As I type this message, most of the world finds itself rushing toward the apex of the “Season of Giving.” More personal gifts between family and friends and more tax-deductible charitable gifts will be given over the next 7 days than any other week during the year. Giving is the omnipresent message.
And yet, even in the context of such a positive, loving message of giving, so many of us will experience frustration due to the busy-ness of the season, the crowded-ness of schedules, and the exhaustion that can follow. In fact, sometimes we allow ourselves to focus more on the frustrations of the season rather than the good message that giving has for us all.
That’s where two words – “tickled pink” – come into play.
Just the other day I read an article about an anonymous donor who gave $50,000 to a charitable organization to help children. He placed the check under a nativity scene and called the organization and told them where they would find the gift. ABC News was able to track down the donor and he said,
“My whole life has been immensely blessed. . . I’m tickled pink to be able to do it.”
From time to time, all of us can allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the minutia, the mundane, the frustrations, or even just the trivial or less-important matters of life and work. Sometimes in our work as development professionals, we allow ourselves to become overwhelmed or bogged down by the day-to-day, routine aspects of our work and miss the bigger, extraordinary impacts we are making. We allow ourselves to focus more on meeting metrics than creating meaning. To focus more on our “to-do list” rather than our “with who list.” To focus more on achieving goals rather than spreading the simple but powerful message that giving is good.
We get distracted from the real story – that when we do this work of encouraging others to give generously, we aren’t taking anything from them. We aren’t asking them to give us something of great value. We are seeking to give them something of great value. We are giving them an opportunity. An opportunity to align their support with their values. An opportunity to save or transform a life. An opportunity to feel better about themselves and our world. An opportunity to make a difference with their lives that satisfies more deeply than just about any other decision they might make.
So, as you rush through your year-end giving activities and make those final phone calls and visits and send those last emails and letters, remember that our focus shouldn’t be on meeting specific goals and metrics – those are simply outcome measures.
What we really are doing is giving more people more opportunities to become “tickled pink.”
Blessings to you during this most important Season of Giving.