By Kelly R. Young
2020 was a challenging year filled with pivots and transitions, but with technology, creativity, patience, and compassion we made it!
Congratulations and thank you to all the fundraisers who were forced to modify messages, face canceled events, and figure out how to solicit remotely (among many other things). I think we can all agree that we’re looking forward to a new year.
As we continue to navigate a vastly different fundraising landscape, it’s important for fundraisers to incorporate an important tactic into their fundraising strategy: self-care. And because self-care is often overlooked, we put together a list of suggestions for fundraisers to take care of their team and themselves heading into the new year.
- Figure out what motivates you and your team and use that to your advantage. Are you motivated by recognition? Take time during staff meetings to thank someone for a job well done or send a handwritten note to celebrate a win. Maybe you’re motivated by extra time off. Consider rewarding the team with extra vacation time, flex time, or a comp day for the extra work and stress that comes with these trying times.
- Take exercise breaks and breaks in general. One 5-to-10-minute break every 90 minutes can help you rejuvenate and refresh your brain. Set aside time on your calendar to do a one-minute plank or text the team and invite them to join you for a walk around the block (even if it’s a virtual walk because everyone is working from home). Just add some movement to your workday!
- Create opportunities and safe zones to stay connected and positive. Start staff meetings with inspiring news, motivational quotes, or encouraging words to create opportunities upfront that are positive and upbeat. Offer a channel to talk about topics outside of work, such as a Google Hangout or a Slack channel dedicated to staying connected. Post weekly prompts asking about favorite podcasts, movies, or even asking what’s for dinner.
- Plan a team retreat. If your team is feeling particularly stressed, or disconnected, plan a time to decompress in a safe, group setting. If a “retreat” sounds too much like work, plan a team lunch, yoga, happy hour, or host a virtual game night. The key here is to stay connected and boost morale.
- Support and facilitate mental health awareness discussions. Now more than ever, we must continue to take care of our mental health and well-being. Encourage and facilitate regular communication with employees, show empathy, and recognize the impact of isolation and loneliness.
Most importantly, take the new year one day at a time. If 2020 taught us anything it was to adapt, pivot, persevere, and overcome. As you head into 2021, just make sure you and your team are taking care of yourselves while you’re conquering the new year.
Kelly Young, president of Baise Communications, is an award-winning public relations counselor with 25+ years of experience in working with nonprofit and small businesses. She has worked in nearly every capacity of public relations throughout her career and has a proven track record of success in media relations, social media, brand management, communications planning, and community relations. She has built a strong reputation within the community and is sought after for her industry expertise and thought leadership. Kelly is a natural storyteller and an enthusiastic advocate for causes.