The Week Before New Year’s: A Fundraising Holiday Poem

‘Twas the week before New Year’s and through the fundraising shop,
Development staff were stressing that year-end giving would flop.
The letters were mailed, the emails all sent,
Phone calls were made, and on visits they went.

Donors are fickle and they sometimes forget.
But board members always expect goals to be met.
Was there time for one more, an email or call?
Quick, count the envelopes! Can that really be all?

Answer the phone, it could be a gift.
And our stock gifts and bequests could sure use a lift.
Is our website fully functional, mobile-optimized and secure?
How much more stress can a fundraiser endure?

There’s more work to be done—that will always be true.
The job of a fundraiser seems to never be through.
But it’s time to relax, to enjoy holiday cheer,
Regroup and renew before you start the next year.

Give thanks for donors, and the grants you won,
For teammates, and especially for the work that’s been done.
December 31 is coming; you can’t change that fact,
But 2016 is a clean stage on which you can act.

Celebrate the year and remember lessons learned,
Those represent knowledge that was definitely earned.
Have a wonderful week as you look back with pride,
But hang on, ‘cause fundraising is always a ride!

It’s been a good year, and you’ve done so much well,
And what 2016 brings, time will only tell.
This old dog knows that a poet she’s not,
But I hope you found a smile while reading this rot.

Originally published in NonProfit Pro.

Author: PJBarden

With a professional career in strategic fundraising that spans more than 35 years, Pamela brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to working with nonprofit organizations. She specializes in writing fundraising copy, grant proposals, P.R. materials, instructional articles and blog entries, as well as developing and executing fundraising strategy for her clients. Pamela is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE); an instructor for UCLA Extension School’s Fundraising Certification Program and the University of La Verne, College of Business and Public Management; a frequent webinar speaker; and author of two online courses for UCLA Extension. Pamela earned a Doctorate of Business Administration in 2015; her doctoral project (dissertation) was entitled “Nonprofit Organizations’ Awareness of and Preparation for Legislation, Regulation, and Increasing Scrutiny.” She is a past winner of a Gold Award for Fundraising Excellence and an ECHO Award from DMA; recipient of a Distinguished Instructors Award from UCLA Extension; a weekly columnist for NonprofitPRO (formerly Fundraising Success); and a monthly contributor to Blackbaud’s blog, npEngage.

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