It’s easy to feel overwhelmed right now. The worst of the pandemic is happening right now, there’s political turmoil in the United States, our economy is struggling with people out of work, and record numbers of people are at food banks across our country.

If you’re working at a small non-profit where you’re the only one – or even at a large organization where you’re one of many people working in the development department – you’re feeling the stress of serving the needs of your donors and keeping your organization going.

This was the feeling of many folks who attended a recent webinar that Richard and I gave on what major gifts will look like in 2021. The feeling was, “I’m overwhelmed, and I don’t know where to focus.”

First, Richard and I want to tell you, it’s okay to feel this way. We certainly do at this time. I mean, it’s hard to keep your mind on work right now. How do you keep your head straight with all the political events? How do you focus when you see the death count from our pandemic move higher and higher each day, and you hear the stories from front-line workers who are so tired, they don’t know if they can go on?

You breathe. You reach out to loved ones and tell them how much they mean to you. You step back and think about what’s important to you.

And then, when you’re ready, you move forward. While it may not feel like you can do that, you need to. We all need each other to do this. Your organization needs you to do this, your donors need you to do this.

You will do it. I know this because we’ve heard so many stories from front-line fundraisers like you over the last year. They’ve overcome so many obstacles and have provided hope, comfort and inspiration to donors in a very challenging time, just like you are.

You are essential to your organization and your donors. You have the capacity to do more than you ever thought you could do. Just look back and see what you’ve already done. I know you may be tired, fearful, feeling unorganized and out of sorts. That’s okay.

But when you’re ready, start to move forward. We’ll do it with you.