Maximize This Season
Yesterday was the first day of spring!
Seasons are an important reminder. As we transition through them, it’s a good time to pause, reflect and get away. Spring, as the season of rebirth and renewal, is an especially good time to get a fresh perspective on an opportunity or a challenge.
With one-fourth of what I hope will be a stellar year for you behind us, take time now for some personal and professional reflection. Pull out your fundraising plan or affiliated plans and get away—by yourself or with a small, but vital team. Review, reflect, challenge, support, benchmark and plan. Get re-energized to exceed your goals.
And then plan to do the same each quarter to pause, reflect, recharge, so that you don’t get so caught up in the business of today’s whirlwind of little needs that you neglect the big picture and the strategy and goals that will create a more successful tomorrow.
Here’s a basic guideline to quarterly breaks you can use to focus your intentions:
- Q1/Winter: Resolve. Gear up for the year ahead. As cliché as it might sound, set your professional goals and personal resolutions for the next 12 months. Assess your health and overall well-being, and make necessary changes. Plot out your annual calendar and professional development path.
- Q2/Spring: Refresh. See above
- Q3/Summer: Reassess and Regroup. Take some time in the middle of the year to step back and see how things are going. Are you keeping up with your healthy lifestyle choices? Are you on track with your professional goals? If so, great! This might be the time to scale them up a bit. If not, take a breath and get back on track.
- Q4/Autumn and the Holidays: Ramp Up and Reflect. With the season of holiday merriment and mayhem upon us, the last quarter of the year requires deep breaths, focus and fortitude. Both personally and as a fundraiser, there’s a lot to do. But as things wind down and we prepare to bid adieu to the old year and welcome the new, there are a few precious seconds, it seems, to embrace the quiet, look back and reflect on a job well done.
Then get some sleep and wake up ready to do it all over again!
Here’s to the best spring possible and to maximizing this and every season as we make our personal and professional way through the exciting and bursting-with-potential year before us!
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.