Ben Franklin is credited for the quote, “There are only two things certain in life: Death and Taxes.” Well, with all due respect to one of our country’s favorite Founding Fathers, who was also an author, inventor, statesmen and diplomat – he missed one. The truth is “There are only three things certain in life: Death. Taxes. And Change.”
Change is a natural part of our existence. Things around us change. Just look at the northern forests as their summer greenery turns into a canopy of brilliant multi-colors. We also change. Not only physically as we get older, but what we wear, what we drive, the technology that we use.
There are those who are resistant to change. Although any individual in any age group can be guilty, it does seem the older one gets the more likely one is to reject change.
In many ways the status quo is a warm, cozy blanket – and why discard that which is so familiar – that which has been good enough for so many comforting years – for the preconceived untested and unfamiliar unknown.
Well today, when it comes to the planning and the execution of a charity fundraising event, there is a very, very good reason – indeed.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times in the course of a year I run into charities and organizations that are resistant to change – even though their events have suffered a slow and agonizing decline in recent years. Some people just won’t let go of the past – even if it means they’ll have no future.
There are so many angles to this Blog it’s difficult to pick which road to head down first. So perhaps the best way to explain exactly what I mean is by telling a true story – one that occurred recently.
After more than 20 years as a Professional Benefit Auctioneer I’m proud to say I do come with a wealth of experience. But I also come with a great deal of enthusiasm and work hard to raise the level of excitement at every fundraiser at which I’m hired and that includes both the silent and live auctions.
This knowledge, this passion comes through early-on in the process of planning a major event. Unfortunately, the knowledge and passion don’t always translate well with some committee members – and especially those – for lack of a better word – curmudgeons – that have been an active and loud voice of the charity or organization for a great number of years. In fact, they might have even organized the first event decades ago.
Many of these early fundraising pioneers – as well as some newcomers – simply do not like change. The “same old same old” works just fine in their minds and they’ll resist any attempt to steer the sinking ship to a new port. In this particular case they did their best to sabotage the event.
In many instances just one word explains their reasoning why – control. They hate to lose it.
In Part 2 of this Blog I’ll talk about how the person in charge of the event should handle the taking over of the ship’s wheel and direct the sea-worthy vessel to that new and exciting port – the one with more riches.
A full time professional Benefit Auctioneer, Robertson annually conducts 70-80 fundraising auctions, raising more than $25 million dollars thus far in 2014. He is one of an estimated 30 auctioneers in the country that make fundraising auctions their full time profession. Scott has earned the Benefit Auctioneer Specialist (BAS) designation from the National Auctioneers Association. Less than 1% of the auctioneers in the country have earned the BAS professional designation. To learn more about Scott Robertson Auctioneers visit thevoe.com or call (239) 246-2139.