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Top 5 Bridge 2016 Takeaways

Production Solutions

Love what you do? Did Bridge give you more ideas on how to CRUSH how you do it?

With more than 15 representatives from the PS|PS Digital team on hand, we’ve aggregated the Bridge top 5 things you need to know, from sessions to showcase and everything in between.

The Top 5 take-aways from the 2016 Bridge to Integrated Marketing Conference:

    1. Everything that can become digital will become digital…including print.

      Sounds like an oxymoron right? But variable digital printing technology is revolutionizing the ability to target constituents via direct mail.

      During the pre-conference workshops, our Chief Operating Officer Ben Harris touched on the importance of direct mail in driving digital action, and how variable digital printing makes that mail more targeted and relevant to recipients.

      “Digital technology is not new, but the idea of integrating it into direct mail is. It’s an opportunity to bring the variability of digital to the fundraising mainstay of direct mail,” said Ben.

      Digital printing eliminates the cost of creating printing plates and allows for on-demand printing with short turnaround times and greater variability. The Harrington Agency’s Creative Director (and current DMAW President) Cheryl Keedy highlighted the importance of this variability in her conference discussion about versioning – leveraging digital printing technologies to speak to specific audiences within the same mailing.

      Here at PS|PS Digital we’re working with our core supplier network to bring more of these digital printing options and opportunities to our clients.

  1. The deeper you dive into your analytics, the better your results will be.

    Integral LLC, a partner of PS|PS Digital, is wild about analytics – side note: they also have office dogs, which we thought was pretty cool.

    Julie Watson, Integral’s Director of Strategic Planning, shared 3 key aspects of developing a robust and effective analytics program:

    • Identify the business decision you want to make.
      Is it to invest in a digital acquisition program? A new website? Perhaps a package format change. Determining not just the goal of the campaign, but the business decision your results will drive, will help you develop and monitor the key performance indicators (KPI) that are most important.
    • Determine what data you’ll need to make that decision.
      Email open rate is a great variable to track and an opportunity to do some testing, but is it a KPI that will tell you if investing in a digital acquisition program is the right course of action? Knowing what data will make an impact on your decision will ensure you stay focused in your analysis – saving time and money.
    • Plan your analysis to look for this data.
      Crunching numbers takes time, and it can be difficult to see an immediate return on investment. Planning your data collection and analysis based on the decisions your organization needs to make will save time and allow you to make timely, impactful, and results-driven decisions.
  2. Silos suck.

    Silos inhibit the full potential of growth in a nonprofit, and stunted growth can be devastating. But we knew that already. Even with this knowledge, it is all too common for fundraisers to find themselves in silos at their organization. The DevComm Divide is one manifestation of these silos, and it inhibits an organization’s ability to effectively fundraise.

    In their session on overcoming silos, Jenn and Rachel of Lejano & Allison Consulting shared some critical-thinking questions to help you identify and dismantle silos within your organization:

    • What is getting in the way of collaboration and success? (identify the challenge)
    • What/who is contributing (directly or indirectly) to the challenge?
    • Why does this challenge need to be solved?
    • What will happen if the obstacles to success are removed?
    • How will you know you’ve been successful in removing the obstacle/challenge?
  3. Make a case for your Case Statement.

    A Case Statement simply defined is a concise document that clearly explains what need your organization seeks to meet, how you have met, and plan to meet that need, and what your organization can achieve with additional resources.

    In their session “The Path to a Knockout Case Statement,” Jennifer Broome of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and Suzanne Burrows of The Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys detailed roadmaps for both institutional and campaign case statements.

    The former, according to Jennifer, must account for comprehensive mission support, including overhead. This can be a tough sell for many nonprofits whose donors are inspired by the mission, but much less moved by administrative and overhead costs. Clearly communicating (via your case statement) the importance of administrative and overhead necessities in accomplishing your mission will help donors commit holistically to the health of your organization and its mission.

    A donor’s holistic understanding of your organization’s mission is just as important in the more specific campaign case statement. According to Suzanne, the main question your campaign case statement should answer is “Why is this important?” Communicating the urgent necessity of donor support for a particular campaign is the fundamental goal of this document. It should also clearly answer the following questions: What problem will be solved? Who will benefit from solving this problem? What is the worth of this campaign within the organization’s overall mission?

    As Development leaders in their respective organizations, both Jennifer and Suzanne agreed on these rules of thumb for crafting both campaign and institutional case statements:

    • Be sure your priorities are clear
    • Stay away from complicated titles and jargon
    • Keep your long-term fundraising goals in mind
    • Engage key stakeholders in the development process
    • Remember the process is part of the product – in crafting a collaborative case statement you will have the opportunity to share ideas and remove internal silos, which will be beneficial to your organization overall.
  4. The future is here.

    No, we’re not talking about science fiction, rather strategic planning. We had the opportunity to catch up with our clients, partners, prospects, and industry colleagues at Bridge, and the overwhelming theme of our conversations was the future – 2017 to 2020 to be specific.

    What will be the newest technology? How much will it cost? Whom can we trust to help us get there?

    These questions, among others, are helping us shape the strategic mission and plan for PS|PS Digital in 2017 and further out to 2020. Seriously, it’s right around the corner.
    What challenges are you working to overcome? If you were running PS|PS Digital, what would you be focused on? We want to hear from you too. Email our Client Strategy Team and let’s talk about the future together!

    We had a great time CRUSHING it with all the 2016 Bridge attendees and we hope you did too. If you’re interested in what’s next for the PS|PS Digital team, check out our session proposals for the 2017 Technology in Nonprofit Conference:

    Alternative Giving
    Getting Your Digital House in Order
    Optimized Responsive Design
    Content Development