Integrating Communications and Development Strategies

Hello everyone! I am blogging from Waters of Grace, the National Camp Gathering in Palestine, TX. This week has been full of amazing workshops and presentations led by camp people from all over the country. Today, I got to join this esteemed group and lead a workshop of my own called Integrating Communications and Development Strategies.

In a nutshell, I discussed how important it is to include fundraising messages into your story-telling communications. You have an amazing story to tell, one that should inspire and relate to your readers. It is important to include a way to respond to the work of your mission when inspiration strikes, so be sure to include a development message in order to do that.

This concept is sometimes multi-channel marketing. The idea is that your donors are consuming all kinds of media from several different platforms, so you should be present there too. Creating a cohesive look and design to your communications and development message across several platforms can lead to much better results. It keeps your message front of mind, so donors and friends don’t forget it, and if you missed them in one place, you may find them in another. A general rule of thumb is that a donor has to hear a message seven times before acting. Seven. Times. If you mail one letter a year, it may be hard to convert that friend to a donor.

Check out these resources and articles I read in creating Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center’s fall campaign, as well as this presentation.

Channeling Real Human Beings in Multi-channel Marketing

A report from the Chronicle of Philanthropy: “Fundraising in a Multichannel World.”

The Beginner’s Guide to Digital Fundraising

Interested in seeing how I was able to design an integrated communications and development strategy for Lakeshore that resulted in a campaign total four times last year’s total? Email me for a copy of my powerpoint slides for this presentation.

If you would like to work together on a plan for your organization, let’s chat.

Cabin 9 Consulting: The Origin Story

Cabin 9 is the girls’ activity staff cabin at Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center–the camp where I grew up, worked on summer staff and now serve as Director of Communications and Development. I worked on activity staff during the summer of 2008 and lived in that cabin.

During those three months, this place had quite an impact on my life. Up until that point, I experienced God almost exclusively through nature and being in the wonder of creation. I remember feeling disconnected during the summer of 2008, even though I spent most of my time on the ropes course in the woods. It was on the porch of Cabin 9 that I realized that God was communicating with me through people that summer, that my work at camp was ministry and that my life should follow that path. I realized that my gifts and talents were best used behind the scenes, ensuring that campers and other staff had a great experience through the work I was able to help prepare. This discovery proved to be extremely important. Back at school that fall, I changed my focus to Youth and Non-profit Leadership, and was particularly drawn to fundraising. This was it. This was how I could use planning and preparation behind the scenes to make sure that other people and organizations were able to carry out their missions. My ministry would be raising the money to allow programming to facilitate life-changing experiences and moments to happen.

For the past seven years, I have learned all I can about development work through a plethora of different experiences at very different types and sizes of organizations. Now, I am back home, at Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center, applying my development knowledge to the place I love most. And when I’m there, I live in Cabin 9 where it all started. This journey has allowed me to develop my personal mission to help other organizations bring their missions to fruition, and Cabin 9 Consulting is the tangible expression of that goal.

If you have a mission you need help catapulting into reality, I look forward to working together to make those dreams come true.