Take Your Vacation, Fundraiser — You Earned It!
I have been driven my entire career. Having played sports during my younger days, I was taught to play hurt. It didn't matter how you felt, you had to give 100 percent effort even on your off days. I actually cracked several ribs during a high school football game. The doctor taped me up at halftime, and while I couldn't breathe, I played the second half then went to the hospital.
I was proud of the fact I never took time off and blessed that I was rarely sick. I was the first to arrive and the last one to leave.
Another time, I was injured during a softball game and needed surgery to repair my face. I ran into a thrown ball. I was in the hospital on a Friday night and back to work on Monday morning. I felt I was needed on the job, and the organization could not do without me. As I grew older and wiser, I realized my view of the work world was foolish.
You should give your best effort knowing that at times you cannot perform at the highest level. You must also look at your health and pace yourself like a marathon runner. I realized I cannot sprint every moment of my workday.
I hate to admit it, but for many years, I took work with me on my vacations. If I didn't have physical work to read or study, I would think about my ever-expanding to-do list. If I did take a vacation, I would return to work with a feeling that I didn't truly take time off to enjoy the moment.
Several years ago, my theory of vacations changed. I worked at a small, private university that was undergoing massive change. I took the position for personal, not professional reasons. While the work environment wasn't positive, my department still won a Council for Advancement and Support award in the improvement category.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at email@example.com or 317-224-1029.