In the world of digital fundraising, few shine as brightly as Jen Newmeyer, CFRE, Senior Director of Digital Fundraising Strategy at PBS and Founder of CharityJen. With a strategic vision that spans across public media stations and numerous nonprofits, Jen has consistently tackled the challenges of integrating digital fundraising with marketing and development. Her insights are not just valuable; they are transformative.

Bridging the Gap Between Departments

Jen Newmeyer’s approach is rooted in collaboration. She emphasizes the importance of integrating marketing and development departments, recognizing that “collaboration with the Development Department and the Marketing Department… is so critical to the user journey from a fundraising standpoint.” But what does this look like in practice? For Jen, it’s about creating harmony and integrated campaigns that encompass “acquisition all the way to conversion and into stewardship and retention.” Her vision for the future is clear: campaigns that are seamlessly integrated, where each department’s efforts complement and enhance the others.

Overcoming Silos and Resource Limitations

A key challenge in this journey, as Jen notes, is overcoming the siloed nature of larger organizations. “I think that silos are definitely problematic, especially for larger organizations.” For smaller nonprofits, the struggle often lies in resource limitations, yet their smaller size allows for more nimbleness and frequent experimentation. Jen’s solution? Leadership involvement. “Leadership really needs to get involved and have a discussion about what the core of these issues are,” she says. This involves not just planning but also embracing the possibility of failure as a step towards eventual success.

Learning from Others

Jen believes strongly in the power of shared experiences. She often incorporates campaign examples into her strategy sessions, as “a lot of organizations find great benefit in learning from each other.” This approach helps in visualizing what effective collaboration and integrated campaigns look like. As a self-described “natural collaborator,” Jen’s approach to digital fundraising is both inclusive and thoughtful. She stresses the importance of “making those connections with your colleagues in a way that is not only not threatening but encouraging and curious.” It’s about respect, understanding, and slowly building towards the ideal.

Newmeyer’s journey in digital fundraising is a testament to the power of strategic collaboration and thoughtful integration. Her emphasis on learning, experimentation, and leadership involvement provides a roadmap for others in the field. As she continues to bridge gaps and foster unity among various departments, her work not only enhances fundraising efforts but also paves the way for a more holistic and effective approach to nonprofit marketing and development. Newmeyer’s story is one of innovation, collaboration, and strategic insight, making her a true beacon in the world of digital fundraising.