Monday, April 28, 2014

BIG’s Blog: It’s Relationship

Fundraisers have always understood, as much as leadership or the board, that their organization needs supporters.

Yet over the last 15 to 20 years, a bothersome, and, some would even say “nagging,” issue has arisen that has many fundraisers puzzled.

The same successful messaging and fundraising methodologies that they have perfected throughout their careers are not engaging baby boomers, much less even younger generations.  

Starting with the boomers but also extending to Gen-X and the Millennials, these younger cohorts ARE NOT ENGAGING with many long-standing, established organizations.  


Nilofer Merchant in her 2013 book, 11 Rules For Creating Value In The Social Era, seems to nail it when she writes, “If people give to a cause (mission or ministry), they expect a relationship, not a transaction.”

The “ethos” of these generational cohorts has changed! We are living in the Social Era and, today, that means they expect a relationship. This new ethos has firmly taken hold in the boomer, Gen-X and Millennial generational cohorts.

Commonly used Definition of Ethos- the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs or practices of a group or society; dominant assumptions of a people or period.  

Nilofer Merchant isn’t talking about your grandparents . . . she is talking about you and me.

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