Many of us in nonprofits keep going and pushing ourselves to keep working to achieve our ambitious visions and missions. They’re so important, we feel like there’s no time to sit and reflect. Or even to plan properly. We also usually don’t take time to celebrate our accomplishments. Still, this is something we really should get better at. I think it’s really necessary to always look for something to celebrate.
There are, in my view, three main reasons why this is so important.
Staff morale & team spirit
The people who join your team are driven by your cause. They find it hard to set boundaries to their working time and often think of work even if they’re not working. The work seems like it’s never done. This kind of commitment is hard to keep up in a healthy way without any sense of success. Lack of perceived success may turn discussions into disagreements and fights. The team doesn’t tolerate mistakes because they lessen the chance of success. Imagine what can happen if you find at least one thing to celebrate together at the end of week? Especially if that something is a learning moment – a mistake that led to a success in the end?
If you look for at least one thing to celebrate each week, you’ll also automatically have something to share with your supporters and online followers. Something positive, hopeful, uplifting. Very often our supporters are well aware that our work is hard and that it isn’t easy to achieve big success. But like us they do need regular reminders that we can make a difference, however small it is. That we are moving forward, with their support.
And finally, if you look for something to celebrate you’ll have to look at what you’ve been doing, analyse it and reflect on it. You will then also understand what made that success a success and how you might repeat it. Your next plan will be better, if you use those lessons learned.
But we have no success
I hope we’re now clear on how it’s helpful to always look for something to celebrate. Maybe you think you’re the exception. That your nonprofit is the only one that doesn’t have things to celebrate.
It’s a matter of perspective.
I’m not talking about landing a multi-million grant. Or about getting a law that you’ve been advocating for, adopted. Or about winning an award or something big.
Success is also: keeping going in the face of adversity.
- It is posting daily on your Facebook page and responding to every comment even if it’s just one.
- Or writing your report well before the deadline.
- It can be learning from a mistake that was made, and feeling that the team is a safe place for that.
- Or receiving an email from your donor that they’re so happy about your email last week.
There are many things to celebrate every day and once you start looking you’ll see that choosing just one per week might be harder than you think!
Want to know more and ask questions?
If you want to discuss this more and maybe share your successes to celebrate them together – jump into my nonprofit support community and get input from a wide range of peers and from myself!
Here is how you can join my free nonprofit support community
You can join my free nonprofit support community on the Heartbeat platform here. This group is a safe space for open exchange and discussion on potentially sensitive topics like boards, nonprofit management, fundraising, etc.
You can visit the community via a browser or via an app. Here is the link to download the Heartbeat chat app in the Google Play store.
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