list to conduct a donor analysis”…statements that seemed to betray the session’s intent (or, more truthfully, showed just how much work many of us have ahead).
I believe it’s the web services group that is best situated to lead the charge in defining and driving a collaborative approach to communicating cross-divisionally. The fact that we are customer focused by design is a huge asset for that role. But that said, I also believe it’s clear we need to befriend and engage our colleagues in other divisions – not only to win their support, but to share the work-load and ultimately to improve our collective effectiveness as an organization. Let that be the driver for organizational communications.
And hey – what a great opportunity for the industrious NPO webmaster!