written by Molly Hahn
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
― Anne Frank
It seems that May brings a time of transition for many – the ending of a school year and looking forward to summer affect all of us even if we don’t operate on the school calendar. It’s always busy – trying to fit in parties and graduations, and if we’re lucky, lots of fundraising work. For me personally, this month represents a rather large shift in my personal life and professional career. For the first time in more than 15 years, I won’t be working full time, but I’ll be staying at home with my kids. I think many of us get caught up in “wait until the next stage” or “we’ll see how it goes” instead of acting as soon as we have the inspiration. For me, I feel like I’ve been putting off activities like volunteering because of my professional demands and the lack of balance I was feeling between that and home.
This month’s AFP-IC half day workshop will focus on integrating annual fund, planned giving, and major gifts – all of which improve the world around us greatly. How often do we talk to donors who have the same “wait and see” or “this isn’t the right time” mentality? Waiting to pay off kids’ college tuitions, to pay off a house, to save up enough money to give. How can we as fundraisers inspire those donors to not wait a single moment? For whatever our cause – from illness to homelessness to education to the arts – we and our donors are together changing the world.
One of the keys to success in fundraising is balancing what is really important to get done yet still acting when inspired. As I approach life as a full-time mom, I realize that I won’t be able to do it all right away. While I want my children to know that giving back is important, I know I will need to balance that with family time and other priorities as well.
As you think about your fundraising plan for this year, what are your priorities? What are your donor’s priorities? To truly work together, you have to balance those and keep the end result in sight.
Whatever that balance is, know that you don’t have to wait a single moment longer to get it started.