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Gail BowerThis blog will help you and your organization flourish.

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    by Gail S. Bower

Is your marketing director ripping you off?

One of the most important functions in your nonprofit organization is your marketing department.


Promoting programs; indirectly stewarding relationships with customers, constituents, donors, and funders; and communicating with audiences about your mission and its importance, your impact and successes, and the stories of your organization are just a handful of his/her objectives.

In addition, your marketing director always should be on the look out for opportunity and potential, particularly revenue potential.

Instead, a disturbing set of trends I see reveals organizations’ fraught relationship with marketing. And with so much uncertainty in the marketplace, I predict that trend will get worse.

Some organizations have no one actually responsible for marketing and communications. That means that not only is no one is taking care of this critical function, but also any communications activities that do happen are achieved by someone whose primary job is not marketing or communications. It’s a double (sometimes triple) inefficiency.

What is it costing an organization to have no marketing staff member and to drain the energies and talent away from the executive or development director functions to handle marketing on an ad hoc basis?

Sometimes organizations have “managers or directors of marketing,” yet really this person is only responsible for banging out a bunch of social media posts. One staff member of an organization recently told me she had no criteria for what she posted and had no idea what she was trying to accomplish through these posts.

What a waste of money, time, and energy!

Too often organizations complain they have no money for marketing. They can’t or won’t hire someone. Or they hire someone young, inexperienced, with lousy pay, and no support. I’m all for hiring young people, but we need to teach them how to market and what they’re even supposed to be doing. Don’t set these creative, passionate, and eager staff members up for failure.

Leaders are not doing their organization any service by under investing in marketing and related services. But maybe these are organizations not very serious about strategy and fulfilling their missions.


Reader Comments (1)

I could not agree more. Leaders must no only set the vision, usp, and messaging - they must engage in, and bring dedicated resources, to their advertising, marketing, and sales processes. Moreover, they must understand how to measure results and learn from past marketing, and to constantly improve results through iterative testing and tweaking of campaigns.

October 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterInteract Marketing

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