Christmas? Bring It!
Normally by Thanksgiving, I would have been on my "don't start Christmas too soon" tirade for a month and a half. I can only deal with holiday music starting on Thanksgiving night and decorated homes after Dec. 1. (And forget about Christmas items in stores before then!) But 2012 has been a tough year in many ways, and I actually found myself humming "We Need a Little Christmas" way back in August. So I accepted when my neighbors invited me to stand outside in the dark on Thanksgiving and marvel at the lighted snowmen, trees and even a Christmas pig they had erected on their front lawn.
A large part of Christmas is the giving, and the power of giving fills us so completely with joy and satisfaction that it wrests feelings of sadness, loneliness, depression and other emotional baddies right out of us … at least for a while. Done often enough and with the right intent, it sustains our humanity and strengthens our spirit.
You folks, the fundraisers who read and support FundRaising Success, are the embodiment of the giving season. You foster an appreciation for giving and provide the tools for people to act on that appreciation. What an honor, and what a responsibility (because you also tend to the other end of the giving spectrum, making sure the organizations you work for and with are good stewards). Unlike the Christmas cards lined up next to Halloween decorations in stores, it's never too early for you to be doing your good work. Most of your causes are timeless, so charitable giving is a year-round thing (though obviously there is a significant uptick in response at year's end).
As the Christmas spirit sweeps over me this morning, I'm happy to announce that the submission period for our annual Fundraiser of the Year Awards is now open. Making a nomination is easy: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name, title and contact information; the nominee's name, title and e-mail address; your reasons for making the nomination (between 300 and 1,000 words); and into which category you're nominating the person: Fundraiser of the Year (for accomplishments in 2012); Lifetime Achievement (for a body of work spanning a career of 30+ years); Fundraising Star (for general excellence or a specific campaign or project); Rising Star (for fundraisers who have been in the sector five years or less); or the new Live It Award for fundraisers who embody the spirit of giving in their lives as well as their work. This year, we're also looking for suggestions for Best Fundraising Blog or Blogger; Best Fundraising Conference; and Best Speaker on the Conference Circuit. Also, please try to include a photo of your nominee. There is no fee to nominate someone. Winners will be announced in the February issue of FundRaising Success. Deadline for nominations is Jan. 7.