In my first blog post back from hiatus, I said I would have a bit more of a rough edge with those who continue to deny that successful fundraising won’t look the same as it did five years ago.
Tomorrow I’ll probably be back to calling people out and generally causing a ruckus about the need for change in fundraising.
But, today, it’s 2:30 in the afternoon as I write this and a strange thing is happening: I’m getting tired.
At 62 years old, I get it that what I am talking about scares and worries fundraisers (vendors too) – especially baby boomers – who are still on the job and need to make it to retirement. And, besides that, we are just tired. Not all of the time of course, but we get tired way earlier than we used to.
The truth is fundraising is a tough job for which most are underpaid and under-appreciated. Add pushing 60 and you can easily develop a cranky attitude with anyone who tells you that what you have learned, perfected, and practiced for 30 to 40 years is going the way of the wind.
Somehow we thought that once we made it into leadership, things would go smoothly. We are obviously successful and have the track record to show it, but now the generations that have been our base of supporters are declining at a rapid rate. If our own parents are still alive, they are moving into assisted living or otherwise need more of our help and care. Our parent’s generations are the vast majority of our base of supporters. Sure, we have some boomers but not enough, and our aging files show it. And, frankly, although we say we are online … most of us don’t have a clue what “connecting with younger people online” means to those people today.
I have a cup of coffee in the afternoon… I never used to drink coffee past noon. But now I need that cup-a-Joe to perk me up.
Eight years ago, Apple released the iPhone. To me it was a personal wake-up call. Why? Because I had no clue what this thing was.
Remember the Blackberry? That was my phone. Voice + Email = Blackberry. Then came the iPhone and, in very short order, Blackberry was reduced to history.
The point is, I had to make a choice. Either I had to go back to school or go off to some disconnected island and tell stories of what “I used to do” the rest of my life. I wasn’t ready for that. I’m still not ready for that.
Today, I don’t run anymore … I walk.
But I read, read, read.
The people I connect with are learning, learning, and learning from each other.
You have a choice: start learning again, or look for that disconnected island.
Drip, Drip, Drip.