Yesterday you probably gave thanks for all you have been given and all of the important people in your life. I think that is probably why (besides watching Trains, Planes and Automobiles, of course) Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love that we have set aside at least one day to give thanks.
But how are you doing the other 364 days? Richard and I truly believe that to be successful in fundraising we have to practice gratitude everyday. As an MGO, you are daily confronted with a multitude of problems and concerns. Without a mindset of gratitude for your life, work and donors, things can quickly fall apart.
Now, I don’t want to get too “woo-woo” here, but Richard and I truly believe that the energy you create and give to others will be the energy you receive back. Your donors will react to you based on how you interact with and respond to them.
So, why not come from a spirit of gratitude?
I’ve seen MGOs struggle because they have a terrible attitude about their organizations, their bosses or even their donors. This causes them to actually avoid what their job is all about… forming and deepening relationships with their donors.
Are you practicing gratitude everyday? If you’re struggling, here are some simple, yet powerful ways to begin practicing gratitude.
- When you wake up, visualize a few of your donors and give thanks that they are helping your organization change the world.
- When you get to the office, write four thank you notes to donors before you do anything else in your day.
- Call one donor a day just to thank him or her for supporting your organization and having a philanthropic spirit.
- Everyday, ask yourself how you can go out and help one person make his or her day.
- Smile at someone and notice the change in the other person’s demeanor.
- When you feel the tension of someone’s anger or hurt, try to discern why that person is angry, and begin to seek understanding.
- Before you turn out the lights at night, just say the word “thanks,” silently to yourself.
These are just a few small ways to begin the practice of gratitude. The more you practice, the more it will become part of your life and part of who you are. And it will be the beginning of drawing others toward your aura of gratitude.
I think you will be amazed at how closely connected the practice of gratitude is with the responsiveness of your family, colleagues and donors.