New graduands!

New graduands!

Yesterday I attended the Tanzania Convocation of the Aga Khan University in East Africa. It was small by most US or Canadian university graduation standards: 13 receiving a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 24 receiving a Master of Education, two receiving a Master of Medicine in Family Medicine and one receiving his Doctorate in Education.

Small, but mighty.

Health and education are the two most important issues facing the countries of the East African Community (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda). There is a critical need for more nurses and midwives, especially in the rural areas (where there are a few clinics and no physicians), and a very great need to educate the youth in both rural and urban areas. The recent “education for all” initiative means more pupils are in classrooms, but there are not enough teachers and certainly few that have been trained to teach.

I’ve been part of and attended many graduations, and this was no different: the procession, the national anthem, the address by the special guest, the granting of degrees, and then the speech by the class valedictorian. Here, every graduate is moving on to create a great impact in the career of his or her choice. The valedictorian, who spoke of the great honor and responsibility this education bestowed upon them, offered this advice. :

The small chance we have, the small things we do, let us do them in a great way.

I think this is the lens through which we should observe our work as fundraisers…

As we get underway with this New Year, let’s keep in mind that our greatest actions this year will be to thank, steward, and appreciate those individuals (and their companies and foundations) who have supported and championed the work of our nonprofits. (Fundraisers should be building an enduring relationship with a donor, not chasing a gift.)

Let’s show our donors more love this year, the love they deserve for allowing us (the fundraisers) to introduce a project or cause that moves them. Thank them for allowing us to bask in their joy of giving. Thank them for giving another chance – to people, the environment, justice whatever important cause we strive to support.

A donor’s stretch gift, her monthly donation, his annual commitment deserves to be appreciated.

Let’s show our small moments of #donorlove in a great way.

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