In the past twelve days, I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to traverse the country and spend some great hours speaking in front of some audiences that I’d never thought I’d meet. The audiences included a diverse bunch, from my mentors, to a nun in full habit to camp directors, people I admire and follow on Twitter to friends and colleagues. I’m so lucky to know that at every stop along the way I was able to see light bulbs pop overhead frequently of the attendees. I even had my own light bulbs ignited over a great word or catch phrase I hadn’t heard before.
This even happened to me and made my day, week, month, year, life:
I inspired some buzz worthy moments with my eloquent phraseology saying things like: “gift societies are dumb sometimes”, “if your leadership doesn’t believe in thanking donors, get your resume together”, “donors don’t thank themselves”, “your challenge this year is to thank your donors in a way that doesn’t require a #10 envelope”, “stop begging people to be philanthropic and thank the ones who are instead”, “donors want access, information and experiences”, “donor relations and stewardship are not synonymous, you can steward a gift, not a donor”. These little nuggets of wisdom have been culled off of my twitter feed. I appreciate each and every person out there who has helped me share the good donor relations word. The question remains, we have groups and groups of dedicated non profit fundraising professionals, eager to learn, to take away one item that will make their conference experience worth it. There’s no room for disappointment.
What happens when we return to our offices? Where does the motivation and inspiration go? What happens to the buzz and hum of conference excitement? DO we go back to our daily work and get lost in the grind? How do we challenge ourselves not to let that happen? I think we start with one small change and move upward from there. Set a goal with a tangible deadline and push forward. So you have a notebook or iPad full of ideas, where do you start? Start with the low hanging simple victory. Take one step forward with your new idea. Have one meeting with the teams you need and build a mini task force. Implement your idea, after all, ideas plus implementation equals innovation, and make it happen! Then CELEBRATE! You did it, reap the rewards and be thrilled that you did something about it. You have 60 days to get it done. When you do it, report back here. Accountability is key. So for now, I want you to tell me a new idea you’ve had in the last 30 days and list it in the comment section below. In two months I’ll repost it to check in on you and see how you’re doing. Do you accept the challenge? Great, now make it happen!!