Every year, the military base theater near us (Joint Base Cape Cod) organizes the annual Christmas tree lighting. It’s a fun event, with hot cocoa, peppermint sticks and a short visit of Santa, of course!

As a military spouse myself (married to a 32-year Airforce veteran), we love our little theater, and this event is always a lot of fun. It’s so wonderful to see the little kids and adults enjoy themselves.

The tree lighting is followed by the movie, “Polar Express,” featuring Tom Hanks. It’s such a positive, uplifting movie. If you’ve not yet seen it, I can highly recommend it. In these dark and busy days, don’t we all need something inspirational?

The most important word in the movie is: Believe!

So, what does this have to do with fundraising and monthly giving? Because I hear so many of you being overwhelmed. There are just so many decisions to make in a very short period of time, and we’re already busy enough as it is.

How many appeals should we mail? And when? Which donors do we appeal to? How many #GivingTuesday emails do we send and when? How many emails in December? How many phone calls can our board members make? Can I get those personal notes written in time?

Are my printer and mail house going to get the appeal in the mail on time?” (Spoiler alert: If you don’t start till the first week of December, you’re going to be hard pressed to make it happen. Please don’t do that to your vendor partners. Now is the time to get it all finalized.)

And very importantly: How is coverage going to be handled between Chanukah or Christmas and New Year’s? Lots of nonprofits take that time off. Well, you may be missing an important gift if there’s nobody there to answer the phone, so can you forward the phone to your cell, so at least someone is there to answer it? Yes, one more thing, but you’ll not regret it.

I’m here to tell you that if you believe, it will all come together. And if you just chip away at your “To-Do” list one appeal or email or social media post at a time, you’ll have your best fundraising season ever! And you’ll bring on lots of donors, whom you can convert to sustainers in 2018.

I believe you can do it, do you?

Originally posted in NonProfitPro Today on November 13, 2017