Monday, February 3, 2014
BIG’s Blog: It’s About You – Part 4
This series of blog posts contains information I learned in conversations talking to Development Directors over the holidays, in between fielding calls and signing up people for the Winter Term of our online learning program. I had the opportunity to reach out to many people I hadn’t talked to in a while and catch up. In most of my conversations I tried to be intentional in asking questions about how they viewed their fundraising in the coming year (2014) as well as any trends they were noticing.
In Part 1, the trend I picked up from my observations was that Development Directors were talking about and actually using the words “disruption” and “innovation.” Those two words kept coming up in our conversations.
In Part 2, I observed that more and more fundraising leaders were admitting they need to bring in younger (more online savvy) staff because they realize online is the future. This is a 180-degree turnaround for the vast majority of DDs I spoke to last year at this time. Last year only the early adopters were new and younger staff. This year the online mentality has gone mainstream.
In Part 3, the observed trend I shared was that social media is now mainstream in the minds of fundraising leaders. A year ago it was still “iffy” with a large segment of Development Directors, but now it is simply assumed that they will have Facebook and even a Twitter page. A few are actually connecting with multiple social media sites. Most Development Directors I talked with, however, are still trying to figure out how it fits into effective fundraising.
The fourth trend I noticed was just bubbling up to the surface from a few Development Directors. This was the realization that their workplace and workplace culture will look different as fundraising communications and giving move online.
Some of these conversations revealed to me that some pragmatic Development Directors are buying into the fact that organizationally they will look very different in ten years based upon the rise and growth of online. But they are all perplexed as to how to balance and maintain their current fundraising methodologies (read direct mail) today while at the same time growing and staffing the needs of online.
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