Ocean waves are constant.
If you’re like me, that constancy is big part of the allure of a beach vacation. The dependability of both the visual and aural “white noise” of waves at the beach cause an immediate sense of peace and calm for me.
But ocean (or Gulf) waves are more essential than providing for my wellbeing. Waves are responsible for two actions that all advancement professionals should recognize as similar to their work:
- Waves bring energy from one part of the planet to a different part – a lot of energy in a nonstop fashion. Oceans are always moving and waves are always being created by wind, the sun, the moon, and storms. In short, it’s like the oceans on our planet are huge rechargeable batteries. Constantly taking in and disseminating energy. For decades, scientists and researchers have been studying ways to convert this nonstop energy resource into usable electricity and other energy forms.
- Waves bring nutrients to the shoreline for animals and humans alike. Every wave that laps onto the shore of your favorite beach is depositing needed food for the tiniest of microorganisms as a start to the coastal food chain. Without this steady diet of nutrients, life along the coasts would be very different and not nearly as hospitable for us humans. Simply put, waves enhance life.
The best advancement professionals imitate these “wave traits.”
They transport the energy and plans of the institution out to donors and prospective donors. They bring opportunities to participate and give in support of meaningful initiatives that enhance all lives, including the donor’s.
And, like waves, they do these things constantly.
Bruce Lee famously said we should “be like water.” Perhaps the better metaphor for advancement professionals is to “be like waves.”