Sunday, September 30, 2012

Are Your Vendors/Partners Stalling Your Capacity?

Clay Shirky notes, “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.”

Are you sure that the tools you have had in place for decades can insure success in the decades to come?

I can hear the senior professionals now “what has been the cornerstone of good fundraising success remains the cornerstone”.  As a matter of fact I believe that is extremely accurate. I truly doubt there will ever be a time when the quality of the relationship with our key supporters will ever be of little importance.

Relevant again?
Having said that I think it would be difficult for any of us to make the case that the way we open, build and grow relationships is the same as it has always has been.  If we concede to any of that then the mechanisms and measures we have been using for decades need to be up for discussion.  The NewScience Of Philanthropy has proved with linear methodology that our traditional metrics have failed our ability to maximize our fundraising potential.

The tools and vendors of the past several decades have served us well and successfully brought us to this point in time.  Despite working feverishly to remain relevant with new packaging and language the tools remain grounded in strategy developed decades ago.  One of the greatest pitchers of all time recently made headlines while considering making a comeback after his time had come and gone. The baseball world simply looked on in disbelief. It is through that same lens I see so many vendors, as a result of antiquated thinking, just not able to provide the real tools needed today in order to deliver the experience to, and inspire, the donors we need in order to achieve success in the next twenty years. 

When analyzing your current needs keep Clay Shirky's thinking forefront.  Being relevant in 1980 is not all that meaningful in 2012. Anyone reading this on a Wang laptop :-)

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