As a fundraiser, you’re regularly thinking about gifts – from your supporters to your organization. But the warm days of summer are a perfect time to give these three gifts to yourself. This will recharge you for the work ahead as you move full steam ahead into the all-important final quarter of the year.
The Gift of Delegation. Delegation is difficult, especially when relationships with people who can make or break your organization’s mission (not to mention your career) are at stake. But consider what you will need to do to make the year-end successful, and divide it into two lists – “I absolutely have to do it myself” and “I could probably let someone else handle it.” Begin now to train your team (staff or volunteers) to take on the tasks on the second list. Don’t wait until the deadline is looming overhead to desperately ask for help. Take it from a seasoned delegation-challenged fundraiser – if you can force yourself to train someone right now to do a task, you’ll reap the rewards over and over. Letting go is tough, but when you invest in training and provide explanations as to why you do things the way you do, you can turn over a task with confidence that it will be done right.
The Gift of Encouragement. Call some donors every week this summer and thank them. Don’t ask, don’t pitch, don’t even set the stage for the next ask. Instead, just say “thank you.” Tell them how much you appreciate their giving and what an encouragement their faithfulness is to you and your colleagues. Let them share why they give and how it makes them feel to be part of your mission. You’ll likely hang up the phone feeling more relaxed and reminded how much supporting your organization means to your donors.
The Gift of Reducing Stress. Whether it is in the form of a vacation or simply tackling a job that has been causing you angst for months, you’ll feel more relaxed when you set aside the “have to do” list for a short time and do something simply because it makes you feel better. If those stacks of paper on your desk are making you dread going into the office, make time to file them away. Sometimes just addressing something like that can change your entire attitude. If what’s bugging you is that you don’t really understand something, carve out time to go online and find helpful articles so you feel more confident. Take a long lunch once or twice just to walk outside, people watch or engage in another activity that relaxes you.
Enjoy your summer and don’t forget to take care of yourself. Your organization depends on you, so don’t feel guilty for investing some time in keeping “you” running well.