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Are you a holiday scrooge? We hope not, but it can happen to the best of us. Sometimes it happens like this: we believe we have plenty of time before the holiday season begins, but a look at the calendar shows that Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanza, and New Years are almost here. Oh my! What is a nonprofit to do?!? Don’t worry – there’s still time if you act now.

Whether you’re lighting a candle on a menorah, a Christmas tree, a Kwanza Kinara, popping off fire crackers to bring in the new year, or a combination of these holidays, we’ve got suggestions for you. First, consider what you can do for others, and how you can be of service to those who are poor, cold, hungry, and/or homeless. That’s number one. Start now by reaching out to other nonprofits so you can pool your resources and jointly give the food, coats, socks, and gloves that are in high demand as the nights grow cold. Contact your local food bank and other “safety net” organizations and ask how you can be most supportive. It might be by providing financial support, hosting a coat drive, serving meals, or another way.

Through your organization’s giving you will share joy with others. But you do that throughout the year, don’t you? Sometimes we forget that our work brings joy. That joy can take the form of afterschool activities for kids, hot meals for seniors, scholarships for college students, and healthcare access for families. One result of advocacy is joy. The same is true for scientific research, student mentoring, and open doors at museums, theatres, and concert halls.

People may not always associate your nonprofit with joy – but you can remind them. If you start now, you can create specially designed holiday cards with a message that shares the joy created by your organization. You can set aside time for board members, volunteers, and staff to place phone calls or send out personalized text messages thanking families for participating in their programs and donors for providing financial support. Take it a step further, and set up a series holiday e-communications. Take time to personally recognize people of different faiths and the holidays they observe. Other joy-spreading ideas include creating and sharing special tokens of appreciation, and hosting a holiday party or special event. Engage your board members, staff and volunteers by designing special cards and notes they can mail to their friends and associates. Participating in community-wide events adds joy for all who attend and shows that you care about the activities others host. Finally, back to our first suggestion, use your resources to encourage giving to “safety net” organizations in your community. You can do this by including a paragraph and links to these nonprofits in the emails and letters you send out that share information about your nonprofit. We know your nonprofit’s no scrooge… make sure others know it too. Take a moment to plan for how you will share joy and consider the needs of others.

Copyright 2023 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Let us help you plan for 2023! Video and phone conferencing services are always available. Call us at (901) 522-8727.

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