Who Has a Fantasy Bucket List?
We read about bucket lists all the time, but for me, the movie Bucket List brought home the finality of it all. I noticed on Facebook this week questions about where you would like to travel, as related to your bucket list. I traveled to Hawaii in 2005 on business and yearn for a chance to return just for fun and sun. Dreams aside, Dictionary.com notes that a bucket list is a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.
Having given this topic a great deal of thought I will step out of my day-to-day realistic mode and present my fantasy nonprofit-related bucket list:
- Having a donor walk into my office with a check for at least $10 million dollars, allowing me to make my fiscal-year goal months in advance, create new programs and help more people
- Writing a best-selling book on surviving and thriving in the nonprofit world that would help give ideas and tips to future nonprofit pros
- Receiving a new, international Pay It Forward award from an internationally known fundraising organization, in which I could actually turn around and immediately give to a more deserving award recipient without them knowing about it
- Opening my email and have multiple organizations bidding for my consulting services on retainer for life
- Being named president of my new nonprofit executive search firm and always having more openings than candidates for excellent open positions. I love to help my peers get jobs when they need help!
- Waking up and having the perfect board that completely understands its mission and owns results with staff for opening doors, soliciting prospects and closing gifts
- Signing a multi-year contract to speak at fundraising conferences on topics of my choice
- Having a monthly post or blog that has several million subscribers and followers
- Being named CEO of a large community foundation in my hometown where I can give away millions to impact my community in the future
- Having a social media weekly “philanthropic moment” where I showcase best-of-class programs
- Receiving a Ph.D. from the Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy and having a donor underwrite a philanthropic chair in my name in perpetuity, while I teach from my tenured position until I decide to retire
- Winning the lottery and creating my own foundation where I have millions to give to worthy causes
- Having the ability and funds to create a philanthropic institute to teach anyone interested on all aspects of giving time, talent and treasure to better mankind
Do you have a real or fantasy related bucket list? In truth, we can only control a small part of our destiny. We care about others and the profession we serve. View your job as a part of your overall career. See what you have accomplished and what you can realistically accomplish in the future.
At a certain point in your career you will not care about bucket list achievements. You will care about bucket list experiences that will enrich your life and others around you. You will value the quality of life as opposed to the quantity of life. Stop and smell the roses and appreciate the fact you have helped many people along the way without knowing it. My hope is your bucket list will always include an item that helps others. That is what makes nonprofit professionals special.
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy.