Three Important Ways to Ensure Fundraising is Tied to Programming

By Peter Gamache, Ph.D. & Jackie Sue Griffin, MBA, MS, Turnaround Life, Inc.

All nonprofits have two essential sectors that ensure organizational success: fundraising and programming. The two teams help advance the entire objective goal of the nonprofit – which always means that they need to work well on their own, but also together.

All too often, the two are not aligned well and are not tied to each other in the way that breeds success, and further advancement of the nonprofit’s goals. Here are three tips to help ensure the two teams are tied together and cooperating well.

Understanding for Each Other’s Roles

Most organizations are set to fail if the two core teams do not possess the recognition and respect for each other’s roles and responsibilities. The same is very accurate for nonprofits, which is why you need to ensure that the fundraising and programming teams understand each other well.

What we have noticed with many nonprofits is an inherent lack of understanding for fundraising. Many within an organization may see development as a necessary evil, while programming work is where real differences are made. In this way, programming teams are often left with the sense that the fundraising work pays the bills, and don’t look deeper into the relationship building that is the heart of any successful development operation.

It is essential to work towards eliminating these kinds of common misunderstandings in your organization if you want the two teams to fully integrate their efforts.

Joint Operation and Communication

Improving staff relations as well as ensuring no one deviates from the nonprofit’s goals and objectives is vital. One of the ways of achieving this is through well-established modes of communication.

With excellent communication, all operations within the teams will run smoothly. None of this will be possible without established respect and understating of each other’s roles, which we previously discussed, and is essentially a prerequisite for communication.

Furthermore, communication includes good reporting between the two teams and full transparency. One of the best ways of creating such a culture in the organization is through the promotion of cross-team relationship building.

Playing to Strengths

In the end, programming and fundraising are two sides of the same coin. Without great fundraising, programming can’t be successful; similarly, without strong programming, fundraisers will be unable to connect with donors and build capacity.

Therefore, it’s critical that two work hand-in-hand. Fundraisers must develop cases for support that highlight programming successes and programming team members can ensure continuing organizational growth by communicating those successes with prospects and donors. In so doing, each part of the organization will be showcasing their strengths for a variety of audiences.

All in all, fundraising and programming need each other, and it is vital for you to ensure that the two are tied to each other and working well together. The three methods we discussed will ensure that the cooperation between the teams is moving forward and ensuring continued success.

Here at Turnaround Life, Inc., we aim to help organizations and programs that make it possible for people to turn their lives around. For more information about us, visit our website.