By Steffani Lautenschlager, MEd, CFRE, Senior Consultant

July 1 marks the new fiscal year for many of us. A former colleague would remind me, “You start back at zero and get to do it all over again!” He said it light heartedly, but he was right.

The new year (calendar or fiscal) brings on anticipation of what could be, plans that you get to implement (like a great vacation or how you are going to reach your goals), and…the clock resets and you get to dream and do something new and different in the new year. This is true for our personal selves and for our professional selves. We are development officers. We get the thrill of connecting the passions and interests of our donors with the incredible work we do to change our cities and world. It’s a new year. A new beginning. A new You.

Our team just drove to reach all of the audacious goals in this last fiscal year and now we have to do it all over again? YES! The turning of the calendar to July 1 should remind us how intentional our efforts need to be so that we can be successful in building lasting partners that can enable us to do the important work of our missions in the new fiscal year.

Don’t wait for instruction to jump in. Take initiative as your new fiscal year begins. Consider how would you plan for a major donor visit – perhaps some of that pre-planning could also help in your new year too.

  • Research
  • Create agendas
  • Listen to learn
  • Learn to lead
  • Show up
  • Ask questions
  • You’ve been hired for your experience and expertise. Even if this is your first job fundraising. There’s something within you that both you and your colleagues believe exists that made YOU the candidate above all others to be offered the job.
  • If you don’t know it, figure it out or ask for help.
  • Get to know what they define as success. Build your plan based on metrics and achieve it. Ask for feedback (create a culture that allows others to know you are open to informal and formal).
  • Do, Be, Etc.

You have a new year. Or even a new role. This is a chance to redefine your approach and to be even better than the year before. You create the possibilities. You define how you respond to the challenges and how You succeed. I would love to hear what’s in store for the new You this fiscal year; both personally and professionally. Let’s connect! Reach out at (314) 716-2496 or

#LBH #LetsBuildHope #GlimmersOfHope #NewYearNewYou

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