December! It may be when your to-do list is impossibly long. Depending on where you live, it can be a month when you arrive at work in the dark and leave hours later – again in the dark. Even holiday parties become a chore because they take away from things you must do at work, time to decorate and shop, and even time to sleep.
What can you do if you are simply too tired to care anymore – about the next eAppeal or direct mail letter, the efficiency of your receipting program, the next great story that is going to energize your fundraising in 2018, and especially calling back the donor who you fear will take up too much of your very limited time?
The challenge is the pressure of making the most of December for fundraising without coming into the home stretch too exhausted to care. So rather than focusing simply on the “must do’s” of fundraising, set aside a little time each day – even just a few minutes at the start of every morning — to remember why you have made fundraising your career. For example…
- Reflect on the donor who made you smile by something she said or who made you feel honored to work for the organization because of his positive words.
- Remember the project that succeeded beyond your wildest dreams.
- Chuckle about the “disaster” that ended up working out just fine. (I can usually make myself smile when I recall the letter about helping widows who I mistakenly referred to as “windows.” The income was stronger than budgeted!)
- Remember the colleague who helped you finish a project when it seemed like it was going to be impossible.
- Celebrate a process that was simplified and has been almost forgotten because it’s now so seamless.
- Look back on the progress your team – staff and/or volunteers – has made this year and how you contributed to their professional growth.
- Reread or watch the one story that really made you proud of what you are making possible.
- Remind yourself that while everything isn’t perfect, you have made an important contribution by your work.
Have a wonderful year-end and congratulations on everything you accomplished in 2017!