2017 is finally coming to a close, and what a year it has been! I know you have been running fast, and working hard to keep up. But you have your feet under you now, and you’ve done really great work this year. I know you are busy, but I have a couple important items to suggest you add to your December to-do list. Let’s get this done and close this year out!
1. “Never miss a crisis” is a tried and true organizing principle. Your end-of-the-year major donor appeal is especially compelling this year, so you don’t want to miss this opportunity! Public lands are under attack. The needs and threats are clear and present. Now is the time to ask your donors for an additional major gift. For those of you in the U.S., make sure to point out the benefit of giving now to take advantage of the charitable deduction. The Tax Bill currently in Congress, if it passes, will dramatically reduce the number of taxpayers who will be able to benefit from taking itemized deductions.
2. Thank your supporters, we made it through together. Everyone had a tough year with so much coming at us. Your supporters saw through all that, kept their eye on the ball, and stayed with you. You need friends like that in times like these. Give the individual donors and foundations that supported you in 2017 some extra love and gratitude at year end. You could even make thanking a celebration. Invite your Board members to come, and together you can write thank you notes to major donors.
3. Acknowledge your hard-working staff. Imagine continuing to make a logical argument for sensible solutions while riding a roller coaster. That’s what your staff have done each and every day this year, even those of you in Canada who are along for the ride. Your staff faced ongoing assaults on their life’s work, and some felt personally attacked as well. They handled it all with grit and grace. I’m impressed.
4. Pat yourself on the back. This work is never easy, but this year has been especially challenging. Please take a few minutes before now and the end of the year to think about what you have personally gained this year. More adaptability? Perseverance? Increased confidence? New skills? A broader community? What are the gifts embedded in the experiences that you’ve had this year? Take the time to acknowledge how you’ve stretched and grown, and then set a New Year’s Resolution to keep learning, and to grow even more in 2018! And, a special pat on the back for our friends in the Yukon who worked on the Peel Campaign – take a victory lap for all of us!
I speak for everyone at TREC when I say that we are honored to be on this journey with you. These times call on us to do our best work, and that is what we’ve seen from you this year. We can’t thank you enough.
TREC Executive Director