Friday, December 20, 2013

BIG’s Blog: The Tyranny of the Now

We are all guilty of this. In fact virtually everyone at every level (with a few amazing exceptions) from the President of the United States to you and me are guilty of failing to prioritize . . . and failing to prioritize makes it appear that we are incapable of making decisions.

Is this really a problem? Well, ultimately, making decisions is what people in leadership do. You know . . . “the buck stops here” . . . “I’m the decider.”

Fundraising organizations are even more prone to this than many other industry sectors. Why? Generally the major culprits are being understaffed and overbooked. Sound familiar?

The other day I read, “The greatest danger is letting the URGENT crowd out the IMPORTANT.” Let’s face it; there is always a tension between the urgent and the important.

As this year draws to a close, many regular readers of this blog and even occasional readers are seeing in the fundraising industry extremely ominous signs that are getting all the more urgent. USPS postal rates are going up even as response rates to direct mail appeals are mostly flat to declining, even for faith-based organizations. Just last week the Canadian Postal Service announced that they will discontinue home delivery and raise rates substantially. Can the U.S. Postal Service be far behind?

We are quickly reaching a point of inflection, or, as the author Malcolm Gladwell calls it . . . the tipping point. The decline accelerates as the old modes pass.

Yet you’ve known for a long time that things need to change.  Whether that means plugging into a learning program like ours or hiring a consultant, it is important to create a new plan that will navigate you into the future. But the day-to-day urgent always squeezes out the time for the important next step. As things are quickly changing, however, it is not about “tweaking” your current fundraising business model, or “doing your job better,” or “working harder.” No, there is a major shift that is going on and its implications are becoming urgent.

You’re not alone.

There is still time, but you have to move this important issue to the urgent list.

Then act . . . now.

Join us.
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