New Year’s resolutions are notoriously hard to keep. They often involve giving up something we see as a treat (chocolate? wine? cheese?) or doing something we find difficult (running? dieting? stopping swearing?). The only resolutions I have ever kept have involved embracing something positive (wearing less black and reading books recommended to me). My only work-related resolution involved writing handwritten notes to my team, to thank them and recognise something they had done or learnt. Someone I used to work with told me she still has one of these handwritten notes many years later. Who would have thought something so small would matter so much?
With these lessons in mind, I would like to suggest a fundraising resolution for 2016. Something we can all stick to because it doesn’t involve giving up a treat or doing something we find difficult.
So here it is, in glorious Technicolor with fireworks and uplifting music…
My fundraising resolution for 2016
Say thank you.
Say it beautifully and from the heart.
Write it by hand on lovely paper and seal it in a handwritten envelope.
Scribble it on a postcard and pop it in the post with a real stamp.
Say it in person over a cup of tea (preferably with China cups with saucers) and maybe cake too!
Say it by telephone and ask for no more after you have said it.
Put it in print with uplifting stories of how you are changing the world.
Tweet it, often.
Post it, daily.
Say it to the media when you talk about what needs to change.
Announce it standing in front of a crowd who are about to run a long, long way.
Say it loudly and clearly and sincerely at least twice as often as you ask.
“Thank you for giving your money to help us change the world. We cannot do it without you.”
“Thank you for giving your time to help us put right what’s wrong. Together we are a winning team.”
“Thank you for believing you can make a difference and giving generously. We are so grateful for your help.”
“Thank you. You didn’t have to give but you did. I am glad I chose to ask you because you said yes. And saying yes means the world.”
So let me get started as I promise to continue. Thank you to everyone who helped me in 2015, to everyone who gave me their time and wisdom, and to everyone who gave gifts to the causes I have the privilege to help. Thank you for inspiring me with your generosity and for believing you can change the world, ‘in bite-sized chunks’ as a dear friend once said. I hope giving has filled your hearts with hope and joy.
-Susie Hills, Managing Director