Are you thinking about how to prepare for end of the year fundraising? Maybe you can start with preparing yourself, like I did.

Tim and I created a Gratitude Jar. Every week for one year we wrote on a piece of paper something that made us feel grateful. Sometimes writing it was like pushing a rock up the hill with a rope. I had to challenge myself to look for something that was positive instead of being easily dragged into the dungeons of negativity. Other times, I wrote several on separate pieces of paper and dropped them in the jar. On New Year’s Eve we emptied the jar onto the table and took turns reading each one out loud. Wow, what a year it was!

It has been documented that an attitude of gratitude makes a difference even in children. School Psychology Review reported that elementary children were taught a week long curriculum on concepts around giving. Afterwards, 44% of the children opted to write thank you notes when given the choice following a Parent Teacher’s Association presentation. In the control group, only 24% wrote notes.

Try this for fun: Over the next week make a list of the things that cause you to feel grateful. Then look through the list, share some of them with others. Determine what is universal for many people and what may resonate with your donors and potential donors. Include some of your discoveries in your end-of-year appeal letter, emails and in-person asks.

Instead of just the typical end-of-year appeal you will be spreading an attitude of gratitude.

Gratitude doesn’t change the scenery. It merely washes clean the glass you look through so you can clearly see the colors.Richelle E. Goodrich