Want to take your non-profit organization to the next level? Need to make your upcoming annual report especially impressive?

Here are four steps from Inc’s Aaron Aders to help make your marketing a priority:

1. Eliminate Silos.

The biggest barrier to success for non-profits is arguably their very own organization system. In a traditional operations outline, most NGOs are organized into a slew of departments, with each silo heading one specific component.

Not surprisingly, nothing meaningful is accomplished under this template because employees are hampered from crossing invisible boundaries to collaborate with others and provide effective solutions to donors. When you operate within a firm characterized by countless specialize departments, inevitably wires get crossed, words are misunderstood, and meetings are futile. As a result, your donors only receive delayed, inconsistent and fragmented messages.

You can eliminate silos by:

  • Encouraging communication and cooperation across departments, rather than competition and rivalry.
  • Establish a shared knowledge network within your computer system for all employees to consult at their pleasure.
  • Consolidating as many redundant functions or processes as possible, making your operations model more user friendly.
  • Institute integrated processes that will require different teams to work together, eliminating those invisible barriers.

2. Utilize Your IT Department.

In order to obtaining a full and robust view of donors, data is essential. This is why, in order to access and analyze that data, you need to become best friends with your IT department.

Without silos (see step #1) every member of your organization, regardless of their ‘designated department’, is able to openly and effectively communicate with other members. The IT department is a highly strategic asset to your organization, not to mention in possession of all the tools and processes needed to better understand your donor base.

3. Maximize Customer Data.

While marketers today control more data than ever, there is certainly room for improvement. It was reported in 2014 that only 43% of marketers owned and controlled most of the customer data available within the organization (though this is an 12% increase from 2013).

Owning data is the first step to understanding, analyzing and using said data to built customer centric processes. (Yet another reason to cozy up to your IT department!)

4. Take A Multi-Channel Marketing Approach.

One marketing channel no longer cuts it. In order to succeed today, your organization should approach customers through multiple channels.

How? Keep a streamlined and continuous view of your donor. Find out where your donors spend time online and via which channels of communication your target audiences prefer. Using your data and IT department, you can generate an educated, comprehensive plan that spans multiple channels and delivers consistent, personalized messaging.