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Having an approach or a framework for the work of the nonprofit digital executive is very important. Being passionate about our donors is great but a scattered approach will not get the kind of traction we need long term.

I am suggesting a framework that I have seen, over the years, that works for many of us. If this isn’t the approach that works for you and your donors, I do suggest finding one that does.

The approach is to organize and execute around the following:

  1. Goals, strategies and execution
  2. People
  3. Process
  4. Technology

It is natural to want to leap to one or another of these and focus there to the exclusion of some other important issues in improving the donor experience. Some people want to focus on the technology. But technology may be the wrong issue if the goals and strategies aren’t clear.

You might have a great donor strategy. Does the strategy require change? Have you addressed the change management issues that people are having with the strategy? If not, no strategy alone will overcome change management issues that people have with what you want to do.

There is a sequence to all of this. The best results come from starting with clear goals and strategies. People come next. Processes come after that. Technology, while very important, comes after we have planned for the preceding three focus areas for our donors.

I am advocating for a holistic and unified approach. Moving from the flavor of the day to the next creates a level of frustration that is hard for donors to overcome.  It is impossible to organize and execute around priorities if at least these four focus areas aren’t somehow in alignment. In our gut, we know that alignment is important. Alignment creates momentum that is impossible to stop or overcome.

Here are the key ideas:

  1. Use a framework like strategy, people, process and technology.
  2. Create alignment through a holistic approach.
  3. Start with clear goals and strategies.

Business Strategy