Three is a magic number. And it goes beyond sequels, stooges and strikes.

We believe that there’s no threesome more important to making social change than development, programs and communications. We call these interdependent departments the golden trio. But for many organizations the trio is out of tune and for some, the band is on the verge of breaking up.

Here are a few reasons why you might be experiencing this tension in your workplace:

  1. Lack of leadership. CEOs must take responsibility for bridging the departmental divides that inevitably will arise.
  2. Lack of understanding of each team’s strategic job functions. Without a clear vision of how each team plays a part of the whole, the trio tends to compete for authority, viiability and resources.
  3. Lack of clarity of roles and responsibilities. When no one knows who is calling the shots on what, toes will undoubtedly get stepped upon.
  4. Unrealistic and/or unclear goals. When fundraisers are trying to hit unrealistic goals and communications and programs teams aren’t sure what their role is vis a vis fundraising, a perfect storm for dysfunction awaits on the horizon.

We want to alleviate these tensions within the trio. That’s one reason we’ve launched Inside Out Fundraising: How to Create a Culture of Philanthropy by Treating Systems Instead of Symptoms.

Based on decades of work with front line fundraisers and a survey of 300 development heads, communications directors, vice presidents, CEOs, consultants and other senior non profit stakeholders, we’ve identified five primary points of intervention for identifying problems and moving toward change.

Creating a healthy golden trio is a crucial part of this overall effort. Download the paper (it’s free) and we’ll share potential experiments and solutions as well as bright spot case studies where programs, communications and fundraising have found common ground.

Why waste time with political battles? We’ve got too much other important work to do.