Time for Fundraisers to 'Shift & Reset'
The other big challenge is that nobody really knows what all these constant, rapid, disruptive changes really mean, and I think there's some misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the impact that technology and the Internet and the changes in media are having. There's some misunderstanding about just how significant those changes are, not just in the context of marketing or fundraising or some sort of single division within the organization, but really, truly in human behavior and to the way society functions — and, as a result, what we need to do in response.
We're in that gray period where stuff's changing and we don't know what to do or how to make sense of it. We risk sending ourselves down a bad path or squandering really great opportunities that do exist now.
I felt I needed to write the book to say let's recognize what's happening here, and let's shift our thinking just a little bit because if what we're doing isn't working now, then what we're doing on the other side has to be better — or at least has to be different. I'd rather make different mistakes tomorrow if we're still going to make mistakes.
FS: What are some of the keys to necessitating that change in this evolving landscape?
BR: There's a bunch. We need to change how we think about awareness and engagement and education and mobilization. We need to think about the structure of the organizations and the roles that individual people have. We need to think about how we measure success. We need to think about the value of the activities that we currently spend a lot of time on, including things like fundraising, when compared with the other opportunities that are available.
Besides just starting to think differently and ask some tough questions, we need to stop doing some things because we have limited bandwidth, we have limited energy, we have limited patience, we have limited resources. If we're expending a lot of energy and resources on things that aren't delivering results, we should stop doing those so that we have an opportunity, so that we free up some space if you will, to do the other things.