Leanings on Learning

I was at a conference on e-fundraising last week and it has me thinking about “learning curves.”

(Well, experiencing learning curves, more accurately, but also thinking about the process.)

Traditionally, I’ve thought of a learning curve in terms of an end point: you acquire an initial onslaught of information, put it to use and then work to fine tune its application. The curve flattens as the fine-tuning progresses. (Not the effort mind you, but the results; in fact, it takes far more effort/cost to go from 90% to 95% than from 85% to 90% … but that’s another post!)

So, what does this have to do with fundraising?

I was at this same conference in 2008 and am struck by how dramatically e-marketing has advanced in just the past 12 months. What was proficient a year ago is no longer so. And the pace of change promises to continue. Even accelerate.

Which means there’s a greater need than ever for marketers to hone their skills.

How do we do that?

Conferences and workshops. Books and webinars. Professional associations … all those traditional tools people are cutting back on right now.

But also mentoring. Seeking out new perspectives. Looking for ways to do things differently. Challenging ourselves and our colleagues with new ideas.

Being excited enough to share successes. And especially, being open enough to get excited!