It’s the middle of July – otherwise known as “the hot and hazy days of summer” here in Ontario.
You, our readers, and you, our clients have given us a lot to think about – and work on – in the first half of 2011.
Some highlights for us have been:
– Creating custom essential reviews for charities who want to know how they sound and look across every donor touch point, and then what to tweak, fix or overhaul.
– Our Second Harvest truck package… Who knew so many donors would fall in love with a truck?
– An afternoon in a sunny board room where we got to converse with the top minds of an organization, spend a little time navel gazing but ultimately giving donors a clearer reason to give.
– Working and plugging into the knowledge of so many of the worlds best fundraisers… David Love, Gwen Chapman, Jonathon Grapsas, Tom Ahern, Damian O’Brien, Sean Triner.
– Many road trips and hours riding with my partner Jen, in and out of Toronto for conferences, meetings, events.
– Working and plugging into the minds of some of the best clients you could dream of who only have one thing in mind… How can we care about our donors more? How lucky are we?
– Helping our good friend Jono create and hang out his own shingle in his home country of Australia. We know Jono and know flat earth direct is gonna to be a complete success.
When I sit back and reflect, which I don’t do enough of, I realize how incredibly lucky I am to do what I do, with the people I do it with.
But part of that reflection means also looking ahead. And now is the time for that, especially before we enter in the fall (traditionally the busiest time of the year).
So I’m taking a break. A real break. My first since Christmas – to head up north to a lovely little cottage on a quiet lake in northern Ontario.
Taking a break to stare out the window at the falling rain, to spend time with my quickly growing daughters and lovely wife.
Taking a break to listen to the silence and be far away from the daily comings and goings of everything.
But, I’m taking advantage of that time to do some navel gazing of my own and some thinking about you too.
How can we be better? How can we continue to do the best work (and what is our best) for our current and new clients?
How do we manage growth without “growing”?
What sort of things do we excel at and what sort of things do we suck at?
And so the list goes.
I had a light bulb go on in my head this week while in a meeting. A client said to us, ‘you folks are obviously champions for the donors‘ and it reminded me, that like the advice we give to you week after week and meeting after meeting, that as long as we keep your needs front and center… that so long as we remain as client focused as we possibly can, we will keep moving in the right direction whatever that might be.
So, with that, I’m shutting down the computers, and turning the lights off here at AOG HQ and packing up the van.
Thanks for an amazing, inspiring and collaborative first six months and we can not wait to see what challenges you have for us in the next six.
Hope you find time for your own break.