“How Will You Spend It?”
Chapter Leadership Brief 8.27.2021
By Jill Scibilia, CFRE, AFP-NYC President-Elect
Vice President, Development, Phelps Hospital, Northwell Health
There is one more week before Labor Day—the traditional end of summer in New York.
Do you remember the last day of summer vacation before going back to school in the fall? I do. It always seemed to be the very best day of summer. At least that is how I remember it. It never rained. The weather was just hot enough, but not too hot. Our friends and all of us who hung out in the neighborhood where I grew up were on the best of terms. Arguments were forgotten. We were all suddenly the best of friends—at least for the day. We played all day with abandon knowing it was the final day of vacation. We stayed out as late into the evening as our parents allowed. Every year I had the same thought, if only summer could last forever…
When I look back on my childhood, it is often that final day of summer that I recall. Of course it was not as perfect or idyllic as my rose-colored memories. But it makes me smile to remember it that way. Throughout my fundraising career, summer has also meant a break of sorts. Most donor activity has been Labor Day through about mid-June. While there is always plenty of work to do in fundraising and summer is an excellent time for meaningful donor engagement, it has usually been less intense for me.
This summer and last summer have not really allowed for that normal break in intensity with all that is happening in the world. It has been a weighty time to say the least. As fundraisers we know that our work and attention during times like these can and does make a huge difference. Our intensity and focus has been needed. Our missions and those we serve are counting on us during these unprecedented times.
We know we cannot do our best work if we do not take the time to unwind and dare I say it: have fun.
What do you remember about summers from your childhood? Did you, like me, want summer to last forever?
I repeat…there is one more week left before the end of summer. How do you plan to spend it? I am going to invoke those last days of summer vacation from my childhood and seek to make every moment count. I hope you can find a way to do the same. I know I will be better-positioned to give my mission and those we serve the energy and intensity they deserve.
Thank you for your leadership and commitment to professional fundraising.
P.S. – Don’t miss AFP-NYC’s next professional development session, “Setting up a Major Gifts Program” scheduled after Labor Day on Tuesday, September 14th. Click here to register and learn more.