Tuesday, July 17, 2012

BIG's Blog: Disillusioned

The word “disillusion” generally is thought of in negative terms, such as, “I am disillusioned with my job… country… life… etc.”

But the word disillusion takes on a positive aspect when we are freed of a negative illusion that we are living under. If, for instance, I am living under the illusion that nobody likes me, then that illusion has a profound effect on all aspects of my life. But if I become “disillusioned” of that negative illusion… my life changes for the positive.

My fear is that many Baby Boomer (Boomer) age fundraising leaders and their Boomer-age boards or councils live under the illusion that the status quo ways of fundraising will continue to support them, even as they slowly add some Internet-based channels.

Boomers see the Internet as “new” by virtue of their age and perspective. The problem with this view is that the growing younger end of the population sees the Internet as old and “always been around” technology.

Both are right, but from different perspectives. But there is a problem and that problem is that it is the younger generations that now “own” the Internet in the same way that the Boomer generation owned Woodstock. Our Boomer generation owned the culture of Woodstock because it was ours… not our parents’… but ours. Today’s younger generation owns the Internet and is making it a key part of their culture.

And now I am specifically talking to Boomer fundraising leaders: It is inevitable that you will become disillusioned with your traditional ways of fundraising and see the need to accelerate your push to an Internet-based fundraising model. And the faster you reach that point of disillusionment, the better the odds are for the future of your fundraising organization.


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