No matter how explicit or urgent the warnings may be, we human beings have a tragic history of ignoring what the facts are telling us. Don’t be the leader who runs your organization into the iceberg. You can rescue the ship now.
The sinking of the Titanic was a catastrophe that has burned itself into the psyche of the Western world. The multiple ironies of the horrific event give it a sinister feeling.
But for me, the most striking part of the tale is that the Titanic’s wireless radio operators received multiple warnings of possible danger from pack ice ahead from several ships in the area. The most infamous warnings came from Cyril Evans, the wireless radio operator on the SS Californian.
Cyril sent numerous messages to Jack Phillips, the Titanic’s wireless operator, telling him to slow down and watch for the ice ahead. The Californian was only an hour away when the Titanic struck the fatal iceberg. The Californian had stopped its journey for the night because there was just too much ice to avoid safely in the cold, dark night.
As you know, the Titanic’s wireless operator ignored Cyril’s urgent warnings.
The Titanic barreled ahead into the ice field at about 22.5 knots. Its top speed was clocked at 24 knots, so basically, the crew didn’t even try to change their course, speed, or… anything.
The Danger of Ignoring the Warnings
Sadly, some nonprofit and ministries leaders will also ignore the clear warning signs of today’s philanthropic trends—and not change the course of their fundraising strategies.
Massive shifts are coming as the Millennial generation begins to make its mark in philanthropy.Massive shifts are coming as the Millennial generation begins to make its mark in philanthropy. Click To Tweet
Are you preparing your organization to cultivate gifts among this distinct audience?
And are you making the changes necessary to cultivate asset-based gifts now from the Baby Boomers in your donor base to give you the resources you need to thrive during the shift?
Annual Giving Is on a Downward Trend
My friends and colleagues, Greg Ring and Richard Blackmon, have been sending out clear warnings based on some troubling giving data.
Greg shared a study in his blog post that documents how fewer people are giving tithes to their local church. Richard offers insights in his blog post on how across the nonprofit sector, annual giving is steadily decreasing.
But we’re are not about doom and gloom! In each article, we reveal effective ways you can handle the coming changes so that your mission can thrive in spite of the turmoil.
We live in a nation of great abundance so there are real opportunities for your ministry or nonprofit to continue making tremendous impact on this world—if you don’t ignore the warning signs.
Don’t let these two common mistakes stop you from making the change necessary to secure the future of your organization.
Too Busy to Change
Even worse than ignoring Cyril Evan’s warnings of the ice up ahead, Jack Phillips, the Titanic’s wireless radio operator, told Cyril to “shut up!” Jack explained that he was busy sending personal messages from the passengers to their families and friends on the coast.
In other words, the Titanic’s wireless radio operator was too busy doing his everyday, normal routine to heed the warnings sent to him.
Jack Phillips wasn’t an evil man. He wasn’t a lazy man. He was a busy man.
Too busy to change…
And being too busy to listen to the warning signals and make the necessary changes led to his and 1,513 other deaths. Out of all of those aboard that fateful night, only 32% of the passengers survived, with many of the lifeboats making it to safety only half full.
“Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.” – Charles Hummel
As a nonprofit leader, you’ve got a hundred different priorities screaming for your attention. But you must be careful that you don’t become too busy with your daily events, tasks, and routines that you fail to look ahead for upcoming dangers or opportunities.
Afraid of Change
Another reason many nonprofit and ministry leaders ignore warning signs is that they’re afraid of change.
Change can bring failure. Change can bring mistakes. Change brings uncertainty. However, continuing to do things the same way you always have and expecting the same results is a recipe for something much worse.
But that’s why we come to work every day here at The Giving Crowd: To help guide you through one of the most powerful changes you can ever realize in your organization—implementing asset-based giving.
You don’t have to go it alone. And you certainly don’t have to sink into financial failure.