Y'all...we did it! We made it through 2020—virtual hugs all around! (We really miss hugs!) While we know that 2021 may start out with much of the same, as 2020 rolls to end we are carrying one thing in our hearts: hope. We've all learned so much this year, and we're inspired by each of you and the amazing work you've done as you've faced each challenge 2020 has brought with it. As we think about the year ahead, our team took a moment to share our hopes for 2021 with you:
I have so many hopes wrapped up in 2021 but I will keep it as simple as I know how.
I hope for healing and togetherness. Healing from the pandemic as vaccines begin to proliferate and protect. Healing from the divides in our people that cause pain and suffering of so many. Togetherness of people both in person and in spirit.
My biggest hope for our industry is that we keep hold of the lessons we have learned in the pandemic. From focusing on the basics to embracing the retained donor. I hope we refocus our work on the generosity of others and the spirit of hope and rebuilding our communities. I also hope we do our best to make diversity and inclusion a part of our daily existence. As we foster tolerance and inclusion it too should grow.
For each and every one of you I hope that you know you are enough. You are doing enough, working hard enough, being the best you can be to do this in the situation and place you're in. Your work and you are valuable and precious. Cheers to 2020 being behind us very very soon!
On the heels of 2020, I hope that 2021 brings us a renewed focus on what is important in our personal and professional lives. I hope we’ll remember just how resilient we proved ourselves to be when faced with the many challenges this year brought.
On the professional front, I hope we will continue to keep a donor-centered, client-centered focus when prioritizing our work, streamlining our processes, and improving our communications and our products. Doing what we’ve always done the way we’ve always done it is, by in large, no longer an option. All those key phrases (that we may be growing weary of) that describe our adjustments in 2020, like being nimble, being able to pivot, etc., should tell us that our donors and clients are welcome to and open to new ways of keeping them engaged and stewarding their gifts.
I know I'm not alone in my gleeful anticipation of turning the calendar to 2021. And yet, while hope is renewed as we enter a new year, there is still a challenging road ahead in fighting the pandemic, promoting change that leads to racial justice, and responding to the related impacts on our fundraising profession. My greatest hope for 2021 is that we carry with us the lessons learned from 2020's "silver linings":
Remembering to slow down and focus on what is truly important in our lives and in our work.
Connecting with friends and family, as well as our donors, in new and inventive ways.
Reframing what we do—centering everything in our purpose—and infusing our work with an innovative spirit.
Winter is a time of renewal, an opportunity to reflect upon what has come to pass and envision what is yet to be. Although 2020 brought more than its share of darkness, struggle and pain, it also offered us an opportunity to rethink what we do, revisit why we do it and, above all, remember what it means to be human. This is the greatest gift of the year that is ending, and the question now is: how will we use this gift for good in the New Year?
My number one hope for 2021 is that the pandemic ends and that we can gather together safely, hug those we love, travel —anywhere, see people we have not been able to see, work together, celebrate those important moments we missed, honor those we lost, and never, ever take any of this for granted again.
I also hope that we do not just go back to our old ways of doing things. I hope and pray that we take what we have learned in 2020 and embrace all that was good. We were reminded how important family and friends are to us. We learned how to communicate differently. We found ways to virtually connect and engage our donors and friends. We found smarter more efficient ways to work. We learned our employees can do great work from their own homes. We gained perspective on how important it is to be inclusive and that all people deserve to be heard and valued. We learned how to manage, motivate, and thank our employees. We remembered how great home can be. So my deepest hope is we take the hard earned lessons of 2020 and make 2021 a kinder, gentler, more peaceful year!
If 2020 showed me anything, it was that in every aspect of life we need to prioritize the good...the things that add value, bring joy, and proliferate peace and happiness in our lives. And with that, we need to be willing to walk away from those that do the opposite. I hope the heartache, fear, change, and unknown we faced in 2020 will turn to greater compassion, empathy, and gratitude in 2021. I, for one, am looking forward to prioritizing the good in the year ahead!
What are your hopes for 2021? We'd love to hear them in the comments below.
Cheers to the end of 2020 and to hope for a better year ahead!