Old Paradigm: New Paradigm in Giving

Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.
~ George Bernard Shaw

I had a conversation with a nonprofit recently that got me thinking about how times are changing and what an amazing paradigm shift we are going through. It made me wonder how many people, organizations, nonprofits and others will make it through this paradigm shift? And what will be the tipping point in this shift?

There have been a lot of recent articles and blogs about the changes in the giving industry and how giving has declined, nonprofit numbers are up, how philanthropy is changing and where we are headed (http://bit.ly/L9nPa, http://is.gd/1jUoj, http://bit.ly/9hcdS, http://bit.ly/hLewm, http://bit.ly/38xwaa, http://bit.ly/LJj6S). What seems apparent to me is there are two camps – which I am calling the old paradigm and the new paradigm.

The old paradigm: In this paradigm, there is a lot of gloom and doom about the economy, the lack of dollars and increasing competition for those resources. Interestingly enough most of these people and organizations are utilizing the old systems and are more resistant to explore and take advantage of new systems – such as online fundraising, cause marketing partnerships and other social media and opportunities. Partially, the question they ask is, “Where is the proof that these mechanisms work in fundraising? And what if these mechanisms are just the next sexy fad that blows by with little to no real measurable gains for nonprofits and change?” Excellent questions that absolutely still need to be answered. Yet, it is amazing to me the focus on the skepticism rather than the opportunity.

The new paradigm: From my experience, the people who have already shifted into the new paradigm have a certain energy, enthusiasm and excitement to them. These are the early adopters of social media (relatively speaking) who are on Twitter, Facebook and otherwise, testing out these new applications and, possibly, more importantly, spreading some extremely positive energy to engage people, corporations, and others to give and create change on the planet. Just in the last week I have seen several opportunities on line in which funds are available through these social media (http://bit.ly/diJ6A, http://bit.ly/17aUVo, http://bit.ly/KJrHA, http://communicause.com/, http://bit.ly/19Oiid). Research has even shown that nonprofits are adapting social media faster than business and education (http://www.ericmattson.com/ and http://bit.ly/12lrL5). So there is definitely movement in this direction.

The reality is that – whether you like it or not, trust that it will be beneficial or not – the internet and social media are here – and all signs point that they are here to stay and are connecting people like never before. Currently, online giving makes up less than 10% of the over $300 billion dollar giving industry (http://bit.ly/bMotj). Yet, in the 2008 Presidential election, Obama raised 33% of overall campaign dollars online – and in under $200 increments – that means there is still a significant amount of untapped potential to be reached online (http://bit.ly/2AdhY4 and http://bit.ly/19kT51). Additionally, while giving decreased for the first time in many years (http://bit.ly/YfaRx and http://www.givingusa.org/) and maybe will continue to decline this year, these losses won’t continue forever as it has been estimated that giving will reach $600 billion by 2020 and that by then over 50% of giving will be online (http://bit.ly/TLU8 and http://bit.ly/kVJMm). That means there is a lot of room for growth and opportunity to take advantage of.

Yet if you have studied paradigm shifts or know anything about them, change usually doesn’t come by working within an existing system and trying to change it from within. Rather, change comes by identifying a problem and then stepping outside the system to create new parallel systems and ideas that eventually replace the old paradigms, e.g. tape, to cd/dvd, to ipod; typewriter to word processor to computer and beyond.

I learned this the hard way, by working within the system, with nonprofits, policymakers, businesses, foundations and others, for many years trying to change the systems from within and feeling like I was banging my head against a wall every day in that process. Since then, I have stepped away from the immediate center of the problem to gain a fresh perspective and find new solutions outside of the way things were being done that can perhaps begin to provide new solutions (and paradigms) to old problems (and paradigms).

While this is exciting, there are definitely some limitations and issues to explore further as we adopt social and other media to expand nonprofit visibility and efforts to create change. But I’ll touch on those in one of my upcoming blogs!

In the mean time, the question is, will you be part of the new paradigm or will you get left behind? Will you be one of the reasonable or unreasonable people? What can you do to catch the wave and be sure to utilize the web and social media to gain resources not lose them? Check out my blog and that of others out there, as they may just help you get pointed in the right direction and so that we may all begin working together to create change on the planet and move our world in the right direction.

You can find me on Twitter @pilarstella and Facebook at www.facebook.com/pilarstella.

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Comment by Pilar Stella on August 31, 2009 at 8:50pm
thank you so much, yes, it is an interesting change and era we are going through...
i could speak to you at length about the whole mental health crisis and what is really going on
you hit it - it really is about spirituality!
i look forward to connecting more - in peace ;) pilar
Comment by Liona on August 31, 2009 at 1:29pm
Thankyou Pilar for sharing and for clarifying this all new paradigm in regard of sharing and giving.
I am a psichotherapist now, and for more than fifteen years I worked in a program in the health area, that benefits pacients, their families and the medical team.
It is a program that focus on the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects and was beautiful received by public and private hospitals in Mexico City.
Some years ago we have to quit ... we needed people working and new resources to grow, but it was a bad time for it.
Understanding more about this new paradigm I begin to think there is a completely new possiblity for this project.
I will follow your blog.
With my love
Comment by mitch gold on August 16, 2009 at 11:30pm
IMHO the world peace posse (WPP) offers a potential to accelerate the "paradigm" shift - whether or not one is a member is not important - more it is an understanding of giving - how one gives - do you know how the Muslims give?

while you may not think this is important - consider they have a process (that is 1.5 billion people) have a different notion of giving than the judeo /christian mindset.

and the judeo/christian mindset is fighting with itself as its own process is a function of guilt - not love.

a major distinction in the "paradigm " shift.

of course - when we look to establish a peace paradigm - and only do business with people that support our new paradigm - change will happen much more quickly.

ergo the value of the WPP

I believe in this process of Branding businesses, and holding them to a standard - see ISO 26000 - this may be the defining standard for social change - used effectively.

that is the role of the World Peace Posse
Comment by Heike E. Rech, Anaré (artist name) on July 19, 2009 at 3:58am
George Bernard Shaw is so right, we have to stay being unreasonable, believing firmly in peace and feeding the world with our ideas of peace and love, beccause thoughts and words are actions.
Peace to you, dear Pilar, yours Heike-Anaré
Comment by Deborah Ivy Thorsos on July 16, 2009 at 12:04am
I have been thinking along similar lines for many years now. Throughout my entire adult years at least since the early eighties, I have been witnessing a gradual paradigm shift towards positive things such as organically and locally grown foods and goods, fulfilling self-directed employment, recycling, green living, altenative medicine with self-directed healing using natural means. Since most people tend to be resistant to change, it tends to take a while for these people to let go of fear and to become convinced of the benifits to join forces with the initiators to impliment the steps toward progress.
Comment by Pilar Stella on July 14, 2009 at 6:55pm
Thank you all for the comments! It is a fascinating time and fun to watch, be a part of and also be a proactive driver in this shift! Thank YOU all for being a part of the shift as well! I look forward to learning more about you in the coming days, weeks, months and beyond as we all work towards peace and creating solutions to the world's challenges. In peace and gratitude, ;) p
Comment by Maria Abadia Silva on July 14, 2009 at 3:25pm
Thanks Stella for the opportunity!
Pedagogia Sistêmica "As ordens do amor na escola"
I`m working on Systemic Pedagogie, from Bert Hellinger concepts, and it is a huge instrument to show those news ideias from the another way to think and leave together.
You can see also the Humberto Maturana concepts, from the new biologi, it`s really great!
You can see more in www.ibsisstemicas.com.br
Comment by papaed on July 14, 2009 at 2:58pm
The true nature of the details of the paradigm shift are less important than the fact that it is taking place. It seems to me that the political polarization that has taken place in the past decade as well as the trend toward losing jobs and increasing costs has created pockets of people embracing this positive paradigm shift and embracing technology's rapidly changing role in giving. At the same time it is causing others to stubbornly, desperately focus on the negativity and become more self-oriented. The average is more difficult to see and can only be judged by total dollars given.

I suppose any crises tends to polarize and magnify certain aspects of social interaction, and the people in the present crises represent the whole world... every sub culture and nationality.

The answer has to be that everyone will be pulled along by the shift, whether they participate or not. Only the innovative and bold will drive the direction and details.

Thanks for sharing. I'll keep an eye on your blog for sure.

Peace and Love,
Comment by Neil Cameron on July 14, 2009 at 2:51pm
What a wonderful blog. It is interesting noticing how different people adapt to paradigm shift. I agree it is in their thinking that allows them to act with perspective. Our paradigm shift is http://frankstondigital.x2world.com/ and is working very well universally.

Comment by Peter Koll Tamera on July 9, 2009 at 10:48am
Thank you, Stella for sharing !
I´m just starting to explore the possibilities.

This is what we as a group are heading for :
Invest in Peace Project - Global Peace Centers

Best wishes for you and your work !

Peter Koll
Tamera Team


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