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The Fundraiser’s Guide to Surviving December

At about this time every year, here at Front Range Source we take it upon ourselves to remind you to BREATHE!

December is easily the craziest month for fundraisers. We know you have lots to do and we have lots of suggestions for making the most of this important month (see last week’s blog).

But, we can’t afford to have you burn yourself out! Remember, happy fundraisers make for happy nonprofits.

Here are a few self-care reminders to help you survive the next few weeks:

Do one thing at a time  

Merely typing the word “multitasking” makes me feel tense. I am one of the worst offenders of trying to do too many things at once and I perpetually have more than a dozen windows open on my laptop. Last week, I set a goal to do one thing at a time and I have to tell you, it made an immediate difference in my tension level. It also made me better at my job. This is a new habit I’m determined to cultivate for the long-term.

Don’t try to fix everything – at least not right now

Fundraisers have a tendency to be problem solvers which is one of the things that makes us so good at our jobs. We also tend to be activists and rabble rousers. But, there are things we can’t control. And there’s way too much to get done without taking on Sisyphean tasks. Right now, the most important thing you can do is focus on the work at hand. Get through year-end and then think about solving the world’s problems!

Check out whenever you can  

Do the thing that occupies you so completely that you forget about everything and live in the moment. For Leslie, that’s playing tennis. For Ann, it’s taking the dog for a walk in the woods. Do whatever that thing is for you and return to work refreshed and renewed.

Get close to the mission  

Remind yourself why you do this work. Interview a client or a donor. Not only will it inspire and energize you, you can use their comments in your year-end fundraising appeals! Volunteer to help your program staff with any of their year-end activities. Just get close to the action – even for an hour and two – to fill your heart with the good work you’re making possible.

Practice self-care  

There’s a reason we call it practice. It’s hard to do! Schedule time on your calendar for that walk with the dog or your volunteer shift in the food bank. Don’t beat yourself up if you get worked up or stressed out one day, just try again the next day to give yourself a break.

January will be here before you know it and we’re confident you’ll wrap up this year-end beautifully.

As always, you’ve got this! We know you do.

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