Starting Over

As you may know, we celebrated the Jewish New Year last week. I always love the idea that we can start the new year twice.

As I was walking to work in one of these beautiful, dehumidified September days in DC – I realized we have the opportunity to start over every day, every hour even. Every conversation or meeting can be paused for a reset if needed.

I really enjoy my walks to the office on fresh, clear days. My mind is open and as clear as the weather. During the holiday I was contemplating fresh starts personally and professionally.

As fundraisers, this time of year often kicks off another season for events and end of the year solicitations. I was thinking about how to make it different and better than in years past. Maybe less events, more individual major gift effort. More work with our Board members in this same area. I believe Board members and donors don’t know what they don’t know – why is that? I think it’s because we don’t find or take the time to talk, even train, with them about best fundraising practices. And that’s why Board members always suggest another event to close a budget deficit and/or avoid their personal giving or outreach to individual donors. So my starting over is to be sure Board members are as educated as they can take on individual giving, how they can help and they offer our bestest (sic) stewardship of their personal giving. My mantra, “treat your Board members as your best major donors” – whether they are or not. We can all start over by aspiration, right?

Personally the starting over is an ongoing process. All I can tell you I try to be a better person every day – for myself and toward others. I am back to writing personal notes (not email or texts). I know old fashioned, but something about taking the time to write to someone I care about – and knowing they will receive it and read how I feel about them, I hope makes our connection stronger.

Now this is not a commercial – but in conjunction with writing notes – I found FotoBar at Union Station in DC. Polaroid has set up a few retail locations and online at where you can download your photos and print them to look a Polaroid photo. Remember those? I have always thought sharing photos on Facebook and through email or text was instant gratification, but there are a few worth sharing in hard copy. Fotobar combined the desire to share the moment in time via photo with a personal note. I admit, I am obsessed and it has solved my challenge around literally thousands of digital photos that capture moments – held captive in the cloud. And not wanting to print at home, take to a shop or those flimsy 4×6 photos. FotoBar is instant printing and sending the photos with a short or long note gives me an opportunity to start over, reconnect and remember a moment we shared.

What’s your key to starting over? Don’t wait till December 31. And by the way, I don’t believe in resolutions – I believe in actions – every day……

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