Ah…the holidays. For lots of people – especially those of us in the nonprofit sector – it’s a crazy, busy time.
You’ve got gifts from your year-end appeal flooding your mailbox and online system. You’re pulling together the organization’s toy drive, planning the staff holiday party, figuring out what tokens of affection to give to your board members.
Then a break. (Well, sort-of. Be sure to have one person on-call in your development office to accept those year-end gifts that come in. Some of your wealthier donors are sure to call with a stock or bank transfer request before the 31st.)
Before the new year starts, I want you to take a little time for yourself and reflect on the past year.
Here’s a simple exercise. You don’t have to share it with anyone…just enjoy the process. It should take about two hours of your time.
First, turn the pages of your calendar (paper or electronic) back to January 1. Then go day by day, looking to see what meetings or phone calls you had.
Jot down every single good thing that happened during 2016. It could be a positive meeting with a prospect, or a kind word of appreciation from a donor. It could be the big grant that you wrote that was funded. Maybe it was the sheer enjoyment of meeting and connecting with a prospect on a human level.
Once you’re finished, re-read it all. Hopefully it’s pages and pages of notes.
I’m betting that amid all of the daily frustrations we face, a lot of good happened in 2016. Focus on that. Celebrate that. Raise a glass of champagne, a mug of hot chocolate, or your celebratory drink of choice.
And then get ready for the year to come with a positive mindset.
Thanks to my business coach, Samantha Jones, for inspiring this post. She’s got me doing the same exercise myself. And stay tuned! Fundraising Wonks will be back in January with a whole ton of useful content, including New Year’s resolutions for nonprofit pros.
Glenn is a fundraising strategist who loves working with small- to mid-size organizations that want to innovate and grow. Check out his website, and to find out how he can help you, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
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