ask your agency #9

This is the sixth post in our “Ask your agency” series. Today we’re asking question number 9. At the bottom of this post you’ll see links to the previous posts in this series. And, yes we’re not doing them in order, that’s far too boring.

The Top 10 Questions You Must Ask Your Agency (or Consultant)!

If you use a consultant or an agency to help with your fundraising or marketing you have to ask these 10 questions…and be happy with the answers you hear back.

Number 9 on the list of Top 10 Questions You Must Ask Your Agency:
“Do you walk the walk?”

do you walk the walk?Here’s something we noticed when we were creating Oneicity–many of the companies who were helping Christian nonprofits and ministries didn’t have much online presence or appear to do much social media. We did a careful survey of everyone we could find that did work that was slightly similar to what we were imagining. We looked at 30 different companies’ sites very closely. We were a little shocked at how outdated most websites were and how little active social media was visible.

If you’re a regular here at Oneicity, you know that online, offline and social media integration is one of the keys to growth in our time. Anyone who is letting you do it you differently, is living in the 1960’s (OK, at least in the 1980’s). More importantly, anyone who is telling you one thing and then doing another should raise some questions in your mind.

Make sure whoever is helping you solve income problems isn’t learning on your dime. Everything is changing at the speed of light (If things continue we’re going to need a metaphor that describes even faster change–Warp speed sound a bit too Trekie).

It seems to us that there are three camps out there:

1. Walking the walk. These guys get it. They have robust online communities and are using social media to support their work. You aren’t teaching them nor are they using you for their experimentation.

2. Talking the talk. These guys are at least saying the right stuff but clearly they’ve just bolted on Twitter and Facebook logos to dusty presentations and creaky business models.

3. Ignoring the walk. These guys continue the outdated strategies that “have always worked” or are “time tested” but have not been integrated into holistic strategies.

Please at least make sure you’re not working with #3. Those guys will kill you. Things are changing so quickly that you could be in serious trouble before you know it. Oh, and don’t fall for the whole “we’re too busy taking care of our clients” line. Ummmm, there are so many things wrong with that answer that we’ll just let it stand at that.

How about you, ever wonder about this disconnect between talking and walking?

In case you’re new to this series, here’s the list of our “Ask Your Agency/Consultant” questions so far:
Question 1: (not announced yet)
Question 2: (not announced yet)
Question 3: Have you disclosed all commissions?
Question 4: How do you integrate fundraising and marketing?
Question 5: Have you worked in a ministry?
Question 6: (not announced yet)
Question 7: (not announced yet)
Question 8: How will the new 990 requirements effect me?
Question 9: Do you walk the walk?
Question 10: Are you a real expert?

Steve Thomas
Partner, Oneicity

(photo credits: Pink Sherbet Photography)

Picture of Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

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