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Customer Success Manager at Blackbaud Canada

Do it now! Write a love note to yourself.

It was the hardest part of the workshop.

I had asked a group of fundraising leaders from the charitable sector to write themselves a thank you note. I asked them to acknowledge the hard work that they put in day in and day out in support of the people and the missions that matter most to them.

They looked at me like I had two heads. And they were uncomfortable.

This week's blog is a guest post by Delphine Haslé, CFRE. It's one thing to talk about donor walls, but it's an entirely different journey to take it from inception to a successful conclusion. Let me share with you my experience at The Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre Foundation. [caption id="attachment_1833" align="aligncenter" width="448"]Donor Recognition Wall Before - traditional donor recognition wall.[/caption]

1. Dream big, Think outside of the box

  1. Happiness w iPodBuild a fundraising plan – review your plan weekly and quarterly.
  2. Use Monday as your launch day for the week – build a weekly to-do list and block off time to complete your tasks.
  3. Drink more water – you’ll have to go to the bathroom and take a break from your computer.
  4. Leave 20% of your weekly calendar free. You’ll have time to fight the fires when they happen.
  5. Talk to your boss – meeting formally or informally once a week will make sure you’re on the same page with priorities.
  6. Focus your time on activities that are directly related to bringing money in – donors, grant applications, major gift conversations, appeal letters are great examples.
  7. Break large tasks (like build communications plan for appeal letters) into smaller, achievable tasks.
  8. Job shadow a programming staff person each quarter – You’ll not only build trust with your team, you’ll also be able to gather your own stories to share with donors.
  9. Book holidays. And take them.

giving tuesday 29 days. That’s all that’s left between now, and Tuesday December 2nd - #GivingTuesdayCA.  Why should you, as a busy not-for-profit professional, care? Well, for starters, anything that moves up the start of the giving season is a good thing in my books. Rather than waiting till the holiday season to “talk giving” with your wonderful donors, you can give them a date and a time to celebrate the “opening of giving season!” Time-strapped and story-short? Do not despair! This is the best part about #GivingTuesdayCA. It is not meant to keep you up at night giving you ulcers, it is meant to underpin or enhance your EXISTING strategies that you have put in place for annual giving. Here’s three not-for-profit profiles, and three engagement strategies to incorporate WITHOUT  a ton of effort. Scroll down to the profile that best describes you, and read through the plan.

giftHere is my list of earth-stopping phrases that I heard at AFP Congress this year. These are the ones that really made me think about what I am doing, and how I am doing it. You can sSend me  your "aha" moments in the comments section below. 1)  Your donor sees his or her thank you card as the beginning of the relationship, while more often than not, the organization sees the thank you card as the ending of the relationship – Tom Ahern 2) You can’t do it all. You are just going to have to choose what falls off your deskKaren Osborne, The Osborne Group 3) Millennials (young people between 12 and 31 years of age) see themselves on equal footing, and equal hierarchy with fundraisers and staff who have been in the business for over 15 years. Get over yourselves and accept the fact that good ideas can come from anywhereBarbara Talisman. Link to PPT slides from “Millennials in the workplace” here.

I received an email this week from one of my very good friends. She has three small children and she asked me: "Jenny, are you taking time out for yourself?" She has recently hired a babysitter for one morning a week and is dedicating this time to herself - not groceries, not children's doctor's appointments. She is going to recharge herself by taking long walks, writing letters, quilting, napping, coffee with friends, the occasional manicure. She also included a tasty cheesecake recipe in her email. My initial reaction was “Good idea, but where the heck would I find time to bake a homemade cheesecake?” Then I paused for a moment: what’s stopping me from making time to bake a cheesecake? I it possible that baking would force me to focus on finishing my most important tasks first – is this a motivational cheesecake?