Blog Post by: Ashlee Meier, CFRE
Life is weird right now, ya’ll.
Nothing feels easy. Every decision is daunting, overloaded with a constant risk vs. reward analysis…or often, risk vs. greater risk. Fear, worry and anxiety run rampant and parallel with incredible uncertainty, both personally and professionally. As if a global pandemic, political divide, and raging judgment weren’t enough, it’s like the blows just keep coming with the loss of military lives, worldwide unrest and natural disasters.
We’re not built to carry all this. Not ever, but especially not all at once. And yet, we’re left without a choice. If you’re like most people I know, you’re faced with a constant tidal wave of emotions, plus the weight of decisions for yourself, your family, and your clients, without a precedence of what is right or where to turn in these certainly unprecedented times. It’s heavy. It’s exhausting. At moments, it’s debilitating as we reach a new level of fatigue.
Between the news negativity, keyboard warriors slinging hate on social media, and even experts divided, there are a LOT of people arguing with us about exactly what we should think. Among the chorus of voices that are feeding into your life right now, let me be one. And let me remind you of some very important truths:
No matter what this last 18 months has cost you – you have survived.
It may be taking everything in you right now – but you are STILL fighting. For your health, for your family, for the work you do.
And although I may not know you personally, as a fundraiser in a staff or volunteer capacity, I KNOW that since last March there are lives that are better because of you.
Take a deep breath and let that sink in.
Let’s be honest, nonprofit work is always hard and right now, it’s so easy to get lost in the weeds, the minutia, the chaos of change. But remember what brought you here. You care immensely about other people…animals…causes…our world and you have committed your life and/or career to a role of serving those you care about.
YOU are doing what you are born to do. It looks different right now, and you are probably a little different, too. Celebrate your flexibility, your resilience, your willingness to change. Embrace the extra shell of toughness you may have developed, the commitment to going the extra mile, to maintaining your empathetic heart even when it feels like the burden is too great to bear.
Sure, you may not have reached your budget goal, but those sponsorships you worked extra hard to confirm meant you could still touch those clients…even if it was just one. Maybe that event didn’t bring in every dollar that you hoped for, but those personal phone calls to get virtual cash call pre-commitments that took more hours than your week had to give, equate to lives changed. This labor has not been in vain.
Whether you are a full time fundraiser, program staff, board member, event volunteer, or stay at home parent championing a cause by spreading the word, YOU have made a difference. Because YOU didn’t give up, your organization is still here, working everyday to make the world a better place. Because YOU didn’t give up, individual and foundation giving is up and you are helping donors and supporters fulfill their need to contribute to a cause bigger than themselves. Because YOU didn’t give up, meals were served, healthcare provided, animals transported to safety, shelter doors opened, policies changed, families reunited and SO much more.
Don’t lose sight of all that you’ve accomplished. Don’t lose hope for a better future. YOU are the proof we need that good is still here and people still care about others. And when the world tries to tell you that you can’t make a dent in all that’s happening right now, remember that you already have. YOU are enough. Relish in that.