The Right Questions Yield The Right Answers

This semester, I again taught the Marketing and Technology Trends in Fundraising at Rockhurst University. I assigned the students the creation of a year-end, multi-channel marketing campaign. The assignment included developing content for the channels you might expect ... direct mail, email, social, etc.

The day came to formally present the campaigns. One of the students began her presentation by saying she had chosen to leave out an entire channel completely. She then made a compelling case for her choice ... weaving in learnings from the class.

I was impressed. Yes, she had veered from the black and white requirements of the assignment. But she had asked herself not just "how" but "why."

Much too often, organizations get caught in the trap of choosing a strategy just "because." Because it worked a long, long time ago ... or because it's the next hot trend ... or because it's a VIP's favorite idea ... or the list goes on.

It's refreshing to see that tomorrow's nonprofit professionals are ready to not only find the answers, but ask entirely different questions.