Well friends, we’ve almost made it. As 2020 (finally!) comes to a close and with vaccinations taking place all across the country, I’m feeling hopeful about what 2021 has in store. And I want to reflect on some of the good things that came out of this year. Because even in the midst of so much stress, worry, and heartbreak, there were many flickers of light.
- A Record-Breaking #GivingTuesday. Donors really went above and beyond on #GivingTuesday, shattering past records. According to The NonProfit Times, more than $2.47 billion was raised on #GivingTuesday globally — a 25% increase over 2019. And that’s in addition to hundreds of millions raised on #GivingTuesdayNow back in May. People are looking for purpose this year, and giving back is one way they’re finding it.
- With in-person events and performances cancelled to keep communities safe, fundraisers have proven incredibly resourceful. We’ve seen an explosion of engaging virtual events, including virtual galas, “coffee hours” with donors, telephone townhall meetings, and yes, Zoom happy hours! Keeping donors engaged this year took lots of creativity and a little bit of tech coaching, but brave fundraisers persevered.
- Action for Equity and Justice. Throughout every level of our society, racial injustice, especially violence perpetrated against Black communities, is being recognized and challenged. We have so much to do, and, for white fundraisers like me, so much to learn from our BIPOC friends, colleagues, and neighbors. As we continue to work together to advance equity and justice in our companies, organizations, and communities, I’m inspired by the hard work of these Black-led grassroots organizations here in D.C. I also want to lift up the important efforts within the fundraising community to make our profession more equitable and inclusive. Our Impact team looks forward to continuing to participate and learn from organizations like AADO (The African American Development Officers Network), WOC (Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy), Community-Centric Fundraising, and our local AFP-DC chapter that is rolling out an ambitious inclusion, diversity, equity, and access initiative next year that Impact is proud to sponsor. This work is not easy, but I am heartened that so many people have been spurred on this year to move our country (and our profession) closer to racial equity.
- Our Clients’ World-Changing Work. I am always awed by the work of our clients. Every single day, they are making communities stronger, protecting the planet, giving kids a bright start in life, and helping people live healthier lives. But this year, the work of the nonprofit community has mattered more than ever. Nonprofits are feeding our neighbors when many families can’t afford to put food on the table. They’re providing engaging virtual learning opportunities for children learning remotely. They’re preserving our wild spaces — spaces that we’ve needed more than ever in this year of social distancing. They’re providing pro bono legal aid … affordable housing … advocating for equity and justice … every day, they are making the world a better place to live.
As we celebrate the holiday season, I’m grateful for all of Impact’s colleagues, clients, and neighbors. The work we have done together and relationships we have built in the face of this challenging year remind me what’s possible when we leave no one behind and reach for a better world.
Wishing you a healthy and happy new year!