While I am sure every single one of us will be happy to say farewell to 2020, it’s still hard to believe that fall is here already. And with that comes thoughts about a holiday/year-end appeal and Giving Tuesday. One of my clients – a seasoned Development officer who is retiring soon – said, “I don’t have it in me to come up with another appeal letter!” Perhaps you, too, are feeling this way, even if you’ve only been working in Development for a few years.
This year has been “unprecedented”. We have had to “pivot”. We have had to “be nimble”. We have had to master Zoom. We have had to exercise “an abundance of caution” when canceling events. We have also had to get really, really creative about approaching donors, corporate sponsors, partners. It makes me tired just thinking about the past 6 months.
My client’s organization serves adults with Developmental disabilities. This pandemic has been exceptionally difficult for clients and staff alike. The staff had to ensure the safety of their residents, which included overtime, helping clients manage their stress and fully understand the importance of “sheltering in place”. For one staff member, sheltering in place took on a whole new meaning; a client was diagnosed with COVID-19, and she agreed to stay with the client for the full 14-day quarantine. In fact, WTTW aired this story, which you can watch by clicking the link below:
So, when my client said she can’t come up with another idea for an appeal, I simply said: Find the joy. She knew what I meant.
Despite the challenges of 2020, there are moments of joy and inspiration, just like the one shared by WTTW. Take some time to reflect back on the past 6 months and think about those moments of joy for you. Big or small, they are there. And think about them for your organization as well. Sharing a moment or moments of joy through your appeal will remind donors of the good work of your organization. And it will hopefully make them smile and inspire them to continue their support for the important work you do. So go ahead, share the joy.
by: Susan Matejka, Managing Director, HPS Chicago