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 Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.