My Theme for 2010 … Three Words?

Every year, I evaluate the year just passed.  Did I meet my career goals?  My health and fitness goals?  Did I stick to my resolutions of the previous year?

While, yes, I stuck to my fitness plan (for me that’s a no brainer.  Exercise has been an integral part of my life for 20something years),  I realized that I’d fallen off the diet wagon.

No, I’m not talking about the latest fad diet – don’t believe in ’em.  But, I’m not twenty anymore and my days of eating pizza, cookies and burgers on a regular basis and counting on exercise to burn it off are over. Eating more protein, greens and simple food has to be a part of the plan.

So, while I wasn’t entirely on target, I met quite a few of the goals I established in January of 2009.  A lot of times, though, I relate to LuAnn …

However, then I stumbled upon a new perspective to the whole “setting resolutions” business in this post from Mari Smith, in which she tells how, every year, she arrives at a theme for the upcoming year.

She notes that she begins thinking about the theme around the beginning of December and simply “sets the intention that the essence of the word will come” to her.

As I reflected upon Mari’s post, the one word that has resonated with me throughout 2009 was gratitude.

Gratitude played a major role in my 2009, beginning with the passing of my beloved Grandmother in March.

My grandmother lived gratitude and not a day went by when she did not express her gratitude in word and action.  How well I recall sitting around the table at the farm with my adult cousins talking, and how it happened to come up that I was her favorite grandchild.

We were all pretty surprised to discover that every one of us thought that we were her favorite.

Now that is a rare gift.  And I am so very grateful that we had my wonderful grandmother for 99.9 years.

So as we are midway into the first month of 2010, I vow to not complain and remain grateful at every turn.

  • I am grateful for the challenges presented by a diverse clientele base.
  • I am grateful  for the opportunity to get the message of donor-centered, efficient, shoestring budget fundraising out to a loyal, growing base of subscribers.
  • I’m grateful for the social media tools that have brought about so many very special connections  – as well as a wealth of knowledge
  • And I am ever cognizant of the vital role that gratitude plays in a truly effective individual giving plan.

But, hey, wait a minuteChris Brogan’s got THREE words!  So does Beth Kanter and Marc Pittman!

I’m totally late to the party!  A day late and a dollar short!

Easily solved.

What have I been reiterating in all of 2009’s blog posts and newsletter articles?


I happen to believe that systems are a critical key for nonprofit organizations – and crucial for the time-strapped one-person shop.

Simplified systems for grants, systems for individual giving, systems for social media, systems for stewardship … you get the picture.  It can all be done – it must all be done.  The only way to truly create sustainable funding is with multiple streams of income.

The day that nonprofit organizations realize that their focus on funding their mission needs to be as strong as their dedication to the mission itself, the pieces of the puzzle will begin to fall together.

And the one component tying them all together?  Relationships.

Building upon your relationships with your donors in engaging ways that use the variety of tools – many of them free – available today.

What is your theme?  What are your three words?

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