Happy Memorial Day!
On Memorial Day weekend, we remember and honor the women and men who lost their lives while serving in the US military. Memorial Day, for many, also marks the start of summer. While we typically attend parades and host backyard BBQ’s with friends and family, the holiday this year looks quite different. Pools are closed, baseball games are cancelled, and families are working through the “new normal” of shelter is place until restrictions are lightened.
Over the past few months, we have all been busy adapting and pivoting our fundraising plans to do our very best to stay connected with our donors and provide them with up to date information about how we are serving our clients. For many of us, the close of our fiscal year is just around the corner on June 30. We have about one month left before we close the books on this year. So, what does the year ahead look like for you at your organization? Do you have a fall gala or a summer kick-off that needs to be tweaked and redesigned? Do you have a major gift program that you planned to launch? A junior board that you had hoped to develop?
While we would all love to have a crystal ball that shows us the future, we need to be brave and creative to not only learn new ways of doing things but also flexible and nimble as information unfolds so that we can make the best decisions for our organizations. Your development plan for FY 21 might look different than any other plans you have created. Maybe you have Plan A and Plan B for that fall event. Or, a few new ways that you want to connect with your major donors that you never imagined until now. With this uncertainty about the future, it isn’t just business as usual. For many, the unknown isn’t easy and feels stressful because the plan isn’t written in stone. It’s hard to imagine closing that major gift over a Zoom meeting. It feels odd to plan for a fall event that looks nothing like one you’ve ever orchestrated before.
My thoughts for you for this Memorial Day are to first, take a deep breath. Enjoy something you love to do. Maybe it’s going for a walk, a bike ride, reading a book or cooking up a feast. As you start to look at your FY21 plan and begin to adjust it for next year, do the same. Take a deep breath. Think outside the box. Talk to your colleagues. Check out what others are doing. Learn some new things. And know that your revised plan for next year, which most likely will continue to be tweaked and refined as you go along, will be a great roadmap in helping you achieve your goals.
by: Susanna Decker, Senior Consultant HPS Chicago