Monday, August 12, 2013
BIG’s Blog: Quote to Start the Week
“A society grows when the old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.”
Does that speak to you today? It does me. Maybe because, at 60 years of age, I understand my mortality and am drawn to the sentiment of sacrificing today for a better tomorrow . . . and as the proverb makes clear, a tomorrow that “those who sacrifice” will not benefit from.
That’s the challenge for today’s Baby Boom generation of fundraising leaders, isn’t it? If you are one of them, you have the power and the choice.
The power to begin the process of moving your fundraising department towards a serious online strategy where you can begin capturing younger supporters.
The choice to move, knowing it will take time to build . . . or not to move and leave it for the next leader. If there is a next leader.
It’s hard, isn’t it?
The online world with all its new technology tools, buzzwords, and new ways of doing things makes you feel like a fish out of water. Moving to seriously change the way you fundraise will, for sure, upend how you do things now and, frankly, will be tough sledding for a while.
But then you are the hero, the visionary, the Steve Jobs of your department.
But in the beginning, the change is hard.
This isn’t theoretical; I hear it in the questions and the voiced concerns of the smart, generous, and committed Baby Boomer leaders who are taking our courses and learning how to move their Development organizations into this new digital fundraising future.
Make no mistake, these people are heroes. Unlike 20 and 30-somethings, they are immigrants into this digital world. Young people are the natives who intuitively know the language and can more easily navigate their way around these new technologies. Young people, however, don’t have the wisdom or experience to know how to change organizations; that takes gray hair. Week in and week out these courageous Boomer generation fundraising leaders are learning what they don’t know and putting it all together. They are committed to their organizations.
They are planting trees for tomorrow.
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