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Should all charities merge their communication and fundraising teams?

There has long been an issue, and even on occasions minor conflict, between Communications/Campaigning departments and Fundraising departments. Over the 22 years that I’ve worked inside organisations like Shelter, Save the Children and Amnesty, I’ve seen this happen.

However, the teams or departments shouldn’t be merged. The motivations and the skillsets of the leaders of the two teams are often different. The skills crossover, but fundamentally a fundraiser needs to push the boundaries in order to maximise income and will feel the pressure to do so. A communications/campaigns leader may be able to focus more on long term objectives about change.
Also, what we see at our recruitment consultancy, The Right Ethos, is that when it comes down to employing staff, people like to specialise still. As a CEO, people are happy to oversee specialist people leading Fundraising or Communications. But, if they are a Communications practioner for example, then they would prefer not to be responsible for the fundraising side.

Hence The Right Ethos specialises on recruiting for roles in Communications & Campaigning.
What is important is that the two Directors or Heads of the respective departments work well together and share objectives – and are supported and lead properly by their line manager/CEO.
This blog was in response to an article in the Guardian ‘Should all charities merge their communication and fundraising teams?’ Wednesday 24 June 2015. Click Here for full article