But they don’t work for the long-term, just like a development program without a strong basic foundation will never be as successful as it could be.
When I started JC Patrick Consulting in 2011, I hadn’t produced a pledge drive in ten years. I was grateful to find that while some of the pitches and platforms had changed, the nuts and bolts of a goal-surpassing pledge drive remained much the same. Work the basics, build the platform and the correct messages, create whole-staff excitement about the drive – and the results will come.
It’s the same in sales. The account executive who doesn’t know how to effectively prospect for new clients will never be as successful as the AE who, either virtually or literally, pounds the pavement every day. Those who focus on their sales pipelines and segment their clients by process will successfully close more deals.
And in programming, we can create the most robust on-air schedule possible – but if we only promote it on our airwaves, we will never achieve the station growth in cume that we need to survive. Adequate marketing budgets, effective ad campaigns and media flights with targeted messaging should be part of every station’s promotional package.
So as we take advantage of our (somewhat) lighter summer work loads, I urge us to examine our use of the basics. There are so many new, jazzy fundraising techniques that we need to employ in order to continue to grow our fundraising programs. But we can’t properly make those glittery new ideas work unless we've laid them on a firm, basic foundation.