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The benefits of a full-service marketing agency

Maybe I’m just in a holiday mindset, but browsing through a host of tech and electronic goods for my sons got me thinking about the fundraising landscape today.

Brands like Apple and Google are well known for their innovation and creativity, bringing us revolutionary products like the Macintosh computer, Google Maps, the iPhone and Gmail.

But these tech giants go beyond creating cool stuff. They also do an outstanding job of making that stuff work well together.

Today, for example, you can open your Chrome browser, hunt for the right restaurant on Google Search, look up directions in Google Maps, connect your Android-powered smartphone to your car and receive voice-guided navigation through Android Auto.

The seamless integration of these products and services makes for a pleasant experience. And it keeps you coming back for more.

A full-service agency partner can do the same for nonprofit organizations and their donors. Let’s look at how this translates to fundraising.

Data Integration

We’ll start with data.

When you track a run on your Apple Watch, that exercise data transfers to your iPhone where you house other health information. Using these shared insights, you can understand how many calories you burn in a day and make data-driven decisions on what to eat.

As today’s donor pyramid continues to shrink, data is essential to fundraising success. This shift requires nonprofits to make data-driven decisions on how to target, acquire and maintain the right donors.

Yet the average nonprofit organization houses data in a host of different systems that often don’t interface with one another. This leads to significant challenges when executing strategy. Thus, it comes as little surprise that 60% of nonprofit professionals are not using data to drive their decisions.

Omnichannel Marketing

With a strong foundation in data, nonprofits can build a strong omnichannel marketing strategy. And, much like with data, this works best when housed under one roof.

Having different agencies running different aspects of your direct-response program—one for direct mail, another for email, a third for media advertising—might seem like a good contingency plan. Don’t put all your eggs into one basket, right?

But this misses the tremendous benefits of having one provider that has a deep, intimate knowledge of your organization and its mission, as well as the ability to easily communicate and coordinate strategies and execution.

Let’s go back to Apple for a moment.

Whether you’re streaming Apple Music, watching Apple TV+, storing data in iCloud or purchasing with Apple Pay, you get a consistent, reliable experience. The look and feel are similar, no matter the device being used.

These products and services make the user experience seamless and effortless.

A full-service agency can do the same for nonprofits. When donors see a piece of direct mail, email, social media ad, donation page, etc., they see the same message and consistent imagery and branding.

Going a step further, these channels can be coordinated in a way that delivers a cadence of messages tailored to a donor’s behavior and trends.

For example, a piece of direct mail can be sent to connect with a donor before a big appeal, followed by an email and social media ads. Or, let’s say someone makes it to the donation page and leaves before giving, a digital ad can retarget them, keeping your organization top of mind.

Stronger ROI

By building sophisticated acquisition funnels and complex donor journeys, one full-service agency can execute a more cost-effective omnichannel strategy than a group of agencies.

The biggest benefit is that you’ll know which donors to target—and which ones to avoid. Rather than casting out a large net at random, you’ll focus your efforts on only the best fishing spots.

This laser-focused approach brings in valuable donors who are committed to your cause, and it saves you the cost of reaching out to those who are not. Having one partner who understands your goals, your mission and your donors saves you both time and money, leading to increased net revenue for your program.

As you focus on your year-end fundraising, give some thought to how a full-service agency can help your nonprofit organization work smarter, not harder.

For more information on RKD Group’s full-service agency benefits, contact us at

Cara Marinelli

As Vice President, Client Strategy, at RKD Group, Cara is a fixture of leadership, providing innovative direct mail, online, phone, research, major gifts and planned giving strategies for clients. Her proven ability to optimize these fundraising disciplines ensure that nonprofits meet or exceed their fundraising goals. A direct marketing veteran, Cara has fundraising experience in multiple different verticals that span hospital, health and disease, relief and development and many more.

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