Fundraising Lessons Learned From 'Groundhog Day'
It is that time of year when people begin to tire of winter. Many days of cold weather consist of some days filled with rain or snow.
Once in a while the sun comes out, and you think of spring. A great reminder that spring is around the corner is Groundhog Day. This event resets your vision and anticipation for the next phase of weather that is coming.
When I think of Groundhog Day, I think of Bill Murray in the 1993 American fantasy comedy film directed by the late Harold Ramis.
In “Groundhog Day,” Murray plays a weatherman and finds himself in a time loop, repeating Groundhog Day over and over again. After indulging in hedonism and numerous suicide attempts, he begins to re-examine his life and priorities. If you watched the movie, you remember the ongoing 6 a.m. scene when you hear a Sonny and Cher song as the alarm goes off. Many of us feel like Bill Murray when we experience the same things over and over again.
If you examine déjà vu, you will note that it is a French word meaning, literally, “already seen.” According to Wikipedia, déjà vu is the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has been experienced in the past, regardless of whether or not it has actually happened.
Psychologist Edward B. Titchener, in his book “A Textbook of Psychology” (1928), explained déjà vu as caused by a person having a brief glimpse of an object or situation before the brain has completed “constructing” a full conscious perception of the experience. Such a “partial perception” then results in a false sense of familiarity.
In a sense, you are feeling and doing the same things over and over again. Over time, with experience and repetition, you might feel that many of our activities or our reactions to the perceived same situations produce the same outcome.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last nine years and has had the CFRE designation for the last 25 years. He has also been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for over 35 years. He received his doctorate from West Virginia University with an emphasis in philanthropy, masters from Marshall University with an emphasis on resource development and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with emphasis in marketing/management. Currently he is executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org.