Labor of Love…Practicing Philanthropy

Another Labor Day is in the books…and while we took the day to hopefully pause, reflect, and enjoy some time with those we care about, it is challenging to not think about the work that still lies ahead. For many nonprofits this marks the “beginning of the end of the year” – fall appeal letters, galas, and so much more. It can certainly feel like a lot of labor!

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New (Fiscal) Year. New You.

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.

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The Elegant No

Ever heard a less than fabulous fundraising idea from a board member? Or your Boss? We all have. I’ve spent years of my fundraising life gently batting down bad fundraising ideas from extremely well-intentioned volunteers and staff. 

I’ve also worked with scores of inexperienced fundraisers, who, not understanding the need to say “no” to poorly conceived fundraising suggestions, politely said, “Yes! I’m happy to execute a (fill in the blank here with BAD fundraising event concept)!” Then our dear baby fundraisers experience the agony of development defeat…and that failure falls squarely at their feet. Ugh!

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Reading the Room…Is It Time to Ask for the Gift?

Ah…the first pages of a new book…so much anticipation…what might happen? What might I learn? All these feelings and more are what makes a reader want to dive in and find out how it all plays out in the end. If we jump to the last page without reading the entire book, what might we miss? We lose a lot of the context, and most importantly, we lose the small moments in between the beginning and the outcome that make it so special. Sure, you get to know what happened, but did you feel connected to the characters?

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