Fundraising professionals, are you burned out from too many holiday parties, cheese platters, cheap wine, and endless networking? Did the board ask you to hold "just one more holiday party" this year? Does "holiday cheer" start to sound like "holiday torture" around now? If that's the case, you're suffering from EFS - Extreme Fundraising Stress. This malady occurs most frequently at the end of the year, when you and every other fundraising professional and nonprofit executive are driving the bulk of their annual appeals and special events. If EFS is getting you down, it's time to use the Bristol Strategy Group SMART Tips for a stress-free and productive holiday season:
Tip #1: Turn off the computer. If you want Santa to be nice to you, start by being nice to yourself. Stop worrying about your numbers, and instead, visit with your donors, build relationships, celebrate with them. Your donors are your best friends, and this is the time to tell them so. Remember, without them, you couldn't do what you do for your clients.
Tip #2: Indulge yourself. Tired of asking and asking and asking again? Cut it out, at least for the next week or two. Just let your donors and grantors know how much you love and appreciate them. A frazzled fundraiser is an unproductive fundraiser.
Tip #3: Sleep late. You don't have to be on the phone or face to face with your donors first thing in the morning during the holiday season. They want to sleep in too. On the other hand , if you - or your donors - have little kids, then you ought to get up way too early, especially on December 25th. Take photos.
Tip #4: Eat chocolate. Chocolate, that classic indulgence, has been scientifically proven to be good for you, and we are nothing if not scientific around here. Chocolate offers even more scientific benefits when it's sent in the form of a gift to your donors, and even more still when you get to and eat it with them! What could be better than bonding over chocolate-covered everything?
Tip #5: Be thankful. Start by being thankful for the people around you who make it possible to fulfill your nonprofit's mission, and that means your donors, grantors and corporate contributors. Look at what you have, rather than what you lack. Donors, clients, volunteers and other members of your staff represent the bounty in your life and the possibilities in your future.
Let's Look Forward to Next Year!