Keeping Focused on Improving Yourself
Back in January, in my first message of the year, I asked you to consider four questions as we entered 2022:
- How are you going to view 2022?
- How are you going to improve professionally this year?
- How are you going to take care of yourself this year?
- How are you going to interact with your family, friends, groups and communities?
Consider this my mid-year check-in on each of you to see how you’re doing. It’s certainly been a challenging six months, but there are still lots of opportunities out there. I hope you’re feeling optimistic and conveying that spirit of hope to your supporters. We all know the importance of self-care, but I want to be sure you’ve made the time to take care of yourself and build on those important connections with your family, friends, and colleagues.
That’s especially important as we hit the summer months. You’re on vacation, taking some time off to relax and enjoy, and then all of a sudden—BAM! It’s the fall, and we’re quickly entering the “season of giving” and getting extremely busy as we work to reach our year-end goals.
As we get busier, I think the easiest thing to lose track of is your professional education. Learning new skills and gaining new knowledge is often what falls to the wayside as you focus on organizational deadlines and your personal life.
But summer is a great time to be intentional about focusing on your professional self too. Most of us can find some “nooks and crannies” of space we can carve out for professional development, and as your fundraising community, AFP has some great opportunities. So, may I suggest?
- Take advantage of our $100 credit for AFP Global webinars or AFP ICON recordings presented through the AFP Blue Sky/Path Learning Management System (LMS). That credit is good throughout the year if you’re a Professional, Young Professional or Small Nonprofit Organizational Member. Check out our webinars and conference recordings here!
- Give yourself an hour (at least) on Fridays or some other afternoon during the summer to read all those Advancing Philanthropy magazines that have been accumulating in your office or home, or listen to our recent webinar on the latest Giving USA 2002 data, free of charge for AFP members.
- Register for AFP LEAD, October 20 – 22, and receive the best fundraising management and leadership training in the profession!
- Participate in our free Summer Workplace Training—two complementary webinars for all members of the profession, whether you’re a CEO or new to fundraising:
- Take advantage of learning opportunities through the AFP/Blackbaud University program—introductory-level courses on fundraising and relevant nonprofit topics at no charge to AFP members, plus our e-courses that cover all aspects of fundraising.
- Look for our new 2022 Professional Development Brochure coming to your (actual physical) mailbox soon. It will list EVERY educational opportunity we’ve got for you for the final six months of the year.
There are a lot of opportunities and distractions (both good and bad!) in the summertime, which is why we have to be intentional about what we do, while also giving ourselves space to relax.
So be sure to take your vacations, take your time off and keep those important family and friend connections strong. Prepare yourself for a busy fall and end-of-year giving period. And heck, give yourself some time to just blow off some steam, get distracted and find something new you enjoy – maybe a new book or a new hobby.
But also keep an eye on your professional goals and your career path. The summer is a great time to continue your learning while you have some time. Your community—AFP—has the training and professional development ready for you, no matter what stage of your career you’re in.
As always, feel free to reach out to me with your thoughts and ideas at email@example.com or on Twitter at @AFPMikeGeiger.
Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA