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  • Writer's pictureThe MSG Team


During the 90's one of the most popular sport games in the arcades was NBA Jam (Pictured on left). Some of you may have never played and thus won't truly get the sheer nostalgic excitement of this post, but for those of you who do . . . how can you not get pumped when you hear the phrase "HE'S ON FIRE" shouted?

Just a few weeks ago we came across an old NBA JAM arcade machine that we added to our office. Before we even plugged in the machine, I was excited to relive my love for this game. I turn it on and the magic begins. So here I am, playing the game for the first time in XXX years and it hit me . . . the graphics on this game don't look all that great. Back then these digitized characters looked SO real, but in 2020, with the advancement of technology, it feels . . . well . . . dated.

You then look at the graphics of current games (NBA 2K21 pictured on left) and what a difference!!! Now THAT looks real. The crazy thing is that 20 years from now, there will be newer games that will look even MORE real.

Now imagine if Midway kept making NBA Jam year after year, with the same 90's graphics. Hard to picture the sales keeping up with current basketball games. Users would move on because they don't want to be seeing the SAME thing 20+ years in a row, year in, and year out.

So here is a quick question. What is your nonprofit doing to keep up with the times? Are you doing programs that still matter? Are you fundraising the same way? Do you have the same exact funders and donors? Does your website look the same as it did 20 years ago (Sadly, some do)? Are you flyers and brochures the same?

If you keep doing the same thing without ever changing, you will soon become the NBA JAM of the basketball video game world. Supporters will start getting bored of doing the same thing every single year, and may even start saying to themselves "This may have great to support 20 years ago but maybe it's not for me any longer".

This post is way too short to talk about every single way you can change with the times. However this is what we want you to do. Consider doing an inventory of all of your programs, marketing materials, and resource development plans. Figure out what might need a little sprucing up. Talk to donors to see what speaks to them (Using Midwest Studies Group as an option of course). Most important, talk with your clients to see if the programs you are offering are still something they can relate to.

Keeping up with times is never easy . . . but to be a game winning organization, always be prepared for forward progress.

For more information about how Midwest Studies Group can help strengthen your relationship with your community, visit us at

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