WP Remix


With the economy in the dumps, more and more people are considering a ‘Staycation’ instead of a vacation.  The idea is that there are plenty of inexpensive options in and around your own hometown that provide equal entertainment value compared to traditional (and often expensive) trips to other locations.  I tend to agree with this as I know my family doesn’t take advantage of all there is to offer in our own backyard.

I’ve been thinking about the ‘rejuvination’ effect of going on vacation, and whether this can be accomplished at the same level if you don’t physically get out of town.  I think it can.  I also think fundraising professionals should consider a ‘Professional Staycation’ several times a year.  They might just find themselves rejuvinated as a result.

A Professional Staycation?!?!?  What, you might ask, in the world are you talking about?  Just keep reading and I’ll explain.

In recent years, professional fundraisers have been asked to do more and more.  Raise more money, slash the budget and still raise more money, take on additional responsibilities and keep up with new strategics and technologies that are growing more rapidly than ever before.  And while you’re at it, raise more money.  This has led to increased stress, higher turnover and an incredibly busy work-life balance.  If your life is balanced at all.

While we’re working harder (and hopefully smarter) and raising more support for our organizations, we often forget the actual results of the work we do.  It isn’t about the money we raise.  It’s not about how many donors we generate.  This is one time I’ll defend throwing metrics out the window and I’ll tell you to remember the following: It’s all about the good work our organizations do.

And too often we forget that.

As professional fundraisers, we provide financial support to the best and brightest.  And those who are most in need.  We help students receive an education that otherwise wouldn’t be able to do so.  We provide funding for research to cure cancer, save natural resources, build better mousetraps and more.  We provide shelter to the homeless, food to the hungry and healthcare for those who need it.  We do so much more than raise money.  We’re an essential part of a successful team.  Whatever your organization’s niche is, that team is making a difference in the lives of hundreds, thousands or millions of lives.

In short, we make the world a better place.

I know that sounds a bit arrogant, but it’s true.  And I challenge you to take a ‘Professional Staycation’ to remind yourself why you do what you do.

When you’re done reading this post I want you to open your calendar and block a day in the near future for your staycation.  When that day comes you are to turn off your computer, put down your pen, turn out the lights and get out of your office.

Spend the day meeting somebody your work has helped or otherwise seeing the results of your work.  Whatever your organization does, put yourself in touch with those who directly benefit from your fundraising efforts.

  • Maybe you could meet a student who received a scholarship that made college possible.
  • Maybe you could talk to a researcher working to develop automobiles that run without fossil fuels.
  • Maybe you could have lunch at the shelter your fundraising supports.
  • Maybe you could meet a patient receiving life-saving treatments in your clinic.
  • Maybe you could spend time wandering around campus watching students enjoy the fruits of your labor.
  • Maybe you could wander around your museum. . . afterall your work helps maintain it.

I don’t care what your organization does, I’m sure there’s an opportunity for a ‘Professional Staycation’ to remind you that you are a valuable part of the team.  I know you already have report after report that can prove how successful you’ve been.  File it away.  Numbers, charts and graphs really tell the story.  Delete them.  I’ve got a better idea. . . 

Get out there and experience that success in person.

OK, that’s it for now.  You have a homework assignment to plan and take your Professional Staycation.  Leave a comment to let us know what you’re doing or what you’ve done.  Tell us how it went and how you’re making a difference.  I look forward to hearing all about it.

Speaking of vacations and staycations, the family and I are taking a little vacation next week.  The GettingGiving Blog will take the week off as well.  I’m pretty sure my wife wouldn’t appreciate blogging on vacation, so there won’t be any new posts next week.  I’ll be back soon enough with one of my favorite topics that just happens to be related to my vacation.  Maybe I can call next week ‘research’ and write it off.  Just kidding, Uncle Sam.

Until next time, enjoy your staycation!

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