Weekly Roundup – Show Some Gratitude

Weekly Roundup – Show Some Gratitude

Here’s a dirty little nonprofit secret – oftentimes, there is very little “fun” in fundraising. You get a lot of no’s. There can be unrealistic expectations. You are sending and receiving more emails than you can possibly track. You’re tired, you’re stressed, and you’re frustrated. This adds up to someone that might not be in the best mood or place to be reaching out to new donors or constituents.

So how can you improve your mood if you can’t change your circumstances? There is a video making the internet rounds the last few weeks that is absolutely worth your time – from Soulpancake comes “An Experiment in Gratitude.”

Here, they asked participants to take a test, the results of which allowed the team to determine their level of happiness. Next, participants wrote a letter to the person that had the biggest influence on their lives. But they didn’t stop there. They then asked participants to call up that influential person, and read aloud the letter they had just written. The results are pretty astounding – every participant had their level of happiness improve following the experiment, with the biggest jump coming from the person who had the lowest level to begin with.

So how can this help you? When you’re stressed, tired, and losing focus on why the work you are doing is so important, it’s time to take a gratitude break. Think about someone professionally who has had an impact on you; think about reaching out to a donor or volunteer that has had a huge impact on your work; consider a constituent that has helped remind you why your work is important. And don’t stop there.

As this test shows – actually connecting with the person, as opposed to just thinking about showing gratitude or leaving a message to be heard or seen later, is the most effective at improving your mood.

This means that sending an email isn’t as effective as more personal communication. As scary and old fashioned as it sounds – get on the phone. Meet in person. Shake some hands. Give some hugs. Get happy. Your work, and your nonprofit’s mission, and your well being will be all the better for it.

Now – for this week’s series of links.

  • Local nonprofit Maddie’s Fund discusses recent changes in Facebook, and how they might be affecting your organization’s outreach efforts.
  • Blackbaud premiered their latest online fundraising offering at this year’s BlackBaud Conference (#bbcon) – check out Online Express.
  • This week, Stanford Social Innovation Review hosted a webinar on #GivingTuesday.
  • Finally – this week’s government shutdown has had some dire consequences on both local and national nonprofits – you can read more about it here.

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