In a recent post on his company’s blog, Nathan Stelter, vice president of business development for the planned giving consulting firm, The Stelter Company, discusses the discomforts, difficulties, risks and opportunities associated with change — in this case, change as it relates to a planned giving marketing strategy.
“Change is hard,” he writes in the July 18 post at Stelter Insights. “Repeating the same marketing program year after year is the easy, safe choice, but it also makes it difficult for your program to grow. And it comes at the risk of losing out on fundraising opportunities you haven’t opened yourself up to before.”
Stelter goes on to recount a day that his company’s creative and sales team spent with a leadership-training facilitator who specializes in helping organizations tap into the creativity of its workers. The experience helped him see that “embracing change can be transformational not just for us, but also for our nonprofit partners,” Stelter writes.
He emerged with these five takeaways when it comes to a planned giving marketing program:
- All change is uncomfortable. “If your organization has been sending a self-mailer for the last few decades,” Stelter writes, “it may be challenging to get your team onboard to send a newsletter. Try it anyway.”
- All change feels like loss. “Grieve the ‘good ol’ days’ and then move on,” he says. “See the past for what it was; begin to notice its flaws and shortcomings.”
- Readiness for change varies from person to person. “Cheer for supporters who embrace change with open arms. Be patient with those who are more reluctant.”
- Change causes a crisis of resources. “This resource can be budget, time or volunteers,” Stelter writes. “Whatever the crisis may be, avoid the tailspin. Instead of feeding into the turmoil, turn to a spirit of resourcefulness and creativity.
- It’s important to manage the journey of change. “Change is a journey,” he concludes. “Don’t forget to manage it, whether that be by an individual or a team. After all, bad habits are not easy to break.”
As a leader in technology designed for higher education, Capture Higher Ed must constantly manage higher education’s reluctance to change. As I’ve written before: “Marketing automation is new to university advancement, and with anything new — especially technology — there are often plenty of questions and no small amount of intimidation.”
Adding marketing automation to your efforts is the kind of change that can be transformation to not only your planned giving marketing program but also the entire operations of your advancement office.
By Kevin Hyde, Senior Content Writer, Capture Higher Ed