Tuesday, July 5, 2011

BIG’s Blog: Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity: The capacity of neurons and neural networks in the brain to change their connections and behavior in response to new information [1].

So, where am I going with this?

I talk to many, many Development Directors and Executive Directors of Development, as well as leadership of fund raising organizations, yearly. The groups I talk to are all heavy direct mail fund raisers.

The comment I hear a lot is, “We know direct mail isn’t what it used to be and we worry about its future, but, what can take its place?”

The hard “news” is that the process is going to be different. Not bad, just different. The truth is that fund raisers are going to have to learn new things, master new techniques and technologies and disciplines. Not hard, just different.

But, I think in some cases the real issue is the worry that they can’t learn new tricks . . . so to speak. But, guess what? Neuroscience is on your side. In fact, it’s called Neuroplasticity: the capacity of the neurons and neural networks in the brain to change their connections and behaviors to new information. Some call it learning.

Remember when you first got Microsoft Outlook or some other computer program? It seemed overwhelming. Two weeks later you were proficient and two months later you wondered how you lived without it. Neuroplasticity!


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