Everything sucks right now. And that's ok.
Welp. The world is on fire and we're still having teams meetings.
Seems like that shouldn’t be a thing, and yet, here we are.
But when you’re running a nonprofit, fundraising for programs that are making the lives of individuals better in your community, or trying to uncover the desires of donors to make positive change, do you even have time to acknowledge that you’re surrounded by chaos?
Listen, I’m just an amateur therapist with no degree that even comes close to being able to distribute medically associated help, but I do talk to a boatload of folks all day from the nonprofit sector and kinda have the vibe that this LONG ass winter is taking its toll on individuals.
So instead of a blog today giving you tips and tricks on how to raise money, let’s spend a few minutes looking at a list of things that are awesome and hopefully instill a bit of joy in your work week.
That way, when you’re having a moment with a board member who has forgotten their manners at a meeting, or a donor who conveniently has a full mailbox and calendar even though you’ve done your due diligence in making sure you gave them enough space and now they are ghosting you and you have that event coming up and their promised gift is the lynchpin to a lot of other gifts…you can take one or two of these nuggets to remind yourself that you’re doing your best, everything sucks right now, and that tomorrow is going to be better.
Also, just another reminder to let you know you’re allowed to have a bad day. I mean, don’t make it a habit if you can help it. But don’t worry about keeping up with that joyous and bubbly personality all day / every day. Turns out? Not that healthy.
So, without further babbling from me? Here are A Few Reminders of Things That Everything is Going to Be OK.
1. People Still Want to Do Good
It’s true. Folks, wherever they are, want to do the right thing. They might not have the cash on hand to give as generously as they want to, or have the time to do all the volunteering you want them to. But they still want to make a difference. So, know that your call to ask, isn’t going to make them mad.
2. We’re Close to Eradicating Some Diseases
Like, only a decade and a half ago, having cystic fibrosis was a death sentence for kids by the age of 20. Now? Through the miracle of science? Those same kids are going to live WITH the disease instead of die from it. Pretty freaking awesome isn’t it? That type of breakthrough is happening all over the place. And that comes from passion, ingenuity and money from generous folks. Oh, that’s impact people.
3. Pizza and Tacos Exist
Ever have a bad eating pizza or tacos? Nope. Didn’t think so. I know Benjamin Franklin once said “Beer is proof that God wants us to be happy.” And though I remind myself of that every time I open a Busch Light, it occurs to me that pizza and tacos might be proof that the universe itself wants to bring joy to us. Think of how inclusive it is? Any toppings without judgement! Having a bad day? Eat those. Poof. Instantly better.
4. The Sigma of Mental Health is Declining
Sure there are some folks who find it better to stuff those feelings down in a hole, never to be talked about again. But more often than not nowadays, the stigma of asking for help is really being nullified by a whole generation of folks who just want to feel better. And that’s good for our sector who is constantly bombarded with the need to be damn near toxically positive. Taking a break? Needing a day to recover from chaos? You’ll find out really quickly who you work for and with on their response of support. And? If they don’t? Screw ‘em. That’s on them, not you.
5. Video Games Make Everything Better
I’m a child trapped in a 43 year old’s body. I get it. I accept it. But is there anything better than turning on a random video game that transports you back to a time where the chaos of global everything never mattered. And the only thing you were concerned about was beating your brother or sister’s high score or using a blue shell in Mario Kart to race from last place to first in the final 18 seconds of the game? You deserve to play a video game today. Do it.
6. You’re Not the Only One
Sure it feels like you’re on an island at your nonprofit – where you are the only one who cares enough to make the everything happen. Frankly, not true at all. What is true is that everyone else in the industry is feeling the pressure of raising more, doing more, and being more. And though it’s a hard conversation to have? Reach out to your fellow colleagues in the industry and ask them how they are doing. You’ll instantly make a best friend, and feel better that you’re not the only one who is overly anxious about being overly anxious.
Need a pick me up? Send ME a note. In fact, that’s half my damn job is to let you know you’re doing great. And let’s be honest, it would be fun to work together. So what are you waiting for? Send me an email and let’s connect – Patrick@DoGoodBetterConsulting.com
7. Puppies and Kitties Exist
Did you know that a lot of animal shelters allow you to come in and socialize with the adorable and adoptable animals waiting for forever homes? That’s right. You could, right now, be in a puppy pile with furry and fuzzy puppies running all around you and nipping at your clothing and wanting to play. Doesn’t that sound more awesome than sending that bulk email letting everyone know about the cool Save the Date postcard they’ll also get in the mail about the event you clearly haven’t started logistically planning yet? Sure as hell does. Puppies. Think about the puppies.
8. No One Will Know About That Thing You’re Hoping They Won’t Notice
Speaking of events, if you’re worried about something that didn’t go according to plan at an event, or even prior to an event happening, and you’re hoping that you won’t catch holy hell from the attendees, let me remind you that know one is gonna know. What you think is a big deal? Probably isn’t. I spelled the name of our TITLE SPONSOR incorrectly on the Save the Date once. Only one person noticed. And we’ve been laughing about it for 15 years. Trust me. You’re ok.
9. Find a List
You know what is great about the internet? You can find lists about everything. Hopefully this list gets added to the list of lists that folks look for to feel better about their nonprofit existence. But if this isn’t extensive enough? Find a list of things that are joyful, and artistic, and pretty and fun. Read through them, and giggle at how fun it is that a grown adult is looking at kid’s art to make their day a bit brighter. Freaking do it, and don’t worry about what your cubicle neighbor thinks. In fact, invite them over to hang out and read lists together. Boom. Team bonding.
10. Memento Mori
It seems to be a depressing way to end this list – but I find it freeing. Just simple a reminder that we’re all gonna die. And we can’t take any money or status with us. Also, that jerk who made our life miserable in line at the coffee shop is going to die too. And he’ll have to deal with the fact that he yelled at someone serving him a hot beverage and acted like a child. And that too really doesn’t matter. So make sure you’re doing the good you want to do, hanging with the people you want to hang out with, and being cognizant of the fact that we’re on borrowed time on a space rock in an infinite universe that is expanding into nothingness. It makes no sense to sweat the small stuff. Especially when you’re doing amazing things to make the community better as a nonprofit leader who is a badass do-gooder like you.
Go get ‘em today gang!!!
Also - I'm serious about us hanging out and helping you and your organization get better and more awesome at fundraising! There isn't much we haven't seen or dealt with, and we can't wait to help you Do Good Better!
Seriously! Connect! Let's chat and see how we can work together! It'll be fun!
Patrick@DoGoodBetterConsulting.com <-- Right here! Do it!