The Impact of Grace and Encouragement

The Impact of Grace and Encouragement

I spent the first 35-years of my life in Arizona. This past week, I had an opportunity to visit Phoenix and Flagstaff to catch up with many of the people who have made a big impact in my life. It struck me, on the drive back to the airport, that there were two characteristics each of these influential, yet very diverse group of people shared: Grace & Encouragement. By grace, I mean these mentors and friends always accepted me for who I was. They were never judgmental of the poor decisions I may have made. Instead, they have always just patiently listened, never asked anything of me and never quick to give advice. Rather, they just encouraged me to keep trying. To not give up. They shared a vision of what could be. In short, they gave me hope. We need to always keep in mind that we have opportunities to share grace and encouragement in every daily interaction. This goes for our fundraising communications as well. Too often, we are solely focused on the calls-to-action about how the donor can help us fulfill our missions. My hypothesis is that if we have the courage to meet the donors where they are, take the time to listen to their stories and encourage them in their own walks through life, the impact our organizations will have over time will be...

Gratefulness

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. Perhaps it’s because it’s the least commercialized holiday. It’s really a throwback day. It’s countercultural now. Sitting around with those you love (OK, and Uncle Dick too) and taking the whole day just to be together. Perhaps it’s because of the food. I love a turkey dinner with all the fixings. But I think mostly I love Thanksgiving because of the whole idea of concentrating on what we have rather than concentrating on what we don’t have. Most of us reading this on the internet have a lot. When you think about it, we have more than most generations could have ever dreamed of. But most of the time, many of us – me included – focus on what we don’t have. It’s an irritating human disease to always feel wanting, even when we are in the midst of a banquet. Don’t get me wrong. Sure, there’s a lot I’d like to see changed in the world. But for one day, let’s enjoy the blessings that we have. And, let our gratitude enable us to be generous this season to those less fortunate. Happy Thanksgiving...