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Sunday, 14 March 2021 15:16

(At Least) 3 Reasons You Should Feel Proud of Your Accomplishments (this past year)

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Who would have thought that one year ago our lives would, in the blink of an eye, change so dramatically?

Dramatic . . .

Change in service / mission delivery

Change in inspiring philanthropy

Change in embracing technology

 Congratulations!  You made it.

You should feel so proud of how much you have accomplished in the face of dramatic change and uncertainty.

 You undoubtedly expended tremendous energy wondering . . .

Should we, or shouldn’t we?

This or that?

Pause or move forward?

 The decisions you made, the change you embraced (or not) was right for the time and your organization.  And your organization is still here, one year later.

It was the donors and supporters who came through for the causes they loved the most.  They helped us deliver in a time of crisis and increased mission/service need.

 Early figures, like those from the Blackbaud Institute Charitable Giving Report helped quantify the results of the past year.  Overall giving was up 2%.  2% might not seem like much considering that’s the kind of growth we see in a “normal” year. 

The results break down:

  • Large Organizations (total annual fundraising $10m+), up 5.3%.
  • Medium Organizations (total annual fundraising $1-10m), up 1.2%
  • Small Organizations (total annual fundraising less than $1m), down 7.2%

How did your organization fare?

It is so important that you measure and celebrate, more than just dollars raised. 

Measure your ability to continuing serving your constituents.  Measure your ability to meet the increased demand/need.  Measure the new donors you inspired and the lapsed donors who found their way back to the mission. 

 Then, celebrate and be proud . . .

You had meaningful conversations with donors and supporters. Donors and supporters appreciated you “checking in” to see how the pandemic was affecting them. You brought joy to individuals who were feeling isolated and disconnected.  And it probably brought you some joy as well.  You likely even learned more about them that can help you deepen the future relationship. 

You weren’t afraid to be vulnerable and share the urgent need. Being vulnerable is not weakness. Author and storyteller Brené Brown describes vulnerability as "uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. It's that unstable feeling we get when we step out of our comfort zone or do something that forces us to loosen control.”  You certainly stepped out of your comfort zone in so many ways when stressing the urgent needs surrounding your mission and ministry.  Now keep it up, because our constituents, the communities you serve and the donors appreciate you for it.

You “Asked” for help and support. Asking for help is difficult. It’s uncomfortable and sometimes awkward.  But when the choice came down to your mission or your fear, you rose to the occasion and “asked” because your mission is that important.  Hopefully you can continue being brave and know that asking can bring joy to you and the donors.

 And remember “the secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Hang in there.  So many of you have struggled to keep up, to balance your passion with the stress, trauma, and exhaustion brought on by the pandemic-driven changes.

Be proud.  Celebrate.

Then take what you’ve learned, build on your experiences and commit to making 2021 even better for those served by your mission and ministry. 

* * * * * * 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today to schedule your free 50-minute "Make 2021 a Success" coaching session!

You pick the topic. We'll listen and guide.

Let us help you make this the best year ever.

Read 129 times Last modified on Sunday, 14 March 2021 17:01
Janice Fonger

Janice Fonger, is SVP and general manager with J. Milito & Associates a direct response fundraising company. Janice has spent more than thirty years in the nonprofit sector. She has been on the front line, in the development office, in the board room and in the executive director’s chair. She knows organizational operations, board and committee oversight, marketing, finance, program delivery and fundraising in small nonprofits. She rose to the many challenges including creating new annual fundraising strategies, building an endowment during a recession, securing and maintaining needed public and private grant funding, as well as caring for and nurturing donor relationships. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards and is past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals West Michigan Chapter.