Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Key Folks was Integration.

I know I promised this post to Laurie last month. Since I couldn't resist commenting on LinkedIn I may as well share here.

The question posted on the AFP group was: What did you learn from Obama's campaign? This is my answer:

It is fascinating how this conversation keeps going. I can't wait for the book that someone is no doubt writing as I type this.

One key point I think we are neglecting to mention is that Obama's campaign was integrated. It seemed like all communication avenues, all messages, all donations worked together and pointed in one direction - Yes you can! It wasn't about him at all it was about hope for the American people. This is a very external or donor centre perspective.

I still want to know what the campaigns fundraising costs were and how many people he had on staff? No doubt there was amazing resource mobilization.

In our three person shop the take away is - integrate all your communications. For example: send out a letter, tell folks you did it on your facebook page, send it out by email, find some excuse to get some media attention to remind people of your work, then phone them to make sure they received it. INTEGRATED strategies. Jonathon Grapsas talks about this too.

The beautiful thing about working in a small organization is that it is relatively easy for us (well me!) to do this. I imagine in a larger organization it would take a lot of negotiation between departments and many many meetings.

Oh one other thing - We talk about this campaign as being 90% grassroots driven - Remember. There was extraordinary wealth behind this campaign. The wealthy supporters influenced the outcome significantly. Major Donors can do more than write big cheques for us. Let's remember that!

Thank you for spending time here.


  1. Well said Kimberley.

    My take (as well as the integration fundamentals Obama's team followed) is that the campaign provided, what a lot of non profits can't... consistency in messaging.

    Everyone knows the word that encapsulated Barrack Obama and his vision for... that word, change.

    Whenever you saw Obama or one his team: either on TV, online or in the press, the message was loud and clear.


  2. I've heard/read you talk about this elsewhere too but I think I finally get it. You aren't referring to Obama the man consistently saying the same thing. You are talking about the Obama campaign in general. The machine. Everyone one of the people who worked on it said the same thing. Do I have this right Jonathon?

    If so...I couldn't agree with you more. In our sector it is indeed very different to get to that place of consistency amoung all our staff, board, program folks and volunteers. Great point - sorry I didn't get it earlier!

    thank you for participating.