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DO NOT READ THIS BLOG POST if You Know Everything There Is to Know in Fundraising/Direct Marketing!

Production Solutions

Fundraisers and direct marketers need to stay “relevant” to their clients, donors, bosses and boards.  Here are a few resources to help you stay ahead of the curve.

Stay Relevant!

Choose a Direction… Stay Relevant!

You might be one of the most successful fundraisers and direct marketers, but if you are not staying on top of changes in our ever-evolving professional space and ever-distracted world, and if you are not trying to maintain or increase “relevance” (a.k.a. credibility) to your clients/donors/board, then you are not long for this industry.

As I had written in my Right Hook blog last year, in the post entitled: Get Ready for the Revolution: Digital Integration Hits Direct Mail Innovation, you need to rise above the traditional and always be ready for change.

We all don’t know what we don’t know. But here are a few leading-edge concepts and questions you need to be able to answer if you want to stay relevant to your donors, clients, bosses and boards:

– Are you meeting your donors where they are?
– Do you know the difference between coordinated and truly integrated marketing?
– Have you determined how to make online fundraising effective with high dollar donors?
– Do you know what the heck DRTV is, and can you really afford to test it?
– Is social media worth the effort?
– Do you know the reason why integrating your database is more important than you ever imagined?

Of course you can gather information on these and dozens of other emerging and important topics in many different ways.

Here are my top three favorite ways to stay ahead of the curve:

#3 Best Way to Stay Ahead of the Curve: Read: stay on top of what’s being published in the industry (whether it is a book, white paper, magazine, newspaper, blog or newsletter). Check out this nonprofit direct marketing industry “News Hub” that covers all the posts you will ever need to read;

#2 Best Way to Stay Ahead of the Curve: RSS Feeds and Alerts: I am surprised regularly when industry colleagues admit that they really are not that tech savvy and have no idea how to set up a Google Alert or have never heard of an RSS feed. It’s O.K. if you haven’t figured out how to do it yet (your secret is safe with me), but, learn how to set up these tools…they’re worth your time so you stay abreast of the latest news on your clients, donors, prospects, competitors, etc.

Stay ahead of the curve with your donors, boss, board...

Stay ahead of the curve with your donors, boss, board…

#1 Best Way to Stay Ahead of the Curve: Industry Conferences and Workshops: If you are not an expert yet (or even if you are, but want to hear what your peers are doing to stay relevant), attend industry conferences and workshops such as DMA Washington Nonprofit Conference and Bridge to learn what the experts have to say about what’s a priority, what merits more homework, and how to stay at the top of your game.

So…get your comfy shoes on and press your suits…it’s time to hit the fundraising direct marketing industry’s 2014 education circuit (a.k.a. conferences)

Production Solutions (PS) has put together a handy, at-a-glance industry calendar of direct marketing and fundraising conferences/ workshops/ events that we plan to attend in 2014…I thought I’d share it with you here.  I will look forward to seeing you at one…or, hopefully, all of them. FYI: PS updates the list periodically as conferences are added or dates are announced, so check back occasionally for new postings.

We know it is not always easy to attend these conferences due to schedule conflicts or budget constraints. So, as a courtesy to our clients (and my own PS staff members who can’t make it for the same reasons!), we frequently publish the “BEST CONFERENCE TAKEAWAYS” in the PS Insider so you can read the “headline news,” as well as what Production Solutions considers some of the most valuable education sessions at various conferences. It’s a popular resource in the industry that we hope you find valuable.

Did you find all this information helpful? If you just answered “YES,” then my colleagues at Production Solutions are doing a good job of remaining relevant to you, our friends, clients and colleagues!