BIG’s Blog: The Shift (re-posted with permission)

Friday, March 29, 2013
It seems this is becoming a buzzword or phrase. When I was on the east coast a while back, several (not just one person) people from different groups I met with used the phrase… the shift … as in “fundraising is shifting.”
Then, just this last week in two separate conversations, they both used the phrase.
By last week I had begun to clue into it, and when the phrase was used the first time I said, “so what shift are you talking about?” The first person replied, “you know, the shift.” Classic, defining the phrase with the phrase. But the other person gave a more complete thought by saying, “the shift is about moving from the old marketing and advertising to social, you know, digital.”
Yes, I do know. And I think we are in the “moment.”
It is just my opinion, because when these things happen there is just a sense that something has changed. It is kind of like we all wake up and just know that something is different, but otherwise life goes on as usual. But the change… the shift … is real and every morning thereafter the shift becomes the new normal. I believe the critical mass of people in the fundraising industry have sensed for some time that what used to work extremely well doesn’t any longer.
And now they are shifting.
Want some anecdotal proof? I kid you not… last week I got an invitation to a Webinar with the subject line: “Direct mail fundraising is alive and well.” A year ago I would have laughed, but today I read it as a sign of the times that the shift is underway and it is affecting people’s way of life in a real way. The letter was full of hyperbole and, frankly, a bit over-the-top creepy. Think I am kidding? This was the first line: It’s ALIVE !!! (Direct mail, that is) and it is not going anywhere.
Do any of you Shakespeare scholars see anything similar to Queen Gertrude’s famous line from Hamlet? “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
Methinks so too.
Look, we all know the old-line modes of marketing and advertising aren’t working the way they used to, and it doesn’t matter if it’s direct mail or television advertising.
The question is “why?” The answer is “The Internet changed everything.”
It’s becoming common parlance … “the Shift.” People get it, people know it, so just get on with it.
But that does mean that as a fundraising leader, you DO have to get on with it. The silly thing is to cling to what was, instead of figuring out what will be.
Join us.

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