Gratitude in 3 Steps
Gratitude is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as "the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness."
I was struck by this definition. If you had asked me to write my own definition it would have spoken only to thankfulness.
But, wow — the readiness to show appreciation.
And to return kindness.
"If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share," said W. Clement Stone, a successful business leader, motivational writer and speaker, and philanthropist who saw in his heart to donate more than $275 million of his personal wealth.
It truly speaks to the heart of our work in fundraising — allowing philanthropists, large and small, to experience the joy of giving.
And showing appreciation — in big and small ways. The easiest, of course, is to just say thank you. An email is nice. A personal note is even more meaningful.
Returning kindness — yes, this can be to whomever you are grateful. But I also see this in a larger sense; our responsibility (I believe) is to give back, to help others.
I now view gratitude as a three-step process:
- Being thankful
- Showing appreciation
- Returning kindness
So, at this season of Thanksgiving, I have a wonderful sense of gratitude. I am thankful to so many: friends, family, our team, clients and you — the readers of Bedrocks & Beacons. Thank you for reading, providing feedback and sharing. It is an honor to connect with you.
Have a happy Thanksgiving filled with gratitude!
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.